The 2007 Australian election: blue-collar voters, migrants and the environment


Betts, Katharine

Available versions


The 2007 Australian Election Study shows that many blue-collar voters, the so-called Howard battlers, returned to Labor. Combined with earlier surveys it also shows that non-English-speaking-background migrants have consistently been more likely to vote Labor than the Australia-born. They were particularly likely to do so in 2007, especially if they were in blue-collar occupations. The Howard Government’s Work Choices legislation probably played a role in these outcomes. However, the data also show that Labor’s environmental policy also played an important part. Thirty five per cent of voters were influenced by an environmental issue during the campaign, more than were affected by any other set of issues. Concern about the environment is spread across all occupational groups, though it is rather more pronounced among professionals.

Publication year


Publication type

Journal article


People and Place, Vol. 16, no. 2 (2008)




Monash Centre for Population and Urban Research


Copyright © 2008 Monash University and Katharine Betts. The published version is reproduced with the permission of the publisher.