Older Australians are deserting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in droves, with the Coalition losing 10 per cent in support among voters aged 50 and over since the last election.
However, they’re not looking to the Opposition as a saviour. Rather, older Australians seem to be moving to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party.
Currently, the Opposition is leading the Coalition in two-party preferences 53 per cent to 47 per cent. While One Nation’s support has increased, Labor’s primary vote remains unchanged.
An analysis of 6943 voters in Newspoll surveys taken between February and April revealed that the strongest shift in voter preference may be occurring in Western Australia and Queensland, but it’s indicative of a nationwide trend in favour of independent parties.
Senator Hanson’s party now has 10 per cent support in the primary vote and, although her strongest gains were among voters older than 50, the One Nation party has recorded increases across every demographic.
These gains underline the important role One Nation preferences may play in the next Federal Election.
Older Australians make up the largest voting demographic in the country. The Coalition’s recent changes to superannuation, its tightening of Age Pension rules and pension cuts are all voters aged 50 and over need to send the Government a message of disapproval.
As recently as last July, the Coalition enjoyed almost 50 per cent primary support among voters aged 50 and over. Since the super and pension changes have kicked in, that support has dropped to 40 per cent.
The poll results are yet another blow for a struggling PM who has failed to consolidate his party and entrench himself as the nation’s leader.
Last week, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton hinted that the PM’s leadership could be in doubt, after losing 10 consecutive Newspolls.
Previously, Malcolm Turnbull used Tony Abbott’s loss of 30 consecutive Newspolls as justification for a leadership coup.
Mr Dutton has since backpedalled on his ‘suggestion’, saying that the Government could win the next election and “win it well”.
“With two years to go, we have the ability to turn the polls around, to win the election well under Malcolm Turnbull,” said Mr Dutton.
“On policy fronts including national security and border security, as well as economic security and energy security, this Government can win the next election, and win it well.”
Have your views of Malcom Turnbull and the Coalition Government changed since the super changes and new Age Pension rules? If so, which party do you now prefer? Do you think that these swings are indicative of the nationwide attitudes of older Australians?