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Unattached and unconvinced: Australian non-partisans

Tranter, B ORCID: 0000-0002-0649-6065 and Smith, J 2020 , 'Unattached and unconvinced: Australian non-partisans' , Australian Journal of Social Issues , doi: 10.1002/ajs4.116.

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Political party identification is a strong predictor of politicalbehaviour and social attitudes in advanced industrialiseddemocracies. Australian Election Study data show decliningidentification with major parties over time, and that working-class Australians, those who do not identify with anyclass, the secular and the politically uninterested are mostlikely to be non-partisans. However, national samplesrarely allow for detailed analysis of younger people, giventhe low numbers of younger people they contain. Longitudinaldata from the Social Futures and Life Pathways(“Our Lives”) project enable us to focus upon young Australiansaged 24 living in the state of Queensland. TheQueensland data show that younger non-partisans tend tolack post-secondary education, are on lower incomes, areless interested in politics and, importantly, have nonalignedparents. Nationally, non-partisans were less likelythan partisans to pay attention to politics during the 2016Federal Election, but more likely to decide how to vote onthe day of the Federal Election and more likely than partisansto vote informal. Younger non-partisans were alsoless likely to engage in non-electoral political actions, suchas signing e-petitions or posting in online forums or socialnetworking sites.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Tranter, B and Smith, J
Keywords: political party identification, Australia, partisan dealignment, survey research, young people
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Social Issues
Publisher: Australian Council Social Service Inc
ISSN: 0157-6321
DOI / ID Number: 10.1002/ajs4.116
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© 2020 Australian Social Policy Association

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