The views of Liberal defectors

The SMH had a report yesterday on the results of the 2007 Australian Election Survey. It comes up with the following unsurprising findings:

? Industrial relations and global warming were the biggest vote-changing issues.

? Rising interest rates did not cost the Coalition as dearly as thought.

? Voters respected Mr Howard but were virtually in love with Mr Rudd, giving him the highest “likeability” rating in the survey’s 20-year history.

? Low-income battlers moved decisively back to Labor.

? The Coalition would have struggled under Mr Costello.

But the article doesn’t make use of a useful question in the AES, on which party the respondent voted for in 2004 (with a caveat, of course, on the reliability of 2004 memories). This question can be used to sort the views of people who defected to Labor in 2007 from those who were Labor voters anyway.

When we compare people who switched from Liberal to Labor between 2004 and 2007 with those who remained with the Liberals we can see that the former group was more anti-WorkChoices. Of the 19% of 2004 Liberal voters who voted Labor in 2007, 80% disapproved of WorkChoices. Only 23% of those who stayed with the Liberals disapproved of WorkChoices.
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