Swinging voters dominate
The focus on swinging voters is growing because as a proportion of the electorate they are growing. This national survey showed that just 1 in 3 voters support the same party every time (33.6%) while the majority (56%) state that they vote for the party with the best policies at the time.
A poll on polls
Pollsters take note: an answer to a poll and one’s actual vote don’t necessarily correlate. When asked whether their answer to an opinion poll would correspond with their final vote, two-thirds of voters said yes, but one-third (32.8%) stated that their final vote could change from their opinion poll answer.
“Aussies have always been proudly independent although in a community-minded way. This attitude has shown itself for years in a lack of loyalty to denominations, brands, and now political parties” states Mark McCrindle.
Taking our democratic right seriously
Less than 1 in 10 voters (9.9%) has ever knowingly registered a donkey or informal vote. And less than 1 in 20 voters (4.9%) say that they do not take their vote seriously.
Less than 1 in 5 voters (18%) would be at all influenced in their vote by “underdog” status.
Indeed 45.2% of Australians enjoy (to some extent) the voting opportunity while a minority of 17% state that they do not enjoy it.
And it seems we enjoy the analysis afterwards: 31.4% of voters say that they “always” watch the election night coverage with 50.1% stating that they “sometimes” watch it.
Further, almost 3 in 4 voters (73.1%) support our system of compulsory voting (with 26.9% not in support of it).
“While Australians have never had to fight for political freedom or constitutional independence, we still value our democracy and take the voting process surprisingly seriously. Protests movements encouraging Australians to “donkey vote” never get much traction in Australia” continues Mark McCrindle.
Four in five Australians (80.7%) discuss their vote with others- particularly spouse/partner (58%), friends (42.7%), parents (27.2%), siblings (20.2%) and work colleagues (18.3%).
Very few Australians support unconditional national population growth. 28.6% of Australians support Australia reaching 36 to 40 million by mid-century but only with the right investment in infrastructure and planning. However the majority (71.4%) currently do not support such growth.
Interestingly when it comes to managing population growth, more Australians believe that the major parties (46.5%) rather than the Greens and other minor parties (7.1%) would do a better job. However 46.4% state that they are not confident with any party’s position on this issue.
“Most Australians acknowledge that the richness of our lifestyle comes from the input of so many cultures. We are a nation of migrants and this diversity is literally in our DNA. In this land of the “fair go” a fortress mentality will never resonate. However in the suburbs of our land population growth is a hot issue- not debated but experienced - in longer commute times, hospital waits and rising house prices.” observes Mark McCrindle.
Save the trees
Almost three in four Australians (73.8%) are not at all influenced by political handouts given out at polling places, and less than 1 in 5 (19%) using them for guidance on preferences.
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Source: McCrindle Research, AEC.
Research method: National representative survey of 400 Australian voters conducted in August 2010 AustraliaSpeaks.com – the research panel of McCrindle Research.
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