According to the latest Guardian Essential poll, the coalition’s traditional lead on economic management has been wiped out by Labour, as more voters say they believe the opposition would run the economy in the interest of ordinary Australians.
The latest survey of 1,095 respondents also suggests voters want the Morrison administration to increase its Abbott-era emissions reduction pledge by 2030, with 61% of respondents saying they want a higher 2030 target, and 39% saying they would. it should remain a reduction from 26 to 28. % at the 2005 level.
That result follows Australia’s decision to join a joint communiqué after the Cop26 in Glasgow, which points to a possible reconsideration of the 2030 target ahead of the next United Nations-led climate conference in Egypt. But just hours later, the government characterized the current pledge as “firm”.
Australia has been widely criticized for a lack of ambition in its 2030 pledge.
Liberals battling independents in the party’s metropolitan heartland are forcing the prime minister to set a higher target for 2035. Labor will also set its new 2030 target in parliament’s next fortnight, with options between 35 and 45%.
Morrison’s government is clearly gearing up for a federal election that builds on the coalition’s traditional strengths of economic governance and maintaining downward pressure on interest rates and the cost of living.
But the latest data from Guardian Essential suggests voters are already concerned about the rising price of housing, energy and food over the past six to 12 months – with 86% of respondents saying the current government has a lot or little influence on towards household expenses.
In addition to shaping an electoral conversation about the economy, Scott Morrison has also tried out a political narrative that advocates personal freedom and the need for governments to step out of people’s lives — arguments primarily related to ongoing public health measures to quell Covid, and towards more prescriptive climate policy options.
But while Morrison is championing the freedom to appeal to a minority of protest voters who flirt with Clive Palmer or Pauline Hanson, the latest Guardian Essential data suggests that the bulk of Australian voters – after nearly two years of sustained government activism to contain the pandemic – in a more interventionist headspace.
A majority (62%) agree with the statement: “I want government to play a more active role in managing the economy.” When asked about the current recovery from Covid-19, only 12% or respondents think businesses should be able to reopen without intervention after prolonged lockdowns, while 81% of the sample say the government should work with businesses during the recovery.
Only 6% believe that the government should be solely responsible for managing the recovery.
Traditionally, the coalition has been well ahead of Labor when it comes to voters’ confidence in economic management. But according to the latest biweekly snapshot of voter sentiment, 34% of the sample nominate Liberal and National parties as the party most trusted to run the economy, while 34% trust Labor and 32% say there is no difference between them. the major parties.
The Guardian Essential sample splits on that question broadly along partisan lines, with 70% of self-identified coalition voters nominating the Morrison government as their favored economic manager (12% say Labour), while 65% of the Labor voters Labor nominates (12% say the coalition).
When asked which party they trust to make sure the economy works in the best interests of ordinary Australians, 40% said Labour, 29% said the Coalition and 31% said there was no difference between the major parties.
The data also indicates that voters are already very alert to trends in the cost of living. With gasoline prices hitting record highs, 77% of respondents say prices have increased a little or a lot in the past six to 12 months (16% say prices have stayed the same and 6% say prices have risen slightly or a lot).
According to these research results, gasoline is a hot item than house prices, even though house prices have risen in the major cities. While nearly 80% have noticed an increase in the property manager, 47% say their rent or the cost of paying the mortgage has increased a lot or a little (of which 46% say the costs are about the same and 7% a little or a bit). big drop).
Food and grocery prices are close to voters’ perceptions of gasoline, with 70% reporting small or large increases in costs (24% saying prices are the same and 6% noting a decline). In terms of utility bills, 63% report modest or substantial increases (with 30% of the sample saying costs are about the same and 7% reporting decreases).