Marriage equality, wealth redistribution and party elites

Are Australian MPs more or less radical than their voters? Some comparisons from the Australian Election and Australian Candidate Studies for 2007 (I have combined ‘agree’ and ‘strongly agree’):

Candidates Voters Candidates Voters
Support income and wealth redistribution Support income and wealth redistribution Support legalisation of same-sex marriage Support legalisation of same-sex marriage
Liberal-National 15.6% 32.8% 16.9% 31.4%
Labor 67.6% 64.6% 66.7% 49.7%
Greens 80.9% 69.4% 90.4% 76.8%

Socially the Coalition are more conservative than their voters but economically they are to the right. Labor and Green candidates are to the left of their voters. Is it significant that 29.9% of Family First candidates support income and wealth redistribution? It is possible however that candidates and MPs may have different views. The Greens also appear further to the left when the division between ‘agree’ and ‘strongly agree’ is taken into account.

One thought on “Marriage equality, wealth redistribution and party elites

  1. Some years ago Katharine Betts wrote a paper showing that ALP candidates were further from their voters than Coalition voters. It depends a lot, I suspect, on which questions from the AES/ACS you choose.

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