Labor and the commentariat are very excited about interest rates – what with a broken promise to keep them low and the possibility of rates going up during a campaign. But as with household finances generally, do the voters have a sense of perspective that the political class lacks?
Back in August, Andrew Leigh wrote an op-ed suggesting that interest rates did not affect the 2004 election in the way conventional wisdom presumes. Today’s Newspoll suggests that the 2007 election may be similar.
In a question asking whether the respondent would be less likely to vote for the Coalition if interest rates went up, only 9% said it would. That was largely driven by people who had already said they were going to vote Labor. Only 2% of those indicating support for the Liberals said that they would be less likely to vote Liberal if rates went up. But 4% of Coalition supporters said that they would be more likely to vote for the Coalition, as did 2% of Labor voters.
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