No mandate for carbon laws repeal, national poll finds Media Release

Jun 23, 2013 - 12:00am

A national poll from early June reveals that there is no support for the claim that the Federal election is a referendum on the carbon laws. It also shows that more Australians oppose a double dissolution on the laws than support one, said The Climate Institute today. 
“The carbon laws themselves are not a dominant reason behind those supporting the Coalition, nor is there majority support for their repeal or a double dissolution,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute. 
“The claim that this election is a ‘referendum on the carbon tax’ is without foundation. Issues of economic management, trust and competence are much stronger influences behind the Coalition vote.”  
“The process of the carbon laws’ introduction is more a proxy for a question of trust than the policy itself and is more influential than the laws themselves. So people’s concern is really more about the process than the policy.” 
The findings come from a weighted JWS Research national online poll of 1,009 Australians, conducted 1-7 June 2013.  

Key findings include: 

  • Only a third (37 per cent) of Australians believe that the Coalition should repeal carbon pricing if it is elected to government at the next Federal election. That is down from 48 per cent in an Ipsos poll of late May 2012, as reported last July in the Climate of the Nation 2012 report.
  • There is no mandate for a double dissolution if the Coalition fails to get the carbon laws abolished, with considerably more people against a double dissolution election (43 per cent) than for one (34 per cent).
  • For Coalition voters, the top concerns are about Labor’s economic mismanagement, its perceived broken lies and promises generally and Julia Gillard’s ‘carbon tax lie’. The carbon tax itself was further down a list of issues including waste of taxpayers’ money and dislike of policies generally.

“There is perhaps a growing recognition that the cost of living impacts were not as severe as claimed by many and that the carbon price is beginning to work,” said Connor. 

New data from Westpac Economics shows that the carbon price added less than half a per cent to the Consumer Price Index -- half of what was expected. At the same time emissions from energy fell by 7 per cent between March 2012 and March 2013, according to consultancy Pitt & Sherry. 

“Australians just want to move on and are much more concerned with the economy, jobs and general broken promises,” Connor said. “They don’t want to waste more time squabbling over carbon pricing, which they are starting to see at work, as Australia’s energy emissions have fallen and cost of living scares did not materialise.”

Download a factsheet summarising the polling results below.

For more information 

Kristina Stefanova | Communications Director, The Climate Institute | 02 8239 6299
John Connor | CEO, The Climate Institute | 02 8239 6299


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