Voters reject proposed changes to anti-discrimination laws

The Labor Party retains its lead over the Coalition in the October 2018 Fairfax Ipsos Poll.

Voters reject proposed changes to anti-discrimination laws

The national poll of 1,200 respondents, interviewed from 10-13 October 2018, shows the Labor party on 55% (up two points since September), with the Coalition on 45% (down two points since September), based on 2016 election preferences. 

“This indicates a -5.4% swing against the Coalition Government since the July 2016 Federal election,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.

The two-party stated preference vote also shows the Labor Party on 55% (up two points since September) and the Coalition on 45% (down up two points since September).

First preference votes split evenly between the two major parties, with Labor on 35% (up four points since September) and the Coalition also on 35% (up one point since September).   The Greens remain on 15% (unchanged since September), One Nation is on 5% (down two points since September), the Centre Alliance is on 0% and others are on 10% (down one point since September).

Six per cent of respondents are undecided.  These are excluded from the two-party stated preference figures and from the primary vote figures.

Key findings

  • Leaders’ approval ratings: Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s approval rating is 50%, and disapproval is 33%. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 41% (down three points since September), and disapproval at 49% (up one point since September).
  • Preferred Prime Minister: 48% prefer Scott Morrison as the Prime Minister (up one point since September); 35% prefer Bill Shorten (down two points since September).
  • Immigration: 29% are satisfied with the Government’s handling of immigration, and 64% are dissatisfied. Twenty-three per cent support an increase in the number of immigrants coming to Australia, and 45% believe the number should be reduced.
  • Religious schools: 74% oppose laws to allow religious schools to select students and teachers on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status; 21% would support this law.

Leaders’ approval and preferred Prime Minister                                                                   

Scott Morrison’s approval rating is 50% (up four points since September), and his disapproval rating is 33% (down three points since September).  The proportion who are still to make up their mind about the new Prime Minister, saying they ‘neither approve nor disapprove’ or ‘don’t know’, has fallen by two points to 16%. 

This gives him a positive net approval rating of +17.  This is a marginally stronger position than held by Tony Abbott (+9) at the same point in his leadership, but significantly less positively rated than Malcolm Turnbull (+53). 

Bill Shorten’s approval rating has slightly fallen back, with approval at 41% (down three points since September) and his disapproval rating is 49% (up one point since September).  This gives a net approval of -8 (down four points since September). 

Scott Morrison remains the preferred Prime Minister, with 48% (up one point since September), and 35% would prefer Bill Shorten as Prime Minister (down two points since September). 

 

Immigration

One in five (20%) of the public see immigration as a top issue facing the country, and 12% mention population.  The top concerns are currently cost of living (36%), healthcare (30%), crime (28%), the economy (23%) and housing (23%).  This data is taken from the Ipsos Issues Monitor study, for September 2018.

Twenty-nine per cent are satisfied with the Government’s handling of immigration, and 64% are dissatisfied.  This gives a negative balance of opinion of -35. 

Satisfaction varies markedly by party support.  Almost half (48%) of Coalition voters are satisfied, in contrast with only 23% of Labor voters, and 12% of Green voters.  Only 23% of One Nation voters are satisfied with Government’s handling of immigration.

Men are significantly more likely than women to be satisfied with the Government’s performance on this issue (32% satisfied among men versus 26% among women).  New Australians (that is, those born overseas) are also more likely to be satisfied with the Government’s handling of immigration (37%) than those born in Australia (26%).

A quarter (23%) believes that the number of immigrants coming to Australia should be increased, and 45% say it should be reduced.   Perceptions vary significantly by party support.

 

Q.   Do you think the number of immigrants coming to Australia nowadays should be increased a lot, increased a little, remain the same as it is, be reduced a little or reduced a lot?

 

(%)

All voters

Coalition voters

Labor voters

Green voters

One Nation voters

Increase at lot or a little

23

13

24

51

9

Reduce a lot or a little

45

54

44

19

75

Remain the same as it is

29

32

31

29

12

Don’t know/refused

3

2

2

2

3

 

 

Those living in capital cities are significantly more likely to support greater immigration (26%), compared to those living in non-capital cities (16%). 

Younger Australians are significantly more likely to support increases to immigration (40% among those aged 18-24 years old, 34% among those aged 25-39, falling to 19% among those aged 40-54 and only 11% among those aged 55+).

 

Religious schools

When asked their opinions on laws allowing religious schools to select students and teachers on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status, the majority (74%) of the public are opposed to this suggestion.  Only one in five (21%) would support this law.

Again, opinion varies considerably by party support but the majority of all voters, irrespective of party, oppose this law.

Q.   Do you support or oppose laws to allow religious schools to select students and teachers based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status?

 

(%)

All voters

Coalition voters

Labor voters

Green voters

One Nation voters

Support

21

30

15

7

45

Oppose

74

62

81

92

51

Net support

-53

-32

-66

-85

-6

 

Opposition is strongest among younger people (81% opposed among those aged 18-24) and those on medium or higher incomes (78% opposed among those with a household income of more than $100k per annum, and 77% opposed among those with a household income between $40k-$100k per annum).