New research conducted by Momentum Intelligence outlines who Australian legal professionals are planning to cast their votes for in the looming federal election and the issues they care about.
In December 2021, the Momentum Intelligence Insight Survey was conducted, exploring the political leanings of sector participants in legal services, mortgage lending, financial advice and wealth management, real estate, aviation, defence and national security.
A total of 360 lawyers, spanning all voting-age demographics, responded to the survey as part of a total of 3,257 responses.
Lawyer voters going for Labor and Albo
Of the more than 3,000 professionals surveyed, nearly three in five (58 per cent) are planning to vote for a return Coalition government, compared to one in three (34 per cent) who will vote for the Labor Party. Eight per cent said they are undecided.
Six out of seven sectors say they are planning to vote LNP, with mortgage lending professionals heavily favouring the Coalition at 71 per cent, down to the aviation sector at 55 per cent.
The one sector that is bucking the trend is Australia’s legal profession.
Three out of five (61 per cent) of lawyers who responded to the survey are planning to vote for the ALP, compared to just one in three (34 per cent) voting LNP. Only 5 per cent of lawyers say they don’t know who they are voting for.
When asked who their preferred Prime Minister is, 58 per cent of lawyers said Anthony Albanese, while just 28 per cent said Scott Morrison. Fourteen per cent said they do not know.
The preferred PM query offered another stark contrast with other professional sectors, with 51 per cent of the combined seven sectors siding with Morrison over 30 per cent backing Albanese.
Lawyer voting preferences appear to be fairly baked in, as well.
On a scale of 1-5 (with “1” being not at all certain and “5” being extremely certain), 39 per cent of lawyers ticked “4” and 16 per cent ticked “5” in confirming their intention to vote for Labor, while just 8 per cent ticked “4” and 17 per cent ticked “5” in declaring their intention to vote for the Coalition.
Climate, the economy and ICAC the most important issues for lawyers
The aforementioned voting preferences of Australian legal professionals are potentially explained by what issues those lawyers consider to be most important as we head into a federal election.
As part of the survey, respondents were given a list of political, social, cultural, fiscal, environmental, business and other issues to consider and were invited to select all the issues they deem to be “most important” when casting one’s vote.
More than one in three lawyers consider climate change and the environment (62 per cent) and the economy (61 per cent) to be essential issues.
The economy was, by quite some margin, the most important issue for respondents across all sectors (70 per cent), indicating that lawyers perhaps prioritise the economy slightly less, relative to other issues, than their counterparts in professional services.
Conversely, only half (49 per cent) of the combination of all seven sectors had climate change and the environment as an issue of great importance, suggesting that lawyers are more concerned with this issue.
Elsewhere, 46 per cent of lawyers pointed to the establishment of a federal ICAC as something that is most important to them, while 45 per cent pointed to housing affordability, and 38 per cent referenced the federal management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interestingly, legal professionals in Australia seem substantially more invested in the establishment of an ICAC than other professional sectors, with just 24 per cent of respondents from across the seven sectors noting this as an issue of importance.