Reuters poll trend: 54.8-45.2

Reuters’ fortnightly labour-saving device, Poll Trend, shows the two-party gap narrowing to 54.8-45.2 from 56.2-43.8 last time out. This is achieved by aggregating results from Newspoll, Morgan and ACNielsen and “smoothing volatility by using a five-term Henderson moving average”. Labor’s primary vote is down from 48.3 per cent to 47.8 per cent, with the Coalition up from 39.5 per cent to 40.8 per cent. A weekly breakdown shows that almost all of this movement came in the week before last.

UPDATE: Surprising news from SportingBet: “punters have flocked to the Coalition since this morning’s rate rise with 96% of money bet with Australia’s biggest bookmaker, Sportingbet Australia, going to the Coalition since the Reserve Bank’s announcement was made”.

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.

658 comments on “Reuters poll trend: 54.8-45.2”

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  1. On the rates rise, given the “shocking” title…,25197,22717627-12377,00.html

    one would think this was a plus for Labor. I think this is all part of the MSM playing in to the “economic worry” narrative bring peddled by Howard.
    Much has been written lately on this tactic – and at first glance it does seem desperate – but ANY campaign being fought on the economy will favour the LNP.
    If Rudd does engage he must not stand blow for blow on the economic minutiae but redefine the issue in a way which doesn’t scare the horses. Not easy for Labor but on ABC radio news just now, I think he’s done it!
    Something like “there’s been an interest rate rise every 15 weeks since the introduction of Workchoices”. If ever there was a campaign master-stroke, this is it. To lay the rate rises at the foot of the IR ogre is to not only drag the debate on to his (Rudd’s) patch but to tie economic incompetence to the IR incompetence. Breathtaking.
    Rudd’s claim is a stretch, of course, but Hockey didn’t mind using the ridiculous claim that Workchoices was responsible for lowering unemployment etc and also refusing to release the findings of the Govt’s own research.

    The strong support for LNP since the rates rise looks like Coalition insiders are aware of a blitz on the airwaves coming up. They would have been planning their response for some time now given the strong likelihood of a rise and now it’s happened – look out to be saturated.

  2. I have seen Gerrad Daffy if that is his correct name from Centre Bet at least 5 to 6 times on TV and radio over the past few weeks and no matter what the news or the polls or the prices and bets. He sproukes (sic) for the libs. Now he may well want them in his heart to win but in his head he wants to drum up business. So he has to flog the dead horse.

  3. Reality check on the betting: the shortest odds for the Libs are at Centrebet, which has them at 3.15, with Labor at 1.36.

    In other words, the L/NP coalition is a 30% chance of winning the election. And that is, at best.

  4. Remember people a moving average will smooth and show trend but will not well represent the situation as it is today

    For example, if all the polls this week show 51/49 in favour of the Coalition, this or other series that use moving averages will show Labor in front (but a narrowing towards the coalition).

    The narrowing (and narrowing is what this is good at reporting),of 2% since last time is the problem for Labor if it continues.

  5. I just put my $100 free bet from Sportingbet on Maxine in Bennalong @ $2.60 (open a account, deposit $30 and you get a free $100 bet). I put my own $30 on Nicole Cornes in Boothby at $3.00, she hasn’t been the glamour candidate the dills in ALP head office thought she would be but is a good chance in a general swing.
    I don’t think the interest rate rise is going to have a big impact it’s been on the radar for some time and most punters would have factored it in, it might be worth 1% and it will firm the so called soft support and starve Rodent and Captain Smirk of clear air.

  6. 55 It’s a bigger problem for the mass of young Libs who are backing the coalition to win based on Costello telling them that rising interest rates is good economic management because the young Libs suffer a double loss on election night.

  7. ifonly @ 55
    You are assuming though that the most recent number in the series is more reliable, but the moving average is used precisely because it is not. ie the latest prediction could simply be statistical noise.

  8. On the contrary, ifonly, a moving average will show the situation as it is today, if the polls contain random statistical error, and this error cancels out over time, or between polls.

  9. Rupert Murdoch is a businessman, pure and simple. His every action is to increase profits. He has a history of backing winners with his papers so they give him favourable media law changes, eg media ownership. He will be sizing up where his empire will be best placed and will not want a hostile Labor party. Watch the News rags jump ship in the last two weeks when Rudd starts to campaign if the polls continue to show a Labor win.

  10. Of course there’s a slight narrowing – there is, and there will be – Labor will not win 58-42 on election night, nor 56-44. Noone has seriously predicted that.
    It’ll be close – which is not good for my blood pressure. I am sure elections contribute to heart disease with the stress they cause us poor observers… as good an argument as any for 4 year terms.

  11. Maybe the backing for the Coalition is in anticipation of the ‘scandal’ about Rudd. This would make more sense than the rate rise.
    We’ll see soon enough I guess.

  12. There has been a slight shift to the coalition. Betfair: ALP 1.37 out to 1.39 / LIB 3.60 in to 3.50. A rate rise had been factored into the market. I reckon the next ACN poll will be crucial.

    What about the cup winner?
    It wins the Vic Derby last year like a champion.
    It’s form is clear now; dead, 4th, dead, dead.

    On form it should have started a longer price. Big result to the “insiders”.

    Like I once said to Sideline Eye – You don’t do the form to pick winners, you do the form to pick the market. I’m so kicking myself!

  13. 56
    Clarence the clocker Says:
    November 7th, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I may open an acc too.
    A very safe way to make money on that, would be put your $100 on Maxine and the $30 on the coalition outright, as I think the libs will not win if Howards does not hold his seat. So you go for the big buzz of seeing howard lose both soft and hard and you make around 250 odd on your 30 dollar investment. But if he does get back you make 60 odd dollars and can afford to drown your sorrows at the bookies expense.

  14. Howard at $1.42 is a bit of a joke. I’d say the rodent has been splurging big time on himself so as to make it look as if he’s a winner. McKew at $2.65 is a good bet.

  15. ruawake @ post #40, if you’r calling Higgins get onto the bookmakers you can get 8 to 1 for the ALP, a bit of a roughie but spending the winnings on a good cool climate chardonnay would be the sweetest tasting victory cup of all.

  16. LaborVoter

    Just listening to talkback on ABC radio Brissy. The punters are going ballistic, home owners – renters – pensioners – would be buyers.

    HMAS Rodent just took a massive broadside.

  17. [Okay so whats everyones opinion on the Interest Rate rise effect??

    Labor Up?
    Liberals Up?
    No Change?]

    No change. Voters have already factored in that the Liberals are a bunch of economic dunces and liars.

  18. Just flicked into TEN News for a moment, and caught the last half of the Libs scare commercial – capitalizing on the rise in rates. It’s an interesting strategy – particularly with all that red on the screen. If you dropped in on a spaceship, you might think “Labor bad, Libs good”, but if you’d actually been living in this country for a while, wouldn’t you tend to think “Ratbag bastards!”?

    It’s a pure Karl Rove strategy – attack from weakness. But will it work?

  19. You’d have to think that anyone stupid enough to fall for a coalition scare campaign over interest rates right after a rate rise would already be voting liberal…

    or is that wishful thinking?

  20. What you are all forgetting is that now the economy will be front and centre for the rest of the campaign, it will over shadow it, something Rudd doesn’t want. Rudd wants us to think about Iraq, Climate Change and his education revolution not the economy and interest rates.

    Did anybody see that chart Howie had brilliant effort, just goes to show you that while interest rates may be rising now they are still lower than they were under Hawke Keating and the average is still lower even more so.

  21. So with the so-called narrowing I guess Johnnie and Peter can just expect a considerable thumping instead of a massive thumping. At least they’ll be able to blame the Reserve Bank if they go down.

  22. No change. But it will firm up the “soft” Labor vote to a “firm” one. That makes it much harder for the Narrowing to happen further.

  23. Clarence @71, I give Labor a 20% chance in Higgins, all things considered, including the state swing, the tendency for the swing to be higher in safe liberals, the proximity to safe labor seats, and of course, smirky.

    So 8:1 is pretty good.

  24. I may open an acc too.
    A very safe way to make money on that, would be put your $100 on Maxine and the $30 on the coalition outright, as I think the libs will not win if Howards does not hold his seat. So you go for the big buzz of seeing howard lose both soft and hard and you make around 250 odd on your 30 dollar investment. But if he does get back you make 60 odd dollars and can afford to drown your sorrows at the bookies expense.

    If you want to be a smartarse, do the following:

    Put your $100 free bet on Labor in the seat of McMillan, at odds of 2.4.

    Then open an account at CentreBet and put $80 on the Coalition (hold your nose) in the same seat, at odds of 1.75.

    If Labor wins, you will make a $60 profit (240 – 100 – 80).

    If the Libs win (vomits quietly), you will make a $60 profit (80*1.75 – 80).

    A cool $60 guaranteed. Free money, so why not take the bookies for a ride.

  25. ABC Radio’s PM program interviewed voters in Lindsay and Deakin.
    A quarter of those they interviewed in Lindsday are changing their votes from Liberal to Labor, because of interest rates.
    In Deakin: they couldn’t find one person intending to vote Liberal
    Perhaps that poll everyone last week ridiculed wasn’t so far fetched after all?

  26. Have been reading you guys religiously for the last few weeks and feel it is time to contribute. Think my take is somewhat different but feeling strongly that this will follow the same lines as Qld election and libs will get what is coming. Baseball bats. Labor must come out swinging and work the indignation line hard. Time to really put the boot in. I think it is fair to say that this won’t change votes, but may make them much more solid…. ie stop the slight movement towards the govenment…. basically locking in people who have been “saying” they will vote labor, to actually voting labor on the day.

  27. Laborvoter 70

    Possum commitus pretty comprehensively proved on his blog a few days ago that statistically, when interest rates go up, support for the government goes down, and has done for some years, regardless of who is in power. The relationship was very stable (R2 of over 0.7). In fact he even was able to predict the average impact of a 25 point rise. from memory it was worth about 0.9 percent on 2PP.

    Of course, that is a long term average. Given the song and dance Howard made about interest rates last time, I’d be amazed if this didn’t cost them at least 1% support 2PP. To me that makes the best guess of the next Newspoll for Monday ALP 55/45 on 2PP. If it showed a shift to the Liberals I’d want to see the data myself before I believed it.

  28. Glen – you’re right, it’s a pretty clever strategy. I’m not sure it’ll work though. Admittedly, if labor was in government, i’d be more impressed 🙂

  29. 81 [Did anybody see that chart Howie had brilliant effort, just goes to show you that while interest rates may be rising now they are still lower than they were under Hawke Keating and the average is still lower even more so.]

    That wasn’t a chart Glen, the young Libs had cut both sides off it to render it useless. It never even had Howard’s brillant 22% record interest rates on it.

  30. “under Hawke Keating”

    That was 20 years ago, and that is Howard’s problem. The more he runs that line, the more he looks like yesterday’s man, which is exactly as the Labor party want to portray him.

    We are just about now in the home straight. Only a huge event can now shift this election.

  31. LaborVoter

    Labor up … lots of voters believed Howard’s interest rate “promise” at the last election and now feel betrayed. They will, I think, vote accordingly – particularly those with little understanding of the workings of the RBA. They trusted Howard and he let them down.

    ABC radio: Howard and Costello apologise for rate rise! That’s accepting blame in my book.

  32. Derek @ 99 — yes, if Howard/Costello don’t say sorry they are arrogant, if they do then they are admitting its their fault.

    Catch 22.

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