Here’s a fantastic Esri map done by Australian Development Strategies and Education Geographics Senior Mapper Dr Jeanine McMullan. It’s online, completely interactive, public and you can email it to your fellow election tragics. You can blow it up, reduce it, drag it around or select an address and see how it rated on each layer. Open it up at the link below, and then click on the little button in the top right corner of the page, to get some tips on how t o use it.
Among the other buttons at top right of the map, there are, from left, layers for all the key variables which decided who won the 2019 election, there’s bookmarks for the major regions, so you can go there directly, there’s a score sheet of key indicators under every screen being viewed with standardised scores (move the map around and watch the numbers update), there’s the info button , a share button so you can post the map to social media, a seat button , so you can check out the scores for each individual seat and finally the legend for each layer displayed. Hours of fun from our mapper.
Hello again, political tragics. As we proceed with our 2019 profiling, the longer-term damage Labor has done to itself with working class men just keeps getting uglier.
The chart here tracks the declining profile of miners for the ALP since we first profiled national elections back in 1966.
In 1966 the Labor Party and Labour Movement were the same group in strong mining seats, such as Hunter, held by Labor MPs since 1910.
After male Tradies, male miners were the second most significant driver of the Labor 2PP vote in 1966. The strong mining seat of Hunter recorded a 1966 2PP vote for Labor of 74.4 percent, which was ten percent above the vote predicted by our 1966 model.
So Labor was not only winning the votes from miners, but winning extra votes from mining families, turning mining towns and cities like Newcastle and Broken Hill into Labor fortresses. If you worked in the mines, you were in the union and if you were in the union, you voted Labor and so did your family and your neighbours.
From 1966, the vote for Labor in mining seats began a long-term decline, with the profile for miners falling into negative territory in 1998. By 2019 male miners were as big a negative driver for Labor as they had been a positive driver in 1966. In other words, you were more likely to find miners in Coalition seats than Labor seats and the stats were significant to more than 99.9 percent confidence levels.
In 2019, the three seats with the largest 10 percent plus swings to the Coalition were Dawson, Capricornia and the above seat of Hunter, three of the top eight seats for male miners as a share of the male workforce.
The first two of these mining seats – Dawson and Capricornia – are now held by the Queensland LNP, with Hunter, the former rock-solid Labor seat now reduced to marginal status on 52.5 percent 2PP for Labor.
In fact, of the top eight seats for male miners, all but Hunter now elect non-Labor MPs.
To add insult to injury, when we were modelling the swings to the Coalition across these three mining seats, not only did they record ten percent plus swings to the Coalition, but these swings averaged five percent greater in each seat than the national swing model was predicting.
So miners are voting for the Coalition, so are their families and their neighbours. The model from 1966 has been turned completely on its head.
The mining fortress for Labor among working class men in the mines has fallen. Rebuilding it seems a task too far for the Labor party by 2022, if it remains fixated on fighting back the Green challenge to its MPs in its inner urban Green Left seats. The miners don’t want to pay for them anymore.
To quote Labor’s great Finance Minister from the Hawke Government WA Senator Peter Walsh: if you base your policy on the demands of a minor party, you are destined to become one.
Hi again, election tragics. We’re currently sifting through the statistical entrails of Saturday’s election, looking for key demographic characteristics of the ALP and Coalition votes and swings.
Peeling back the layers to find the underlying linkages between demographics and votes is time consuming and we’re also a bit busy working in the real world at the moment, running Education Geographics.
To keep you entertained, while we rummage around columns of stats, here’s a cute little Excel file which shows correlations going back to the election in 1966 for some key occupational indicators, male Tradies, female Clerks and Professional women.
Female clerks and male Tradies have traditionally been huge groups in the workforce, and they still dominate our Working Family Stereotype across urban marginal seats, but the proportion of Working Families in the labour market has been steadily eroded over recent decades by technological change, now known as digital disruption. Meanwhile, the workplace share of female Professionals is still growing fast and has already overtaken female Clerks, but these professionals are more clustered in the inner-cities and now dominate our Goat Cheese Circle Stereotype.
As Labor’s profile among Tradies declined during the 1980s, it increased among white collar working women, firstly among Clerks, then among Professionals, retaining a broad basis of support for Labor candidates across a majority of seats, while nudging it towards the inner cities, until Kevin Rudd’s Religious Activist profile in 2007 lifted Labor’s votes in the outer suburbs of our major capitals.
This professional support for Labor was lost in 2016, when Malcolm Turnbull led the Liberals, attracting inner urban professionals but at the expense of suburban Working Families. In 2019, under the folksy Scott Morrison as Liberal Leader, professional women turned back to Labor in droves, especially in Goat Cheese Circle seats. While this strategy held up Labor’s vote in higher SES seats, it didn’t work out quite so well with Labor’s traditional Working Families, especially in LNP seats in Queensland.
To sum up: It’s always good for a Party to win a majority of the 2PP national vote, but it’s even better to win a majority of seats. In 2019, Scott Morrison won both by attracting support from marginal seats containing traditional Labor heartland voters and skipping the Goat Cheese Circle set.
Hi there again, election tragics. Sorry I’m late with this short article but I had to ice the cupcakes for our school election day fundraising stall. No, seriously, I did. And I had to stop the five year old eating all the chocolate sprinkles. This is a quick note as I have to drop off the jellies, which have hopefully set. So apologies if there’s any errors in the comments on individual seats.
The previous piece on Stereotypes and Voting drew a big response, so I decided to re-send the same Stereotypes Excel File, which you can download and play with, but with added columns for the Activist Religions which voted against type for Kevin Rudd in 2007, as well as Aged Pensioners and also our mean dollar figures for Superannuation Income in 2015/16.
I’ve been running into a few self-funded retirees this past week and it’s fair to conclude this group won’t be swinging to Labor anytime soon. I also think, given the strong evangelical profile of the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, compared to his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull, that this group will be moving towards the Coalition tonight. Remember here that it’s the swings that are important, not their absolute level of support for either party. A small swing from a big group located in marginal seats is campaign gold for party strategists. A big swing from a small group can also be valuable, if it’s also located in marginal seats.
The Activist Religions. This represented about ten percent of the vote in 2007 and does so again in 2019. In 2007 we took all those religions dominating the swings to Labor and selected the same groups again from the last census for 2019. Normally these religions are clustered in safer Coalition seats, but there’s huge numbers of them across Queensland seats, including quite a few marginals. Of the top 25 seats ranked for Activist Religions, 15 are in Queensland. Given the small national swings we’re seeing, for the reasons I outlined above, I would expect this group to be moving towards the Liberal Leader Scott Morrison. Among the seats which could be impacted by any such movement include Lingiari, Longman and Braddon (Labor), Dickson, Forde, Flynn, Capricornia and Petrie (Liberal). Labor would thus be a little more vulnerable in three seats and have less chance of picking up five marginal Queensland seats. At the other end of the Activist scale, the seats tend to be stonking rich and full of Goat Cheese Circle types, such as Wentworth, the former seat of Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull or inner city Green Left students and professionals, like Wills, the former seat of late Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke. I served as a humble backbencher with Bob and I can still smell his Havana cigars up the corridors in the Old Parliament House. He will be missed.
Aged Pensioners. We model this data every couple of years and these figures are probably a bit dated, but still relevant. I really don’t know how much the hostility to Labor’s policies on franking and capital gains tax are going to flow through to less asset rich persons who have retired on the Aged Pension. I suppose a little, but nowhere near as much as for those on their own super schemes. Still, if you select all columns on the Excel File and rank by Aged Pensioners, you can see some seriously big numbers in marginal seats, including Page, Robertson (Coalition), Richmond, Braddon, Lyons, Bass, Dobell (Labor). These could be real momentum stoppers for a small pro-Labor national swing on election night.
Super Income. We extracted this ATO data and averaged it out over persons for our modelling of income generally. When we rank the federal seats for this figure, the ACT just jumps out as the top of the list, with figures in the thousands, with the next highest seats also looking to be representative of retired public servants. It fairly warms my heart to think we sold Telstra to set up a national Future Fund to achieve these figures. In reality, I’m probably just jealous I can’t put my own retirement savings into the Future Fund, because neither party has had the wit to allow us. When we consider the figures for the seats outside Canberra, we need to discount for the numbers of retired public servants on gold plated super schemes. This means you could probably rule out Eden-Monaro, marginal Labor with a lot of retired public servants. Coalition marginals which could benefit include Gilmore and Corangamite, although the latter is nominally Labor after the redistribution. The only marginal Labor seat which could be impacted is Herbert, although there would be a lot of Herbert retired military service voters on more secure super schemes. That’s about it, really. The per capita Super figures really level right out after the top 20 or so seats. Which probably explains why the ALP adopted the policy it did.
The risk here for the ALP tonight is the extent to which all retirees feel targeted by changes to their retirement incomes generally. As far as the evangelicals go, these voters tend to be pretty quiet at election times and keep their opinions to themselves until they get to the ballot box. I suspect this might be a sleeper for some Queensland marginals.