The public's disconnect with politicians


A rising minor party vote, poor results in opinion polls, an appetite for negative political stories and more, collected here.


House prices are by far the biggest concern among swing voters in Australia’s two largest cities according extensive focus group research which also reveals widespread disillusionment with federal political parties and their leaders.

It finds a general sense of disappointment with Malcolm Turnbull, a lack of trust and belief in Bill Shorten, and anger against Tony Abbott who was generally described as a “sook” and a “spoiler”.

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AFR, August 8th:

While opinions of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and former PM Tony Abbott were less than flattering, voters were more forgiving toward the likes of Nick Xenophon, Derry Hinch and Pauline Hanson.

Typical views expressed about Senator Xenophon included “good negotiator”, “he isn’t scared of companies, he isn’t scared of exposing things” and “he is a good leader and he can communicate quite effectively”.

Senator Hanson was generally well regarded for not being afraid “to say what she thinks” and “she understands the middle-to-low class”. On the downside, her ability to grasp detail was questioned with one illustrative quote being “her IQ level is not quite right”.

Senator Hinch was well regarded for taking strong stands on issues, as both a radio broadcaster and now a politician.


Fairfax, August 7th:

Derryn Hinch may be the lone member of his Justice Party in Parliament, but he was the stand-out politician when it came to approval by participants in focus groups in Australia’s two biggest cities.

Once they had dispensed with discussion about the main political leaders, Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten - about whom participants were universally scathing - talk turned to the attractions of other politicians.