Most Australians want banking royal commission – Guardian Essential poll
A majority of Australians would support a royal commission into the banks, with this week’s Guardian Essential poll showing 64% in favour, including 62% of Coalition supporters.
With Barnaby Joyce holding out the prospect that the Nationals might formally support an inquiry into the banks when the party room meets next week, and with dissident parliamentary numbers for the proposal building, the new poll finds public support for a banking royal commission has stayed constant for two years.
Support is highest among Labor voters at 72%, and people intending to vote for someone other than the major parties (71%), but there is also clear majority support among Coalition voters and Greens voters – 62%.
The other major political issue of the week, the legalisation of samesex marriage, is also continuing to divide Australians.
With the Senate debate now moving to the stage of considering amendments, 32% of the Guardian Essential poll sample believe that same-sex marriage legislation should include religious protections – the position being pushed by Turnbull government conservatives.
But a larger proportion of the sample (47%) think it is acceptable to address the question of religious protections in a second legislative process, which is the position being advanced by many Liberal supporters of same-sex marriage, including Dean Smith, the architect of the private members bill currently before the Senate.
Among Coalition voters, support for the legislation including religious protections stands at 39% and support for pushing the issue of religious protections off to a separate process stands at 46%.
Among Labor voters, 27% support religious protections being implemented through the current process and 52% want the issue addressed in a separate process.
With the Turnbull government in Canberra continuing to absorb the political impact of the Queensland election, this week’s poll of 1,805 voters continues to have Labor solidly in front in the national political contest.
Labor leads the Coalition federally on the two-party preferred measure 54% to 46%, which is the same result as last week.
Voters were also asked a series of questions in this week’s poll about economic issues and about energy policy, with state energy ministers last week agreeing that further work be carried out on the Turnbull government’s national energy guarantee.
The energy question again underscored public support for renewable energy, and for government subsidies for low-emissions technologies, with only 12% of the sample agreeing with the statement that government’s should take action to slow down the transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
Almost half the sample, 49%, said they thought governments should provide incentives and subsidies to speed up the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, and 16% thought the market and consumers should determine speed of transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
The questions about economic issues shows Australians are concerned about rising energy prices (88% of the sample concerned, including 56% very concerned), about housing affordability (80% concerned, 50% very concerned), about food prices and inflation more generally (83%/44%).
Voters were least concerned about cuts in penalty rates (57%/28%), regulation of banks (58%/27%) and government debt (60%/26%).
Only 33% of the sample thought the economy was travelling well, while 24% described the performance of the economy as poor. Voters were split about whether the economy was heading in the right or wrong direction – 31% thought the right direction, 39% thought the wrong direction and 30% didn’t know.
Coalition voters were more likely to think the economy is heading in the right direction (52%) than Labor (26%), the Greens (25%) and independent/other voters (17%), and men were more likely to think that the economy was heading in the right direction (35%) than women (28%).
Malcolm Turnbull speaking at a birthday lunch for Westpac. The Guardian Essential poll says 64% of Australians want a royal commission into the banks. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP