Senator Penny Wong has emerged in a recent poll as the political leader with the highest Net Trust Score (Trust Score – Distrust Score). She was followed by Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, who came to the forefront of Australian politics as a lead spokesperson for the successful ‘No’ campaign in the October Voice referendum.
Penny Wong retains the position she held in March 2022. Nampijinpa Price and Treasurer Jim Chalmers also record more trust than distrust.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton emerges as the most distrusted politician, while PM Anthony Albanese also moves into Net Distrust territory, having been a trusted leader in 2022.
Australia’s most distrusted politician is Peter Dutton, up from second place last year. While former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, despite virtual invisibility, is the second most distrusted.
Crucially, Anthony Albanese has gone from the second most trusted politician in Australia to the third most distrusted, with the exclusion of Clive Palmer who, as a former politician, is not ranked.
Rounding out the top five are Barnaby Joyce and soon-to-be former Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Interestingly, last year none of the most distrusted were Labor politicians. This year half are. There’s no doubt, being in Government shines a light on leaders.
While Prime Minister Albanese recorded more distrust than trust, his trust levels were higher and distrust levels lower than Opposition Leader Peter Dutton.
Some reasons Australians gave for trusting Albanese and Dutton include:
“His actions show integrity and a genuine commitment to improving Australia.” [Anthony Albanese]
“He is being transparent and plain-talking. Logical and heart on his sleeve.” [Anthony Albanese]
“He is the only politician with integrity and who shows leadership. I am disgusted with our PM who may as well live overseas for all he cares.” [Peter Dutton]
“Exposed the Voice for what it really was and is trying to keep a very wayward Labor Party to account.” [Peter Dutton]
Some reasons Australians gave for distrusting Albanese and Dutton include:
“Albanese constantly belittles the country and regional areas by changing things that work and implementing things that will ruin our country.” [Anthony Albanese]
“Made bad decisions for Australia, leaving all of Australia to struggle to put food on the table or rooves over their heads.” [Anthony Albanese]
“Self serving with very little compassion for ordinary people.” [Peter Dutton]
“Peter Dutton is only interested in what he sees as political gain. Doesn’t understand the word cooperation or care for what is best for country or its people.” [Peter Dutton]
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia). Risk Monitor, 12-month average to June 2023.
Base: Australians 14+, Latest 12-month average n=25,662. Profit motivations n=5,658.
Andrew Forrest is the only business leader to record a Net Trust Score. QANTAS leadership, including former CEO Alan Joyce recorded the Highest Net Distrust Score, surpassing Gina Rinehart.
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says while Dutton is more far more distrusted than Albanese, many Labor ministers, including the Prime Minister are more distrusted than trusted, making them vulnerable.
“The high levels of trust in Senator Penny Wong show that she is an asset to the government. While the high levels of trust in Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price help to explain how she was able to cut through during the Voice debate, and convince undecided voters to vote no.”
“The very high levels of distrust in Peter Dutton, and others in the Opposition make it unlikely they would be able to win government in the current climate.
“Prime Minister Albanese has a Net Distrust Score of -3, while Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has a Net Distrust Score of -14 – that’s almost five times worse than the Prime Minister.
“This is remarkably similar to the picture immediately before the Victorian election, held just 13 months ago, and puts Albanese in a strong position electorally.
“Our analysis of trust and distrust prior to the State election showed Daniel Andrews was always going to win. Opposition Leader Matthew Guy had no chance with a Net Distrust Score of -15 – virtually identical to Peter Dutton.
“On the other side, Anthony Albanese has a Net Distrust Score of -3 (2 better than Daniel Andrews).
“In an even more deeply worrying trend for Peter Dutton, his scores are moving very close to Scott Morrison’s just weeks before the Coalition suffered a disastrous defeat at the 2022 Federal election.
“Having pondered over the volumes of different responses, words, expressions, and emotions, I believe the issue of distrust with our current two leaders is much less personal than we’ve seen previously, and more ideological.
“The leaders are proxies for the great political divide we are seeing emerge on so many issues – The Voice and Gaza being the most-high profile.”
Michele will present the findings from this research in more detail in this week’s extended Weekly Update video. Subscribe to Roy Morgan’s Market Research Update to receive the Weekly Update newsletter.
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Australians surveyed were each asked the following questions:
Question 1: “Which government and business leaders do you trust?”
Question 2: “And why do you trust them?”
Question 3: “Which government and business leaders do you distrust?”
Question 4: “And why do you distrust them?”
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. Margin of error 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. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.
|40% – 60%
|25% or 75%
|10% or 90%
|5% or 95%