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Peter Costantini OAM, Managing Director

Last month, Inside Word discussed marginal seats we consider to be in play during this election.  Since then, opinion polls indicate the race is tightening. There is no shortage of media and political analysis of policies, the players and seats needed to win, and the polling results - though it is timely to remember that at the last election the major pollsters were between 2.5% and 3.5% off the actual result.

 In this edition of Inside Word, I touch on a couple of topics that might be of interest – internal diaspora and the so called ‘teal’ independents. 

Since the last election, Queensland has added 240,761 voters. This increase includes mostly young people voting for the first time plus three years of interstate migration (about 30,000 people per year mostly from Victoria and NSW). Swags of these people now reside in South-East Queensland marginal seats (think Longman, Brisbane, Lilley, Petrie and Dickson).  These new voters will change historical voting patterns making it harder to predict the final outcome. Western Australia has also had a comparatively large gain and these new voters will impact in electorates like Swan, Cowan and Hasluck.

Electors on the Australian Electoral Commission Certified List[1]

State/Territory

2022 federal election

2019 federal election

Increase between elections

% Change

NSW

5,472,469

5,298,606

173,863

3.28%

VIC

4,344,208

4,184,955

159,253

3.81%

QLD

3,503,609

3,262,848

240,761

7.38%

WA

1,773,969

1,645,637

128,332

7.80%

SA

1,272,047

1,210,867

61,180

5.05%

TAS

402,331

386,076

16,255

4.21%

ACT

314,329

295,933

18,396

6.22%

NT

145,938

139,326

6,612

4.75%

National

17,228,900

16,424,248

804,652

4.90%

The Post Covid tree-change will also impact. People are moving out of the Sydney and Melbourne in droves to live in the regions[2] (again think of electorates covering Corangamite, Geelong and surrounds, Wollongong, Lake Macquarie, etc).So this is a real conundrum for political parties and commentators as they try to work out what impact this voter change will have on primary and preferential voting, and how they gear campaigns to suit. 

Onto the subject of the so-called ‘teal’ independents. Whoever came up with this term (and I have an idea as to whom it might be, or at least an early adopter of the term), has successfully branded a group of independents behind an attractive label.  Teal is the colour you get by mixing blue and green – think progressive Liberals on one hand, and on the other, people who like the Green’s environmental policies but who might shy away from some of their more left orientated social policies.  

Since the Greens were founded in 1992, they have been slowly chipping away at the left vote of the ALP, much like One Nation has done to the right of the Liberal/National vote. All of a sudden, through some creative branding, and financial backing from Simon Holmes a Court’s Climate 200 lobby, independents now have a quasi-home and far greater public relations appeal.  This time it is the inner city Liberals who are worried.  Most of these ‘teal’ independents hold little chance of winning a seat (Wentworth in NSW, Goldstein and Kooyong in Victoria being potential exceptions), but they will suck votes from the Liberals, and preference flows will be very interesting to watch. All the while, the ALP is sitting back and enjoying the show. 

 

[1] https://www.aec.gov.au/Enrolling_to_vote/Enrolment_stats/national/

[2] Check out the Regional Movers Index published by the Regional Australia Institute - https://www.regionalaustralia.org.au/Web/Home/Web/default.aspx?hkey=8c647de3-0870-4058-a0ff-63a51a915432

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