Zoe Daniel, Allegra Spender and Kate Chaney (Image: Supplied/Facebook))
Zoe Daniel, Allegra Spender and Kate Chaney (Image: Supplied/Facebook))

Exactly how the federal Liberals lost six heartland seats to independents remains a matter for debate, and how -- or even whether they should try -- to win them back will be a major challenge for the opposition over the next three years.

Ian McAllister and Nicholas Biddle of the Australian National University are offering a view that might immensely complicate the challenge: based on the ANU's traditional Australian Election Study, they suggest that "teal independent" voters “appear to more likely be tactical Labor or Greens voters rather than dissatisfied Liberal voters”, according to a media report.

The basis for the report is a paper to be delivered today, and the full data won't be available until the end of the month. But one snippet is that "among supporters of teal independents 35% voted Labor in 2019, 23% for the Greens and only 19% voted Liberal".