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Gender and Leader Effects in the 2010 Australian Election

By David Denemark, Ian Ward and Clive S. Bean

Abstract

The impact of voters’ gender on leader evaluations in parliamentary systems has been largely unexplored, while the impact of female leaders on voter attitudes and preferences remains to be fully established. This paper uses Julia Gillard’s historic candidacy in the 2010 Australian federal election to explore how voters evaluated Australia’s first female prime minister, and to test the impact of their assessments on vote choice. The authors also examine whether Gillard’s high-profile candidacy affected women’s levels of political interest, awareness and engagement in what had been largely a ‘man’s game’. Their findings confirm that Gillard enjoyed a gender-affinity effect in 2010 in terms of both leader evaluations and vote choice, and women’s political engagement was significantly affected by the Gillard candidacy

Topics: 160601 Australian Government and Politics, Leader effects, Gender, 2010 Australian election
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1080/10361146.2012.731485
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:57445

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