Health was the most important issue for voters in the recent federal election, usurping economic management as the topic front of mind as Australians entered the polling booth on July 2, this week's Essential Report shows.

Sixty per cent of voters nominated health policies and 58% nominated Medicare as "very important", compared to 53% who nominated economic management. Economic management, traditionally a strength for conservative parties, is usually the most important issue for voters in determining how they will vote, illustrating how successful Labor's Medicare scare campaign was. It may illustrate how successful Labor was at neutralising economic management as an issue, so voters felt free to focus on other issues. Education was nominated as very important by 43% of voters, behind "better for me and my family" on 53%.