Ipsos: Half Of Aussies Think “Society Is Broken”

Ipsos: Half Of Aussies Think “Society Is Broken”

Half of Australians believe ‘society is broken’ and the ‘country is in decline’, while six in 10 think the economy is rigged towards the nation’s elite, Ipsos’ new global survey has found.

The survey, which was conducted in November and December 2023 to examine global perceptions of populism and anti-elitism, showed 50 per cent of Australians believe ‘society is broken’ and 48 per cent believe the ‘country is in decline’.

Six in 10 Aussies think the economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful, while a third of the country still thinks the nation would be ‘stronger if we stopped immigration.’

When it comes to referendums, the nation is firmly divided – half think political issues should be decided by referendum voting; half disagree. That figure is below the global average of 58 per cent in support of referendums.

Key Australian findings

  • Half of Australians believe ‘our society is broken’ – slightly below the global average (57 per cent).
  • Almost half (48 per cent) of Australians believe ‘our country is in decline’. The figure is above the global average (58 per cent), with only four other countries more optimistic about their nation (Mexico 45 per cent, Indonesia 42 per cent, Poland 36 per cent and Singapore 30 per cent).
  • Two thirds (65 per cent) of Australians believe ‘the economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful’.
  • More than half (57 per cent) of Australians agree that ‘traditional parties and politicians don’t care about people like me’. The figure is more positive than the global average (64 per cent), with only Sweden (51 per cent), the Netherlands (44 per cent) and Singapore (43 per cent) less likely to agree with this statement.
  • Two thirds (67 per cent) of Australians believe that ‘Australia needs a strong leader to take the country back from the rich and powerful’, while over half (52 per cent), think the nation needs a ‘strong leader willing to break the rules.’
  • Australia is below the global average (58 per cent), when it comes to deciding political issues via referendum, sitting at 50 per cent.
  • A third (34 per cent) of Australians believe ‘Australia would be stronger if we stopped immigration. This is significantly behind the global average (43 per cent).
  • Australians are also less likely than their global partners (59 per cent) to believe that ‘when jobs are scarce, employers should prioritise hiring people of this country over immigrants’ (51 per cent).
  • When it comes to public spending, Australia is more likely to support increased taxes to pay for additional public spending (21 per cent, compared to 19 per cent globally)

Ipsos Australia director, Jessica Elgood, said: “The findings from the study provide a fascinating insight into the current state of our thinking about Australian society and the Government. We are not as consumed by the idea of Australia being as ‘broken’ as many other countries, and we’re less likely to agree that our elected representatives do not have our interests at heart. We’re also less concerned than other parts of the world that immigrants are threatening our well-being. Both of these results are reassuring and speak to the health of our political system and economy. But, despite not perceiving our society to be as troubled as other countries, we are equally, or more, enthralled by the need for a strong leader, willing to break the rules, to fix our country.”




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