Census data shows poorest seats voted Coalition; byelections or polls from four states

·6-min read
  <span class="attribution"><span class="source">AAP/Dean Lewins</span></span>
AAP/Dean Lewins

The Poll Bludger covered findings from the 2021 Census on June 30. The most striking finding was that the Coalition won the ten seats with the lowest household income at the federal election. These seats are all in regional Australia.

This validates my pre-election article, in which I said that whites without a university education in regional areas would continue to move to the Coalition. Labor won this election owing to swings against the Coalition in the cities, but no regional seat changed hands, and those that came closest to changing were all Labor-held.

Read more: Final 2022 election results: Coalition routed in cities and in Western Australia – can they recover in 2025?

Nine of the ten seats with the top household income were in NSW – the tenth was Canberra in the ACT. Teal independents won four, the Liberals four and Labor two (Canberra and Sydney). Labor won nine of the ten seats with the highest percentage of non-English speakers; the exception was Kristina Keneally’s loss in Fowler.

The top ten seats for percentage of people aged 20 to 34 were all won by Labor and the Greens, while the Coalition won seven of the ten seats with the highest percentage of people aged 65 and over.

COVID lockdowns hit Victoria’s population particularly hard, as it dropped 1.5% in 2021. This has put Victoria in danger of losing two seats from its current 39 when state entitlements are determined for the next election in the middle of 2023. NSW could also lose a seat, with the beneficiaries likely to be WA and Queensland.

Essential and SEC Newgate federal polls

An Essential poll, conducted in the days prior to June 28, had 44% strongly supporting the Fair Work Commission’s announced 5.2% increase for the minimum wage, with 23% somewhat supporting, 9% somewhat opposed and 6% strongly opposed, for total support over opposition of 67-15.

45% thought Australia’s electricity and gas crisis was due to years of neglect, 35% due to unpredictable factors such as the Ukraine war and COVID, and 20% due to opposition to renewables.

49% thought the government should implement the policies it took to the election regarding emission targets, while 30% thought the government should be more ambitious.

80% thought it important for Australia to have a close relationship with the US, 78% with Pacific nations, 76% with European Union nations, 58% China and just 33% Russia.

The Poll Bludger reported an SEC Newgate poll on Monday that was conducted June 23-27 from a sample of 1,201. “Nearly four out of ten” said the new government had done an excellent or good job so far, 31% fair and 26% poor or very poor.

57% expected the economy to worsen in the next three months, up from 36% in May, with just 8% expecting the economy to improve, down from 13%. Cost of living was rated extremely important by 68% (up five), moving ahead of healthcare (61%, down three). By 42-23, voters favoured Labor over the Coalition to handle cost of living.

Bragg (SA) byelection: Libs hold, but with a 2.5% swing to Labor

A byelection in the South Australian Liberal-held state seat of Bragg occurred July 2. The Poll Bludger’s results show a Liberal win by 55.6-44.4, a 2.5% swing to Labor since the March 2022 election. Primary votes were 50.5% Liberals (down 3.3%), 30.0% Labor (up 1.3%) and 14.9% Greens (up 2.2%).

On election day booth votes, which were the only votes counted on election night, the Liberals had only led by 50.9-49,1, but they increased their vote share by a large 4.7% after pre-poll and postal votes were counted.

The byelection was caused by the resignation of Liberal Vickie Chapman after the Liberals lost the March election. Bragg is an inner metro seat that has SA’s highest median household income. At the March election, there was an 8.8% swing to Labor in Bragg that reduced the Liberal margin to the lowest it had been before the byelection.

Queensland YouGov poll: 50-50 tie

A YouGov poll for The Courier Mail, reported by The Poll Bludger, had Labor and the LNP tied at 50-50, a two-point gain for the LNP since February. Primary votes were 38% LNP (steady), 34% Labor (down five), 14% Greens (up four) and 10% One Nation (up two).

45% approved of Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s performance (down five) and 39% disapproved (up three), for a net approval of +6, down eight points. LNP leader David Crisafulli was at 31% approve (up five) and 23% disapprove (down five). Palaszczuk led as better premier by 41-28. This poll was conducted June 23-30 from a sample of 1,044.

Victorian Morgan poll: 59.5-40.5 to Labor

The Victorian election is in late November. A Morgan SMS poll, conducted June 30 to July 2 from a sample of 1,710, gave Labor a 59.5-40.5 lead, unchanged since last November. Primary votes were 43.5% Labor (down 1.5), 29.5% Coalition (up 0.5), 12% Greens (up 1.5), 2% UAP (down two) and 13% for all Others (up 1.5).

Labor Premier Daniel Andrews had a 63.5-36.5 approval rating, unchanged from November. He led Liberal leader Matthew Guy by 64.5-35.5 as better premier.

I am dubious about this poll as Morgan has been the most Labor-friendly pollster, and the Victorian result for Labor at the federal election was below this poll by about five points, with big swings to the Coalition in safe outer metro Labor seats, presumably due to Andrews’ handling of COVID.

NSW Essential poll: Coalition leads Labor 37-33 on primary votes

The NSW state election is in March 2023. An Essential poll reported in The Guardian gave the Coalition 37% of the primary vote and Labor 33%. Unfortunately the report does not mention other parties’ primary votes. This poll was conducted over five days after the June 21 state budget from a sample of 700.

Liberal Premier Dominic Perrottet had a 49% approval rating and a 35% disapproval rating (net +14), while Labor leader Chris Minns was at 39% approval, 22% disapproval (net +17).

Boris Johnson has resigned. How is the next Conservative leader elected?

After being abandoned by Cabinet, Boris Johnson resigned as UK Conservative leader last Thursday, but will remain caretaker PM until a new leader is elected. Johnson has been embroiled in scandals, UK inflation is up 9.1% in the 12 months to May and the Conservatives lost two seats at recent byelections.

To elect a new leader, Conservative MPs vote in rounds with the lowest polling candidate eliminated each round, until there are just two left. Those final two go to the Conservative membership, which votes by mail. In the first round, there will be a 5% threshold for all continuing candidates, and 10% in the second round.

To be certain to make the final round, a candidate needs one-third of the MPs’ vote. The membership is more right-wing than MPs, so if a right-wing candidate makes the final two, that candidate could win.

These are the rules that applied at the 2019 Conservative leadership election. Elections to the 1922 committee that sets the rules will occur Monday UK time.

This article is republished from The Conversation is the world's leading publisher of research-based news and analysis. A unique collaboration between academics and journalists. It was written by: Adrian Beaumont, The Conversation.

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Adrian Beaumont does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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