First up, Newspoll asked the following question – identical to one asked in September of 2008 – which allows us to compare the results.


Nothing has really changed on the headline numbers, but the demographic composition of the responses to this question has indeed changed.


Males have moved against paying more for energy while females have moved in favour of accepting higher energy prices. Similarly, while the 50+ age cohort has moved against higher energy prices, the 18-34 age cohort has moved strongly in favour.

This again hooks in to female voters becoming problematic for the Coalition, with Labor’s position again being aligned with a large majority of female opinion.

Next up is one a rather strange question that goes to the expectations of energy price increases (click to expand)


What the responses tell us here, more than anything else, is that 45% of the population are honest by saying “Don’t Know”, while 55% of the public will have an opinion on anything!

I suppose if we had to gaze deeply, of those that have an opinion, a plurality believe that prices will increase by up to 10%. So even with those that have an opinion, it’s hardly “the sky is falling” stuff.

The one question that has been getting attention this morning – and, as is usually the case with these things, getting completely ballsed up in the process – is the one on just when and how the government should introduce the CPRS (click to expand)


The responses suggest that a plurality of 45% believe Australia should act after Copenhagen, 41% believe that Australia should act before Copenhagen while 8% believe we shouldn’t act at all.

Yet, some rather confused folks are making direct comparisons between today’s question and a question which was asked back in September 2008, a question where the available responses were completely different:

Back in September, Newspoll asked:

Thinking now about the Federal Government’s commitment to introduce the CPRA by 2010.Which one of the following comes closest to your view?


The total proportion of the population that believes Australia should introduce a CPRS has gone from 88% in September 2008 to 86% today – not a significant change. The difference is in the composition of that support, where the September question provided an entirely different set of available responses than did today’s question – a set of responses which are simply not comparable.

September asks about the question of if we should introduce a CPRS, today’s question asks about when. If you see anything, anywhere today that attempts to compare the responses from the two periods on this particular question –  it’s a crime against statistics. Well, actually it’s just flat out comprehension failure.