News National Which voters have the greatest social conscience?

Which voters have the greatest social conscience?

An Ethopian library set to be wiped in Australia's $11.3b in foreign aid cuts.
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Liberal-National Party voters show the least interest in increasing foreign aid and wanting to help the world’s poorest people, Labor Party voters are close behind, while Greens supporters were found to be the most generous and concerned, new research shows.

A recent Roy Morgan poll revealed that the cliché ‘Green-leaning hippy-intellectuals’ rang true and actually donated the most to those in need abroad and felt responsible for their welfare.

When voters were asked if the Federal Government should increase overseas aid to help reduce global poverty, just 27 per cent of L-NP backers said ‘yes’.

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In contrast, 53 per cent of Labor Party voters supported the idea, while a staggering 75 per cent of Greens voters were also in favour.

The research also revealed L-NP voters were least sympathetic in wanting to help the world’s poorest people.

When the sample was asked if they agreed that they held responsibility to do all they could for those in need, 40 per cent of the L-NP voters agreed, compared to 47 per cent of ALP voters and 62 per cent of the Greens.

When pollsters were asked whether they believed they ‘can’t do much, there will always be poor people’ 31 per cent of L-NP voters supported the idea, in contrast with 24 per cent of Labor backers and just 12 per cent of the Greens voters.

When it came to generosity, Australian voters who preferred the L-NP were slightly more likely than ALP voters to give to charity in an average 12-month period (73 per cent versus 70 per cent).


However they donated much more money, with the mean annual amount donated by ALP voters $292, and $335 for L-NP voters.

Meanwhile, more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of Greens voters said they gave to charity in an average 12 months, donating a mean annual amount of $402.

Roy Morgan Research CEO Michele Levine said, with the Federal Government’s foreign aid budget the lowest it had been in more than 40 years, the question arose about how Australian electors felt about foreign aid and helping the world’s poorest people.

“Typecasting Australian voters according to their preferred political party is nothing new: Green-leaning hippy-intellectuals, greedy Liberal capitalists, unionised ALP voters and patriotic National-voting farmers are all well-worn clichés,” Ms Levine said.

“But while most clichés contain a grain of truth, the contemporary political landscape is much more nuanced than that. In fact, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between the policies of the current government and the Opposition.

“Our latest findings reflect both the predictable and the more surprising sides of Australian electors. Given their opposition to increasing overseas aid, L-NP voters are unlikely to question the government’s drastic cuts to the national foreign aid budget. And yet they are more generous than ALP voters when it comes to charitable donations.”

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