This week’s Essential Report comes in with the primaries running 47 (up 2) / 39 (steady) to Labor, washing out into a two party preferred of 56/44 the same way – up 1 from last week. This comes from a two week rolling sample of of 1911 for an MoE around the 2.2% mark.

Before we go any further, it’s really worth noting here that despite what some folks in the media have erroneously stated recently, Essential Report isn’t some “non-scientific online poll” of the type that is used to fluff out Fairfax and News Ltd sites. It is a fair dinkum piece of public opinion research utilising a substantial online panel that was recruited using offline means.

Essential also asked additional questions this week focusing around perceptions of the personal impact of the GFC and a particularly interesting question on whether the public supports greater levels of regulation. Unless otherwise noted, these came from a sample of a nice even 1000, for an MoE around the 3.1% mark.

Is the business or company you work in doing better or worse than it was 12 months ago?

(People not working and those employed in the public service are excluded from the sample)

compperf1

This question had 643 utilised responses for an MoE around the 3.8% mark. On the cross-tabs, Essential said:

There were no significant differences in terms of whether people were in full-time/part-time employment and the perception they had of how the business or company they work for is performing.

However, there was a relationship between income and perceptions of how their business was performing. 40% of those earning over $1,600 per week believe their business is doing worse compared to only 26% of those earning $600-$1,000 per week.

Over the next 12 months, do you intend to reduce your spending in any of the following areas because of the global financial crisis?

(multiple response)

spendreduc

The cross-tabs were brief, saying:

Females were more likely than males to reduce spending in most areas, notably entertainment (34% v 27%), luxury items (49% v 43%) and general household expenditure (28% v 23%).

Intention to reduce spending is similar across age and income groups as are the areas in which people will reduce spending.

Which of the following is closest to your expectations of the global financial crisis and Australia’s economic situation?

econexpects

The breakdowns tell us:

Labor voters were more likely than Coalition voters to expect that despite the global financial crisis, Australia’s economy will start to improve this year (33% v 28%).

Respondents earning $1000 – $1600 per week were more likely than those in other income groups to think that Australia’s economy will start to improve within the next year or so (45%).

How concerned are you that you or some member of your immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so: very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not at all concerned?

jobsec1

Essential tells us on the cross-tabs:

Labor voters were more likely than Coalition voters to be not at all concerned that they or a member of their immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so (40% v 34%).

Part-time workers were more likely than full-time workers to be somewhat/very concerned that they or a member of their immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so (65% v 53%).

Respondents in the 45 – 54 year age group were more likely than those in other age groups to be very concerned that they or someone in their immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so (23%).

Respondents earning $1000 – $1600 per week were more likely than those in other income groups to be somewhat/very concerned that they or someone in their immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so (59%). Respondents earning $1600 per week or more were more likely than those in other income groups to be not at all concerned that they or some member of their immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so (42%).

Has the current economic crisis made you feel that we need more or less control and regulation by democratically elected governments, like Australia, over:

reg1

reg2

The responses were consistent across all demographics.

If the Opposition refuses to pass the Government’s legislation for the Emissions Trading Scheme to address climate change, do you think Prime Minister Kevin Rudd would be justified in calling an early election?

cprselecThe cross-tabs tell us:

Labor voters were more likely than Coalition voters to think that the Prime Minister would be justified in calling an early election if the Opposition refuses to pass the Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme legislation (38% v 28%).

46% of Green voters think that the Prime Minister would be justified in calling an early election if the Opposition refuses to pass the legislation.

Respondents aged 55 – 64 years were more likely than those in other age groups to think that the Prime Minster would not be justified in calling an early election if the Opposition refuses to pass the Government’s legislation for the Emissions Trading Scheme (48%).

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Peter Fray
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