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The Lowy Institute conducts significant research on public opinion around the world. Its long-standing public opinion polling program, the Lowy Institute Poll, has become an important input into Australian foreign policy since 2005.

To inform the public debate on Australia's foreign policy, the Institute has conducted annual polling of Australian public opinion on foreign policy since 2005. The annual Lowy Institute Poll has become one of the Lowy Institute’s flagship publications. It is the leading tracking survey on Australian foreign policy, providing a reliable vehicle for understanding Australian attitudes towards a wide range of foreign policy issues, while being independent and methodologically rigorous. Over the course of the past decade the Poll has uncovered significant shifts in public sentiment, including towards our most important neighbours and partners. It has tracked attitudes on contentious international issues ranging from climate change to China’s rise.

The annual Poll is entirely funded by the Lowy Institute to ensure its ongoing independence, and its questionnaire and results are thoroughly reviewed by independent consultants. Data sets are deposited with the Australian Social Science Data Archive where they are available free of charge for public scrutiny.

One of the best ways to explore the data from our sixteen years of polling is through our interactive site. Access the interactive here. Copies of the previous Lowy Institute polls are available here.

In addition to its Australian polling program, the Lowy Institute has conducted influential polls in several of our most important neighbours in Indo-Pacific Asia, including India (2012), Indonesia (2006 and 2011), New Zealand (2007 and 2012), China (2009) and Fiji (2011).

Latest publications

We see China and U.S. as central to our future

In an opinion piece in The Australian newspaper, Michael Fullilove and Alex Oliver describe Australians’ complex attitudes towards important foreign policy issues, and in particular, Australia’s relations with its two most important partners: China as its most important economic partner, and the United States as its longstanding ally. These attitudes were uncovered in the new Lowy Institute Poll 2013, together with findings on a large range of international issues of importance to Australians.

The Lowy Institute Poll 2013

The ninth annual Lowy Institute Poll reports the results of a nationally representative survey of 1,002 Australian adults conducted by mobile and fixed-line telephone in Australia between 4 and 20 March 2013.

The 2013 Poll rated the major political parties on a range of key foreign policy issues in the lead-up to the 2013 election. Other signficant issues covered in the Poll include: the comparative importance of China and the United States to Australia; support for the US alliance and US bases; attitudes towards China, the economy, boat arrivals and offshore processing; support for action on climate change, and views on the Afghanistan war, WikiLeaks and terrorism.

India Poll 2013

The India Poll 2013 is one of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on the attitudes of Indian citizens towards their future in the world. Photo: Flickr user NatCau2016.

India-Australia Poll 2013

The India-Australia Poll is a groundbreaking survey of Indian public attitudes towards Australia, with some surprising results. It reveals broadly positive views towards Australia, but lingering concerns about student safety.

Key issues covered in the poll include: Indian perceptions of Australian governance and society, education in Australia, the Indian media, uranium sales to India, Indian Ocean security, and cricket. The India-Australia Poll is a collaboration between the Lowy Institute for International Policy and the Australia India Institute. Photo: Flickr user NatCau2016.

The Lowy Institute Poll 2012: Public opinion and foreign policy

The eighth annual Lowy Institute Poll reports the results of a nationally representative opinion survey of 1,005 Australian adults conducted in Australia between 26 March and 10 April 2012 using mobile and landline telephones. It also reports the results of a parallel survey conducted in New Zealand.

Key issues covered in the 2012 poll include: foreign investment in Australian farms, uranium sales to India, relations with Fiji, the Bali bombings, climate change, the war in Afghanistan, migration, the US Presidential elections, US military bases, and attitudes towards democracy and human rights. The survey also repeated questions asked in 2007 in both Australia and New Zealand. 


Indonesia Poll 2012: Shattering stereotypes: public opinon and foreign policy

The Lowy Institute Indonesia Poll reports the results of the Institute’s second opinion poll in Indonesia. The findings challenge many assumptions about Indonesia on issues like attitudes towards Australia and the United States, openness to foreign investment, democracy, trust in other countries, and China’s rise.

The 2012 Poll found that Indonesians have dramatically warmed towards Australia, want a much broader government-to-government relationship and are more concerned about China than Australians.

Of 21 countries, Australia was the fourth most warmly regarded moving from a lukewarm 51° recorded in the Institute’s 2006 Indonesia Poll to a warm 62°. Of nine foreign countries, overall Australia was the second most trusted to act responsibly in the world. Photo: Flickr user Christopher Michel.

Fiji at home and in the world: public opinion and foreign policy

The Lowy Institute’s first Fiji Poll was a wide-ranging survey of public opinion in Fiji about the performance of Fiji’s military-led government and Fiji’s relations with the world. Questions focused on the implementation of government promises, the role of Fiji’s military, and democracy. Foreign policy questions addressed Fiji’s relationships with traditional and newer partners, Fiji’s role in the Pacific, and Fiji’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth. Photo: Flickr user Markolf Zimmer.

The 2011 Lowy Institute Poll

The seventh annual Lowy Poll surveys the Australian public on new questions covering attitudes towards the US alliance and the war in Afghanistan, opinions on basing US forces in Australia, WikiLeaks, foreign aid, and the intervention in Libya.

The nationally representative poll also repeated questions asked in previous years, revealing trends in public opinion on topics such as climate change, asylum seekers, and attitudes towards Indonesia, the United States and China.


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