Age and education levels were the main demographic variables in the coalition’s loss of support between the 2019 and 2022 elections, according to an Australian National University analysis released on Monday.
“These two factors were much stronger predictors than sex, country of birth, location and even household income,” the study found.
The analysis, entitled Explaining the 2022 Australian Federal Election Result, 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 2022 coalition voters in general tended to be older, indigenous, low-educated, living outside the capitals and with household incomes placing them outside the lower quintile.
Labor voters tended to have higher levels of education, lived in the capitals and had low incomes.
Green voters tended to be women, young, born in Australia or another English-speaking country, and without a trade qualification.
Biddle said more than one in three voters under 55 (34.9%) who voted for Coalition in 2019 voted for someone else this year. But only about one in five (21.1%) of 55 and older did so.
The coalition also lost more votes among the better educated, he said. About 31% of those who completed year 12 and voted for the government in 2019 changed their vote in 2022. In contrast, only 14.8% of Coalition voters who did not complete year 12 changed their vote.
“Education, and especially high school education, really matters when it comes to understanding this election result,” Biddle said.
The coalition also lost more voters in capitals compared to outside the capitals.
The analysis said the results indicated that the change in government was mainly driven by “younger, urban and more well-educated” coalition voters moving away from the government, while Labor was able to maintain its support across most demographic groups, apart from those outside capitals.
The study found women were less likely to vote for the coalition compared to men. But the biggest gender difference relates to the Greens with 22.5% of women voting for them, but only 16.4% of men.
About 13.6% of voters decided on election day how to vote.
Most people voted in May as they indicated in April that they would – but more than a fifth (21.9%) changed their minds about the campaign. The most common reason people gave was because their views on the local candidate changed.
The data on those who voted for candidates and parties other than the Coalition, Labor and the Greens have not yet been fully analyzed, so there is no information specifically on the “green-green” vote.
The survey found that voter volatility in 2022 was similar to 2019. “A similar proportion of Australians voted for a different party over those two elections than between the 2016 and 2019 elections, and there was a remarkably similar proportion over the two elections of Australians who voted for a party other than the one they wanted to vote for in the last pre-election poll. ”
The percentage of people splitting their lower house and Senate votes was low in both elections, but apparently declined in 2022.
The survey also found a strong increase after the election in people’s satisfaction with the direction the country is heading, 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 ’20 forest fires and the onset of the pandemic.
But satisfaction varied according to how people voted. While satisfaction among Labor and Green voters jumped, it declined among Coalition voters.
Most people thought the election was a fair one.