Voters sceptical of major parties

A moderate number of voters turned up at Dandenong Stadium to vote on Wednesday 11 May. Picture: JONTY RALPHSMITH.

By Jonty Ralphsmith

Disillusionment with major parties drove a sway towards minor parties and independents at an early voting centre in Dandenong North.

Star Journal spoke to people after they cast their votes at Dandenong Stadium in the seat of Bruce on Wednesday 11 May.

Labor have held the seat since 1996 – current MP Julian Hill has served the area since 2016.

But there was a clear cynicism about whether the Labor and Liberal Parties had voters best interests at heart.

“It wasn’t about who I voted for, it was about who I voted against: I didn’t want to vote for the big parties,” said one voter, summing up the frustrations being felt by those surveyed.

Several voters cited political corruption as turning them away from major parties.

Members of the ALP, Liberal Party, Greens, and United Australia Party were congenially handing out how-to-vote cards as moderate crowds cast their votes.

UAP lower house candidate Matt Babet and upper house candidate, brother Ralph Babet were in attendance, and Ralph summed up the Star Journal’s observations.

“People are saying they are sick of the Labor and Liberal duopoly and they want a real third option,” Ralph said.

“We are the real third option giving people choice – we’re all about choice because let’s face it, Labor and Liberal are the same on the big core issues.”

A previous survey by Star News found there was apathy towards the political processes and issues, a sentiment present after people voted.

Multiple voters questioned why Australia implemented compulsory voting, while voters were vague in giving the issues that shaped their vote.

There were still a number of loyal voters from each side who stuck with the party they have long supported.

Anti Scott Morrison sentiment was also present among some. One said: “We’d be in trouble if Morrison got another term – the states should be happy they had Premiers which kept us apart [during the pandemic] because when the chips are down, Morrison’s never there.”

About half of those spoken to said their reason for voting early was to miss the crowds on election day, while another “didn’t want to deal with all the crap that’s going to happen in the next week”.

There were also several people who said they would be away from their electorate, working or overseas on election day.

There was a sign promoting Liberal Democrats candidate Christine Skrobo but no-one handing out ’how-to-vote cards’ while there was no promotion of One Nation candidate Hayley Deans at the venue.

The Federal Election will be held on Saturday 21 May.