Wentworth exit poll: climate inaction and coal key to Liberal vote collapse

The Australia Institute’s exit poll results show the Liberal primary vote collapsed primarily as a result of community concern about inaction on climate change and government support for coal.

Key results:

  • Climate change and replacing coal with renewable energy was the biggest single issue motivating voters in Wentworth: 77% of voters said it influenced their vote, with almost half (46%) saying it had a lot of influence on their vote. A third (32%) named it as the most important issue.
  • Climate change was the number one issue for Kerryn Phelps voters, with 42% naming climate change as the main reason for their vote, 87% of Phelps voters said climate change influenced how they voted. 
  • Amongst ex-Liberal voters, climate change was the second-biggest issue (31%) behind Turnbull’s toppling (40%), but 82% of those voters said the issue of climate change had influenced how they voted.

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison once brought a lump of coal into Parliament, but his government’s climate-wrecking, anti-science stance has gone down like a lead balloon with the voters of Wentworth,” said Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director of The Australia Institute.

“The Wentworth by-election was a referendum on climate change action and it’s now clear that voters are willing to punish the government at the ballot box for their love of coal.

“The surge of support for Kerryn Phelps shows the community campaign to Stop Adani is biting, even in the safest of safe Liberal seats.”

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