This weeks Essential Report comes in with the primaries running 49 (down 3) / 35 (up 3) to Labor, washing out into a two party preferred of 59/41 the same way – down 3 from last week. This comes from a rolling two week sample of 1882 for an MoE or around the 2.3% mark.

Essential asked additional questions this week on the raising of the pension age, self-perceived social status, personal financial situation, class based breakdowns of the budget reception, perceptions of debt and the stirrer question of Costello’s future – a sociologist’s delight! These questions ran off a sample of 1074 for an MoE around the 3% mark.

Thinking about the Government’s decision to raise the pension age from 65 to 67 – do you think that it is fair or unfair for the following types of workers to wait until 67 before being eligible for a pension?

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On the cross-tabs, Essential says:

Coalition voters were more likely than Labor voters to think that it is unfair to raise the pension age for manual laborers (79% v 70%) and tradesmen (70% v 56%).

How would you describe your personal social status?

socialstatusThe cross-tabs tell us:

Coalition voters were more likely than Labor voters to consider themselves middle class (56% v 43%), while Labor voters were more likely than Coalition voters to consider themselves as working class (21% v 15%).

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Respondents in full time work were more likely than those in other employment situations to describe their personal social status as middle class (53%).

How would you describe your personal financial situation?

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On the cross-tabs, Essential tells us:

Respondents in the 25 – 34 year age group were more likely to describe their personal financial situation as as ‘just keeping my head above water’, while people in the 35 – 44 year age group were more likely to describe their personal financial situation as managing (62%).

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Labor voters were more likely to consider their personal financial situation as managing (56%), while Coalition voters were more likely to describe their personal financial situation as well off (12%).

Thinking about the Federal Budget, do you think this is a very good budget for you and persons like you, a fairly good budget, a bad budget, or a very bad budget?

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The cross-tabs tell us:

High income earners were more likely than low income earners to think that the Federal Budget is very bad/bad for them and persons like them (47% $1.6K per week or more v 23% $600 per week or less).
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Labor voters were more likely to think that the Federal Budget announced recently is very good/good for them and persons like them (79%), while Coalition voters were more likely to think that it is very bad/bad for them and people like them (67%).
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The table above demonstrates that people who consider themselves as poor or working class were more likely to think that the Federal Budget is good/very good for them and persons like them. While people that consider themselves upper or upper middle class were more likely to think that the Federal Budget is bad/very bad for them and persons like them.

The Government says it was necessary to have a deficit budget to protect jobs and get Australia out of recession. The Opposition says that the Government has lost control of the economy and has run up too much debt. Which do you agree with most?

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The cross-tabs tell us:

Respondents in the 25 – 34 year old age range were more likely to agree with the position of the Government in that it is necessary for the budget to have a deficit to protect jobs and get Australia out of recession (53%).

Respondents aged between 56 – 64 years were more likely to agree with the Opposition’s opinion that the Government has lost control of the economy and has run up too much debt (45%).
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The position people agreed with followed party lines, with 83% of Labor voters supporting the position of the Government and 80% of Coalition voters supporting the Opposition. Green voters were more likely to support the position of the Government and agree that it was necessary to have a deficit budget to protect jobs and get Australia out of recession (56%).
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The table above shows that people that that consider themselves poor or working class were more likely to agree with the position of the Government, while people that consider themselves upper middle class or upper class tend to agree with the position of the Opposition.

Do you think Peter Costello should:

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costelloThe cross-tabs have us:

Liberal voters are most likely to want Peter Costello to either challenge for the leadership (34%) or take on a senior position in the party (26%).
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The results are similar to the last time we asked this question in March, however slightly fewer people this week (-3%), think that he should resign from Parliament.