politics

Election 2019: We asked 97 young Aussie women how they’re really deciding who to vote for.

The 2019 electoral roll is Australia’s most complete. Ever. A record 96.8 per cent of voting-age Aussies are registered to cast their vote in the upcoming Federal election.

But of those 16,424,248 people, there’s one demographic that looks likely to be key in deciding the outcome: Millennial women.

As well as being one half of the country’s biggest population group, they’re also among the most undecided. Just last week, a Roy Morgan poll indicated that 38 per cent of Australians aged 25-34 years old were yet to make up their mind, and 44 per cent said no party is addressing the issues that matter to them.

With just weeks to go, we asked 97 women in this pivotal group how they will go about deciding who gets their vote on May 18. Will they cast their ballot based on personalities or policy? Are they meticulous researchers, or will they rely on the opinions of friends and family?

These are a selection of their responses.

C, age 22. WA
“Climate change policy has been a big issue for me this election. I have been looking at the major parties’ positions on climate change and other environmental issues. I also use resources such as [ABC’s] Vote Compass and ISideWith to see who aligns to my ideologies.”

A, age 24. NSW
“To be honest, I vote for whoever my partner tells me to, mainly because I don’t know what to do. But I’m happy to do it this way, because we both have the same values in what we want.”

G, age 29. QLD
“Historically, I have taken my political ‘side’ from the views of my parents. However, as I’ve gotten older, I have started to form my own opinions and perspectives. My vote will be based on what policies align with my ethics, personal beliefs and what will be best for my personal situation. As a mother working part-time with a husband on wages, and someone who believes in universal health care and quality education, I think this election is a no brainer.”

H, age 31. WA
“Generally I vote based on the party with the most policies I agree with. I don’t do a lot of research, however; I just base this on what I happen to read on social media or hear on the news.”

D, aged 30. VIC
“I normally vote Libs (they tend to keep us out of debt and I was a lazy voter, so it seemed like the safest option). But other issues which are not done well by Liberals are becoming more important. Climate change is a non-negotiable issue, and asylum seekers are PEOPLE and should be supported – it’s called humanity. These are important issues to me and will play a role in who I vote for.”

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R, age 22. NSW
“I am considering voting for an independent party, because I’d like to see more of a difference in attitudes of politicians, which tend to focus on attacking politicians/parties rather than seeking to benefit society as a whole. Since interacting with Mamamia, I have paid much more attention to politics and feel more responsible for my vote. In the past I would normally have chosen Labor simply because I assume most of my like-minded friends/family would have too.”

R, age 22. VIC
“I will decide based on the policy the parties are presenting. I want drastic action on climate change and more funding for education and health. I do not want tax cuts for the higher earning brackets. I will also decide based on past performance… I will not be swayed by election promises that are completely different from parties’ actions in the past. I will not vote for a party with my personal financial interest in mind. I want what is best for the country and its future.”

A, age 39. NSW
“I’ll wing it on the day.”

M, age 27. QLD

“Wages, cost of living, environmental issues. My husband and I are expecting our first child together and haven’t seen wages increase in a long time – a tax cut simply isn’t enough, wages need to catch up to inflation to make the cost of living more manageable. Subsidies for child care are great, but it’s still hard for working parents.”

J, age 33. VIC
“I read local candidate profiles. I vote for the person, and then consider the party – part of the party politics will be evident in the way the person presents themselves anyway. But I can’t vote for someone I don’t like/trust/believe/is authentic regardless of their politics.”

B, age 29. QLD.
“I have always voted LNP, as my parents have always voted that way. My dad is an accountant and usually knows what’s going on… I always vote based on what my dad says, even though he always says ‘Vote for whoever you want.’ I trust his judgement.”

C, age 32. ACT.
“I vote based on the core values of a party. In a previous election I considered placing my vote based on one particular policy proposal, but decided against it at the last minute. The party offering the proposal got in and promptly changed what they had been proposing. This is why I don’t take much note of what is being promised leading up to an election, nor really of who the leader of the day is, but of what core values a party stands for.”

E, age 28. NSW
“I will do a lot of independent research from a variety of sources. I also have quite knowledgeable workmates and value their opinions, which will be given some consideration, particularly as they are all considerably older than me and are more experienced in deciphering election ‘promises’ than I am. I also highly value the opinion of my father, a very well-researched, practical man. We will often debate are opinions on candidates which brings new considerations to light.”

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A, age 29. SA
“I will decide who to vote for based on reputation of candidates. My decision may be swayed by their campaign. I find slander campaigns distasteful and off-putting. I will not actively research policies, but will happily read information provided to me. I feel both of the major political parties are equally laughable, so will probably vote for a more obscure party.”

J, age 32. QLD
“Really, it’s about [the candidate’s] feel and their overall intent. I don’t understand the numbers, but I feel like I have a good judge of character, which I feel is most important. I want someone mostly who is going to be a good example for our community, the beacon of light. Who is smart, intelligent and is not shackled by the rules of a fossil political party.”

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How will you go about deciding who to vote for in the Federal election? Tell us in the comments section below.

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