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Federal

May 7, 2012

Essential: Coalition needed for another global downturn

Australians acknowledge our relative economic health compared to the rest of the world, but wouldn't trust Labor to lead us out of another economic downturn.

Australians acknowledge our relative economic health compared to the rest of the world, but wouldn’t trust Labor to lead us out of another economic downturn, new polling from Essential Research shows.

The weekly Essential Report, surveying 1029 voters online, will come as a bitter blow to a beleaguered federal government, with its primary vote not yet bottoming out and suggestions it will struggle to receive any credit for steering the economy away from recession.

Most voters recognise the economy has performed better than other countries over the past few years — though fewer believe that now than nine months ago. Around 66% of voters say the economy has performed better — down 70% from August 2011 — and even 60% of Coalition voters acknowledge Labor’s time in office has kept the economy moving faster than the rest of the world.

But few voters trust Labor to do it again. Asked which party they trust to deal with another global financial crisis, most voters picked the Liberal Party (42%) over Labor (25%). Support for the government’s economic management has collapsed this year — asked the same question in August 2011, Labor recorded support of 31% compared to the Liberals on 40%.

“The only demographic groups trusting the Labor Party more were aged 18-24 (Labor 37%/Liberals 29%) and those earning less than $600pw (Labor 41%/Liberals 32%),” Essential noted.

Labor’s primary vote fell another two points compared to last week, now nine points down on its election-winning tally of 38%. The Liberals picked up a point in primary voting, washing out to another point gain in the two-party preferred tally: 58% for the Coalition, 42% for Labor.

Confidence in the direction of the economy has improved. The percentage of respondents believing conditions to be getting better jumped nine points to 25%, from just 16% in October last year. Those believing economic conditions will worsen over the next 12 months has fallen 12 points from 58% to 46%.

Essential also has bad news for Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson. It asked: “In general, if a politician is accused of an offence, do you think they should stand down from the positions they hold or should they be allowed to continue in their positions until a decision is made about their guilt or innocence?” More than 60% of respondents said they should stand down; just 27% believe they should be allowed to continue in their positions.

Where Labor could be on some solid ground is in banking regulation — a series of questions on toughening regulation and capping salaries were overwhelmingly supported by Essential’s panel. The vast majority of voters say the government should intervene on executive remuneration, to tie Reserve Bank interest rate decisions to retail rates and to ensure bank fees aren’t higher than the cost of service.

They like the idea of taxing banks based on the “super” profits, like Labor’s new mining tax arrangements. And there’s even support for a government-owned bank …

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44 comments

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44 thoughts on “Essential: Coalition needed for another global downturn

  1. Bill Hilliger

    I agree with the essential polls, under a coalition we would at least have enjoyed a recession by now, and we could all be carping about the fiscal situation of our economy. Currently we have such a boring economy, no significant unemployment to complain about, nor a double dip recession, nor high interest rates, boring, boring, boring. Wait! there is an answer to all this pain: an Abbott, Hockey / Robb team in charge. Unemployment will rise, interest rates will rise, pensions will be cut, unemployment in Canberra at an all time high, tax cuts for those earning over $150K, Whyalla will be closed down, doom and gloom everywhere, get the picture. If not, just look at lazy Ted’s Victoria its all happening here already; unemployment on the rise , school funds beng tampered with, ditto with health funds just to name a few.

  2. Suzanne Blake

    This survey is more support for what we already know

  3. Amark

    Having a track record is of no significance it seems.

    Labor, once again, only has it self to blame, it has basically disowned all the great things it did during the GFC that kept people in jobs

  4. Bill Hilliger

    Quote: “Essential also has bad news for Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson. It asked: “In general, if a politician is accused of an offence, do you think they should stand down from the positions they hold or should they be allowed to continue in their positions until a decision is made about their guilt or innocence?” More than 60% of respondents said they should stand down; just 27% believe they should be allowed to continue in their positions”.

    I’d like to see that. During the AWB scandal (as far as I’m aware this matter has yet to be finally concluded) most of the Howard front bench would have had to stand aside. Remember how forgetful, and how many I don’t know responses there were from Alexander Downer there was at the time As would have Peter Reith the I can’t recall who used my mobile phone chappie.

  5. James K

    Australians have an amazing aptitude to cut off their nose despite their face!

    If the coalition get in next year, and another world recession hits, we will go down with it. For one important and fundamental reason: the coalition is philosophically opposed to doing what Rudd and labor did: inject billions into the economy to keep it purring. They would rather see massive unemployment and serious structural damage for some years, rather than alter their “world view” of how to do economics.

    And they will say “it is bigger than just Australia: there was nothing we could do about it. We just have to ride it out. It should come good in a couple of years with some thrift and belt-tightening.”

    And the short term memory loss of many Australians will simply agree with that nonesense: it is nonesense because Labor proved once already that we can survive a world downturn!

  6. James K

    Apologies for spelling errors in that last post! “nonesense” should have been “nonsense” of course.

  7. Michael de Angelos

    AMARK is correct. Labor does not blow it’s own horn enough and allows the media and Opposition to drive the notion that we survived what Europe & the USA did not via some other way rather than the government’s policies.

    Slipper/Thompson are merely incidents of little meaning yet they dominate the media along with SB’s claim that Julia ‘lied’ (as though a pollie never has before) yet it was Rudd’s ‘spend spend spend’ policy (with deputy PM Gillard) that saved the day.

    If the so-called ‘landslide’ happens then Aussies will suffer. Hockey has already announced what is to come with the ‘age of entitlement’ to end and Australians to be lectured that work and life in Asian countries is the way of the future.

    Yet he was allowed to get away with this bizarre rubbish with little comment.

  8. geomac

    BILL HILLIGER
    Abbott forgot to put his 700,000 loan on the parliament register for two years while forgot he asked for Ashby email details . Prosser and many others forgot to declare having shares in companies that were to benefit from policies they were voting on .
    Howard and Costello repeated constantly that the libs were competent fiscal managers and labor under Beazley said nothing to refute it . Its only in the last few years that the Hawke and Keating years of reform have been acknowledged as preparing Australia for any global knocks . If the libs had saved us from the GFC we would hear about every single day no matter what the discussion was about . Howard flogged off 240 billion in assets and claims to have cleared 90 billion from government debt so what happened to the 150 billion left over ? We still don,t know how much Costello lost Australia with the gold deposit fire sale because he deemed it not in the public interest to know . Funny law that . A minister can deem an action he took as a public elected minister not in the interest of the public even if that action was deleterious to the nations coffers .
    The present group of Hockey , Robb and Abbott can,t even remember what the present line of policy/spin is and keep saying things that immediately are refuted as not policy . As a Victorian I am appalled at how poor Kim Wells has managed his position as treasurer and big ted is just paddling along seeming in a daze or maybe its just the appearance he gives . Either way Vic is going nowhere .

  9. geomac

    Abbott forgot to put his 700,000 loan on the parliament register for two years while Pyne forgot he asked for Ashby email details .

  10. Suzanne Blake

    @ James K

    the ONLY reason we did not go into recession during GFC, was because Swan started with $21b surplus.

    He has now blown that out of the water and it will take a generation to pay back

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