The morning after

A quick acknowledgement of pollster and poll aggregate failure, and a venue for discussion of the surprise re-election of the Morrison government.

I’m afraid in depth analysis of the result will have to wait until I’ve slept for just about the first time in 48 hours. I’ll just observe that that BludgerTrack thing on the sidebar isn’t looking too flash right now, to which the best defence I can offer is that aggregators gonna aggregate. Basically every poll at the end of the campaign showed Labor with a lead of 51.5-48.5, and so therefore did BludgerTrack – whereas it looks like the final result will end up being more like the other way around. The much maligned seat polling actually wound up looking better than the national ones, though it was all too tempting at the time to relate their pecularities to a past record of leaning in favour of the Coalition. However, even the seat polls likely overstated Labor’s position, though the number crunching required to measure how much by will have to wait for later.

Probably the sharpest piece of polling analysis to emerge before the event was provided by Mark the Ballot, who offered a prescient look at the all too obvious fact that the polling industry was guilty of herding – and, in this case, it was herding to the wrong place. In this the result carries echoes of the 2015 election in Britain, when polling spoke in one voice of an even money bet between the Conservatives and Labour, when the latter’s vote share on the day proved to be fully 6% higher. This resulted in a period of soul-searching in the British polling industry that will hopefully be reflected in Australia, where pollsters are far too secretive about their methods and provide none of the breakdowns and weighting information that are standard for the more respected pollsters internationally. More on that at a later time.

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.

1,797 comments on “The morning after”

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  1. So anyway, in terms of a new ALP leader. Who’s the white-est, fastest beer drinking boof head in the ALP? Best if he was an ex-small business owner.

    Has to be a “he”.

    I thought we were dispensing with identity politics now…

  2. Cud Chewer @ #1330 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 6:52 pm

    a r
    I agree. I was annoyed at how low profile Labor was being with its ads when there were so many ads that wrote themselves. All you had to do was to run ads directly sampling video of the Libs themselves.

    Exactly. Out of their own mouths. I was expecting it. It never came.
    The debt truck never came. A loop of Scrote saying there was a ‘tough cop on the beat’ no need for an RC…etc etc ….it’s almost like they didn’t want to win.
    Oh my Lord, how I was castigated when I posted that line a few times.

  3. Having seen the comments from PBers in other parts of the country, I doubt the Liberals are broke. How did they get the resources to pump money into their safe seats in Victoria, WA, and NSW while simultaneously fighting off Labor in their marginal seats in Qld, WA and Tas if the party is broke?

  4. Confessions & Tricot,

    It isn’t about appearances in isolation but about the party’s culture, the ALP are clearly making in-roads in areas that were traditionally LNP – Higgins is now down to less than 4%, but its clear from this result that the ALP were unable to connect with outer suburban types and north Queenslanders and this is partly due to how the ALP is seen culturally, Tanya P had many things going for her but its been a while since the ALP has had a leader that looked at home in the pub or at the footy although Gillard is a Doggies fan, North Queensland is a diverse place with strong ALP places like Rocky, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.

  5. poroti @ #1315 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 6:38 pm

    Player One

    A better way to convince may be to push the changes needed as a jobs bonanza and point out all the new industries and job opportunities. Provide lots of assistance towards the industries and training of workers. Make it look and sound a YUGE opportunity rather than sack cloth and ashes re your future and or job.

    So, basically lie to people? Yes, that might work.

  6. Player One @ #1357 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 7:01 pm

    poroti @ #1315 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 6:38 pm

    Player One

    A better way to convince may be to push the changes needed as a jobs bonanza and point out all the new industries and job opportunities. Provide lots of assistance towards the industries and training of workers. Make it look and sound a YUGE opportunity rather than sack cloth and ashes re your future and or job.

    So, basically lie to people? Yes, that might work.

    Sadly, poroti is correct.

  7. Germany and South Australia are global leaders in renewable energy penetration of their energy markets.

    Germany and South Australia both have some of the highest retail power prices in the world.

    There is a direct causation and voters know it.

  8. ar
    Plenty of coverage of the issues I mentioned and yes chaos, chaos, chaos, lies etc leading up to the election.
    It meant O!
    A total disconnect with the previous six years gone in weeks.

  9. ajm @ #1341 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 6:59 pm

    If Tanya were to become leader, the coalition or someone acting for them would forever haunt her and Labor with this:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Coutts-Trotter
    So, sorry, not possible.

    There you go.
    Fearful and rattled.
    The big boys will pick on us if we pick Tanya.
    Oh no what are we to do!
    I know, let’s ask Scrote who we should have as leader?
    That way we could maybe get someone he thinks is ok?
    Someone he beat next time?
    Oh i don’t know it’s all so difficult.

  10. Cud Chewer

    ““You may elect termination” – as an option to being permanently exiled to New York.”

    ———

    Hehe, once all yous Ozmericans get your way, we can stay here and also be in Noo Yark

  11. I mean seriously do you think Scrotty lay awake at worried about how that big bad Labor party would use that stuff about him and a lump of coal?
    really?

  12. Rational Leftist @ #1356 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 7:01 pm

    Labor shouldn’t elect anybody as leader because the scary meanies in the Coalition might pick on them.

    That’s why they need to elect someone who isn’t mealy-mouthed, can think of insulting things to say about the Coalition on their feet in real time and doesn’t have a bloody speech impediment because I know that those things distract the hell out of me when I listen to Labor spokespeople.

  13. GP – Gees are you back?…………………….The Murdoch press is the best, most balance, truthful outfit and believes in a fair go for all of its what, 100,000 readers? All LNP supporters know this and any criticism of Murdoch is just sour grapes.
    What I really love about the Murdoch press is the fearless nature of their editors who, at the time of the invasion of Iraq – all 148 of them was it not? – all agreed this was a good idea. You are living in a fantasy land. The Oz is not called the GG for nothing……………………….. The Murdoch press long ago gave up any semblance of being even-handed and is nothing more than propaganda for the conservative side of politics. If you can’t see this, then the one eye you look through must be blind as well. I gave up reading the Murdoch press long ago and just plug into the Liberal Party website for any news from that side of politics – cheaper and quicker.
    Fortunately, the outfit has been challenged and the drastic fall in readership means the political influence has peaked some time ago. To that extent you have a point…………..no point blaming the Murdoch press as it has become increasingly flaccid in its impact.

  14. I mean seriously do you think Scrotty lay awake at worried about how that big bad Labor party would use that stuff about him and a lump of coal?
    really?

    But but… polling metrics… focus groups…

  15. “The Andrews government has already warned Victorians to brace for a budget of hard choices, but the equation will be even more difficult without their preferred candidate in The Lodge.
    Victorian Labor has taken a bluntly partisan line in its dealings with the Morrison government, hoping and probably expecting that the war of attrition would help get Bill Shorten over the line.
    Scott Morrison’s startling election win has given his government a new legitimacy that has prompted a quick change in tone from Premier Daniel Andrews”

    What a massive miscalculation from Andrews. If i was Morrison i would tell him to go and get stuffed.

  16. C@tmomma @ #1358 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 7:02 pm

    Player One @ #1357 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 7:01 pm

    poroti @ #1315 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 6:38 pm

    Player One

    A better way to convince may be to push the changes needed as a jobs bonanza and point out all the new industries and job opportunities. Provide lots of assistance towards the industries and training of workers. Make it look and sound a YUGE opportunity rather than sack cloth and ashes re your future and or job.

    So, basically lie to people? Yes, that might work.

    Sadly, poroti is correct.

    Okay then … “Sure. We can compete with China and become the ‘renewable energy powerhouse’ of Asia! And the best bit is that we don’t even need to reduce our emissions. In fact, we can increase them and still come out ahead!”

    But don’t you think someone might twig?

  17. Player One @ #1368 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 7:07 pm

    C@tmomma @ #1358 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 7:02 pm

    Player One @ #1357 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 7:01 pm

    poroti @ #1315 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 6:38 pm

    Player One

    A better way to convince may be to push the changes needed as a jobs bonanza and point out all the new industries and job opportunities. Provide lots of assistance towards the industries and training of workers. Make it look and sound a YUGE opportunity rather than sack cloth and ashes re your future and or job.

    So, basically lie to people? Yes, that might work.

    Sadly, poroti is correct.

    Okay then … “Sure. We can compete with China and become the ‘renewable energy powerhouse’ of Asia! And the best bit is that we don’t even need to reduce our emissions. In fact, we can increase them and still come out ahead!”

    But don’t you think someone might twig?

    Not in the Australian electorate. They don’t give a fig about twigging. They SAY they care about Climate Change but when push comes to shove they care about their job security and family finances more it seems.

  18. Player One

    Lie ? Bullshit it would be lying to them. There are zillions of jobs in “21st Century Energy” , be it in maintenance, manufacture, mining, processing , design, research etc etc.

  19. mexican:

    Labor lost yesterday because it presented a huge policy target for its opponents to mount a scare campaign on. I think voters were willing to punish the govt, but got twitchy about Labor’s platform and whether that was the extent of it.

    I think the party needs to shy away from messiah types and instead focus on leaders who have policy nous, can articulate this to a broad voter base, and who have authenticity. If you’re talking about knock-about larrikin types who can scull beers at the footy as being what Labor needs, then in 2019 you are potentially alienating a large proportion of the electorate.

  20. Steve777 @ #1301 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 6:33 pm

    “Kevin you went to NYC and bent the knee in 07. Pot Kettle.”

    Kevin knows from bitter experience. Murdoch is an enemy of Labor, as will be his heirs and successors.

    I’d boycott Newscorp except that I don’t buy any of their products. I don’t buy newspapers, don’t subscribe to any of their “news” sites and don’t have Foxtel. From what I’ve seen of the latter, it’s a crap product, like the digital free to air stations. I’m not a sports fan so I can’t comment on that aspect of Newscorp offerings.

    But would it be possible to get a boycott Newscorp movement going? Stop purchasing their crapsheets, cancel subscriptions to Foxtel and Newscorp sites. .

    Individuals deciding not to buy the products of murdochs advertisers is the way to go – and telling those advertisers why it is being done – because they support murdoch.

    The way to go.

  21. Prompted by some of the Bludger comments, have just been reading some of the contemporaneous blogs of the Adani Caravan participants which appear to have reflected a perverse delight in how the caravan riled residents of central Queensland. The ‘success’ of that strategy appears evident.

    Bob Brown of all people should remember how well this strategy play out. The 2004 photo shoot with Mark Latham ended with a CFMEU rally in Launceston where John Howard was treated as a rockstar.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Once again Bass and Braddon look like being Lib gains in a state where the perception that Labor is hostage to the Greens continues to hurt them at a State level.

  22. Generic Person
    “Still blaming News Corp. Hilarious.”

    The election result is the result of complex and interconnected social forces and ultimately the result of about 15 million individual decisions. Newscorp is one factor in the mix, albeit a big one. And from all this, at every election, either directly or via preferences, about half vote Coalition and half vote Labor.

    Newscorp can do no more than shift a percentage point or so at the margins. In fact, whole election campaigns do barely more.

    But a percentage point at the margin can make a big difference.

  23. Nicholas says:
    Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Dear Richard,

    Now more than ever we need progressives to bring macroeconomic literacy to public debates.

    Good to see your actively working towards trying to suppress the Greens vote! 🙂

  24. I don’t know if it means anything, but after reading this short Guardian article (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/19/its-not-you-bill-its-the-country-is-this-election-australias-trump-or-brexit-moment) I wondered what the “other side” had to say about Morrison’s win.

    95% of the comments on his Facebook post reference God, Christianity or miracles. Prior to this God Bless Australia was a phrase unfamiliar to me.

    This aligns with a very odd recent Uber experience in which my driver shared his strong Christian beliefs (Pentecostal?) and faith that Morrison would win based on inter-church campaigning and their related volunteer effort, fundraising, and social influence. I clearly dismissed it as interesting but irrelevant data at the time.

    Based on ABS data and anecdote, I wouldn’t have thought religion was a useful lens to swing an election, but it is nonetheless interesting to reflect on in new light (or should I say shadow).

  25. Albo – no. Shorten is staying to be a frontbencher and is backing Plibersek for leadership – according to the Oz.

    Seems like there will be a back seat driver Nath.

  26. adrian @ #1373 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 5:12 pm

    D @ #1313 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 6:38 pm

    Watergate, GBR, Parakeelia,Paladin & many more questionable actions of the government meant O to the punters.
    It was all washed away!

    Ignored or minimised by most of the MSM. Anyone see a pattern here?

    I’m very interested in that report that Palmer’s Adani-adjoining mine was approved prior to the election. Cause from here it’s looking awfully like what $80m worth of electoral spending can buy a resources sector businessman.

  27. I like Albanese, always easy to listen to and keeps you paying attention.
    Listening to Shorten was painful and you wished he would hurry up and finish.

    However I dont think Albanese is the answer. He might fill the gap, but Labor need brand new blood, and new thinking.

  28. Lars Von Trier
    says:
    Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 7:14 pm
    Albo – no. Shorten is staying to be a frontbencher and is backing Plibersek for leadership – according to the Oz.
    Seems like there will be a back seat driver Nath.
    __________________________
    Shame. Shorten will put his factional support behind anyone but Albo. Why? Because Albo being successful will make him look bad, like he was the fault, and that Albo should have got it in 2013. Looks like the dead hand of the Shortcons will still lay heavy on the land.

  29. Rambler:

    You don’t have to read the contemporaneous blogs to see it. You can read that gratitude straight from the mouths of Canavan, Barnaby, Landry, Christensen and so on reported in our mainstream media. I’m sure there’s video footage of Barnaby last night claiming victory where he mentioned it, in most ungracious terms.

  30. I have been reflecting on this all day, and have come to the conclusion that Labor’s loss is obviously entirely the fault of The Greens political party.

    Labor’s loss had nothing to do with their plastic and inauthentic leader, their dire advertising strategy, their bizarrely specific policies favouring some groups over others for no clear reason, their unwillingness to challenge the Coalition’s claim to be ‘better economic managers’, their contradictions and prevarications on climate change including a proposal to massively increase Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by fracking the hell out of the Northern Territory, their constant feeding of the Coalition’s narrative that the Greens are ‘extremists’ and thereby by implication the ALP are ‘extremists-lite’, their complete disconnection from working people including a lack of any significant diversity in candidates outside of private school lawyers and career politicians, and their complacency in the face of being ‘just enough ahead’ in the opinion polls.

    No. If The Greens had simply acknowledged Labor as the one true and exclusive heir to the progressive political left and wound the party up, the ALP would today be crowing about their thumping majority.

  31. On the lying thing – the ALP doesn’t need to lie, but for the love of God, they don’t need to talk about negatives.

    You don’t need to tell people that their industry is going to shut down one day. If you don’t have an answer for that, just don’t talk about it.

    Just talk about the nice things you’re going to do, like free dental care. Or unicorns. Or having a go.

    Once you win government, then you deal with the problems as they appear. A coal mine has no customers – not your fault. Here’s a $20k transition payment.

  32. In this election, the Libs campaigned, not by offering anything, but by a bland scare campaign against Labors “crazybrave” big ideas policies.
    They offered nothing because they had nothing.
    Labor know that the Libs have nothing, but for reasons unknown to us out of their loop, the ALP chose not to attack them over that.
    The Libs have no answer on wage growth
    The Libs have no answer on Job insecurity
    The Libs have no answer to tackle cost of living
    The Libs have no answer to tackle affordable housing
    etc etc etc
    Rince, repeat, again and again and agian

  33. Confessions, both Shorten and Bowen have policy nous. What they don’t have is an organisation that spends the years before a campaign carefully explaining how that policy affects real people in their ordinary lives. It wasn’t the big target it was the lack of understanding.

    For example, Labor made a big thing of making cancer less expensive, but it brought that out in the campaign. This and other policies should have been widely promoted a year or more ago. So people actually can take in what it means to them personally.

    You see part of the problem is assuming that voters read all these statements and have lots of intelligence and time. They don’t. They need to be spoon fed, slowly.

  34. Worse than that Nath.

    I think the plan is to have another failure in 2022 and burn Plibersek/Albanese just like Rudd and Gillard where burned by you know who.

    By 2025 Littlefinger will be tanned, ready and rested for Prime Ministership at the still young age of 58. It might require 6 more years of ScoMo but a small price to pay for ambition realised.

  35. Confessions @ 7.10 (approx). You wondered where the money for the LNP campaign ads came from.

    Think Clive Palmer and his advertising blitz in favour of the LNP. Then read this http://iminco.net/clive-palmer-6-4-billion-gaillee-basin-mine-approval/
    Clive’s mining application in the Galilee Basin was approved just before the election. Value reported to be $64 BILLION. He spent $60 Million. That’s a pretty good return in anyone’s language.

    This opens up the Galilee basin to the likes of not only Adani, but Gina the Hutt as well. I suspect that Big Gina’s mine application would probably also have been approved, hence the LNP being flush with funds.

  36. Of course Shorten may be up to his old games. Perhaps thinking that if Plibersek wins it he can undermine her from within and end up as PM without having to go to an election.

  37. YBob the way to win against that is to have the voters understand the detail and what it means to them personally. That means Labor has to keep communicating and keep winning the war on big ideas, all the time. Not just at elections.

  38. The comments on Trump and US politics here is ridiculously out of touch with reality and totally arse about face that I wonder where people are getting their information. If you are watching or reading experts from US media recast in Australia you would be doing the same as an Aussie reading about Labor in the Murdoch media.

    Trump got 62 million votes and beat the unbeatable, his last approval rating reach 50% and is higher than Obama’s was at the same time. JUST like Australian poltical scene, if you want to know the real situation and facts you better avoid the MSM and start digging yourself, then you will understand, just like in Aust. that the MSM is partnership with Democrats and Deep State, just as Murdoch helps the Libs.

    But what I am seeing here is the same ignorant baseless animosity on US politics based on the dislike of a personality, rather than any real information.

  39. Littlefinger is indeed hard to defeat and seemingly around for the long haul. You don’t get seething ambition squeezed out of you by just 2 federal election defeats!

  40. “winning the war on big ideas”

    When had that worked to get the ALP into government? Whitlam, maybe?

    Certainly not Hawke in 83, or Rudd.

    Had it ever worked for the LNP to get into government?

  41. I’ve discovered that one of the downsides about becoming a septuagenarian is that my interactions increasingly are with other septuagenarians. When confabbing amongst ourselves, most are willing to fess up that they don’t give a rats arse about global warming annihilating the human race because we septuas won’t be around to cop the horror of it all.

    Now, if you could gift us renewable electricity free or at a massive discount, we’d all be out marching with the school kids. Since that isn’t on the cards, we’ll just keep bullshitting all you whipper snappers so that you won’t know what an egocentric and greedy gang of bastards we well and truly are.

    Now, just add us to the CFMEU’s coal industry bellyachers and the evangelical nutters praying for their Endtimes Rapture and Murdoch’s tabloid/SkyNews Pavlovian dumbasses and John Howard’s ubiquitous fake-company tax rorters and Pauline Hanson’s hate mob etc., etc. etc. The real “miracle” would be Labor winning a federal election with a Labor/Greens majority in the Senate before The Tipping Point. Poor fellow, our planet.

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