Spotlight Activity: Voters Demonstrate That They Want Climate Action
In 2018, Australians went to the polls in a series of elections. With a general election looming in 2019, the unpopularity of the current federal government has heavily impacted results at a local and state level. In all those defeats, voters indicated they were furious that the governing Party refuses to put forward a coherent, proactive climate action policy.
In 2018 the Liberal-Nationals coalition lost:
- The rural state seat of Wagga Wagga, which they’ve held for nearly 70 years;
- Two special by-elections in Queensland and South Australia where their candidates repeatedly dodged questions on climate change;
- A special by-election to replace their Party leader, who was replaced by a pro-climate Independent, and;
- The state election in Victoria, where voters returned a government with a strong focus on renewable energy by landslide margins.
Furious MPs have openly questioned when the Party is going to get serious on climate change. On national TV some even spoke of having conversations with lifelong voters who told them they could no longer vote for them because their Party doesn’t have a serious climate change policy.
Figure 1: 2018 election defeats for the Liberal-Nationals Party where climate change was a key issue for voters.
Status: Right Direction
For the first time in nearly a decade, national surveys show that environment and climate are now among voter’s top priorities. Election results in 2018 show that Australian voters are excited about local Independent candidates who prioritize climate action.
The governing Liberal-Nationals coalition is suffering the most from this as they take an increasingly denialist/hard-right stance on climate issues. Although the opposing Labor Party promises to kick-start Australia’s zero-carbon transition, it will soon have to decide where it stands on future coal and gas exploration – voters across the country have indicated they do not want fossil fuels to play a big role in Australia’s future. 2019 promises to be a crucial year for climate action in Australia, with voters poised to elect progressive governments prepared to take action on climate change.
Please send the following message to the policymaker below:
Dear Mr. Morrison,
In 2019 you face a general election. If the results of by- and state elections this year indicate anything, it is that voters across the country are worried your Liberal Party does not have a coherent vision for Australia’s future. Voters are clearly worried about your government’s stance – or lack thereof – on key issues like climate change. MPs and Senators from your own Party have publicly expressed frustration on multiple occasions that your approach is alienating you from an entire generation of young voters.
If you won’t heed the lessons of Longman, Mayo, Wagga Wagga, Wentworth and Victoria, then it is likely your government faces a wipeout in May 2019. On each of these occasions voters preferred sensible candidates who support strong climate action. If your Party’s candidates cannot offer a credible explanation of how they plan to combat climate change, or a commitment to helping Australia transition to a zero carbon future, then they face being voted out en masse.
Please listen to the Australian public and consider embracing a commitment to climate action as part of your election platform for 2019 – we promise you’ll win back many, many more disaffected voters than you ever thought possible.
Send Action Alert Message to:
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Telephone: (02) 6277 7700
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