The ABC has come under fire for claiming that climate change was voters’ number one issue three days before climate-championing Labor was smashed at the polls.
ABC News last week said that a survey on its website, the vote compass, had found the environment was most voters’ main concern.
The corporation claimed its poll was ‘properly representative of the population’ – but later admitted its readers did not represent the whole electorate.
Despite their best efforts to promote the potential problems the mine may cause to the climate (left), many Queensland locals focused on the positive impact the mine will have on industry and jobs (right)
In an article on Monday after the election, the ABC said those answering the survey were a ‘self-selecting sample’.
In the bulletin on May 15, newsreader Juanita Phillips said: ‘Australians have told the ABC’s vote compass that the environment is the number one issue for them this election.’
The clip was uploaded to YouTube by a viewer with the caption: ‘Listen to what the ABC’s dodgy Vote Compass was telling us about what Australians were thinking just three days out from election day.
‘This report aired on the 15th of May, providing yet more evidence that the ABC exists in an echo chamber of Leftists, rich inner-city elitists and climate obsessives and doesn’t represent the views of wider Australia.’
The bulletin said the survey showed that a majority of Australians from all sides of the political spectrum want action on climate change but disagree over how to tackle it.
It claimed that 81 per cent of people want government to do more to tackle climate change, up from 61 per cent in 2013.
The bulletin said that 96 per cent of Labor voters want more action while only 59 per cent of Coalition voters do.
The Adani coal mine would be built at Galilee Basin (pictured), some 500kms west of Mackay
Within hours of the polls closing on Saturday the smiles had been wiped from the face of Labor leader Bill Shorten (left). Labor senator Penny Wong (right) later admitted her party’s stance on Adani may have made the biggest difference to the election result
The corporation claimed it ‘weighted’ the responses to make the survey representative.
It wrote: ‘Vote Compass responses have been weighted by gender, age, education and place of residence to match the Australian population, creating a nationally representative sample.’
The environment was clearly an issue at the election with both parties advocating policies to reduce emissions and climate change sceptic Tony Abbott losing Warringah to independent Zali Steggall.
And, in the ABC’s defence, people may not have voted only based on their most important issue, but rather a collection of issues.
That being said, the surprising Coalition win appeared to show that jobs and the economy was more important than climate change for voters.
Labor – which refused to give a straight answer about Queensland’s Adani coal mine as they courted Green votes in the inner suburbs – was left without a single seat north of Brisbane.
Anti-Adani protestors who travelled throughout Queensland in an effort to encourage locals to support Labor or The Greens (pictured) had have actually turned voters towards the Coalition
The proposed Adani coal mine in regional Queensland is set to bring thousadns of new jobs to the region. With many small towns in north-east Australia battling unemployment, the prospect of a big new project is
Debbie, a voter from central Queensland, told Triple J’s Hack program post-election that there was much more to Adani than whether it was good or bad for climate change.
‘It was a struggle for us in central Queensland, and I’d actually like to let people know that we do care about the environment, (but) it’s not always an easy choice’ she said.
‘Some policies are so extreme with no real plan or solution for replacing coal as an export.
‘We’re talking about people with families and mortgages and it (mining) is their livelihood.
‘A lot of the hype and the marches about hating coal and how bad coal is, when a lot of even my direct family are involved with the coal industry mean it’s not an easy choice to vote for extreme change.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the ABC for comment.