Vote Compass: What are New Zealand's young voters concerned about?

Source: 1News

The latest Vote Compass results have shown the "volatility" among young voters this election, with surprising results highlighting the big concerns about health and housing coming through as the hot topics 

The findings are based on 175,689 participants of Vote Compass from August 20, 2017 to September 8, 2017.

So far 357,429 people have completed the online election tool. 

University of Auckland associate professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment told 1 NEWS the Vote Compass outcome of participants aged 18 to 29 showed "we shouldn't assume" how young people will vote, or class them predominantly in a 'left-wing' thinking box. 

"They're actually a lot more diverse. Young people think about these issues more seriously and more reflectively than we assume," Dr Lees-Marshment said. 

Vote Compass Results - Hospitals

Health topics seemed to unite the opinions of young voters, with 91 per cent of young voters agreeing government should increase funding of public hospitals to reduce waiting lists. 

Vote Compass Results - GP visits for children

Free GP visits for under 18s saw 58 per cent 'strongly agreeing' with the notion, rising to an overall support base of 87 per cent. 

Watch the parties debate the issues that matter most to young people tonight at 7.30pm on 1 NEWS Now, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.

Vote Compass Results - Affordable housing

Young voters also surged ahead when asked if the government should build affordable housing for Kiwis to buy, with 51 per cent 'strongly agreeing, jumping up to 82 per cent support overall. 

The biggest surprise for Dr Lees-Marshment about young voters was "there wasn't strong support of more immigrants, or increasing the refugee quota". 

"It's really divided."

Vote Compass Results - Immigrants

Forty per cent thought there should be less immigrants, 34 per cent wanted the same amount, and only 22 per cent thought there should be more. 

Vote Compass Results

The figures also showed 35 per cent of young voters wanted less refugees, 23 per cent wanted the same and 40 per cent through the quota should increase. 

New Zealand's current quota is 750 per year, with increases for occasions such as the Syrian refugee crisis. 

Vote Compass Results - Maori language

Young voters were strong in their support for the Maori language, with a 53 per cent support base, and only 16 per cent saying there should be less support. 

Greenhouse gas emissions generated a 76 per cent young voter support base, with only a mere five per cent saying New Zealand should do less to reduce emissions. 

There was also 61 per cent of young voters for requiring private companies to disclose the pay of male and female employees for the same work, with only 21 per cent disagreeing. 

Vote Compass Results - education

They were notable strong supporters of government funding of three-years of post-school education, with 31 per cent strongly agreeing, that's 10 per cent more than any other age group, but overall it only sat at 58 per cent, with a large chunk (28 per cent) disagreeing. 

Dr Lees-Marshment said the sizable portion disagreeing with the education move showed Labour was not necessarily going to bring in the youth voter with their tertiary policy of one-year free post-school.

The results also showed a reflection of the "overall volatility" of voters this election, Dr Lees-Marshment said, with no clear party policies aligning with the views of younger voters. 

Developed by a team of social and statistical scientists from Vox Pop Labs, Vote Compass is a civic engagement application offered in New Zealand exclusively by TVNZ. The findings shown here are based on 101,101 respondents who participated in Vote Compass from August 20, 2017 to August 27, 2017. Unlike online opinion polls, respondents to Vote Compass are not pre-selected. Similar to opinion polls, however, the data are a non-random sample from the population and have been weighted in order to approximate a representative sample. Vote Compass data have been weighted by gender, age, education, religion, occupation, and Mãori descent to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of New Zealand according to census data and other population estimates.