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New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has highest ‘Net Trust Score’ of all political leaders while Australian PM Scott Morrison has a ‘Net Distrust Score’ to overcome

Source: Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey conducted on March 18-19, 2020. Base: Australians aged 14+. n=974.

A special Roy Morgan survey on ‘Trust’ and ‘Distrust’ of government leaders shows New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern scores the highest ‘Net Trust Score’ of all – meaning the ‘Trust’ felt toward the New Zealand leader far outweighs the ‘Distrust’ – according to a special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey of 974 Australians aged 14+ conducted over the last two days.

People surveyed in Australia were asked ‘Which government leaders do you trust. List as many as you can think of?’ and also ‘Which government leaders do you distrust. List as many as you can think of?’ By subtracting distrust from trust we arrive at a Net Trust Score (if trust outweighs distrust) or Net Distrust Score (if distrust outweighs trust).

Women dominate the Net Trust Scores filling four out of the top five positions.  Other leaders to score highly on Net Trust include Opposition Leader in the Senate Penny Wong, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former ALP Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek.

Top 10 Political Leaders by Net Trust Score

Source: Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey conducted on March 18-19, 2020.
Base: Australians aged 14+. n=974.


Scott Morrison has a ‘Net Distrust Score’ alongside colleague Peter Dutton

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is mentioned as a ‘Trusted’ leader by more Australians than any other. However, unfortunately for Morrison, there are far more Australians that have a ‘Distrust’ of the Prime Minister than ‘Trust’ him – leaving the Prime Minister with a ‘Net Distrust Score’

Other prominent political leaders that have ‘Net Distrust Scores’ include Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, US President Donald Trump and former National Party Leader Barnaby Joyce.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s trust has been built on taking decisive actions in many challenging situations since becoming Prime Minister:

“New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has demonstrated impressive leadership since taking New Zealand’s top job in responding with empathy to the Christchurch mosque shootings a year ago and the tragedy caused by the eruption of White Island last year. Most recently, Ardern’s decisive leadership was demonstrated with New Zealand becoming the first country to impose harsh restriction on all foreign nationals from entering the country in response to the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“In contrast our own Prime Minister Scott Morrison faced a ‘wall of criticism’ for his handling of the Summer bushfire crisis and this has continued for many with his handling of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“Given the current uncertainties, it is important Australians trust our Prime Minister. Although the results show Morrison is trusted by a wide variety of Australians there are far more that distrust the PM meaning he has a significant ‘Net Distrust Score’.

“One of the most striking results of this unprompted research assessing opinions of political leaders is the leading performance of many of Australia’s female politicians. As well as New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern on top, Opposition Leader in the Senate Penny Wong, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former ALP Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek are all in the top five. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard is also not far behind in eighth position despite living in the United Kingdom for the past few years.

“Additional detail on the reasons Australians have given for ‘Trusting’ and also ‘Distrusting’ this diverse range of political leaders will be released in coming days.”


For further details contact:

Michele Levine – direct: 03 9224 5215 | mobile: 0411 129 093

Michele.Levine@roymorgan.com