New research from The Australia Institute has found that young voters and their strong interest in tackling global warming could be a significant factor at the next election in South Australia, across both the Lower House and the Senate.
More than half (55%) of South Australians aged 18 to 24-years-old ranked policies around tackling climate change as a “very significant” factor in deciding who they will vote for while Labor’s overall plan for the country is preferred over the Liberal Party’s by a plurality of voters in every age group between the ages 18 and 54.
“With the seat of Boothby sitting on a notional margin of just 2.7% and more than 30,000 voters aged between 18 and 34, the greater concern about tackling global warming amongst younger South Australians may have a major impact at this election,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, The Australia Institute’s SA projects manager.
“With a crowded field jostling for two South Australian Senate seats that are hanging in the balance, the choice that younger voters make in our state could also have a major impact on the final makeup of the Upper House.
“Across South Australia, when asked which of the two major parties has the better overall plan for the future, more voters supported Labor’s policies across all age groups between 18 and 54-years-old. That then changes, with more voters aged 55 and above preferring the Liberal Party’s plan over Labor’s.
“When deciding who to vote for, more than half of South Australians aged 18 to 24-years-old ranked policies around tackling climate change as a very significant factor, which is more than any other age group. Interestingly, it was middle aged South Australians aged 45 to 54 who were least likely to list climate change policies as a ‘very significant’ factor in their vote, with greater levels of concern recorded amongst voters aged 65 years or over.
“Political parties need to be responsive to their voters and every year, as more young Australians are added to the roll, the electorate evolves. Any party that ignores the desire for strong action on climate change from young South Australians voters will potentially be doing so at their own electoral peril.”