We get peppered constantly with the mantra that ACT voters are so different from the rest of the nation, that eventually we start to believe it ourselves.
But the first release of data from the ABC’s mammoth Vote Compass project seems to indicate otherwise. For all of the key topics, the ACT results are pretty much slap in the middle of all the other regions. Except Health and Hospitals that is, where the ACT is second only to Tasmania.
In the overall results, the economy was the stand-out issue, asylum seekers second, followed by climate change, health and hospitals, education and broaband bunched together. The variety in stances according to gender, age, income and political leaning are interesting but somewhat predictable.
More interesting are the issues that it seems are very low on most respondents’ radar: mining, transport, food security, manufacturing, defence, childcare, disability care. A wake-up call for the respective interest groups?
The results so far were drawn from the initial 250,000 responses, with weighting to compensate for a range of potential selection biases. The total participation jumped past 500,000 people last night.
So by the end of five weeks, it would seem this project may give an assessment of the nation’s political landscape that will walk all over the endless stream of media-based polls we’ve had for the last four years. Having been on the receiving end of some of those poll calls, they are hardly clear of result biases in the ways their questions are framed. There’s also the little issue of them only calling landlines, which more and more of us are ditching…