Every three months or so JWS Research does a True Issues survey. Voters are presented with a list of 11 issues, asked to rate them in order of importance, and then rate the government’s performance on each. In every case the government’s performance has been marked down since Tony Abbott was replaced, according to the AFR.
The three top issues with voters are hospitals and healthcare, the economy and finances, and education and training. These three had the greatest gap between importance and government performance.
- The performance rating on hospitals fell from 18 to 15 per cent, the economy from 22 to 17 per cent and education from 25 to 22 per cent.
The other issues polled were immigration and border security, community and social issues, infrastructure, quality of government, environment, defence and security, regional and rural Australia, and business and mining.
Here’s the sum of the Good and Very Good ratings, with importance of issues on the y-axis:
The survey was conducted from November 5 to November 10 when political debate about a GST increase was prominent. The last survey was in June.
It was the first time the government’s approval rating fell on every single issue.
- JWS Research director John Scales, who informs his analysis with focus group research, believes talk of a GST increase is like a “sea-anchor” in terms of acting as a drag across government. This is partially assisted by growing global insecurity.
The poll was conducted pre-Paris, as it were, but after the Parramatta police station shooting and the vast refugee flows in Europe.
The percentage of people thinking the national economy is headed in the right direction has fallen from 24 to 18.
Yet Roy Morgan finds that confidence in the government overall is high:
- The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating was up this week to 122 (up 2.5pts and the highest since March 2011) with 51.5% (up 1%) of Australians saying Australia is ‘heading in the right direction’ and 29.5% (down 1.5%) saying Australia is ‘heading in the wrong direction’.
Barrie Cassidy has an interesting look at leadership coups. He says that pollster Andrew Catsaras has crunched the numbers and found that since the change of leadership, 1,100,000 voters have switched from Labor to the Coalition. Given the JWS polling on issues the support of those voters may be more fragile than the numbers indicate.