Youth Federal Election Voting Intentions
In late 2007, the Whitlam Institute embarked on a modest project to explore the question of community engagement and political participation by younger Australians. This work was driven by a desire to understand how young Australians participate in the democratic life of the country, how they imagined democracy might work better for them, and indeed all citizens, and the potential implications for policy makers.
One of the questions emerging from this work was the extent, or otherwise, to which young people are exerting an influence on Australian politics and policy making. It has proved to be an obvious question to ask and a frustratingly difficult one to answer. One relatively fruitful line of inquiry appeared to be the electoral impact of younger voters.
Dr Brooker’s analysis of the voting intentions of young people at the Federal level is an indepth probe of the Newspoll Quarterly Data over the fourteen-year period from 1996 to 2010. It is worth stressing that this data is voter intention rather than actual votes. It does not allow drilling down to the electorate-by-electorate ‘numbers’ that occupy so much attention by political strategists and commentators.