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More women yet to make up their mind, will decide election once they do


As two separate polls have shown the election tightening, women are set to decide the outcome of the federal election with the number of unsure female voters more than three times that of men, according to new research.

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Voters also have the greatest amount of confidence in Labor delivering on gender equality.

Almost two-thirds of Australians have “little confidence” in the Liberal party when it comes to equity issues, with more than a quarter having “none at all”.

More women than men were also likely to vote for the Greens.

Analysis by the Australian National University found 8.4 per cent of women are still yet to decide who they will vote for on polling day, in comparison to 2.8 per cent of men.

More than 3500 voters were surveyed in April this year.

The research found a higher number of women said they would vote for Labor (33.4 per cent) compared to the coalition (29.2 per cent).

Two new polls show the election race has tightened in the coalition’s favour ahead of voting day on May 21, although Labor is still ahead on a two-party preferred basis.

A Resolve Strategic poll conducted for Nine newspapers shows Labor leads by 51 per cent to 49 per cent, compared to 54-46 two weeks ago.

An Essential poll published by The Guardian on Wednesday found Labor was on 48 per cent compared to 46 per cent for the coalition, against 49-45 a fortnight ago.

“This was always going to be incredibly tight,” shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers told the Nine network on Wednesday.

“We have always expected that. We take absolutely no votes or no outcomes for granted.”

Cost of living pressures, wages and economic management are expected to be at the forefront of the election campaign on Wednesday, just days out from polling day.

ANU Director of Global Institute for Women’s Leadership Professor Michelle Ryan said women’s votes are “up for grabs”.

“The data tells us women could hold the power to decide who is elected prime minister, meaning there is still time for candidates to convince female voters why they deserve their support,” she said.

Prof Ryan said political parties should be looking at the issues that matter to women.

“It was interesting how close men and women are in their voting intentions,” she said.

“Women are potentially leaving the two major parties to vote for the Greens, or they’re waiting to decide on voting day.”

The United Australia Party was ranked last by voters on gender equality, with less than one-in-five people having confidence in One Nation.

“The higher level of confidence in the Greens and Labor on gender equality than in the other parties is consistent with women being much more likely to say they intend to vote for the Greens than men,” the report says.

“And the substantially higher proportion of women intending to vote for Labor than who intended to vote for the coalition parties.”

The survey says more men than women believe political parties will address the gaps between the genders.

It found that overall, Australians thought men “had it easier” than women, but responses differed based on the gender of the person answering the question.

Almost two-thirds of women said men had it easier than they did, compared to less than 40 per cent of men.

Half of the men in the survey said there were was no difference in who had it easier between men and women.

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