May 2006
Liberal/National Merger
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 15:41 | Written by Graham Young
These are the notes used in today's on-air analysis. We are still taking responses and will incorporate the revised figures into the final report.


Total Sample
1. This proposal is not receiving a large “head nod”. 2. The proposal has a slightly negative effective across the whole sample – minus 2% 3. The sample is more balanced than usual – 16% Greens, 27% Labor, 20% Liberal and 18% National 4. Best Liberal representation in one of our samples for a while – suggests Liberals are more motivated on this issue than Nationals of Labor. 5. Both Liberals and Nationals are more positive than negative on this proposal – 51% of Liberals and 46% of Nationals approve, while only 9% and 13% disapprove. However, worrying for them that 40% and 41% are neither more nor less likely to vote for the new entity than the party they now vote for. 6. Leadership still an issue. 35% want Lawrence Springborg, 33% have no opinion, 9% Caltabiano and 8% Flegg.
Swinging Sample
I analysed those Liberal, National and Labor voters who were changing their vote since last election from one side of the divide to the other. Results here are interestingly different. 1. 39% are more likely to vote for the new entity, and 18% less likely, making it a net 21% in favour. 2. Still 42% are still neither more nor less likely. 3. Best leader is still Springborg – 53%. Next best is Flegg – 16%. Then Caltabiano – 3%.
Not enough in this proposal to risk running it without widespread approval within the parties. Will make it more likely for swinging voters to vote against Labor, but the majority of voters couldn’t care less about it. Best combination to gain swinging voters would be Springborg leader with Flegg deputy.
I’ve done the qual just on the swinging contingent. A variety of points of view. Two failure don’t equal one success: “Two horses arses do not make a whole and healthy horse.” Labor voter, traditional Liberal, female, 51-60 Seen it all before: “I cannot for the life of me believe that they are trotting out this rubbish again, I have voted for a Beattie government for the last 3 elections, he has blown all creditability as far as I'm concerned, last week topped everything, the standing of politicians in the community is fairly low, without tinkering with decriminalising lying to committies, city Liberals don't want to take on some of the redneck policies of the boys from the bush, they just need to do it through the polls and become the senior party in the coalition under the leadership of Caltabiano” Liberal voter, voted Labor last election, male, 51-60 Opposed to National Party influence: “I was thinking of perhaps voting Liberal but I would NEVER vote for a party whose leader is Lawrence Springbord or National Party affiliates.I think they represent Qld of old,lack of education and bad image and ideas.” Liberal voter, voted Labor last election, female, 61+ Strength in size: “qld politics is rather lop sided at moment, need a larger second party” National voter, Greens last election, female, 51-60 Liberals and Nats working together: “The merger shows an ability for the Liberals and Nationals to work together and I think this is important.” National voter, Labor last election, male, 51-60 They’ll fight: “The party would have a larger membership base with possible difference of opinions, which may cause debates to become more of an infight.” Undecided, Greens last election, male, 31-40 Less democracy, not more: “I do not believe in less but in more Parties. Good democracy thrives on diversity, not simplicity.” Undecided, no normal voting pattern, female, 51-60.
Total sample pivots
Age Female Male Grand Total
18-30 2% 3% 5%
31-40 3% 8% 11%
41-50 8% 11% 20%
51-60 12% 21% 33%
61+ 13% 18% 31%
Grand Total 39% 61% 100%

First_Preference Total
Christian Democrats 0%
Democrats 2%
Family First 3%
Greens 16%
I don't wish to answer 1%
Independent 7%
Labor 27%
Liberal 20%
National 18%
One Nation 1%
Other 1%
Undecided 5%
Grand Total 100%

Likely_to_vote Greens Independent Labor Liberal National Grand Total
I do not wish to answer 0% 4% 1% 0% 0% 1%
Much less likely 28% 35% 31% 7% 7% 21%
Much more likely 5% 9% 4% 43% 33% 19%
Neither more nor less likely 43% 43% 43% 40% 41% 42%
No opinion 0% 0% 2% 0% 0% 1%
Somewhat less likely 16% 0% 13% 2% 6% 9%
Somewhat more likely 9% 9% 6% 8% 13% 8%
Grand Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
More 14% 17% 10% 51% 46% 28%
Less 43% 35% 44% 9% 13% 29%
Net -29% -17% -34% 42% 33% -2%

Leader Greens Independent Labor Liberal National Grand Total
Bob Quinn 6% 0% 4% 4% 1% 4%
Bruce Flegg 4% 10% 6% 19% 2% 8%
I do not wish to answer 11% 6% 10% 2% 2% 7%
Jeff Seeney 1% 0% 1% 1% 2% 1%
Lawrence Springborg 15% 13% 16% 50% 76% 36%
Michael Caltabiano 6% 10% 7% 17% 6% 9%
Mike Horan 4% 6% 4% 2% 1% 3%
No opinion 53% 55% 52% 4% 9% 33%
Grand Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Budget 2006
Wednesday, 17 May 2006 12:18 | Written by Graham Young
These are the notes used for our interview this morning with Madonna King and the ABC Radio Brisbane Morning Program. I'll do the analysis up more formally later. My read on the total sample is that many of our respondents feel personally squeezed by rising costs including petrol and interest rates (the last must be anticipatory) and don't think that the tax cuts allow them to do much more than catch-up, although most of them rate it as good for them personally and bad for the country. Explains why the government hasn’t gotten much of a bounce from the budget. Our sample is also more concerned with Health and Education than they are with tax cuts. Interestingly, payments to stay-at-home and working mums are not a high priority, nor looking after the elderly. Will the older and middle to lower demographics stay bought? BTW, Julia Gillard is the runaway winner for ALP leader, followed by Rudd, Keating and Beazley. Shorten on a bit less than 5% proves you need more than a walk-on part in a mining disaster to grab the public imagination. On the other side of the ledger Malcolm Turnbull is the second runner after Howard, not Costello. Even amongst online Liberal voters Costello is only just ahead, but the Labor, Greens and Democrats overwhelm him in favour of Turnbull over the whole sample.
  1. Sample heavily left-leaning. 31% ALP, 27% Greens, 15% Liberal, 5% National. Older than average demographic, with highest proportion (31%) between 51 and 60 years of age. Males outnumbered females almost two-to one in the plus 51 age group, and by 60% to 40% overall.
  2. Most believe that the country is heading in the wrong direction. This aligns with voting intention. 21% think we’re heading in the right direction, compared to 70% who think the reverse.
  3. Only 25% approved of the budget, versus 58% who disapproved. However, 89% of Liberals and 88% of Nationals approved. A balanced sample would have shown a majority in support.
  4. However 37% said that they would be better off because of the budget. So 12% benefited but altruistically thought it was a bad budget.
  5. Only 24% thought it would be good for the economy. Again, Liberals 81% of Liberals thought it would be good, as well as 88% of Nationals. A balanced sample would therefore think it was good for the economy.
  6. When it came to alternatives, most favoured either tax cuts, or increased spending on health and education. Because of the bias in the sample, this was distorted. Making allowance for the bias, tax cuts and services were probably pretty evenly matched.
  7. Incentives to working or non-working spouses or to older Australians were not well-supported. Infrastructure also rated very well with a less intense feeling in favour of it than services.
  8. 71% disapproved of Howard’s performance, but 58% disapproved of Beazley’s as well. However, 91% of Coalition voters approve, so sample bias at play again.
  9. 35% want Julia Gillard as leader, compared to 20% for Kevin Rudd, 15% for Paul Keating and 10% for Kim Beazley. None of the above is only 12%
  10. 172% and 75% of Coalition voters want Howard as leader, but only 19% of the total sample. Malcolm Turnbull tops the total sample at 20%, followed by Howard, then Costello. Abbott and Downer both get 1% each.
  11. When it comes to household budgets there are a few obvious factors:
  12. Many households find themselves under price-pressure from petrol, interest rates and food prices (no-one much mentions rent). They find the tax deductions derisory.
  13. Some households are earning lots of money and traveling well - they thought that tax cuts were great.
  14. Because they can’t see that they can earn enough after tax to pay for their needs, they would prefer the government to pay them for them.
  15. Word counts and quotes on the household budget issue provide quantitative support for the issues being caused by higher petrol and money prices with petrol being by far the larger issue.
Petrol 116
Fuel 243
Oil 5
Inflation 41
Interest 122
Rates 99
Rent 42

Student 41
Pension 271
Retiree 66

"The tax cuts will help to ease the squeeze so to speak.  I have grandchildren so the extra child care will be good for us all and there are incentives for my daughter to go back to work when her son starts full time school. I am looking at the more longer term benefits of the budget rather than the what's in it for me right now view. there will still be a surplus for the next several yeras and I think that is responsible and the right way to go." Liberal, Male, 41-50

"I'm just not sure. As much as I am in a bracket that gets a 'saving' on how much tax I pay each fortnight, I don't see that as improving my financial position - in terms of short term - home mortgages have just increased (more so than the tax saving) - and in long term, I don't think that an improvement in my own financial position is a good thing in the big picture of the country's health, for eg. I would prefer the $9-10 per pay packet to go directly to medicare and the public hospital system." Greens, female, 31-40

"Rising prices at every level of living then a slight tax benefit!!!! You have to be joking. After the GST the goverment have been completely rolling in money yet they are tighter than ever & services are lacking more & more funding." Greens, Male, 18-30

"No tax on super is a bit late for me as a self funded retiree for the last 9 years and being taxed on my benefit. I also do not have access to a health card for pharmaceuticals as I am means tested out of elegibility" Greens, Male, 61+

"With the increase in fuel costs that have already happened up around 21 cents per litre and interest rates up .25% costing an extra $10 per week the tax cuts have already been spent." Greens, Male, 41-50

"I am a mature aged woman in the middle income range who works part-time to finance studies that will hopefully lend me enough credibillity to take on consultancy work.  I support my daughter and son-in-law one is a student and the other an adult apprentice, my husband is a TPI pensioner.  I can't live on what the governemtn would pay me to be a carer for my husband or to be a student we have manged in the past and I will continue to manage in the future.  The minute amount of money I may be entitled to in the buget will probably be eaten up in fuel costs." Greens, Female, 51-60

Those who say their personal position is significantly improved appear to live in high income households or be on the verge of retirement.