Our regular polling of voting intentions shows that the status quo prevails. Generally-speaking voters are grumpy with both sides. Greens and Labor voters are focussed on climate change and services. Liberal voters are focused on the economy and debt. This concern is also shared by One Nation voters.
One Nation voters are also concerned about issues to do with migration into our country.
Energy makes a debut appearance as a major issue. The context in which it is used tends to be that of moving to a sustainable energy system. Security is also another new addition to significant words. Depending on who uses it, it tends to have different meanings. A Labor voter is most likely to use it in the context of either “energy security” or “job security”, whereas Liberal or One Nation voters tend to use it in the sense of “national security”.
We surveyed on issues to do with housing. We wanted to know whether respondents thought it was a good time to buy, what they thought were the major issues to do with affordability, and whether housing was an electoral issue for them, and an issue for the country.
The housing industry has lost the argument on negative gearing with it ranking ahead of measures to increase supply. Out of eight possible measures, 24% ranked limiting negative gearing the top priority to increase affordability, compared to 20% ranking increasing supply as their top priority.
- Taxing purchases by foreign buyers ranked surprisingly highly. It was third most popular first priority to increase affordability. However, when we looked at first and second preferences to increase affordability, 39% ranked negative gearing first or second, and 38% taxing foreign buyers. Supply was 30% on this basis, and increasing capital gains 28%.
- Solutions which bridge the deposit gap were ranked last in importance. Only 3% put allowing first home purchases to use part of their super for a deposit as a priority in increasing housing affordability, while 5% nominated government first home owner grants.
- Solutions are heavily influenced by voting intention. 46% of Labor voters and 45% of Greens put limiting negative gearing as their top priority. Increasing supply was the preference for 39% of Liberal voters. 25% of One Nation voters wanted to tax foreign buyers. (However One Nation voters’ top preference to solve housing affordability was to decrease the rate of immigration with 47% of them selecting this as their top housing affordability priority).
- There was also a lot of pessimism about the housing market. Only 21% thought it was a good time to buy a dwelling to live in, and 20% a good time to buy a house as an investment. (However, our qualitative research showed that many people distinguished between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and the rest of the country, where it was thought that housing was more affordable, and maybe even cheap).
- Housing affordability is not a real vote changer – only 16% said they could change their vote on it.
- Housing is still overwhelmingly seen as important for Australia’s future, with 72% nominating it as important.