Social status, urbanisation and the ethnic dimension of voting behaviour in Australia

James Forrest*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The general consensus of the literature on migrant voting behaviour in Australia is that the migrant vote, like that of the host population, can best be explained in terms of a general class cleavage (Jupp, 1981: 5). Unlike the United States, Canada, or even Britain, where ethnic differences have long been politically important (Jupp, 1984: 7-9), Australia's most enduring characteristic has been seen as a party system divided along class lines, with ethnicity virtually irrelevant (McAllister and Kelley, 1983a: 98). Yet the sheer size of the overseas born component of the Australian population in the national electorate would suggest the potential impact of the ethnic vote (McAllister and Kelley, 1982). Today, post-World War II immigrants and their children make up some 30 per cent of the total population, more than half being non-British in origin (Price, 1979). At present, one voter in seven is a migrant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-505
Number of pages17
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1988


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