Tony Abbott Is Winning The Climate Battle Down Under

  • Date: 17/07/18
  • The Australian

Tony Abbott recently claimed it was about time Australia pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Support for Mr Abbott’s position is growing with a three-point rise to 48 per cent of voters claiming to be in favour of withdrawal if it led to lower power prices.

Malcolm Turnbull is winning over voters with his claims the government will force down power prices, with a special Newspoll showing the Coalition ahead of Labor as the most trusted party to deliver lower priced and more reliable power.

However, support for Australia to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement is also hardening as the electorate becomes increasingly concerned about energy costs, with almost two thirds ranking it ahead of emissions reduction as a priority for government.

The poll on energy prices and climate change, conducted for The Australian between July 12 and 15, shows a majority of voters backed the government over Labor on managing energy.

The poll, showing the Coalition leading 40 per cent to 34 per cent, marks an eight-point turnaround in voter sentiment since May when a shock Newspoll showed more people believed Labor would be better at managing Australia’s energy supply and power prices than the Coalition.

The May poll was used in a Coalition party room stoush to run down the government’s national energy guarantee and label it electoral poison because of the perception it was pro-renewable. Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has since argued that the government’s efforts had forced wholesale power prices down by 25 per cent over the past year with retail prices also starting to show downward movement. The latest poll shows Labor, Greens and One Nation voters being won over to the government’s argument rather than sceptical Coalition voters.

 

Labor voters’ support for the government rose two points to 11 per cent while support for Mr Shorten fell from 73 per cent to 69 per cent. Among Greens voters there was a five-point rise to 20 per cent in backing for Mr Turnbull over the issue.

The government’s ability to win over One Nation voters has been significant, with a lift of 12 points to 42 per cent in support for the Coalition’s efforts, compared to 23 per cent for Labor.

Tony Abbott recently upped the ante in his rhetoric against Mr Turnbull’s energy policy stance, claiming it was about time Australia followed Donald Trump’s lead and pulled out of the Paris Agreement on climate change targets, which he had signed up to as prime minister. Support for Mr Abbott’s position has grown since October last year with a three-point rise to 48 per cent of voters claiming to be in favour of withdrawal if it led to lower power prices.

Surprisingly a quarter of Greens voters and 37 per cent of Labor voters believed that cheaper power prices were more important than the climate change agreement to reduce emissions and were in favour of withdrawing.

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