The top two issues in both seats—judged by the proportion of electors who nominate each issue as one of the three most important—are keeping day to day living costs down and improving health services and hospitals.
Although these are also the top two issues Australia-wide, they important to substantially more voters in New England and Lyne. In New England, 41% of voters rate day-to-day living costs as an issue (compared with 36% both in Lyne and nationally), and 37% rate hospitals and health services (compared with 32% in Lyne and 28% Australia-wide).
Managing the economy is the third most important issue to voters nationally but ranks fifth in Lyne (17%) and New England (18%). Instead, more (19%) of Lyne voters rate the needs of families (compared with the national average of 13%) while New England voters prioritise reducing crime and maintaining law and order (22% compared with 15% nationally and only 13% in Lyne).
Both divisions also rate open and honest government as more important than economic management—a sign of Independent voting preferences.
Other issues that rate higher in Lyne and New England than the national average include reducing the number of illegal migrants, the ageing population and, unsurprisingly, the needs of people outside cities.
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Our recent voter research indicates that with Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor off the ballots the National Party will win both seats for the Coalition, although our latest polling showed Lyne was likely to go to the Nationals anyway.
“Independent voters are often so because they prioritise issues most relevant to their particular locality and community over national or even global issues: they are less likely than average to care about managing the economy, tax reduction, keeping interest rates down and global warming and climate change.
“Almost 1 in 4 Independent voters across Australia says open and honest government is an important issue—a 7% point increase on the national average.”
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) January 2010 – December 2011, n = 87,416 (Lyne n = 704; New England n = 816). Base: Australian Electors
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