The theory that women won the Coalition the federal election has been solidified, as new research identifies females as Australia's most "volatile" voters in the party's favour.
Of people who said they would not support the return of a Morrison government in April, 21 per cent of women did just that at the ballot box in May, compared with about 14 per cent of men, research out of the Australian National University shows.
Relatively young, disadvantaged women were most likely to change their votes, while non-Aboriginal, university-educated, older women were most likely to do so in favour of the incumbent government.
"Our results would tend to suggest that [this] was specific to this election campaign," author of the report, associate professor Dr Nicholas Biddle, said.
"It might be that females, for whatever reason, were less supportive of the Coalition leading up to April.
"Then, either because of targeting, the characteristics of the policy environment, or the particulars of the opposition and the prime minister, they were more likely to change."
Government insiders put the change in women's attitudes down to the Prime Minister's swift response to the strawberry contamination scandal, a strong focus on cyber bullying, and narrowcasting with "softer, more positive" messaging.
The majority of people who switched their votes between April and May - 28.5 per cent, or about 480 survey respondents out of nearly 1700 - did so from the minor parties. The most common alternative was the Coalition.
The swing reflected voters who favoured low population growth, which was mirrored in the Liberals' rhetoric as well as in some of the minor parties, Dr Biddle said.
"[The data also reflects] how risk averse people were ... [as] the Coalition was advocating for a relatively stable policy environment," he said.
"[That] was not too dissimilar to some of the minor parties, whereas the Labor party was advocating for quite an extensive policy agenda."
Voters mainly changed their minds because of views on local candidates, followed by views on Bill Shorten.
The data proved that pollsters, as well as political parties, were underestimating Australian voters' volatility, Dr Biddle said.
That factor was behind 2019's shock election result, with a Newspoll reporting Labor's election-winning lead over the Coalition on April 7, not taking into account voters' ability to change their minds.
"Election polling in Australia has tended to be pretty accurate in terms of predicting election winners ... [so] because of that, there's been a little bit less ... uncertainty ascribed to [it]," Dr Biddle said.
"[We need to] undertake our surveys on longitudinal [rather than cross-sectional] data, so people for whom we already have some background information."
The survey indicated the ACT was the second most volatile jurisdiction in the country, with nearly 42 per cent of people switching their votes on election day - but that was based on a sample of only 43 people.
"The [territory's] election results tend to be reasonably easy to predict," Dr Biddle said. "The fact that voters, despite that, still change their votes over a relatively short period of time is interesting."