Our research results show that most consumers buy products that are best for their needs, even when they don’t like or trust the brand behind the product. Compared to UK and US, Aussie consumers allocate a greater share of wallet to ‘bastard’ brands – firms that they believe to be dishonest, deceitful, or knowingly hide that their products do harm to society.
We believe our research also informs how people will vote this year and why it is almost impossible to predict the likely election outcome. Most people will vote for the party they believe can best manage the economy and influence their personal prosperity, they are likely to vote for a party that appears more capable of delivering – whether they like them or not.
What is the current political landscape like?
If you look at the polls we see an interesting scenario unfolding
- Both Morrison and Albanese have record-low ratings for competence
- Scott Morrison has a record low rating for trustworthiness
- Anthony Albanese has a record low rating for economic management
Given the lack of strength of both Morrison and Albanese on competence it is no wonder almost 1 in 3 voters are saying they will either vote for an independent or are undecided. A reasonably large sect of the public don’t trust Morrison, especially after so many people have questioned his character, but that does not mean they won’t end up voting for him.
And while you might think Albanese’s gaff on the unemployment rate was nothing more than gotcha journalism, it had a direct impact on weakening Labor’s confidence in his ability to be an effective prime minister. This election is occurring in an environment full of challenges which are affecting our economy, livelihood and security as a nation in more ways than one.
What makes the upcoming election a political minefield?
Inflation is going up, interest rates are set to rise, markets are facing turbulence, other countries are knitting strategic partnerships in our region and Australia’s key trading partners are also facing challenges. Even the war in Ukraine has potential to destabilise the global economy, should it escalate. And all of this is on the back of two years of dealing with COVID.
Given the current economic challenges and uncertainty, does it really matter whether a political candidate is well-liked? Or does it matter more that they are able to manage the economy and improve personal financial security, no matter what? What happens over the next couple of weeks will determine the election outcome. The party that can best demonstrate their capabilities and competence will win the lion’s share of undecided voters.
Given both Morrison and Albanese have failed to grow belief in their competence for the past 3 ½ years it is unlikely they will radically change voters’ minds so that means we are probably heading for a hung parliament. Consumers right now are probably more excited about buying laundry detergent on sale than having to choose who to vote for in the next elections.
No matter who wins, it is unlikely either Morrison or Albanese will ever make it into the top 10 Australian prime ministers of all time. Where are the modern-day Curtins, Hawkes, Deakins and Chifleys? The public’s wait for our next great leader will have to continue.