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Mixed and baked in Victoria: Election 2018

We have just analysed our longitudinal research during the Victorian election comparing a sample taken midway through the campaign with one on the weekend of the election, just after respondents had voted.

To read the report please click here.

While some voters were motivated in part by federal issues, most made their decision based on the choice before them in Victoria.

The Liberal campaign didn’t offer a reason to respondents to change their vote, and Matthew Guy was not seen as a capable leader, including by his own base. Daniel Andrews solidified his position, and was able to convert voters during the campaign, so that he ended the election with an enhanced reputation.

Andrews had a plan and was offering bread and butter policies that our respondents liked in infrastructure. He also gained endorsement for socially progressive policies like support for voluntary euthanasia, and safe injecting rooms. Guy couldn’t convince respondents that he would deliver, or that he was trying to do more than scare voters into voting for him using dog whistles and a law and order campaign.

Andrews met respondents’ expectations of integrity, despite the Red Shirts affair, while Guy seemed shifty, partly because of a perception of corruption from his time as planning minister. In the end the election was a confirmation of the direction in which Andrews is taking Victoria, magnified by  a severe judgment on the state Liberal Party.

Specific findings were:

  1. By the end of the campaign a net 28% of voters thought the state was heading in the right direction.
  2. Daniel Andrews had improved his net approval rating from -1% to +21%, a very significant move.
  3. Matthew Guy’s net approval rating dived from -24% to -51%.
  4. Daniel Andrews moved from being preferred premier by 55% to 61% during the course of the election. Matthew Guy therefore moved from 45% down to 39%
  5. Strongest qualitative factors for Andrews were infrastructure and progressiveness, combined with a belief that he would deliver.
  6. Strongest qualitative factors for Matthew Guy were his positions on crime and cultural issues like safe schools.
  7. Andrews had some negatives, including the “red shirts” affair, but they were cancelled out as a vote changing issue by a suspicion that Matthew Guy gained from rezoning land for developer supporters of the Liberal Party
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