Who cares about South Australian politics?

Yippee! South Australia is heading towards another election. We are a State in election mode! Or, is it festival mode? With the election campaign and Adelaide Fringe Festival in full action, it has become hard to distinguish the festival performer and political candidate posters jousting for position. Who will win, and does anyone really care?

With said confusion, leading South Australian based community market and social research agency ‘Square Holes’ conducted a statistically representative survey (17-19th of February – the weekend that launched our festival season and election campaign) of 402 South Australian adults (aged 18+). Some interesting results have emerged, including a fair bit of apathy and many  pondering … “Aren’t all political parties basically the same?”

A summary of the results follow …

73% of South Australians care about our State politics.

This level is around 60% for South Australians aged under 30 and closer to 80% for people aged 50+.

71% would still vote if voting was non-compulsory.

This also increases with age, from around 50% of those aged 18-29 years old to over 80% of South Australians aged 55+.

Only 41% have an alignment to a political party.

This is generally consistent across age groups, although a bit higher for people aged over 60 (54%).

For first preference voting in the House of Assembly, Labor Party seems to be sitting in the gold medal position, Liberal Party silver and SA BEST bronze.

Although there are some differences by age. For example, SA BEST seems to be more popular for voters aged 45+, posing a particular risk to the Liberal Party.

And, by and large Labor, Liberal and SA BEST are generally perceived as more similar than different by South Australian voters. When asked to say which party or parties would perform appropriately across 32 key areas, while Labor generally received the Gold medal position (30 Gold and two Silver), Liberal and SA BEST aren’t that far behind. (Click to increase size of image)

Interestingly, only the Greens were seen as notably different, more aligned to protecting the environment and waste and recycling management. Often voters were unable to say which party would perform appropriately in a policy area (33-51% across the 32 areas), particularly in areas such as the arts, sport, digital technology, population growth and reducing tax. (Click to increase size of images)

(Full question for above was: Following the 2018 South Australian election, how confident will you be in elected members representing the following political parties to perform appropriately in the following areas? Rotate order of areas / Multiple responses allowed)

Jason Dunstone, director and lead researcher from Square Holes noted …

“People are very busy, and while they care very much about the future of South Australia, and our political leaders are critical in this, we continue to have a fair degree of skepticism from some. Labor appears to be in a strong position, with many believing they are doing well, yet others are seeking a change of government. Many do not see much difference between parties. Gone are the days when Liberal was the conservative right and Labor the clear left-wing. In saying this, Liberal’s strengths were perceived as economy, business, jobs and infrastructure, and for Labor workplace safety, infrastructure and education, yet there is still very little perceived difference. It is all way too close to call!

Please contact Jason Dunstone 08 8232 3355 0411 421 722 jason@squareholes.com 

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