Older Australians reveal voting intentions ahead of Federal Election

Older Australians look set to desert the government in droves at the federal election on 21 May, according to data from YourLifeChoices.

The YourLifeChoices Federal Budget 202223 member reaction poll reveals many older Australians, traditionally big supporters of Liberal-National Party governments, intend to preference candidates from other parties at the upcoming election.

The anonymous poll of more than 500 YourLifeChoices members asked a series of questions relating to the Federal Budget and what impact it might have on their voting intentions.

When asked if they were happy with the outcome of the Budget for older Australians, 70 per cent of respondents answered ‘no’. When asked if the Budget would improve their personal financial situation, only one-third said it would.

Read: Strong policies go missing in lacklustre election battle

Instead of improving its standing with older Australians, it seems the federal government may have lost a big chunk of the grey vote right when it can’t afford to.

Almost 38 per cent said they would normally vote for the LNP in a federal election, but just 22.3 per cent said they intended to vote for them in this election.

In a small gain for the Opposition, just over 35 per cent said they normally voted Labor but 36.5 per cent said they intended to vote Labor this time around.

Despite older Australians’ resounding disapproval of the Budget, a majority of those polled said that would not change how they intend to vote on 21 May. The swing away from the government would appear to be related to factors other than the Budget.

Read: Over-50s and younger voters disagree on Federal Budget

The drop in popularity among this key demographic is damaging to the Coalition’s chances, but YourLifeChoices members say the government has only itself to blame and that pre-election sweeteners are just that.

“It’s a blatant vote-buying exercise. This government has had 10 years to help pensioners and low-income families but has failed to do so,” says one member.

Another says: “This mob are desperate to stay in power, they have kept the sweeteners for last. A budget for the rich and middle class, for an election. Pork-barrelling in marginal seats, nothing on health, $250 for pensioners! Should be $250 a fortnight. Still under poverty line. They [politicians] get $291 a night for allowances.”

Read: With the election upon us, can we actually trust the opinion polls?

A common sentiment among respondents was that the government was too focused on its own interests than those of the nation.

“No long-term measures to fix long-running issues in health, housing and aged care and no consideration of setting the country up to deal with long-term resilience under climate change,” was one damning response. “Short-sighted and looking at the short-term gain for the Liberal Party not at the long-term gains for Australia.”

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Written by Brad Lockyer

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