AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC OPINION
26 January 2016
Over the past half century, the Australian public has remained divided on the issue of whether Australia should retain the monarchy or become a republic. Clive Bean found that there had been remarkable stability on the issue and evidence of a long term trend away from support for the monarchy with a sudden decline in 1992. This article adopts Bean’s longitudinal cross-sectional methods to examine the social and political basis of public attitudes. This article analyses the Australian Election Study (1993–2013) to compare Bean’s results and re-analyse earlier data from the National Social Science Surveys and Australian National Political Attitudes surveys (1967–90). Public opinion has been fluid and is now at a crossroads between the 1980s high and the 1990s lows. Cohort analysis suggests socialisation impacts long-term opinions. Gender and ethnic nationalism also influences opinion.
SMALL AREA ESTIMATES OF PUBLIC OPINION: MODEL-ASSISTED POST-STRATIFICATION OF DATA FROM VOTER ADVICE APPLICATIONS
4 January 2019, Conference paper with Simon Jackman & Shaun Ratcliff
Small-area estimates of public opinion are vital for studies of representation but are constrained by the costs of collecting sufficiently large surveys. We use model-assisted post-stratification procedures to repurpose data from a voter advice application (VAA) fielded during the 2016 Australian Federal election campaign. VAAs are typically run with media partners and provide massive samples relative to commercial and academic surveys (in this case, nearly 800,000 respondents). However, considerable bias is generated from self-selection. Our procedure uses Bayesian classification trees to form predictive models of survey responses, which we project onto post-stratification frames for each of Australia’s 150 House of Representatives electoral divisions. We demonstrate the utility of these data and our methodology for district-level estimates using a unique opportunity, a 2017 plebiscite on same-sex marriage, calculating small-area estimates that would have been prohibitively expensive to obtain with conventional surveys.