2024 Report


The 2024 Lowy Institute Poll reports the results of a national survey of 2028 adults across Australia between 4 and 17 March 2024. The survey was conducted by the Social Research Centre (SRC), using the Life in Australia™ panel — currently the only probability-based online panel in Australia. Members of the panel were randomly recruited via their landline or mobile telephone or via their address (rather than being self-selected volunteers) and agreed to provide their contact details to take part in surveys on a regular basis. SRC uses a mixed-mode approach for the panel, including online surveys (99% of respondents) and computer-assisted telephone interviewing (1% of respondents) to provide coverage of the offline population (households without internet access). The order of questions in the questionnaire was different from the order presented in this report.

On a simple random sample of 2028 responses, the margin of error is 2.2%. Where a complex sample is used, the ‘design effect’ measures the additional variance in comparison with a simple random sample. The design effect for this survey is estimated at 1.27. For the 2024 Lowy Institute Poll survey, a completion rate of 68.2% was achieved. Taking into account the recruitment rate to the panel and attrition from the panel, the cumulative response rate is 1.2%. Unlike other commercial online panels in Australia, the probability basis of the Life in Australia™ sampling method means results are generalisable to the national population and sampling errors and confidence intervals can be calculated.

In reading the results, note that totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. Each response option has been rounded individually and grouped responses (e.g. those who ‘somewhat agree’ plus ‘strongly agree’) have not been rounded at the group level.

In 2024, the Lowy Institute Poll transitioned to using Life in Australia™ ‘streamlined weights’, reflecting contemporary benchmarks and population trends. The streamlined weighting solution is optimised to improve accuracy of survey estimates while maintaining precision. This is done by adjusting the sample to a set of demographic characteristics that minimise bias while maximising effective sample size. Streamlined weights effectively adjust for non-response and sample error. The set of benchmark characteristics used for streamlined weighting include age group, highest qualification, gender, number of household adults, language spoken at home, state, and region within state.

In 2019, the Lowy Institute completed a three-year transition in the methodology for Lowy Institute polling, which until 2017 was conducted solely by telephone. From 2005 to 2011, the Poll was conducted by landline only. From 2012 to 2017, it was conducted using both landline and mobile numbers. In 2017, the SRC administered four key questions from the Poll to an online sample of 2513 respondents in parallel with the telephone survey of 1200 respondents, which was reported in the 2017 Lowy Institute Poll. This parallel survey provided valuable comparison information between the two methodologies. In 2018, the Lowy Institute Poll was a combination of a telephone-only sample of 600 respondents and an online sample of 600 respondents drawn from Life in Australia™. In 2019 and 2020, the Lowy Institute Poll was administered with approximately 90% of respondents online and 10% offline.

In order to ensure comparability of the 2018 Poll with the telephone responses of our 2005–17 Polls, the response sets were weighted and blended using the following approach: first, weights for the telephone respondents (50% of the sample) were calculated accounting for the dual chances of being contacted by landline or mobile, and reflecting key population characteristics. Then, for each online respondent, the most similar telephone respondent was found using a range of survey variables, and that person’s telephone weighting was used as the ‘base weight’ for the next step. Finally, the telephone and online responses were then combined into a single data set, and the results then weighted to reflect the demographic profile of the Australian population aged 18 years and over based on Australian Bureau of Statistics population data.

The transition to a predominantly online survey panel for Lowy Institute Polls reflects the declining response rates for telephone surveys, now widespread internet access in Australia, and accords with the survey methods of highly respected polling organisations internationally.

The majority of questions in the 2024 survey are ‘tracking’ questions that have been asked in previous Lowy Institute Polls, allowing us to compare public opinion on a single issue over time. Footnotes and markers (▲, ◀) have been used in the charts in the Poll to represent the change of mode, which can potentially elicit slightly different responses.

The question on cultural diversity was initially omitted and re-asked of those who already had responded when the issue was identified. Altogether, 88.8% of respondents answered the cultural diversity question. A non-response to the question was not predicted by demographics collected on panellists and is unlikely to lead to appreciable non-response bias.

Life in Australia™ members are offered a small incentive for joining the panel and another incentive for each survey they complete — a $10 gift card, payment, or donation to a nominated charity.