Jun 18, 2012

Essential: we trust the leaders-in-waiting more than the leaders

Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull are trusted more than either of their leaders by voters, today's Essential Report shows, while Labor and unions are seen as the target of media bias.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Kevin Rudd is more trusted to act in the community's interest than any other significant political figure, according to polling from Essential Research, which also shows Labor has failed to recover reputationally from its 2011 nadir. More than a third of voters (37%) have some or a lot of trust in Rudd to act in the community's interest, ahead of Malcolm Turnbull on 33%, Tony Abbott on 29% and Prime Minister Julia Gillard on 26%. Turnbull appears to be a less polarising figure, however; 25% of voters have no trust at all in him, compared to 30% for Rudd, 43% for Abbott and 45% for Gillard. Australian companies fare better than any politician, with 46% of voters saying they trusted local companies to act in the community's interest -- compared to just 8% who trusted foreign companies. Indeed, 57% of voters had no trust at all in foreign companies. Mining magnates fared little better. Only 14% of voters trusted billionaires like Gina Rinehart or Clive Palmer to act in the community's interest, with 73% having little or no trust in them. Banks were held in similarly low regard -- 17% trusted them and 66% had little or no trust. The results follow recent evidence that voter trust in key institutions has fallen -- most particularly federal Parliament. Essential also ran its periodic assessment of important election issues and the parties' respective levels of trust in handling them. The economy, health, protecting Australian jobs and industries and education all remain the most frequently-cited key issues for voters. On economic management, Labor has made up no ground on the Coalition since last December and trails 26% to 44%, despite a welter of good economic news and interest rate cuts since then. On health, the Coalition has stretched its lead on Labor from three to six points, 36-30%. On protecting Australian jobs and industries, the government has gone backwards as well, trailing 29-35%, while on education it still trails the Coalition by two points, 33-35%. Only on a fair industrial relations system does Labor hold a lead, 36-30%, which has widened a little since last year. The Greens hold leads over both parties on protecting the environment and addressing climate change. And Labor still trails the Coalition by 18 points on controlling interest rates, despite successive cuts since last November. In short it appears Labor's effort to refocus on a more "Labor values" related platform around job protection and economic management hasn't yet translated into voter perceptions around the party. Yet again the capacity of partisanship to influence economic perceptions was displayed, too. Less than half (43%) of voters think the economy is "heading in the right direction", up from 36% in March, but only 26% of Liberal voters think it is compared to 71% of Labor voters and 63% of Greens. But 56% of voters are concerned about job security, up seven points since March, despite the rise in belief that the economy is heading in the right direction. And, again, 67% of Liberal voters are concerned about their jobs compared to 46% of Labor voters. Voters also think business groups and the Liberal Party benefit from media bias while Labor and the unions face bias against them -- unexpected results since normally perceptions of bias are also affected by partisanship, with voters tending to think the media is biased against the party they support. On voting intention, there was minimal change: Labor picked up a primary vote point to 33%; the Coalition and the Greens remained the same on 49% and 10% respectively, for a two-party preferred outcome of 56-44 in favour of the Coalition.

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23 thoughts on “Essential: we trust the leaders-in-waiting more than the leaders

  1. Jimmy

    The lbis leading the ALP 44-26 just shows the lak on economic literacy in this country.

  2. Edward James

    Short listed leaders Kevin Rudd / Malcolm Turnbull according to Essential Research is in step with our journalist who have short memories! Rudd, more trusted to act in the community’s interest than any other significant political figure. I do not think so Bernard. I and many others connect Kevin Rudd straight to his time during the Wayne Goss government when child abuse took place in the John Oxley Centre.
    Perhaps crikey could do an interview with Kevin Rudd and again ask him those questions he side stepped because things were being inquired into. The Heiner Affair and Shreddergate remain an unfinished chapter inn Queensland political history

  3. Jimmy

    Does anyone else find it annoying that on a day where we have the results of the greek election, the resumption of parliament, the PM at the G20 and ebate of same sex marriage we get an article discussing polling?

  4. Edward James

    I had not realised so much was going on Jimmy. I look at tips and rumors for information which is not part of media releases to the chooks. I must point out when people tell Crikey something on the down low. What Crikey staff and their subscribers do with that information will be what keeps Crikey in the competition for eyeballs. Edward James

  5. Jimmy

    Edward James – I ahve no idea what you are on about, you aren’t funny enough to be sarcastic but no one could be that stupid.

  6. Sue11

    Gee, I don’t get why people consider Mr Rudd more trustworthy.

  7. Edward James

    I am paying for the opportunity to publish my comments on Crikey Jimmy. Too bad you don’t get it! Edward James

  8. Edward James

    Sue 11 neither do I. This politician was Chief of Staff to Wayne Goss. He reffussed to answer questions from the media which Joe Beljkie Petersen called “chooks” about abuse which is alleged to have occurred at the John Oxley Center. This link http://justgroundsonline.com/forum/topics/the-heiner-affair-how-it-got?page=2&commentId=3535428%3AComment%3A246026&x=1#3535428Comment246026
    Annette McIntosh, 37, is one of the living victims of Shreddergate – a 20-year controversy involving politicians, shredded documents and “hush money”. Kevin Rudd is part of this dysfunctional abuse of due process.
    I have a lot of trouble understanding how taxpayers can be identified as considering voting for him!
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/new-light-shed-on-heiner-affair-with-shreddergate-inquiry-set-to-open/story-e6freoof-1226105065063 Edward James

  9. Edward James

    Jimmy, you say no one could be that stupid. Are you an expert on stupidity? Edward James 0243419140

  10. shepherdmarilyn

    Edward James, you are really Piers Akerman aren’t you? The Heiner affair did not investigate child abuse at John Oxley, it investigated nepotism among the frigging staff.

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