The 2018 Poll is the fourteenth annual poll by the Lowy Institute. As always, the poll incorporates questions about our most important relationships, including those with the United States and China, and asks Australians to consider how much they trust various global powers, as well as the degree of confidence they have in some of the world’s political leaders. The poll probes Australian attitudes to the US alliance and the prospect of joint military action with the United States under the Trump administration. We also ask Australians for their opinions on topical issues such as Chinese investment, climate change and renewable energy, immigration, and the contentious question of foreign influence in Australian politics.
Support for the US alliance remains firm, although trust in the US has fallen to its lowest level in our polling history, and most Australians have little confidence in President Donald Trump.
Despite heated public debate about foreign interference in Australia’s political processes, Australians seem more concerned about Chinese investment than influence. Only 41% of Australians view foreign interference in our political processes as a ‘critical threat’, but there has been a striking rise in the proportion of the Australian population (to 72%) who say the Australian government is ‘allowing too much investment from China’.
There has been a sharp spike in anti-immigration sentiment. For the first time in Lowy Institute polling, a majority (54%, a 14-point rise from 2017) of Australians say the ‘total number of migrants coming to Australia each year’ is too high. Australians also appear to be questioning the impact of immigration on the national identity.