Perceptions of corruption highest among One Nation, Xenophon and Independent voters: Poll

National polling has shown perceptions of corruption rate highest amongst those intending to vote for independents or minor parties such as One Nation or the Nick Xenophon Team.

The poll conducted by ReachTEL for The Australia Institute surveyed a representative sample of 2,285 residents across the country.

Question: Do you think there is corruption in federal politics?

 

Total

L/NP

Labor

Greens

NXT

ONP

Oth/Ind

Yes – a lot

55.2%

42.0%

59.5%

52.7%

68.0%

74.2%

88.9%

Yes – a little

30.1%

35.4%

29.5%

40.7%

26.0%

20.8%

10.3%

[Yes combined]

85.3%

77.4%

89.0%

93.4%

94.0%

95.0%

99.2%

No

6.7%

13.8%

4.7%

3.8%

0.0% 

1.8%

0.0% 

Don’t know or not sure

8.0%

8.8%

6.2%

2.7%

6.0%

3.2%

0.8%

While 13.8% of Coalition voters didn’t think there was any corruption in federal politics, 0% NXT, 1.8% One Nation and 0% Other/Independent agreed with them.

“This issue is bigger than travel rorts. Perceptions of corruption have the potential to fundamentally change our democracy,” Deputy Director at The Australia Institute, Ebony Bennett said.

“There is the real potential that perceptions of corruption are driving the big surge we’re seeing in Australian politics away from the major parties.”

One Nation voters also appear to have a dimmer view of federal politicians, in comparison to state politicians on perceptions of corruption.

Question: Compared to Members elected to state Parliament, do you think Members and Senators elected to federal Parliament are more likely, less likely or equally as likely to engage in corrupt behaviour?

 

Total

L/NP

Labor

Greens

NXT

ONP

Oth/Ind

More likely

23.1%

17.5%

25.0%

22.7%

26.0%

36.7%

21.4%

Equally as likely

50.7%

46.5%

53.5%

53.0%

59.0%

43.9%

67.5%

Less likely

11.8%

21.0%

8.4%

6.6%

8.0%

12.2%

7.9%

Don’t know or unsure

12.9%

11.8%

12.4%

17.1%

7.0%

7.2%

3.2%

Don’t believe politicians are susceptible to corruption

1.4%

3.1%

0.6%

0.6%

0.0% 

0.0%

0.0% 

“Government Ministers can complain all they like about the difficulty of dealing with minor parties, but unless they can show that they’ll seriously tackle this issue, they’re likely to continue losing support to the likes of Pauline Hanson,” Bennett said.

Prominent legal political figures have, in an open letter, called on the Prime Minister to establish an independent national anti-corruption watchdog. The creation of a Federal ICAC has long been favoured by minor parties and independents, including  the Greens, Nick Xenophon Team, and signatory to the open letter and member for New England, Tony Windsor.

On Monday, the leader of the opposition, Bill Shorten said: “No discussion about electoral reform and rebuilding the confidence of Australians in the political process, can take place without having an open and honest discussion about a Federal ICAC.”

Further results show Nick Xenophon voters are the most supportive of establishing an independent corruption watchdog.

Question: All Australian states have an independent corruption watchdog with the power to investigate and expose corruption among politicians and public servants in their state. There is no similar federal watchdog.

Do you support or oppose setting up a national independent corruption watchdog?

 

Total

L/NP

Labor

Greens

NXT

ONP

Oth/Ind

Support

82.3%

76.5%

88.3%

93.3%

96.0%

81.4%

96.0%

Oppose

6.6%

13.2%

2.2%

2.2%

1.0%

9.5%

2.4%

Undecided

11.0%

10.3%

9.5%

4.4%

3.0%

9.0%

1.6%

Related research

Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

0422 775 161

anna@australiainstitute.org.au