Majority of Australians Back Gender Quotas for Liberal Party

New research from the Australia Institute has shown the majority of Coalition voters support the Liberal Party setting gender quotas to achieve a representative number of women preselected as Liberal Party candidates. The research also shows that half of Australians (50%) are not very or not at all confident in the Prime Minister’s ability to address issues affecting women.

The Australia Institute polled 1005 Australians between 25 and 26 March 2021, with national representative samples by gender, age and region.

Key findings:

  • Half of voters (53%) support gender quotas in the Liberal Party to achieve a representative number of women preselected as Liberal Party candidates. A quarter (25%) oppose, 22% are not sure.
    • Coalition voters are most likely to support gender quotas for the Liberal Party (60% support, 26% oppose), with the majority of Labor (58% support, 22% oppose) and Greens supporters (53% support, 19% oppose). Only One Nation supporters were more likely to oppose than support (18% support, 43% oppose).
    • Young voters aged 18-24 are most likely to support gender quotas (61%), (those aged 25-34 54%; 35-44 years 54%; 45-54 years 46%, 55-64 years 53%; those 65+ years 52%)
  • One in two Australians (50%) are not very or not at all confident in the Prime Minister’s ability to address issues affecting women, with 42% confident.
    • Women much less likely to be confident (53% not confident, 37% confident) that Prime Minister has ability to address issues affecting women.
    • Young voters have the least confidence across all age groups, with 53% not confident in the PM’s ability to address issues affecting women, while 35% are confident.
    • Coalition voters were most likely to have confidence in the PM, with 74% very or fairly confident. Labor, Greens and Independent/Other voters were all much more likely to be not very or not at all confident in the PM’s ability (not confident 67%, 70% and 58% respectively)

“Our research shows Prime Minister Scott Morrison is well-placed to start reforming the Liberal Party, with the majority of voters, including Coalition voters, supporting gender quotas for the party,” said Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute.

“The Prime Minister said it himself, whatever the Liberal Party is doing to improve the preselection and election of women hasn’t worked and this research shows Coalition voters know it. The introduction of gender quotas for winnable seats transformed the Labor Party, and this research shows Coalition voters want the Liberal Party to follow suit.

“Concerningly for the PM, there is a clear gender divide emerging, with a 10 percentage point gap between men’s and women’s confidence in the Prime Minister’s ability to address issues primarily affecting women.

“If the Prime Minister had shown leadership, this could have been a transformational moment. Instead, Scott Morrison has lost the confidence of half his constituents on the issues that affect them the most.”

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Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

0422 775 161

anna@australiainstitute.org.au