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April 2019

Immigration, population growth and voters: who cares, and why? - Article by Katharine Betts and Bob Birrell

Previous research has shown a wide split between elite and non-elite opinion on topics such as cultural diversity, globalisation and immigration. Media professionals and most politicians share these elite views, but large swathes of the electorate do not. The current findings of the survey conducted late in 2018 by The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI) on attitudes to immigration and population growth confirm this. They show that the split between elite and non-elite opinion is mirrored in the divisions between voters who are university graduates and voters who are not. This is logical as most elites are now recruited from the graduate class. The gap is wide. Overall 50% of voters want a reduction in immigration. But this proportion rises to 60% of non-graduates while only 33% of graduates agree. (The October/November 2018 TAPRI survey Katharine Betts and Bob Birrell.)

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