Flat White

Vaccine coercion turns voters off the majors

13 May 2022

4:00 AM

13 May 2022

4:00 AM

Australians who have felt coerced into vaccination will spurn the major parties on election day, data suggests.

Instead, their vote will go to ‘Freedom Friendly’ parties including Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, the United Australia Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the Great Australian Party according to results of an online survey of more than 26,000 people.

The finding comes from two political questions asked at the end of the Australian Survey of Reasons for COVID-19 Vaccination, covered in an earlier Spectator Australia article, which aimed to examine whether the vaccine roll-out complied with medical ethical standards.

The majority of respondents were recruited from sites giving alternative views to the government narrative and hence the findings are most likely to represent the feelings of Australians marginalised by the pandemic response.

Among the 9,861 people who had at least one vaccine dose, 77 per cent said they felt ‘extremely pressured’ to take the needle, with the preeminent reason given being ‘to keep my job’.

In total 8,387 Australians reported high levels of vaccine coercion – saying they were either ‘very pressured’ or ‘extremely pressured’.

Just 8.5 per cent of those vaccinated reported that they did so under no pressure.


Most respondents (63 per cent) remained unvaccinated and at the time of the survey (in February and March 2022) almost half of them said that they, too, were feeling extremely pressured to have the jab.

Disaffection with the pandemic response appears to have translated into a massive shift in voting behaviour, with voters turning their backs on the major parties, especially the Liberal-National coalition.

In the 2019 Federal election, 37.6 per cent of respondents put the Coalition in the number one position on their ballot paper for the House of Representatives, 10.5 per cent put Labor and 3.8 per cent put the Greens.

But when asked how they planned to vote in the upcoming election, the corresponding figures were a mere 2.7 per cent, 1.6 per cent, and 0.7 per cent.

To see how much of this shift was related to vaccine coercion we split the respondents into two groups: 23,400 people who reported feeling at least some degree of pressure (ranging from slight to extreme); and 3,200 who said they had not been pressured at all.

The Labor vote seemed to be very dependent on vaccine coercion. When people had been vaccine-coerced only 0.6 per cent of them planned to vote Labor, but in the ‘no pressure’ group the Labor share of the vote was resilient, at 9.2 per cent.

But the Coalition vote collapsed in both groups with just 2.3 per cent of the pressured group and 5.2 per cent of the no pressure group intending to vote for them on May 21.

Where were all these votes going? It’s clear that respondents had transferred their allegiance to ‘Freedom Friendly’ parties, with the most popular destinations for their 2022 votes being Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (23.0 per cent), the United Australia Party (22.8 per cent), the Liberal Democrats (8.7 per cent), and the Great Australia Party (6.4 per cent).

A further 8.4 per cent said they would vote for AustraliaOne, while 6.8 per cent said they would be voting for an independent.

While the analysis did not investigate this point, could it be that the collapse of the Coalition vote seen in this survey shows they are losing votes to both sides of politics: to the pro-democracy freedom parties, and – among those who were happy to be vaccinated – to Labor?

For readers interested to know more about the survey’s results on reasons for getting vaccinated, full details are available on the survey website www.clarityonhealth.org, together with an open letter to key public health officials alerting them to the findings.

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