CANBERRA, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Climate change, education and immigration are the top three political issues Australians seek on the Internet, new research revealed on Thursday.
The research tracked online searches by Australians on political issues between May 8 and Aug. 14 this year.
Climate change came out on top, and the second most popular election issue search was for education.
Education had led climate change until mid-July, when the major parties released their climate change policies.
The number of searches for education declined by 62 percent over the period, following a spike in mid-May when teachers threatened a nationwide ban on National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) standardized testing of students.
Immigration came next. Although the number of searches was less, searches for immigration as an election issue have risen 10 percent since June.
According to the survey, Internet searches for political leaders revealed Prime Minister Julia Gillard accounted for 0.2 percent of all Internet searches over the same period, with a major spike in searches for her immediately after she deposed Kevin Rudd.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was next, with 0.14 percent. Searches for him were up 86 percent over the period.
Last was Greens leader Bob Brown, with 0.0016 percent.
The research was conducted by information services company Experian and sampled the searches of three million Australian Internet users.
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