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National Uniformity, and State and Local Effects on Australian Voting: A Multilevel Approach

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The existence and extent of influences arising within spatial contexts is an important issue in the study of voting behaviour. This paper extends previous Australian research by using the relatively new technique of multilevel analysis to draw together individual survey data from the 1993 Australian Election Study and ecological census data to investigate the question. The results show that, once individual voter characteristics are taken into account, influences on first preference voting for the ALP at the 1993 election were quite uniform nationally, with relatively small spatial variations. Moreover, those spatial variations which were present were at the divisional, not the state, level and can be almost completely explained by a very small number of sociotropic factors, especially a local economic prosperity influence and the well-known rural-urban cleavage. As far as influences on voting at the 1993 election at the level of individual voters are concerned, these multilevel analyses provide some new insights, as well as confirming some previous results.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1996-03-01

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