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Small majority of Australians favour the death penalty for deadly terrorist acts in Australia

Finding No. 5814 – This special snap SMS Morgan Poll was conducted with a representative cross-section of 1,307 Australians today, Friday September 19, 2014. They were asked “If a person is convicted of a terrorist act in Australia which kills someone should the penalty be death?”

A special snap SMS Morgan Poll today shows a small majority of Australians (52.5%) favour the death penalty for deadly terrorist acts in Australia while 47.5% don’t. This is a significant increase from 2009 when only 23% of Australians supported the death penalty being imposed for convicted murderers. Today’s special SMS Morgan Poll was conducted with a cross-section of 1,307 Australians who were asked “If a person is convicted of a terrorist act in Australia which kills someone should the penalty be death?”

Analysis by Voting Preference

Analysing the results by voting preference shows Liberal voters strongly in favour of the death penalty for deadly terrorist acts in Australia (67.5% cf. 32.5%), as are National voters (70.5% cf. 29.5%), however both ALP voters (39% cf. 61%) and Greens voters (18% cf. 82%) are against the death penalty.

Analysis by Gender

Analysis by gender shows a gender split with men in favour of the death penalty for deadly terrorist acts in Australia and women split almost evenly, but a slight majority against the death penalty:

  • Men: Favour death penalty (55.5%) cf. against death penalty (44.5%);
  • Women: Favour death penalty (49.5%) cf. against death penalty (50.5%).

Analysis by Age

Analysing by age shows younger Australians (under 35) are slightly against the death penalty for deadly terrorist acts in Australia while older Australians (35+) are in favour of the death penalty:

  • 18-24yr olds: Favour death penalty (49.5%) cf. against death penalty (50.5%);
  • 25-34yr olds: Favour death penalty (44%) cf. against death penalty (56%);
  • 35-49yr olds: Favour death penalty (50.5%) cf. against death penalty (49.5%);
  • 50-64yr olds: Favour death penalty (52.5%) cf. against death penalty (47.5%);
  • 65+yr olds: Favour death penalty (62.5%) cf. against death penalty (37.5%).

Analysis by State

Analysing by State shows four States in favour of the death penalty for deadly terrorist acts:
NSW (53% in favour cf. 47% against), Queensland (57% cf. 43%), Western Australia (59% cf. 41%) and Tasmania (63% cf. 37%) while two States are opposed: Victoria (47% in favour cf. 53% against) and South Australia (48.5% cf. 51.5%).

Gary Morgan says:

“A slight majority of Australians (52.5%) are in favour of the death penalty for terrorists convicted of a deadly terrorist attack in Australia according to a special snap SMS Morgan Poll of 1,307 Australians today while slightly fewer (47.5%) are against the idea.

“Support for the death penalty is strongest amongst Liberal voters (67.5% support) and National voters (70.5% support) while left-leaning voters are against: ALP voters (61% against) and Greens voters (82% against).

“This is a substantial increase in support for the death penalty since August 2009 when only 23% of Australians supported the death penalty for convicted murderers. However, less than 20 years ago, in August 1995, a majority of Australians (53%) supported the death penalty for convicted murderers.

“Support for imposing the death penalty for deadly terrorist acts is stronger amongst men (55.5% in favour cf. 44.5% against) than women (49.5% in favour cf. 50.5% against) while older Australians aged 50+ are clearly in favour and Australians aged 25-34 are the most opposed to the death penalty.”

Finding No. 5814 – This special snap SMS Morgan Poll was conducted with a representative cross-section of 1,307 Australians today, Friday September 19, 2014. They were asked If a person is convicted of a terrorist act in Australia which kills someone should the penalty be death?


For further information: 

Contact

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Mobile

Gary Morgan:     

+61 3 9224 5213  

+61 411 129 094

Michele Levine:       

+61 3 9224 5215  

+61 411 129 093


Question:

Australians were asked: If a person is convicted of a terrorist act in Australia which kills someone should the penalty be death?

Link to previous question on the Death Penalty: Historical Data

Death Penalty or Imprisonment For Murder

Respondents were first asked:  “Next about the penalty for murder.  In your opinion, should the penalty for murder be death or imprisonment?”

All Australians

Dec
‘47*

Feb
‘53*

Apr
‘62*

Nov
‘75

Oct
‘80

Jan
‘86

Jul
‘86

Jul
‘87

Feb
‘89

Feb
‘90

Jun
‘90

May
‘92

May
‘93

Aug
‘95

Nov
‘05

Dec ‘05

Aug
‘09

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Death Penalty

67

68

53

40

43

43

44

49

52

53

51

46

54

53

27

25

23

Imprisonment

24

24

37

43

40

41

40

37

34

35

35

39

36

36

66

69

64

Can’t say

9

8

10

17

17

16

16

14

14

12

14

15

10

11

7

6

13

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

* Samples for 1947, 1953 and 1962 were electors aged 21 and over, from 1975 onwards the sample was all Australians aged 14 and over.


Voting Preference

 

Total

Electors

Liberal

National

ALP

Greens

Other

Can’t say

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Yes

52.5

51

67.5

70.5

39

18

45

72.5

No

47.5

49

32.5

29.5

61

82

55

27.5

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

Age & Gender

 

Total

Gender

Age

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Yes

52.5

55.5

49.5

49.5

44

50.5

52.5

62.5

No

47.5

44.5

50.5

50.5

56

49.5

47.5

37.5

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

State & City/ Country

 

 

State

Region

 

Total

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

City

Country

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Yes

52.5

53

47

57

59

48.5

63

51.5

56

No

47.5

47

53

43

41

51.5

37

48.5

44

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. The following table gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. The figures are approximate and for general guidance only, and assume a simple random sample. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.2

±2.7

±1.9

±1.4