The ANU conducts a quarterly opinion poll that today shows what I’ve been trying to tell our election candidates for the past twelve months:
Jobs up, climate change down in public eye.
Public concern about the economy and job security has doubled since 2010, while concern about global warming has halved.
More than half of the people surveyed in the latest ANUpoll listed the economy and jobs among the most important issues Australia is facing right now.
The second most important issue was immigration and asylum seekers, which was nominated by 28 per cent of the 1,200 randomly surveyed people.
Meanwhile, six per cent of respondents cited the environment or global warming as an issue, down from around 12 per cent in 2010.
Only 0.1 per cent of people mentioned the carbon tax.
“The poll results suggest that the management of the economy will be centre-stage in the federal election campaign,” said Professor Ian McAllister from the ANU School of Research School of Politics and International Relations.
“By contrast, the environment and climate change are seen by voters as a much lesser concern than previously, and there has been a dramatic decline in those mentioning the carbon tax as an important issue. The declining importance of these issues has implications for Green party support.”
The poll also asked people about their opinions on compulsory voting, the frequency of elections, the funding of political parties and their overall satisfaction with Australian politics.
“The poll shows that voters are broadly satisfied with their electoral arrangements, with the exception of the private funding of political parties, which remains unpopular,” Professor McAllister said.
The poll, which was launched this afternoon, also questioned people on gender issues in Parliament.
Almost 9 out of 10 people said they thought women and men would do an equally good job as Member of Parliaments (MPs).
“It’s clear that while gender has been an issue for some of our parliamentarians over the past three years, it is much less of an issue for voters,” Professor McAllister said.
About 50 per cent of respondents thought there should be more Aboriginal and female MPs.
Electoral economic and job anxiety is the great untapped resource of this election. Being positive does not mobilise these folks. Rather, they need honest appraisals and answers. That’s how to assuage anxiety. Both candidates have missed it. Rudd has a “tin ear” and doesn’t have the substance to make a real case. Abbott has sensed the fear, stoked it, and misdirected it at Labor and taxes.
Both have done the electorate a disservice.
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