If the Australian electorate were made up of just 100 people, what would they think about the big issues facing the country — and how did they vote?
Here are 100 dots: each one represents 1 per cent of Australian voters.
First up, let’s take a look at what Australians thought were the biggest issues of the election.
Vote Compass found the environment and the economy were pretty much neck and neck as the top issue.
That was a big shift from the 2016 election, when only 9 per cent of voters thought the environment was the most important issue.
Notably, not everyone was so strongly focused on the environment in 2019. More Queensland voters ranked the economy (27 per cent) as their top issue than the environment (24 per cent).
When we asked people if the government should take more action on climate change …
… most of you said more action was needed.
On one of the thorniest issues this election — we asked whether the Adani mine in Queensland should be built.
Nationwide, only about one in five people said they wanted to see it proceed.
But in regional Queensland, 45 per cent were in favour of the coal mine being built.
Immigration has been one of the nation’s most talked-about and divisive issues for decades. And it still is.
We asked whether Australia should accept more or fewer immigrants. The response was split.
People living in the inner suburbs of our capital cities were the most supportive of increased immigration.
Whereas rural people were split between keeping numbers the same or cutting immigration.
A large majority of Australians support one of the key principles of multiculturalism — that migrants can retain their cultural values without being any less Australian.
Nearly 70 per cent agreed that immigrant cultural values didn’t make people less Australian.
One Nation voters were the exception. If there were 100 One Nation voters, this is what their views would look like on that same question.
Across the slate of Vote Compass questions, women and men mostly showed similar patterns in their views, but not always.
Women thought political parties should have rules to get equal numbers of men and women into Parliament.
But men were not so keen on gender quotas.
The issue that garnered the greatest level of agreement across the population was one we didn’t actually hear much at all about during the campaign itself.
Support for terminally ill patients to be able to end their own lives with medical assistance is very high, regardless of party vote, age, income and even religion.
But don’t expect Australia to become a republic any time soon.
Support for Australia ending the monarchy to become a republic is lukewarm at best.
Across the election campaign, Vote Compass provided a detailed snapshot of what the Australian electorate is thinking. But surveys can never tell the whole story.
As we’re so often told, there’s only one poll that matters — and that was the one held on Saturday, May 18.
In terms of how the nation voted, both Labor and the Coalition saw small national swings against them on first preferences, with minor parties picking up the extra votes.
Together, One Nation and Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party collected just over 6 per cent of the vote nationally.
Here’s how that picture looked in 2016. Then, the Coalition’s share was 0.5 per cent higher and Labor’s 0.9 per cent higher, while One Nation was 2 per cent lower and Clive Palmer’s party wasn’t in the running.
Back to 2019, this is what the vote looked like in Queensland, where the rise of minor parties was especially strong. Labor’s vote fell to just 27 per cent and One Nation and the United Australia Party polled 12 per cent.
But the story is more nuanced than that — the vote looks very different in different parts of Queensland. Here, for example, are first preference votes in the central Queensland seat of Flynn, where One Nation polled 20 per cent of the vote.
Compare that to Kevin Rudd’s old seat of Griffith, in inner-city Brisbane, where the Greens had one of their strongest performances of anywhere in the country.
Now, let’s zoom back out to the national level, and look at the two-party preferred vote. Here’s the broad consensus of what the polls told us to expect — with 51 per cent of the vote going to Labor.
And here’s how the two-party vote is shaping up at this stage of counting, according to ABC estimates: 51.8 per cent to the Coalition and 48.2 per cent to Labor.
Three years ago, that two-party split was 50.4 per cent to the Coalition and 49.6 to Labor.
Now, take another look at that 2019 result.
When you view the electorate as 100 people, the change can be hard to spot.
But the movement of just a couple of dots will be enough to very slightly boost the Coalition’s parliamentary majority compared to the 2016 result, when Malcolm Turnbull’s near-defeat was broadly seen as a disaster for the Coalition.
This time around, the numbers are being seen as a repudiation of Labor — which is already searching for a new leader — and a “miracle” endorsement for the Coalition.
In politics, it would seem, expectations are almost everything.
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- Vote Compass responses have been weighted by gender, age, education, language, religion and place of residence to match the Australian population, creating a nationally representative sample.
- The sample size for each of the questions featured in this story is at least 119,682 respondents
- On the question of most important issue in this election, categories could overlap, so the total does not add up to 100 per cent
- Find about more about the methodology in this explainer.
- Aggregate poll data was taken from psephologist Dr Kevin Bonham’s blog