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Could this be a watershed poll?

Our latest qualitative poll was conducted late in April, and we have just finished completely analysing the results. The results show some shift on the right with climate change  crossing the party divide as an issue.

It reminds some analysts of the 1993 Fightback! election, when the government of Paul Keating beat an opposition that had the most extensive policy platform anyone had seen from an opposition to that date.

But it also reminds me of the 1972 Whitlam election where an opposition also laid out very detailed policy, but in that case prevailed.

There are differences.

One is that electors are divided and unenthusiastic this election. They are divided along lines of age, gender, income and nationalism versus cosmopolitanism. Unenthusiastic, because they are split and increasingly looking to minor parties.  Climate change is the major issue on the left, and has crossed into some groups on the right, although there is still strong resistance to it as a genuine problem from the more nationalist voters.

Liberal and nationalist voters continue to rate the economy, specifically taxation, as important issues, but other issues that were core seem to have faded, including debt, and border security. Immigration is there as a specific issue, but now it is more about congestion and infrastructure than security. This is an indication that issues are either not being canvassed anymore, or that they have transformed into different aspects of themselves.

As with the Whitlam election it is between a government promising more of the same good government, and the other promising higher spending, enhanced welfare, better wages, and a more modern attitude. A lot of those themes are on display here, even if no politician this election has the charisma of Gough.

Chaos and cuts seems to have cut through on the Labor side, while Labor's reputation for big spending hurts it.

Shorten has picked-up his approval, and gets marks for being well-organised and having a unified team. Morrison has exceeded expectations as most respondents saw him as an accidental leader.

To download the report, click here.

Free speech and religious freedom

We also polled on free speech and the case of Israel Folau. Respondents were split on whether there was a need for free speech protections, and what free speech even means. On the right it means the right to speak your mind, and on the left the conditional right to participate in debate, but only if you are sensitive. We speculate that the winning side in society will want to define free speech in a way which minimises criticism of its views, and that the left is tending to win the culture wars at the moment, so is more conservative on what constitutes free speech.

More people supported Israel Folau's position than opposed it, particularly amongst the minor party voters, excluding the Greens. At the same time only 24% of voters think we need increased protection for religious freedom while 39% thought we don't.

To download the report click here.

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-12 #11 RE: Could this be a watershed poll?Serge 2019-05-15 00:54
Climate change? Of course there's climate change.There has been for thousands of years. In the middle ages we had a mini ice age..after a period of warming. What is nonsense and not scientific is that Australia getting rid of fossil fuels and petrol cars will have any effect. Nor is there any clear evidence that it is related to human activity. In the 80s we were told that by 2020 Australia's eastern seaboard would be completely under water, there would be no more Bondi. The ice would disappear from the arctic. If you look at satellite pictures there's significantly.. . more ice now than 10 yrs ago...and polar bears are thriving not on the verge of extinction. And water levels haven't raised by one cm. Btw, plenty of scientists do not agree with the climate doomsayers...th ey're just not allowed to be heard. We're being duped folks...and probably for nefarious reasons.
 
 
-9 #12 RE: Could this be a watershed poll?Serge 2019-05-15 00:56
Climate change? Of course there's climate change.There has been for thousands of years. In the middle ages we had a mini ice age..after a period of warming. What is nonsense and not scientific is that Australia getting rid of fossil fuels and petrol cars will have any effect. Nor is there any clear evidence that it is related to human activity. In the 80s we were told that by 2020 Australia's eastern seaboard would be completely under water, there would be no more Bondi. The ice would disappear from the arctic. If you look at satellite pictures there's significantly.. . more ice now than 10 yrs ago...and polar bears are thriving not on the verge of extinction. And water levels haven't raised by one cm. Btw, plenty of scientists do not agree with the climate doomsayers...th ey're just not allowed to be heard. We're being duped folks...and probably for nefarious reasons.
 
 
-10 #13 MrDavid Truman 2019-05-15 02:08
The "climate emergency" nonsense spouted by impressionable, earnest but brainwashed schoolkids, in the face of a raft of spurious predictions and the geological evidence for past climate change not correlated with carbon dioxide concentrations and showing large fluctuations WAY before the Industrial Revolution, shows the enormous power of teachers, academics and public broadcasters in influencing the narrative and the culture.

A future genuinely conservative government must set itself as highest long-term priority to recapture the drivers of cultural change: the education system, and the public media.
 
 
-5 #14 RE: Could this be a watershed poll?John Bates 2019-05-15 02:10
:-* Mick Muscatt and Steve Posselt. I am not trying to deny anything. And none of you know what I read or how I get my information. That is a fact. All I am trying to do is get an informed debate going. I don't want to ignore science. I certainly don't want to label anyone or attempt to shut things down using the appeal to authority. I happen to be an environmental scientist and an engineer, but so what. OK the earth's atmosphere may have an energy imbalance but why? CO2 is a trace gas - the major 'greenhouse' gas is H2O. Rising CO2 trails temperature rise it does not lead it. There is no statistically significant increase in 'extreme' weather events. There has been at least a decade long pause in the warming trend. China's annual consumption of coal has almost tripled since 2000. Anyone with an inquiring mind would surely begin to wonder if CO2 is the real 'problem'. I do not deny anything, but I do question group think.
 
 
0 #15 RE: Could this be a watershed poll?Aaron 2019-05-15 03:05
From my perspective, there seems to be a general disconnect from the messages of government because government seems so disconnected from the issues of middle and low income earners. They're disconnected from world events and basically disconnected from any kind of understandable reality for most people. Both parties leadership have been a bloodbath as naked ambition has trumped any sort of reasoning, policy platform or narrative. Respect for politicians has gone through the floor - people would rather not waste a few hours on a Saturday voting to unrepresentativ e swill in the upper and lower house!
 
 
+5 #16 RE: Could this be a watershed poll?Hillary Morris 2019-05-15 04:10
John Bates you should think about the impacts of high temperature and high humidity or the wet-bulb globe temperature on the people of Northern Australia. The WBGT reflects the ability of moisture to evaporate, which is the mechanism required for the human body to maintain its internal temperature through the evaporation of sweat. At a wet-bulb temperature of 35 degrees Celsius, the human body cannot cool itself enough to survive more than a few hours. Think what impact this will have on livestock and native fauna?

The northern hemisphere summer of 2015 produced one of the deadliest heat waves in history in South Asia, killing an estimated 3,500 people in Pakistan and India. So definitely not good for humanity.
 
 
-3 #17 RE: Could this be a watershed poll?John Bates 2019-05-15 05:33
AAron, well a large chunk of humanity on this planet gets no choice at all. People suffered and died for your right to vote. I'd think about the alternative form of government very carefully.

Hilary Morris, I think you missed the point entirely. Question: what is causing the warming and can we do anything to change it? The answer is complex and requires a lot more than just deminising a few molecules of CO2. More people die because there are more people. Heat waves have always been with us. Action must be well-considered and targetted. The IPCChas no explanation of 50% of the warming that has occurred. IPCC models have been shown to be very poor in terms of predicting change. So what do we rely on? Just rhetoric by the sound of things. Do we go on blaming CO2? The China figure for coal consumption is astonishing yet warming has paused. The IPCC has failed. The UN Agenda 21 is more focussed on social enginering than climate adaptation.
 
 
+6 #18 MrsMarta Sandberg 2019-05-15 06:31
Climate change is real and it is hurting us.

I’ve farmed for about thirty years and I have seen the weather change drastically – and droughts and bushfires increase.
In in 2009, my farm burned to the ground. I nor only lost my financial security, but I don’t have a single photograph of my husband or children left.

I'm not whinging, because Australia doesn’t foster whingers. But the reality is that climate change is already here and it is already hurting us. This year half of the east coast burned whilst the other half was flooded. Ask them if they feel that climate change is real.

It is here and it will get worse. How much worse depends on what we do right now.
 
 
0 #19 RE: Could this be a watershed poll?Marta Sandberg 2019-05-17 05:38
There has been a record number of people voting early, and i wonder how this will affect the result.

Would it be possible to ask people in the next poll w-h-e-n they decided whom they should vote for? And then maybe ask them if they voted early?

I have a feeling that most who voted early decided on their vote many months ago so the election campaign haven't swayed them one way of another, but it would be interesting to find out if my gut feeling is true.