The government appears to have definitely stopped its loss of support, with another poll today confirming its fall from its previous position of electoral dominance has ended.
On Monday, Essential Research showed the first rise in government support in weeks. Today’s Morgan polling shows a similar small rise. Morgan Poll’s telephone poll on Wednesday and Thursday nights showed a small increase in Labor support, taking them back to 50:50 on a 2PP basis. A face-to-face poll conducted early in the week showed a 4% rise in ALP support, taking the 2PP back to 54.5-45.5%.
However, there was mixed news for the government on voters’ feelings about the RSPT. There has been a small lift in support over the past two weeks for the tax, and a drop in opposition, but more people still oppose the tax (48%) than support it (44%), although there is very strong support for other measures in the government’s response to the Henry Review, including the superannuation increase. Support for the RSPT is still below where it was in the immediate aftermath of its announcement.
A strong issue for voters supporting the tax — and one hitherto untapped by the government — is the perception that foreign mining companies are simply sending profits from the resources boom overseas and Australia is not getting any return on its resources. Reasons for opposing the tax are much more diffuse, with concerns about the impact on superannuation and foreign investment and the belief that mining companies pay enough tax already.
However, voters in general thought the government’s proposals would both be good for them individually and, by a narrow margin, good for Australia.