Australians oppose allowing dual citizens to run for Federal office

July 26, 2017, 7:47 AM GMT+0

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is beating former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the popularity stakes, and Australians oppose changing the constitution to allow dual citizens to run for Federal office, according to the latest YouGov-Fifty Acres poll. It comes just after Turnbull announced a major overhaul of Australia’s defence and security operations, and a third Senator Matt Canavan resigned from Cabinet after discovering he holds dual citizenship - the constitution disqualifies candidates from election if they hold dual citizenship.

  • Turnbull is seen as more electable (30% compared to 14% for Abbott), a stronger leader (23% compared to 19%), and in touch with the concerns of ordinary Australians (20% compared to 19%).
  • More people think Turnbull “Represents what the Liberal party stands for” than Abbott - at 26% to 19% respectively.
  • More than 4 in 10 Coalition voters (43%) think Turnbull best represents what the Liberal party stands for compared to just 21% who think it applies more to Abbott.

The poll also tested people’s opinions of 8 leading Australian politicians, finding Abbott was the least popular of the bunch.

  • Most survey respondents viewed Abbott unfavourably at 56%, while just 34% had a favourable view of him.
  • South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon was the only politician to get a net positive score, with 50% viewing him favourably.
  • Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull performed slightly better than opposition leader Bill Shorten, with 45% viewing him favourably, compared to 42% having a favourable view of Shorten.

The poll found Australians oppose changing the constitution to allow a person to run for Federal office if they hold dual citizenship.

  • 48% oppose the change compared to 37% who would support it.
  • There is slightly more support amongst Green voters with 53% saying they would support the change compared to just 29% who oppose it - two Greens Senators, Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam, were recently forced to resign on discovering they were dual citizens.

Meanwhile, the two-party preferred poll found the Coalition and Labor are neck and neck, with each at 50% in the two-party preference.

  • The Coalition dropped 2% and the Australian Labor Party gained 2% from the previous poll, which showed the Coalition leading on two party preference for the first time since the last election.
  • On the Primary Vote, the Coalition are on 36% (unchanged) while the ALP are on 33% (unchanged), The Greens are on 10% (down 2%) with One Nation on 8% (up 1%).

Methodology Overview

The YouGov-Fifty Acres poll takes a very different approach to ascertain how Australians think and feel. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov. Total sample size was 1,005 adults aged 18+ years. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th – 24th July 2017. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+). The survey was carried out online. YouGov has a proven record of accuracy in both US and UK politics. In the most recent UK election they were the first polling agency to correctly call the result, showing the country was heading for a hung parliament despite most other organisations showing a large lead for the Conservatives. All polling is subject to a margin of error so it is natural to see some variations from poll to poll.