New polling by The Australia Institute was released last Saturday, focusing on the former Liberal Party stronghold of Kooyong in inner Melbourne. The seat was lost by the Liberals for the first time in 2022 when it was won by independent Monique Ryan.
Perhaps intended to provide further evidence of voter backing for teal concerns, mainly climate action and federal anti-corruption, the institute’s poll actually showed Ryan in a tight contest to hold her seat at the next federal election, tipped for late 2024 to early 2025. Voter preferences are tracking 51% to Ryan and 49% Liberal on a two-party preferred basis.
The Liberal candidacy for Kooyong at the next election, preselection for which opened mid-August, remains undecided. Former treasurer Josh Frydenberg has not ruled out campaigning, but Nine Newspapers appear to favour 30 year-old Amelia Hamer, a relative of Sir Rupert Hamer, who was Premier of Victoria from 1972 to 1981.
Dr Ryan maintains a 48% approval rate in the seat to 42% disapproval. This actually puts her approval rating a touch lower than Kooyong’s rating of the Albanese government, which sits at 51% approval and 44% disapproval.
Ryan’s supporters see climate change as the most important political issue. Liberal voters in Kooyong say it is the cost of living.
Yet by far the biggest difference among Kooyong voters is their opinion on The Voice to Parliament. Over 82% of Liberal voters oppose The Voice, while 87% of Ryan’s supporters and 82% of Labor voters are in favour of it.
This stark difference of opinion is all the more noticeable when the date of the referendum remains undecided. To the extent Kooyong’s concerns are paralleled elsewhere, the referendum is likely to leave an ever bigger mark on national politics in the months to come.
Feature image via Unsplash.
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