DIRECTOR, ANU CENTRE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH AND METHODS
Professor Matthew Gray is Director of the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods. Previous positions include Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Director of Research for the College of Arts and Social Sciences and Deputy Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies (2005–2010). He has published research on a wide range of social and economic policy issues including those related to Indigenous Australians. He has particular expertise in work and family issues, labour economics, social capital and social inclusion, measuring wellbeing, the economic consequences of divorce, child support, and social and economic policy development. He has undertaken extensive work on economic policy issues involving Indigenous Australians, including health status, labour market outcomes, poverty and the CDEP scheme.
Professor Gray has extensive experience in evaluating major government policies and programs having led the Australian Institute of Family Studies evaluation of the 2006 changes to the family law system and having been heavily involved in evaluating the Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy.
Professor Gray has undertaken consultancies for a wide range of organisations including the Attorney-General’s Department, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations, the former Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, OECD, and the New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation.
During 2004-05 Professor Gray was a member of the Ministerial Taskforce on Child Support.
PRESENTATION: Identifying Australian’s political views and attitudes: combining data from non-probability and probability online panels.
The Political Persona study combined data from a survey of opt-in Voter Advice Application users and a new nationally representative probability online panel (Life in Australia) to segment the Australian population according to political and social views and attitudes. The study, a collaboration between the Australian National University, Fairfax Digital, Kieskompas and the Social Research Centre, was undertaken using a novel approach. In the first stage an opt-in sample of Voter Advice Application users was used to narrow down a large number of questions to the minimum set need to segment the Australian population. In the second stage these questions were administered to the Social Research Centre’s nationally representative probability sample of Australians, Life in Australia, in order to produce nationally representative numbers.
Seven distinct “political tribes” were identified: Progressive Cosmopolitans; Activist Egalitarians; Ambitious Savers; Lavish Mod-Cons; Prudent Traditionalists; Disillusioned Pessimists; and Anti-establishment Firebrands. The questions used to define the political persona were then included on Fairfax media website allowing people to identify their political persona.
There were differences between the the non-probability and probability samples with the probability sample identifying a group with a strong nationalistic streak that are disillusioned with politics and politicians and wanting more Australian manufacturing. A group with parallels to the US Trump constituency.
An important aspect of the study was that it provides information on the attitudinal representativeness of data derived from Voter Advice Application users.