Boothby has one of the oldest populations, ranking seventh out of the 150 seats in terms of its number of voters aged over 70, of which there are 24,500.

The poll also canvassed attitudes towards Labor’s proposal to remove “a concession that gives cash refunds to shareholders for excess dividend credits”.

Among all voters, 19.5 per cent supported the policy, 44.5 per cent opposed it and 36 per cent were either unsure or did not understand the policy.

But with self-funded retirees to be hit hardest by the change, opposition levels rose with age.

Among voters aged 51 to 65, opposition was 44.3 per cent and support was 18.1 per cent.

Among those aged over 65, opposition was 48.3 per cent and support was 17.7 per cent.

By contrast, among voters aged 18 to 34, opposition was 16.7 per cent and support was 41.7 per cent. Opinion was a bit more even among those aged 35 to 50 with 34.1 per cent opposed and 26.1 per cent in support.

Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist said the high level of voters who did not understand the policy should benefit Labor, which has never held the seat.

“While more Boothby residents oppose Labor’s changes to franking credits than support it, it’s clear many voters simply don’t understand what is being proposed,” he said.

“Elderly residents are more concerned about the proposed policy change than the young. The good news for Labor is the massive support for its policy amongst those under 34.”

In addition, there is strong support (66 per cent) in the electorate across all age groups for federal government investment in renewable energy and storage, compared with coal and gas (24 per cent), which is the government’s preference.

Ms Flint said the franking credit issue worried not just seniors and was a potent issue in her electorate.

“I’m being approached at community events, listening posts, on email and phone by retirees who will lose between $5000 and $35,000 a year under Labor’s tax grab,” she said.

“Labor’s retiree tax punishes people who have worked hard to plan and save for their retirement. It will force many of these people on to the pension. It will mean retirees will struggle to pay for their council rates, insurance and power, and they will have less money to spend in local businesses.”

The Coalition faces a tough task to hold on to power at the next election, with the national published polls showing Labor leading by up to 55 per cent to 45 per cent on a two-party basis.

Coalition strategists argue much of this swing is occurring in safe Labor and Coalition seats, which are unlikely to change hands on election day, while the key marginals, where the election will be won or lost, are tighter.

 

 

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