Why are lawyers backing Albo?

23 February 2022 By Jerome Doraisamy
Anthony Albanese

New research conducted by Momentum Intelligence, unveiled earlier this week, shows that – by a comprehensive margin – Australian legal professionals intend to support Labor at the looming federal election. Here, we dive into why that may be the case.

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.

Earlier this week, Lawyers Weekly reported that law is the only professional services sector out of the aforementioned seven surveyed by Momentum Intelligence that is trending towards the ALP and Anthony Albanese.

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Bucking the professional services trend

While six out of seven sectors are planning to vote LNP (58 per cent of those surveyed, compared to 34 per cent supporting Labor), lawyers are bucking the trend. 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.

That means that, by nearly a 2:1 margin, Australian legal professionals may be voting for a change of government at the looming federal election.

Moreover, 58 per cent of lawyers said Albanese is their preferred Prime Minister, with just 28 per cent saying Scott Morrison. This contrasted starkly with the 51 per cent of the combined seven sectors siding with Morrison over 30 per cent backing Albanese.

Reasons for intention to vote Labor

Lawyers Weekly Discover

As reported earlier this week, when asked to list all of the election issues they deem to be “most important”, climate change and the environment was the most-commonly identified issue (by 62 per cent of lawyers).

This was followed by the economy (61 per cent), establishment of a federal ICAC (46 per cent), housing affordability (45 per cent), federal management of the COVID-19 pandemic and humanitarian concerns (both 38 per cent).

The extent to which Australian legal professionals considered other issues “most important” or not, as per the options offered in the survey, were as follows: taxation (34 per cent), energy and resources (32 per cent), sexual harassment and related misconduct (29 per cent), defence and national security (29 per cent), gender, diversity and inclusion (28 per cent), freedom (e.g. speech, religion) (25 per cent), small business interests (25 per cent) and technology and innovation (24 per cent).

In the coming days, Lawyers Weekly will publish a breakdown of voting considerations for lawyers based on the party they intend to vote for.

Comments detailing voting intentions

Survey respondents were invited to provide comments explaining their selection on the two-party preferred question (i.e., why they intend to vote ALP or LNP). As aforementioned, environmental concerns are the most commonly identified issue that lawyers intend to base their vote on.

One lawyer commented: “Climate change is a critical issue and there has been a shameful failure by the Coalition to take this issue seriously and show leadership.” Such a view was not uncommon.

Another, who intends to vote Labor, wrote: “Combating climate change needs to be a MUCH bigger priority. Australia needs to be leading the transition to climate friendly alternatives, not lagging behind. We need to set the example, not be the embarrassment of the world.”

A third said: “Environment and education are key to the future generations, and the current government is not committed to either.”

On the question of an anti-corruption commission, one Labor-leaning lawyer penned: “We need a strong federal ICAC with retrospective powers to restore integrity to our Parliament. We need politicians who are focused beyond the next election cycle, who are committed to ensuring a sustainable long-term future for our country and the world.”

Another said much the same, noting, “we need to improve standards of ethics and transparency in government and especially in political life”, and a third opined, “Australians need laws providing for greater transparency in government decision-making”.

With regard to the economy, one Labor-leaning lawyer wrote: “We need to focus on reinvigorating the economy after so many lockdowns and bringing the country back together, it’s too divided and not enough management of individual states.”

Elsewhere, legal professionals who intend to vote Labor commented the following:

  • “I think the current government’s shift away from displaying the virtues of a model litigant and their willingness to attack members of the judiciary is problematic for the robustness of the rule of law”;
  • “I am very unhappy about the recent restructure of the family courts and believe the they have resulted in additional pressures on solicitors and greater costs for clients and putting up unnecessary barriers to clients being able to seek judicial assistance to resolve family law disputes”;
  • “I’m a lifelong Liberal voter, but this year I’m considering voting Labor for the first time, because I just don’t feel like Liberal aligns with my values anymore”;
  • “The continual removal of rights by anti-terrorism-type legislation needs to be reversed”;
  • “Defamation isn’t an issue that warrants community funding”;
  • “Freedom to discriminate should not be allowed. Also, the Family Court should return and be properly resourced”;
  • “I am concerned that efforts to provide privileges to religious people and religious organisations is being dressed up as freedoms. It is nothing of the sort. I am also concerned about our narrow response to humanitarian crises such as those who helped our troops in Afghanistan. It lacks compassion”;
  • “I cannot stand Morrison and have resigned from membership of the Liberal Party as a result – our relationship and security with China has been adversely affected by him and the government”;
  • “I would like to see the next federal government acknowledge and implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart”; and
  • “It appears that with each new law passed at federal level, the government is taking Australian backwards. Rather than delivering what is promised in the headline, these laws often do not effect what is promised and instead reduce freedoms for individuals for the benefit of interest groups or corporations”.

Why some lawyers will back the LNP

Lawyers who intend to vote for a return Coalition government, however, also had strong views as to why they are backing Morrison. Below is a sample of the reasons detailed for those legal professionals who are trending towards the LNP:

  • “We need a strong economy, with a focus on exports”;
  • “The Liberal Party is the only party supporting the innovation of blockchain and digital payments reform, which is a stand-out issue”;
  • “Long-term security and not being beholden to China is upper most, particularly given China’s building up of their military and their manipulation of everything that impacts China or external perception of China. Australian industry must put Australia’s interests above all else and that means breaking all possible dependencies that Australia has with China”;
  • “I believe the present government is handling the economy well, but not housing affordability”;
  • “Restoring freedoms and the ending of inappropriate emergency powers is a priority”;
  • “I am concerned with the direction this country is heading in terms of civil liberties. The state has grown too powerful and the citizenry are now more vulnerable to government overreach than ever before and the effects are being felt. I suspect a seismic shock may occur in the election”;
  • “Climate change and the environment is important to all Australians. In this election, this is more important than the economy. However, from an overall perspective, I think that a Liberal/Nationals government will be best”;
  • “No federal ICAC, and reduce the number of royal commissions generally, as they achieve nothing and just create more work for the club that is the part of the legal profession who spend such inordinate amounts of time achieving absolutely nothing”;
  • “I am concerned that we will lose the final high-end tax cut due in 2024 should the Liberals lose the election”; and
  • “We require a more self-sufficient government that is not predominantly relying on taxes and a government we can trust to stick to their word”.

Lawyers Weekly will have ongoing coverage of the results of the Momentum Intelligence Insight Survey in the coming weeks. For more information about the survey, and Momentum Intelligence, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the director of Momentum Intelligence, Michael Johnson, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Why are lawyers backing Albo?
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