Women could hold the keys to the Lodge and election victory this Saturday, with new analysis from The Australian National University (ANU) showing female voters are three times more likely than men to have not yet decided who they’ll vote for. 

The April 2022 survey of more than 3,500 Australians found 8.4 per cent of female respondents were still to determine their final vote, compared to 2.8 per cent of men.

Professor Michelle Ryan, Director of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at ANU, says the findings suggest women’s votes are still “up for grabs”.

“The data tells us women could hold the power to decide who is elected prime minister, meaning there is still time for candidates to convince female voters why they deserve their support,” Professor Ryan, who was involved in the survey, said.

According to study co-author Professor Matthew Gray, the results highlight differences in male and female voting intentions across the political parties.

“We found men were more likely to say they would vote for the Coalition and also more likely to say they would vote for Labor,” Professor Gray said.

“But, when we look back at the past two years, apart from in January 2021 when there was a spike in the vote for Labor among women, these differences in voting intentions by gender for the two major parties have been reasonably consistent.”

The survey found 34.5 per cent of men were likely to vote for the Coalition, compared to 29.2 per cent of women. Among male voters, 36.5 per cent said they’d vote for Labor compared to 33.4 per cent of female voters.

The survey also found women are more likely to vote for the Greens – 19.8 per cent compared to 12.2 per cent of male voters.

“Women are far more likely to vote for the Greens, whereas men who aren’t voting for Labor or the Coalition are more likely to show their support for another party, which includes independents, rather than choosing to back the Greens,” Professor Gray said.

The survey also asked Australians to rank the parties they believe will deliver on gender equality.

Professor Ryan says voters have little faith in the Federal Government to bridge the equality gap between men and women.

“We found the two parties that have the greatest level of confidence with regards to gender equality are the Greens and the Labor party, with exactly half, 50 per cent, of respondents saying they have some level of confidence in Labor to deliver on gender equity,” Professor Ryan said.

“This is compared to 46.8 per cent of respondents who have faith in the Greens’ ability to deliver on this important issue.

“In contrast, almost two-thirds of Australians have little confidence in the Liberal party, while more than three-quarters of Australians say they have little to no confidence in the National party.”

Professor Michelle Ryan. Photo: Jamie Kidston/ANU

The United Australia Party was ranked last among voters in regards to delivering on gender equality, while less than one-in-five Australians have confidence in One Nation.

According to the findings, overall, more male than female voters have greater confidence political parties will deliver on gender equality.

The results of the April 2022 ANUPoll can be viewed at the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods website.

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