PM’s $4.6bn private school spending splurge unpopular with voters

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5 October 2018

Almost three-quarters of undecided voters in eight marginal federal electorates held by the Liberal Party say they disapprove of the federal government’s $4.6bn private school funding deal, according to new polling conducted by the AEU.

More than half of undecided voters who were polled also said they were less likely to vote for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the federal Liberal Party following the deal.

According to the poll, more than eight in ten voters said that education will be an important issue in deciding who they will vote for at the upcoming Federal Election.

The Reachtel poll of 1261 residents was conducted on the evening of 27 September 2018 across the seats of Corangamite, Dunkley, Forde, Capricornia, Flynn, Gilmore, Robertson and Banks.

According to the Reachtel poll:

  • 73.2 per cent of undecided voters say they disapprove of the special funding deal for private and independent schools, with 49.3 per cent saying they strongly disapprove.
  • 52.9 per cent of undecided voters and 38.6 per cent of all voters say they are less likely to vote for Scott Morrison and the Liberal party as a result of the special funding deal for private and independent schools
  • 84 per cent of all voters say that education is important in deciding who they will vote for at the upcoming Federal Election, with 53.7 per cent of undecided voters saying education is “very important” in deciding who they will vote for.
  • 68.7 per cent of undecided voters say they are more likely to vote for a political party that increases funding to public schools.
  • 72.6 per cent of all voters and 76.1 per cent of undecided voters agreed that increasing funding to public schools is something we need to do now.

This polling makes it clear that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to gift billions of dollars of extra funding to private schools and his refusal to restore $1.9 billion in funding cuts to public schools in 2018 and 2019 will have dire consequences for his government’s chances in any upcoming federal election.

Parents in public school communities understand the importance of fully funding public schools, and they vote.

The Morrison government must restore the more than $14 billion it has cut from public school funding over the next decade.