Wentworth exit poll shows Climate and Coal are key issues in Liberal vote collapse



The interim results of an exit poll* of 1049 respondents in Wentworth, commissioned by the Australia Institute and undertaken by Lonergan Research, shows the Liberal primary vote collapsed primarily as a result of the community’s concern about the government’s support for coal and inaction on climate change. 

“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.

Key preliminary results:

– Climate change and replacing coal with renewable energy was the biggest single issue motivating voters in Wentworth – 78% of voters said it had at least some influence on their vote. Half (47%) said it had a lot of influence on their vote and 33% named it as the most important issue

– Climate change was the number one issue for Kerryn Phelps voters, with 42% naming climate change as their biggest issue.

 – Amongst ex-Liberal voters who voted for Phelps, climate change was the second-biggest issue (28%) behind Turnbull’s toppling (44%), but 81% of those voters said climate change and getting out of coal had at least some influence on how they voted.

“The Wentworth by-election was a referendum on climate change action and it’s clear now 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,” said Bennett.


Figures included are interim results of an exit-poll, commissioned by The Australia Institute, conducted by Lonergan Research in the division of Wentworth on Saturday 20th October 2018. These results were collected face to face, as voters leave the booth on Election Day. Polling was conducted at twelve polling places distributed evenly across Wentworth throughout the day.


For the sake of timely communication, these figures are calculated from raw unweighted data and should be considered as indicative only. The data shall be updated after processing final dataset from this exit-poll. Processing includes data cleaning and weighting, which improves accuracy. 

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