TRUST in politicians has collapsed to alarming levels with 85 per cent of voters believing there is corruption in the federal arena.
And the greatest distrust is coming from Australians who vote for minor parties, which collectively will decide whether a federal anti-corruption commission is created — the Nick Xenophon Team, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and independents.
About 94 per cent of NXT supporters, 95 per cent of One Nation backers and 99 per cent of independent voters believe there is a lot or a little corruption in federal politics, according to ReachTEL polling commissioned by The Australia Institute.
And 85 per cent of all voters thought there was corruption federally.
“These results show the problem is much bigger than travel rorts. An overwhelming majority of voters think there is corruption in federal politics,” the institute’s deputy director, Ebony Bennett, said today.
“Perceptions of corruption are much stronger among those who vote for minor parties and independents and these results show that unless the major parties can show they are serious about tackling corruption, they’re likely to continue losing support to the crossbench.”
The poll findings could mean the Senate crossbench would side with Labor or a Labor-Greens offensive to force creation of a federal version of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
Or the minor grouping senators could leverage support for government legislation in return for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull forming an anti-corruption body.
The overwhelming problem for all the major parties is that a significant number of voters believe federal politicians are dishonest, and will back candidates who emulate US President-elect Donald Trump’s “drain the swamp” promises.
Related polling conducted for The Australia Institute found 82.3 per cent of voters supported a federal ICAC, with the latest figures showing the demarcation between major party voters and those moving to the newly emerged groupings.
About 76 per cent of Coalition voters and 88 per cent of Labor voters believed a federal corruption watchdog was needed.
Support for an ICAC reached 93 per cent for Greens, 96 per cent for the NXT, 81.4 per cent for One Nation and 96 per cent for independents.
While 13.8 per cent of Coalition voters didn’t think there was any corruption in federal politics, zero per cent of NXT and independent voters and just 1.8 per cent of One Nation voters agreed.