The extent and causes of spatial variations at post-war Australian federal elections: a multilevel study of influences on voting behaviour
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In this paper I make use of the techniques of multilevel modelling to provide a detailed discussion of spatial variations in major party voting at Australian federal elections during most of the post-WWII period. I begin by outlining the overall extent of spatial variations at the level of states and electoral divisions and show how these are influenced by institutional factors and contemporary political events. I then examine how much of the localised variation at the level of electoral divisions can be straightforwardly explained by social compositional differences in individual level characteristics such as occupation and religion. Following this, I study the extent to which contextual effects have influenced voting behaviour. Finally, I give a detailed discussion of how the significance of particular contextual effects has changed during the period, finding both surprising and anticipated aspects, for which I offer explanations.
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