South Australian marginal seat polling Media Release

Aug 26, 2007 - 4:22pm

The following research memo highlights key findings in the South Australian seats of Kingston, Makin and Wakefield, drawing comparisons with figures in marginal seats in New South Wales and Queensland where appropriate. The overall sample size is 1,680 with over 500 interviews in each State.

EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AT NEXT ELECTION
  • Almost two thirds (62%) of voters in the key South Australian seats of Kingston, Makin and Wakefield say climate change will affect their vote at the next Federal election, around one-third (35%) feel it will have no effect and virtually no-one (3%) will vote to oppose it.
  • Importantly it will also influence the vote of 59% of Swing voters, with 41% claiming no effect and less than 1% voting to oppose it.
  • South Australian Green voters provide the strongest support 76%, but Coalition provide the weakest (57%).

BETTER PARTY FOR MANAGING CLIMATE CHANGE
  • Labor is ahead as the better party for managing climate change (41% vs. 20%), but a high proportion believing both parties are the same (39%).
  • Swinging voters in the South Australian marginals are very likely to believe both parties are the same (67%) and those with an opinion marginally favour Labor (18% vs. 15%).
  • Labor rates better on climate change among its own supporters (73%) than the Coalition does among its own voters (64%).

EFFECT OF ENVIRONMENT AT PREVIOUS ELECTION
  • Just under half of voters in the South Australian marginals (49%) claim that environmental issues affected their vote at previous elections and this is still a strong factor among Swinging voters (41%).
  • Very few people voted to oppose environmental issues (2%) and support was strongest among safe Labor voters (51%) but weakest among safe Coalition voters (42%).

SUPPORT FOR ENVIRONMENT AT PREVIOUS ELECTIONS AND FOR CLIMATE CHANGE NOW
  • Climate change is likely to be a more important issue at the forthcoming election than environmental issues have been at previous elections.
  • Overall voters, 49% of voters in these key South Australian seats previously voted to support environmental issues, while 62% will vote to support climate change at the next Federal election.
  • This difference remains strong among Swinging voters, with 41% having previously voted to support environmental issues and 59% planning to vote to support climate change.
  • There is also a strong rise among Coalition voters (42% to 57%) and among men (43% to 59%).

SPEED OF ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
  • Just under half of respondents in these key South Australian seats (52%) believe Australia should move quickly on climate change even if it has a short term impact on the economy while only 31% believe Australia should move slowly on climate change to avoid short term damage to the economy.
  • More than half (56%) also believe we should move quickly, 22% favouring slow progress and 22% unsure.
  • Coalition voters were clearly the most likely to believe Australia should move slowly (48%), with Labor supporters believing Australia should move quickly (60%) and the Greens also believing in rapid action (68%).

CLIMATE CHANGE POLICIES - UNDERSTANDING OF
  • Most voters feel they understand what it means for Australia to set greenhouse pollution reduction targets within the next five years (86%) and for "all new electricity to come from clean energy" (84%).
  • These were fairly consistent among the Labor and Coalition voters.
  • Understanding was lower among Swinging voters.

CLIMATE CHANGE POLICIES - VOTER BELIEFS
  • There is consistent support for greenhouse pollution reduction targets (88%) and all new energy to come from clean energy (82%).
  • Support is strongest for these policies among Labor voters (targets - 91% and clean energy - 87%).
  • Critically it is still strong among Coalition supporters (93% & 80%) and fairly strong among Swinging voters (75% & 77%).

CLIMATE CHANGE POLICIES - INFLUENCE ON VOTE

All three climate change policies are likely to influence the votes of both Swinging South Australian voters and all voters in the sample of South Australian marginal seats. These are:
  • Setting targets to reduce greenhouse pollution within the next five years, which will influence 64% of all voters and 60% of Swinging voters
  • Ensuring all new electricity comes from clean energy, which will influence 63% of all voters and 59% of Swinging voters.
  • Importantly, there is still a large block of people who are not opposed to these policies, but rather have no opinion about them. Among Swinging voters, 34% are undecided about clean energy and 35% are unsure about pollution reduction targets.
  • Even around half of Coalition South Australian voters will be influenced by targets (59%) and new clean energy (55%).

TOTAL

NSW (Bennelong, Parramatta, Lindsay)

QLD

(Bonner, Bowman, Petrie)

SA

(Hindmarsh, Kingston, Makin)

Sample Size*

1,680

562

543

575

BETTER PARTY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

ALP

42

39

47

41

Both the Same

38

39

36

39

Coalition

20

22

17

20

EFFECT OF ENVIRONMENT AT PREVIOUS ELECTIONS

Supported environmental issues

48

48

47

49

No effect

49

48

50

49

Opposed environmental issues

3

4

3

2

EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AT NEXT ELECTION

Will vote to support climate change

62

61

62

62

No effect

35

35

35

35

Will vote to oppose climate change

3

4

3

3

SPEED TO DEAL WITH CLIMATE CHANGE

Move slowly to avoid short term damage to economy

33

36

32

31

Move quickly even if it leads to short term damage to the economy

50

48

49

52

Don't know

17

16

18

17

GREENHOUSE POLLUTION REDUCTION TARGETS

I understand what it means for Australia to set targets

85

84

85

86

I believe Australia should set targets

86

84

86

88

I would be more likely to vote for a party that set targets

64

61

66

64

CLEAN ENERGY GENERATION

I understand what it means for all new electricity generation to come from clean energy

85

85

84

84

I believe all new electricity generation to come from clean energy

79

77

77

82

I would be more likely to vote for a party that ensures all new electricity generation to come from clean energy

62

61

62

63


*Indicative margin of error is 2.4 percentage points across the whole sample and 4.1 percentage points in each State (at the 95% confidence interval).
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