73% of marginal seat voters now say Climate Change will have a strong influence on their vote Media Release

Nov 08, 2007 - 3:30am

Marginal seats polling conducted last weekend reveals the influence of climate change on voting intentions has grown to 73% from 62% since a similar poll before the election campaign, but the standing of both major parties has gone backwards with the ALP maintaining an edge.

“There is a clear thirst for leadership on climate change amongst voters, with a thirst mostly unsatisfied, and it would appear that both parties were marked down over their squabble on Australia’s role in post 2012 global negotiations,” said John Connor, Chief Executive of the independent Climate Institute.

Compared with polling in the same electorates on August 11 and 12:

  • Climate change as a strong influence (combining strong and very strong) on voting intentions increasing from 62% to 73%
  • Better major party to deal with climate change has gone from ALP: Coalition 42%:20% to 35%:15% amongst all voters and 19%:13% to 21%:13% amongst undecided voters.

Voters in these seats favour decisive policies on climate change and international leadership:

  • A majority indicated they would be more likely to vote for a political party that will: set energy efficiency targets (72%); ensure all new electricity generation comes from clean energy (70%); set greenhouse pollution reduction targets within five years (71%); and ratify the Kyoto Protocol (54%), with only 18% opposing it.
  • More than half of voters in these marginal seats believe that Australia should sign an international climate change treaty regardless of whether or not it is signed by India and China. Just 22% believe that Australia should not sign an international treaty until it is signed by India and China.

Voters gave great importance to climate change in their choice of Prime Minister and rate Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett more highly on their seriousness in tackling climate change.

  • Seven out of 10 voters (69%) in nine selected marginal seats believe climate change will have either a ‘very important’ or ‘important’ influence on their choice of Prime Minister. This includes one quarter (27%) who rated it as ‘very important’ and a further 42% who saw it as ‘important’
  • 43% said Mr Garrett was ‘very serious’ about taking action to address climate change compared to 28% for Mr Rudd, 11% for Mr Howard, 7% for Mr Turnbull and 6% for Mr Costello.

“Both major parties can gain ground on the issue of climate change with more decisive policies to ensure Australia reverses its rising greenhouse pollution in five years, require all new electricity to come from clean energy and demonstrate real leadership,” concluded Mr Connor.

Between November 3 and 5 almost 900 marginal seats voters were polled by Australian Research Group in NSW, Qld and SA (Bennelong, Parramatta, Lindsay, Wakefield, Makin, Kingston, Petrie, Bowman and Bonner).

Download the full report here
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