The Sunday after Super Saturday

A good night for Bill Shorten as Labor lands a surprisingly emphatic win in Longman, and does enough to get home in Braddon.

While Labor’s by-election performances were nothing special in historical terms, it was undeniably a good night for the party, thanks largely to an unexpectedly clear win in Longman. Five campaign opinion polls had Labor slightly behind in the seat, before the election eve Newspoll found them edging to a 51-49 lead. Labor actually appears headed for a winning margin of around 4%, bolstering a fragile 0.8% margin with a swing of 3.4%. The big surprise was the near double-digit fall in the Liberal National Party primary vote, which leaves them struggling to crack 30%. This is well below the 34% attributed to them by Newspoll, to say nothing of a series of ReachTEL results that had them approaching 40%.

The LNP slump rendered redundant what everyone imagined would be the decisive factor, namely the flow of One Nation preferences. Despite this, One Nation were the other big winner in Longman, adding around 7% to their 9.4% vote from 2016. This indeed flowed a lot more strongly to the LNP than in 2016, reflecting the party’s how-to-vote card recommendation and the fact that they clearly picked up much of the LNP’s lost support. After receiving 56.5% of One Nation preferences in 2016, Labor looks to have scored only a third this time.

The Braddon result was less good for Labor, notwithstanding that they have clearly won, and that this looked in doubt throughout the campaign. The main change from the 2016 result is that independent Craig Garland scored a creditable 11.0% (although it may come down a little in late counting), chipping a few percent away from each of Labor, Liberal and the Greens. Rebekha Sharkie’s win in Mayo was of about the anticipated scale: her present lead over Georgina Downer after preferences is 8.6%, compared with her 5.0% margin in 2016. Sharkie’s primary vote performance was even more robust, up from 34.9% to around 45%. This bespeaks one poor aspect of the by-elections for Labor – after playing dead at two successive elections, its vote in Mayo has fallen all the way to 6.0%.

In the two WA seats, Josh Wilson did notably better in Fremantle than Patrick Gorman did in Perth, although neither was in the least bit troubled. Wilson gained 11.6% to gain a clear majority on the primary vote, with the Greens treading water at 17% and the Liberal Democrats garnering enough stray Liberals to land in the low teens. Despite the 42.3% Liberal vote from 2016 being up for grabs (compared with 36.9% in Fremantle), Labor only made a negligible gain on the primary vote in Perth, with the Greens also only up slightly. The rest spread among a large field of 15 candidates, with independent Paul Collins the strongest performer among claimants to the Liberal vote. Turnout was notably subdued in Perth and Fremantle, and looks likely to settle at around 70%.

If you click on the image below, you will find an accounting of the swings in Braddon and Longman and, in the former case, an projection of the final result. Since the swing on votes counted in Braddon thus far is exactly zero, it concludes Labor’s existing margin of 2.2% will be maintained. Also featured are regional breakdowns for Braddon and Longman, with the former broken into the larger towns (Burnie, Devonport and Ulverstone) and the remainder, and the latter into Bribie Island area and the remainder. This doesn’t turn up anything particularly interesting: especially in Longman, the swings were remarkably uniform. Craig Garland’s vote was a little lower in the larger towns, but there was otherwise little distinction to speak of in Braddon.

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.

813 comments on “The Sunday after Super Saturday”

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  1. C@tmomma – no, there is no pollster in Australia that only calls landlines anymore since Newspoll was handed to Galaxy.

  2. John R @ #728 Sunday, July 29th, 2018 – 6:54 pm

    DavidWH, what do you think of Mumbles comment re Longman:

    So these results tell us very little about the next election (at which, it remains my humble opinion, Labor is likely to win overall, though the Coalition will probably take back Longman).

    If the LNP vote drops to ~30% and Labor’s vote rises to about ~40% in Queensland marginal seats the only thing they’ll be a chance of winning is the fundraising raffle when it’s drawn at the end of the night.

  3. There’s no need to make silly assumptions about Newspoll. It is what it is. Three solid months of Kill Bill have had an effect.

    But that shit is over now. All the crap about how Albo was coming and how Shorten was going to lose Braddon and Longman was nothing but desperate lies. Really has shit all over that narrative. The story is now about just how much bullshit that entire narrative was and how badly Trumble failed. And the reality of just how shit this government is will again overtake all the narrative driven nonsense.

  4. Just heard on the 3aw news that the Victorian government has referred a number of Liberal politicians to the Victorian police for investigation over the rorting of public monies during the 2014 election campaign. A bit of tit for tat for Matthew Guy, the opposition leader, who recently referred a number of Labor members to the police for alleged similar offences. What goes around comes around Mr Guy.

  5. On Ketamine – and like all things, effects are dose dependent.

    Ketamine slipped into clinical use here in the 70s, mainly as a means of inducing anaesthesia (or varying degrees of consciousness) without intravenous access or resorting to gas (not a bad way to go, btw). So, good for bad burns, poor venous access, in the field, and little ones of course. It also had the added advantage of theoretically maintaining the airway because of an increase in muscle tone, not the usual decrease with induction, as well as keeping blood pressure up, not the usual fall, also associated with increased muscle tone and the maintenance of venous return.

    It was ‘covered’ by a benzodiazepine, valium on those days, to mask the unpleasant ‘dissociative state’ it induced – a disquieting feeling of still being in reality, but disconnected from it, and unable to make contact with it.

    I remember going to one of the Sunshine Homes and inducing little Down’s Syndrome lovelies (better patients you will never meet) with Ketamine and Valium intramuscularly for examination of the eyes (retinal problems best detected early).

    It’s other great property is analgesia without the respiratory depression of the narcotics, and therein is its major clinical niche today.

    It was a dance party thing, and maybe still is, with the moniker of ‘special K’, where being in the ‘zone’ – there but not here – was the desired effect, apparently.

    I’ve not heard of its use intranasally, but onset time would be quick, and effect titratable I would imagine, to a certain extent.

    Intravenous lines in an underwater rescue sounds like a stretch to me rhwombat. Just getting them in and secured, and then the worry about reliability, unless you had a central line, which in the cave would be all but impossible to safely insert, and secure. And then, who is giving what and when. I imagine there will be some publications, and presentations, when and where appropriate.

    But what a brilliant outcome and great tribute to all involved. Gob smacking really.

  6. the Oz’s Newspoll headline screams “Shorten crashes back to earth”. ha. ha. ha.

    they seem to have forgotten super saturday was “a referendum on leadership”.

  7. Steve777 @ #760 Sunday, July 29th, 2018 – 7:26 pm

    Spotted a paper copy of the Sunday Telecrap a little while ago. The bye-election results aren’t on the front page or indeed pages 1-7. They appear as part of a ‘politics’ spread on page 8-9 next to a more prominent story on Emma Husar’s troubles.

    To be fair though, the DT is a Sydney paper and none of the by-elections were in NSW, whereas Husar is a NSW politician.

    I wouldn’t read too much into that.

  8. At the core of Grün philosophy is that exponential growth cannot continue forever. So while we dicusss the politics of the day the long term reality is ignored. Bag the Greens as a party.. but the maths do
    not lie.

  9. Pegasus yes I read that article too.

    My point is that as soon as its proven that QLD can go ahead with a higher target, that will provoke the climate deniers to get the NEG changed.

  10. I read Hartcher article in SMH. To summarise it, he did not give any credit to ALP or Shorten but was disappointed with MT.
    In rect times because LNP was loosing each and every opinion poll, there was spotlight preferred PM mark
    If MT is sucj a great PM, then why did LNP vote went back in each and every seat they contested?

  11. sustainable future says:
    Sunday, July 29, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    the Oz’s Newspoll headline screams “Shorten crashes back to earth”. ha. ha. ha.

    they seem to have forgotten super Saturday was “a referendum on leadership”.

    And the 51 has labor in front of it. I wonder if William is still happy with following the news poll preference allocation change?

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