The New Political Realities In Australia

The New Political Realities In Australia. By Peta Credlin.

The Teals are just tactical Labor/Green voters, not disaffected Liberals:

The authoritative Australian Election Study, which the Australian National University’s school of politics has been producing since 1987, concluded “most teal voters were not ‘disaffected Liberals’ but tactical Labor and Greens voters” because “less than one in five teal voters previously voted for the Coalition”.

According to the ANU study, “teal voters are almost the same as Labor voters in their ideological position” and they’d voted teal because they were “intent on unseating the incumbent Liberal”, only their preferred party (read Labor or the Greens) was “non-viable in the electorate”. …

Cost of living matters more than carbon:

Even taken together, climate and the environment were No.1 for only 17 per cent of the total electorate, down four percentage points from the 2019 election.

At 32 per cent, cost of living was by far the most important single issue at last year’s election and the Coalition’s key liability was that it had lost much of its traditional strength with voters as the best party to manage the economy.

In 2019, the Coalition had a 26-percentage-point advantage as the “preferred party on management of the economy” but that had shrunk to just 15 points three years later, with a seven-point increase in those who thought there was no difference between the parties. …

The uniparty is emerging:

At last year’s federal election, only 53 per cent of voters rated policy issues as the key (down 13 percentage points since 2019) and only 28 per cent thought there was a “good deal of difference between parties” (down 12 points).

Hence, a close reading of the ANU’s Australian Election Study results suggests the Coalition’s problem was much less comparative scepticism on climate than comparative ineptitude on the economy.

Apart from losing its edge on the economy, the Coalition’s biggest problem last year was leadership, with Morrison having the lowest rating in the history of the study. …

The rich and the professional class vote left now:

And while voters earning more than $140,000 a year are now those least likely to vote Coalition and most likely to vote Labor or Greens (yes, that’s right), the percentage who identify as working-class Labor voters has dropped from 60 per cent to 38 per cent since 1987. …

Labor has a “man problem”:

And sure, the Coalition might have a “women problem” with 32 per cent of the female vote last year and 38 per cent of men, yet somehow no one seems to think Labor has an almost equivalent “men problem” because it won just 32 per cent of men (and 36 per cent of women).

It’s worth noting that the first time the Coalition’s female vote dropped below 40 per cent was under Turnbull in 2016; the relatively conservative Howard and Abbott did better here, notwithstanding the left’s spin. …

What the great realignment means for Australian conservatives:

The clear lesson from this long-term study is that the Coalition does best when it has a strong economic message pitched to aspirational voters.

There’s little point trying to win back wealthy “progressive” voters with much the same policy mix as green Labor, especially as that would undermine the Coalition’s growing appeal to “struggle street”.

The Coalition’s best chance to regain teal seats is when Labor is threatening the financial security of wealthy voters, and the only way to resist is to vote Liberal.