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”

  1. Well there you go. So much for conviction.

    Peter van OnselenVerified account@vanOnselenP
    12m12 minutes ago
    The government will dump its yet to be legislated company tax cuts the week before parliament returns. #auspol

  2. Turnbull has already made a captain’s call to back downer in next time.

    Preselection set aside, branch members, voters blah.

  3. michael @ #741 Sunday, July 29th, 2018 – 9:09 pm

    Two good things from Saturday. The election will be in May 2019 if all goes to plan. And there will be no new fresh leader for Labor, Albo would have been a far greater problem.

    I see the talking points have been handed out.

    Interesting strategy. First spend a few months trying to convince Labor that Shorten is unpopular and that they’d be better off dumping him, and then when that doesn’t work go full-on reverse psychology with “well go ahead and keep Bill Shorten then, we’d rather run against him anyways”.

    Might work on a two-year-old. Actual voters, not so much.

  4. Further proof of just out of touch the MSM are, is their repetition of the line that Downer is a great candidate, an outstanding communicator, smart, yada, yada, yada. Really on what basis are these remarks made? What has she done?

  5. Campbell Newman and his LNP got control of Qld with no upper house to oversee what his massive majority Govt got up to a few years back.

    With no opposition restraint, the ideology of the Conservatives was implemented across the State.
    Public Service cut backs ( nurses, teachers, police, admin staff), infrastructure deferments and downsizing, outsourcing of manufacturing, sale of assets etc.
    In two years the economy was wrecked. Small and medium businesses were hammered along with workers and their families.

    The arrogance was unbelievable. They could not foresee that the average Joe Blow was going to give them one of the biggest hidings ever dealt to a Govt in Australian history.

    Some years on and the punters haven’t forgotten. They also remember Abbott’s lies (in lock step with Labor on Education and Health).

    The L/NP appears on a downhill slide and the PHON vote in Longman suggests more trouble ahead. The only one in Canberra at present who can save them is ….Barnaby……

  6. Interesting strategy. First spend a few months trying to convince Labor that Shorten is unpopular and that they’d be better off dumping him, and then when that doesn’t work go full-on reverse psychology with “well go ahead and keep Bill Shorten then, we’d rather run against him anyways”.

    I’m quite happy for the Liberal Party to keep pushing this sort of crap uphill from now until the next election. It’s delusional and distracts them from developing good policy. 🙂

  7. The government will dump its yet to be legislated company tax cuts the week before parliament returns. #auspol

    Doesn’t matter they own the policy & the policy owns the LNP..
    Simple line can you trust the Government NOT to reintroduce bank tax cuts if they win.

  8. 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.

  9. Well On Insiders, Prissy categorically insisted that the tax cuts would go ahead. he insisted that corporate tax cuts were essential for the good of the economy. Looks like he’s out of the loop.

  10. The only one in Canberra at present who can save them is ….Barnaby……

    Look, I know Barnaby the Beetrooter is back on the chitlin’ circuit comeback trail but he shot his load with Vicki Campion and no amount of pining for the fjords through rose-coloured glasses will lead to a resurrection of Joyce’s career halcyon days.

  11. C@t when the LNP is coming off a primary of below 30% anything is possible. However if the next election goes as expected then Lamb is likely safe.

    But look what happened at the last state election in Pumicestone. We are all crazy up here 🙂

  12. So, in the realm of foreseeable alternatives, the Liberals will not be happy that Shorten has survived. It is not a good outcome for the government.

    If Labor sticking solid with Shorten wasn’t a clear net benefit to Labor the Libs and their media lackeys wouldn’t have spent so much time desperately trying to manufacture Labor leadershit.

  13. BTW – Have the search parties found ESJ yet?

    Must have an serious NBN problem, he would be dying to ‘congratulate’ Shorten Labor.

  14. #Newspoll Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 49 (0) ALP 51 (0)

    #Newspoll Federal Primary Votes: L/NP 39 (+1) ALP 36 (0) GRN 10 (0) ON 7 (0)

  15. GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    4m4 minutes ago

    #Newspoll Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 49 (0) ALP 51 (0) #auspol
    2 replies 10 retweets 6 likes

    GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    3m3 minutes ago

    #Newspoll Federal Primary Votes: L/NP 39 (+1) ALP 36 (0) GRN 10 (0) ON 7 (0) #auspol

    GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    2m2 minutes ago

    #Newspoll Turnbull: Approve 42 (+1) Disapprove 48 (-1) #auspol

    GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    2m2 minutes ago

    #Newspoll Shorten: Approve 32 (0) Disapprove 57 (+1) #auspol

    GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    57s57 seconds ago

    #Newspoll Preferred PM: Turnbull 48 (0) Shorten 29 (0) #auspol
    0 replies 3 retweets 1 like

  16. #Newspoll Shorten: Approve 32 (0) Disapprove 57 (+1)

    #Newspoll Turnbull: Approve 42 (+1) Disapprove 48 (-1)

    #Newspoll Preferred PM: Turnbull 48 (0) Shorten 29 (0)


  17. Clem Attlee says:
    Sunday, July 29, 2018 at 9:23 pm
    Further proof of just out of touch the MSM are, is their repetition of the line that Downer is a great candidate, an outstanding communicator, smart, yada, yada, yada. Really on what basis are these remarks made? What has she done?

    …………………
    Dynasty girl did Nothing , Jilch, nada, zero other than being an IPA employee. She lived a absolutely privileged and entitled life.

  18. Bert – While Norm Sanders was in the Australian Democrats, for a while in the 80s he was the most visible “green” Senator around, he was good in his Senate speeches and in the media at drawing attention to environmental issues. He was a go-to for quotes on related issues. He was well known at the time, but little mentioned today. He left the Senate in 1990, after running for the Aus Dems in the ACT instead of Tasmania that year. He knew it was long shot to get a seat in the ACT, and was quite open about running there because he couldn’t do the interstate commute anymore and wanted to settle in the ACT.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norm_Sanders

    Recently, he wrote some op-eds for IA
    https://independentaustralia.net/profile-on/norm-sanders,669

  19. Poor old Trumble can’t take a single trick. The last Newspoll before then entire Kill Bill narrative dies still can’t reset the clock for him.

    This is as good as it gets for you Brian. Reality just blew your media driven recovery to itty bitty pieces.

  20. Confessions

    If they let her contest Mayo again at the next election it will tell me they don’t want her in parliament and are just appeasing her because of her father.

    ____________________________________

    I think you are dead right here. Sharkie owns this electorate now and will continue to do so unless she blots her copybook badly or finds herself supporting a minority Labor government. It’s hard to see any Liberal candidate, least of all Downer, wresting the seat back off her in normal circumstances.


  21. Zoidlord says:
    Sunday, July 29, 2018 at 9:35 pm
    GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    4m4 minutes ago

    #Newspoll Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 49 (0) ALP 51 (0) #auspol
    2 replies 10 retweets 6 likes

    GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    3m3 minutes ago

    #Newspoll Federal Primary Votes: L/NP 39 (+1) ALP 36 (0) GRN 10 (0) ON 7 (0) #auspol

    GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    2m2 minutes ago

    #Newspoll Turnbull: Approve 42 (+1) Disapprove 48 (-1) #auspol

    GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    2m2 minutes ago

    #Newspoll Shorten: Approve 32 (0) Disapprove 57 (+1) #auspol

    GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    57s57 seconds ago

    #Newspoll Preferred PM: Turnbull 48 (0) Shorten 29 (0) #auspol
    0 replies 3 retweets 1 like

    Very very very very very hard to believe the above figures after by-election results. On the other hand,, even with dodgy numbers MT still lost 37th Newspoll. Go figure.

  22. Davidwh @ #760 Sunday, July 29th, 2018 – 9:31 pm

    C@t when the LNP is coming off a primary of below 30% anything is possible. However if the next election goes as expected then Lamb is likely safe.

    But look what happened at the last state election in Pumicestone. We are all crazy up here 🙂

    Yeah, it’s the heat I guess. 😉

  23. I have to say that I am a bit sceptical of any polls after the w/end results. Still, another lead for the good guys. Whats that add up to …..37 loses in a row for Turnbull..?

  24. Ven @ #780 Sunday, July 29th, 2018 – 9:42 pm

    Very very very very very hard to believe the above figures after by-election results. On the other hand,, even with dodgy numbers MT still lost 37th Newspoll. Go figure.

    I vote for two things:

    1. The updated PHON preference model is favoring the Libs a bit too heavily.
    2. All the young people who enrolled for the marriage-equality postal-survey-thingy aren’t being taken into account.

  25. Dolly displays the manners of a pig and highlights the essence of his gentrified entitlement – I am who am what matters, only.

  26. Talk about shooting your load.

    Dolly Downer has been on SkyFoxNews opining far and wide on how they lost Mayo, and what to do about it…

    ‘Alexander Downer on Super Saturday: I think overall the important thing for the Coalition is to refine their message, and to drive their message home probably with a greater degree of penetration than has been the case’

    MORE: bit.ly/2K3ycG6 #kennyonsunday

  27. I have a feeling the Tory vote might be locked up in already safe electorates and that Labor’s might be more evenly spread. The RWNJ element will really really go hard on their more fascistic policies.

  28. Is Newspoll still ringing landlines only? Because I can tell you for a fact that a shedload of people are disconnecting them and going mobile only. Especially younger households.

  29. On the latest Newspoll, the by-elections tell us what the relative popularity of Turnbull and Shorten does to voting patterns.

  30. William Blake
    ‏ @willo_in_melb
    5h5 hours ago

    Access to My Health ‘too easy’. Amazing that the police can see the value in #getawarrant but the government still can’t. @efa_oz

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