Essential Report

Preferred voting system

Jan 14, 2013

Q. Which of the following voting systems would you prefer when voting for the Federal House of Representatives.

  • A preferential voting system where voters rank all candidates in order of preference.
  • An optional preferential system where voters can rank one, some, or all candidates in order of preference.
  • A “first past the post” system, where voters only vote for one candidate and the candidate with the most votes wins.
 

11 Jul 11

Total

14 Jan 13

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Preferential

22%

23%

29%

20%

32%

Optional preferential

26%

25%

26%

23%

43%

First past the post

44%

44%

40%

52%

24%

Don’t know

7%

8%

5%

5%

1%

Of the three voting options given, 44% favoured “first past the post”, 25% optional preferential and 23% the current preferential system – almost no change since the question was last asked in July 2011.

Optional preferential was most preferred by those aged under 35 (30%) while older groups strongly favoured first past the post (52% of aged 45+).

“First past the post” was preferred by 52% Liberal/National voters and 43% of Greens voters preferred optional preferential.

Voluntary Voting

Jul 11, 2011

Q. If voting at elections was voluntary (i.e. not compulsory) – how likely would you be to vote in the next Federal election?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total definitely/probably vote 82% 85% 89% 78%
Total definitely/probably not vote 14% 12% 9% 19%
Would definitely vote 59% 62% 65% 61%
Would probably vote 23% 23% 24% 17%
Probably wouldn’t vote 10% 8% 7% 18%
Definitely wouldn’t vote 4% 4% 2% 1%
Don’t know 4% 3% 1% 3%

82% said they would definitely or probably vote if voting was voluntary. 14% said they definitely or probably would not vote.

Coalition and Labor voters were more likely to vote and Greens voters somewhat less likely.

By age, 73% of those aged under 35 said they would vote compared to 82% of those aged 35-54 and 91% of those aged 55+.

The estimated vote excluding those who would probably or definitely not vote produces a first preference vote of 52% Liberal/National, 30% Labor, 11% Greens and 7% other. The two-party preferred estimate is 58% Liberal/National and 42% Labor (compared to the current estimate of 57%/43%) – suggesting that voluntary voting would only very slightly advantage the Coalition.

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Preferred Voting System

Jul 11, 2011

Q. Which of the following voting systems would you prefer when voting for the Federal House of Representatives.

  • A preferential voting system where voters rank all candidates in order of preference.
  • An optional preferential system where voters can rank one, some, or all candidates in order of preference.
  • A “first past the post” system, where voters only vote for one candidate and the candidate with the most votes wins.
Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Preferential 22% 31% 18% 30%
Optional preferential 26% 26% 24% 33%
First past the post 44% 40% 53% 31%
Don’t know 7% 4% 4% 6%

Of the three voting options given, 44% favoured “first past the post”, 26% optional preferential and 22% the current preferential system.

Optional preferential was most preferred by those aged under 35 (35%) while older groups strongly favoured first past the post (50% of aged 35-54 and 54% of aged 55+).

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