The majority of ‘teal’ independent voters were not disenfranchised Liberal voters, but had a history of supporting Labour, according to a new study.
Be that as it may, the Liberals find themselves in the midst of a serious “existential crisis” that they must urgently address before Australians go to the polls.
The Australian Election Survey, the oldest measurement of voter sentiment conducted by the Australian National University, revealed that 31 per cent of people who voted for ‘teal’ independents in May had supported Labour in 2019.
Another 24 percent had previously supported the Greens, while only 18 percent had voted for the Coalition.
The study reveals that fewer than one in five people who voted for a teal independent were ‘disgruntled liberals’ protesting their party.
Instead, the study authors say the Teals won their seats thanks to ‘tactical’ voters prepared to use the electoral system for a purpose.
Six teal independents won seats in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth during the election (pictured left to right Allegra Spender, Sophie Scamps, Zali Steggall, Kylea Tink, Zoe Daniel, Kate Chaney and Dr Monique Ryan)
Support for both main parties fell to record lows in the May election and, while Labor won the House with a one-seat majority, it was swung 0.8 percent against it.
Six teal independents won seats in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, but the study authors say they will have a fight ahead of them in the 2025 election.
“If the majority of voters were for Labor-Greens, they might go back to the party they actually support,” said co-author Labor McAllister.
‘Labour’s victory did more to draw attention to the Coalition’s poor performance than to present a political agenda that would appeal to voters.’
The study found that the main reason voters had castigated the Coalition government was its economic mismanagement, with voters holding the most pessimistic view of government performance since the study began in 1987.
Voters say Scott Morrison (pictured) was the most unpopular leader in the studio’s 35-year history.
‘Tonight the Australian people have voted for change. I am humbled by this victory and honored to have the opportunity to serve as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister,” Anthony Albanese (pictured) said after his victory.
With rising inflation and a cost-of-living crisis the opposition is now putting pressure on Labor to make amends, two-thirds of voters said the coalition government had worsened the national economy in the year before the election.
While previously the Coalition was consistently preferred over Labor on economic issues, in 2022 voters shifted to prefer Labor on cost of living.
The study authors said the Liberal Party’s electoral defeat was the culmination of “the economy, the pandemic and the leadership of Scott Morrison.”
Morrison was also the most unpopular leader since the study began, with voters rating him extremely low on qualities of honesty and trustworthiness.
Study co-author Sarah Cameron said those were the two traits most closely associated with overall favorability of leaders.
“The public’s dislike of Morrison stemmed from his vacation in Hawaii during the 2019-20 wildfires and was reinforced by the perception of poor performance in the second year of the pandemic,” Dr. Cameron said.
The study authors said the Liberal Party’s electoral defeat was the culmination of ‘the economy, the pandemic and the leadership of Scott Morrison’ (a 2022 voter pictured)
If the Coalition were to claim support, it would have to take into account the significant generational change seen in this election.
The study found that gender was the other key demographic shift that eroded the voter base of the major parties.
In 2022, only 32 percent of women voted for the Coalition, their lowest percentage to date.
“This collapse in women’s support for the Coalition can be attributed to the treatment of women within the Liberal Party,” said Professor Simon Jackman.
“The gap between how the younger and older generations of Australians vote is even more pronounced than the gender gap. Younger generations have very different voting patterns than older generations at the same stage of the life cycle and are much further to the left in their party preferences.’