Polling | 21 June 2016

2016 Lowy Institute polling: The US presidential election, asylum seeker policy and methods for reducing carbon emissions

Most Australians oppose a Trump presidency, according to results from Lowy Institute polling conducted in June 2016. Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore.

  • Alex Oliver

Most Australians oppose a Trump presidency, according to results from Lowy Institute polling conducted in June 2016. Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore.

  • Alex Oliver

US presidential election

Most Australians oppose a Trump presidency, according to results from Lowy Institute polling conducted in June 2016.

For 77% of Australian adults, Hillary Clinton is the preferred US President, with only 11% saying they would prefer Donald Trump. Most Australians (84%) say Hillary Clinton would do a better job of handling US foreign policy. Only 10% prefer Donald Trump for handling US foreign policy.

Further, nearly six in ten Australians (59%) say they would be less likely to support Australia ‘taking future military action in coalition with the US under Donald Trump’ if he wins the presidency.

Asylum seeker policy

In other findings from the same June poll, there has been a softening in support for the offshore processing of asylum seekers. Just over half of Australians (54%) say ‘asylum seekers should be processed offshore in places such as Nauru, before deciding whether they should be settled in Australia’, five points down on the 2014 result in which 59% supported offshore processing. Reinforcing this result, there is now more support for processing asylum seekers’ claims in Australia, with 55% (up eight points since 2014) agreeing that ‘all asylum seekers should be processed in Australia whether or not they come by boat’.

Reducing carbon emissions

Successive Lowy Institute Polls have indicated that concern about global warming is trending upwards, with 53% of Australians in 2016 (up 17 points since 2012) now saying ‘global warming is a serious and pressing problem [and that] we should begin taking steps now even if this involves significant costs’. Although this concern is rising, it remains 15 points lower than the peak of concern recorded in 2006, when 68% of Australians expressed this view.

Furthermore, the June poll has confirmed findings from November 2015 that Australians remain divided on the best economic policy to deal with the problem of carbon emissions. When forced to choose between the current Direct Action scheme and a price on carbon or emissions trading scheme, a slight majority of Australians (53%) say we should ‘continue the government’s Direct Action plan which pays businesses for emissions reduction projects’. Despite the abolition of the carbon tax in 2014, however, there are still 40% of Australians who would prefer that the government ‘introduce an emissions trading scheme or or price on carbon, where people pay for their carbon emissions’.

Tables

These results are drawn from a nationally representative mobile and fixed line telephone poll of 1002 Australian adults, conducted between 1 and 9 June 2016 by Field Works Market Research on behalf of the Lowy Institute. The Poll’s maximum sampling variance is approximately +/- 3.1%.

In the tables below, totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. Responses of ‘don’t know’, ‘no view’, ‘neither’ and similar were recorded if given by respondents, but not offered.

Table of questions and results

1. Now about the United States’ presidential election, which will be held in November this year. Which candidate would you personally prefer to see become President of the United States?

 

2008

2012

June 2016

Barack Obama, a Democrat

73%

Barack Obama, the  Democrat candidate

80%

Hillary Clinton, if she is the Democrat candidate

77%

John McCain, a Republican

16%

Mitt Romney, as the Republican candidate

9%

Donald Trump, if he is the Republican Candidate

11%

Either/neither/

refused

11%

Either/neither/don’t know

12%

Either/neither/don’t know

13%

 

2. And which candidate do you personally think would do a better job of handling the United States’ foreign policy? Would it be …

 

 

June 2016

Hillary Clinton

84%

Donald Trump

10%

Neither

5%

Don’t know/no view

2%

 

3. Now about Australia joining with the US in future military action. If Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, would you personally be more likely or less likely than you are now, to support Australia taking future military action in coalition with the US under Donald Trump, or would it make no difference to you?

 

 

June 2016

More likely

4%

Less likely

59%

Would it make no difference to you?

35%

Don’t know/no view

3%

 

4. I am going to read you some statements about asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat. Please say whether you personally agree or disagree with the following policy ideas:

 

 

Asylum seekers should be processed offshore in places such as Nauru, before deciding whether they should be settled in Australia*

No asylum seeker coming to Australia by boat should be allowed to settle in Australia

The government should turn back boats when it is safe to do so

All asylum seekers should be processed in Australia whether or not they come by boat

Asylum seekers should be granted temporary protection visas which give rights to work and some welfare services but prevent permanent residency, family reunions and overseas travel

 

2014

2016

2014

2016

2014

2016

2014

2016

2014

2016

Agree

59%

54%

42%

38%

71%

69%

47%

55%

48%

53%

Disagree

39%

42%

57%

59%

28%

27%

51%

41%

49%

43%

Don't Know

2%

4%

1%

3%

1%

4%

3%

4%

3%

4%

 

5. Next about carbon emissions. In your personal view, which one of the following would you most prefer that the federal government do to reduce carbon emissions?

 

 

Nov 2015

June 2016

Continue the government’s Direct Action plan which pays businesses for emissions reduction projects

51%

53%

Introduce an emissions trading scheme or price on carbon, where people pay for their carbon emissions

43%

40%

Neither

4%

2%

Don’t know/no view

2%

4%