Coalition carnage confirms that ignoring young people can cost you an election

In the second week of the election campaign, we noticed: young people were being ignored on the road.

The leaders’ appearances in legacy media and the scant attention they paid to climate change and mental health politics meant that young Australians lacked faith in the choices in front of them, long before they reached the polls.

On Saturday night, the unprecedented support for the Greens in Queensland would not have come as a surprise to those who were paying attention to the very angry and politically engaged young people around them.

Brisbane, Griffith and Ryan, electorates that rejected the main parties and went green, have the highest proportion of young voters in the country.

But this wasn’t just a “Greensland” coincidence.

In the 10 electorates with the highest proportion of young voters (18-29 years old), the Coalition only won two. Four were won by the Greens.

CLASSIFICATION

ELECTORATE

VOTERS UNDER 30 YEARS OLD

WINNING PARTY

PREVIOUSLY

one

MELBOURNE

26.9%

VEGETABLES

VEGETABLES

two

BRISBANE

25.7%

VEGETABLES

LNP

3

GRIFFITH

24.7%

VEGETABLES

MOUNTAIN

4

CANBERRA

23.1%

MOUNTAIN

MOUNTAIN

5

Ryan

22.5%

VEGETABLES

LNP

6

NEW CASTLE

22.3%

MOUNTAIN

MOUNTAIN

7

herbert

22.2%

LNP

LNP

8

WERRIWA

21.5%

MOUNTAIN

MOUNTAIN

9

CALWELL

21.3%

MOUNTAIN

MOUNTAIN

10

LINDSAY

21.3%

LIBERAL

LIBERAL

Meanwhile, in the 10 electorates with the lowest proportion of young voters, the Coalition won seven, or is likely to win, and the Greens won none.

CLASSIFICATION

ELECTORATE

VOTERS UNDER 30 YEARS OLD

WINNING PARTY

PREVIOUSLY

141

RICHMOND

11.4%

ALP (LIKELY)

MOUNTAIN

142

LYNE

12.1%

NATIONAL

NATIONAL

143

WIDE BAY

12.3%

LNP

LNP

145

hinkler

12.9%

LNP

LNP

146

PAGE

12.9%

NATIONAL

NATIONAL

147

GILMORE

13.0%

LIBERAL (LIKELY)

MOUNTAIN

148

FLINDERS

13.3%

LIBERAL

LIBERAL

149

MAYONNAISE

13.7%

CENTER ALLIANCE

CENTER ALLIANCE

150

EDEN-MONARO

13.8%

MOUNTAIN

MOUNTAIN

151

GREY

14.0%

LIBERAL

LIBERAL

This was not just a mistake on the part of the Coalition: Labour, if they were smart enough to take advantage of the frustration of young voters in South East Queensland, could certainly have picked up a few more wins in the Sunshine State.

Greens leader Adam Bandt said the support his party received from young Australians was the “most moving and significant endorsement” on election night.

Charging

“Young people would come up, in many cases with tears in their eyes, and say, ‘This is actually the first time I’ve felt hopeful about politics. This is the first time I feel like we might have a chance address climate change.’ It was genuine, moving.”

Of course, it wasn’t just young voters who helped seal the Coalition’s fate on Saturday. Women voters of all ages rejected the Morrison government in favor of a greener (and teal) future.

Combined, the lack of support from women and youth undoubtedly helped seal the fate of the Coalition.

What the big parties can learn from the young

While Australia’s election campaigns are mercifully short compared to others around the world, the strategy for the 2025 election will certainly have already begun.

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