Contrary to previous gender politics theories, there was no clear evidence that Tony Abbott coming to the Liberal leadership disproportionately affected the way women saw their political choices.
But if women were not put off by Tony Abbott, will they be particularly attracted to Julia Gillard? Some of the media vox pops of the last couple of days suggest that they might.
The Nielsen poll demographic figures provided at Pollytics blog (here and here) let us start seeing if this will be the case. Like Scott Steel at Pollytics I think we should take these initial polls with some caution, given the general excitement of the last few days. The swooning media will soon return to the gotcha game of trying to catch politicians out. But these polls are the best we have to date.
On preferred PM, there has been a general shift to the Labor leader since Nielsen’s 3-5 June poll (though this was probably a rogue poll in understating Labor support). However women have moved more than men to the Labor leader, up 9% compared to 4% for men.
On the two-party preferred, however, the story is different. Women are up 6% compared to a 9% increase for men. Given that with this poll there were probably less than 500 respondents of each sex it is possible that there was no real difference between them, and that the change of leader has had similar effects on men and women. Men can also be enthused by the idea of a female PM; either on feminist grounds or because, as we have seen in the past, a certain kind of male voter is attracted to female redhead politicians.