After the election of May 21 2022, I published a piece titled “Why the Conservatives cannot win the next election and why Labor will go early,” in which I wrote:
“Another reason the conservatives will be up against it in the next election is that many mature-aged voters dropped from the rolls and were replaced with a cohort of young folk seeking change. This is guaranteed to transpire again. Both parties knew it would happen sometime, but the LNP, with its born-to-rule attitude, did nothing about it.
A note of caution, though. The young are desperate for change. By that, I mean significant, meaningful transformation that excites and promotes new ways of doing things.”
Mainstream media has now also woken to this most obvious point. Historically when the polls are published, they show which age groups support whichever party; invariably, they demonstrated that older folk supported the Coalition and younger folk backed Labor and the Greens.
It meant that as older folk passed on, they would be replaced by a younger cohort more likely to support the left:
“A new analysis of voting trends by the Liberal-leaning Centre for Independent Studies has found that by the time people reached their early 50s, Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) and Generation X (1965-1980) were more likely to vote for a conservative party than a progressive party.”
The paper’s research suggests my thinking on this subject has been validated. The reader should think of me as something other than a political genius. It was simple. If you looked at the polls for many years, as I have, you would conclude that the young voted left and the old voted right. And that, at some time, the old would progressively die off, and the young left voters would replace them.
An analysis of the report by James Massola and Paul Sakkal for the Sydney Morning Herald suggests that:
“The Coalition could lose the next six elections because Millennials and Generation Z voters aren’t shifting towards conservatives as they age.
“The report further states that that trend is not being repeated among voters who are Millennials (1981-1995) or Generation Z (1996-2009). The percentage of Millennials shifting their vote to the Coalition is only increasing by 0.6 per cent at each election – half the speed at which Boomers and Gen Xers are shifting – which means Millennials will be in their 80s rather than their 50s before they are more likely to vote for the Coalition.
And for Generation Z, who were first eligible to vote in a federal election from 2014, support for the Coalition is falling, rather than increasing. This group is the least likely of any post-war generation to support the Coalition.”
All this analysis indicates that the Coalition could lose another 35 seats. The paper reveals that by 2040 – 70 per cent of voters will be from post-1980 generations.
The Australian Election Study proclaim to be the leading study of political attitudes and voting behaviour in Australia. Their paper examined the average primary vote for the Coalition in elections held in 1966, 1969, 1980 and from 1987 to 2022.
According to the paper’s author Matthew Taylor support for the Coalition among Millennials was increasing at a glacial rate compared to Baby Boomers and Gen X.
“If Gen Z support for the Coalition stays where it is and the generation that comes after has similarly low support, then even if Boomers, Gen X and Millennials keep shifting towards the Coalition at the rates we have seen in the past, that still isn’t enough for the Coalition to return to government in the next six elections,” he said.
After studying the report, I concluded that the Coalition has a rough sea to navigate before having any success in future elections.
Liberal Frontbencher Dan Tehan has called for a significant review of his party’s policies, saying the party needed to find better ways to prove that Liberal values were core Australian values.
They would have to do more than that, like getting rid of the blatant corruption that insinuates itself like rust throughout the party.
The Liberal Party has survived on policies aimed directly at the cohort that is now on its way to the long sleep, and those replacing them want other things from their government, like a revival of the fair go.
Added to their already substantial problems, I find it impossible to imagine that the Australian people would be so gullible as to elect a government that performed so miserably for a decade.
Along the road to a new election, events will emerge to focus on the former Government’s corruption. A steady stream of bad news will be revealed before the next election. I speak of Robodebt and the long list of severe misdemeanours that will be placed before the National Anti-Corruption Commission in June. The Robodebt Royal Commission report which was handed to the Governor General yesterday is expected to be explosive (if it hasn’t been already). This can’t be good for the opposition, no matter what they say.
Of course, the best thing Labor has going for it is Peter Dutton himself. As I previously wrote, and still maintain:
“On all accounts, he thinks there is nothing wrong with the party he leads: Its philosophy, its morality, its trust, its economic credentials and its equality.
Peter Dutton is so disliked by all and Sundry that he couldn’t win an election if he started now.”
My thought for the day
I find the most objectionable feature of conservative attitudes is its propensity to reject well-substantiated new knowledge, science in other words because it dislikes some of the consequences that may flow from it.
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