Climate change tops the bill as number one election issue for Australian online

New data reveals the share of Internet searches made by Australians on key election issues

Climate change tops the bill as number one election issue for Australians online
New data reveals the share of Internet searches made by Australians on key election issues

Sydney, Australia – 19 August, 2010 – The top three political issues searched for by Australians online are climate change, education and immigration, according to new research from Experian Hitwise.

The research, which tracks all share of online searches between 8 May and 14 August on key election issues and political leaders, shows that share of searches on climate change policy peaked around 15 May.

Since May, climate change share of searches have declined, with the most recent bounce in mid July following new climate change policy announcements from Labor and the Coalition.  Climate change is now the election issue generating the highest share of online searches by Australians.   

Election Issues 

Share of searches on education as an election issue experienced a major spike online in mid May, as the debate around the nationwide ban of National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) developed. Education’s share of search have more than halved (-62.9%) since May (week ending 14 August compared to week ending 8 May 2010), yet it still remains the second most popular election issue online. 

Immigration is the third most popular election issue searched for by Australians, with the share of searches increasing just 10.0% over the past two months.

Immigration is one of the top election issues being championed by Labor and the Coalition, yet the Australian public’s priorities are climate change and education when it comes to share of online searches,” said Alan Long, Experian Hitwise Research Director, Asia Pacific. 

Climate Change accounts for three and a half times the share of searches than immigration. This highlights a level of disparity between what the major political parties believe will win votes and the issues that are of greatest interest to the Australian public.”

Additional findings from Experian Hitwise show:
• Despite economics being positioned as a major factor weighing on the outcome of the election, the data shows a drop in online searches on the issue around 23 June when Mr Rudd was ousted as Prime Minister. Economics is yet to re-emerge as a key concern for Australians online.

• Online searches around Health (-14.3%) and Work Choices (-12.5%) have decreased their share of search volume over the past two months, despite the growing profile of these issues in the media as the election approaches.

• When ranking the share of online searches for individual political leaders, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard comes out on top.  The data shows a huge spike in the share of online searches when Ms Gillard took over as Prime Minister.  Since 17 July, when the new date for the election was called, share of searches for Mr Abbott have almost doubled (+86.0%).

 2010 Political Leaders

Georgia Lennon
Marketing Director, A/NZ
+61 2 8907 7218

About Experian Hitwise research
Experian Hitwise measures a sample size of 3 million Australian Internet users.

The data provided by Experian Hitwise was gathered by aggregating search terms relevant to subject – issue or leader – into search term portfolios. The growth or decline of the specified search terms were measured on a weekly based. The data represents volume of search as a percentage of all searches by all Australian internet users.

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2010 was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil.

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