Odds and ends

A review of the movements in New South Wales election betting odds over the past week, in which the Coalition have emerged clear favourites overall, despite a mixed picture in the individual seat markets.

UPDATE: Please note that this a dedicated New South Wales election thread – a general discussion thread is here.

With one day to go, I’ve done a bit of work updating my state election guide with a few new candidate details and campaign updates – and also with updated betting odds from Ladbrokes. There has been a bit of a divergence in the overall odds, where the Coalition are now clear favourites on $1.45 to $2.70 for Labor, and the seat odds, which seem to paint a more favourable collective picture for Labor. UPDATE: The Sydney Morning Herald has a chart showing the fluctuations in Sportsbet’s odds over the campaign, making clear the late surge to the Coalition.

The Asian immigration kerfuffle has been reflected in Labor lengthening in Kogarah (from $1.17 to $1.30, with the Liberals cut from $3.75 to $2.50) and Oatley (from $2.75 to $3.75, with the Liberals in from $1.36 to $1.22). However, there is no movement in Strathfield, despite reports of favourable polling for the Liberals, and Labor is now unbackable in Coogee, where they are in from $1.22 a week ago to $1.10. Labor are also in from $5 to $3.75 in South Coast – but, contrary to media chatter, the Liberals have shortened in Heathcote from $1.44 to $1.33, with Labor out from $2.88 to $3.10.

The Nationals’ odds have deteriorated in a number of seats over the past week, with Labor slashed from $17 to $4 in Coffs Harbour, and even given a sniff in Barwon, where they are in from $7 to $5, the market presumably considering it possible that they might skate home as votes split between the Nationals and Shooters. Shooters have shortened from $1.33 to $1.25 in Orange, and from $3.25 to $2.90 in Murray; independent Mathew Dickerson seems to be attracting attention in Dubbo, where he is now on $2.75, with the Nationals on $1.40; and independent by-election winner Joe McGirr is in from $1.50 to $1.27 in Wagga Wagga. Conversely, the Nationals’ odds have improved in Tweed (from $3 to $2.50, with Labor out from $1.36 to $1.50) and Upper Hunter ($2.88 to $2.10, with Labor out from $1.40 to $1.70).

The Greens’ odds have improved on the north coast (from $4.50 to $3.50 in Lismore, where Labor are clear favourites, and from $5.50 to $3.75 in Ballina, where the Nationals are given the edge), but deteriorated slightly in the inner city (from $1.36 to $1.44 in Balmain and $1.11 to $1.14 in Newtown).

Federal election minus whatever

A new venue for general discussion of matters political, as the New South Wales election sucks the oxygen from the federal sphere.

Reflecting its confidence about its prospects in Victoria, Labor has traded in its existing prospect for the seat of Higgins, Josh Spiegel, for a higher profile model in the shape of barrister Fiona McLeod. That’s all I really have to relate at the moment, but a new federal politics and general discussion thread is required, and here it is. Note the new Brexit post from Adrian Beaumont below this one and, naturally, the latest New South Wales election post above.

Brexit minus eight days (possibly)

Commons Speaker John Bercow blocks a third vote on Teresa May’s deal, but there is a workaround – if the votes exits. Guest post by Adrian Beaumont.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian’s work on electoral matters for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

On March 18, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow announced that he would not allow a third vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal without substantial changes, citing a rule dating back to 1604 that says that the Commons cannot re-consider something in its current session once it has been decided.  A session is normally one year, but the current session is two years, expiring in June 2019.

While Bercow’s intervention was dramatic, there is a fairly simple workaround.  A “paving motion” could be used to state that the Commons wants another vote on the deal.  If there were a majority for the paving motion, there would be another vote on the deal.  May’s problem is not Bercow, it is that she does not have a majority for her deal.  May would have hoped that the Democratic Unionist Party and hard Conservative Leavers would fall in line under the threat of a long extension to Brexit, but this has not occurred in sufficient numbers to change the result of the 149-vote loss at the March 12 division on May’s deal.

On March 21-22, the European leaders’ summit will be held.  It had been suggested that May would ask for a short extension, conditional on passing her deal by mid-April, when the UK will need to commit to holding European parliamentary elections from May 23-26.  If May cannot pass her deal by mid-April, a long extension would be required.

Instead of asking for a long delay, on March 20 May asked for a delay only until June 30, regardless of whether her deal is passed.  The UK would not participate in the EU elections, so it would cease to be an EU member when the new EU parliament first sits on July 1.  However, European Council President Donald Tusk said the EU would only back a short delay if May’s deal passes – a delay needs the unanimous support of all 27 EU nations.

Late on March 20 UK time, May gave a speech in which she said that the public should blame MPs, not her, for any Brexit delay.  May has been under pressure from hard Leave Conservative MPs.  But by blaming MPs, she makes it more likely that her deal will be rejected again if put to a vote next week.  In summary, the events of March 20 make a no-deal Brexit more likely at 11pm March 29 UK time (10am March 30 Australian Eastern Daylight Time).

I think a long Brexit extension would be seen as a far greater betrayal of Leave voters than other options such as a softer Brexit with a customs union.  For the last two years, people have been told that March 29 is the day the UK leaves the EU. Many Leave voters will not care very much about the type of Brexit, but they will care a great deal about honouring the March 29 exit date.  If the UK took part in European elections, there would be no guarantee of any Brexit.

On March 14, the Commons passed a motion that would extend Brexit.  A Survation poll taken March 15 gave Labour a four-point lead over the Conservatives, the first Labour lead in any UK poll since January 30.  Two YouGov polls for different clients, both conducted March 14-15, had the Conservatives ahead by two to four points; however, the Conservative vote in both polls was down five since the last YouGov poll in early March.  I believe Labour dropped in the polls as they became perceived as an anti-Brexit party.  The Conservatives would be likely to suffer greater damage than Labour from such a perception as Leave voters make up a far larger part of their vote.

An overlooked reason for why the Conservative vote has held up well despite Brexit chaos is the economy.  On March 19, the November to January jobs report was released.  It showed that 76.1% of those aged 16 to 64 had a job, a record high.  The unemployment rate was just 3.9% (lowest since 1975), and inflation-adjusted weekly wages grew 1.4% over the year to January.  As long as these great jobs figures continue, the Conservatives have a good chance to win the next election despite Brexit.  A big question is whether the economy tanks if there is a no-deal Brexit.

New South Wales election minus two days

Michael Daley’s debate stumbles and controversial take on immigration give the Liberals an opening, as campaign reportage gets flooded with the purported findings of party internal polling.

The final week of the New South Wales campaign has been marked by a turn in the media narrative, with a barrage of negative headlines for Michael Daley dispelling an earlier consensus that “momentum” rested with Labor. This morning’s reports mostly relate to stumbles over education policy during the Sky News leaders forum in Penrith last night, which ended with 50 of the assembled “undecided voters” (one of whom turns out to have been an Australian Conservatives election candidate) rating themselves more likely to vote Coalition, compared with 25 for Labor and 25 uncommitted.

However, the main headline spinner over the past few days has been the emergence of video of Daley addressing a forum in the Blue Mountains last September, in which he expressed concern about the impact of Asian immigration on the employment and housing markets. To identify where this is most likely to cause Labor trouble, the table below shows the top ten electorates for Chinese ancestry, as identified in the 2016 census. The only seat here that might be described as a Labor target is Oatley, although it has not much featured in discussion of seats that are likely to fall its way. However, Labor appears to have been thrown on the defensive in Kogarah, held by widely touted leadership prospect Chris Minns, and Strathfield, which Jodi McKay narrowly succeeded in gaining for Labor in 2015.

Chinese ancestry Margin
Kogarah 32.8% Labor 6.9%
Ryde 28.2% Liberal 11.5%
Epping 26.4% Liberal 16.2%
Strathfield 25.8% Labor 1.8%
Heffron 22.6% Labor 14.1%
Auburn 20.6% Labor 5.9%
Willoughby 20.2% Liberal 23.8%
Parramatta 19.3% Liberal 12.9%
Oatley 19.2% Liberal 6.6%
Baulkham Hills 18.3% Liberal 21.8%

Minns took to Chinese social media forum WeChat on Tuesday to distance himself from Daley’s comments, as the Liberals turned the screws by spruiking internal polling with his primary vote at 32.4%, dangerously down on the 45.4% he recorded in 2015. Multiple reports have said the poll showed a 7% swing away from Labor, although there is some confusion as to whether this is from the base of the 2015 election result, in which case the seat would go down to the wire, or if it reflects the immediate effect of the story breaking. The polling is said to have been conducted on Tuesday evening from a sample of 400, with a margin of error of 5%. The Liberals have followed this today by telling the Daily Telegraph that further polling shows it with a primary vote lead of 42.6% to 34.3% in Strathfield.

Not all the party polling chatter over the past 24 hours has been bad for Labor: a Liberal source acknowledged to the Daily Telegraph yesterday that the party still did not expect to win Kogarah; Nine News reported last night that the furore had had no impact in “marginal seats Mr Daley needs to win”; and Seven News reported the Coalition had “grown more worried about the seat of Goulburn following a steady decline in polling numbers”. Andrew Clennell of The Australian today offers that the Liberals could be looking at four losses on top of five for the Nationals, sufficient to cost the government its majority. However, the ship is said to have been steadied in Heathcote, which the Liberals have targeted with intensive campaigning after being spooked by the results of polling conducted last week.

Before the turn in the media mood had fully unfolded, I took part in a podcast with Ben Raue of The Tally Room on Monday, together with social researcher Rebecca Huntley, which you can hear below.

YouGov Galaxy: 50-50 in New South Wales

The Daily Telegraph has a statewide New South Wales poll from YouGov Galaxy that records a dead head on two-party preferred, from primary votes of Coalition 41%, Labor 38% and Greens 9%. The poll also records Shooters Fishers and Farmers on 3% and One Nation on 1%, which I presume accounts for the limited number of seats these parties are fielding candidates in, as was the case with YouGov Galaxy’s late campaign polling in Queensland last year. A preferred premier question has Gladys Berejiklian with a 38-36 lead over Michael Daley, which is rather slender for an incumbent. It also finds 47% saying the government’s stadium plans have made them less likely to vote Coalition, compared with only 16% for more likely. The report says the poll was conducted from a sample of 1016 “before The Daily Telegraph broke the story of Mr Daley’s doublespeak over ­Chinese immigration”, but it’s no more precise than that on the field work period.

Yet again, the is well in line with the existing reading of the state election poll tracker, on which Labor currently leads 50.6-49.4. The trend charts can be viewed over the fold, with the full display featured as part of the election guide.

Continue reading “YouGov Galaxy: 50-50 in New South Wales”

Federal election minus two months

No new federal poll, but preselection latest from Curtin, Moncrieff and Sturt in the House, and the Northern Territory in the Senate.

In an off week in the fortnightly cycle of Newspoll and Essential Research, and no Ipsos poll overnight in Nine Newspapers, it looks like poll junkies will have to make do with New South Wales this week. We do have a poll of Senate voting intention from The Australia Institute, encompassing by Dynata from 2019 voters through February and March, which has Labor on 33%, the Coalition on 28%, the Greens on 12% and One Nation on 8%, from which a post-election outcome is projected of 30 to 32 seats for the Coalition, 28 to 29 seats for Labor, eight to nine seats for the Greens, four to five seats for the One Nation, two to three for the Centre Alliance, one for Australian Conservatives, and possibly one for Derryn Hinch, Jacqui Lambie or Tasmanian independent Craig Garland. The poll was the subject of a paywalled report in the Financial Review, and a full report featuring detailed breakdowns will shortly be available on The Australia Institute’s website.

Other than that, some recent preselection developments to relate:

• Last week’s Liberal preselection to choose a successor to Julie Bishop in Curtin was won by Celia Hammond, former University of Notre Dame vice-chancellor, who secured victory in the first round with 51 votes out of 82. The only other competitive contender was Anna Dartnell, an executive for resources company Aurizon, who received 28 votes. Erin Watson-Lynn, who was said to have been favoured by Bishop, received only one vote, after receiving substantial unhelpful publicity for past social media comments critical of the Liberal Party. It has been widely suggested that Hammond’s socially conservative views make her an ill fit for the electorate, which recorded a 72% yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum – hoping to take advantage of the situation is Louise Stewart, who established a chain of health care clinics, and identifies as a moderate and “independent Liberal”.

Andrew Potts of the Gold Coast Bulletin reports eight candidates have nominated for the preselection to succeed Steve Ciobo as the Liberal National Party candidate in Moncrieff, which is expected to be held in a few weeks. Gold Coast councillor Cameron Caldwell is reckoned to be the frontrunner, with other candidates including Karly Abbott, a staffer to Ciobo, and Fran Ward, a “local businesswoman”.

• Labor has preselected Cressida O’Hanlon, a family dispute resolution practitioner, as its candidate for the Adelaide seat of Sturt, which will be vacated with the retirement of Christopher Pyne. The Liberal preselection will be held on Saturday – the presumed front-runner, James Stevens, is backed by Pyne and other factional moderates, and faces opposition from two conservatives, Joanna Andrew and Deepa Mathew.

• The Country Liberal Party in the Northern Territory has preselected Sam McMahon, a Katherine-based veterinarian, out of a field of 12 to succeed the retiring Nigel Scullion as its Senate candidate.