ReachTEL gives both sides of the argument something to go on in relation to ABC bias, and finds evidence of conservatism on matters vice-regal and republican.
The Fairfax papers today offer three attitudinal findings from a ReachTEL automated phone poll, which was conducted on Thursday evening from a sample of 2146 respondents:
• After Tony Abbott’s efforts to place the matter on the agenda earlier this week, a question on ABC bias finds 59.6% of respondents saying there is none. However, conservative critics of the public broadcaster can at least point to the fact that many more think it biased to Labor (32.2%) than the Coalition (8.2%). While the result at both ends may have been influenced by Abbott’s activism, it nonetheless offers an interesting supplement to the yearly ABC-commissioned Newspoll surveys, which consistently find overwhelming majorities considering its reporting to be “balanced and even-handed” without probing into respondents’ partisanship. The Sydney Morning Herald’s graphic features breakdowns by age and gender.
• Support for republicanism appears to be at a low ebb, with 39.4% in favour and 41.6% opposed. Tellingly, the 18-34 cohort joins 65-plus in recording a net negative rating (though by a considerably smaller margin), with those in between recording majorities in favour. Age and gender breakdowns here.
• There’s also a question on who is preferred out of the incumbent Governor-General and her designated successor, with 57.1% favouring Peter Cosgrove versus 42.9% for Quentin Bryce. I do wonder though about a method which requires a definite answer from all respondents to such a question, given the number that wouldn’t have an opinion.
UPDATE: And now a further finding from the poll that 52.5% agree that Labor should distance itself from the union movement”, compared with 25.6% who disagree.