Of the 1,564 people who declared their political preference, 30% were Coalition voters, 24% were Labor voters, 8% were One Nation and 6% were Greens voters, with the remaining respondents distributed across the other, or no, preferences. Consistent with the public views and actions of politicians, a higher proportion of Coalition (54%) and Labor (40%) voters downloaded the COVIDSafe app than One Nation (24%) and Greens (28%) voters.
It appears that politicians may be significant influencers in this context. Thus, the Government may need to convince the other political parties to support this initiative.
We also asked respondents what proportion of Australian adults they expect to download the COVIDSafe app, given that part of the messaging has been that it will only be effective if a threshold proportion does so.
Those who said they have downloaded the app, or will, expect about 60% of Australian adults will download the app, which is well above the threshold. In contrast, those saying they don’t intend to download the app only expect 35% of Australian adults to do so, which is well under the threshold, providing little incentive to change their views.
The Federal Government is facing a major challenge to convince the public to cooperate and this challenge is unlikely to get easier over time.
Conjecture about a second wave of COVID-19 cases has already become reality in some of the nations that appeared to be in control earlier in the pandemic (e.g., China, Singapore, Japan and South Korea). In order to convince individuals in our society to download the app, and to maintain public health behaviours in the longer term, messaging efforts need to be targeted to address many different concerns in the population. Issues of data security, which are currently being focused on, are only part of the story.
Julie Lee is a Professor of Marketing in the UWA Business School and Co-Director of the UWA Centre for Human and Cultural Values. Julie’s research focuses on the theory, measurement and implications of human and cultural values on consumer behaviour.
Joanne Sneddon is a Senior Lecturer of Marketing in the UWA Business School and Co-Director of the UWA Centre for Human and Cultural Values. Joanne’s research focuses on the measurement of human values in adults and children and the role that values play in predicting prosocial behaviour.
Paul Gerrans is a Professor of Finance at UWA. His research focuses on consumer financial decision making, particularly within a retirement savings context, and the role of financial literacy. Paul is currently a member of the OECD/INFE Research Committee, ASIC’s Financial Capability Research Steering Committee, and the OECD’s PISA Expert Group.