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Essential: carbon tax much more popular than Abbott

The much-maligned carbon tax has staged a solid rehabilitation in Essential Research polling. In fact, it’s now more popular than Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott

The bete noire of Australian politics — the carbon tax — has come in from the cold.

The latest poll by Essential Research has found that for the first time in a long time, more people support the carbon tax (46%) than oppose it (44%). While net support is at a wafer-thin +2%, it’s┬áthe first time since at least March 2011 that the carbon tax has more fans than critics.

The carbon tax is now significantly more popular than its chief detractor, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. Support for Abbott is at -31% (voter satisfaction compared to dissatisfaction, in today’s Newspoll published in The Australian).

The rehabilitation of the carbon tax has mostly occurred since it began on July 1, although Essential found when people were directly asked they were fairly evenly split on how the tax had affected them. A quarter of those polled said the impact on their household was worse than expected, and a quarter said the impact was not as bad as expected. The most common response (36%) was that the impact was about the same as expected.

Those results don’t indicate people were delighted with the impact of the carbon tax. But nor did most people receive a rude shock when the tax kicked in — for most, the tax had about the impact they were expecting, or less.

Coalition voters were much more hostile to the tax’s impact, with 39% saying the impact was worse than expected. That compared with 12% of Labor voters, and 14% of Green voters.

But while voters are slowly thawing to the carbon price, they’re not sure it’s here to stay. Forty-four per cent of those polled said they thought the Coalition would probably repeal the tax if elected, compared to 32% who thought the Coalition would probably not repeal it. Abbott has vowed “in blood” to repeal the tax, although there are some doubts as to how he could get this through the Senate.

The public was less confident of the Coalition’s promises to repeal other Labor reforms, however. Voters were split on whether the Coalition would repeal the mining tax (35% said the Coalition wouldn’t repeal it if elected, 33% said they would) — and the poll found the mining tax was fairly popular, with 63% support compared to 22% who didn’t like it.

Just 18% of respondents thought the Coalition would repeal the national broadband network if elected, while more than half thought they probably wouldn’t. The Coalition has criticised the NBN and proposed replacing it with a less costly mix of technologies. Those polled have taken a shine to the NBN, with 69% in favour and 20% against.

Essential found voter sentiment on who should run the country unchanged, at 53-47% two-party preferred to the Coalition.

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  • 1
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Over 20 odd years and after endless investigation by a hostile and biased News Ltd the best they can come up with is

    The PM has questions to answer” but cannot even state the questions.

    I suspect the opposition ( both the official one led by Abbott & the unofficial led by News Ltd)are simply raising the issue as asmoke screen for Abbotts faltering leadership ( by the way I was reading a Aug 2010 Womens Day and that had a huge artiucle on Abbott’s problem with women so its not someting the PM has just raised but an on going problem that actually exists. I mean if ACP can’t get you off then nobady can)

    A tactic just like Abbotts sudden concern with union corruption when he is blind to commercial corruption.

    If I was the PM I would.
    1) State that rather than indulging in mud slinging I was getting on with policy and operhaps the alternative Pm shouild try the same
    2) Ask Abbott why he so concerned about union corruption but turning a blind eye to several recent corporate events of mal feasance that cost many many millions. Should he concentrate on the real issue instead of looking to union bash?

  • 2
    Karen
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Agree Pav, except the PM should also call their bluff, come out swinging with “put up or shut up” and proceed to sue Abbott and Bishop on any defamatory allegation re: corruption. Imagine if they Abbott and Bishop tried that stunt with Keating - he’d turn around and say, “I’ll do both of you slowly”. Abbott and Bishop won’t though because they know they don’t have sh$t to go with and are justifiably scared of being sued. Squalid, just squalid.

  • 3
    zut alors
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to Mr Rabbott for achieving something no Oz politician ever has ie: being less popular than a tax.

    I would’ve sworn it couldn’t be done, he’s broken new ground.

  • 4
    Karen
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    And Abbott and Bishop aren’t going to be able to get anywhere with Ralph Blewitt as he has been neutralised on (1) Wilson’s corroboration of Gillard and (2) Blewitt is seeking to come back to Australia on the basis of obtaining immunity from prosecution. Anything he says won’t be worth a tinker’s cuss.

  • 5
    Allison
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    dear God .. its a PRICE not a tax on Carbon, Crikey I pay you good money because you are not murdoch … stop saying tax its a PRICE

  • 6
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    @ yes Karen, Blewitt should do well as a coalition party office bearer, his qualifications to hold such a position would be well regarded by the current Abbott cabal.

  • 7
    Karen
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, Zut, Abbott et al are doing everything humanly possible to distract voters from coalition policy, the effect of which is to transfer as much of our money to the wealthy upper middle classes and uber rich. Cut services, impose regressive taxes but take away wealth taxes like mining and carbon. I call their approach theft.

  • 8
    Karen
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Indeed, Bill.

  • 9
    John Bennetts
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    What Allison said.

    Calling the carbon price by another name is simply sloppy language. Alert wordsmiths should be alert to and avoid chiches, especially those which are misleading.

  • 10
    zac48
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Carbon tax more popular than Abbott”…What cr@p. On my planet it’s not.

  • 11
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Come on, Abbott’s got a tough gig, trying to get a government, representing a minority, to rule in a democracy.
    It is why Adma Smith suggested that Abbott’s employers have “an interest to deceive and oppress the public”.
    The reason lies with labour, business and finance.
    A business with low wages can afford to borrow at high interest because of high profits and conversely, high wages mean lower profits but lower interest because of higher savings.
    So why does business bother to support the conservatives, when high profits are eroded by high interest back to the levels acheived by high wages and low interest rates?
    Capice? Yes, there are a lot of nunberdunces out there, but surely not a majority?
    High wages reated consumer spending power which supports business.
    Low interest rates are also good for business? Yes??
    Ask why the Australian East Coast Recession corresponds to conservative government’s deliberate financial policies, keeping in mind the necessity to deceive and oppress the public on the part of these servant sof Adam Smith’s idle rich and the argument becomes clear.
    This also explains the paranoia about a left-wing bias in the press on the part of conservatives.
    Successful media will always be successful by serving a majority of the population rather than an idle rich minority.
    It is only when such media and governments are the servants of the idle rich minority that they ignore declining business in favour of an unprofitable policy of deception and oppression of the majority of citizens.
    It’s all in the numbers, dunces!
    Do try to honour your primary school arithmetic teachers efforts by using what they taught you.
    It’s Maths not Marxism.
    It’s a numbers game not a popularity contest.
    For a whole lot of people there is a whole half-hemisphere of brain, lying there unused, that should be taken out of moth balls and applied to the numbers!
    It is a “wicked and adulterous” neglect of mathematical mental rigour which causes the political generations to seek signs concerning the political economy yet find none (to paraphrase that Pulp Fiction character).

  • 12
    fredex
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    The number of references to a carbon ‘tax’ in this article … 12.
    References to a carbon ‘price’ … 1.
    References to a compensation package for Australians for the impact of the price on carbon … nil.

    We have succumbed to the spin of the Carbon Lobby, the MSM and the COALition when we use their terminology and view the issue through their preferred lens.

  • 13
    fredex
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Allison at #5

    Exactly.

  • 14
    Malcolm Street
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    zac48 - that’s why we have polls - to get an overall picture.

  • 15
    Nat P
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    for most, the tax had about the impact they were expecting, or less.”

    …or presumably, equally:

    for most, the tax had about the impact they were expecting, or worse.

    given:

    A quarter of those polled said the impact on their household was worse than expected, and a quarter said the impact was not as bad as expected.”

    No broad problems with the article, but that line is classic.

  • 16
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Yeah Ive really noticed the big benefits of the new tax. Maybe we should double the price because we have been so successful and if we keep increasing the price,we should be able to have enough power at absolutely no cost. Its a great scheme. I think the country owes our PM a huge debt for the next 40 years and when are we going to see Anna Bligh and Mark Latham back in politics they have been far too long on the outer? Surely there’s a Ministerial portfolio for Anna somewhere.

  • 17
    Harry1951
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    zac48 #10 What planet are you on? Can’t be earth.

  • 18
    Harry1951
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    I have recently received my quarterly electricity bill and I was pleasantly shocked how little difference the carbon impost has been.

  • 19
    AR
    Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Somehow I think that Ebola would be more popular than Toxic Tony - esp if it could be kept at a safe distance.
    Unfortunately he is allowed to walk freely among decent folk.

  • 20
    CML
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    @ Karen #7 - Agree with your comments.

    Did you watch the new series, “Why Poverty? Park Avenue”, on ABC2 TV @ 9.30pm last night (Monday)? I think you would find it interesting, and also VERY frightening. It tells the story of what is happening in the USofA, where they have already implementd some of the policies you suggest the LNP would introduce here, if they win the election next year. Anybody who watches that program could not possibly vote to allow that to happen. Crazy stuff!

  • 21
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Out of moderation comment at #11 that might be worthy of contemplation re Abbotts impossible popularity problems.
    Clue: how do you become popular when you represent a minority?
    By deception and oppression of the public (Adam Smith)?

  • 22
    Karen
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    @CML - sorry, I didn’t get around to seeing that program, although I was tempted. The politics of the far Right are completely psychopathic. Wonder if it’s on iView?

    I was watching, instead, the program about ‘modern spies’ on ABC 1. Couldn’t believe it. An Iraqui dissident spy based in Germany called ‘Curveball’ was interviewed and claimed to have given the US the ‘intelligence’, which Colin Powell famously relayed to the UN to say that the Hussein regime had portable weaponised biological agents (aka WMDs). ‘Curveball’ admitted this so-called ‘intelligence’ was a lie. His motive: he wanted to help depose an oppressive dictator. Even though other foreign intelligence services questioned the reliability of ‘Curveball’ at the time (including Britain apparentyly), the US publicly relied on the intelligence to support their decision to go to war. And Howard told us it was a ‘just war’. Thousands upon thousands dead.

  • 23
    Karen
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    @CML - sorry, I didn’t get around to seeing that program, although I was tempted. The politics of the far Right are completely psychopathic. Wonder if it’s on iView?

    I was watching, instead, the program about ‘modern spies’ on ABC 1. Couldn’t believe it. An Iraqui dissident spy based in Germany called ‘Curveball’ was interviewed and claimed to have given the US the ‘intelligence’, which Colin Powell famously relayed to the UN to say that the Hussein regime had portable weaponised biological agents (aka WMDs). ‘Curveball’ admitted this so-called ‘intelligence’ was a lie. His motive: he wanted to help depose an oppressive dictator. Even though other foreign intelligence services questioned the reliability of ‘Curveball’ at the time (including Britain apparently), the US publicly relied on the intelligence to support their decision to go to war. And Howard told us it was a ‘just war’. Thousands upon thousands dead. Lives destroyed. Jobs and business destroyed. Iraq an undemocratised bloody mess.

  • 24
    Mk8adelic
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Re Pav. Would also add abbott’s blindness to systemic corruption relating to child abuse within the catholic church even with his very cosy relationship with pell. One has to repect the PM’s fortitude in how she has dealt with the avalanche of unsubstantiated allegations. Very much doubt abbott et al could handle this at all.

  • 25
    The Pav
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Dear Mk8 etc at 22

    I was not a fan or even a luke warm supporter of the PM but her performance in face of such unrelenting hostility and achievements with policy in a hung parliament have won me over.

    The PM has endured a trial by fire unlike any other in Austrlain political history and if she survives then her strength could well lead to significant reforms.

    My mild discomfort of Abbott has hardened into and intense dislike and distrust of quite easily the worst political leader this nation has had to endure.

    Abbotts biggest gift to the nation is that he has actually got some disinterested people involved.

    My partner who couldn’t give a rats about politics and can’y understand my interest is now implaccably opposed to Abbott and has come to like the PM a little and is consdering helping the ALP.

    If you had asked me a while back if this is I would have given long long long odds that this would never have been comtempolated

    Watching Outsiders for the first time a couple of weeks ago my partner not knowing the people asked why only Liberal Party members were allowed on not realising they were actually News Ltd journos!!

  • 26
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Yes we are all very lucky to have such a PM and we should consider contacting Cardinal Pell to see if she can be legitimately beatified after her term is finished of course.

    As for Mr Abbott he perhaps could attend confession with her and ask her forgiveness with St Gillards approval of course.

  • 27
    2dogs
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Always enjoyable to watch Abbot do himself slowly (although a rather disgusting mental image just branded itself into my brain).
    I find it remarkable that Abbot supporters cannot remember as far back as when he was minster for education and health and the disgraceful comments and decisions the he made at that time. That alone is enough for me to vote for just about anyone else including “carbon price” for PM.

  • 28
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Of course Adam Smith’s idle rich, who live by the interest on their money, cannot be “popular” (meaning to represent a majority of the population).
    Under democratic conditions, deception and oppression are the only means whereby this minority can rule.
    Smith discussed wages in his “Wealth of Nations” pointing out that wages in the English colonies just prior to Independence were 60% higher than in the motherland, yet these high wages had not sent the colonies broke.
    Higher wages meant more savings; more money in the bank meant lower interst rates and setting up a wealth producing enterprise was consequently much easier.
    Smith’s “progress of opulence” did not trickle down from the wealthy but came from high wages being, in response, replaced by labour saving machines, which harnessed non-human energy and so increased production.
    Poverty, by comparison, must be husbanded to keep up a demand for borrowed money, for which lenders can then demand high interest payments.
    This wisdom spread throughout the world after the publication of Smith’s book in 1776.
    Unfortunately, the citizens of the first world democracies are like children who have never been taught to count and who are therefore condemned, for life, to be “short changed” in any money transactions they undertake and are incapable of even fathoming that they are being “Oppressed and deceived”, as Smith argued.
    Abbott and his ilk are merely mercenary employees of these idle rich, and like their bosses are simply, stupidly greedy rather than evil.
    It is interesting to watch the “it is glorious to become rich”, young princelings of the Chinese Communist Party, failing to understand how Adam Smith’s high wage, progress of opulence, mathematical, iron law of economics means that they must create wealth by employing all their citizens at high wages and create a internal demand for the products of their labour while the First world languishes in recession caused by Chinese low wages.
    Bled Dry?
    In Australia the credit card cretins are so far on the path to cultural doom it is hardly worth casting any such pearls of wisdom before them; doped by easy debt, screaming in pain when it is taken away.
    Believing, when Abbott tells them, that it is all Labor’s fault.
    Abbott is not evil, he is simply a mercenary.
    He and his kind erect mountains of dung to block progress on the road to opulence, in order to enforce poverty and high interest rates.(They go together, remember?)
    It doesn’t take an Einstein to do such work.
    Progress, however, might take some application, such as produced the Age of Enlightenment and once, very popular books like “An Inquiry Into The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”, sadly no longer read.
    One sure sign of the success of Abbott and company’s efforts to deceive and oppress the public since Smith’s warning in 1776 is the fact that no-one reads his work (taken mainly from his lectures as a Professor of Moral Philosopy and typically delivered to teenagers; might be easier to read than imagined?).

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