An election poll by Australia Zone reveals varying degrees of support for a selection of proposed reforms.
Australia Zone polled 500 Western Australians aged 16 years or more from 20 January to 1 February through Pollfish. Responses were weighted by age, gender and location to determine the aggregate results. The poll, which estimated that Labor would receive 54% of first preference votes in tonight’s state election, also revealed significant support in Western Australia for climate action, republicanism, the abolition of payroll tax and the prohibition of sex-selective abortion, as well as moderate support for voluntary voting and secession from the federation.
According to the poll, approximately 66% of Western Australians aged 16 and over agree that the state government “must do more to address climate change.” Only 12% disagree with the statement, indicating broad impatience with the slow pace of climate action under Mark McGowan’s conservative Labor government. Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup has promised “the largest renewable energy project in Australia’s history” if the Liberal Party forms government, planning to close all publicly owned coal-fired power stations by 2025 and reach net zero emissions by 2030. McGowan, whose climate change policy is less ambitious, has harshly criticised Kirkup’s plan, warning of “many, many billions of extra debt” and “rolling blackouts across the state” – two common refrains of pro-coal politicians.
Secession from the federation is a more divisive issue, with 39% in support and 36% opposed. Secession has long been discussed in Western Australia, and this year, a single-issue pro-secession party named the ‘WAxit Party’ is contesting the state election. The major parties, however, have not proposed secession.
46% believe payroll tax should be abolished, but 38% neither agree nor disagree with the concept. The Liberal Party has proposed payroll tax relief of up to $30,000 per year for more than 5,000 small businesses. Mark McGowan’s Labor government has already cut payroll tax, but refuses to go any further.
On sex-selective abortion, the public is more united. 56% strongly agree, and a further 15% somewhat agree, that the “predicted sex or gender of an infant should not be a legal basis for abortion.” Just 7% disagree with the statement, yet the issue has been largely avoided during the election campaign. In neighbouring South Australia, the state parliament recently passed a bill that will prohibit “termination of a pregnancy for the purposes of sex-selection.”
There is also strong republican sentiment in Western Australia, where 54% agree that the Governor of Western Australia “should be democratically elected, not appointed.” Currently, the Governor is appointed by the Monarch, on the advice of the Premier. A more divisive electoral issue is compulsory voting. 38% agree that voting in state elections “should be voluntary, not compulsory.” 46% disagree with the statement, but the survey found that most opposition to voluntary voting comes from older Western Australians, whereas those aged 16 to 44 are more likely to support it.