Trust, an absent commodity in this election: UC-IGPA

Fri 24 June 2016

Media release: Trust in Australian politicians and the political process are at the lowest level they’ve been in more than two decades and most people feel there’s little honesty and integrity in the system, according to a survey led by the University of Canberra Institute for Governance and Public Analysis (IGPA).

The Indi survey is part of an ongoing research project by IGPA and the Museum of Australian Democracy (MOAD). The findings of this survey will be discussed at a panel to be held TOMORROW, a week before polling day, in Wodonga, Victoria.

Panellists include: IGPA director and the project’s lead researcher Professor Mark Evans; chief political correspondent at The Conversation and professorial fellow at the University of Canberra, Michelle Grattan; editor of Shepparton News and former editor of The Border Mail, Di Thomas; and director of Landscape Research, Jane Seaborn.

The broad findings of the survey show that only 42 per cent of Australians are happy with the way democracy works in the country.

Professor Evans said that after conducting more than 1,400 surveys, the project is gathering more in-depth information within specific communities around Australia.

"The first location for our focus groups was the electorate of Indi, in northeast Victoria, covering the major communities of Wodonga, Wangaratta and Benalla,” he said.

“The evidence from Indi, and nationally for that matter, is that the key question for the majority of Australians come election time is who do you trust to run the country?

“For many Australians, political parties are simply failing to capture the political imagination. This provides the space for either independents and/or minority parties to build alternative agendas around the politics of trust or a wake-up call to the main parties to reconnect with the citizens."

Professor Evans said the research has no political agenda but rather it is gauging the current sentiment of the public when their engagement in the political process should be high.

“What we see in Indi, and we have picked up more broadly, is that dissatisfaction runs high and the current election doesn’t seem to have boosted people’s opinions either,” he said.

The research will contribute to a new exhibition at MOAD, The Power of Us, which will open in 2017.


Professor Evans is available for interview.


WHAT: Indi Election Panel, University of Canberra focus group research. Tickets $10. Bookings available at:

WHEN: TOMORROW, Saturday, 25 June 2016, 3:00pm

WHERE: The Cube, 118 Hovell St, Wodonga, VIC


Contact the University of Canberra media team:
Claudia Doman: 0408 826 362
Marcus Butler: 0438 447 810

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