Voters would far prefer asylum seekers to be transferred to Nauru rather than Malaysia and nearly a third don’t like either option, new polling from Essential Research reveals.
Asked which option from the major parties they prefer on transferring asylum seekers, only 16% of voters preferred Malaysia, compared to 34% for Nauru; 30% said they didn’t like either. Even Greens voters preferred Nauru (12%) over Malaysia (9%) — possibly because Nauru was a guarantee of asylum seekers eventually being moved back to Australia — and 34% of Labor voters didn’t like either solution, compared to 29% for Malaysia.
There was better news for Labor on live exports, with strong support for its suspension of exports to Indonesia — 58-28% — with even Liberal voters overcoming their distaste for all things this government does to prefer it. But there’s even stronger support for compensation for the cattle industry — 61-21% — despite revelations the industry has long known of problems with the treatment of Australian cattle.
The live cattle export industry itself also retains public support, with only 22% favouring a full ban on live exports and 58% wanting the trade restricted to countries that treat cattle humanely. Support for live exporting of cattle no matter how they were treated was strongest among Liberal voters, at 19%.
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This week’s poll marked Labor’s lowest primary vote, falling to 32% and down another two points in a week. The Coalition grabbed one point back. With the Greens steady on 12%, the fortnightly two-party preferred vote showed a larger Coalition lead at 55-45%.
Essential also asked whether people believed they had benefited directly from the mining boom. A resounding 69% of voters said they had not, and the view was shared almost equally between Labor, Liberal and Greens voters. Asked to rate the economy outside the mining sector, those who rated it good — 31% — were only just ahead of those who rated it poor — 26%. On this question, however, the normal partisan divide kicked in — Liberal voters were much more likely to believe the non-mining economy was doing poorly.