Sturt and Paterson polls

Two local marginal seat polls have brought relatively good news for the Coalition, though it would probably not do to read too much into them. Yesterday the Newcastle Herald brought us a survey of 300 respondents from the Port Stephens area seat of Paterson, which showed Liberal member Bob Baldwin enjoying a counter-intuitive primary vote lead over Labor candidate Jim Arneman of 46 per cent to 32 per cent. The respective figures from the 2004 election were 52.0 per cent and 36.1 per cent. It also points to a similarly unlikely non-major party vote of 21 per cent, compared to 11.9 per cent in 2004. The accompanying article’s reference to a “0.1 per cent margin for error” raises serious questions about the paper’s statistical expertise. No such concerns with a poll of 297 respondents from the Adelaide seat of Sturt, conducted by the Adelaide University’s politics department and published on the ABC Adelaide website. Nonetheless, the result sounds a little unlikely: a 50 per cent primary vote for Liberal incumbent Christopher Pyne, down just slightly from 51.7 per cent from 2004, with Labor on 40 per cent, up from 34.5 per cent. This translates into a 55-45 win for Pyne and a two-party swing to Labor of around 2 per cent.

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.

184 comments on “Sturt and Paterson polls”

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  1. 90
    Paul K Says:
    November 15th, 2007 at 6:37 pm
    [ Howard was asked today what web site he liked. ]

    “Lucky they didn’t ask me. I’d only be able to remember the names of the porn ones.”

    I have been told, although of course I wouldn’t know, that porn sites have snappier, more enticing titles than “Baggy Green” which sounds more like a laundry service for Irishmen’s trousers.
    Good God , did I just write that? I must have been spending too much time at the pre-poll booth.

  2. You try being a Rates Analyst when the RBA hasn’t moved in 15 months. Now that’s excrutiating!!


    Thankfully, no such concerns at the moment!

  3. These polls could be right!!!
    Labour to fall 4 seats short. Thanks very much Gillard and other Latham boooooosters.
    3 2 1 Latham -Hates himselfs -Hates Australia -Hates Labour. Kevin was right all along !!

  4. I bet William is hoping it sparks up soon, or the next 9 days will have people on both sides getting so bored and then heated under the collar like last night.

    Perhaps Howard’s campaign strategy was to bore the whole electorate, and we go sleep walking on polling day and vote for them.

  5. [108
    ruawake Says:
    November 15th, 2007 at 6:53 pm
    Maybe Howard was looking for Bag-A-Green.]

    No actually I think he meant Bang A Greenie.

  6. I realised last night that I’ve watched so many Rudd speeches and Q&A sessions that I have (unconsciously) adopted “let me tell you” into my lexicon!

  7. Baldwin running wall to wall radio ads on 2RE up here all this week and quite a few telly ads. Rattling on about saving us from the dreaded State Govt’s crime disaster and that only he can help by providing us with lots of street cameras. Lucky us!!! Similar to the rest of the local campaigns being run by Govt. Jim Arneman has plenty of posters on roadsides but little radio or tv ads. Jim has had an excellent reception up here tho but far too many self-funded retirees and small businesses voting for Baldwin I think.
    But I think those figures are wrong and it will be much closer than last election.

  8. One thing about this year’s election, whoever loses is going to have a shirt load of sad youtube videos on the net to remind them about it…

    ABC leads with the Auditor-General’s report.

  9. I also live in Sturt – and incumbancy is a powerful thing. If Pyne wins, it will prove “all politics is local”. Pyne has used the generous printing profusely filling my letter box with pictures of himself fighting for local community projects. No Howard – and just one mention of the Liberal Party. Pyne is using the Coat of Arms a lot on his letter head and envelopes. Today’s propaganda was his “7 point plan” for electorate which included things like promising to lobby to fix a local roundabout and promising to fight for more funding for local community groups. Makes you wonder why he hasn’t sorted these things out in the last 11 years and what the point is in having a local member in gov’t.

    On the same day Mia Hanshin’s leaflet was more big picture. Simple and easy to read it had pictures of her and Rudd and messages about climate change.
    Now Adelaide is in the grip of the hottest Spring spell on record – nearly all our water comes from the Murray – and inflows are at record lows.

    The question is will people vote to fix the world – or a roundabout?

  10. Rudd isn’t going on Insiders this week… hmmm oh well I guess there’s more people watching Rove, but couldn’t he do both???

    Insiders let’s them set the agenda a bit. Maybe Julia will front up?

  11. [Shows On/Matthew Sykes, do you have any idea of the youth vote in Sturt?

    Given Mia’s age group appeal.]

    Not sure if there is a high proportion of young voters in Sturt sorry.

  12. #
    Phil Robins Says:
    November 15th, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    Bill, because of the AOG, I am waryof writing off the Libs in both Makin and Kingston.

    Yes both Richardson and brokenshire go to that church and rishworth is a semi regular attender so i think Amanda will win but it will be close. My prefs will come into play and that has been understood by the ALP.

  13. Down and Out of Sài Gòn says:

    Is there anybody else out there who is finding this election campaign excruciatingly boring?

    In the weeks preceding the “visit to the GG”, there was a level of angst. From then
    to about a week later was the “oh hurry up”, but now is the peaceful zone. We
    know what’s coming. Live the wait. Savour the moment.

    All too soon it’ll be gone.

  14. Insiders is on Sunday morning and has a Aud of 100 000 to 120 000 BIG DEAL So called important people may watch it but it has zero wave unless someone stuffs up.

  15. davo – given it’s comming out tomorrow the polling would have had to have stopped last night, so most likely Mon-Wed so 2 nights of Lib launch, 1 of the ALP’s.

    Almost time to put down your glasses.

  16. I started printing all the comments on here when william started the 2007 fed election but gave up months ago as it went from 20 pages to 60 odd a day. I wanted a personal copy of the day by day history of this election. Its actually interesting reading what we wrote at the start.

  17. So, what do all you Lefties think of Krudd’s decision to pull out of his appearance on Insiders this Sunday? Proud of your hollow little fraud are you?

  18. Nielsen was taken after both launches.

    Effectively no change, as would be expected.

    Or if the Howard supporers prefer, if this change is repeated
    every week until the election, then it’ll be Labor 53:47, good enough for a landslide.

  19. The ACN would have been taken Mon-Wed, so mostly after the Coalition launch. Labor launch reaction still pending. Nothing for Coalition supporters to carry on too much about. Still Labor landslide territory.

  20. I’m disappointed Steven K, but mostly because I enjoy watching Insiders, and I thought it was a free kick given to him by Howard (who I suspect was due to go last, but instead went on the Sunday before the rate rise – Swan had been scheduled)

    But it’s hardly up there with skipping question time.

  21. I tend 2 discount poll numbers as unrelated to the final product but I am sure. 24 36 months ago 54 -46,Labour would have died 4 these numbers, After all working families have never had it so good. HOWARD LOOKS LIKE BECOMING THE BIGGEST FOOL OF ALL TIME,aka Hitler losing an election in 1941 or Curtin in 1945

  22. 106
    Possum Comitatus Says:
    November 15th, 2007 at 6:51 pm
    “You reckon the election is boring – try writing about the damn thing

    There’s only so many times you can “oooh, look at that poll -It’s just like the last 46? and make it sound interesting!”

    Congrats on making it interesting!

    Could I venture two picky criticisms, tho?
    Averaging the polls for your headline figure is pretty dubious, specially since at least two of them seem to have wildly different sampling or stratifying techniques.
    it’s like the maths teacher who asked the class what fruit they had in their lunch box. “1 plum” said one; “1 peach” said the next; “1 peach and 1 plum” said the last. “well,” said the teacher, “on the average you have 1.33 nectarines”
    Or the actuary who let off both barrels of a shot gun at a duck: one shot went in front of the duck, and the other behind it.. “on the average that duck is dead”,declared the actuary.
    the other thing is , please why quote the swing to the ALP to 2 decimal places? Given the underlying accuracy of the data.

    I suppose when people are bored they either get personal or pedantic, and I hope you won’t think I’m being personal.

  23. Looking good for 53/47… my own personal prediction.

    Never underestimate a Battler’s attraction to an election bribe. Give them a calculator a Daily Telegraph “What You Get” tabler and five minutes and they’ll work out who to vote for, the poor fools.

    This stupidity will change, probably by 2010, but at this election, it’s the soupe de jour.

    Until then… 53/47 on the 24th.

  24. I thought the 6 week campaign was to give time for the ALP to fall over. We’ve had the interest rate rise – a risk knowingly taken by the Coalition. Was it also known that the Auditor’s report would come out today? It’s the Coalition falling over.

  25. About 90 per cent of the polling was complete by the time Kevin Rud launched Labor’s campaign on Wednesday afternoon. Although I doubt campaign launches effect much in polling I’d imagine it’d be enough to at least sway .5%.

  26. It was reported already on Tuesday that Kevin would be on Rove’s show on Sunday. Can’t remember where I read it, but it was in print somewhere on the web. He can’t be two places at the same time. I reckon that Insiders thought they had a deal but had to wait for Rudd to check his schedule to confirm yes or no. When he saw he had another commitment, he said no. He wasn’t just asked about Rove today. That has been in the works for awhile if it went to print 48 hours ago.

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