Exit poll shows ALP takes double blow on climate delay, Coalition misses opportunity: New Report Media Release

Aug 30, 2010 - 9:30am

Almost one-third of Green voters in key marginal seats said they would have voted ALP if it had not delayed the introduction of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), which could have cost the ALP two seats, according to an exit poll for the independent The Climate Institute as it released Climate of the Nation 2010, survey of Australians’ climate attitudes.

The election day phone survey* conducted by Auspoll in a basket of 30 key marginal seats across Australia showed 32 per cent of Green voters said they would have voted for the ALP if it wasn’t for Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s decision to delay the introduction of the CPRS.

According to Auspoll this scenario may have cost the Government the seat of Melbourne, possibly Denison, and pushed Grayndler and Batman into marginal territory.

“The decision to delay the CPRS has been a double blow in brand credibility and in the ballot box for the ALP, but the Coalition has missed the opportunity to follow modern conservative parties overseas with credible leadership,” said Mr Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute.

“The exit poll findings back our broader market research which found that the climate change is no longer a stand-alone issue but bolted onto leadership, economic reform and health.” Auspoll’s CEO Ross Neilson said if anything like this proportion of Green voters switched because of the CPRS delay, this was a significant haemorrhaging of ALP votes.

“The danger for the ALP is if this trend continues we would see very safe Labor seats like Grayndler and Batman being pushed further into marginal territory,” said Mr Neilson.

“These outcomes would not have occurred if a third - or anything close to that - of Greens voters had voted ALP.”

The survey, conducted as part of broader market research** for The Climate Institute’s Climate of the Nation 2010 report also found that a majority of voters did not believe that Prime Minister Julia Gillard showed strong leadership on climate change.

Three in five voters, or 62 per cent, disagreed that Prime Minister Gillard showed strong leadership on climate change. Twenty-seven per cent agreed she had showed strong leadership while 11 per cent were “don’t knows”.

Climate of the Nation 2010 compiles the findings of extensive research into Australians’ attitudes to pollution and climate change.

“Cost of living pressures were, and are, a concern for citizens but it appears a simplistic mistake to respond by freezing any policy that may have an impact on electricity prices.

“It is also a mistake to see climate change as a stand alone issue, it is integrated with leadership, economic reform, health as well as the environment. Australians want policies that amount to a credible and detailed plan on pollution and climate change, Mr Connor concluded.

Further information:
John Connor | CEO, The Climate Institute |  0413 968 475.
Harriet Binet | Communications Director, The Climate Institute |  0402 588 384.

*1,000 voters from a basket of 30 marginal seats across Australia were polled by phone on August 21st.
**The broader market research for Climate of Nation report was done by Auspoll in a four-phase research,
qualitative and quantitative, from April to June 2010.

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