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Majority of Australians support Muslim & Asylum seeker immigration; and 58% want Australia’s population kept under 35 million

These are the main insights from the special Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted over the three nights of October 18-20, 2016, with an Australia-wide cross-section of 656 men and women aged 14 or over.

Clear majorities of Australians support Muslim immigration (58% cf. 33% oppose) and Asylum seeker immigration (66% cf. 25% oppose), although even larger majorities of Australians support both Family reunion immigration (74% cf. 21% oppose) and Skilled migrant immigration (77% cf. 18% oppose) according to a special Roy Morgan survey conducted over three nights last week with a nationally representative cross-section of 656 Australians aged 14+.

Muslim Immigration

Support for Muslim immigration is down 7% from a year ago (65% support in October 2015), although it is up 4% from July 2010 (54% support).

Importantly, a majority of L-NP supporters (51% support cf. 36% oppose), ALP supporters (67% support cf. 25% oppose), Greens supporters (88% support cf. 5% oppose) and supporters of Independents/ Others (58% support cf. 34% oppose) all support Muslim immigration.

However, the overwhelming majority of One Nation supporters are opposed to Muslim immigration (87% opposed cf. 4% support).

Immigration Levels & Population

Now 40% (up 3%) of Australians support immigration remaining about the same and a further 21% (down 11%) want to see immigration levels increased; this constitutes a clear majority of Australians 61% (down 8%) who support immigration remaining the same or increasing while 34% (up 8%) want immigration levels reduced and 5% (unchanged) can’t say.

Australians are split on the effect of immigrants on Australia’s culture and way of life: However, there has been a negative shift in the last year – back to lower than recorded in 2010. 32% (down 5%) of Australians believe immigration has a positive effect on Australia; 32% (up 1%) believe immigration has a negative effect while 25% (up 6%) believe immigration has little effect and 11% (down 2%) can’t say.

Most Australians want relatively moderate population growth – 34% (up 2%) want a population under 30 million in 2046, and only 24% (down 6%) want a population of 35 million or more. This is a shift away from growth levels that were seen as acceptable a year ago – but nowhere near the 2010 levels when 56% wanted a population under 30 million in the year 2040.

Gary Morgan says:

“Today’s special Roy Morgan survey conducted over three nights last week shows a clear majority of Australians (58%) support Muslim immigration compared to only 33% that oppose. Even larger majorities of Australians support Asylum seeker immigration (66% cf. 25% oppose), Family reunion immigration (74% cf. 21% oppose) and Skilled migration (77% cf. 18% oppose).

“Importantly, majorities of supporters of Australia’s major political parties support Muslim immigration as well – 51% of L-NP supporters (cf. 36% oppose); 67% of ALP supporters (cf. 25% oppose); 88% of Greens supporters (cf. 5% oppose). Only supporters of a resurgent One Nation party are strongly opposed to Muslim immigration – 87% opposed cf. 4% support.

“Today’s Roy Morgan survey results are in stark contrast to a well-publicised poll conducted by Essential Research in September which showed one-in-two Australians (49%) would support a ban on Muslim immigration compared to 40% of Australians that would oppose such a ban.

“Previous Roy Morgan surveys have consistently showed a majority of Australians support Muslim immigration: 65% of Australians supported Muslim immigration a year ago in October 2015 (full results here) compared to 28% that opposed; and in July 2010 54% of Australians supported Muslim immigration compared to 35% that were opposed (full results here).”

“However, across a number of questions relating to immigration, and the ideal size for Australia, there has been a shift away from supporting growth and immigration over the last year. This is not back to the levels recorded in 2010 but does give a clear sense that Australians are becoming less open to immigration."


These are the main insights from the special Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted over the three nights of October 18-20, 2016, with an Australia-wide cross-section of 656 men and women aged 14 or over. For the ‘poll-watchers’ out there this latest telephone Morgan Poll revealed a two-party preferred lead for the ALP 55% cf. L-NP 45% based on how a cross-section of 588 Australian electors said they would vote.


Immigration Levels

When Australians were asked: “Over the last year (2015) about 180,000 immigrants came to Australia. Do you think the number of people coming here to live permanently should be increased, or reduced, or remain about the same?”

 Of Australians 21% (down 11%) said that immigration should be ‘increased,’ while 34% (up 8%) say it should be ‘reduced’ and 40% (up 3%) say it should ‘remain about the same.’ Only 5% (unchanged) of Australians can’t say.

Australians 14+

July

1952*

July

1955*

May

1956*

Jan

1959*

Feb

1969*

Oct

1970*

Mar

2010

July

2010

Oct
2015

Oct 18-20,
2016

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Remain about

the same

29

39

40

33

45

45

45

47

37

40

Increased

14

10

8

26

19

12

9

11

32

21

Remain the same or Increased

43

49

48

59

64

57

54

58

69

61

Reduced

52

45

45

34

26

38

41

40

26

34

Can’t say

5

6

7

7

10

5

5

2

5

5

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

* In 1952 immigration level asked about was not stated; 1955 & 1956 – 125,000; 1959 – 100,000; 1969 – 160,000; 1970 – 180,000; 2010 – 170,000; 2013/14 – 210,000. 

Electors

Analysis by Voting Intention

Oct 18-20,
2016

L-NP

ALP

Greens

One Nation#

Other#

Can’t

say#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Remain about
the same

39

49

38

30

8

42

18

Increased

22

11

31

61

0

11

2

Remain the same or Increased

61

60

69

91

8

53

20

Reduced

34

36

28

6

92

37

72

Can’t say

5

4

3

3

0

10

8

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

*The results for political affiliation are based only on interviews conducted with Australian electors. (1952 – 1970 electors were aged 21 & over. Whereas for 2010 electors are now aged 18 & over). # Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.


 

Analysis by Sex and Age

Oct 18-20,
2016

Men

Women

18-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Remain about
the same

40

47

34

36

43

39

44

Increased

21

16

26

25

20

24

9

Remain the same or Increased

61

63

60

61

63

63

53

Reduced

34

33

35

37

28

34

45

Can’t say

5

4

5

2

9

3

2

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100



 

Analysis by States & Regions

Oct 18-20,
2016

Capital

Cities

Country

Areas

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA

WA

Tas

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Remain about
the same

40

51

32

32

25

44

43

47

41

Increased

21

25

18

26

33

23

14

12

13

Remain the same or Increased

61

76

50

58

58

67

57

59

54

Reduced

34

20

46

35

37

28

42

37

41

Can’t say

5

4

4

7

5

5

1

4

5

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100



Immigrants effect on Australian Life

Respondents were then asked: “Judging by what you see and hear, do you think immigrants are changing Australia’s culture and way of life – or having little effect.”

Respondents who responded that immigrants are changing us were then asked: “Do you think immigrants are changing Australia’s culture and way of life for better or for worse?”

However, there has been a negative shift in the last year, back to levels lower than seen in 2010. Now 32% (down 5%) say ‘better’ while 32% (up 1%) say ‘worse’ and 36% can’t say or believe there has been little effect.

Australians 14+

 

Analysis by Voting Intention

July

2010

Oct
2015

Oct 18-20,
2016

Electors

L-NP

ALP

Greens

One
Nation
#

Other#

Can’t

say#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

33

37

32

34

28

38

56

-

39

12

Worse

30

31

32

30

39

18

5

84

27

79

Can’t say

(Better or Worse)

13

10

8

9

8

8

11

6

14

3

They’re changing us

76

78

72

73

75

64

72

90

80

94

Having little effect

21

19

25

23

19

31

25

10

20

-

Can’t say (Immigrants

changing us)

3

3

3

4

6

5

3

-

-

6

 

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

# Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.


 

Analysis by Sex and Age

Oct 18-20,
2016

Men

Women

18-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

32

25

39

34

33

29

29

Worse

32

35

29

35

23

38

35

Can’t say

(Better or Worse)

8

8

9

5

5

12

12

They’re changing us

72

68

77

74

61

79

76

Having little effect

25

31

18

22

34

19

23

Can’t say (Immigrations

changing us)

3

1

5

4

5

2

1

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


 

Analysis by States & Regions

Oct 18-20,
2016

Capital

Cities

Country

Areas

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA

WA

Tas

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

32

42

23

30

49

32

21

10

30

Worse

32

20

41

31

24

28

37

49

34

Can’t say

(Better or Worse)

8

7

9

9

9

9

12

13

-

They’re changing us

72

69

73

70

82

69

70

72

64

Having little effect

25

25

24

21

13

30

29

28

27

Can’t say (Immigrations

changing us)

3

6

3

9

5

1

1

0

9

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Australian Population Size

Respondents were then asked: “Australia’s population has increased by 6 million from 18 million to just over 24 million over the last 20 years. What population do you think we should aim to have in Australia in 30 years – that is, by 2046?”

Australians 14+

 

Analysis by Voting Intention

July

2010

Oct
2015

Oct 18-20,
2016

Electors

L-NP

ALP

Greens

One
Nation#

Other#

Can’t

say#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Under 30 million

56

32

34

36

35

32

24

77

38

62

30 – Under 35 million

22

27

24

25

33

19

31

7

28

18

Total under 35 million

78

59

58

61

68

51

55

84

66

80

35 million or more

13

30

24

23

20

28

28

10

23

2

Can’t say

9

11

18

16

12

21

17

6

11

18

 

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

# Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.

 

Analysis by Sex and Age

Oct 18-20,
2016

Men

Women

18-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Under 30 million

34

40

29

31

39

43

30

30 – Under 35 million

24

28

20

30

18

20

27

Total under 35 million

58

68

49

61

57

63

57

35 million or more

24

22

27

28

26

23

16

Can’t say

18

10

24

11

17

14

27

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


 

Analysis by States & Regions

Oct 18-20,
2016

Capital

Cities

Country

Areas

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA

WA

Tas

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Under 30 million

34

28

40

42

27

29

40

40

39

30 – Under 35 million

24

29

20

17

22

27

30

23

23

Total under 35 million

58

57

60

59

49

56

70

63

62

35 million or more

24

28

22

31

34

28

13

26

15

Can’t say

18

15

18

10

17

16

17

11

23

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100



Types of Immigrant to Australia

Respondents were then asked: “Please say whether you support or oppose (Muslim / Asylum seeker/ Skilled migrant/ Family reunion) immigration?”

Muslim immigration

Australians 14+

 

Analysis by Voting Intention

July

2010

Oct
2015

Oct 18-20,
2016

Electors

L-NP

ALP

Greens

One
Nation#

Other#

Can’t

say#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support

54

65

58

59

51

67

88

4

58

49

Oppose

35

28

33

32

36

25

5

87

34

37

Can’t say

11

7

9

9

13

8

7

9

8

14

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

# Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.

 

Analysis by Sex and Age

Oct 18-20,
2016

Men

Women

18-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support

58

51

65

63

67

54

40

Oppose

33

37

29

31

25

30

52

Can’t say

9

12

6

6

8

16

8

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


 

Analysis by States & Regions

Oct 18-20,
2016

Capital

Cities

Country

Areas

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA

WA

Tas

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support

58

67

51

53

70

56

63

44

56

Oppose

33

24

40

35

25

32

28

44

36

Can’t say

9

9

9

12

5

12

9

12

8

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Asylum seeker immigration

Australians 14+

 

Analysis by Voting Intention

July

2010

Oct
2015

Oct 18-20,
2016

Electors

L-NP

ALP

Greens

One
Nation#

Other#

Can’t

say#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support

52

71

66

65

59

70

91

43

57

39

Oppose

39

21

25

26

30

21

3

52

33

37

Can’t say

9

8

9

9

11

9

6

5

10

24

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

# Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.

 

Analysis by Sex and Age

Oct 18-20,
2016

Men

Women

18-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support

66

65

66

77

68

63

49

Oppose

25

24

26

14

23

29

40

Can’t say

9

11

8

9

9

8

11

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


 

Analysis by States & Regions

Oct 18-20,
2016

Capital

Cities

Country

Areas

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA

WA

Tas

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support

66

72

61

63

60

64

70

64

69

Oppose

25

17

32

27

30

24

28

24

23

Can’t say

9

11

7

10

10

12

2

12

8

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Skilled migrant immigration

Australians 14+

 

Analysis by Voting Intention

July

2010

Oct
2015

Oct 18-20,
2016

Electors

L-NP

ALP

Greens

One
Nation#

Other#

Can’t

say#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support

88

89

77

77

81

74

94

44

83

51

Oppose

10

8

18

18

14

19

-

51

17

47

Can’t say

2

3

5

5

5

7

6

5

-

2

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

11

100

100

# Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.

 

Analysis by Sex and Age

Oct 18-20,
2016

Men

Women

18-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support

77

81

73

75

78

79

77

Oppose

18

14

22

20

20

14

22

Can’t say

5

5

5

5

2

7

1

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


 

Analysis by States & Regions

Oct 18-20,
2016

Capital

Cities

Country

Areas

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA

WA

Tas

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support

77

86

70

88

76

84

87

78

46

Oppose

18

9

25

8

19

12

13

19

42

Can’t say

5

5

5

4

5

4

-

3

12

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Family reunion immigration

Australians 14+

 

Analysis by Voting Intention

July

2010

Oct
2015

Oct 18-20,
2016

Electors

L-NP

ALP

Greens

One
Nation#

Other#

Can’t

say#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support

75

79

74

74

70

82

94

26

65

65

Oppose

16

16

21

20

22

13

5

66

26

25

Can’t say

9

5

5

6

8

5

1

8

9

10

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

# Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.

 

Analysis by Sex and Age

Oct 18-20,
2016

Men

Women

18-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support

74

71

77

74

75

80

61

Oppose

21

24

19

   25

16

17

32

Can’t say

5

5

4

1

9

3

7

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


 

Analysis by States & Regions

Oct 18-20,
2016

Capital

Cities

Country

Areas

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA

WA

Tas

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support

74

84

66

67

82

76

73

77

68

Oppose

21

12

29

22

13

18

26

18

32

Can’t say

5

4

5

11

5

6

1

5

-

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%

500

±4.5

±3.9

±2.7

±1.9

1,000

±3.2

±2.7

±1.9

±1.4

1,500

±2.6

±2.2

±1.5

±1.1

2,000

±2.2

±1.9

±1.3

±1.0


For further information:

Contact

Office

Mobile

Gary Morgan:

+61 3 9224 5213

+61 411 129 094

Michele Levine:

+61 3 9224 5215

+61 411 129 093