shortenns’ satisfaction with democracy has collapsed to its lowest level since the Whitlam dismissal, according to a major study that shows the country in an increasingly dark and distrustful mood about politics and the economy.
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The survey, conducted by the n National University, portrays a populace that is increasingly disdainful of government, lacks allegiance to the major political parties and has little trust in politicians’ abilities to improve the country’s economic performance.

The researchers who conducted the 12th n Election Study said the findings were a “wake-up call” that the conditions that led to recent political upheavals seen in Britain and the United States also exist here.

“Public satisfaction with our democratic processes and public trust in the politicians we elect are at some of the lowest levels ever recorded,” lead researcher Ian McAllister said.

“You are seeing the stirrings among the public of what has has happened in the United States with the election of [Donald] Trump, Brexit in Britain and in Italy.

“This is the start of something that has happened overseas and it’s coming here.”

The study, based on interviews with 2818 people in the three months following the July poll, has been conducted after each election since 1987, with some issues tracked since 1969.

These 10 charts demonstrate the size of the problem: 1) Satisfaction with democracy

n politicians are increasingly viewed as out of touch with the concerns of voters. Fifty-two per cent of respondents said politicians don’t know what ordinary people think, the highest result since this question was first asked in 2001. 3) Trust in government

Just 12 per cent of ns believe government is run for all the people, the equal-lowest on record. A striking 56 per cent of people think government is run for a few big interests, a dramatic increase on 38 per cent in 2007. 5) Interest in the election

Lack of interest in the election led ns to turn off their TV screens during the campaign. Twenty-one per cent of respondents said they watched the leaders’ debates – the lowest on record. This is significantly down on 32 per cent in 2013 and 47 per cent in 2010. 7) Voting volatility

ns voters have never shown such dislike of the major political parties. On a scale of zero to 10 (zero being high dislike and 10 highly liked) respondents scored Labor a 4.9, the Liberal Party 4.8 and the Nationals 4.4. 9) Government’s effect on economy

Although asylum seeker boats have stopped arriving in , the issue has spiked to its highest level of importance to voters since the Tampa election of 2001. But other evidence shows n attitudes to migrants are softening. Forty per cent believe the number of migrants in has gone too far, down from 52 per cent in 2010. More ns support boat turnbacks than not, but support is at its lowest level on record.

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