Did Home Ownership Affect How We Voted?
Home ownership is something that we all strive for. However when it comes to voting are we already by some means pre-determined as to who we vote for? Are we educated when we are not home owners as to what the effects of our vote are? Studies have shown that 20% of voters that voted Greens and the minor parties, or who were undecided were considerably less likely to own a home – in fact 20% less likely according to a 2018 study by ANU professor Ian McAllister and co-author Timothy Hellwig.
The finding of this survey helped to understand the effect of asset ownership in relation to voting choices and behaviours. An ANU-Indiana University study (in 2016) concluded that outright home owners were 7% more likely to vote for the Liberal or National parties than the baseline category of renters. Prime Ministor Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg campaigned agains the Labor’s proposals curtail negative gearing and capital gains.
When home and share ownership were combined, the numbers were stronger still. For an individual of both assets, the likelihood of voting the coalition was 55%, compared to the 18% for Labor.
The study also found that ownership of an investment property or a personal superannuation fund had no significant sway on what they vote for. A Sydney university lecturer – SHaun Ratcliff- said the finding was unsurprising. “Super is quasi-invisible, and people generally can’t access it for a long time. More active forms of asset ownership – like owning your business – are more strongly associated with political preferences,” he said.
But he cautioned against drawing fast conclusions from the overall correlation between property and shares ownership, and voting patterns.
“It may be that owning these assets makes people more conservative. But it may also be that people who are generally wealthier own homes,” he said.
In December 2018 The Voter Choice Project surveyed 1298 voters and found a connection between home ownership and an intention to vote for wither major parties.
63% of those with the intention to vote labour and 66% for the intention of Liberal were outright homeowners, opposed to 41% for the Greens and 43% for other minor parties. 44% were undecided.
The Australian Greens had campaigned on building rent-controlled community homes and increasing legal protections for renters. Raphaella Kathryn Crosby, founder, said the correlation between home ownership and a vote for the major parties owed, in part, to the process of the socialisation that accompanies residence over longer periods of time. “It’s about more than the assets you own. The longer you are in a community, and the more stable you are, the less likely you are to seek out change,” she said.
All of these facts and statistics are interesting. I am sure that campaigns are targeted at specific ownerships to sway the vote, politics is all about the numbers and the right to have a say in Australia’s future however, aren’t we already dividing the nation by putting our own personal wants of the outcome to better a specific percentile? If you are a home owner should you be thinking about your children’s future and purchasing property ability or do you put your owner needs first as stronger financial voter? The decision is always ours to make the change. It is always hard at election time to make a proactive decisions. Hopefully one day we can help all of our countrymen not just those already financial stable.