The impact of economic assets on party choice in Australia

2017-11-27T07:59:28Z (GMT) by Timothy Hellwig Ian McAllister
<p>While there is general agreement that economic voting matters, there is less agreement on how to measure it. This paper examines the most recent conceptualization of economic voting: the ownership of economic assets or “patrimonial” voting. Using the 2016 Australian Election Study survey, we show that property ownership and, especially, share ownership were significant influences on party choice. By contrast, ownership of an investment property or a personal superannuation fund had no significant effect on the vote. We explain this finding through the specific policies that the parties advanced in the 2016 campaign. While Labor parted ways from the Coalition by proposing radical changes to the tax treatment of investment properties but with no retrospectivity, the parties had similar positions on the tax treatment of superannuation. The findings emphasize how party policies can shape the electoral significance of asset ownership.</p>