Essential Report

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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