The Australian has produced another set of Newspoll geographic and demographic breakdowns, suggesting we will be getting such figures compiled from the previous two weekly surveys each Thursday. That means both today’s breakdown and last Thursday’s were half composed of the October 26-28 survey. To produce these figures, Newspoll has increased its samples from 1000 to 1700, the extras coming from smaller states so that each has a credible sample of between 650 and 700 over a fortnight. As well as this, Newspoll is evidently doing more specialised surveys on weekdays for publication on Saturday (sometimes, at least there was no such survey at the end of week two). So far we have been given the Bass and Braddon polls that appeared at the end of week one, along with last weekend’s marginal seats survey. The Australian’s editor Chris Mitchell, or someone who did a very good impression of him, appeared in comments a few days ago saying the latter exercise would be repeated later in the campaign.
The chart below shows how Newspoll’s projected swings to Labor have tracked out since the middle of last year. It seems that with the exception of Western Australia, the figures were closely knotted together until the election was announced, at which point they scattered: the swing has held firm in Queensland and South Australia, but returned to earth in New South Wales and Victoria. This provides corroborating evidence which had previously been lacking for the relatively mediocre NSW swing in the weekend’s marginal seat poll. That the Victorian swing is now level with Western Australia’s is perhaps more of a surprise. And then there are those swings in Queensland and South Australia, which seem firmly set in double figures. If that’s the case, Queensland will almost deliver Labor the election single-handedly, with 14 seats to fall from a uniform swing of 11 per cent. In South Australia, every figure Newspoll has produced since Rudd became leader suggests Labor should win big in Sturt and Boothby, a prospect most informed observers seem reluctant to countenance.
Last night’s comments action also brought forth some purported intelligence on Labor internal polling, which you can read here and here. This may of course be a red herring of one kind or another, but my instinct is to take people who name themselves after Ramones songs at their word.