ACNielsen online poll: 58-42

How seriously to take this Fairfax/Nielsen online poll? It should be made clear from the outset that this is not one of your Sky News/NineMSN type jobs – its sample of 1425 was “selected from Nielsen’s ‘Your Voice’ database” to represent “a broad cross-section of the nation”. As the dedicated YourVoice website explains, this database consists of 90,000 people who have volunteered to provide market research data in exchange for prizes and, if they can put up with it long enough, gifts. The result of the poll is a 58-42 two-party lead for Labor, who also lead 50 per cent to 37 per cent on the primary vote. As the table accompanying the report makes clear, these results are remarkably similar to those of ACNielsen’s most recent phone poll, conducted from September 6-8.

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.

96 comments on “ACNielsen online poll: 58-42”

Comments Page 2 of 2
1 2
  1. Simonr 48

    That is exactly why AC Neilsen are interested in this methodology. Amoung 18 to 35s the answer is well over 90%, and they are not all uni students. By contrast, there is probably now a larger proportion who no longer have land lines. Hence there is no longer one perfect answer. All methodologies have some inherent biases.

  2. Wonder how specialist “Soft-Vote” soothsayer and ex Newspoll supremo, Sol Liebovic, would spin this ACN poll?

    Even Shill “Newspoll,We Own It” Shanahan might be prevailed upon for a pearl or two of his psephological wisdom in interpreting these seemingly aberrant figures.

    We humble bludgers of polldom, befitting our station in life, can do little but wait, eagerly and with much earnestness, upon the enlightenment of such sages regarding this remarkable ACN sampling. Perhaps first, Solly and Shill should take a squizz at the fate of Christopher Pearson for his Crimes Against Psephology in the Court of Judge Possum Comitatus, before shooting their mouths or keyboards off.

  3. Julie, thanks very much for doing that.

    Anthony, thanks, I did have a play around with the state calculator and put each state on 51 – 52% this gave coalition 71 seats to Labor 77 seats. It’s still alot of work for Labor to do to get the 17 seats, but with Labor primary on 49 – 50% at the moment, they might be able to improve on the 77 seats …hopefully.

  4. I am a member of the your voice thing and many other online survey things (they’re fun). All of the surveys usually start with demographic questions, age, income, sex, family situation, education, post code etc. You can get excluded pretty easily – I often do. I didn’t do this questionnaire- I’m now cranky that I didn’t, then I could tell you all how it worked. I also used to work for Nielsen and they’re a pretty professional bunch (me excluded, I was a Data Entry hack), I would say they’ve got the sample thing pretty right.

  5. To the people claiming a 1% MOE, that’s just wrong. Even if the 90,000 was a perfect sample of the voting population, the MOE on a 1400 sample is ~2.5%. The fact that a poll was within 1% of an election result doesn’t mean they are accurate to 1%… They might have just got lucky.

    Regarding the ‘self selection bias’ of the 90,000, and any errors on sample weights, this might increase the margin to say 4-5%. But that is true for all the phone polls and Morgan’s face to face. They report 2-3% MOE, but post-weight errors should be reported as 4-5%.

  6. George Megalogenis has replaced the Mackerras pendulum with his “Matrix” as a prediction tool of seats to fall. Here is the link

    Any thoughts? Personally I find the pendulum simpler to understand & use, but in all fairness to George I haven’t tried to study it in detail to get my head around it. I’m hoping for the more astute psephologists amongst us can put out a summary “The Megaogenis Matrix guide for dummies” lol

    (PS Sorry about the link, I cut & pasted the URL but it doesn’t appear to have worked as a hyperlink.Can anyone tell me how to do this plse.)

  7. Has anyone got to the bottom of where Howard got his alleged good news about Eden-Monaro from? He obviously didn’t get it from any reputable polling. Did he just make it up? Why has he not been pinged on this?

  8. I’m not sure the matrix approach adds that much. There’s a whole pile of seats in the “mortgage belt” (more than the others combined, it looks like) which highlights the risks of another interest rate rise for the Coalition.

  9. I think George’s matrix may be useful in hindsight, when we’ll be able to say ‘oh look, the mortgage belt seats swung hard to the ALP, except for the wealth belt ones where the interest rate rises don’t hurt so much’ and so on… But in the absence of polling data which breaks down into these categories he’s used, as a predictive tool it’s a bit confusing.

    Unless there are breakdowns for that stuff… does the Newspoll quarterly data set try to do that? I haven’t been brave enough to dip my toe over there…

  10. A poll totally sans credibility that it isn’t even worth deigning to comment upon.

    In about a month the real election will be called and people will be scared to change from the team who have given them a golden age of security, peace, and prosperity.

  11. #58 Martin B. Good one. I was joking as you realised. But I just thought about it. Most of the creationalist’s aren’t allowed to use computers. For example the Exclusive Brethren.

  12. People who have time to volunteer themselves for online surveys will more often than not be Labor voters anyway. Look who the majority of bloggers are……

  13. 37
    Antony Green Says:
    September 25th, 2007 at 8:42 am

    aj and Julie, instead of just using my calculator on the front page, click on the ‘Go to full calculator’ link, and it shifts the seats around as you alter the swings…


    Would it be possible to add a feature to your calculator: when using the state-by-state calcs, to show the effect of varying state swings on the computed national swing? and national 2PP?

    I notice that the 2PP varies a lot between states/territories. It is possible, for example, for Labor to achieve a high swing in WA or Qld, and yet have a relatively low 2PP becuae the starting base heavily favours the coalition.

    This would add the final nuance to a great site!

  14. In the past 10 days I sense that Kevin Rudd has taken his foot off the pedal a little bit. His sound bytes on the television news are not quite as sharp as I have come to expect, he has made a few publicised errors (names, places and policy details) and he looks (albeit I concede appearances on television can be deceptive) as though he may have put on a bit of weight around the face and waist. This suggests to me that his discipline has lapsed recently but as to what degree and if so, whether it affects the voting intentions of the floaters, is a matter of opinion. Of course, on one view, it may not matter at all: most contributors on this and other threads think his position as Australia’s twenty-sixth prime minister-to-be is now unassailable given the consistently good opinion polling data and the prevailing but untested assumptions that he has the makings of a statesman, that he will perform better than his opponent during the official election campaign and (most importantly) that the favourable voting intentions for the Australian Labor Party are now “locked in” until polling day. To date, a matter (but not the only matter) I have regarded very positively about Mr. Rudd is his self-discipline and work ethic (a marked contrast to his amiable predecessor), so my perception over the past 10 days now occupies me. I trust Mr. Rudd does not believe, privately, that the race is won, the votes are “locked in” and that he is, in fact, the prime minister-in-waiting. I expect JWH to fight hard to 6pm on polling day and to do his best to highlight or accentuate for the wider electorate any appearance of hubris by his opponent. I anticipate that my perception will be dismissed, peremptorily, by many on this thread (I make no apology for that because this and other threads need diversity of opinion). I may not be alone in my perception. The Daily Telegraph editor, David Penberthy, has headlined today’s edition with “Labor Victory Dance” and editorialised: “Hatching chickens before they count”. I know that the less incisive contributors categorise Penberthy as a “right wing hack” but in my opinion, he is centrist in his political leanings as evidenced when he was the paper’s state political affairs correspondent.

  15. David Charles, if Rudd believes the race is won he is a fool.

    As to whether he’s put on weight recently I don’t know. I’ve switched off watching political news a long long time ago as it just annoys me with its hysteria.

  16. This is what the Liberals want you to think. It is only what they are putting around. Like everything else they say take it with a grain of salt. The Liberals are very very desperate.

  17. CTEP I understand why you have switched off watching political news. It can be annoying but I make sure I watch it because it is the medium which low involvement voters use. As a political observer, I am interested to see what are the impressions and perceptions which inform and guide those who ultimately determine election outcomes.

  18. I can assure you that Labor are live in fear of being beaten at the last. There is no way Kevin and co will think they have won, maybe a few down the food chain are letting their fanatasys out.

  19. Nostrils

    ” … a golden age … ”

    No, not yet. Howard tells us he still has some things to do to Australia. Can’t wait. In his day, slavery was regarded as world’s best practice and I just hope it’s first on his list of Things To Do in my Dotage. He is a God among mortals.


  20. David Charles:

    I don’t think any of the points you have raised are due to a lack of discipline on Rudd’s part, but rather a side-effect of constant campaigning. Slip ups aren’t hard to make when you’re traveling all over the country day in, day out, and tiredness must be a factor. Also, busy people do tend to down a bit of Mackas or KFC on the road, could account for his itty bitty podge. I personally believe that Rudd wants this too badly to stuff it up now – I feel the ALP is in good hands. I’d be much more nervous if I was in the Libs camp. Those guys seem to be saying something different every 24 hours, not a good sign for them.

  21. Exactly, David Charles @80

    It’s a painful experience reading and watching commercial TV and tatty tabloids, but it gives an idea of what “low-involvement voters” (nice) are being fed. Drives my wife mad. I see no point in simply reading or watching one source of news. Better to monitor the crap because that’s what forms wider opinion. And they believe it!

    A quick example. A few years ago the Herald Sun in Melbourne ran a gory story about tiger? fighting in Thailand … anyway, animals in a ring fighting to the death. A friend, an astute businesswoman, read it and said: ” Aren’t they cruel , the Thais …”

    She condemned a whole nation on the basis of a tabloid beat up. When I said this was probably a small group of degenerates and did not represent the whole population, she went blank. Her mind was set. A disturbing experience.

    Such is the power of the small-minded public prints.

  22. Chris B says:(a long time ago)
    ” But I just thought about it. Most of the creationalist’s aren’t allowed to use computers. For example the Exclusive Brethren.”

    let’s thank God that Exclusive Brethren aren’t allowed to vote.

    Which just goes to show the sample is a little more representative of voters??

  23. Hi David Charles at #77

    Very interested in your comments.

    I have also sensed something in the last 2 weeks in the way the Ruddster has had a little less gas-in-the-tank with the media than was previously the case.

    However, my thought is that the media has now started to more critical of the KR/labor phenonoma.

  24. #84 John Withheld

    An interesting remark about your expectation that there be ‘dissection’ of opinions and observations. I think it is fair to say that it is an expectation which is more often than not honoured in the breach on these threads.

  25. Dear David Charles,

    Please excuse the question without notice, but are you the David Charles, the former member for Isaacs from 1980 to 1990?

  26. I don’t think that the media were kin really ever, every time that ther has been an opportunity to say that the Honeymoon has ended they were onto it, the problem has been that nearly every time they say its evening out and JWH is gaining some ground one of the polls comes out with a 10%+ split.
    If Rudd is looking a little run down its probably because he’s been out campaigning since the day he won the caucus ballot, JWH was waiting for the bubble to burst and has now joined the race.

  27. #91 Sideline Eye

    I am not the former member for Isaacs. I remember that David better as a director of television programmes not as a parliamentarian.

    #93 John Withheld

    Yes, we read the same pages. There are many repetitive comments on these threads but they are well worth a regular visit because there are a few very knowledgeable and incisive political observers who contribute excellent posts from time to time. I will monitor future threads with interest to see whether you are among those few.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 2 of 2
1 2