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Climate concern the main reason voters swung to independents at federal election, study

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Concern about the climate crisis was the No 1 issue that prompted Australians to switch their vote to an independent candidate at this year’s federal election, according to in-depth social research.

It was the No 2 issue that led to people to swing to Labor, behind concern about the cost of living – including affordable housing.

The results are from a unique ongoing study, known as Climate Compass, that interviewed 3,636 people after the election to gauge attitudes on climate change. It found 47% of voters who swung independent and 42% of those who swung Labor this year did so primarily due to concern over the issue.

More than half (58%) of Australians had become more concerned about climate change over the past two years, and nearly three-quarters (74%) believed governments should be doing more to address it.

The results highlight an ongoing challenge for the Coalition, which lost votes across the country due to its failure to take the climate crisis seriously. The wipeout for the Liberal party in metropolitan Australia in May was so severe the Coalition partyroom is now…

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