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Voters back Labor premiers over Berejiklian and PM on outbreak response

The Resolve Political Monitor surveyed 1,607 people during the period from August 17 to 21, producing results with a margin of error of 2.5 per cent and showing majority support for the national plan to ease restrictions.

The question to voters nationwide was: “In recent weeks there have been COVID outbreaks in several states. How do you think each of the following people have handled these outbreaks?”

On this, 12 per cent said Mr Morrison had handled it “very well” and 26 per cent said he had handled “well” while 18 per cent said “badly” and another 18 per cent said “very badly” with 26 per cent neutral.

Only 7 per cent said Ms Berejiklian had handled it “very well” and 19 per cent said “well”, while 25 per cent said she had handled it “badly” and 31 per cent said “very badly” with 19 per cent neutral.

Mr Andrews, however, had support from 20 per cent of respondents saying he had handled things “very well” and 32 per cent saying “well” while only 14 per cent said “badly” and 11 per cent said “very badly” with another 23 per cent neutral.

The results were similar for Ms Palaszczuk with 19 per cent saying she had done “very well” and 32 per cent saying “well” while 11 per cent said “badly” and 9 per cent said “very badly” with another 29 per cent undecided.

Support for state leaders was markedly higher on home ground, however, and the Queensland premier had the strongest performance with 62 per cent support from respondents in her state who said she had done well or very well.

Mr Andrews enjoyed the same home advantage, with 57 per cent of Victorian respondents saying he had done well or very well, while 26 per cent said he had done badly or very badly and 16 per cent were neutral.

Ms Berejiklian did not enjoy such strong support but the approval was greater among the NSW respondents than it was among the survey group nationwide. Within her state, 44 per cent said she had done well or very well and 37 per cent said she had done badly or very badly, with 18 per cent neutral.

The results within each state have a higher margin of error than the national results, however, because the sample sizes were subsets of the national group of 1,607 voters.

Resolve director Jim Reed said the findings on the NSW restrictions showed similar views within the state and across the nation.

“The vast majority believe harder restrictions should have been put in place earlier, in hindsight,” he said.

Mr Reed cautioned, however, that some of the restrictions changed during the online survey.

Voters were given several options on the most recent NSW measures including one saying “this is still too little too late – NSW should be even stricter than this” and another saying “this should have been done sooner, but NSW restrictions are now what they should be”.

On this, 39 per cent of people nationwide said it was “too little too late” and 40 per cent said the restrictions were what they should be but should have been done sooner.

The overall result for these two responses was similar among NSW respondents, at 78 per cent.

Respondents were also given the option of supporting the proposition that “the previous restrictions were enough, and these changes now go too far” or that “restrictions in NSW were always too harsh, and this just makes them worse” as well as the option of saying they were undecided.

The results were that 7 per cent of people nationwide said the restrictions went too far, 4 per cent said they were always too harsh and 11 per cent were undecided.

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