Interest rates and the vote

Those commenters stressing that interest rates could be a signifcant factor in the election, even if most people don’t think the government is to blame for them, get a boost from polling reported in this morning’s Sunday Age.

In a Taverner Poll of Victoria and NSW, 21% of those polled blamed the government for the increases in interest rates. That’s a lot more than the 12% blaming John Howard in a Galaxy Poll earlier this month. Is that because there has been an increase since, opinion is different in NSW and Victoria, or the question wording affected the result? Unfortunately, The Sunday Age has kept up with its very poor opinion poll practices, and published nothing about question wording or sample size.

But some evidence for the vote-changing case:

The latest Sunday Age/Taverner Research poll shows that 57% of the key mortgage-holder demographic will be voting for Labor, compared with only 43% for the Coalition.

This is a complete reversal of the 2004 campaign, when a Taverner poll conducted then showed the Coalition enjoying an 8-point margin over Labor among mortgage holders.

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