Age and education key demographic factors in government electoral defeat: ANU study

Age and education levels were the most important demographic variables in the Coalition’s loss of support between the 2019 and 2022 elections, according to an analysis by the Australian National University released on Monday.

“These two factors were much stronger predictors than gender, country of birth, location and even household income,” the study found.

The analysis, titled Explaining the outcome of the 2022 Australian federal election, written by Nicholas Biddle and Ian McAllister, is based on an ANUpoll/Comparative Study of Electoral Systems survey of more than 3,500 voters.

It compared people’s voting intentions in April and their actual vote in May, as well as how people voted in 2019.

The study found that, in general, Coalition 2022 voters tended to be older, indigenous, poorly educated, living outside capital cities, and with household incomes that put them outside the bottom quintile.

Labor voters generally had higher levels of education, lived in capital cities and had low incomes.

Green voters were generally female, young, born in Australia or another English-speaking country, and without professional qualifications.

Biddle said more than one in three voters under 55 (34.9%) who voted for the Coalition in 2019 voted for someone else this year. But only about one in five (21.1%) aged 55 and over have done so.

The Coalition also lost more votes among the better educated, he said. Some 31% of those who had completed Year 12 and voted for the government in 2019 changed their vote in 2022. In contrast, only 14.8% of Coalition voters who had not completed Year 12 changed their vote. changed their vote.

“Education, and especially secondary education, is really important when it comes to understanding this election outcome,” Biddle said.

The Coalition also lost more voters in capitals than outside capitals.

The analysis found that the results suggested the change in government was mainly driven by ‘younger, urban and more educated’ coalition voters moving away from the government, while Labor was able to maintain their support in most demographic groups, except those outside the capitals. .

The study found that women were less likely to vote for the Coalition than men. But the biggest gender difference was for the Greens with 22.5% of women voting for them against just 16.4% of men.

Some 13.6% of voters decided how to vote on Election Day.

Most people voted in May as they had indicated in April, but more than a fifth (21.9%) changed their minds during the campaign. The most common reason given by people was that their view of the local candidate had changed.

Data on those who voted for candidates and parties other than the Coalition, Labor and Greens has yet to be fully analysed, so there is no specific information on the ‘teal’ vote.

The survey found that voter volatility in 2022 was similar to that of 2019 for a different party they intended to vote for in the last poll before the election.

The proportion of people sharing their vote in the lower house and the Senate was low in both elections, but seems to have decreased in 2022.

The survey also revealed a strong post-election increase in people’s satisfaction with the direction the country is heading, rising from 62.4% in April to 73.3% in May. Biddle said it was one of the highest levels of satisfaction since the 2019-20 bushfires and the start of the pandemic.

But satisfaction varied depending on how people voted. While satisfaction jumped among Labor and Green voters, it dwindled among Coalition voters.

Most people thought the election was fair.

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