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64% of Australians want Asylum Seekers arriving by Boat to be returned & told to apply through normal refugee channels

These are the main insights from the special Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted on the evenings of July 20/21, 2010, with an Australia-wide cross-section of 719 men and women electors aged 18 or over.

Julia Gillard has rejected the drive for a bigger Australia instead talking about wanting a more sustainable Australia — sharing the view of most Australians. The majority of electors — 78% — want to aim for a population of less than 35 million by 2040 according to a special telephone Morgan Poll on immigration and population conducted over the last two nights, July 20/21, 2010.

However immigration per se is not the problem in the minds of the Australian electorate — the majority (58%) being comfortable with immigration remaining the same (47%) or increasing (11%) while 40% want immigration levels reduced and just 2% can’t say. Importantly, more Australian electors believe immigration has a positive effect on Australia (33%) than a negative effect (30%) while 21% believe immigration has little effect and 16% can’t say.

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Australian electors support both Skilled migrant immigration (88%) and Family reunion migration (75%).

However, given the broadly negative debate about Muslims and Asylum seekers — it is perhaps surprising that a majority of Australian electors support both Muslim immigration (54% support vs. 35% opposed) and Asylum seeker immigration (52% support vs. 39% opposed).

However, a political divide emerges for these two immigrant categories — whereby ALP and Greens supporters are in favour, L-NP supporters on average oppose both Muslim and Asylum seeker immigration.

On the question of ‘Boat People’ the majority of Australians (64%) believe asylum seekers arriving by boat should be ‘returned and told to apply through normal refugee channels’ — only 24% want ‘boat people’ to be allowed to apply for immigration as now. 75% of L-NP voters want the ‘boat people’ returned as do 56% of ALP voters and 50% of Greens voters.

 

Gary Morgan says:

“Despite the recent political debate about ‘boat people’ and discussion over the Pacific Solution; and the debate over immigration levels and crowding, Australian views haven’t changed in the last four months since March 2010.

“In fact, what is surprising is that despite the debate about immigration levels in Australia, if immigration continues at the levels of recent years, when combined with the natural increase Australia’s population would exceed 35 million by 2040 in any case.”

 

These are the main insights from the special Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted on the evenings of July 20/21, 2010, with an Australia-wide cross-section of 719 men and women electors aged 18 or over.

 

Immigration Levels

When Australians were asked: “Over the last year (2008/09) about 170,000 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?”

Only 11% of Australians said that immigration should be ‘increased,’ while 40% say it should be ‘reduced’ and 47% say it should ‘remain about the same.’ Only 4% of Australians can’t say.

 

Electors

 

July

1952*

July

1955*

May

1956*

Jan

1959*

Feb

1969*

Oct

1970*

March

2010

July

2010

 

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Remain about the same

29

39

40

33

45

45

45

47

Increased

14

10

8

26

19

12

9

11

Remain the same or Increased

43

49

48

59

64

57

54

58

Reduced

52

45

45

34

26

38

41

40

Can’t say

5

6

7

7

10

5

5

2

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

* In 1952 immigration level asked about was not stated; 1955 & 1956 — 125,000; 1958 — 100,000; 1969 — 160,000; 1970 — 180,000.

 

Electors

Analysis by Voting Intention

 

July

2010

ALP

L-NP

Greens

FF#

Other#

Can’t

Say#

 

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Remain about the same

47

50

44

54

54

44

23

Increased

11

13

8

18

-

3

11

Remain the same or Increased

58

63

52

72

54

47

34

Reduced

40

35

45

28

46

51

58

Can’t say

2

2

3

-

-

2

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.


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?”

 

Electors

Analysis by Voting Intention

 

March

2010

July

2010

ALP

L-NP

Greens

FF#

Other#

Can’t

Say#

 

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Better

38

33

39

24

53

5

26

31

Worse

34

30

23

40

17

51

38

32

Can’t say

(Better or Worse)

13

13

11

15

7

16

9

22

They’re changing us

85

76

73

79

77

72

73

85

Having little effect

14

21

26

18

20

21

23

9

Can’t say (Immigrants

changing us)

1

3

1

3

3

7

4

6

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

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

 

Australian Population Size

Respondents were then asked: “Australia’s population has increased by 5 million from 17 million to 22 million over the last 20 years. What population do you think we should aim to have in Australia in 30 years — that is, by 2040?”

 

Electors

Analysis by Voting Intention

 

March

2010

July

2010

ALP

L-NP

Greens

FF#

Other#

Can’t

Say#

 

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Under 22 million

6

6

6

5

8

23

2

9

22 — Under 25 million

20

18

16

19

26

13

20

13

25 — Under 30 million

35

32

32

35

18

38

38

29

30 — Under 35 million

21

22

22

20

29

7

17

25

Total under 35 million

82

78

76

79

81

81

77

76

35 million or more

9

13

15

11

12

13

13

6

Can’t say

9

9

9

10

7

6

10

18

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

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


Types of Immigration to Australia

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

Looking at different types of immigration shows that more Australians support, than oppose, varying types of immigration. When asked “Please say whether you support or oppose (insert type) of immigration” a majority of Australians supported each type of immigration.

The strongest support was for skilled immigration with 88% of Australian electors supporting skilled immigration compared to only 10% that oppose and 2% that can’t say. Family reunion immigration is also strongly supported with 75% support compared to 16% that oppose and 9% that can’t say.

Opinion was more divided — but still positive — for Muslim immigration with 54% of Australian electors supporting Muslim immigration compared to 35% that oppose and 11% that can’t say and Asylum seeker immigration with 52% supporting compared to 39% that are opposed and 9% that can’t say.

 

Skilled migrant immigration

 

Electors

Analysis by Voting Intention

 

March

2010

July

2010

ALP

L-NP

Greens

FF#

Other#

Can’t

Say#

 

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Support

87

88

89

89

87

81

92

75

Oppose

11

10

8

9

13

19

8

22

Can’t say

2

2

3

2

-

-

-

3

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

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

 

Family reunion immigration

 

Electors

Analysis by Voting Intention

 

March

2010

July

2010

ALP

L-NP

Greens

FF#

Other#

Can’t

Say#

 

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Support

77

75

79

71

79

100

70

59

Oppose

18

16

13

19

17

-

28

22

Can’t say

5

9

8

10

4

-

2

19

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

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

 

Muslim immigration

 

Electors

Analysis by Voting Intention

 

March

2010

July

2010

ALP

L-NP

Greens

FF#

Other#

Can’t

Say#

 

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Support

55

54

63

40

76

28

58

44

Oppose

36

35

25

49

21

60

36

35

Can’t say

9

11

12

11

3

12

6

21

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

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

 

Asylum seeker immigration

 

Electors

Analysis by Voting Intention

 

March

2010

July

2010

ALP

L-NP

Greens

FF#

Other#

Can’t

Say#

 

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Support

49

52

61

40

74

52

44

23

Oppose

41

39

30

51

25

48

39

48

Can’t say

10

9

9

9

1

-

17

29

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

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

 

Attitudes to Immigration of ‘Boat People’

 

Respondents were then asked: “Should asylum seekers arriving by boat be allowed to apply for immigration as now, or should they all be returned and told to apply through normal refugee channels?”

 

 

Electors

Analysis by Voting Intention

 

March

2010

July

2010

ALP

L-NP

Greens

FF#

Other#

Can’t

Say#

 

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Be returned and

apply through normal

refugee channels

64

64

56

75

50

67

72

70

As now

26

26

33

15

42

33

21

13

Other

5

5

5

5

7

-

3

8

Can’t say

5

5

6

5

1

-

4

9

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

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

 

 

For further information:

Gary Morgan:     Office +61 3 9224 5213 Mobile +61 411 129 094

Michele Levine:   Office +61 3 9224 5215 Mobile +61 411 129 093