A new poll published today in The Australian shows that younger voters, the so-called “Generation X-ers” aged between 18 and 24, have deserted the Howard government in favour of the ALP.
The poll also shows that national support for the government is at 45% to the Opposition’s 43%, effectively putting the major parties at level-pegging.
Support for the ALP amongst 18-24 year olds is 45%, compared to 42% for the government, a shift of 9% in the past three months.
Polls such as this need to be treated with caution, but there does now appear to be a trend towards the ALP in a number of polls. This shift is supported by the results of this year’s state elections in Victoria and New South Wales.
Politics in 2000 will be dominated by the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax on July 1 and the accompanying personal income tax cuts. The Howard government is attempting to make a mark in social policy areas, whilst the Opposition is debating the merits of relying on an anti-GST backlash as compared to developing a comprehensive set of new policies for the election scheduled for 2001.
A swing of 1% against the government would cost it around 10 seats and deliver government to Kim Beazley. A 2% swing would cost it another 10 seats. It is generally agreed that the next election is there to be won or lost by either side.