D-day minus 4

There’s a poll of sorts, but it would be a bit of a stretch to give it its own headline:

• Roy Morgan has targeted a micro-sample of 200 voters in the crucial Victorian seat of McEwen, which could provide Labor with a desperately needed gain to offset losses in Queensland and New South Wales. Certainly that’s what the poll’s headline figure shows, with Labor leading 55.5-44.5, but the margin of error is approaching 7 per cent.

Peter Tucker at Tasmanian Politics has full results from the weekend’s EMRS poll from Tasmania, which pointed to a statewide 4 per cent two-party swing to Labor from primary votes of 43 per cent for Labor (unchanged on 2007), the Liberals on 34 per cent (down four) and the Greens on 20 per cent (up six). The sample on the poll is about 1000, with a margin-of-error or about 3 per cent. As usual, 200-sample breakdowns of each of the state’s five electorates are provided, and for what they’re worth they show Labor enjoying the full force of the swing in marginal Bass and Braddon.

• Laura Tingle of the Financial Review wrote yesterday that “more seasoned sections of the Labor camp” believe they are “just ahead and will fall over the line”. This confidence was partly inspired by a conviction the party would be better placed to sway late undecided voters in the wake of a Labor launch which, Tingle accurately predicted, would seek to “maximise the government’s apparent economic conservatism as it launches TV ads that portray Abbott as too big a risk to the economy with the world economy still shaky”.

• Peter Kerr of the Financial Review reported yesterday that Labor insiders in Western Australia were “growing confident they were ahead in up to three (WA) marginals – Liberal-held Canning as well as Swan and Hasluck”. The result in each was thought likely to come down to “between 500 and 600 votes”. The report also noted the significance of John Howard holding a fund-raiser for Canning MP Don Randall this week.

Simon Jackman in The Australian discusses the potential for the election to follow 1990 and 1998 in denying victory to the party with the greater share of the two-party vote. He also observes the disconnect between bookmakers’ odds on the overall result, which point to a clear Labor win, and individual seats, which point to Labor falling one seat short of an absolute majority.

UPDATE: Not sure if it’s already been linked to, but Essential Research has published state breakdowns from a combined three weeks of polling. The results are in line with other polling with the striking exception of NSW, where the swing is said to be 6.7 per cent. However, notwithstanding that Essential says “more detailed weighting has produced slightly different estimates than simply averaging the published weekly results”, I’m finding the state results hard to square with the reported national swing of 1.7 per cent. Weighting the averages for population puts it 1 per cent higher.

UPDATE 2: Essential Research have found an error in their state breakdowns, and revised NSW, WA and SA 1 per cent in Labor’s favour. So it’s now 5.7 per cent and 3.4 per cent against Labor in NSW and Queensland, and 0.7 per cent, 1.6 per cent and 0.3 per cent to Labor in Victoria, SA and WA.

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.

2,337 comments on “D-day minus 4”

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  1. Oops

    More trouble in the seat of Robertson. Just what do they put in the water there?

    [TONY Abbott’s chances of winning one of the country’s most marginal seats have been thrown into jeopardy by a police investigation into claims against the Liberal’s candidate.

    Darren Jameson, who had been considered a strong prospect to take the Central Coast seat of Robertson, has been accused of man-handling two 13-year-old boys he wrongly believed had thrown eggs at his car.

    A formal complaint has been lodged with Gosford police by one of the boy’s parents against Mr Jameson, who is a respected local police officer.]

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/features/federal-election/police-investigate-egg-attack-which-leaves-key-marginal-on-the-brink/story-fn5taogy-1225906128736#ixzz0wng2jfY3


  2. You probably thrashed it out in the other thread, which I will now read, but I wanted to say I thought Julia was very ordinary on 7.30 last night. She was pushed hard, and she dodged the questions. For the first time, I’m a bit doubtful about her being able to win. I wanted her to fire up a bit, especially when she was asked about whether she might be “knifed” like Rudd was.

    Abbott was asked the same question on Qanda (which he handled very well) and he was quite honest about it.

    Very disappointing.

  3. Why do reputable pollsters bother with small sample polls?I know the answer is cheapskate clients, but surely collecting just a few more responses to produce something with a decent MoE would be important to their credibility.

    Gillard is finishing strongly and Abbott’s reluctant acceptance of the Brisbane Forum shows by his own rhetoric that his campaign is in turmoil.

  4. I reckon that Qld could be as low a change as +/- 2 seats. Qld is different but not to the extent that the MSM and the opinion polls suggest.

  5. It is shaping up as a status quo election. No real movement from last times. A slight change in QLD balanced by some in Vic and SA. NSW will be steady.

    So a lot of noise, a PM change and too many hours on PB for no change.

    And what are the political lessons learned?

    It is too risky to stand for something and it is easier to stand for nothing or just stand against something.

    JG will have one more shot to bed down a ALP dynasty. They have the demographic momentum but if they continue to look like the NSW right then even Kevin Andrews would win the next election.

    JG would be able to govern free of expectations and free of a mandate.

  6. Thanks ltep – you and I (and Frank) have all been around since Kevin 07. Just because I don’t post a lot, it doesn’t mean I’m a troll.

    Just ask my say. 🙂

    I hope I’m proved wRONg, but I really was embarrassed by Julia last night. However, I’m hoping the Green vote will stay strong and get us all over the line.

  7. [Fake Rudd joins in to grill real Abbott]

    Headline from ABC on line

    That ‘plant’ wasn’t there to grill Abbott at all. Rather he was there to serve him champagne. Seeing as ABC journalists, apart from Red Kerry, have been unwilling to grill Abbott throughout the campaign I wonder if they have any idea of what a grilling interview actuallly involves.

  8. Maybe not so status quo, I see some good movment to the govt in Vic, SA and now amazingly WA as mentioned earlier Qld maybe a couple of losses (at worst) leaving NSW the great unkown but I think at worst NSW -4. Toting it all up a net gain to the ALP of at least 2 seats and perhaps as many as 6.

  9. whats been the most consistent figure of the last few months is the Coalition primary. It gives a pretty clear indicator of where their ceiling is. Only when JG has a really bad week (ie focus groups delegation) does the libs votes push above 42-3%

    If they dont poll better than tthis then Greens voters preferencing the ALP will get them over the line comfortably.

  10. blue_green

    I pretty much agree with your comments @ 18 except that I’d iinclude the loss of a seat or two in NSW as well.

    Net result IMO will see ALP lose 4 seats.

    The best thing for the Labor brand is to win nationally and lose in a landslide in NSW. That should see a swing to federal Labor in 2013.

  11. [I wanted her to fire up a bit, especially when she was asked about whether she might be “knifed” like Rudd was. ]

    No way would she go down that path, Rox. She wants to win the election. The knifing-leaking stuff hijacked the campaign and it has taken her 3 weeks to get focus back on the economy and employment. She’s looked a winner since then.

    Of course she stonewalled but any sensible leader would. You don’t give free hits to distractions.

  12. Well 2 seats aint much granted but (and I think this has been posted before) when was the last time a government incresed its majority after its first term?

  13. What disappointed me with JGs finally session with Red Kerry was his insistence in pushing the Rudd factor. That must have consumed a third of the available time. I thought the final interview with both leaders would be about their respective vision for the country. Instead we got more of the same crap that was dealt with weeks ago. As someone here said yesterday it was simply RK looking for a Gotch knockout blow. Ego driven journalism.

  14. [when was the last time a government incresed its majority after its first term?]

    Hawke and Howard lost seats first term, I reckon 6 net loss, 82 seats.

  15. When people are talking net gains I presume they’re referring to their 2007 total rather than the total that includes notional gains? So 83+ rather than 88+?

  16. ABC headline ‘Fake Rudd joins in to grill real Abbott’

    ‘Tony, you’re so popular, how can I be more like you?’ is a grilling?

    My wife told me she loved me this morning. I told her to stop grilling me and get off my case.

  17. [Mr Jameson had been driving home in his campaign car on Friday night through the suburb of Kariong when eggs were thrown. He admits approaching two boys whom he wrongly suspected of being the culprits and hauling them down to the local youth centre to verify their denials. The boys are believed to have later complained that Mr Jameson had been physically aggressive and grabbed one of them by the shirt, forcing them to empty their pockets. It was later confirmed the boys were not responsible for the egging.]

    This bloke, the lib candidate for Robertson, has virtually grabbed two boys off the street! Not a good look given the recent spate of attempted abductions of kiddies, being a former copper he should have known better. Gives all the wierdos a credible cover story and excuse now.

    By the way did they check to see if any eggs had actually been thron at his car?


  18. Wow isn’t this thread Optismists Corner today? I do think Labor should win, but really guys, an increased majority? Or are you tory plants trying to encourage a protest vote? 🙂

  19. So another visit by Gillard in Herbert today. Another big financial committment. Another big front page photo tomorrow.

    I know one seat in Queensland we are going to pick up.

  20. [‘Tony, you’re so popular, how can I be more like you?’ is a grilling?]

    At least that guy got to ask Abbott a question. That is more than most journalists have been able to do 😛

  21. Can’t believe the Eggman is trying to paint this as a Labor dirty trick. Well, I can, but dragging kids off the street is a big no-no. No doubt they’ll spin it to the kiddie-hating pensioners as being tough-on-crime.

  22. Labor will probably loose a couple of seats in QLD and NSW, but possibly gain or no gain in others.

    I will stick with my original verdict that we will get about 80.

  23. Ok, Apeman, I’ll bite. Simon Jackman has followed the money for a long time and I’m a bit uneasy about him talking about a hung parliament. Sounds like Mick W?

    Need more valium, as Possum suggests … at least until a few more locals give us a feed on how some individual seats are going.

  24. These polls in Vic and Tas, for what they are worth, are certainly encouraging. Bass is a hold, McEwen is a gain, and maybe Latrobe too, but I think that is all that Labor can realistically hope for in Vic. It also sounds reasonable that Labor has a good chance of holding Hasluck and Swan, given the relatively poor performance in Perth in 2007. But it still comes back to Qld and outer Sydney. There are just so many Labor marginals in these areas, bad results there could easily swamp any positive results from the southern states.

  25. [Can’t believe the Eggman is trying to paint this as a Labor dirty trick. Well, I can, but dragging kids off the street is a big no-no.]

    Maybe they’ll claim the kiddies were dressed inappropriate or provocatively.

  26. Simon Jackman is sobering reading, still, I see a common sense wave trumping a cut your nose off to spite your face wave and Labor to have 76-79 seats by Saturday nights end.

    I would not be suprised if the polling is not an accurate indicator of actual intentions/actions this election bcause of ‘the volatility of the electorate’.

    Surely they are not stupid……………………..(nervous laugh)

  27. My feeling this morning about 7.30 v. Q&A is that Abbott was given a chance to shine and Julia wasn’t.

    O’Brien’s insistence on meta-politics – endless questions on Rudd and internal Labor politics – was a complete turnoff and had Julia on the defensive throughout the interview. Why does O’Brien bother? This is all old stuff. Hatred within parties isn’t limited to Labor.

    Abbott on Q&A was his usual amiable self. The punters need to see that being amiable isn’t necessarily equal to “fitness for being Prime Minister”. Abbott’s in the modd now that he’ll say or do anything to win on Saturday. Buyer’s with Abbott comes with no refund.

  28. In a nutshell – I think the electorate want to lodge a protest vote but will not want to punish themselves with Tony Abbot and his policies when push come to shove.

    But you never know, as Voltaire said ‘Common sense is not so common’.

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