Far from "relaxed and comfortable" Australians feel angst about the future and want more from their political leaders according to the latest online research conducted by On Line Opinion in conjunction with Springboard Australia.
For the second year in a row, unique research of voters' views has provided a new insight into Australians’ attitudes towards the recent federal Budget and their perceptions of the federal government, opposition and political leaders.
The research, conducted immediately after the recent federal Budget, was designed to find out what voters really think about issues rather than relying on simple quantitative polls that do not explain why people have certain views or why they plan to vote a particular way.
Is Australia heading in the right direction?
When voters were asked if Australia was heading in the right direction a similar mood to that detected last year persisted with one important change.
On the economic front, voters believe the country is heading in the right direction. Australia was seen to have "strong economic growth, relatively low inflation and unemployment and almost no government debt". Typical comments made by swinging or undecided voters were:
- "The economy is strong with repeated surpluses being the envy of other OECD countries."
- "The economy is strong the nation is secure most people willing to work can get a job."
A new finding this year, and in an ominous note for the Labor Opposition, swinging voters who identified themselves as traditionally Labor voters were comfortable about the state and direction of the economy.
A swinging Victorian Labor voter summed up this view by declaring:
- "Essentially we are in relatively prosperous time and it looks like it is going to continue."
Critically, many voters did harbour some concerns about the direction of the country on an economic front.
Their concerns were about the future and displayed a sophisticated view of the state of the nation and the problems they perceive it faces. Invariably these concerns related to the need for further spending on infrastructure, the future and tax reform.
- "We need investment in infrastructure, both hard (for example telecommunications and roads) and soft (skills, education and health)."
- "We need to get freight off the roads and onto rebuilt rail lines."
- "… woeful failure to address infrastructure …"
- "… there was not total change to our present taxation system nor infrastructure allowances for building for future water needs."
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