Aug 6, 2012

Essential: we’re relaxed about the Olympics

Australians aren't unhappy with the performance of our Olympic team and think we spend too much money on trying to win gold medals, new polling from Essential Research reveals.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Australians aren't unhappy with the performance of our Olympic team and think we spend too much money on trying to win gold medals. New polling from Essential Research reveals 41% of voters are satisfied with the performance of our team and another 33% don't feel strongly one way or the other, leaving 20% to express disappointment. Forty four per cent believe winning gold medals is very important or quite important, but 53% think it's not so important or not at all important. Much of the Australian media coverage has focused on the purported poor performance of Australians and the disappointment of only winning silver or bronze medals. With the issue of sports funding likely to return to the agenda following this alleged failure, voters clearly disagree with sports figures who claim we're not spending enough. When provided with the numbers on spending on elite Olympic sports, 58% of voters think we spend too much, and only 19% think it's "about right". Even voters who believe it is important that we win gold medals thought we spent too much: 49% versus 25% who thought current levels were "about right". Greens voters are the least interested in the Olympics -- 30% of Greens voters say they have no interest in the Olympics compared to 14% of all voters, and 37% of Greens voters think winning gold medals is "not at all important" compared to 17% of all voters. Perhaps surprisingly, men are slightly less interested in the Games than women, with 59% of women expressing interest compared to 56% of men. On the NDIS, there's strong approval for the federal government's stance on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and strong disapproval for the Queensland government for refusing to participate in trials. Fifty nine per cent of voters approve of the federal government and its position on wanting the states to contribute some of the funding, and only 14% disapprove; 56% approval of the South Australian and Tasmanian governments for participating, and 44% approval for the NSW and Victorian governments who caved in to criticism about their initial refusal to participate. Seventeen per cent of voters said they had family members or friends who would benefit from the NDIS, and approval for the federal government was even higher among those respondents. But, remarkably for the dominance of the issue in the political media cycle in recent weeks, 40% of voters said they had heard "little or nothing" about the NDIS (the "approval" data above are only respondents who had heard something about the NDIS). But, unusually given how badly Labor's reputation has fallen with voters over the past three years, Labor has a very strong lead over the opposition on who has the better policies with people with disabilities -- 32% say Labor, 16% the Coalition. Labor also leads on better policies for carers, 30-18%, pensioners, 32-21%, unemployed people 36-18% and people on low incomes, 40-18%. But on "all working people", 30% of voters say the Coalition has better policies, versus 29% Labor. On voting intention, there's no change on the whole numbers: Coalition on 49%, Labor 33%, Greens 10%. A small shift for the Coalition and rounding, however, reverses last week's fall to 55-45%; we're back to 56-44%. Essential's sample size was 1832 respondents.

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4 thoughts on “Essential: we’re relaxed about the Olympics

  1. geomac62

    I wonder how people assess coalition libnat policies when there are only general intentions given but no details . As the voters in three states have found out even pre election ” promises ” rather than general intentions change quickly once office is gained . NSW , Vic and QLD now know that the goal posts shift before and after an election .

  2. Gocomsys

    Another non-essential survey.

    The underly ing problem (please copy and paste):


    Excessive polls assists in the “dumbing down” and “destabilisation” process.

  3. Mike Smith

    @GeoMac: you wouldn’t be talking about verbal^ core promises~ now, would you?

    ^“The statements that need to be taken absolutely as gospel truth are those carefully prepared, scripted remarks”.

    ~ After winning the 1996 Australian Federal election John Howard slashed spending on Education, Health, Social Welfare blaming a budget deficit left by the previous government. When it was pointed out that he had promised not to cut spending on these areas as part of his election platform and that he had lied, he claimed that these were “non-core promises”

  4. justsaying

    In summary: take the money from the sport & give it to the NDIS.

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