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. I suspect this line is important:

    “About 90 per cent of the polling was complete by the time Kevin Rud [sic!!] launched Labor’s campaign on Wednesday afternoon.”

    So after Howard gets all the limelight, he gets 1%. Assuming that Mr Rudd’s far more postitive spin in the media gets him back that 1% (or more) the Ruddslide is still on.

    (note that the 90% is by the launch, most wouldn’t have seen any coverage for hours after that. Not till 6pm news.)

  2. Steven Kaye @ 134 WTF has Rudd appearing on Insiders got to do with the price of fish, the Insider audience would have made up their mind already, I have and I suspect you have as well. He would be better off having a sleep in, a nice slow breakfast and take walk on the beach, give himself and all of us a bit of rest from this never ending campaign, Howard should do the same.
    Also Steven most regulars to this sight are beyond the left right thing so if you want to get a bit of traction with your tied old cliches truck on down to the GG or the Alexander Downer blog….. your a bit out of your depth hear.

  3. I would like a Sturt Liberal voter to tell me a good reason why they are preferencing Pyne over Mia. Mia has proven her debating skills to outclass Pynes. What’s more, she has been busier this campiagn, plus she has revealed a strong underlying message of what she stands for.

  4. Gary Bruce Says:
    November 15th, 2007 at 7:21 pm
    Curtain didn’t lose an election in ‘45.

    Thats what am saying. Curtin was dead in mid 45 but, if he like Hitler in 41 had gone to his people he would have won in a landslide and in someways Howard should have a good win to. But it appears he will not.

  5. It has to have been taken, in the main before the ALP launch.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, that was only yesterday.

    And from the bloggers on the MSM to the front page of today’s Australian,
    what a difference a day makes.

  6. [I would like a Sturt Liberal voter to tell me a good reason why they are preferencing Pyne over Mia. Mia has proven her debating skills to outclass Pynes. What’s more, she has been busier this campiagn, plus she has revealed a strong underlying message of what she stands for.]

    Plus Handshin – unlike Pyne – isn’t completely annoying.

  7. We should get a Morgan ph poll tomorrow arvo conducted Wed/Thur, which would be taken after Labor’s launch. A pity sample sizes in Morgan ph are so small. We should also get a Morgan f2f poll conducted last weekend that will probably show something like 60-40.

  8. They should get Peter Hartcher on the telly more often. Not only does he bring good news for Kevin-0-heaven, but he’s a bit of a spunk too.

  9. Kevin “Rud”

    Says it all about the commitment to accuracy in our MSM

    On the basis that the polls hold true, they are going to have to seriously have to examine how they covered this whole campaign, and indeed the whole year as a political “story”

    If so they would have to be honest to expose themselves as creative story-tellers, constructing a “narrative” of colour and movement…

    journalism as a subset of creative accounting: this teams UP!!!!, this teams DOWN!!!!

    trouble is, they sold and bought-back the line of Rattus Howard, Politicus Perfectus….

    they are a suitable mirror for the narcissus of the likes of howard, costello and downer who glory in the reflected beauty of the front pages of the GG…

    and Alex, how long did it take to learn your few sentences of schoolboy french?

    repeat after me: la plume de ma tante…..

  10. What fitztig said, with only 10% taken after Howard launch, so only 10% taken accounting for Rudds launch anf his extraordinary love in with the media….THE AUSTRALIAN in particular!! hang on for Clarke and Dawe.

    oorroo gurus

  11. Cornes stabbed again on ABC News for not answering questions. But Mia looked fantastic. Gillard “stepped in to protect Nicole”. The media here really hate her. But ABC led the Neews with the Auditor G damning report on “Handouts for Coalition Sycophants with $350M of Taxpayer Money” or words to that effect.

  12. Possum Comitatus Says:
    November 15th, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    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!

    It’s your headings that keep driving me back to your sight.

    “Hi, I’m Kevin and I’m here to make your kids a nerd like me.”

  13. The Bob Baldwin (Liberal) advertising in Paterson has been totally insane. Literally every second ad on the TV tonight has been extolling the virtues of Big Bob and the dangers of Labor.

    He’s also been advertising heavily on the radio, telling us how he will roll back Morris Iemma’s “on the spot fines” for car thieves, and launch a programme to install CCTV cameras throughout the Hunter region. Great Federal policies there, Bob.

  14. I live in the Sturt electorate, and I must say Pyne certainly has been more visible and active this election, even before it was announced. This leads me to think that Liberal internal polling has it close with Pyne trying to preemptively buck the swing.

    That particular roundabout in question has been a shocker for years but I think he’s grasping at straws. People have learnt to deal with it, I doubt anyone really cares and it’s hardly a priority.

  15. I would love to know Big Bob’s budget for a seat with a 6+% margin – it must be at least 300K. If this is his own money he is welcome to the seat, if it’s party money they must now more about it than the Newcastle Herald poll does. As the Herald is very Newcastle focussed and this poll looks like an amateur inhouse job, I wonder if they polled the 65 phone areas as well as the 49 ones.

  16. Further comment on posts 85 (Triffid) and 86 (ShowsOn):

    “What the papers say”, Tony Delroy’s show, just had a chat with a journo from the Adelaide Advertiser. The journo said a poll to be published in the paper tomorrow (Friday 16 Nov) in Sturt had the Labor candidate firming; he referred to a 51-49 2pp favouring Pyne.

  17. Pyne declares victory at 9.30PM with a just over 1% margin. But the last update of the official AEC website for Sturt at 11.38PM has Mia Handshin down by only 79 votes? 36201 vs 36280. 49.95% vs 50.05%. She needs a 6.8% swing and its currently 6.75%. At 4AM the AEC have it listed as the closet seat in the nation? It’d be just fantastic if the plum-mouth has counted his chickens too soon.

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