• Class Number 4602
  • Term Code 3150
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Katrine Beauregard
    • Prof Ian McAllister
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 01/07/2021
  • Class End Date 30/09/2021
  • Census Date 23/07/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 23/07/2021
SELT Survey Results

Why do Australians vote the way they do? Why are young people more likely to support minor parties? What would happen if voting were not compulsory? How important is the environment to most people? Do Australians want the government to play a larger or smaller role in our lives? The answers to these questions have very important implications for Australian democracy. This course will examine how the dimensions of political behaviour and public opinion have been changing over time and the implications of this for the future of Australian politics.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. critically analyse academic surveys and public opinion polls;
  2. evaluate the contribution surveys and opinion polls makes to our understanding of Australian politics;
  3. critically assess and present arguments based on empirical evidence and theoretical models based on the voter behaviour literature;
  4. assess the most important post-1945 elections and the events and issues driving electoral outcomes;
  5. develop analytical and writing skills through the research essay and exam; and
  6. discuss and reasses central ideas in collegical class environment.

The course will draw on a wide range of sources and reading. However, the following three books will cover a lot of the material that appear throughout the course. Elections and Voters covers the main theories of voting behaviour, and employs a wide range of cross-national examples. The Australian Voter primarily deals with Australian evidence, while the Oxford Handbook of Political Behaviour is particularly valuable for international sources of literature.

Cees van der Eijk and Mark Franklin. 2009. Elections and Voters. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ian McAllister, 2011. The Australian Voter: Fifty Years of Change, Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.

Russell J. Dalton and Hans-Dieter Klingemann, editors, 2007. The Oxford Handbook of Political Behaviour. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Throughout the course there will be a mixture of lectures, group exercises, discussion, and presentations. Students are expected to actively engage in lecture material and group activities while in class in order to achieve learning outcomes 1 to 6.

Lectures will not be taped consistently due to the interactive format of the course, however the power point slides will be available on Wattle, 24 hours after the lecture has been delivered.

Recommended readings: 

Birch, Sarah, 2009. Full Participation: A Comparative Study of Compulsory Voting. New York: United Nations University Press.

Blais, Andre, 2007. ‘Turnout in Elections’, in Russell J. Dalton & Hans-Dieter Klingemann, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dalton, Russell J., David M. Farrell & Ian McAllister. 2011. Political Parties and Democratic Linkage. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dalton, Russell J. and Hans-Dieter Klingemann, editors, 2007. The Oxford Handbook of Political Behaviour. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ruth Dassonnville and Ian McAllister. Forthcoming. ‘Gender, Political Knowledge and Descriptive Representation: The Impact fo Long-Term Socialization.’ American Journal of Political Science. https://doi.org/10.1070/17455289.2017.1387632

Evans, Geoffrey, and James Tilley. 2012. ‘The Depoliticization of Inequality and Redistribution: Explaining the Decline of Class Voting.’ Journal of Politics 74(4): 963- 976

Farrell, David & Ian McAllister. 2003. The Australian Electoral System: Origins, Variations and Consequences. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.

Franklin, Mark N. 2004. Voter Turnout and the Dynamics of Electoral Competition, in Established Democracies Since 1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gibson, Rachel & Ian McAllister. 2011. ‘Do Online Election Campaigns Win Votes? The 2007 Australian YouTube Election.’ Political Communications 28: 227–244.

Green, Jane. 2007. ‘When Voters and Parties Agree: Valence Issues and Party Competition.’ Political Studies 55: 629-655.

Timothy Hellwig and Ian McAllister. 2017. ‘The Impact of Economic Assets on Party Choice in Australia.’ Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties. https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2017.1408632

Inglehart, Ronald. 2007. ‘Postmaterialist Values and the Shift from Survival to SelfExpression Values’, in Russell J. Dalton & Hans-Dieter Klingemann, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Political Behaviour. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Klingemann, Hans-Dieter, editor, 2009. The Comparative Study of Electoral Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lewis-Beck, Michael S., Richard Nadeau and Martial Foucault. 2013. ‘The Compleat Economic Voter: New Theory and British Evidence.’ British Journal of Political Science 43: 241-261

Lewis-Beck, Michael S. & Mary Stegmaier, 2007. ‘Economic Models of Voting, in Russell J. Dalton & Hans-Dieter Klingemann, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McAllister, Ian. 2007. ‘The Personalization of Politics, in Russell J. Dalton & Hans-Dieter Klingemann, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McAllister, Ian. 2009. ‘Elections and Electoral Behavior’, in R.A.W. Rhodes, The Australian Study of Politics. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

McAllister, Ian. 2011. The Australian Voter: Fifty Years of Change, Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.

Pietsch, Juliet & Ian McAllister. 2010. ‘“A Diabolical Challenge”: Public Opinion and Climate Change Policy in Australia’, Environmental Politics 19: 217-36.

Schmitt-Beck, Rudiger. 2007. ‘New Modes of Campaigning’, in Russell J. Dalton & HansDieter Klingemann, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Political Behaviour. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Semetko, Holli A. 2007. ‘Political Communication’, in Russell J. Dalton & Hans-Dieter Klingemann, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Political Behaviour. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Singh, Shane and Judd Thornton. 2013. ‘Compulsory Voting and the Dynamics of Partisan Identification.’ European Journal of Political Research 52: 188-211.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Guideline for word limits

Students are expected to adhere to the word limits for each assignment. Students are able to go either side of the word limit by 10%. If you exceed the 10% quota you will be penalised by 10%. You will be marked on how well you express your argument within the given word limit, so it is in your interest to strictly adhere to the word limit for each assignment.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Monday 5 July 2021 9.30-10.00 Topic 1 Course introduction, overview, assessment, key issues [McAllister] 10.00-10.30 Group work: Assigning groups and tasks [Beauregard] 11.00-12.00 Topic 2 Lecture: The electoral rules of the game [McAllister] 12.00-12.30 Group discussion: electoral institutions and their consequences [Beauregard and McAllister] Lunch 1.30-2.30 Topic 3 Lecture: Parties and party loyalties [Beauregard] 2.30-3.00 Group discussion: do parties matter? [Beauregard and McAllister] 3.30-4.30 Topic 4 Lecture: What voters know about politics [McAllister] 4.30-5.00 Group discussion: do voters’ views matter? [Beauregard and McAllister]
2 Wednesday 7 July 2021 9.30-10.30 Topic 5 Lecture: How to measure behaviour and opinions [Beauregard] 11.00-12.00 Topic 6 Lecture: Where to find data and how to use it [McAllister] 12.00-12.30 Group discussion: methodology Q & A [Beauregard and McAllister] Lunch 1.30-5.00 Laboratory work: data analysis [Beauregard and McAllister]
3 Friday 9 July 2021 Topic 7 Lecture: Influences on the vote 1: social background [Beauregard] 11.00-12.00 Topic 8 Lecture: Influences on the vote 2: class influences [McAllister] 12.00-12.30 Group discussion: Influencing the vote [Beauregard and McAllister] Lunch 1.30-2.30 Topic 9 Lecture: Influences on the vote 3: Economic beliefs [McAllister] 3.00-3.30 Group discussion: do voters’ views matter? [Beauregard and McAllister]
4 Monday 12 July 2021 9.30-10.30 Topic 10 Lecture: Influences on the vote 4: political leaders [McAllister] 11.00-12.00 Topic 11 Lecture: Influences on the vote 5: media and election campaigns [Beauregard] 12.00-12.30 Group discussion: leadership and campaigns [Beauregard and McAllister] Lunch 1.30-5.00 Laboratory work: data analysis [Beauregard]
5 Wednesday 14 July 2021 9.30-10.30 Topic 12 Lecture: Elections and the democratic process in advanced democracies [McAllister] 11.00-12.00 Topic 13 Lecture: Forecasting elections [Beauregard] 12.00-12.30 Group discussion: Forecasting [Beauregard and McAllister] Lunch 1.30-5.00 Presentation of seminar papers [Beauregard and McAllister]
6 Friday 16 July 2021 9.30-10.30 Topic 14 Lecture: Participation: voter turnout [McAllister] 11.00-12.00 Topic 15 Lecture: Participation: other forms [Beauregard] 12.00-12.30 Group discussion: Participation [Beauregard and McAllister] 12.30-1.00 Group discussion: Course assessment and feedback [Beauregard and McAllister]

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date
Essay 40 % 16/08/2021
Seminar presentation 10 % 14/07/2021
Class participation 10 % 16/07/2021
Final exam 40 % 23/07/2021

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 16/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 


Learning objectives assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Due date: Sunday 16 August 2021 4pm

Weighting: 40%

Length: 2,000 words (including footnotes and tables)

The essay will on a topic agreed with the lecturer in the first week of the course. The topic will relate to one of the areas covered in the lectures, and will be based on an analysis of survey or other data, using one of the databases used in the laboratory sessions on Wednesday 10 January and Monday 15 January. The essay will be expected to cover:

  • Research question(s): What is the research question(s) ‘or problem?
  • Theoretical framework: What is the theoretical framework (i.e. literature review which includes theories and/or past research used to introduce and justify the relevance of the study)? Discuss the most important elements of the theoretical framework and how it is appropriate for the research question addressed in this study.
  • Hypotheses: What are being hypotheses tested? Justify the hypotheses in terms of the theoretical framework and prior research.
  • Methodology: Describe the research design and any particular sampling method. Discuss how well the methodology is suited to the research question posed and the specific hypotheses tested.
  • Results: Discuss the main findings in relation to the research question(s).
  • Discussion and conclusion: Discuss the findings in relation to the theoretical framework used.

Use the Harvard style referencing system for your work. A detailed description of this style can be found at the following webpages:

You should submit your assignment using the online submission tool on Wattle by 4pm on 18 February 2018.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 14/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 

Seminar presentation

Weighting: 10%

Due: 14 July 2021

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 16/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 

Class participation

Weighting: 10%

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 23/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 

Final exam

Learning Objectives Assessed: 1, 3, 4, 5

Due Date: 23 July 2021 4pm

Weighting: 40%

The final exam will cover material presented during the course. Lectures and readings will be part of the exam as well as guest lectures. The questions will be available by the end of the course and will be a take-home exam

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Katrine Beauregard
6125 3604

Research Interests

Dr Beauregard's work focuses on political behaviour and the factors that explain differences among citizens. After completing a master thesis in Montréal on gender differences in political interests among teenagers, she moved to Calgary to pursue a Ph.D. Her Ph.D dissertation investigated how political institutions can provide incentives and barriers that affect citizens' political participation differently according to their gender. Part of this dissertation has been published in the European Journal of Political Research in an article that demonstrates that electoral systems play an important role in understanding gender gaps in political participation. Dr Beauregard current projects focus on extending her dissertation work on the effects of political institutions on political behaviour by investigating how institutions can be used to include marginalized groups in the political process.

Professor Ian McAllister works on elections, parties and public opinion in Australia and crossnationally. His most recent books are The Australian Voter (UNSW Press, 2011) and (co-author) of Political Parties and Democratic Linkage (Cambridge, 2011) and Conflict to Peace: Politics and Society in Northern Ireland Over Half a Century (Manchester, 2013). He has been director of the Australian Election Study since 1987, and was Chair of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems project from 2004 to 2009 and editor of the Australian Journal of Political Science from 2004 to 2010. His scholarly research covers comparative political behaviour, postcommunist politics and Northern Ireland and Australian politics. He is currently completing a book on Russian voting and elections.

Dr Katrine Beauregard

Prof Ian McAllister
6125 5553

Research Interests

Prof Ian McAllister

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