Morning session A: Will Millennial and Gen Z Australian’s embrace smaller governments?

While Australian Millennials have been bending the oldest rule in the political rule book, Generation Z have broken it in two.  Until recently, politicians across Anglo-democracies could take it for granted that voters become more inclined to vote for centre-right political parties as they grow older. Although this remains true of Australians born prior to 1980, the move to the right among Millennials has been glacial and of greater benefit to the primary vote of the Australian Labor Party than to the Coalition. At the last two federal elections, Generation Z were more likely to give their first preference to the Australian Greens than to the Coalition.

Why is it that Millennials and Generation Z have life cycle voting behaviour so different to that of the Baby Boomers and Generation X? Why are the youngest generations more likely to vote for parties of the left than the right, and appear to be on a trajectory to keep doing so as they get older? Can these trends be reversed, and if not, what does this mean for Australian classical liberalism and Australian public policy?

Join CIS Intergenerational Program Director Matt Taylor, Gen Z commentator Emilie Dye and pollster and political scientist Shaun Ratcliff for a panel discussion on these important questions.


Director and Founder of the Centre for Independent Studies

Professor of Public Policy and Director, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University


Sociologist, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney.
Author of The New Authoritarianism

Director, Free Market Foundation, (Hungary)

Health Director, Health and BioSecurity, CSIRO

Director and Founder, Academy of Ideas, London, (UK)

Founder and CEO, Cognoscenti Group

Executive Director, The New Zealand Initiative (NZ)

Australian writer and columnist for the News Limited Press

Research Director, CIS

Programme Co-ordinator of the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning, The University of Western Australia

Chinese Canadian human rights advocate

Senior Research Fellow, Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society Program, CIS

CEO and Founding Director, China Matters

Former Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives and Cabinet Minister

Pro Vice-Chancellor Arts and Academic Culture, and Professor of History, Australian Catholic University

Cancer researcher and clinical oncologist, with Genesis Care Newcastle

Founder and President, Middle East Forum, publisher Middle East Quarterly Journal, (US)

Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne

Senior Research Fellow and Director, Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society Program, CIS

Internationally acclaimed novelist and journalist, (US)

Head of Economic Research, Reserve Bank of Australia

Executive Director, CIS

Professor of Economics at Stanford University; Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and Chair of the Working Group on Economic Policy, (US)

UQ-CSIRO Chair in Personalised Nanodiagnostics, Professorial Research Fellow, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland

Diplomat, American Board of Pathology

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure

Liberal Party Member for Berowra

Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011, Chairman & CEO of Geoff Raby and Associates Ltd based in Beijing

Director of China and Free Societies program, CIS

Senior Research Scholar, Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University, (US)