Today’s Essential Research poll illustrates just how badly the Rudd government bungled its case for the Resource Super Profits Tax, and how timid Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan have been on the issue ever since.

Essential found that only 11% of voters thought that “all Australians” were benefiting a lot from the resources boom, and only 29% thought they were getting “some benefit”. In contrast, 68% thought mining company executives were benefiting a lot, and 42% thought the same of foreign companies.

This is not how voters would prefer the benefits of the boom to be distributed. Fifty seven per cent want mining executives to benefit less from the boom, and 56% want foreign companies to benefit less from the boom. Who should benefit more? Sixty eight per cent want all Australians to benefit more, and only 15% think the balance is currently right. They also want regional communities to benefit more. There’s even support for state government, in particular, to benefit more.

We’ve come quite some distance since May 2010. But the electorate has persistently indicated it supports making the mining industry contribute more of the windfall gains it is enjoying from the resources boom back to the rest of us. The government’s MRRT makes a poor show of doing that.