2015 Lowy Institute polling: Indonesia and the death penalty

7 May 2015

Overview: New polling commissioned by the Lowy Institute following the executions in Indonesia of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran last week suggests that Australians have a strong preference for a restrained diplomatic response from the Australian Government.

‘Private diplomatic protests’ are the course of action most Australian adults would prefer their Government to take, with 59% agreeing with this approach when presented with five potential Government responses following the execution of an Australian citizen overseas.

Only a minority (42%) say that Australia ‘should recall Australia’s ambassador’, despite the Government announcing the recall of Australia’s Ambassador to Jakarta last week and his subsequent return to Australia on 4 May. There is scant support for suspending Australian aid projects (28% agreeing) or suspending military and law enforcement cooperation (27%). The least supported action is for applying trade sanctions (24% agreeing).  Attitudes have shifted very little since Lowy Institute polling on this question earlier in the year, with the exception of the preference for private diplomatic protests (down from 73% support before the executions) and for recalling Australia’s ambassador (up from 33% before the executions).  

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