The gospel according to Sol

Election watchers with access to Sky News are advised to make a date at 9:30pm next Monday for The Gallery, a campaign chat show with a panel consisting of press gallery denizens Malcolm Farr, Glenn Milne, David Speers and Helen McCabe. Among the guests on last night’s debut was Sol Lebovic of Newspoll, who discussed the results of the weekend’s survey three hours before they became available through The Australian. In light of the Poll Bludger’s expressed doubts over the accuracy of last fortnight’s poll, his analysis included a number of well-made points:

I think that the poll two weeks earlier was actually a reflection of the previous fortnight of that particular poll which was all about the FTA … I think the whole Scrafton thing suggests that people who worry about that kind of thing and accept those comments about John Howard have already parked themselves on the other side … I think there’s a lot of voters out there who are sort of swaying in the breeze and the FTA got a lot of good media publicity for Mark Latham for those two weeks, we did a poll on that particular weekened and they said, "yeah, Mark Latham’s okay", two weeks later they’ve tended to forget about the FTA and we’re back to where we were all through June and July … the onus is very much on Labor to prove that they’re going to be better (than the Coalition). I don’t think we’ve seen enough out of Labor and Mark Latham in terms of the policies, they say they’re going to release it during the campaign, their tax policy for example, that’s a pretty big ask because that’s assuming they get clean air time during the campaign, and I suspect that voters in the early part of the campaign aren’t paying that much attention, they’re just picking up generalities. We know from polls we’ve done after the last three federal elections that a quarter of voters say they didn’t make up their minds until the final week of the campaign, so I think Labor’s got a long way to go.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.