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Cost of living and aged care top priority of voters: ANU survey

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Australians say addressing the soaring cost of living and the aged care crisis should be the main focus for whoever wins the upcoming federal election.

Surveying what should be a top priority after the May 21 poll, an Australian National University (ANU) study found addressing cost of living (65 per cent), fixing aged care (60 per cent) and strengthening the economy (54 per cent) the top three responses.

Reducing health care costs (54 per cent) and addressing climate change (53 per cent) rounded out the top five, while 37 per cent of voters still view addressing COVID-19 as a major concern.

Immigration, discussed as an election issue early in the campaign, received the lowest response as a top priority at 22 per cent.

Elsewhere, the ANU poll found a slight drop in people who said they would vote for Labor at the coming election, falling from 36.3 per cent in January to 34.4 per cent in April.

The coalition dipped from 31.7 per cent in January to 31.2 per cent in April, while the Greens jumped from 14.2 per cent in January to 16.2 per cent in April.

Study co-author Nicholas Biddle said the voting intention results, the top priority issues, and a lack of confidence in the Government, all looked good for the Labor opposition.

“At the midway point of the campaign, Labor is in an election-winning position,” Biddle said.

“Voting intention data is reinforced by ongoing low confidence in the Federal Government – still at its lowest level since the Black Summer bushfire crisis – and voters prioritising policy areas that the Government is struggling to create a positive narrative about, like cost of living, aged care and climate change.”

Some 62.4 per cent of respondents said they were disappointed with the direction of the country.

The ANU surveyed more than 3500 voters.

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