Australian Election and Voting Behaviour

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It is often argued that the level of party identification in Australia is extremely high by international standards. Critically assess the evidence in support of this and explain its potential significance for the development of major and minor parties
It is often argued that the level of party identification in Australia is extremely high by international standards…

Introduction

This paper uses data from the 2001 Australian Election Study (AES), to investigate the level of party identification, political attitudes and voting behaviour in the election in Australia.This paper finds that whereas a weakening in the strength of party identification is associated with the potential significance of the development of the major1 and minor parties2. Partisan de-alignment is also changing the dynamics of the determinants of turnout. Since non-identifiers are more strongly influenced by the political context than strong identifiers, and there are now more non-identifiers than previously, the political context is becoming a more important factor in determining whether people vote or not. A question of potential importance is whether to study vote in the House of Representatives or in the Senate, or even possibly party identification. In part, this is because the voting system in the Senate is more 'minor party-friendly' because of its more proportional outcomes, but a further reason for examining Senate vote is the greater consistency in choice offered to voters (Charnock, 2004). ...
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