Summary of marginal seat polling Media Release

Aug 26, 2007 - 4:33pm

The full summary of our marginal seat polling across Australia is as follows:

EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AT NEXT ELECTION

• Almost two thirds (62%) of all voters 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 57% of Swinging voters, with 38% claiming no effect and only 4% voting to oppose it.
• Green voters provide the strongest support 77%, but Coalition provide the weakest (53%).

BETTER PARTY FOR MANAGING CLIMATE CHANGE

• Labor is ahead as the better party for managing climate change (42% vs 20%), but a high proportion believing both parties are the same (38%).
• Swinging voters are very likely to believe both parties are the same (68%) and those with an opinion marginally favour Labor (19% vs 13%).
• Labor rates better on climate change among its own supporters (75%) than the Coalition does among its own voters (62%).

EFFECT OF ENVIRONMENT AT PREVIOUS ELECTION

• Around half of all voters (48%) 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 (3%) and support was strongest among safe Labor voters (54%) but weakest among safe Coalition voters (40%).

SUPPORT FOR ENVIRONMENT AT PREVIOUS ELECTIONS AND FOR CLIMATE CHANGE NOW

• Among all voter types, climate change is likely to be a more important issue at the forthcoming election than environmental issues have been at previous elections.
• Overall voters, 48% of voters 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 57% planning to vote to support climate change at the next election.
• There is also a strong rise among Labor voters (54% to 70%) and among men (43% to 59%).

SPEED OF ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

• Half of respondents (50%) believe Australia should move quickly on climate change even if it has a short term impact on the economy while only 33% believe Australia should move slowly on climate change to avoid short term damage to the economy.
• Critically half of all Swinging voters also believe we should move quickly (50%), 31% favouring slow progress and only 19% unsure.
• Coalition voters were clearly the most likely to believe Australia should move slowly (55%), with Labor supporters believing Australia should move quickly (61%) and the Greens also believing in rapid action (66%).

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 (85%) and for “all new electricity to come from clean energy” (85%).
• 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 across voters for greenhouse pollution reduction targets (86%) and all new energy to come from clean energy  (79%).
• Support is strongest for these policies among Labor voters (targets - 92% and clean energy - 86%).
• Critically it is still strong among Coalition supporters (89% & 76%) and fairly strong among Swinging voters (75% & 70%).

CLIMATE CHANGE POLICIES – DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MAJOR PARTIES

• On both policies more than 50% of Swinging voters are unable to say if either the ALP or Coalition will implement the proposed policies.
• 61% of Swinging voters don’t know if the ALP will ensure new electricity comes from clean sources (and 64% are unsure about the Coalition). The same holds for greenhouse pollution reduction targets, with 59% unsure if the ALP will implement them and 58% unsure about the Coalition.

CLIMATE CHANGE POLICIES – INFLUENCE ON VOTE

• Both climate change policies are likely to influence the votes of Swinging voters and all voters in the sample of marginal seats. These are:
• Setting targets to reduce greenhouse pollution within the next five years, which will influence 64% of all voters and 58% of Swinging voters
• Ensuring all new electricity comes from clean energy, which will influence 62% of all voters and 55% 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, 33% are undecided about clean energy and 32% are unsure about pollution reduction targets.
• Even around half of Coalition voters will be influenced by targets (54%) and new clean energy (52%).

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