Australian voters rethinking immigration in wake of extended border closures, poll suggests

Interesting shifts:

Australia’s prolonged international border closure appears to have lowered the political temperature around immigration, with the number of voters believing levels are too high dropping from 56% in January 2019, and 64% the year before that, to 37% in the latest Guardian Essential survey.

While the pandemic has shifted the dynamics of the debate, the latest poll of 1,781 respondents suggests immigration remains a divisive issue. Migration is back on the political agenda because both the federal and state governments have flagged a rethink of the size and mix of Australia’s migration program once the border reopens.

In the latest Guardian Essential survey, more than half of respondents (52%) say migration levels are either too low or about right, while 37% say too high, and 11% are undecided. Just over half the sample (51%) agrees that immigration is vital for Australia’s business and economy (20% are opposed that view).

But 63% of respondents also believe that increasing immigration levels would add more pressure on the housing system and infrastructure (only 11% disagreed).

While half the Guardian Essential sample (50%) thinks boosting immigration will help businesses recover from the economic shock of the pandemic by giving them the skilled labour they need (22% disagree) – a majority of respondents are evidently not convinced that immigration helps Australia deal with skills shortages as the population ages (only 49% agree with that proposition and 22% disagreed).

Source: Australian voters rethinking immigration in wake of extended border closures, poll suggests

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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