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. Bev Vandine:

    We definitely need to hear more about this, because it’s exactly the kind of crony capitalism the LNP excels at. Governing for the vested interests, not the national interest.

  2. Confessions @ #1116 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 5:01 pm

    DRDR @ #1052 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 2:17 pm


    “I prefer him because he’s super smart and articulate.”

    Me too. But I am no longer sure that you, me or anyone else on this blog is representative of the broader electorate.

    When I look at political representatives like Trump, Christensen, GWB, Barnaby Joyce, I suspect the majority are put off by people who are smart and articulate. They interpret that people who are too smart are talking down to them. They also look at people who are as dumb as GWB and Christensen and think, “if they can make it, so can I!”

    Hmm. I’m not so sure about that. Rudd spoke like an academic diplomat, nothing like your archetypal, laconic Qlder, and he led Labor to a Ruddslide.

    I think Confessions is right.
    Jim does things with good humour and a smile. He can put down Lib nonsense without offending anyone.

  3. Shorten will be alternating between depression and rage-filled pacing. He will be getting his hands on a biography of John Howard and trying to gain some inspiration. Day one and he’s getting involved in the leadership race to replace him. This is far from over.

  4. “Clive’s mining application in the Galilee Basin was approved just before the election. Value reported to be $64 BILLION”

    Given what we saw, not sure that would have been a negative in those electorates. It may have just been seen as being more jobs.

    Can’t see where it would have won the ALP or Green’s seats beyond the ones they already got.

  5. AngoraFish says:
    Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    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.

    Well it certainly isn’t the Liberal Party.

    Good luck working with them for any progress.

  6. Shorten will be thinking he’s at Elba, still with one more shot in him to face Waterloo, but this time win it.

  7. Bucephalus @ #1360 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 7:02 pm

    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. PatriciaKarvelas

    Not only has Bill Shorten backed Tanya Plibersek the Victorian right numbers are behind her #AUSVote19
    6:39 PM – May 19, 2019

  9. Jim Chalmers broke down in tears and begged Kevin Rudd to let him run for Parliament, despite helping orchestrate a carpet-bombing campaign against the former prime minister during Labor’s leadership wars.

    The revelation about the opposition frontbencher, who holds ambitions to become prime minister, is contained in Mr Rudd’s new book, The PM Years.

    As chief of staff to Mr Swan, Mr Chalmers wrote a blistering statement savaging Mr Rudd after he resigned as foreign minister in 2012.

    “The party has given Kevin Rudd all the opportunities in the world and he wasted them with his dysfunctional decision making and his deeply demeaning attitude towards other people including our caucus colleagues,” the statement said.

    Mr Rudd replaced Julia Gillard as prime minister the following year. He now claims when Mr Chalmers flew to Canberra to “plead” for his preselection, the Queensland MP “broke down in tears in front of me” in the prime ministerial suite.

    Mr Rudd urged the young MP not to waste his political potential by becoming an apprentice of the party’s faceless men.

    “I concluded by asking Chalmers what he would do if he were in my circumstances right then. Chalmers wasn’t expecting that question,” Mr Rudd recounts.

    “He paused. He cried again. And said, ‘I probably wouldn’t have me in the caucus.’”

    “Chalmers thanked me for his preselection. He never thanked me for winning his seat for him, which was gone by a million under Gillard. Indeed, I never heard from Chalmers again after I’d left the Parliament.”

  10. The interesting thing about polling is they have actually got the last three elections held in Australia badly wrong and all three cases it was biased against the incumbent government.

    It can’t be a shy tory thing because one of those governments was Labor.

    Maybe people who intend on voting against the incumbent are slightly more likely to agree to participate in the poll and that is what is skewing the results.

    I have always suspected that unless you are talking about a first term government enjoying a honeymoon period polling outside of the business end of an election campaign flatters the opposition but it used to correct as the election drew close. Now the anti incumbent bias seems to linger right the the death

  11. lizzie @ #1118 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 5:01 pm

    7NEWS caught volunteers red-handed, giving out fraudulent how-to-vote cards in the knife-edge seat of Dickson.

    The cards said “vote for Queensland” and directed Greens supporters to put incumbent MP and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton at number 2, and the Animal Justice Party had Dutton at number 3. Both were incorrect, the actual how-to-vote cards had Dutton at 5 and 6, respectively.

    The Australian Electoral Commission is investigating.

    There is no depth of dishonesty to which LNP supporters will not descend.
    I would be looking for evidence of collusion with Palmer. Maybe not illegal, but certainly deceptive and they should be called to account in the court of public opinion.

  12. Shorten, expert back stabber, gets stabbed in the front by the Australian people.
    It has been a long time coming, but unlike Gillard and Rudd, Shorten will be remembered as a wanna be. Not up standard, not up to the task, and not liked by the public.

    The problem with Albo and some others is they hark back to the RGR-S days.

  13. Bev – and then there is the mining school link in the side bar. I remember seeing that mentioned, but thought it was a non-core fantasy.

  14. Gawd.. Scott the f**kwit was at Cronulla today waving supporters scarf around his head.. I blame Bob Hawke.

  15. Anthony Galloway
    There is an “any one but Albo” grouping emerging among some Labor MPs from the Right – especially in Queensland and Victoria. They say they would probably back Tanya Plibersek in the leadership contest to reward her for her work under Bill Shorten for the past six years #auspol

  16. 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!

    is it to much to ask just in the hell is this littlefinger character ?

  17. “Bill Shorten backed Tanya Plibersek ”

    Labor does NOT need Shorten manipulating behind the scenes. It will be the same old nasty crap as before. Shorten is now bad for Labor’s future. He needs to be sidelined. Hopefully his new sock-puppet doesnt get up.

  18. The offside decision against Sydney is the worst decision since Labor sacked Rudd.

    Has Bolton been sacked yet?

  19. PatriciaKarvelas

    Not only has Bill Shorten backed Tanya Plibersek the Victorian right numbers are behind her #AUSVote19
    6:39 PM – May 19, 2019

    While I don’t hold who supports her against her, I don’t want this to be a Gillard situation where her potential is pissed away to please factional overlords. Where does Don Farrell stand right now?

  20. What can I say? This was an election ruled by fear, greed, bigotry and lies from start to finish. From “Labor’s retiree tax” (which didn’t involve collecting one extra penny in taxation, simply closing an exorbitant payout), to “Labor’s opening the floodgates” (by allowing injured/ill people to temporarily access medical treatment on the mainland, apparently) and so on.

    Besides the disgusting, partisan barracking of the entire corporate media (in uncritically basing their reporting on the Coalition’s lies, while demanding that Labor prove every little thing they say), there was also a near-total absence of effective, “punchy” attack ads from Labor, the vast expenditure of public money to boost the Liberals, and the Coalition Ministers playing least-in-sight most of the time to let us forget what deplorable human beings they are.

    But fundamentally, this election came down to the perennial factors driving the populace: Fear, Greed and Bigotry. Bluntly, “What’s in it for me – and Those People don’t deserve any!” was the dominant thought in the Australian consciousness…as it always is.

    I must admit, I’m the most disappointed in Labor right now. The Australian people are fearful, bigoted and greedy dimwits – this isn’t news. The Australian corporate media (and now the ABC, with its Murdochification) are near-universally right wing hacks – this isn’t news either. But Labor had a wealth of attack-ads which practically wrote themselves:

    – A clip of Morrison inviting in the cameras to his Hillsong happy-clapping festival (aka “Mass”), then bitching about Labor “politicizing his religion”.
    – A clip of ten seconds of narration of key tidbits of the Hayne report, followed by three five-second clips of Morrison (separate occasions) attacking the need for a Royal Commission at all, finishing with, “If the PM had his way, there would never have been a Royal Commission.”
    – Two ten-second clips of Morrison saying, “Of course Turnbull has my full support!”, followed by a narration of, “Within a week, he was the Prime Minister. What’s his word worth?”
    – Feature Dutton in several; especially some of his more teachable moments, such as when he had to admit he’d “lost” two billion dollars in Budgetary allocations. “This is Liberal financial management at work.”
    – Feature grants scandals, such as the $444m to the GBR Foundation, followed by an infographic of the GBR Foundation’s board and their Coalition links, voiceover’d by “Liberal financial management at work – cash for the mates, none for anyone else.”
    – Feature 5-15 seconds of Liberal politicians promising surpluses, followed by an infographic of the five massive deficits they turned in. “What is a Liberal surplus? It’s a unicorn!”

    There were so damned many ways to attack Morrison, most of which Labor ignored in favour of generic, bland-as-shit snore pieces. I would hope they learn to do better from this, but I fear they won’t. They’ll hope that replacing Shorten will do the job, when Murdoch, Costello and the other owners/managers of Australian media outlets will just smear whomever succeeds him as ALP leader 24 hours a day, until they’re at least as unpopular. They’ll hope that playing “small-target politics” will do the job, when it’ll just feed into the cynicism of the Australian electorate. And they’ll refuse to make Morrison as toxic as he so richly deserves, because he can now apparently walk on water.

    Basically, Morriscum has got at least two more terms as PM to turn us into a cheaper-and-dirtier clone of America, until the withered old American corpse decides to give him the flick. Then Labor might get a term to undo at least a little bit of what he’s fucked up by then.

    Jesus fuck, we’re the dumbest dumbfuck country that ever lived!

  21. “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?

  22. Lars Von Trier
    Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 7:37 pm
    Yes Nath, (Chalmers) perfect material for Littlefinger to work with don’t you think?

  23. I won’t be voting for Tanya Plibersek. The cap she came out with on Insiders today was exactly the same crap Bill Shorten had just lost the election with.

  24. does anyone remember the 2007 campaign when, after yet another middle class welfare splurge pledge by Howard, Rudd proclaimed wtte “This excessive spending has to stop….” and how it resonated with the electorate ?

    Thats how you beat the Libs, by highlighting that they have nothing

    Job Security
    Wage Growth
    Cost of Living
    all areas where the libs have nothing
    Thats where you beat them

  25. Fuck, this is going to be a contest of ugly Albanese supporters calling Plibersek an “uppity bitch” and whining about “identity politics” when called out on it, followed by idiotic Plibersek supporters calling any criticism of her “misogyny” – no matter how much it was clearly not, isn’t it?

  26. Well said, Matt.
    Nothing more to say really, except that whomever was responsible for Labor’s ad campaign should be given their marching orders.

  27. I don’t think Plibersek is up to the job of LOTO. I’ll be happy to be proved wrong if she wins the leadership, and on that front, if it comes down to a vote between her and Albo for leader, I’m voting for her. But she’s not our next PM in my view.

  28. You know, I’m struggling to identify a single one of Christ’s teachings that the “Christian” Coalition parties actually support! They don’t believe in generosity to the needy or poor; they don’t believe that wealth should be humble; they don’t believe that prayers and religious devotion should be private; they don’t believe in paying taxes; they don’t believe in telling the truth; they don’t believe in compassion…

    …can’t Christ sue for slander? Because they’re sure slandering his good name!

  29. Oh hell. They wouldn’t really have the nerve to try rewriting history to claim that this election would have been a cakewalk if not for some dreamt-up relentless campaign of “sniping and whiteanting” from Albo and his supporters… would they?

    That sort of excuse was darkly amusing once. To employ it twice is beyond pathetic.

  30. Well, you know what the answer is, don’t you?

    We all need to retire to Queensland and change it from the inside

  31. Confessions @ #1435 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 7:50 pm

    I don’t think Plibersek is up to the job of LOTO. I’ll be happy to be proved wrong if she wins the leadership, and on that front, if it comes down to a vote between her and Albo for leader, I’m voting for her. But she’s not our next PM in my view.

    She is way more up to the job than Gillard was.

  32. In regards to the ALP’s ad campaign being almost non-existent until the end of the campaign. I have a theory to explain this:

    The Libs and Cliev simply bought up all the available spots early on, leaving the only available spots too late to make any difference.

    They should’ve started booking airtime the moment Cliev began his carpet bombing of the airwaves, and followed suit.


  33. Question from the floor without notice: How many days did parliament sit during and since the month of december 2018 and to the date that the election was called.

    And compared say to the previous couple of year covering the same period of time.

    Thanks in advance but I knew someone in here might have the answers. I thought it was 8 days from when Pyne shut it down.

  34. If you mean obsessive, as in following Littlefinger’s post election moves to control the ALP leadership by his factional numbers, then yes. It’s actually quite interesting that he’s not going to go away and is still a player.

  35. Barney in Saigon @ #1253 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 6:06 pm

    lizzie says:
    Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    Deal already done.


    Palmer got approval for his mine before the election; it wasn’t reported anywhere except on his company website. #Insiders

    Lucky there’s going to be a federal ICAC now¿

    Want to bet on that?
    If they set one up it will not have any teeth to speak of & its first task will be to investigate the LOTO (who ever that turns out to be).

  36. Just spoke to Chris Bowen after Giants game and said Bet you would have swap a win today for last night and he said both.
    Obviously not working the phones for leadership contest.

  37. Matt @ #1438 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 7:52 pm

    You know, I’m struggling to identify a single one of Christ’s teachings that the “Christian” Coalition parties actually support! They don’t believe in generosity to the needy or poor; they don’t believe that wealth should be humble; they don’t believe that prayers and religious devotion should be private; they don’t believe in paying taxes; they don’t believe in telling the truth; they don’t believe in compassion…

    …can’t Christ sue for slander? Because they’re sure slandering his good name!

    They don’t even do very well with the Old Testament Ten Commandments, particularly Number 9. “Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”

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