See for yourself in our Esri online map how local demographics fed into the results in New England and Bennelong by-elections and the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite.
Click on the link to the map below. It will open with a default map of the Bennelong estimated 2PP swing to the Liberals, with the dark blue streets swinging slightly to the Liberals and the lighter areas swinging strongly to Labor. Now click on the Layer icon at top right of your screen to open the Layer list. You can see the legend in the map by clicking on the small arrow to the left of the layer called Bennelong Liberal-Swing . You can click on the layer Bennelong Polling Booths to show each booth and click on the booth icon itself to see the results.
Save this map of the swing by taking a screen snip or leave it open in another screen and then click off the swing and open the other Bennelong layers. You can open more than one at a time and see the impact of the various demographics on the swing. So you can open Layers for creative arts, Green votes and Agnostics, to see the combined impact of all three. This isn’t rigorous statistical modelling, but it gives you an idea of how it works.
The strongest predictor of the swing was not the Bennelong Chinese born males (or females), but Bennelong Males with No Religion. These Agnostics at the National level were the strongest supporters of the Yes vote in the Same Sex Marriage Plebiscite and when we fed this variable into the modelling, ethnicity did not contribute any additional explaining power. Chinese born persons in Bennelong tend to be Agnostics, but it was their lack of religion, rather than their ethnicity which tended to accompany the biggest political swings to Labor in Bennelong. This shows us we should look past obvious ethnic stereotypes if we’re trying to explain voting behaviour.
When you have finished with Bennelong, you can click on the Bookmark icon at top left and select New England which opens a default map showing the estimated 2PP swing to the Nationals, with the darker green areas registering the largest pro-National swing. Once again, save a copy of this map and compare it to those larger local demographics most strongly linked to the by-election swing to the Nationals: 2016 ALP voters, Tradies, or those demographics dominating the booths with smallest by-election swings to the Nationals: in this case men working in the Agricultural industry. We reversed the direction of the legend in this last one so the areas with the darker green colouring contain the fewest farmers and farm workers and the biggest pro-National swings. This confirms that the smallest swings to a party often occur in the areas of strongest support for the same party.
Click on the map or link below to view.