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Unattached and unconvinced: Australian non-partisans


Tranter, B and Smith, J, Unattached and unconvinced: Australian non-partisans, Australian Journal of Social Issues ISSN 0157-6321 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2020 Australian Social Policy Association

DOI: doi:10.1002/ajs4.116


Political party identification is a strong predictor of political behaviour and social attitudes in advanced industrialised democracies. Australian Election Study data show declining identification with major parties over time, and that working- class Australians, those who do not identify with any class, the secular and the politically uninterested are most likely to be non-partisans. However, national samples rarely allow for detailed analysis of younger people, given the low numbers of younger people they contain. Longitudinal data from the Social Futures and Life Pathways ("Our Lives") project enable us to focus upon young Australians aged 24 living in the state of Queensland. The Queensland data show that younger non-partisans tend to lack post-secondary education, are on lower incomes, are less interested in politics and, importantly, have nonaligned parents. Nationally, non-partisans were less likely than partisans to pay attention to politics during the 2016 Federal Election, but more likely to decide how to vote on the day of the Federal Election and more likely than partisans to vote informal. Younger non-partisans were also less likely to engage in non-electoral political actions, such as signing e-petitions or posting in online forums or social networking sites.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:political party identification, Australia, partisan dealignment, survey research, young people
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Tranter, B (Professor Bruce Tranter)
ID Code:138834
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-05-01
Last Modified:2021-05-19

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