Taxing times (open thread)

A new poll finds respondents nearly twice as likely to support than oppose repealing stage three tax cuts.

The Australia Institute has a poll out which offers the interesting finding that 41% favour the repeal of the stage three tax cuts, with only 22% on board and the remainder unsure. Forty-six per cent understood the cuts to most favour high income earners, compared with 18% for middle income earners and 8% for low income earners. Asked whether “adapting economic policy to suit the changing circumstances even if that means breaking an election promise” rated higher than “keeping an election promise regardless of how economic circumstances have changed”, 61% favoured the former and 27% the latter. The poll was conducted September 6 to 9 from a sample of 1409.

The Guardian reports on the fortnightly poll from Essential Research, which continues to hold off from voting intention and does not include leadership ratings on this occasion, and is mostly devoted to questions on incidental political relevance regarding the Optus security breach. Fifty-one per cent would support stronger curbs on information collected by private companies and 47% expressed concern about governments collecting their personal information. The full report should be along later today.

Brazilian first round presidential election live

Live coverage from Monday morning of today’s Brazilian election, which Lula could win outright. Also: UK Labour seizes a huge lead after the budget, US and Israeli polls.

Live Commentary

9:59am Tuesday The final presidential result is Lula over Bolsonaro by 48.4-43.2. I think Lula would have won by about 53-47 if Brazil used preferential voting, so he’s still the clear favourite to win the October 30 runoff.

In the legislature, Bolsonaro’s Liberal party won 99 of the 513 Chamber of Deputies seats (up 66), while Lula’s alliance won 80 seats (up 11). There are many parties represented, but it looks as if right-wing parties have a majority. The Liberals won eight of the 27 Senate seats up for election, and two other right-wing parties won eight seats (there are a total of 81 senators). So both chambers will have right-wing majorities.

12:52pm With 99.5% counted, Lula’s lead hits five points, 48.3-43.3.

12:01pm With 98.5% counted, Lula leads by 48.1-43.5, a 4.6% margin. He will be a heavy favourite to win the October 30 runoff, but Bolsonaro has performed much better than polls expected.

10:48am With 92.6% counted, Lula leads Bolsonaro by 47.4-44.1, a 3.3% margin. The five pre-election polls gave Lula an eight to 16 point first round margin over Bolsonaro. They don’t look good.

10:34am There are big swings against Bolsonaro in the big urban states, like the federal district, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. But his vote is holding up much better in rural states like Amazonas, Para and Tocantis. Bolsonaro won the 2018 runoff by a 55.1-44.9 margin.

10:25am With 82.6% counted, Lula leads by 46.5-44.8, a 1.7% margin.

10:05am With 70% counted, Lula takes the lead by 45.7-45.5.

10am Bolsonaro’s lead drops to 46.0-45.2 with 60.3% reporting. But it looks likely that polls have understated Bolsonaro. He’s likely to lose this round when all votes are counted, but the margin could be close, and the runoff will be a contest. Shades of Trump in the US 2020 election?

9:34am Bolsonaro’s lead keeps shrinking as more votes are counted. He’s down to a 2.2% margin (46.7-44.5) with 46% counted.

9:21am With 35.5% counted, Bolsonaro’s lead drops to 3.5% nationally. 89% has been counted in Espirito Santo, and Bolsonaro leads there by 52-40. In 2018, he won this state by 63.1-36.9

9:11am With 31% counted, Bolsonaro still leads by 47.6-43.6 nationally. But he appears to be underperforming badly in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, both of which he won by 68.0-32.0 in 2018.

9:01am While there’s a big swing against Bolsonaro in the federal district, there doesn’t seem to be in Tocantins. With 65% counted here, Lula is winning by 48.9-45.3. Bolsonaro lost this state in the 2018 runoff 51.0-49.0.

8:51am With 16.2% reporting, Bolsonaro leads Lula by 47.9-43.4 nationally. In the federal district, with over 82% in, his lead is 52-37, down from 70-30 in 2018.

8:21am With 4.9% of the overall vote counted, Bolsonaro leads by 48.8-42.1. He’s still winning the federal district 52-36 with 52% in.

8:08am Over 42% has been counted in the federal district, with Bolsonaro winning by 52-36. But in the 2018 runoff, he won the federal district by 70-30.

7:51am With 1.5% counted, Bolsonaro leads by 48.5-41.6 for Lula. I believe the current results are unrepresentative, and that Lula will improve when more results from the northeastern states report.

7:17am Monday The Guardian has results of the presidential election. So far just 0.14% has been counted

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The first round of the Brazilian presidential election occurs today. If nobody wins at least 50%, a runoff between the top two first round candidates will be held October 30. The major contenders are the far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and the leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula), who was president from 2003 to 2010.

Brazil has four time zones, but voting hours are synchronised, so that polls in trailing time zones open and close an hour earlier local time than polls in leading time zones. All polls close at 7am Monday AEDT (note: not AEST). As votes are recorded electronically, counting should be fast. There is no pre-poll or postal voting; all votes must be cast on election day.

The final five Brazilian polls, mostly taken since Thursday’s debate, have had Lula leading Bolsonaro by eight to 16 points in the first round. If the contest goes to the October 30 runoff, the polls give Lula a nine to 17 point lead. Voting is compulsory for those aged between 18 and 70.

Brazilian polls include undecided. Lula is currently in the high 40s in the first round in most polls, but undecided is at 1-9%. If undecided were excluded, as most polls in Australia do, three of the last five polls would give Lula just over the 50% needed to win outright in the first round and avoid a runoff.

As well as the presidential election, there are legislative elections today. All 513 members of the Chamber of Deputies will be elected by proportional representation, and 27 of the 81 senators (one per state) will be elected by first past the post. Many parties are currently represented.

In the last three years, left-wing candidates have won presidential elections in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. A win in Brazil would cement the left’s dominance in South America even as they struggle in Europe.

UK Labour seizes huge lead after ‘horror’ budget

On September 23, new UK Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng delivered a budget that would greatly reduce taxes to the benefit of the already well-off. Rather than cut spending, the tax cuts would be funded by borrowing. Owing to this borrowing, the UK pound plummeted on the financial markets.

Financial market turmoil continued last week. There have been nine UK national polls taken since Tuesday, and six give Labour leads of 17 to 21 points over the Conservatives, while three give Labour a lead of over 30 points. Prior to the budget, Labour’s lead was high single to low double digits. But the next UK general election is not due until late 2024.

US Democrats’ gains stall, Netanyahu could win again in Israel

The US midterm elections will be held November 8. I wrote for The Conversation Friday that Democratic chances in both houses of Congress have stalled recently, with Democrats’ chances of retaining the Senate in the FiveThirtyEight forecaast down from 71% in mid-September to 68% now.

The Israeli election is on November 1, after a government formed to keep out Benjamin Netanyahu collapsed. A religious and right-wing coalition that would be led by Netanyahu’s Likud is currently polling at 59-62 of the 120 Knesset seats in the last four polls, with the current governing parties at a combined 54-57. The Joint Arab List split in two, and one of the new parties is unlikely to make the 3.25% threshold to win seats; this helps Netanyahu.

Polls: Indigenous voice, leadership approval, skills shortages (open thread)

Strong support in principle for an Indigenous voice to parliament; a largely positive response to the Jobs Summit from those who noticed it; and no sign of the sheen coming off Anthony Albanese.

Time for a new open thread post, though I don’t have a whole lot to hang one off. There’s always US pollster Morning Consult’s tracking poll on approval of Anthony Albanese, which continues to record no significant change since June, with Albanese currently on 60% approval and 27% disapproval. This gives him the third best result of 22 international leaders being followed by the pollster, behind India’s Nahendra Modi and Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

There are also two new sets of supplemental results from last week’s Resolve Strategic poll in the Age/Herald:

• A series of questions on outcomes from the Jobs Summit published on Saturday had favourable results for multi-employer bargaining, more TAFE places and allowing older Australians to earn more before losing the aged pension, but only 34% in favour of the increased migration intake, with 33% opposed. Only 24% rated themselves “definitely aware” of the recent Jobs Summit, compared with 38% for “vaguely aware” and 38% for unaware. Thirty-six per cent agreed it had achieved its (non-political) objectives compared with 19% who disagreed and 46% who were either undecided or neutral.

• The Age/Herald had a further result yesterday showing a 64-36 break in favour of a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice, evidently based on a forced response. Clear majorities were recorded in all states, and while there is no reason to be dubious about this, the Tasmanian sample especially would obviously have been exceedingly small.

Italian election live

Live coverage from Monday morning of today’s Italian election, which the far-right is likely to win. Also: Bolsonaro still likely to lose in Brazil’s elections.

Live Commentary

7am Tuesday The right coalition won 237 of the 400 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, the left coalition 85, the Five Stars 52, centrists 21 and others five. In the Senate, the right coalition won 115 of the 200 seats, the left coalition 44, the Five Stars 28, centrists nine and others four. That gives the right coalition 59% of seats in the Chamber and 57.5% in the Senate.

Giorgia Meloni, the female leader of the Brothers of Italy, will be the first female Italian PM and the first far-right leader since Mussolini. While the Brothers will easily be the biggest party within the right coalition, they will depend on both the League and Forza Italia on confidence and legislative motions.

8:17pm As counting finishes in the FPTP seats, they’re being officially awarded to the winner. As the right is winning FPTP seats massively, they’re winning a big majority of seats awarded so far. The proportional seats won’t favour the right as much, but they’ll still win about 60% of seats in both houses. There’s still 0.4% left to count before we get final results.

1:58pm With over 90% reporting for the Senate, the right coalition has 44.2%, the left coalition 26.4%, the Five Stars 15.2% and the centrists 7.8%. Percentages are similar in the Chamber with 84% reporting.

11:37am At the 2018 election, the Five Stars won 32.2% in the Senate, the far-right League 17.6% and Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy just 4.3%. Currently the Brothers are winning 26.5% in the Senate, the League 8.9% and Five Stars 15.0%.

10:56am With 51% counted in the Senate, the right leads by 43.6-27.4, with 14.8% Five Stars and 7.9% centrists. The Chamber count is well behind at 27%. The right is winning a landslide in the FPTP seats.

9:15am With 11% of the Senate vote counted, the right leads the left by 44-28 with 14% for the Five Star Movement and 8% centrists.

8:25am A Senate projection is that the right will win by 43% to 25% over the left with 17% for the Five Star Movement and 8% a centrist alliance. This would be an easy win for the right.

7:52am The Guardian’s live results looks good for following the results as they come in, though so far there’s been little vote counting.

7:11am Monday: The first Italian exit poll gives the right alliance 42%, the left alliance 28%, the Five Star Movement 16% and a centrist alliance 7%. This would be a majority for the right, but not a large one.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The Italian election is today, with polls closing at 7am Monday AEST (11pm Sunday in Italy). All of both the Italian parliament’s houses will be up for election: 400 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 200 in the Senate. Governments need the confidence of both houses. First past the post (FPTP) will be used to elect 37% of both houses, with the remainder allocated by proportional representation.

Unfortunately, Italy imposes a 15-day blackout on polls before an election, so the last polls were released on September 9. In these final polls, the right coalition was in the mid to high 40s, the left coalition mostly in the high 20s, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement at 12-15% and a centrist alliance at 5-8%. I dislike this blackout policy as we can’t know how accurate the polls are if they can’t poll in the final week.

The right coalition is composed of the far-right Brothers of Italy, far-right League, conservative Forza Italia and a small party, while the left coalition includes the centre-left Democrats and three small parties. The Brothers and League will win the large majority of seats within any right coalition.

Unless there’s a large swing back to the left during the 15-day poll blackout, the 37% of overall seats that are elected by FPTP will give the right coalition a clear overall majority in both houses. Giorgia Meloni, the female leader of the Brothers, is likely to be Italy’s next PM. If she wins, Meloni would be Italy’s first female PM and first far-right leader since Benito Mussolini.

The Guardian on Thursday had an article on how an Italian town that was once run by Communists is likely to vote for the far-right today. This relates to my theme that whites without a university education are increasingly voting for the right.

Brazilian presidential elections: October 2 and 30 (if necessary)

The first round of the Brazilian presidential election is next Sunday. If nobody wins at least 50%, a runoff between the top two first round candidates will be held October 30. The major contenders are the far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and the leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula), who was president from 2003 to 2010.

The last five Brazilian polls have had Lula leading Bolsonaro by seven to 14 points in the first round. If the contest goes to the October 30 runoff, the polls give Lula an eight to 17 point lead.

Brazilian polls include undecided. Lula is currently in the mid 40s in the first round in most polls, but undecided is at 5-10%. If undecided were excluded, as most polls in Australia do, Lula would be in the high 40s and close to the 50% needed to win outright in the first round and avoid a runoff.

There is another left-wing candidate (Gomes) who has 6-7%. Lula may be able to squeeze Gomes’ voters enough to reach a first round majority. The campaign has been ugly with violent incidents, so there is an incentive to end it next week rather than drag it out for another four weeks.

As well as the presidential election, there are legislative elections next Sunday. All 513 members of the Chamber of Deputies will be elected by proportional representation, and 27 of the 81 senators (one per state) will be elected by FPTP. Many parties are currently represented.

Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor in New South Wales

Six months out from the election, polls from Newspoll and Resolve Strategic find Labor opening up an election-winning lead in New South Wales.

The Australian today brings a state Newspoll result from New South Wales that suggests big trouble for Dominic Perrotett’s Coalition government, crediting Labor with a two-party lead of 54-46 from primary votes of Coalition 35% (compared with 41.6% at the 2018 election), Labor 40% (33.3%) and the Greens 12% (9.6%). Perrottet nonetheless has reasonable personal ratings of 47% approval and 41% approval, although Labor leader Chris Minns does better in net terms with 42% approval and 27% approval, while Perrottet has a 39-35 edge as preferred premier. The poll was conducted Monday to Thursday from a sample of 1006.

UPDATE: And now the Sydney Morning Herald has come through with a Resolve Strategic result drawn, like the earlier Victorian poll, from the samples for its last two federal polls. The results in this case are quite a bit worse for the Coalition than Newspoll’s, putting Labor ahead 43% to 30% on the primary vote, with the Greens on 10% and Shooters Fishers and Farmers on 2%. By my loose reckoning, this would pan out to a Labor lead of around 60-40 on two-party preferred. Dominic Perrottet and Chris Minns are tied on 28% for preferred premier, leaving fully 44% uncommitted. The polling was conducted “in August and September” from a sample of 1170.

Other recent news from the state relevant to the March 25 election:

• If I correctly understand a complicated situation, Right faction candidates on the Legislative Council ticket will include incumbent Courtney Houssos in top spot, along with the following newcomers: Emily Suvaal, a Cessnock nurse who was in contention for the federal Hunter preselection, in a position described by one report as “unbeatable”; Stephen Lawrence, Dubbo-based barrister and former mayor; Sarah Kaine, an honorary professor at the University of Technology Sydney; Nick McIntosh, deputy national secretary at the Transport Workers Union; and Canterbury-Bankstown mayor Khal Asfour. The Left has endorsed incumbents Rose Jackson, John Graham and Mick Veitch. All of which remains to be confirmed at next month’s state conference. However …

Brad Norington of The Australian reports that Cameron Murphy will defy his defeat in the Left faction by nominating for a position on the ticket at state conference. The results of Left ballot were 81 for Rose Jackson, 74 for John Graham and 73 for Mick Veitch, with Murphy on 64. Murphy and his “soft Left” backers (once identified as the Ferguson Left) are crying foul at the exclusion of 23 CFMEU delegates of the vote, a ruling made by George Simon, assistant state secretary and member of the rival hard Left.

• Labor’s member for Bankstown, Tania Mihailuk, was dumped from the shadow ministry yesterday after using parliamentary privilege on Tuesday to accuse the aforementioned Khal Asfour of “unprincipled actions in furthering the interests of developers and identities, in particular Eddie Obeid”. Max Maddison of The Australian reported yesterday that a letter from ICAC from 2013 referred to circulation of such claims by Mihailuk as “baseless” and “undesireable”. Mihailuk is at the centre of a preselection impasse that looks likely to shunt her to the seat of Fairfield, where local mayor Frank Carbone appears to be preparing an independent run after serving as a prime mover behind Dai Le’s successful campaign in the corresponding federal seat of Fowler, with Fairfield MP Guy Zangari moving to Cabramatta, which is being vacated with the retirement of Nick Lalich, and Jihad Dib moving to Bankstown from his abolished seat of Lakemba. The mooted possibility of an escape hatch for Mihailuk into the Legislative Council has not transpired.

• Following Jonathan O’Dea’s recent retirement announcement, Alexandra Smith of the Sydney Morning Herald reports suggestions Roads Minister Natalie Ward, a moderate-aligned member of the Legislative Council, will nominate to succeed him in his safe Liberal seat of Davidson. Another candidate is Matt Cross, who has worked for Barry O’Farrell and Mike Baird and as an electorate officer to Gladys Berejiklian.

• Alexandra Smith further reports that nominees to succeed retiring Liberal member Gabrielle Upton in blue-ribbon Vaucluse will be “journalist-turned-executive Kellie Sloane, Woollahra mayor Susan Wynne, former NSW Liberal Women’s Council president Mary-Lou Jarvis and businesswoman Roanne McGinley Knox”.

Resolve Strategic: Labor 42, Coalition 28, Greens 12 in Victoria

More evidence to suggest Daniel Andrews’ government is set to match or even exceed its 2018 landslide.

After two monthly federal polls, the Age/Herald Resolve Strategic series has followed its pre-federal election practice of combining two polling samples to produce a state voting intention result for Victoria, which hopefully indicates a return to regular monthly federal and bi-monthly New South Wales and Victorian state polling. Consistent with the recent Newspoll, these numbers suggest another emphatic win for Daniel Andrews’ Labor government, which is up five points since the last such poll back in April to 42% and down only one point on its 2018 result. The Coalition has slumped five points since the last poll to 28%, down seven on the election result, while the Greens are up two to 12%, up more than a point on 2018. Of the remainder, 12% opted for an unspecificied independent and 8% went for minor parties.

Resolve Strategic does not provide two-party preferred results, but the primary vote numbers suggest a Labor lead of as much as 60-40, compared with 57.3-42.7 in the 2018 landslide. Approval and disapproval are not featured, but Daniel Andrews holds a 46-28 lead over Matthew Guy as preferred premier, out from 48-31. The poll was conducted, I presume, both last week and around a month previously from a total sample of 1107.

In other Victorian poll news, The Guardian reported last week on a RedBridge Group poll of the Mornington electorate for Climate 200, which is supporting independent candidate Kate Lardner. The seat will be left vacated after Liberal incumbent David Morris lost preselection to Chris Crewther, former federal member for Dunkley. The headline voting intention result suggested a win for Crewther with 43.2% of the primary vote, with Labor on 28.9% for Labor, 11.4% for a generic independent and 5.9% for the Greens, which much or all of the remainder uncommitted.

When it was put to respondents that the field would include an “independent candidate like Monique Ryan”, 20.3% said they would support that candidate compared with 39.3% for the Liberals, 19.2% for Labor and 6.5% for the Greens, which pollster Kos Samaras projects to a 53-47 win for the independent. The poll was conducted from a sample of 797 shortly after Lardner’s campaign was announced in August.

Resolve Strategic: Labor 39, Coalition 32, Greens 10 (open thread)

A dent to Labor’s still commanding lead from Resolve Strategic, as it and Essential Research disagree on the trajectory of Anthony Albanese’s personal ratings.

The Age/Herald has published the second of what hopefully looks like being a regular monthly federal polling series, showing Labor down three points on the primary vote 39%, the Coalition up four to 32%, the Greens down two to 10%, One Nation up one to 6% and the United Australia Party steady on 2%. Based on preferences from the May election, this suggests a Labor two-party lead of 57-43, in from 61-39 last time. Anthony Albanese’s combined good plus very good rating is up one to 62% and his poor plus very poor rating is up two to 24%. Peter Dutton is respectively down two to 28% and up three to 40%, and his deficit on preferred prime minister has narrowed from 55-17 to 53-19.

The poll also finds 54-46 support for retaining the monarchy over becoming a republic in the event of a referendum, reversing a result from January. The late Queen’s “time as Australia’s head of state” was rated as good by 75% and poor by 5%, while David Hurley’s tenure as Governor-General was rated good by 30% and poor by 13%, with the remainder unsure or neutral. Forty-five per cent expect that King Charles III will perform well compared with 14% for badly. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1607.

Also out yesterday was the regular fortnightly release from Essential Research, which features the pollster’s monthly leadership ratings, though still nothing on voting intention. Its new method for gauging leadership invites respondents introduced last month is to rate the leaders on a scale from zero to ten, categorising scores of seven to ten as positive, zero to three as negative and four to six as neutral. Contra Resolve Strategic, this has Albanese’s positive rating up three to 46%, his negative rating down six to 17% and his neutral rating up three to 31%. Dutton’s is down three on positive to 23%, steady on negative at 34% and up four on negative to 34%.

The poll also gauged support for a republic, and its specification of an “Australian head of state” elicited a more positive response than for Resolve Strategic or Roy Morgan, with support at 43% and opposition at 37%, although this is the narrowest result from the pollster out of seven going back to January 2017, with support down one since June and opposition up three. When asked if King Charles III should be Australia’s head of state, the sample came down exactly 50-50. The late Queen posthumously records a positive rating of 71% and a negative rating of 8% and Prince William comes in at 64% and 10%, but the King’s ratings of 44% and 21% are only slightly better than those of Prince Harry at 42% and 22%. The September 22 public holiday has the support of 61%, but 48% consider the media coverage excessive, compared with 42% for about right and 10% for insufficient. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Monday from a sample of 1075.

The weekly Roy Morgan federal voting intention result, as related in threadbare form in its weekly update videos, gives Labor a lead of 54.5-45.5, out from 53.5-46.5 and the pollster’s strongest result for Labor since the election.

Finally, some resolution to recent by-election coverage:

• Saturday’s by-election for the Western Australian state seat of North West Central produced a comfortable win for Nationals candidate Merome Beard in the absence of a candidate from Labor, who polled 40.2% in the March 2021 landslide and fell 1.7% short after preferences. Beard leads Liberal candidate Will Baston with a 9.7% margin on the two-candidate preferred count, although the Nationals primary vote was scarcely changed despite the absence of Labor, while the Liberals were up from an abysmal 7.9% to 26.7%. The by-elections other remarkable feature was turnout – low in this electorate at the best of times, it currently stands at 42.2% of the enrolment with a mere 4490 formal votes cast, down from 73.8% and 7741 formal votes in 2021, with likely only a few hundred postals yet to come. Results have not been updated since Sunday, but continue to be tracked on my results page.

• A provisional distribution of preferences recorded Labor candidate Luke Edmunds winning the Tasmanian Legislative Council seat of Pembroke by a margin of 13.3%, out from 8.7% when the electorate last went to polls in May 2019. Labor’s primary vote was down from 45.2% to 39.5% in the face of competition from the Greens, who polled a solid 19.3% after declining to contest last time, while the Liberals were up to 28.8% from 25.3% last time, when a conservative independent polled 18.4%.

Italian and Brazilian (first round) elections minus one to two weeks

The far-right is likely to win in Italy, while the far-right Bolsonaro is likely to be ousted in Brazil. Also: the right wins last Sunday’s Swedish election and latest US polls.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The Italian election will be held next Sunday September 25. All of both the Italian parliament’s houses will be up for election: 400 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 200 in the Senate. Governments need the confidence of both houses. First past the post (FPTP) will be used to elect 37% of both houses, with the remainder allocated by proportional representation.

Unfortunately, Italy imposes a 15-day blackout on polls before an election, so the last polls were released on September 9. In these final polls, the right coalition was in the mid to high 40s, the left coalition mostly in the high 20s, the Five Star Movement at 12-15% and a centrist alliance at 5-8%.

The right coalition is composed of the far-right Brothers of Italy, far-right League, conservative Forza Italia and a small party, while the left coalition includes the centre-left Democrats and three small parties. The Brothers and League will win the large majority of seats within any right coalition.

Unless there’s a large swing back to the left during the 15-day poll blackout, the 37% of overall seats that are elected by FPTP will give the right coalition a clear overall majority in both houses. Giorgia Meloni, the female leader of the Brothers, is likely to be Italy’s next PM.

Bolsonaro likely to lose in Brazil

The first round of the Brazilian presidential election is October 2. If nobody wins at least 50%, a runoff between the top two first round candidates will be held October 30. The major contenders are the far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and the leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula), who was president from 2003 to 2010.

The last five Brazilian polls have had Lula leading Bolsonaro by six to 15 points in the first round. It still appears unlikely that Lula will win a first round majority owing to another left-wing candidate who has 7-9%. But if the contest goes to the October 30 runoff, the polls give Lula an eight to 17 point lead.

Could Bolsonaro do as Donald Trump did in the 2020 US election, and refuse to accept the result if he loses? In August he said he would respect the result as long as the voting is “clean and transparent”. The bigger Lula’s margin, the more likely Bolsonaro will be forced to accept the result.

Right wins Swedish election

The 349 members of Sweden’s parliament are elected by proportional representation with a 4% national threshold. At the September 11 election, the Social Democrats won 107 seats (up seven since 2018), but their allies performed worse than in 2018, with the Left on 24 seats (down four), the Centre 24 (down seven) and the Greens 18 (up two).

The far-right Swedish Democrats won 73 seats (up 11), and three other conservative parties all won fewer seats than in 2018: the Moderates 68 (down two), the Christian Democrats 19 (down three) and the Liberals 16 (down four).

Overall the right bloc won 176 seats (up two) and the left 173 (down two). The most likely outcome is a coalition headed by the Moderates with support from the Swedish Democrats. This ends eight years of governments led by the Social Democrats.

US: Democrats continue to advance in FiveThirtyEight forecasts

US midterm elections are on November 8. In the FiveThirtyEight Senate forecast, Democrats are now up to a 71% chance to retain; there has been steady movement to Democrats since mid-July, when Republicans had a 56% chance to win the Senate. Democrats have also gained more slowly in the House forecast, and are up to a 29% chance to retain.

Democrats now lead Republicans by 44.9-43.4 in the national vote for the House. But Joe Biden’s ratings have slid a little recently after a solid gain since late July; he’s currently at 53.0% disapprove, 43.0% approve (net -11.0). Nate Silver says we can’t predict which way any polling errors will fall; the polls could be overstating Democrats or Republicans.