Four Facts From the Australian Election Survey

Earlier this week, the ANU released its Australian Election Survey. The study has been reporting on voter attitudes annually since 1987.

Taken in the aftermath of the federal election, the report provides an in-depth look into Australian political sentiments on multiple fronts.

(1) Environment closes on economy as most important issue

“The economy” remains the single most important issue for voters. This is perhaps unsurprising when 41% of survey respondents said their financial situation had deteriorated over the past 12 months.

The importance of the economy, however, differed among supporters of different parties. Of LNP voters, 70% rated the economy the most important, followed by 52% of Labor voters and 31% of Greens voters.

The pattern is reversed for the second-most important issue to Australian voters, the environment. Just over half of Greens voters rated environment first, followed by 23% of Labor voters and 2% of LNP voters.

(2) How Unpopular was Scott Morrison?

As for leadership, the survey confirmed what we already knew: Scott Morrison’s unpopularity, scoring just 3.8 out of 10, played a large role in the change of government. Yet Morrison did manage to top Barnaby Joyce, who scored only 3.2 out of 10. 

On voter perceptions of being compassionate, sensible, intelligent, honest, competent, trustworthy, strong and inspiring, Albanese scored higher than Morrison. His infamous 2021 make-over that debuted in Women’s Weekly seems to have been a decision well-made.

In fact, Albanese was the most popular political leader since Kevin Rudd. Remarkably, he achieved this feat with an average voter approval score of just 5.3 out of 10. 

Rudd aside, there has not been as popular a political leader since Bob Hawke, John Howard and Kim Bazley. This is indicative of a general deterioration of trust in political leaders.

(3) Are Teal Voters Right-Wing or Left-Wing?

Researchers surveyed Teal voters in an effort to gauge their place on the political spectrum. The largest portion (31%) were in fact former Labor voters; 24% previously voted Green and 18% for the Coalition.

In questions designed to assess political ideology, where 0 indicates the left and 10 indicates the right, Teal voters averaged 4.4. This is as compared with Labor voters’ 4.3, the Greens 3.0 and the LNP’s 6.5.

(4) Gender and Age

Women continue to be more left-wing than men, with 16% of women voting Green, 36% voting Labor and 32% voting LNP. Among men, the LNP remains the most popular party with 38% of the vote, with another 22% going to minor parties, predominantly the far-right.

Lastly, as we saw in Victoria, the survey also confirmed that the LNP faces a drastic slide in support due to generational change.

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