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”

  1. Onlooker says:
    Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    swamprat @ #1588 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 9:46 pm

    But ..but…but .. If we can’t trust polls anymore, what is the meaning of Pollbludger? Is it just GuessBludger?

    Who will hold out for Newspoll? There is no point.

    Are you suggesting a renaming might be in order?

    TwoFliesPoll?

  2. Shorten should resign his seat. Doesn’t have to be right away, but before the end of the year would be best. Otherwise, not matter how invisible he is, his successor is going to be forever dogged with leadership speculation.

  3. “Confessions says:
    Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 9:50 pm
    What was Bob Brown thinking?

    Self interest, big noting.”

    That the Green’s would get BOP in a Labor government. Maybe even pick up an extra seat in the lower house in Victoria.

  4. Re Blobitt at 8.51 and IfOnly at 9.11 regarding Adani not resonating outside Qld and also female MPs.

    You only have to look at the long term car park at Launceston airport to see the number of FIFO workers leaving the state each week for jobs in WA and Qld.

    And btw, the local electorate of Bass looks likely to replace a male lawyer (ALP) with a female (Lib) member (who incidentally is a mother of five).

  5. Onlooker

    “Are you suggesting a renaming might be in order?”
    ——-
    That is upto the blog’s owner but a “poll” is marketed as more accurate and informative than a “guess”.

    It could be a false advertising issue 🙂

  6. Do the Greens have the balance of power? No.
    76 senators so magic number is 39. Likely
    Coalition 34 (16 old 18 new)
    Conservatives 1 (1 old)
    Centre A 2 (2 old)
    PHON 2 (1 old 1 new)
    Makes a total of 39
    Labor 27 (13 old 14 new)
    Greens 9 (3 old and 6 new)

  7. …also – can we agree that Sco Mo played Palmer like a fiddle – $60 million to bombard the airwaves, blur the messaging, maybe throw a Senate seat as worst case, but gets much more benefit through preferences.

    No doubt. He must be laughing his arse off at that one.

    Meanwhile, Palmer looks unlikely to even get his deposit back. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if some other, more covert rewards shall soon be coming his way.

  8. J341983 @ #1592 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 9:48 pm

    …also – can we agree that Sco Mo played Palmer like a fiddle – $60 million to bombard the airwaves, blur the messaging, maybe throw a Senate seat as worst case, but gets much more benefit through preferences.

    No, opposite way around. Palmer is the winner. He got his secret mining approval. $60 million is nothing in comparison.

  9. J341983 @ #1593 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 9:48 pm

    Agreed @Asha – it seemed to many as a smug vanity project.

    …also – can we agree that Sco Mo played Palmer like a fiddle – $60 million to bombard the airwaves, blur the messaging, maybe throw a Senate seat as worst case, but gets much more benefit through preferences.

    Who played who?
    Either direct collusion or a tacit understanding between the two.
    As I have said before, Palmer worked to create dissillusion with the major parties and he then harvested that and fed most back to the Libs as preferences.
    He will get an ample return on that investment.

  10. Zoidlord @ #1552 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 9:13 pm

    Queensland was lost because greens:

    https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-19/how-labor-lost-queensland-and-gifted-the-coalition-a-third-term/11122998

    Don’t tell guytaur this, he’ll argue the point with you here for page after page and year after boring freaking year until you give up in despair, like I feel like doing.

    Do we have to have ANOTHER 3 years of inane, Greens are perfect and let me tell you how Labor people! garbage!?!

  11. Meanwhile, in Germany:

    Angela Merkel has spoken. Germany will figure out how to become carbon neutral by 2050.

    @ClimateHome
    This and more in the latest Climate Weekly: climatechangenews.com/2019/05/17/cli…

  12. Stay safe J34. Look forward to your comments when you can.

    I’m about to set off on a few trips including to the Tip so will be more absent than here.

    Re polling I think we are likely to see less polling than we are used to while the polling organizations try to improve their methodology. Having said that PB is much more than just analyzing polling.

  13. That the Green’s would get BOP in a Labor government. Maybe even pick up an extra seat in the lower house in Victoria.

    As I said, self interest, big noting.

  14. “a male lawyer (ALP) with a female (Lib) member (who incidentally is a mother of five).”

    Mother replaces lawyer is the relevant part there. I don’t think the gender part really matters; viz Lambie

  15. Madcyril

    “Your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine-bludger”
    ———-

    Do you think Newspoll could market itself as “Your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine-poll”?

  16. Patrick – I know you don’t want to and therefore will not believe it, but I think there is plenty of recent and historical evidence that the whole climate change issue, with more recently the adani mine parlayed onto it is a net loser for labor.

    If it really was franking credits I would expect to see a much more uniform swing.

    Facts- The biggest swings occurred in the state with an economy that is the most dependent on coal mining.Why would franking credits bite harder in QLD than anywhere else, defies logic.Many of the parts of QLD where the swings bit hardest are not places people got to retire.

    In fact there were big swings against Labor in seats like Blair where I would imagine income from dividends is not all that common.Blair does however have a huge engineering works that largely services the mining industry.

    It is becoming obvious that Labor will not learn the lessons of the last decade, will blame their tax policy for the defeat and in 2022 the only issue on which they will stray far from the government will be energy policy,so really they will need a recession to win in 2022 and even then they might not pull it off

    Scratch the surface and this result is worse than it looks.The swing was far from uniform and it was bigger in the kind of seats that Labor needs to form a government the task next time is going to be harder.

    Also I think the reason Labor underwhelmed in Victoria and didn’t pick up the four to six seats everyone was predicting is the Labor vote is pretty much “maxed out” in that state, we are at peak labor in Victora, Labor will probably drop a seat or two down there next time.

  17. “As I said, self interest, big noting”

    Nothing wrong with the Green’s acting in their self interest. Not sure how the left works that one out.

  18. Labor had the Real Estate agents directly mailing renters saying their rents will increase. I know this for a fact as an Indian neighbour showed me his. There are a lot of granny flat and house rentals in my street. “Bill is putting his hand in your pocket”…..new tax, new tax, new tax…….it’s bullshit of course but it worked.
    One thing I am proud of is the ALP won the booth where I vote………
    Two candidate preferred
    Candidate Party Votes Margin Votes (%) Swing (%)
    BEAMER, Diane Labor 1,249 199 54.33 -4.41
    McINTOSH, Melissa Liberal 1,050 -199 45.67 +4.41

    https://tallyroom.aec.gov.au/HousePollingPlaceFirstPrefs-24310-1506.htm

    Labour won nearly every booth in the eastern end…..Penrith, Emu Plains killed it off for Labor.

  19. C@tmomma @ #1613 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 9:56 pm

    Do we have to have ANOTHER 3 years of inane, Greens are perfect and let me tell you how Labor people! garbage!?!

    Stop. Both sides, just stop.

    Until the far-left and the center-left learn to be friends and work together Labor will never form government. The only thing that happens when the left eats itself is the right wins.

  20. This is about the ignorance of the people. It’s their vote that killed it. They are Hillary’s ”deplorables” if you like. How do you get them on board, obviously not by going far left like Sanders and Corbyn. It is about making- them feel good about themselves , like Trump does so successfully. Now like Scomo. The “silent Australians” he called them or “the ignoramuses “I call them . He has so successfully appealed to them. Passion for a fairer Australia or action on climate change doesn’t cut it, populism reigns. I think it is up to us to confront and call out our relations ,friends and acquaintances on any so called “facts”. I had great delight in confronting the liberal guy at my very liberal voting booth, in a very lnp seat on the vacuousness of their statements on “a better economy “ with facts about the hopelessness of their policies or lack of same. Confront them and forget about your relationships with your mates and relations. This is war we have to fight for an Australia that we want to live in , and one I want for my children and grandchild. I suppose it is about taking everyone you can to school to learn the facts. If they feel good about you they will listen to you.

  21. It may have been mentioned in earlier media/posts I don’t read them all) but interesting to see in the last three elections – Vic, NSW, Federal around a 3% error in polls from the final 2PP that favours the incumbent party. With just three results I’m thinking of it may be just coincidence. If it is something, could it relate to those who want change being more willing to communicate to an interviewer than those favouring the incumbent party?

  22. Blobbit:

    Nothing wrong with the Green’s acting in their self interest.

    Not at all.

    In this case, however, their actions had consequences that are in direct opposition to the interests of both the Greens and their supporters.

    Its exactly the sort of thing that has been driving me away froom the Greens as of late. On paper, I support much of what they stand for. But their leadership and elected MPs (or, in this case, former MP and elder statesmen) keep making very misguided tactical calls that wind up achieving the opposite of the party’s objectives.

  23. To the extent that Australians are concerned about Climate Change, few are prepared to suffer any cost or inconvnience in dealing with it.

  24. Madcyril

    I have been guilty of taking the polls as somehow reflecting “reality” when they are a reflection of someoness assumptions or guesses!!

  25. I Posted before the Election it would be a Minority Coalition Government with the support of Katter could happen but do not think so it looks like Majority Government by a few seats

    Still think it will be a good idea to get Katter, Steggall, Haines and Sharkie to form an alliance with the Coalition on some items of importance Think other Ind/Green will not be interested

  26. Lucky Creed – you’re right Labor is probably pretty close to high water mark in Victoria, but it probably has a bit of room to go higher. I think the 2010 Vic 2PP was 55ish as opposed to 54ish this time, and there have been a couple of 57-58 results at state elections. I think Corangamite and to a lesser extent Dunkley are likely to get stronger for the ALP over time in terms of the demographics, though the next redistribution could upset the applecart in quite a few seats.

  27. Well that was a bit of a shocker eh! HG Nelson used to say that an election presented us with a choice between proven failure and potential disaster. Who knew we could have both!

    I have taken myself down to Bunnings today and bought a big sack of concrete to mix up with my morning coffee. I thought of getting some 4 by 2 as well for certain elements of the ALP leadership, but figure the money would be more deservedly spent on BW to thank him for his awesome work and for hosting this blog.

    The only positive I can think of from this debacle, is that this might be a good election to have lost, if the economy does go south as many are anticipating. As one person I know keeps saying, and I do agree, we need to start slamming the lie that the conservatives are better economic managers Every. Single. Day. Seriously, this stuff gets taught to people at their fathers’ knees and stays with them unquestioned for 50 years.

    Thanks to everyone for their interesting comments, insights, and activism, and special big thanks to BK for the dawn patrols. And to BW for the Bluey reports.

  28. “When the self interest works against the national interest.”

    TBH, one thing I actually believe is that most people in politics believe they are acting in the national interest. The Greens did, because they thought they’d get the BOP.

    Tony Abbott probably really does believe the stuff he says.

    Most people in politics identify the national interest with them doing well.

    Clive though, yeah, nah. No thought of national interest there.

  29. Okay, a r, you tell me how you get The Greens’ partisans on this blog to stop being sanctimonious towards the Labor supporters, every damn day!?! You might say, just stop, but they sure as hell aren’t listening. So smug in their sanctimony about being right, are they, that they can’t wait for a new day to dawn to bore us half to death with it. No compromises with Labor can be entered into in their world.

    I fear that by doing this for another 3 years we are just circling the plug hole of politics together.

  30. a r:

    Stop. Both sides, just stop.

    Until the far-left and the center-left learn to be friends and work together Labor will never form government. The only thing that happens when the left eats itself is the right wins.

    Well said.

  31. Joanne Murphy

    “As one person I know keeps saying, and I do agree, we need to start slamming the lie that the conservatives are better economic managers Every. Single. Day. Seriously, this stuff gets taught to people at their fathers’ knees and stays with them unquestioned for 50 years.”
    ———
    Joanne, Two things:

    1. I have wondered about what you say for decades but I came to belief that, becasue they never do it, to challenge Tory lies is somehow against some mysteries ALP vow . and

    2. For all their degrees and education, most chosen ALP MPs are not very good at politics at all.

  32. So, Asha Leu, what is YOUR solution to the obvious problem? I sure as hell have spent countless hours and days, as well as criticising The Greens here, which is all people ever remember, also offering constructive suggestions. It’s never enough for them. Not to mention smart-arses like Rex Douglas, whose only motivation appears to be finding clever clever ways to put spokes in the wheels of the Labor supporters here, day after virtual trepanning day!

  33. Cat

    Same insults can be hurled straight back at Labor.
    Blaming the Greens only works if you buy the media narrative that Labor are responsible for the actions of the Greens

    Something Labor has let slide plenty of times when the LNP have claimed this.

    This then enables the narrative that leads to Labor and Green fighting.
    It’s BS when the press say it. Just as it is when a person here posts about it.
    Labor’s problem is dealing with supporting workers and the environment at the same time

  34. C@tmomma @ #1639 Sunday, May 19th, 2019 – 10:13 pm

    Okay, a r, you tell me how you get The Greens’ partisans on this blog to stop being sanctimonious towards the Labor supporters, every damn day!?!

    They need to do their part too. Either they will, or they’re trolls (not Greens partisans, just plain trolls).

    And where there are trolls, don’t feed them. As in, less things like:

    So smug in their sanctimony about being right, are they, that they can’t wait for a new day to dawn to bore us half to death with it.

  35. Cat:

    You could always try ignoring them, instead of keeping the fight going by constantly doing the exact same things you are decrying.

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