Lowy Institute poll 2017

Understanding Australian attitudes to the world
International relations Public opinion Renewable energy Climate change mitigation Australia

The 2017 Poll is the thirteenth annual Poll by the Lowy Institute. As always, the Poll has incorporated a broad range of questions about some of our most important relationships, including those with the United States and China, and asked Australians to consider how much they trust various global powers. The Poll probes attitudes to the US alliance in the Trump era, as well as their feelings about the president himself. We also asked Australians for their opinions on topical issues such as climate change and renewable energy, immigration, and Australia's asylum seeker policies.

Key findings:

  • Most Australians (79%) are dissatisfied with the direction of the world and are divided about the way things are going in Australia (48% dissatisfied). Yet despite a surge in nationalism and protectionism across the West, 78% of Australians think globalisation is 'mostly good' for Australia, and most believe in the benefits of free trade.
  • Support for the US alliance remains firm, while trust in the US has fallen, and Donald Trump remains unpopular. The US has dropped to second place when Australians are asked who is their 'best friend in the world'. NZ now comes first by a wide margin.
  • Perceptions of the military threat posed by China have risen this year, with almost half (46%) of Australians saying it is likely to become a military threat to Australia in the next 20 years. However, most (79%) see China as more of an economic partner than military threat.
Based on data
Lowy Institute Poll, 2017
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