With two more weeks to go:
The ballot paper draws were conducted today, and my Victorian election guide has now been brought up to speed with full candidate lists in ballot paper order. I have also added updates to individual entries, where applicable, with the information you will have read on my blog posts, assuming you’ve been following them. As Antony Greens number-crunching demonstrates, the 545 lower house candidates represents 6.2 per electorate, up from 502 and 5.7 in 2010. Family First, the Democratic Labour Party and the Sex Party are contesting fewer seats, but the void has been field by 30 Australian Christians candidates (compared with two in 2010), 32 from Rise Up Australia (who were not around four years ago), Voice for the West (14 candidates in Melbourne’s western suburbs) and more independents (up from 75 to 91). This growth pales in comparison to that for the Legislative Council, where an average of a little over seven columns per region in 2010 has swollen to over 17. The deadline for submission of group ticket preferences is noon on Sunday; they will be published by the Victorian Electoral Commission shortly after.
The most notable late entry to the contest is former Labor MP Craig Langdon, who will run as an independent in his old seat of Ivanhoe. Langdon bowed out in 2010 after losing preselection to present incumbent, Anthony Carbines. John Ferguson of The Australian reports that Langdon will direct preference against Labor in what is described, a little excessively I feel, as a crucial marginal electorate.
The Australian today reports that a Liberal internal poll found 54% of respondents supported the East West Link project, with 24% opposed and 22% undecided.
I have updated the BludgerTrack Victoria poll aggregate on the sidebar with the Ipsos and Morgan SMS poll results, not that you’d notice the difference. Note that the date identified on the display is November 9, as none of the actual poll results have been any more recent than that.
Kevin Bonham has an extensive post on the finer points of the horse race, including modelled result probabilities for individual seat outcomes using much the same method as BludgerTrack: an assumed uniform swing, but with adjustments made at the individual seat level for retiring sitting members and sophomore surge. Whereas I’m lazily using the adjustments from my federal model, Kevin’s are based on historical state-level observation, and thus reflect the undoubted fact of sitting member factors being greater in smaller state electorates. I thought it might be instructive to lay out the Coalition win probabilities for the key seats alongside each other, together with the implied probabilities of the betting odds from Centrebet/SportingBet (who were offering the same odds on every seat I looked at) and Sportsbet (who weren’t – arbitrage hunters take note).
Some big caveats need to be applied here to both my figures and Kevin’s. Our objective is to reach accurate totals, and in this we trust that local peculiarities will cancel each other out. Neither of us, I’m sure, would be taking our probability estimates for Ripon to the bank. Our probabilities are also based on the proverbial election held today, and do not factor in extra uncertainty for what might transpire over the next two weeks. Note also that the betting market probabilities are boiled down to the two-party contest, excluding the allowance in the bookies’ odds for seats being won by minor parties and independents. Blue indicates a seat defended by a Liberal sitting member, red by Labor, black by neither. All told, the picture that emerges is that the betting markets are taking a more moderate view of Labor’s prospects than the polls.