To read political commentary recently, in Australia and elsewhere, one would imagine that working-class voters have deserted Labor and other left parties en masse, and that these parties now depend on the votes of wealthy inhabitants of the inner city.
The Oz (not linked) has just down a breakdown of recent newspolls, which shows this to be pretty much the exact opposite of the the truth. Of course, being the Oz, this is given the negative spin that “Labor fails to win back the middle” (remember that in Ozspeak, and most political commentary, “middle” means “top”. It’s also important to note that most of the discussion compares Labor to the sum of the Liberal and National Parties. This count the Greens, who are effectively part of a fractious left coalition, as well as centrist and right wing minor parties.
The key finding
The greatest margin in favour of the Coalition was among those with household incomes of between $100,000 and $150,000, with a split of 50 per cent to 28 per cent.
There was a similar picture among higher-income earners targeted by Labor’s class war on the wealthy — those earning household income of more than $150,000 — with the government holding a 21-point lead, 50 per cent to 29 per cent.
Under normal circumstances, this would be the ultimate “dog bites man” story. But, given the absurd state of political commentary, particularly from the Murdoch Press, it will come as a shock to many.
An unsurprising implication, given that high income earners tend to live close to the central business district is that the Liberal party holds most seats in these areas (archetypal examples are Kooyong and Higgins in Melbourne and Wentworth and Bennelong in Sydney, but the pattern extends to through the Eastern suburbs in both cities and the North Shore in Sydney). The exceptions are a handful of seats in formerly working class areas very close to the CBD, where a combination of gentrifying young professionals and the remainder of the old working class population vote for either Labor or the Greens (Albanese’s seat of Grayndler for example).
Again, for anyone who paid attention to the outcome of the election rather than the spin put out by (for example), Blue Labor, there would be no surprises here.