Election 2019: the result wasn’t the only surprise

The 2019 federal election will long be remembered for the surprise result.

But the Coalition’s win wasn’t the only surprise. Polling booth data shows some unexpected patterns: the Coalition gained swings everywhere except in the wealthiest parts of Australia; and the Coalition gained most of its strongest swings in areas with the lowest education rates.

Chart 1 shows that polling booths in all but the richest 20 per cent of postcodes tended to record large swings against Labor.

Chart 2 shows that areas with low rates of tertiary education tended to swing more strongly against Labor.

Perhaps less surprisingly, Chart 3 shows that the further polling booths were from a city centre, the more likely they were to record a swing against Labor.

And Chart 4 shows that the 2019 election continued the long-term trend, identified in Grattan’s 2018 report A crisis of trust, of historically high support for minor parties and independent candidates.

Some major-party voting patterns played out as normal. Survey data suggest high-income business owners tended to support the Coalition, and low-income workers tended to support Labor.

Discussion about which voters swung to the Coalition, and why, will be better informed after the 2019 version of the invaluable Australian Election Study is conducted and released.