Social Class Identification

Nov 29, 2016

Q. Do you consider yourself –

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   Income under $1,000pw Income $1,000 – $1,500pw Income $1,500 – $2,000pw Income $2,000+   Aug 2014 May 2016
Working class 31%   34% 24% 32% 40%   40% 41% 32% 19%   31% 34%
Middle class 51%   51% 60% 52% 34%   35% 48% 57% 68%   49% 48%
Upper class 3%   1% 5% 5% 2%   2% 2% 2% 5%   2% 2%
None of them 9%   10% 7% 8% 12%   18% 6% 3% 4%   13% 10%
Don’t know 6%   4% 4% 4% 2%   5% 4% 6% 3%   6% 5%

51% of respondents described themselves as “middle class” and 31% as “working class” – only 3% claimed to be “upper class”.

Those on higher incomes were more likely to identify as “middle class” while those on lower incomes were more likely to identify as “working class”.

The results are not substantially different from those when this question was asked in 2014 and earlier in 2016.

Labor Party and Social Class

Nov 29, 2016

Q. Whose interests do you think the Labor Party mainly represent?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   Working class Middle class   Apr

2013

Aug 2014 May 2016
Working class 41%   52% 46% 33% 28%   43% 43%   30% 41% 39%
Middle class 16%   23% 11% 29% 12%   11% 21%   16% 14% 17%
Upper class 7%   2% 8% 9% 16%   13% 4%   13% 8% 10%
All of them 6%   10% 4% 11% 3%   4% 7%   8% 8% 8%
None of them 17%   4% 23% 6% 33%   16% 17%   22% 16% 13%
Don’t know 13%   9% 8% 12% 9%   13% 8%   11% 13% 13%

41% believe that the Labor Party mainly represents working class people and 16% think they represent the middle class. 52% of Labor voters think the Labor Party mainly represents the working class and 29% of Greens voters think they mainly represent the middle class. 23% of Liberal/National voters don’t think they represent any class.

43% of respondents who describe themselves as working class and 43% of those who say they are middle class think the Labor Party mainly represents the working class.

The results are not substantially different from those when this question was asked in 2014 and earlier in 2016.

Liberal Party and Social Class

Nov 29, 2016

Q. Whose interests do you think the Liberal Party mainly represent?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   Working class Middle class   Apr

2013

Aug 2014 May 2016
Working class 3%   4% 4% 3% 2%   4% 2%   5% 4% 4%
Middle class 17%   7% 32% 8% 8%   13% 20%   20% 17% 15%
Upper class 52%   77% 29% 73% 60%   55% 54%   40% 47% 53%
All of them 10%   2% 21% 1% 9%   7% 11%   17% 14% 12%
None of them 8%   4% 7% 4% 16%   10% 6%   8% 8% 4%
Don’t know 11%   5% 7% 12% 6%   12% 6%   9% 11% 11%

 

52% believe that the Liberal Party mainly represents upper class people and 17% think they represent the middle class. 77% of Labor voters and 73% of Greens voters think the Liberal Party mainly represent the upper class. 32% of Liberal/National voters think they represent the middle class and 29% think they represent the upper class.

55% of respondents who describe themselves as working class and 54% of those who say they are middle class think the Liberal Party mainly represents the upper class.

The results are not substantially different from those when this question was asked earlier in 2016.

The Greens and Social Class

Nov 29, 2016

Q. Whose interests do you think the Greens mainly represent?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   Working class Middle class
Working class 8%   11% 9% 10% 4%   11% 8%
Middle class 15%   23% 8% 33% 8%   13% 17%
Upper class 6%   5% 5% 6% 13%   9% 5%
All of them 15%   19% 11% 42% 9%   12% 16%
None of them 33%   21% 45% 2% 49%   28% 37%
Don’t know 24%   21% 23% 6% 18%   27% 17%

 

33% don’t think that the Greens represent any particular class of people and 24% don’t know. Among Greens voters, 42% think they represent all classes and 33% think they represent the middle class.

One Nation and Social Class

Nov 29, 2016

Q. Whose interests do you think Pauline Hanson’s One Nation mainly represent?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote One Nation   Working class Middle class
Working class 31%   30% 34% 28% 38%   36% 33%
Middle class 7%   6% 9% 6% 6%   5% 10%
Upper class 3%   4% 3% 11%   4% 3%
All of them 11%   9% 6% 2% 49%   12% 10%
None of them 27%   31% 30% 34% 1%   19% 30%
Don’t know 21%   21% 17% 18% 6%   24% 14%

31% think that One Nation represents the working class and 27% think they represent none of them.

Among One Nation voters, 49% think they represent all classes and 38% think they represent the working class.

Political parties and Social Class – summary

Nov 29, 2016
  Labor Lib/Nat Greens One Nation
Working class 41% 3% 8% 31%
Middle class 16% 17% 15% 7%
Upper class 7% 52% 6% 3%
All of them 6% 10% 15% 11%
None of them 17% 8% 33% 27%
Don’t know 13% 11% 24% 21%

 

  Labor by Labor voters Lib/Nat by Lib/Nat voters Greens by Greens voters One Nation by One Nation voters
Working class 52% 4% 10% 38%
Middle class 23% 32% 33% 6%
Upper class 2% 29% 6%
All of them 10% 21% 42% 49%
None of them 4% 7% 2% 1%
Don’t know 9% 7% 6% 6%

Important issues

Nov 29, 2016

Q. Which of the following issues are the 3 most important for the Federal Government to address over the next 12 months?

 

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote Other   Working class Middle class   Aug 2016 Change
Improving our health system 44%   49% 41% 39% 39%   41% 44%   45% -1
Housing affordability 31%   36% 22% 36% 33%   35% 27%   31%
Reducing unemployment 31%   32% 31% 23% 34%   34% 30%   31%
National security and terrorism 30%   20% 41% 11% 39%   32% 29%   37% -7
Tax avoidance by big companies 26%   28% 21% 28% 29%   29% 24%   31% -5
Reducing the budget deficit 24%   16% 36% 7% 27%   23% 28%   30% -6
Protecting our borders 21%   12% 27% 7% 33%   18% 23%      
Protecting workers wages and conditions 20%   30% 14% 16% 15%   22% 18%   18% +2
More funds for education 17%   17% 16% 22% 13%   16% 18%   20% -3
Addressing climate change 16%   28% 7% 48% 9%   18% 15%   18% -2
Protecting the environment 16%   19% 10% 49% 10%   12% 18%   14% +2
Investing in public transport 12%   12% 14% 8% 9%   9% 12%   14% -2
Investing in roads 7%   6% 9% 2% 9%   8% 8%   7%
Free trade agreements 6%   5% 9% 3% 3%   4% 7%   5% +1

The most important issues for the Federal Government to address over the next 12 months were improving our health system (44%), housing affordability (31%). reducing unemployment (31%) and national security and terrorism (30%).

For Labor voters the most important issues were improving our health system (49%), housing affordability (36%), reducing unemployment (32%) and protecting workers wages and conditions (30%).

For Liberal/National voters the most important issues were improving our health system (41%), national security and terrorism (41%) and reducing the budget deficit (36%)

For Greens voters the most important issues were protecting the environment (49%), addressing climate change (48%) and improving our health system (39%).

Since this question was asked in August, there have been decreases for national security and terrorism (down 7%), reducing the budget deficit (down 6%) and tax avoidance by big companies (down 5%). Note that an additional issue has been included in this question, which has the effect of reducing the scores across the other items.

Change for classes

Nov 29, 2016

Q. Do you think life for the following groups of people has improved or got worse over the last few years?

  Improved Stayed about the same Got worse Don’t know
Total        
The upper class 57% 26% 5% 12%
The middle class 12% 41% 36% 11%
The working class 8% 24% 58% 11%
Working class        
The upper class 72% 14% 3% 11%
The middle class 18% 41% 30% 11%
The working class 7% 16% 69% 8%
Middle class        
The upper class 51% 34% 6% 8%
The middle class 8% 44% 42% 6%
The working class 7% 29% 56% 8%

57% think that life for the upper class has improved over the last few years and 58% think life for the working class has got worse. They were split over changes in life for the middle class – 41% think it has stayed about the same and 36% think it has got worse.

Those who identify as working class were more likely to think life had improved for the upper class (72%) and got worse for the working class (69%).

Those who identify as middle class were only a little more likely to think life for the middle class had got worse (42%).

Pages:«123456789...378»

Sign up for updates

Receive our weekly Essential Report in your inbox.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.