Australian Economy

Chinese-Australian voters helped sway the election result. So what issues mattered most to them?

Along with millions of Australians, Anna Wang cast her vote for Labor this election.

Her ballot was part of a massive swing towards Labor in the Sydney electorate of Reid, delivering the seat to Sally Sitou, who has Chinese heritage and whose parents fled Laos due to the Vietnam war.

Australia’s fraught relationship with China was a key talking point during the election campaign and it shaped Ms Wang’s vote.

The 66-year-old said she hoped the new government would improve Australia-China relations and increase trade between the two nations.

“Since the relationship deteriorated and Peter Dutton talked about war with China, there has been more racist pressure on the Chinese,” she said.

“As a soon-to-be retiree, I am concerned about the minimum wage and the issues of Medicare and aged care.

“Sally Sitou is a young candidate who has strong community connections. We don’t care about the ethnicity of the candidate. We will support anyone who can represent the interests of the community.”

Erin Chew, from the Asian Australian Alliance, said she felt it was long overdue that someone with Asian heritage was elected as the local MP for such a diverse electorate.

Vivienne Chen, originally from Shanghai, runs a dumpling house in the Sydney suburb of Burwood.

She said while Ms Sitou was a strong candidate and she was pleased to see someone with Chinese heritage running in Reid, she chose to vote Liberal.

Two ladies are holding steamed dumplings
Vivienne Chen (right) says many small businesses may prefer Liberal policies.(Supplied)

“The Liberal party had dealt with the pandemic properly and provided sufficient support for small businesses,” she said.

“I hope that the Chinese community members will get more involved in politics and have more representation in the parliament.”

How did Chinese Australians vote?

Electorates where almost one in five people have Chinese ancestries – such as Reid (18 per cent) and Chisholm (19 per cent) – saw swings of more than 8 per cent to Labor.

That’s much higher than the national average of 3.4 per cent.

A woman with black hair smiling
Sally Sitou won the seat of Reid, where almost one in five people have Chinese ancestry.(AAP: Bianca De Marchi)

The swing in Chisholm in Melbourne saw Hong Kong-born Gladys Liu lose her seat to Labor’s Carina Garland.

But it wasn’t the same story everywhere. Fowler, in Sydney’s west, which has 16 per cent Vietnamese ancestry and 11 per cent Chinese heritage, saw a huge 16 per cent swing away from Labor to Dai Le, an independent.

Liberal-held Banks, where 16 per cent of the population has Chinese ancestry, and Labor-held Parramatta (12 per cent) saw modest swings to Labor but did not change hands.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button

Get our latest downloads and information first. Complete the form below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.