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Australian Election Study Finds Scott Morrison to be "Least Popular Party Leader"

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

In December of 2022 The Australian Election Study, Australia's largest and longest-running study on elections, found Scott Morrison to be “the least popular major party leader in the history of the AES, which has been tracking Australians' political opinions since 1987.”

Scott Morrison alongside the cover to the Australian National University 2022 Australian Federal Election Study with the text "Scott Morrison" foregrounded.

The 2022 study was led by The Australian National University (ANU) alongside Griffith University and saw a “large-scale abandonment” of major political parties. Co-author of the study, Professor Ian McAllister from ANU, said this was the result of a trend which had been developing for years:

"The vote for the two major parties fell to historic lows in the 2022 election. The key beneficiaries of this seismic shift in voting behaviour were the Greens and independent candidates…While the 2022 election might be heralded as a 'breakthrough' for the independents, the conditions for their election have been building over several decades. Voters are now less 'rusted on' to the major political parties and becoming more independently minded in their political choices…In 1967, 72 per cent of voters said they always voted for the same party. In 2022, this dropped to a record low of 37 per cent.”

Dr. Sarah Cameron, another co-author of the study from Griffith University, also noted Anthony Albanese’s popularity during this most recent election campaign:

“Labor entered the election with a leader, Anthony Albanese, who was more popular than both Scott Morrison, and his Labor predecessor, Bill Shorten…With Anthony Albanese as party leader, Labor attracted more votes based on leadership than in the 2016 and 2019 elections."

Professor McAllister also commented on the difference in popularity between the two party leaders:

"Anthony Albanese was evaluated more favourably than Scott Morrison in eight of nine leader characteristics, with the biggest differences in perceptions of honesty, trustworthiness and compassion…While Albanese scored 5.3 on a scale of 10 when it came to popularity, Scott Morrison became the least popular major party leader in the history of the AES, scoring 3.8. This was down from his score of 5.1 in the 2019 election."

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