What voters think of changing Leaders

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    Three leadership changes before a vote

    Here's something interesting, though: The ABC's Vote Compass has been harvesting the opinions of Australians for three elections now.


    As bad luck would have it, each of the past three elections has taken place fewer than 12 months after a memorable iteration of Australia's now-famous prime ministerial asset recycling scheme.


    In 2013, Australia went to the polls to consider the newly-reinstated Kevin Rudd, about nine weeks after he escorted Julia Gillard to the pavilion.


    In 2016, voters narrowly chose the government of Malcolm Turnbull, 10 months after he overthrew Tony Abbott.


    And on May 18 this year, the nation will have the opportunity to endorse Scott Morrison as Prime Minister, 10 months on from his party's decision to relieve Mr Turnbull of his responsibilities.

    Of those three leadership changes, according to Vote Compass, there's only one of which the Australian public violently disapproves: The most recent one.


    Voters think it was the wrong call

    The vast majority of respondents — 78 per cent — think that the decision to remove Malcolm Turnbull in August last year was the wrong call. That conclusion is drawn from 153,354 responses to Vote Compass between April 10 and April 16.


    This is an unusually high degree of consensus among a population which can agree — it seems — on little else.

    The previous two removals of prime ministers that came by way of internecine machinations rather than the will of the people actually earned broad support.


    During the 2013 election campaign, 60 per cent of Vote Compass respondents thought that the Labor Party made the right call in replacing Julia Gillard with Kevin Rudd.


    And in 2016, 81 per cent thought replacing Tony Abbott with Malcolm Turnbull was the right thing to do.

    Coalition voters not keen on dumping of Malcolm Turnbull

    Proportion of voters who said 'YES" in response to the question: 'In your opinion, did the Labor/Liberal party make the right decision in changing leaders", by vote intention

    2013 Julia Gillard to Kevin Rudd
    Australian Labor Party (ALP)
    82
    Australian Greens
    51
    Liberal-National Coalition
    46
    2016 Tony Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull
    Australian Labor Party (ALP)
    87
    Australian Greens
    91
    Liberal-National Coalition
    79
    2019 Malcolm Turnbull to Scott Morrison
    Australian Labor Party (ALP)
    4
    Australian Greens
    3
    Liberal-National Coalition
    42

    Data for each change of PM comes from Vote Compass results in the 2013, 2016 and 2019 elections years

    All participants in Vote Compass — while anonymous — are asked their gender, age, education level, language, region and past voting patterns, and the results are weighted to account for these factors to ensure that the results are properly representative of Australia's actual population.

    One Nation voters stand alone

    The results reveal that across all voting groups apart from One Nation, respondents were of the majority view that punting Malcolm Turnbull was a bad idea.

    Among One Nation voters, 59 per cent approved of Mr Turnbull's removal, while 41 per cent disapproved.


    Labor voters almost universally opposed the leadership change; 96 per cent of Labor respondents said it was the wrong decision, as did 97 per cent of Greens voters.


    Among the most relevant cohort — voters who identified themselves as Coalition supporters — opinions were more evenly divided, with 42 per cent approving of the leadership change, and 58 per cent disapproving.

    Participants were also asked how the leadership change affected their voting intentions.


    Now, this is always a dicey finding. It's asking respondents to make a decision based on a hypothetical; never an especially scientific process, especially among those respondents who would never vote for the Coalition anyway.


    But for what it's worth, 43 per cent said they'd be more likely on the whole to vote for the Coalition if Malcolm Turnbull were still Liberal leader, while 16 per cent said they'd be less likely.


    A substantial 38 per cent said that they were just as likely to vote Coalition notwithstanding the change.


    Again, One Nation voters were the only political grouping for whom Mr Turnbull's removal seems to have been politically productive; 50 per cent of them declared that they would be more likely to vote for the Coalition as a result.


    Across the results, there were slight variations along gender, age, and educational attainment lines; Turnbull supporters skewed younger, female and higher-educated, but only marginally, and the pattern of disapproval of the Liberal Party's leadership change was consistent across all age groups, levels of education and genders.

    One Nation voters think dumping Malcolm Turnbull was the right decision

    Proportion of voters who responded YES or NO to the question: "In your opinion, did the Liberal Party make the right decision in changing leaders from Malcolm Turnbull to Scott Morrison?"



    No
    Yes
    Australian Greens
    97
    3
    Australian Labor Party (ALP)
    96
    4
    Liberal-National Coalition
    58
    42
    Pauline Hanson's One Nation
    41
    59
    Based on 153,354 respondents to Vote Compass between April 10 and April 16.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-19/vote-compass-turnbull-morrison-leadership/11028386
 
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