Election 2007: voters and VAMPIREs - the electoral geography of household exposure to rising petrol, mortgage and general price pressures

Mortgages Elections Housing Australia

This article examines the geography of household socio-economic vulnerability to rising fuel and mortgage interest rates in Brisbane, Melbourne Sydney, Adelaide and Perth to assess the potential influence these patterns may exert on the forthcoming Australian federal election. We find that transport and housing costs are now considerable concerns for many households and are likely to place pressure on household finances. Given the geography of Australian cities, the distribution of households experiencing such cost pressures is likely to be geographically uneven. We explore the extent to which high levels of such socio-economic exposure to rising fuel and housing costs – described here as oil and mortgage vulnerability – coincide with electoral marginality. We suggest that household vulnerability is present in a sufficiently large number of electorates that it poses an important challenge for political parties.

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