With the federal election less than three weeks away, Lawyers Weekly reveals the issues that legal professionals deem most important when casting their vote.
In the first fortnight of April, the second Momentum Intelligence Industry 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 481 lawyers, spanning all voting-age demographics, responded to the survey as part of a total of 2,553 responses.
As reported last week, three in five (60 per cent) of lawyers chose Labor leader Anthony Albanese over incumbent PM Scott Morrison (27 per cent) on the question of who will make a better Prime Minister for the coming term of Parliament.
In the first Momentum Intelligence Industry Insight survey, respondents from the legal profession detailed which issues they deemed to be most important to them, personally and professionally, in determining who they intended to vote for. You can see those results here.
The same question was asked for the second survey, and respondents were invited to select as many as they deemed applicable. In order, the issues deemed most important for voting by lawyers closer to the election are:
- Climate change and the environment (63 per cent, up from 62 per cent in the first survey);
- Economy (stable at 61 per cent);
- Housing affordability (51 per cent, up from 45 per cent);
- Taxation (41 per cent, up from 34 per cent);
- Humanitarian concerns (36 per cent, down from 38 per cent);
- Federal ICAC (35 per cent, down from 46 per cent);
- Energy and resources (33 per cent, up from 32 per cent);
- Defence and national security (33 per cent, up from 29 per cent);
- Technology and innovation (32 per cent, up from 24 per cent).
- Gender, diversity and inclusion (32 per cent, up from 28 per cent);
- Small business interests (30 per cent, up from 25 per cent);
- Sexual harassment (stable at 29 per cent);
- Management of COVID-19 (27 per cent, down from 38 per cent); and
- Freedom (e.g. speech, religion) (21 per cent, down from 25 per cent).
The findings from the second survey show an evolution of voting considerations for lawyers across the country in the months between the two polls.
The environment and the economy remain the most important issues for lawyers, but housing affordability is now a concern for more than half of lawyers in casting their votes.
Interestingly, the establishment of a federal ICAC has become less important for lawyers across the board, although one in three still see this as an important consideration for their votes.
Similarly, the management of COVID-19 by the federal government was not selected by as many lawyers this time around, although that may be influenced by increased distance from the worst of the global pandemic.
Taxation, defence and national security, and tech and innovation are all seen as slightly more important as the election gets closer, as do small business interests and gender, diversity and inclusion concerns.
Following the release of the first Momentum Intelligence Industry Insight survey, Lawyers Weekly unpacked why legal professionals were backing Albanese at the time of being surveyed and to what extent, and also explored what issues are important to lawyers and why sexual harassment and environmental concerns are such significant voting issues for lawyers.
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