Swings and Roundabouts

Ian McAllister (whose office is almost directly above mine) has put together a very readable compilation of trends in the Australian Election Study. Coauthored with Juliet Clark, it looks at topics ranging from trust to partisanship, party leaders to political issues. In some cases, he has comparable data going all the way from 1967 to 2004. When it was reported in the media a few days ago, people focused on the issue of whether voters are more or less likely to swing than the past, but there’s plenty of other interesting things in here.

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2 Responses to Swings and Roundabouts

  1. Michael W says:

    I think two things are interesting and surprised me:

    1. the dramatic decline in following the campaign (especially in newspapers), but little change in how far before the election people decide how to vote

    2. the “lifetime voting” trend is down, but dramatically worse for Labor than Liberal – since 1987 their ‘rusted on’ vote has halved, whereas the Libs have bounced around, but (by 2004) remained stable.

    Re (1) At least in relation to those who change their vote but do not make up their minds until (at least) the campaign starts, it suggests the campaign through the media is perceived to make little difference to their decision.

    Re (2) – this conclusion would be different for the Libs if it were not for the 2004 election. Will be interesting to see what happens post 2007. Also, it suggests Labor still needs to do a lot of strategic thinking about its base, and what it can do about the ‘loyalty’ problem.

  2. Leon says:

    The strong desire for increased “relations with Asia” (as distinct from trade relations) is great.

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