The biggest and most in-depth survey ever conducted of Australians’ opinions on climate change has found a majority of voters in every one of the nation’s 151 federal electorates believes the Morrison government should be doing more to tackle climate change.

The YouGov poll, conducted for the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), found not one electorate where there was majority support for the government’s plans for new gas and coal-fired power. Across Australia, most voters want more renewable energy.

The poll found:

  • One-in-four voters (28%) rate climate change as the most important issue to determine their vote at the next federal election, while another 39% rate it as important, making climate important to 67% of voters.
  • One-in-three (29%) voters in inner metro electorates and one-in-four (26%) voters in rural electorates say climate change is the most important issue for them at the next election.
  • Half (50%) of Coalition voters want greater action on climate change and one-in-five Coalition voters say it is the issue that will determine their vote.
  • Six out of ten voters (61%) support action to cut Australia’s greenhouse emissions by at least half by 2030.
  • Nationally, 71% of voters do not see coal and gas as part of Australia’s future energy mix, with a majority in every seat rejecting plans for the government to build new gas and coal-fired power plants.
  • 67% of voters think the Morrison government should pay more attention to expert advice on climate change.
  • A majority in the Hunter Valley coal region of NSW and in the Queensland ‘coal seats’ of Flynn, Maranoa, Capricornia, Kennedy and Dawson do not believe new coal and gas plants should be built to supply Australia’s future energy needs.

“Across the country, Australians are experiencing climate damage and demanding action from their elected representatives,” said ACF Chief Executive Officer Kelly O’Shanassy.

“This poll reveals a groundswell of voters prioritising climate change as a key election issue in response to longer droughts and heatwaves, devastating bushfires and damaging floods. 

“This polling shatters the myth there’s one view in the bush about climate change and another in the city.

“One-in-three voters in inner metro electorates and one-in-four voters in rural electorates say climate change is the most important issue for them at the next election.

“The poll shows Australians reject the government’s gas-led recovery.

“Australia is a diverse nation but united in our desire for climate action. 

“It’s time for the Morrison government to get on with building clean industries and jobs for Australians and cutting climate pollution this decade.”

The poll was conducted on a nationally representative sample of more than 15,000 Australian voters aged 18+ and used multilevel regression with poststratification (MRP) analysis for the first time in Australia, after the technique’s stunning success in predicting the results of the British election. 

The MRP tool combines census data such as population density, education and household income with polling data to construct an estimate of how issues would play out in that specific geographic area. It allows for the poll to be broken down by electorates as well as demographics in a statistically reliable way.

YouGov Associate Director Ben Oxenham said the MRP method was an innovative way of reliably mapping community sentiment across electorates.

“MRP is based on the understanding that people with similar characteristics behave in similar ways and it allows us to paint a much more detailed picture using our polling data,” Mr Oxenham said.

“This substantial poll shows that there are a range of factors that contribute to voters’ attitudes to climate change action, as well as where they live.”

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Journalists with enquiries may contact Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email [email protected]