Polls and surveys

Gems from William Bowe’s Poll Bludger

William Bowe has drawn our attention to a US-based weekly tracking poll of approval/disapproval of 13 world leaders based on surveys in their respective countries.  Morrison is doing better than Johnson and Bolsonaro, but from his high point of +40 percent in May last year he has steadily slid down to -3 percent in the latest poll. 

One notable feature of that poll is a step fall in Biden’s approval and a step rise in his disapproval in September this year.

Bowe also reports on a Morgan poll, showing a strong two-party lead for Labor. Labor’s primary vote is 35.0 percent (33.3 percent in the 2019 election) and the Coalition’s is 36.5 percent. (41.4 percent in 2019). These are broadly in line with other polls that reveal the Coalition to be losing votes faster than Labor is gaining them. Support for the Greens is steady, which points to gains for some combination of small parties and independents. One Nation is steady on a low (3 percent) vote. So where are the rest going?

Bowe links to a site called Mark the Graph, which confirms the growth of the “other” vote, with a steep rise starting around June this year. A traditional “left-right” interpretation might guess this to be a swing towards centrist independents, particularly in view of the stagnant support for One Nation, but it would be rash to draw any conclusion at this stage. Some Labor supporters could even be heading off to Clive Palmer, for example.

Gems from IPSOS

Ipsos has published its survey of Global trends 2021 as a set of slides. (Skip past the generalities to slide 19 if you want to look at the survey data.)  Australia appears in most of the lists of countries surveyed.  It has a neat scatter diagram of vaccination scepticism and vaccination levels: there’s a correlation but it isn’t strong suggesting that there are many who object to vaccination compulsion but not to vaccination.

It has a question on nostalgia throwing up some unexpected results in response to the statement “I would like my country to be the way it used to be”. Chinese are not at all nostalgic for China as it used to be, but Thais miss Thailand as it used to be. Australia ranks around the middle on this statement.

Most Australians believe “People from different backgrounds and ethnic minorities in my country are treated fairly”, but so do an even larger proportion of Indians. Only a minority of Americans and French believe minorities get a fair go.

Attitudinal surveys need to be considered with a grain of scepticism: much depends on the way questions are framed, and when different countries are compared there are always problems in translation and in picking representatively structured samples.