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Jul 13, 2011

Bad news for Labor, youth support drops.

Most oppose carbon tax.

Cartoon: By Zeg.

Menzies House has an article, which notes a disturbing trend for the Labor government. Youth support, which is normally a strong area for them, is dropping off, both on the carbon tax and for the party as a whole.

Conventional wisdom says that Labor has a strong following among youth, which tends to dissipate with age to the point where Liberals tend to be seen as old people. As people grow older and more sensible a fair proportion start to realize that the higher cost of big government is actually a drag on their economic success. Most of these become conservatives while a smaller proportion of the more socially tolerant, become libertarian.

The figures mentioned at Menzies House however seem to indicate that this is no longer the case:
Australian Liberal Students’ Federation President John Shipp analyses the latest Newspoll, which shows 18-34 year-olds as the age group most strongly opposed to a tax on carbon dioxide:
Today’s Newspoll indicates that 30 per cent of Australians are in favour of the federal government’s plan to put a price on carbon emissions, with 59 per cent opposed. These are obviously discomforting figures for the Gillard Government.
What should make Labor even more uncomfortable are the age break-downs. Only 26 per cent of Australians aged 18-34 support the Government’s carbon price, while 62 are opposed. In fact, young Australians are more opposed to the carbon tax proposal than any other age bracket.
Those pushing a carbon tax might argue that this is because a significant proportion of Generation Y voters are disappointed that the Government is not going far enough, and that their consistently high primary support for the Greens reflects this outlook.
But look closely at the numbers. According to the latest quarterly Newspoll geographic and demographic breakdowns, since the August 2010 election Labor’s primary support among 18-34 year-olds has dropped 4% from 34 per cent to 30, Greens’ support has fallen 4% from 22 to 18 per cent, and the Coalition’s has risen 4% from 35 to 39 per cent.
The same breakdowns show that Tony Abbott’s net satisfaction rating among 18-34 year olds is better than Gillard’s.

Taking this Newspoll as a snapshot, these assertions are plain wrong. Generation Y is as concerned about cost of living as any other generation, and perhaps more so. If the figures in this Newpoll hold up, the myth about post-materialist Gen Y voter will have been completely dispelled.
Given these figures and those of the latest Newspoll putting Labor support at 27%, the ALP may soon be only supported by aging hippies, public servants, union officials who have not lost their jobs, and ABC presenters. The whole article can be seen here.


  1. That is a surprise. You'd have thought the pro-anti split in the gen Y mob would be roughly the other way round.

  2. My thoughts exactly. Given the thought training given by the education system and the general leftie bias they are subjected to this is a surprise.

    Either the kids of today are a hell of a lot smarter than we tend to think, or they don't pay much attention in class.