Although the majority (71%) of Australian electors believe voting
should be compulsory at federal and state elections, 28% think voting
should be voluntary – with younger voters more likely to prefer
voluntary voting.

But 87% of voters say they would probably vote
at the next federal election even if voting wasn’t compulsory, while11%
say they wouldn’t vote, according to a special telephone Morgan Poll
conducted for Crikey.

Of electors who said they wouldn’t vote or couldn’t say if they would
vote if voting were not compulsory (13%), on a ‘two-party’ preferred
basis, 48% said they would vote for the L-NP if an election were held
today and 52% said they would vote for the ALP.

The
poll follows last week’s stories in Crikey about a push by key members
of the federal government to introduce voluntary voting – which they
believe would be in the interests of the Liberal Party.

The poll shows that Australians’ attitudes to
compulsory voting have changed little in the last 40 years. In 1969,
when the Morgan Poll last asked Australians electors (then aged over
21) if they thought voting should be compulsory or not, 69% said
compulsory and 29% said voluntary.

This special telephone Morgan Poll was conducted on the evenings of
September 21/22, 2005, with an Australia-wide sample of 650 respondents
aged 14 and over, of whom 564 were electors.

Full poll details here.

Peter Fray

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