‘Election Whisperer’ Elisa Choy on her predicted outcome for the 2022 federal election

Big data and artificial intelligence, not polls, reveal voters are increasingly concerned about national security and China relations, Ms Choy tells SBS Chinese.

Maven Data's Elisa Choy uses big data and AI to predict the result of the federal election.

Maven Data's Elisa Choy uses big data and AI to predict the result of the federal election. Source: Supplied

As election day is one day away, politicians are doing all they can to win over undecided voters.

Elisa Choy, who has more than 20 years’ experience in converting data into results, said the final week would see voters finally make up their minds but maintained it would be a very close call between the Coalition and the Australian Labor Party (ALP).

Ms Choy said there was a rising perception of how China’s politics was influencing certain voters’ anxieties over national security and Australia-China relations.

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Choy says Minister for Defence Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Scott Morrison's national security stance is having a damaging effect on the Chinese community.
Choy says Minister for Defence Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Scott Morrison's national security stance is having a damaging effect on the Chinese community. Source: AAP


Ms Choy is the founder and managing director of market research company, Maven Data, which uses AI technology to analyse and measure emotions shared on open-sourced content such as social media, websites and blogs to predict future trends.

She indicated voters only revealed their true selves online and traditional polling is flawed because people often wanted to save face.

Dubbed "The Election Whisperer", Ms Choy has accurately predicted the winner of the US Presidential Elections 2020, winner of The Voice Australia three times in a row amongst other major events.

She pointed out the data showed the seat of Kooyong was truly neck-to-neck with Independent candidate Dr Monique Ryan as the winner – but only leading by a slim margin.
Elisa Choy says despite being a multicultural country, Australia still has a problem with racism.
Elisa Choy says despite being a multicultural country, Australia still has a problem with racism. Source: Supplied


She said: “Engagement and sentiment towards both is almost identical but Dr Monique Ryan gained positive momentum last week. People generally view Josh Frydenberg as doing a good job as a treasurer and we don’t want to lose him as Australia’s treasurer, especially when the economy is a topical issue.

"But his mother-in-law anecdote was a cheap shot and voters are not impressed and this reinforces the distasteful political culture in government.”



Ms Choy added that cultural attitudes of the Chinese community could play a part in how they voted.

She said: “While we didn’t specifically analyse data from the Chinese community, we have a hypothesis on their attitudes and perspectives.

"Kooyong is an affluent area with a high percentage of professionals and it also has a large Chinese community. The Chinese community, especially those from a professional services background, are more likely to vote for the Liberal Party because it has a stronger brand on economics.

For those who own a small business or have migrated to Australia on humanitarian grounds, they are more likely to look broadly, including Labor.
“Chinese people also have a strong high respect for those in the medical profession and Dr Monique Ryan is a world-class paediatric neurologist. As for Chisolm, the Liberal Party’s aggressive stance against China could persuade some members of the Chinese community to vote for another party.”

Ms Choy also pointed out that there were increasing concerns over the five weeks from voters about national security and China relations, especially in the wake of the Solomon Islands-China security pact, Scott Morrison’s multi-billion-dollar investment in helicopters and the Chinese naval ship sailing off the coast of Western Australia.

She said: “We have listed the top 25 issues that voters are concerned about. National security was ranked 17 out of 25 in the first week of the election campaign. And on week five, it jumped to 15.

"While it has not risen by much, when we measured the emotional intensity expressed by people online, we saw a seven per cent jump – this is second only to climate change in terms of increase of emotional intensity.”

Ms Choy added something to bear in mind was that when analysing data voters might have a different interpretation of what constituted national security, foreign policy and China relations.



She said: “The ranking for national security and China relations, which is currently 17, is lower than other issues like Federal ICAC, politics and integrity, climate change, renewable energy, interest rates and cost of living. But to some people, ‘national security’ could mean defence and relationship with the US and ‘China relations’ could mean economics and trade.”

When asked if she was surprised about the increase in concerns, she said: “I wasn’t surprised the ranking for national security changed because national security has been used to shape an agenda, which will cause anxiety and fear within the Chinese community.

The Liberal Party, particularly Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton, have an aggressive stance towards China, it’s like they are poking the bear and using this to justify national security, at the expense of many generations of building relationships between Australia and the Chinese community.
When making her predictions, Ms Choy also draws on her personal experiences when she emigrated to Australia in the 1980s.

She said, “I am not particularly for any of the parties now. They have lost a lot of good people and I still go back to Paul Keating, when he said our region is with Asia not the US. Australia could be a power within our region.

“I have researched racism in Australia and it is still very strong although not widely spoken about. I came to Australia in the 1980s when I was little, and I experienced racism and I have since lived with it. 

"We are one of the most multicultural societies in the world and 30 years later, Australia still demonstrates racism.”



 


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5 min read
Published 19 May 2022 at 11:39am
By Hsin-Yi Lo