Insulting voters won’t win elections

Will slagging off same-sex marriage opponents as gay-haters make Bill Shorten more popular? One suspects not. Identity politics is best left to protest parties such as the Greens.

As I write in The Australian today:

Outside the inner city, the political class’s sudden obsession with gay marriage must seem strange. Why has it suddenly become the burning moral issue of our time? Why should it take precedence in debate over, say, the injustice of indigenous ill-health? What puts the assumed rights of gays to tie the knot ahead of the right of an Aboriginal child to a decent start in life?

One wonders what Chris Bowen’s constituents might make of it all in the western Sydney seat of McMahon. Tanya Plibersek’s electorate of Sydney was home to 2068 cohabiting male couples on the night of the 2011 census. In McMahon there were just 25.


The concentration of same sex couples in inner-city electorates is not surprising.  But it does help explain why same-sex marriage is high on the media’s agenda. The federal electorates favoured by same-sex couple closely matches those where journalists live.

Same-sex couples: Top five seats
Federal Seat Male Female Total
Sydney 2068 598 2666
Grayndler 744 745 1489
Wentworth 1105 219 1324
Melbourne 759 388 1147
Melbourne Ports 701 241 942
Same-sex couples: Lowest five seats
Federal Seat Male Female Total
Grey 21 40 61
Aston 17 41 58
Braddon 26 31 57
Fowler 29 25 54
McMahon 25 26 51

Source: ABS 2011 Census





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