JWS Research True Issues survey

Voters continue to rate health as the most important issue facing government, with greater movement on cost of living than defence and national security.

It’s an off week for Newspoll and Roy Morgan, but this week should see the release of federal polls from Essential Research and, I would assume, Resolve Strategic. With all the SA election post clogging up the board though, I need a new open thread sooner than that, so I’ll hang one off the latest release of JWS Research’s occasional True Issues survey of issue salience.

This finds very little change since the previous survey in November, with the war in Ukraine only eliciting a slight bump in defence, security and terrorism, which remains well down the list.
The biggest movers are cost of living, the index score of which is up from 11% to 16%, and housing and interest rates, up four to 14%.

Respondents continue to rate health as the issue governments should be most focused on, which would not surprise observers of the South Australian election campaign. The level of concern is unchanged on November with a score of 37%, but still well down from earlier in the pandemic. In second and third place are the environment and climate change on 27%, down one, and economy and finances on 24%, up two. The survey was conducted March 4 to 8 from a sample of 1000.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,010 comments on “JWS Research True Issues survey”

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  1. A_E at 9.50pm

    Maybe a Productivity Commission inquiry into the media market. After all, monopoly power acts against productivity.

    Tangentially, during his interviews with Kerry O’Brien, Keating said of the financial sector two things that might be relevant: 1) when de-regulating, Labor counterbalance corporate power (my phrasing) by permitting international competition; and 2) he wouldn’t have allowed the merger between Westpac and St George.

    Of course, forcing break-up/divestment of hostile media companies is much more difficult than preventing it in the first place.

    Murdoch will no doubt trot out accusations of ‘Stalinism’ etc.

  2. “ My view is that Labor should forget about anything like this. Freedom of the Press and all.”

    Everybody is free to write on a blog. Or broadcast on YouTube.

    before you get wound up on the loss of ‘journalistic standards’ if the MSM cartel was throat punched into oblivion, did you see Chris Ullmann’s ‘interview’ of Penny Wong yesterday? For the life of me, I can’t tell the difference in standards between 9/Faix these days and Alex Jones. That’s before one goes deep into SkyNoos territory.

    If 7, 9, 10, Fairfax and the Rupeverse simply disappeared, what would be the damage? Certainly not to free speech, let alone informed debate. Given the chance, labor should kill them all, before they end up doing the same to the next Labor government.

  3. “ Murdoch will no doubt trot out accusations of ‘Stalinism’ etc.”

    Murdoch, snr and jnr would be denied entry visas – or the right to own anything in Australia – if I had my way. No soap box, no consequences to their fulminations.

  4. S777 says Monday, March 21, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    Nato declares a “No Fly” zone.

    It is inconceivable that Russia would pay any attention other than to send in more jets.

    Next move? NATO non-response is not an option.

    Whatever comes next, it wouldn’t be pretty.

    NATO planes would also go up against Russian S300 and S400 air defence systems. Will they be authorised to take out these systems to protect themselves? How will they distinguish a Russian S300 from an Ukranian S300 system?

    Won’t a no fly zone also apply to Ukranian planes?

    I’m not sure the benefits of a no fly zone are worth the risks and costs.

  5. “ Maybe a Productivity Commission inquiry into the media market. After all, monopoly power acts against productivity.”

    That would go nowhere fast. If Labor is to act, it must blitzkrieg this in its first 6 months of office.

  6. The Kitching stuff is a sideshow. It won’t dominate the campaign and will be old news in a week. No doubt some journos will try to ping Labor in the coming weeks, but if they do Labor needs to react calmly.

    The budget will dominate soon enough and then Albo’s reply.

    The main game in town is petrol prices and cost of living.

  7. Lynchpin and Asha,

    I agree AND I live in a bitter and twisted universe in which I’m utterly sick of the various forces that conspire against Labor.

    So I want something structural done to rectify the extreme concentration of media ownership in this country, for example.

  8. More than one way to implement a “no fly zone”
    Slovakia will send Ukraine S-300 air defenses ‘immediately’ if NATO backfills its weapons
    The Slovakian defense minister said his country could not give its S-300 missiles to Ukraine without creating a ‘security gap’ within NATO

    Unanswered question is who would operate the system, one assumes the Ukrainians would already have trained personnel given its a soviet system.

    The UK has considered supplying long range air defence system but can’t train the Ukrainians in their use … maybe the UK fills the hole in Slovakia?

  9. MeanGirlGate was opportunistic. No one expected a sudden death in Labor ranks, of course, but the gutter press and the gutter politicians jumped on it.

  10. Victoria @ #950 Monday, March 21st, 2022 – 6:57 pm

    I missed this.

    Gareth Evans on Virginia Trioli says the pressure Senator Kitching was under arose from the extreme policy positions she chose to take on a range of issues, positions that did not represent the mainstream party.

    Exactly. And good on Gareth for having the guts to say it. #auspol

    So the politics of the minority.

    That’s certainly how it’s seemed.

  11. Snappy Tom says:

    So I want something structural done to rectify the extreme concentration of media ownership in this country, for example.

    Let’s not forget that Labor allowed Murdoch to attain it’s newspaper empire by changing the rules in an attempt to advantage Murdoch at the expense of their ancient enemy Fairfax.

    So, trying to be too smart sure did backfire.

  12. “ Gareth Evans on Virginia Trioli says the pressure Senator Kitching was under arose from the extreme policy positions she chose to take on a range of issues, positions that did not represent the mainstream party.

    Exactly. And good on Gareth for having the guts to say it. #auspol”

    It’s actually more complex than that IMO.

    I think that those positions were what she actually believed in. However, she only decided to pursue them to the extend and in the fashion that she did, because her cabal had lost control over the Victorian Branch, following the federal intervention.

    She began to make life difficult for Albo – in a way that she never did when Shorten was leader and when he had, in many ways, pursued an even milder position regarding China and at least as progressive position on climate change: presumably because the cabal thought that by making things unpleasant for the FPLP leadership and threatening all out war, they could extract some sort of concessions in return for a pledge for future good conduct: to broker some sort of compromise and truce, whereby in order to head off exactly the sort of shit show we are now witnessing following her death, she would be re-endorsed for another term in the senate.

    If Don Farrell is to be believed (and he is the national convenor of the FPLP centre unity faction), that blackmailing seems to have actually worked: the deal was done, she was set to keep her senate seat, but she didn’t live long enough to find out. Had she lived, I suspect she might have even been promoted into a junior portfolio to keep her out of harms way (ie. free lancing on China etc), but then managed out via some sinecure, like an ambassadorship to the Holy See in a couple of years time.

  13. “ Let’s not forget that Labor allowed Murdoch to attain it’s newspaper empire by changing the rules in an attempt to advantage Murdoch at the expense of their ancient enemy Fairfax.

    So, trying to be too smart sure did backfire.”

    Eventually. But other forces, such as the threat from digital media, the general loss of respect in society for basic facts also played their part in the intervening period. But relitigating the mistakes of the late 1980s won’t unscramble the egg now, will it?

  14. Since there has been a bit of speculation on what an incoming Govt should have a Royal Commission into…my 2c worth.

    I want to see justice done to the bastards in this Govt.

    A Federal ICAC will have a range of topics to consider, but their remit should not be so broad as to bog them down. They will have to prioritize the bigger matters where they can get a prosecution. Liberals with interests in water may well be pooing themselves. 🙁

    Too many royal Commissions and people will switch off. Best thing i think is for an ALP Govt to review / examine how the ones we HAVE had, have had their recommendations implemented, or not.

    I also note that when Albo did his National Press Club address earlier this year he directly spoke to this in that ALL he promised was ONE single Royal Commission into RoboDebt . I reckon that’s a VERY smart idea. An RC into RoboDebt will rope in ALL the major players in the reputedly less transparent and cynical parts of the Liberal party (which is all of them). The places the questioning could lead (given whatever the terms of reference are…… that the ALP will write 🙂 ) could go to interesting territory for further question and set up a long term, quite damning narrative that will follow the Libs around and damage their brand for years.

    OK, my inner bitch really wants Angus Taylor keelhauled by and RC or FICAC over water “Trading” and the Murray – Darling basin management and Grassland Destruction……. as well as him being a Stupid Climate Denaialist Lowlife Moron Donkey Bottom Biter……. 🙁

  15. imacca @ 10.45

    Very good post.

    It makes sense to leave Taylor to ICAC and do a Royal Commission into Robodebt (the implementation of which I still consider the greatest act of government bastardry in the history of this country).

  16. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the top court of the United Nations, has ordered Russia to “immediately suspend” its military operations in Ukraine. What does the decision mean, and what happens next?

    We already knew Russia’s invasion was illegal in international law. But the ICJ decision now makes it virtually impossible for anyone, including Russia, to deny that illegality. It is also impressive because Ukraine used a creative strategy to get the ICJ to hear the case, based on the Genocide Convention of 1948.

    READ HERE: a summary of the #ICJ Order indicating provisional measures in the case concerning Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (#Ukraine v. #Russia) https://bit.ly/3qboedC

  17. https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/44842/russian-invaders-north-of-kyiv-are-mired-in-flooded-terrain

    Interesting one on Ukraine.

    “One ambush that’s documented on video, however, showed potentially a new element of these attacks. It appears the Ukrainians put explosives along the road and set them off before opening up with small arms from cover. These types of ambushes were the scourage of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and will likely become more prominent as the invasion grinds on and the skillset to set them up spreads.”

    There was a brief shot of a pretty fwarked up Russian MTB. Looked like a hole all the way through down low through the wheels. That is kinda reminiscent of reports out of Iraq of Abrams M1’s being taken out by in urban environments by locally made road side bombs built as Explosive Formed Penetrators.

    Or the Ukranians just have lots of explosives lying around and the time to mine these roads.

    The Russians may not “appear” to lose in Ukraine but they have proved they aint the scary Bear the appeared to be.

  18. “Maybe we need to compile a Top Ten of such acts…”

    Gadzooks snappy, that would cause more conniptions and argument here than the RGR wars…. 🙁

  19. “Nath that idea is ignorant of how the power brokers work and from where in
    the Fiberal Party. There is no way the Libs would elect a South Australia leader for a start. They come from NSW or Victoria. Remember Jewellery Bishop trying for a leadership gig , wrong State {WA] mate. I’d be looking for a female leader the blokes can kick to the kerb when they get within cooeee of winning again, someone from NSW probably. Yes I am cynical.”


    I presume your talking in recent times. Alexander Downer was leader of the Liberals and he was from South Australia. Downer problems as leader had nothing to do with him being based in South Australia either. Downer admitted he wasn’t ready and Paul Keating disposed of him very quickly.

    Your right though it has been very NSW domimated though.
    Howard NSW
    Nelson NSW
    Turnbull NSW
    Abbott NSW
    Turnbull NSW
    Morrison NSW

    The lack of options in Queensland is an indictment of their talent despite all they seats they have in the Sunshine state. Peter Dutton is nothing more then a headkicker. Mind you I thought the same about Tony Abbott and he became Prime Minster.

  20. imacca,
    For good, honest tactical discussion I recommend the video of Jake Tapper and David Petraeus talking that I put up earlier:

    Have a look at 5:20 where they put up how many top Russian Generals have been taken out and how the Ukrainians did it.

  21. From William’s bomb just dropped, the CEO of Roy Morgan said:

    “The big driver of this fall in support for the L-NP Government, as well as the precipitious drop in the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating, appears to be the soaring price of petrol. Petrol prices in Australia have increased significantly this year and are now well above $2 per litre and at record highs.”

    So how much do the punters care about petrol prices versus how much they care about Labor “mean girls” in the Senate? Only time, and more polling, will tell…….

  22. Primary support for the ALP increased 0.5% points to 37.5% in mid-March as petrol prices in Australia hit record highs above $2 per litre. The ALP is now a large 6.5% points ahead of the L-NP, down 2.5% points to 31%. Support for the Greens was up 0.5% points at 12%.

  23. Lol – I know QLD is a poll bludger as a state (contrarian etc) but the biggest flaws in the Morgan polling is while states can shift in different directions – there’s like… no fucking way those state numbers can co-exist in a 2022 political environment.

  24. jt1983…….screw reasoned analysis.

    I am just going to laugh and laugh and laugh and enjoy those numbers a while. 🙂

  25. imacca ,
    I bet a pineapple that the CIA is taking all the lesson learned from Iraq and teaching the Ukrainians quick smart regarding complex IED ambushes.

    Also that Morgan result…..”Oh f–k” right before budget week. I wonder what inflation increasing sugar hit we’ll get now.

  26. @imacca – oh absolutely. I will also give Morgan some credit in 2019 being one of the few pollsters who were less bullish on Labor.

  27. The Morgan Poll numbers make sense of the whole meangirlsgate situation.

    It was, in fact, a cunning plan by Shorten and his associates to BOOST Albo’s numbers!

    Or…I suppose the boost could have been due to petrol prices…

  28. Evening all. I pointed put earlier that the current government has absolutely no plan to deal with a petrol supply crunch, with possibly the OECD’s worst policy on vehicle emissions (and fuel consumption)! High fuel costs does not affect evenly. It really hurts rural and aspirational outer urban voters because they drive more than twice as far. So that Roy Morgan is karma in so many ways.

    Plus lets see them laugh off the SA result as no Federal factors now.

    Also I’m sure we all hope for a swift recovery for conservative Judge Thomas.

  29. Socrates:

    It’s a sad indictment of the present state of US polity that one of the best things that could probably happen for the country right now is for Clarence Thomas to drop dead.

  30. Asha

    True. It is sad. And I do hope Thomas meets his bigoted maker soon.

    His wife also helped fund people to join the Jan 6 insurrection.


    “ It seems he’s responding to antibiotics.”

    Perhaps Thomas would be a good candidate for some hydro chloroquine?

  31. Thomas is getting on a bit, but he’s still only 73. Alito will be 72 in a few weeks, so he’s likely to hang around for a fair while too. The next oldest of the conservative judges, and probably the least conservative of the conservatives, is Roberts at 67.

    The youngest, Coney Barrett, is only 50. She’s also the only one of the current judges who did not attend Harvard or Yale.

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