Two thirds of Australians want lower immigration


Prior to the pandemic, almost every opinion poll showed that Australians do not support high levels of immigration. For example:

  • Newspoll (2018): 56% want lower immigration;
  • Essential (2018): 54% believe Australia’s population is growing too fast and 64% believe immigration is too high;
  • Lowy (2018): 54% of people think the total number of migrants coming to Australia each year is too high; and
  • Newspoll (2018): 74% of voters support the Turnbull government’s cut of more than 10% to the annual permanent migrant intake to 163,000 last financial year.

Polling released earlier this year also showed that Australians want substantial cuts to immigration:

Immigration impact on vote

New polling from Resolve Political Monitor shows that two-thirds of Australians believe that last financial year’s net overseas migration (NOM) numbers of 528,000 were “too high”.

Exactly half also believe that the federal government’s projected NOM cuts to 260,000 in 2024-25 are “too high”:

Immigration polling

Voters have also lost trust in Labor on immigration, with 60% believing the government has handled migration in an “unplanned and unmanaged way” and only 20% believing immigration was being run in a “carefully planned and managed way”:

Government handling of immigration

“Immigration is becoming a growing issue”, said Resolve director Jim Reed. “This isn’t a product of who is coming here or why, but the sheer quantum”.


Almost every Australian knows somebody who has been adversely impacted by the rental crisis, which has been driven by Labor’s record immigration:

Housing supply and rents

Remember also that Labor promised to run a lower immigration program before the last federal election only to then double-cross voters and ramp immigration to record highs:

Albo immigration lies 1 Albo immigration lies 2

No wonder Australians are angry. They have every right to be.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.