Migration opinion turns

As recently as last month, a Morgan Poll found that the majority public support for migration that began in 1998 had been maintained. As I noted at the time, this was a little surprising given other polls were identifying concern about the consequences of population growth.

Now the latest Nielsen poll reported in the Fairfax broadsheets finds that finally the polls have turned on support for the migration program, with 54% saying that the number of migrants coming to Australia is too high. 38% say that the number is about right, while 6% say it is too low.

4 thoughts on “Migration opinion turns

  1. Since it seems unlikely that public opinion has changed significantly on this topic in a month, what these two polls show more than anything is that responses on this topic are heavily affected by the wording of the questions.

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  2. Caf – I suspect the issue is less the wording of the questions than the order of the questions. Morgan asked its migration levels question first, so it was not influenced by responses to population questions. I suspect Neilsen had a different order, and people who had said that they wanted a smaller population than that projected (51%) then felt logic-bound to support a smaller migration program.

    On the other hand, Morgan’s poll was in mid-March, and there has been a lot of debate on this issue since, so it is possible that there are genuine mind-changers being identified here. We are down 10 percentage points in a month – take off a few for margin of error and that is just about plausible.

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  3. Are the people questioned allowed to say what ‘kind’ of immigrant they want?
    Or is this crushed under the ‘dont be racist’ regime?

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  4. One question at a time, John. If you read through my ‘tolerance and prejudice’ category you’ll see reference to surveys that ask about racial and religious matters. There are also occasional questions about skilled migration, family reunion, and (more often) asylum seekers, which are reported under the ‘migrants and migration’ category.

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