Morrison is Australia’s most distrusted politician

The latest Roy Morgan Research Trust and Distrust quarterly report is bad news for Scott Morrison and the media.

The top line voting intention situation – LNP 42% and Labor 58% is bad enough- but the deeper feelings explored in the survey explain the onset of panic among some Liberal MPs.

When asked what, if anything, would worry you if the LNP were elected at the next Federal Election? representative responses included:

  • “Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and other right wing liars. They tell too many lies and don’t take responsibility for their own words and actions. I used to vote for them. Never while these horrible people are in the party.”
  • “Another term of lies and nothing done about important matters like climate change, poverty, refugees.”
  • “They will continue their lies, corruption and manipulation of the electorate, they will continue to bully and harm the vulnerable in society.”
  • “It would mean Australians are okay with corruption and incompetence.”

The survey also showed that Scott Morrison is the most distrusted sitting Australian political leader followed by Cabinet Ministers Dutton and Joyce. Clive Palmer has the highest Net Distrust score but is not a sitting politician.

Morrison, Dutton and Joyce are followed by Pauline Hanson, Craig Kelly, Dominic Perrottet, Angus Taylor, Michaela Cash, Josh Frydenberg and Matthew Guy. Some people threw some overseas names into their comments and Vladimir Putin got on the list after Pauline Hanson and before Craig Kelly and Donald Trump snuck in after Josh Frydenberg.

When asked why they distrusted Scott Morrison typical responses were:

  • “He spreads disinformation, he never takes responsibility, he disappears whenever there is a crisis.”
  • “Clearly doesn’t always tell the truth and does not have the interests of the country first.”
  • “Manipulative, dishonest, self-serving”
  • “History of deceit, rorting public funds, promotion of the interests of mates and supporters”

There were responses for those who do trust Morrison such as: “Scott Morrison cares. He is not trying to pull others down. He is calm and consistent. He wants to do his best”.

The survey also found that the Government and its services are deeply distrusted and are in the worst position on this measure since the May 2019 election.

Looking at political leaders’ net trust scores Penny Wong has remained Australia’s most trusted politician. Media people pursuing the Kitching story might ponder that when they wonder if they can trust Wong’s comments about the allegations being thrown around.

Anthony Albanese has the second highest net trust score (having jumped five places) followed by Tanya Plibersek, Mark McGowan, Jaquie Lambie, Gladys Berejiklian (despite having resigned) and Adam Bandt.

In absolute trust score terms Albanese is the most trusted politician in Australia followed by Penny Wong, and Mark McGowan.

Although it should be noted that there is a minority who don’t trust him although significantly fewer than those who trust him.

Interestingly Jacqui Lambie and Penny Wong have very, very low distrust scores.

When asked why they trust Albanese typical responses are:

  • “He is genuinely guided by principles that have the common good in mind.”
  • “Understands climate change and in times of crisis could be counted on to do what is right by the nation.”
  • “He is honest and trustworthy”.
  • Speaks honestly and clearly without waffle.”
  • “Integrity, ethical behaviour, compassion.”

Among those who distrust Albanese comments include: “He has lied, been opportunistic and dishonest.”

When it comes to trust and distrust rankings for businesses and organisations there have also been some changes. Supermarkets and convenience stores are now the most trusted organisations reflecting their performance during the pandemic.

Telecommunications, banks and social media are the most distrusted organisations in Australia.

The media is just in front of the three most distrusted organisations but has fallen from 17th place to 23rd and now ranks below the gambling industry, real estate agents, government and government services and the mining and petroleum industries.

In further bad news for the Morrison Government the separate ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence dropped 4.6pts to 91.2 during the third week of March. Consumer Confidence is a significant 19.7pts below the same week a year ago, March 20/21, 2021 (110.4) and is now clearly below the 2022 weekly average of 99.7.

Consumer Confidence is now at its lowest since Victoria’s second wave of COVID-19 on September 5/6, 2020 (91.1).

Roy Morgan Research said: “Driving the weekly drop were declines in sentiment in regards to personal financial situations and also the performance of the economy over the next year.

Now just 23% (down 3ppts) of Australians say their families are ‘better off’ financially than this time last year compared to 36% (up 1ppt), that say their families are ‘worse off’ financially (the highest figure for this indicator for over 18 months since September 2020).

“Looking forward, 33% (down 3ppts) of Australians expect their family to be ‘better off’ financially this time next year (the lowest figure for this indicator for 18 months since September 2020), compared to just 26% (up 2ppts) that expect to be ‘worse off’ financially (the highest figure for this indicator for nearly two years since April 2020).

“Only 9% (down 3ppts), of Australians expect ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next twelve months (the lowest figure for this indicator for nearly 18 months since October 2020) compared to 34% (up 5ppts), that expect ‘bad times’ (the highest figure for this indicator for nearly 18 months since October 2020).

“In the longer term, just 16% (up 1ppt), of Australians are expecting ‘good times’ for the economy over the next five years compared to 21% (unchanged) expecting ‘bad times’.”

Roy Morgan’s Michelle Levine said the changing consumer expectations were also a negative for the Morrison Government.