There is a very interesting post over on ozpolitics – I can do no better than to quote the first part of it to whet your appetite. Do yourself a favour and read it!
I have been looking at Professor Roger Stimson’s 28 March 2007 Parliamentary Library presentation on his ecological analysis of the 2004 election using the data from the 7576 polling booths and the 2001 census. The presentation was based on research by Stimson, Dr T- K Shyy, and Dr Prem Chhetri.
For their analysis the researchers categorised each polling booth on which major party (Labor, Liberal, National and Country Liberal) won the most votes, and whether a minor party (Greens, Democrats and Family First) won more than 20 per cent of the vote. Then taking 46 variables from the 2001 census, the researchers used multiple regression to see whether socioeconomic or demographic characteristics could explain the variability in voting patterns.
Their key finding was that three discriminant functions explained more than 96 per cent of the variability in terms of the seven-fold categorisation of polling booths. The first two functions were:
- The monocultural/older – multicultural/younger discriminant function, which accounted for 54.7% of the variance [this function comprised 16 census variables]
- The disadvantage – advantage discriminant function, which accounted for 28.9% of the variance [this function comprised 11 census variables]