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People change their views based on their party’s leader

Climate skeptics will shift their views on the issue if the leader of the party they vote for changes their position, but are unlikely to shift their vote even if they come to believe climate change is real.

The counter-intuitive finding by social psychologist Dr Zoe Leviston suggests people will respond to strong climate change leadership as long as it comes from someone they trust.

This suggests the Liberal Party could beef up its response to climate change without losing electoral support.

“People’s climate change attitudes shifted as a result of who they voted for to a much greater extent than people would shift who they wanted to vote for because of their climate change attitudes,” said Dr Leviston.

“What that suggests to us is that people will fall in line behind whatever their political affiliates leader is saying.”

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