Thursday, July 30th, 2015

With the Federal Government’s foreign aid budget the lowest it’s been in more than 40 years (relative to income), the question arises: how do Australian electors feel about foreign aid and helping the world’s poorest people? The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal some interesting connections between a person’s voting preference and where they stand on these issues.

In keeping with the Abbott government’s frugal approach to foreign aid, Australian electors whose first federal voting preference is L-NP show the least support for the idea of increasing foreign aid. When asked if the Government should ‘increase overseas aid to help reduce global poverty’, 27% said ‘yes’ — in contrast with 53% of ALP voters and 75% of Greens voters.

Furthermore, L-NP voters are least likely of major party voters to agree that ‘I have a responsibility to do what I can’ to help the world’s poorest people (40%), behind 47% of electors whose first preference is the ALP and 62% of those who prefer the Greens.

World issues and charitable donations by preferred political party

World issues and charitable donations by preferred political partySource: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=14,154)Base: Australian electors

L-NP voters are the most likely to feel their ‘responsibility is just to other Australians’ (28%), ahead of ALP voters (17%) and Greens voters (7%); and to believe that they ‘can’t do much, there’ll always be poor people’ (31%, compared with 24% ALP voters and 12% of Greens voters).

But while they may not exactly be bleeding hearts, Australian voters who prefer the L-NP are slightly more likely than ALP voters to give to charity in an average 12-month period (73% vs 70%), however they donate much more money. Whereas the mean annual amount donated by ALP voters is $292, it rises to $335 for L-NP voters.

Meanwhile, more than three-quarters (76%) of Greens voters give to charity in an average 12 months, donating a mean annual amount of $402.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Typecasting Australian voters according to their preferred political party is nothing new: Green-leaning hippy-intellectuals, greedy Liberal capitalists, unionised ALP voters and patriotic National-voting farmers are all well-worn clichés. But while most clichés contain a grain of truth, the contemporary political landscape is much more nuanced than that. In fact, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between the policies of the current government and the Opposition.

“Our latest findings reflect both the predictable and the more surprising sides of Australian electors. Given their opposition to increasing overseas aid, L-NP voters are unlikely to question the Government’s drastic cuts to the national foreign aid budget. And yet they are more generous than ALP voters when it comes to charitable donations!

“Of the three voter groups, Greens-voters are the most consistent with their popular image, being the most likely by far to care about helping the world’s poorest people, as well as the most likely to put their money where their mouth is and give generously to charity.”

View this release in full on our website.

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
P: (03) 9224 5268


foreign aid, L-NP, Coalition, politics, voting, ALP, Greens, charities




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