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.
7 thoughts on “Gillard and women”
I think what you’re saying is all true. However, I did hear one article suggest that women could be put off by Julia. i.e. Men tend to get over treachery, women harbour grudges and may tend not to forgive Julia over her ‘knife in the back’.
Anyway, I really hope that all this doesn’t accound for much. People should vote on the best candidate and gender shouldnt come into it. And with Julia up to her eyeballs on existing labour policy, and not committing to policy change, all that’s going on is the same sh!tty product with a different salesman. You can change and fool the voters for a time, but it will come back to haunt.
But if the problems were mainly ones of implementation due to the chaotic management style of a control-freak PM, then a change at the top can make a serious difference.
Hey Andrew, off-topic but I liked the looks of Tony Abbott’s 11th point of his 12 point plan:
“11. Raise standards in education – including allowing principals to determine teacher salaries”
Not much else in the list is really news, but that one looks like a step forward.
Shem – They have certainly learnt one lesson of Kevin 07 – big promises mean no Kevin 10. But very hard for principals to determine teacher salaries when governments still control how much money each school gets.
Will be interesting to see if it is a temporary or permanent shift due to the female factor. Remember that when Sarah Palin was made VP candidate the republicans got a boost amongst women. That was also re-enforced for a while when Hillary did not get the VP slot from Obama. But over time it completely disappeared.
From the perspective of the first female PM. Congratulations to Gillard.
The Rudd government is widely viewed as the worst this country has ever seen. If allowed to continue this government would have inflicted further damage to the Australian economy that would have taken many years to correct.
In my opinion the most important issue here is that the Gillard government is essentially the same as the Rudd government. I can see no reason to believe the outcome of electing the Gillard government will be any different to electing the Rudd government. I can also see that the timing for the change in leadership is unlikely to be an accident. I believe the timing is a shameless effort to take advantage of the Australian ethos of providing a fair go before judgement.
Australians voters should remember Gillard has historically provided no substantial public opposition for the catastrophic policy decisions of Rudd. They should also study the performance of Gillard on issues such as environment, family, women, education, insulation, children and many others before they assume that as the first female prime minister these issues will be somehow better represented