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The Greens are hoping for a big election. But who are they?

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, January – December 2010, n=4,350 and January – December 2018. n=4,282. Base: Greens supporters. Each socio-economic quintile* represents 20% of the population.
Australians head to an important Federal Election this week with the latest Roy Morgan Polls showing the ALP 51% with a narrow lead over the L-NP 49% on a two-party preferred basis. Support for the Greens was at 11% in the Roy Morgan Poll conducted on May 4/5, 2019.

The close results from the latest Roy Morgan Polls mean there is a very good chance Australia could once again elect a hung Parliament with neither major party enjoying a majority.

The last time Australians elected a hung Parliament was at the 2010 Federal Election and the Greens had the balance of power in the Senate, with a record high nine Senators, and shared the balance of power in the House of Representatives with the election of Adam Bandt in the seat of Melbourne.

The Greens achieved a record high vote of 13.1% in the Senate and 11.8% in the House of Representatives at the 2010 Federal Election. Has the composition of Greens support changed since the party was last elected to hold the balance of power in 2010?

Greens supporters are concentrated in the highest socio-economic quintiles with 31% of Greens supporters in the highest socio economic AB quintile in 2018, unchanged from 2010, and 24% of Greens supporters in the C quintile, also unchanged.

This means a clear majority of 55% of Greens supporters are within the top two socio-economic quintiles representing 40% of the population whereas the remaining 45% of Greens supporters are from the bottom three socio-economic quintiles representing 60% of the population.

Greens supporter composition by Socio-Economic Quintile* (2010 cf. 2018)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, January – December 2010, n=4,350 and January – December 2018. n=4,282. Base: Greens supporters. Each socio-economic quintile* represents 20% of the population.

Women and 18-34 year olds comprise a growing proportion of Greens supporters

Although Greens supporter distribution by socio-economic quintile is largely unchanged from 2010 there are underlying changes in the composition of Greens support.

Greens supporters today are increasingly comprised of women who now represent 59% of Greens supporters, up from 54% in 2010, while men now comprise only 41% of Greens supporters, down from 46% at the start of the decade.

An increasing proportion of Greens supporters today are in the younger age groups. Over the last decade the proportion of Greens supporters aged 18-24 years old has increased to 17% (up 1% point since 2010) and 25% (up 3% points) are now aged 25-34 years old.

Although nearly half of Greens supporters (49%) are now aged between 35-64 years old, this is down from 53% in 2010. Now 29% (down 2% points) of Greens supporters are aged 35-49 years old while the proportion of Greens supporters aged 50-64 years old has decreased 2% points to 20%.

Greens supporter composition by Gender & Age (2010 cf. 2018)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, January – December 2010, n=4,350 and January – December 2018. n=4,282. Base: Greens supporters. Each socio-economic quintile* represents 20% of the population.

Greens supporters increasingly live in Capital Cities and in Victoria

As well as increasingly being young and female Greens supporters are increasingly found in Australia’s Capital Cities at the expense of Country Areas.

In 2018 a large majority of 71% of Greens supporters were located in Capital Cities, up a significant 6% points from 2010 compared to only 29% (down 6% points) that are now located in Country Areas.

This concentration of Greens support in the Capital Cities is driven by one city in particular, the Victorian capital of Melbourne. There has been a significant increase in the proportion of Greens supporters coming from Victoria at the expense of other States.

Now nearly a third of Greens supporters (32%) are located in Victoria, an increase of 5% points from 2010. Victoria now has more Greens supporters than the larger New South Wales which is a reverse of the situation a decade ago.

Since the 2010 Federal Election the proportion of Greens supporters in New South Wales has fallen 1% point to 28% and the proportion of Greens supporters in the ACT has fallen 1% point to 2%. 

The proportion of overall Greens supporters from Queensland is unchanged at 18% of the total and is unchanged at 11% of the total for Western Australia.

However, there has been a decline in the proportion of Greens supporters in both South Australia and Tasmania as other political parties such as the Nick Xenophon Team/Centre Alliance in South Australia and the likes of Jacqui Lambie have in Tasmania have developed support in these States.

Now 5% of Greens supporters are in South Australia, down 3% points from 2010 and 3% of Greens supporters are in Tasmania, down 1% point from 2010.

Greens supporter composition by Capital City/Country Areas & State (2010 cf. 2018)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, January – December 2010, n=4,350 and January – December 2018. n=4,282. Base: Greens supporters. Each socio-economic quintile* represents 20% of the population. 

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says the Greens are hoping to pick up additional seats and regain the balance of power at this week’s Federal Election and it’s no surprise the Greens are targeting several Inner Melbourne seats to do so:

“A thorough analysis of deep data from Roy Morgan’s in-depth face to face interviewing throughout 2018 reveals that there have been significant changes in the composition of Greens support over the past decade. The Greens achieved their best ever results at the 2010 Federal Election at which they received 11.8% of the vote in the House of Representatives and won their first lower house seat.

“Greens support fell in the years after the 2010 Federal Election and the latest Roy Morgan Poll conducted on May 4/5, 2019 shows Greens support now at 11% as we approach another Federal Election this weekend.

“Over the last decade the composition of Greens’ supporters has become increasingly Female, now 59% of Greens supporters, up from 54% in 2010, and increasingly concentrated in Capital Cities, now 71% of Greens supporters, up from 65% in 2010.

“This concentration of Greens support in Capital Cities is particularly evident in Melbourne, the home of the Greens only lower house seat and where the Greens hope to pick up additional seats at this week’s election. Now nearly a third of Greens supporters (32%) are found in Victoria, up a significant 5% points since 2010.

“The growing level of Greens support in Melbourne is concentrated in the Inner Melbourne seats of Melbourne, Macnamara, Cooper, Wills and Higgins. The Greens received at least 20% of the primary vote in these five seats at the last Federal Election and Roy Morgan Polls in 2018 reveals the Greens are now receiving at least 25% of the primary vote in all five of these seats.

“The retirement of popular local members Kelly O’Dwyer (Liberal) in Higgins and Michael Danby (ALP) in Macnamara has provided the Greens with an additional boost. If the Greens can pick up one or more of these seats the party increases its chances of holding the balance of power in a finely balanced election with the ALP 51% just ahead of the L-NP 49% on a two-party preferred basis.

“For more information on this week’s Federal Election and the factors driving how Australians will decide who to vote for see the special Roy Morgan State of the Nation Election Report.

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2