Ahead of an official visit by Vice President Mike Pence, Australia Institute polling of 1420 Australian residents* reveals that 60% feel Donald Trump becoming US President is a negative outcome for the world.
48% said Australia should be more independent from USA on military and security matters with only 15% of respondents supporting a closer alliance.
The poll showed a majority of voters for all parties except One Nation think Trump’s election was a negative outcome.
“Most Australians have a negative view of Trump as a politician, as a world leader and as an ally,” Deputy Director of The Australia Institute, Ebony Bennett said.
“Half of voters think Australia should be more independent from the US on military and security issues, something the Turnbull government should heed as the Trump administration escalates its military involvement in Syria and with North Korea.
“As a nation with a strong alliance with the United States, Australia is well positioned to provide frank and fearless counsel to the Trump administration.”
Senior ministers have previously expressed concerns with Trump prior to the election, including Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne, describing rise of Trump as “terrifying”, making US democracy look “kind of weird”.
The polling reveals that Australians are sceptical of Trump’s claim to be fighting for ordinary Americans, and believe that the President will weaken the rule of law and democracy in the US.
“Australian politicians will undoubtedly talk about ‘shared values’ during the Vice President’s visit. But they should also recognise where our values and interests differ, and not be afraid to stand up for ourselves,” Bennett said.
Tanya Martin Office Manager
Jake Wishart Senior Media Adviser