Voters believe Australia is divided since the 2019 federal election

3 min read
24/02/2023 11:46:00 PM
  • 46% of voters polled this week for the Crescent Institute believe Australia has become more divided since the 2019 election

  • Only 8% believe the country is less divided

  • View is consistent across all major religious groups, including ‘no religion’

  • 76% of non-Christian faiths believe the Federal government is responsible for increased divisions, compared to 53% overall

Nearly half of all Australians polled believe Australia has become more divided since the last election, according to the results of a survey conducted for the Crescent Institute by Essential Research from 11 to 17 May 2022.

The survey found that 46% of people, from 1,599 respondents, believe that Australia is more divided than it was at the 2019 Federal election, while just 8% believe it is less divided. Just 34% believed that attitudes had not changed compared to three years ago.

Intriguingly, the people most likely to take this view were men (50%) and Australians over 55 (50%), as were people in South Australia (56%) and Western Australia (50%). Those with a university education (52%) and those intending to vote for minor parties and independents (64%) and Labor (51%) were most likely to take the view that the country is more divided.

The poll found only 10% of Coalition voters believed the country was less divided.

Miriam Silva, a board member of the Crescent Institute, said that the results of the survey indicated a primary task for the incoming government would be to integrate the country more cohesively.

“A key finding was that 76% of non-Christian faiths believe the Federal government is responsible for increased divisions, compared to 53% overall. While Australian leadership demonstrates strong Christian values, there is a need for leadership values to be spread more evenly across the community.”

The view that Australia was more divided than it was at the 2019 Federal election was consistent across all major religious groups, including ‘no religion’.
Miriam Silva continued: “While these divisions have been exacerbated by COVID and lockdowns, it is disappointing that work to integrate communities at grass roots level is not being harnessed to better integrate our societies.”

Among those who saw the country as more divided, over half (53%) thought the Federal government was responsible for Australia being more divided than in 2019. Respondents also thought traditional media (48%), online social media (45%) and State governments (40%) played a role.

A startling finding was that more respondents (42%) overall felt that Australia was on the wrong track, compared to 40% which felt the country was heading in the right direction.

This view was highest amongst the 18-34 (44%) and 35-54 (48%) age demographics, university educated (46%) and those who intend to vote for the Greens (62%), Labor (60%) and for minor parties or independents (57%). Those who have no religion also think Australia is on the wrong track (46%).

Miriam Silva said, “Although the survey results show that Australians believe that our society is more divided than ever before, there is a need for leadership to bring Australians together. The incoming government will have a strong leadership role to play to ensure that communities perceive they are treated equally and to bind the country together.”

The survey report for Crescent Institute is a summary of a fortnightly omnibus conducted by Essential Research with data provided by Qualtrics. The survey was conducted online from 11 to 17 May and is based on 1,599 respondents.

About Crescent Institute

Crescent Institute was founded in 2000 to connect, inspire, empower and educate professionals of diverse backgrounds through high calibre learning opportunities in an inclusive environment. The Institute is among Australia's pre-eminent professional networking and thought leadership organisations and has volunteer chapters in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Canberra.

Part of the Crescent Group, the Crescent Institute is a not-for-profit body that sits alongside sister organisations: Crescent Wealth and Crescent Foundation.

Over twenty years, Crescent Institute has hosted some of Australia’s pre-eminent leadership across government, politics, business, and culture on topics of national importance.

About Miriam Silva

Ms Miriam Silva is a board member of Crescent Institute. She has more than 20 years’ experience managing large and geographically diverse teams across multiple industries including pharmaceuticals, banking and agriculture. Miriam has exceptional leadership and communication skills, strategic and operational skills and deep experience with change management.

Miriam holds a number of non executive board positions including Chair inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, Chair Contemporary Arts Precincts, Board member SA Film Corporation, Malek Fahd Islamic School, Crescent Institute and Crescent Finance.

Miriam's work experience includes acting Chief Executive of TAFE SA, Chief Operating Officer at FleetPartners, GM Commercial Operations at Elders and various roles at ANZ.