Senate and Page polls

Morgan has published a survey of Senate voting intention aggregated from its polling over October. As usual the minor party figures look a little inflated, while major party support reflects the slight improvement the Coalition seems to have managed during the campaign. We also have a poll of 300 voters in Page conducted by Grafton’s Daily Examiner and Lismore’s Northern Star, which they stress is “not intended to be scientifically accurate”. It shows Labor’s Janelle Saffin with a decisive primary vote lead over Nationals candidate Chris Gulaptis, 44 per cent to 41 per cent. A poor level of recorded support for the Greens is not of interest in itself, but it elicits an admission from candidate Theo Jongen that the party’s vote is “running at six per cent”, compared with 10.8 per cent in 2004.

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.

986 comments on “Senate and Page polls”

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  1. I was wondering if Hank Jongen had had a complete change of heart since the days when I knew him when he was the talking head of Clink.

    I never had thought of him as a green

  2. Antony Green Says: “Diogenes – I am sick to death about questions on Wentworth…. It is a campaign being driven by the dinner table gossip of rich people played out on the front pages of local papers.”

    Now, now Antony. Poor (!) Turnbull wouldn’t be too pleased on your suggestion his “good fight” in Wentworth is irrelevant and attention seeking.

    “Me, me, me, me, me, me…. did we talk about… me???”

  3. Yes, Antony, you’re officially an institution. I mean that in a very good way.

    Incidentally, this will be my first election with a wireless laptop on hand. What sites would you psephos recommend adding to my favourites to enhance the election night experience?

    I want to be as nerdy and well-informed as possible. Before I get too pished anyway 🙂

  4. Apologies for the most recent outage, that one was my fault (a side-effect of measures being taken to prevent more serious difficulties like the one we had this afternoon). Maybe if I had more money I would be more careful. Not quite sure how that would work exactly – it’s certainly true that if I was more careful I’d have more money, so maybe it runs the other way as well.

  5. William, my grade four class has been studying logic and I’m not sure your’s in #54 really holds up. I couldn’t stand it if you went down late next week though, so here’s hoping things hold up OK for this great site.

  6. Antony should always be referred to as “Our Own Dear Antony”. He should be nominated as a national treasure.

    This is because he is always serious when he has to be without being pompous, sensible, fair, thoughtful, balanced and frequently right. And on the one occasion I met him in person extremely charming.

  7. Antony,

    I can only make one request regarding the coverage on election night – please put a graphic up for Lowe. I fear this may be the last time in a long time where Lowe will be considered a marginal seat. Already, my state seat of Strathfield has gone from “interesting marginal” to “safe Labor seat that we only look at when we’re filling in some air time”…

  8. Albert,
    I agree . But also because i hope Antony has the distinctive title of being the first commenatator to declare that John Winston Howard’s government is dead in the water.
    God forbid it is Ray Martin.

  9. Anthony- After so many elections, do you have a prediction model for the outcome of postal and abscentee votes?

    Also why cant my slider on your election calculator get past 10% when the state swingers are bigger in the polls?

  10. Boll

    There is plenty of reading and writing in my grade four philosophy unit. Whilst studying logic there is a huge scope for logic puzzles and problem solving to link to maths. We integrate our curriculum in creative and innovative ways in the utopian world of Victorian state education…This is totally off topic. I feel guilty for wasting William’s precious bandwidth.

    On topic. Does anyone think any senate polls are worth the monitors they are flashed up on?

  11. 32
    Antony Green Says:
    November 13th, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Bryce, the Greens tend to pull in the same votes as the opinion polls. I haven’t done this systematically, but my impression is they do slightly better than Newspoll, but rarely as well as Morgan.


    i’m currently researching the green vote, and the poll result has close to split the difference between morgan and newspoll each fed election.

  12. Does anyone think they can read any significance into the figures available here (see spreadsheet download at the bottom), which tells you how many postal vote applications have been submitted in each electorate for each day, and which political parties submitted them in what numbers?

  13. #60 LE
    re: doing Pete.
    He looks like a cadavre these days- looked much sexier ina Sorry suit waving his arms around. The price of selling one’s soul perhaps…

  14. at 69: are the 2004 figures available?, I think you could get a good idea of where labor and liberal are putting there money by increases and decreases in postal votes lodged.

  15. Antony-sorry about the question. If you’ve gone maybe William can answer. I have a theory. I’ve read that voting statistics follow a power law not a Gaussian distribution. The exponent is almost -1 so the system is self-organising ie there are strong interactions between the decision makers. The system in then in a steady state until a critical mass is reached and then a new steady state is reached. Rudd reached a new steady state when he got in and has worked very hard to avoid any energy entering the system so the steady state (55-45) is maintained. Is my theory bu** ##it?

  16. Frank @42 – The WAEC and SAEO always bend over backwards. The AEC tend to have a habit of thinking they can do everything for us and wonder why the media runs its own computer systems. The VEC are the most computer literate of the state electoral offices, though they do some eccentric things with their final counts. We do our own data entry in NT and Tasmania as their offices are tiny. overall, they are all incredibly helpful. The biggest difference from state to state is in procedures for counting 2PP/2CP. Some only do it on the night and don’t re-check. Some don’t do it on declaration vote which is annoying when you are trying to run a post election website update. Overall, they are all very helpful. I have a good working relationship with all of them.

    Generic Person @43. I keep my predictions to myself. My interest is election night, and in the last two weeks of the election, my entire focus is on fine tuning and preparing for the night. I watch the polls and think about scenarios about how those polls will play out in early figures on election night. My interest is being accurate on election night, which is the real moment when you are modelling data receipt. Before election day, I’m only guessing, and I have no desire to be judged on the quality of my guessing, when interest is data modelling to provide sensible election commentary on election night.

    Election night shouldn’t be boring, but it should be accurate.

  17. Swing Lowe,
    Accept it. As a resident of Maribyrnong I am resigned to no-one putting a graph/map of my electorate up on election night. (BTW, I was confronted with Bill Shorten handing out htvs at the state election and automatically checked the gutters to hear the sound of a trapped miner).
    Anyway, regarding Antony’s comment about the irrelevance of Wentworth. Au contraire! Some of us want to see the Liberals lose Bennelong, Higgins AND Wentworth.
    Not completely beyond the bounds of possibility…and oh so sweet.

  18. [Dave Letterman just had Rudd on with the earwax video and compared it to some of Bush’s bad behaviour.]

    That looks like a repeat of last week’s show cos of the US Writers Strike, which is affecting talk shows like his.

  19. William,

    I think Jimmy’s point is a good one, these figures would be most interesting in comparison to last time. Where are the spikes and the valleys etc?

    I am also a little surprised that the coalition seem so far ahead in the applications.

  20. @65 Jazz Says:

    Given that the prepolling has commenced this week, can anyone comment about which party they usually favour?

    Traditionally it has always been the received wisdom that these strongly favoured the conservatives rather than the ALP tending to be availed of by those who travel and are are older. In recent times this factor seems to be evening out ie. the huge non-Labor bias observable in the 60s and 70s has given was to a slight bias.

    The AEC now kindly provides us with a table of “First Preferences By Vote Type” for each division. A quick look at a few random electorates shows that there still seems to be a non-Labor predominance.

  21. My experience with postals and prepoll scruitineering has been that they favour the libs about 3/2 maybe better sometimes.

    I noted the difficulty this caused last election (i think it was anyway) where the election was on a public holiday weekend and postal and prepoll votes were high.

    Actually this may have happend twice during howards reign, but i have been at fed elections in a few states in that time and they may have been local public holidays.

  22. The candidate and I went to a primary school today. The candidate asked the kiddies what single change would they make to the world if they could. One 10yo put up his hand and said loudly “Get rid of George Bush!”

  23. Willim, I guess we’d have to know the votes for last time. But I wouldn’t read too much into it – e.g. Canberra, which no one would suggest is LIberal is running Libs 1338, ALP 546

    But interesting nevertheless – I guess you could put down the vote for each party… AEC would run 50/50?

  24. Hey Swing Lowe, did you happen to see that amended Liberals banner hanging from the railway overpass on the day of the 96 federal election?

  25. Thanks Albert @79. A friend who is pre-polling is reporting a high number of votes for the libs in Moreton and it got her nervous. i will check out the data on the AEC as you mentioned.

  26. Jazz, postal votes from the university I work at in Tokyo have been sent. ALP up by 1 vote in each of Sydney, Dobell and surprisingly, Hume. Libs yet to get off the mark.

  27. Just on the Northern Star poll concerning Page that shares the headline of this thread, on reading the story it implies that the 44% ALP / 41% Coalition split is a 2PP one, not primary votes. I infer this because it adds (the other) 15% are undecided. A 44/41 split on 2PP would be close, on primaries it would be closer to a walkover.

  28. Swing Lowe, even I as a Liberal supporter recognise the pointless and meagre campaign efforts of the Liberal party in Lowe. I happen to live in the electorate, and Tsolakis hasn’t a chance in hell of winning. I ignore his requests for campaign help as I do with the Liberal candidate for Grayndler.

  29. Pancho,

    I don’t tend to vote in Strathfield Central – usually I vote in South Strathfield or Enfield. So I don’t end up near the station on election day (usually).

    However, in 1996, I was too young to vote (and I wasn’t particularly interested in politics back then), so even if I did see the banner, I wouldn’t remember it now.

    That said, I am interested in what it said. Could you elaborate?

  30. William, I was also wondering where they were hiding that 4% Greens vote – as part of an ALP 2PP or in the undecideds. I have emailed the responsible journalist and await the answer. Sometimes one waits a long time.

  31. good luck with that Lukas- i have been emailing the West for two weeks to try to accertain why they have stopped publishing the polling results since ALP have began gaining in the west and nationally- no reply there either

  32. Here’s a broad question, probably for Will.

    What is the current four poll avergae and does it contain Morgan F2F outlier from Friday in its calculations? (and if not then isn’t it a thre poll average?)

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