Friday, 1 July 2016

10% of voters still undecided - an historical high


Tomorrow Australians go to the polls. After 8 long and excruciating weeks of campaigning, the polls have done fuck all. Still sitting around 50/50. Or as Ernie and Bert would say "Even Stevens old buddy Bert!"

What is interesting though is the number of people still undecided at 10%. Historically this is double what it usually is. These will be the ones who decide the election result. Likely they will make up their minds in the polling booths. This election could go either way. The idea that it's in the bag for the Lieberals is Murdoch preaching. Tomorrow will tell.
There are 15,676,659 people enrolled to vote for this election. That's up almost one million since 2013. The participation rate is estimated at 95 per cent, compared to 92 per cent in 2013. 

The estimated number of eligible voters who aren't enrolled has slumped from 1.22 million to 816,000. 

The participation rate of 18 year olds has risen from around 50 per cent to over 70 per cent. 

The AEC attributes much of the lift in participation to the fact you can now register to vote online. That may indeed make it easier to register to vote. But it doesn't mean you have to. 

Equally, a staggering 2.2 million people had already cast votes at pre-polling centres by Thursday morning. That's just under 15 per cent of voters: a lot of people rushing to be disengaged (or practice obscene art on their ballot papers). 

There are the obvious points to make about how, more than usual, that means the vote will freeze frame changing views of politics over the past couple of weeks. 

But there has never seemed such a big gap between what the published polls tell us – a tight race and a hung parliament; and the overwhelming expectation of a now comfortable win for the Coalition. 

Some of this apparent disparity will be played out in the story of votes for independents and minor parties. But another layer in the complex story of the electorate lies in what is still a huge undecided vote: in published polls it is still hovering around 10 per cent (double the more normal levels). Australian Financial Review