More Newspoll entrails exposed

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.

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.

1,157 comments on “More Newspoll entrails exposed”

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  1. mad cow. Agree totally. The phenomenon is called “cognitive dissonance”. When new information contradicts with our beliefs, this causes us discomfort. To relieve the discomfort, we use non-rational self-justifications. There is a wonderful book on it called “Mistakes were made (but not by me) :Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions and hurtful acts”. A classic self-justification is to demonise people we have hurt or failed, such as the mentally ill with Cornelia Rau. And Glen knows this deep down but has demonised her as “not taking responsibility for her illness” to reduce his feelings of guilt. Sorry to psychoanalyse you Glen.

  2. FC – and yet the betting market hasn’t moved an inch – I got on Maxine on Sunday at $2.60 – it’s still that now.

    I still believe individual seat odds mean mostly squat until the last week – especially if it’s a seat that is obviously getting artifical odds due to big LNP friendly money.

  3. Thanks voterboy keep up the good work. All the libs I know are begrudgingly saying Rudd will win now. The labor supporters I know are worried something might happen.
    A swinger specialist friend of mine has recently had 2 labor ex union MP’s and he said that they were of the 2 nicest guys he’s ever met. His Dr palls told him that unionists running the country would be bad and he says “I’ld be really haoppy if these guys are an indication,. The country couldn’t be in better hands.”

  4. Grog’
    I think youre right. Labor has been out of office for so long that there’s a whatever it takes mentality – the trauma of previous loses etc. The same happened with the Libs in the period before they took office where they essentially stopped putting out new ideas, played it safe, appointed one of their more mediocre members and rode to govt on Keatings coat tails. The libs then were running from the failure of HEwson’s fightback, current labor is running from Latham. The parallels are strong. I don’t expect many surprises from Rudd in govt and i think he’s already straighjacketed himself fiscally with the tax cuts….. On the other hand I think politics is about to change, the present mode of operating isn’t sustainable, there’l be changes out of neccesity and Rudd just might prove adaptable…

  5. Julie Says:
    November 8th, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    The ALP hit the airwaves here in Sydney tonight with one of their longer spots on the ABC.

    This week we had Rudd on Melbourne 774 talking about his plan for the future. It was very good, pushed my buttons (talked about educating our young). Last week he told me he had a plan for the future but didn’t tell me what it was, that seriously pissed me off, was thinking of voting democrats with pref to labor.

  6. First 2 minutes of Agenda and I’ve counted 5 pro-Howard pieces of spin already.

    The saddest part is it’s just not surprising at all.


  7. Hi Possum,

    thanks for the correction last night on Real wages.

    I was actually trying to say something in support of Antonio, but I had reversed everything in anticipation of another devestaing comment from Gerr, and anyway…you witnessed the results.

    Anyhoo, are any othr LNP supporters clutching at straws tonight?

    I thought the Victorian TPP in today’s newspoll was overstated by the inclusion of Tasmanian figures.

    Anyone else want to join me?

  8. Thought I would take this oportunity to de-lurk myself.
    I chanced upon this site a couple of weeks ago and have since become a Pollbludger junky.

    I have been reading the views/opinions/rumours and links to articles etc and found it a great solace during this election campaign.

    I have been laying awake at night, sweating on each new poll – heart racing – please dont let this one be a bad one for the ALP. I am completely strung out – my productivity at work has hit rock bottom.

    11 years of shame, anger, frustration – its almost time for us to collectively breathe a sigh of relief that this era is over (sorry, Ive had a few beers)

    Just on the debate today – I saw the closing stages – and from what I saw must say that Garrett was composed, intelligent and, above all, passionate – something we havent seent in the endless string of lawyers cum “environment ministers” that we have had to endure for the last 11 years.

    Anyway – thanks to you all for keeping me semi-sane during this election

  9. My lips are sealed, so don’t press for details (they are not forthcoming), but Rudd is going to have a spot of media bother tomorrow.

    Not from the Terror though. I dare say tomorrow’s AFR, on the other hand, is going to be worth a look…

  10. Frank @ 1048, it wouldn’t suprise me if some of the betting on individual seats is Liberal campaign money. They must be keen to turn around perceptions that Howard will lose. If voters form an assessment that Howard is a goner, the rush to Labor will be overwhelming: voters don’t want Costello and, even more, they don’t want uncertainty to surround the country’s leadership.

  11. John Howard has demonised unionists as he demonised refugees. When you meet them they are ordinary loving family people. Demonisation was a trick used by Goebbels and others. George W Bush is a master at it too. First demonise those you wish to destroy. It’s truly nasty.

  12. It’s funny how anybody who isn’t left wing or thinks Rudd is a genius is automatically thought to A) have no beliefs of their own B) be a troll C) be brainwashed D) act like a religious fundamentalist..

    Oh please! Politics to you Glen is no more than barracking for a footy team, you have no concern regarding consequences for the country as long as your team wins.

    It’s not about policy substance or strategy for you, you don’t even understand your own teams policy, it’s all simplistic blind support for your team regardless of any harm caused as long as your team wins.

    You have no regard for objective assessment of policy and ignore facts that don’t suit because it’s just a game to you. I’ve lost count of the number of times you fall back to the same disproven clichés to avoid substantive debate.

    It’s not hard for anyone to see you lack depth to debate politics in any meaningful way, your constant reliance on google cut & paste is way too obvious.

  13. My lips are sealed, so don’t press for details (they are not forthcoming), but Howard is going to have a spot of media bother tomorrow.

    He is going to open his mouth!

  14. Diogenes, the Liberal Party policy platform that speaks of “self reliance” or put another way, taking personal responsibility makes me unspeakably angry.

    Its a very clever bit of weasel wording to cover up the original reason for the party. To look after the interests of the privileged and wealthy. Now I am not claiming that the Liberal Party *in practice* is always evil. What I am saying is, its amazing how much we as a culture avoid talking about class warfare.

    Lets face it, every single tax cut ever Howard has benefited the top centile by an order of magnitude. That goes back to his days as treasurer. Every time someone speaks up about this they are challenged with the put down ‘the politics of envy’.

    But back to the bit about ‘not taking responsibility’. Dude, let me get personal here. And believe me I’m leaving a lot of sad details out.

    Through no fault of my own, I’m nearly blind. Hereditary thing. I got to know just how tolerated victimization is in our culture. It continues.

    Howard’s 22% cash rate lives on in my mind. You know why? Because he responded by ‘capping’ bank loan rates at 13.5%. Suddenly banks refused to lend. At that very time my parents were trying to sell their rather ordinary suburban home. They lost money. They ended up in debt for years and while they provided a roof they could not support me otherwise.

    Thanks to Whitlam, I got to go to university. I graduated with honors in Computer Engineering. For years I tried to find a job (this was the mid to late 90s). Had no problem getting an interview. But, when they got to see how poor my sight was their attitude always went south. Some of it was very blatant.

    I moved on, and traveled widely. Found a niche. I spent a lot of time in the US. Scary stuff. I remember well a debate going on in Oregon state (believe it or not, one of their more small ‘l’ liberal states.) This was after their ‘welfare to work’ reforms. And here I was listening to a debate about the deliberate, politically motivated axing of funds for a soup kitchen. Don’t do that, it’ll only encourage em!

    It absolutely sickens me to see Howard copying the US like this. Its motivated by the deep down belief about ‘personal responsibility’. So deep that they lose touch with human diversity. Not everyone is gonna be one of the lucky few. To be in a ‘more valued’ occupation as Hockey just said, and be in a position to name yoru price. And so, the defenseless, the homeless, the people (like me) who fall through the cracks. Well, we don’t wanna know they exist. Its such a mantra that people like Cornelia are the inevitable victims. Blame the victim. That’s another American fad we have imported.

    I want to see the creeping malaise in our culture reverse. Id like to see a fair go for everyone. And stop blaming individual people for not being ‘valuable’ Hockey. As if *everyone* is going to drive a mining truck or be a brain surgeon. Some of us have never gotten a fair go. And that cultural shift can only happen under Labor.

  15. Ok, just got off the phone to my Lib staffer mate. Oddly a slightly more optimistic tone than last week, although he things Howard’s latest gaffe was a disaster.

    Comments… “we are closing the gap”

    “Here’s the story – the vote is around 46-54, or 47-53. There’s 10-15% undecided and they’re breaking 70% our way.

    “But all these f*ck-ups keep occurring.”

    He then launched into an amazing attack on Howard’s sorry-not sorry comments.

    “We had a whole strategy, the Tsunami strategy, to deal with this. He’s says he’s sorry – we get blanket coverage. Now he’s not sorry – so we’re going to get blanket headlines on that! The senior strategy team must be saying ‘we’re f*cked”.

    I asked who the team was – he said Loughnane, Ted Horton (sp?) and Tony Nutt. I asked whether they’d tried to rein him in. “You know what Howard’s like,” he said. “He gets crabby and cranky and stubborn.”

    “I wouldn’t say it’s over – and we’ve come back to where we were last November, which is the best we’ve been since Rudd took over, but we keep being derailed by the blow-ups. Rudd’s plane’s just landed and he’s tearing us to pieces…”

  16. VoterBoy of Over the Water @ 1074

    When I tried to bring up the fact that I thought the lion’s share of the undecideds would go the Coalition’s way I got scoffed at. I still think the ALP’s campaign staff need to get fired regardless of win/lose. The whole campaign is terribly unpersuasive.

  17. Michael @ 1075

    My comment at 1070 was a yawn at 1062 Pathological logic with more scaremongering.

    Irony does not work well online.

    I am just so tired of this campaign and dirty tricks and I am not sorry bull!

  18. Poor Rattus.

    [Prime Minister John Howard says Labor is trying to distract voters by questioning his response to yesterday’s interest rate rise.

    Labor’s deputy leader Julia Gillard has accused Mr Howard of playing word games after he said he was sorry about the rise but maintained that is different to an apology.

    But Mr Howard says the Opposition is trying to divert attention from its own policies.

    “I very much regret the interest rate rise, I am sorry it’s happened,” he said.

    “But this word game about apologies and sorry has been invented by the Labor Party to divert attention from the fact that they don’t have an economic policy that will put downward pressure on inflation and interest rates.”]

  19. “But this word game about apologies and sorry has been invented by the Labor Party to divert attention from the fact that they don’t have an economic policy that will put downward pressure on inflation and interest rates.”

    Pure gold – keep going Howard, bang on about it you mug!

  20. What a load of crap!

    No offence, whoever that was, but how would anyone know how “undecideds” are “breaking”.

    Spot the problem in the claim.

  21. Disbelieve it if you want, no concern of mine really. And I fully admit that it’s not going to change the course of the war. But the AFR IS running a big story tomorrow that Rudd is not going to appreciate appearing at this stage of the campaign.

    I don’t appreciate rumour-mongering either, that’s why I don’t engage in it.

  22. Lefty E Says: “What a load of crap! No offence, whoever that was, but how would anyone know how “undecideds” are “breaking”. Spot the problem in the claim.”

    Totally agree. At best it will go like the rest of the national swing – it’s called “statistics” people!

  23. Fromthe ABC:
    Prime Minister John Howard says Labor is trying to distract voters by questioning his response to yesterday’s interest rate rise.

    Oh dear!! How dare they!!

    Pathetic Howard. I’m thinking of upping my tip from the ALP getting 80 seats to 85.

  24. Ok, ruawake, what family doesn’t have its problems?

    Anyway, if Debbie Blumel takes Fairfax from Alex Somlyay I’ll gladly consume a barbecued bush turkey before your very eyes.

    Re 7.30 Report: Sol Lebovic actually sounded credible. Reading between his words he knows it’s all over for El Rodente, quoting 12 and 13% swings without flickering.

    Enjoyed Antony’s wonderfully apt parting observation suggesting that Team Rodent would have to put in a finish like Efficient to win.
    And we all know who backed Efficient when his nag was scratched and he refused to play “me too” with the third placegetter, don’t we?

    Yes Just Me, we owe so much to those cultural warriors who made us proud to be who we are.

  25. Yeah, Rodent truly screwed the pooch today. Bahaha!

    He can never admit he’s wrong, not even to save his own hide.

    It would appear that (*ahem*) Hubris may be his downfall.

  26. [Prime Minister John Howard says Labor is trying to distract voters by questioning his response to yesterday’s interest rate rise.]

    Hate to break it to you Johnny, but it isn’t just Labor questioning your response. Enjoy your retirement.

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