Of swings and misses

The Coalition’s parliamentary majority looks secure, as the polling industry starts facing up to what went wrong.

The latest – or some of it at least:

• It is now reckoned beyond doubt that the Liberals have held on in Chisholm, thereby guaranteeing a parliamentary majority of at least 76 seats out of 151. As related in the latest update in my late counting post, I think it more likely than not that they will supplement that with Macquarie and Bass, and wouldn’t write them off quite yet in Cowan. You are encouraged to use that thread to discuss the progress of the count, and to enjoy the reguarly updated results reporting facility while you’re about it.

• If you only read one thing about the collective failure of the opinion polls, make it Kevin Bonham’s comprehensive account. If you only read two, or don’t have quite that much time on your hands, a brief piece by Professor Brian Schmidt in The Guardian is worth a look.

• The three major polling companies have each acknowledged the issue in one way or another, far the most searching example of which is a piece in The Guardian by Peter Lewis of Essential Research. A statement released yesterday by Ipsos at least concedes there may be a problem with over-sampling of the politically engaged, but Monday’s offering by David Briggs of YouGov Galaxy in The Australian was defensive to a fault.

• Note the guest post below this one from Adrian Beaumont on tomorrow’s European Union elections in Britain.

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.

1,724 comments on “Of swings and misses”

  1. Watermelon says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    If you believe the science then anything short of ending all new fossil fuel projects (and closing existing ones) is “fence-sitting” on climate change. So yes, Labor will be fence-sitting on climate change. Unless they go full “stop the boats” and adopt the LNP’s climate policy.

    How would this be a good thing if it lead to shortages as we transitioned away from them?

    But it seems you would be happy if all such activities stopped now irrespective of the consequences.

  2. Mexicanbeemer @ #1347 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 2:27 pm

    guytaur

    The ALP’s ad campaign did bring up class with its references to the “top end of town” and the ALP or its supporters did dismiss retirees as “rich” and the ALP had wage policies aimed at certain workers “child care workers” the ALP did play class war and it blew up on them.

    That’s why Albanese is going to “unite” Australia (and then, hopefully, soak the rich when he gets in power)

  3. “The sooner voters in the North understand that Adani is not going ahead (for financial reasons) the better for Labor. That is the best way to kill it off. Then they will realise that they need serious help from the federal govt (step in Labor!)”

    I tend to agree at this point. I don’t think the ALP need to go out of their way to help out, but they can’t be in a position where it not getting up was their fault.

    The right will try to blame them, and environmental laws.

    The worst place we can end up is probably Adani not happening, the LNP getting in and then using the cover of Adani to “remove the congestion” of current environmental laws.

  4. Ironically the ALP should be winning it because it is the ALP that has given so many people access to capital thanks to compulsory super and other finance sector reforms have made accessing finance so much easier.

  5. Jackol @ #1328 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 2:14 pm

    None of his base cares about this kind of stuff.

    Trump’s base is a lost cause. Hillary was right that these are the deplorables and irredeemables among us. They just want to watch the world burn.

    The Democrats can’t waste time worrying about what Trump’s cadre of loyal assholes cares about.

    None of the swinging voters care about this kind of stuff.

    Disagree. There are enough swinging voters who don’t want a criminal in the White House and who are totally put off by Trump for a large number of entirely valid reasons. Which is why the Republicans have performed poorly in every electoral contest since the 2016 election.

  6. Mexican Beemer.

    No that’s the not going full bore causing the defeat. Standing up for workers means class war because the right has been waging class war.

    Attacks that you are increasing taxes worked. Labor got the lose part of that with none of the benefits. Albanese is right not to used Top End of Town sloagans and not back it up.

    Lay down on the class war rhetoric and Labor has lost
    —————-
    Albanese presser now
    ——————-
    Edit: sorry lay down on the rhetoric from the right on class war rhetoric

  7. antonbruckner11

    The ALP has to be smarter about what is rich, it doesn’t need to worry about upsetting those who live in Point Piper or Brighton but it needs to be careful not to confuse them with the financially successful that live in say Rowville or Glen Waverely.

  8. For all those concerned that Qld (and the Qld government) might be fixated on coal:

    There are 13 large scale renewable energy projects approved within 400kms of Townsville, generating 5000 direct jobs (compared with #Adani’s 1464). Another 14 are proposed. This allows cheap, local energy and security. This narrative needs ramping up. @economy_next has more.— Damon Gameau (@damongameau) May 22, 2019

  9. Rex Douglas says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:15 pm


    It’s an opportunity for the Greens to campaign on actually establishing new clean energy industry jobs in the short to medium term for those coal mining regions.

    Do you mean something like Labor’s hydrogen policy?

  10. I think Claire O’Neill would be a very decent choice for Deputy. She doesn’t hog the spotlight and it’s important optics to show women in leadership teams, in order to try and whittle down the still-existing bias (please forgo any accusations of identity politics.)

    Those who want Chalmers as a future leader should note that the deputy leadership is not exactly known to be the best road to the leadership. If I were Chalmers and eyeing the leadership, I’d prefer to just to be in a notable front bench position and impress there. That way, if Albo ends up failing as leader, he’s not as closely tied to that leadership.

  11. As for what now? I gather further Extinction Rebellion events and school student strikes are in the making, what the public and government make of that we shall see. Whatever people might complain about it , it also seems very likely that events will unfortunately be on the side of the climate actionists and protesters, more drought, heat, fires, storms etc are more likely than not

    Didn’t see this posted previously, is Australia to be bullied into degrading it’s environment ever more for a few foreign companies and very local political opportunism?

    Yes that Corangamite voter was pretty astounding and indicative of how blissfully ignorant so many Aussies are, on many levels, no doubt fostered by some media and vested interests who pump media and online campaigns with garbage.

    Being one the wealthiest and most physically isolated societies in the world appears to give so many the opportunity to actually not care about anything except themselves and what is immediately in front of them.

    That said there are also many who give a damn and didn’t vote for the bastards, in more positive moments the appalling fractious debates here could be seen as indicating their interest and passion, rather than just their spitefulness or ulterior motives.

    How oil companies bought Australia’s climate policies

    Oil and gas companies claiming to support climate change reform initiatives are simultaneously spending billions to stop tougher laws.

    And it appears to be working.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2019/05/19/oil-lobby-climate-change-policy/

    Then AOC with some recent comments addressing some of the same critiques we see here, re so called extremists vs middle of the road, sitting on the fence or mediocracy, approaches to the climate emergency
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adxMJoskpEo

  12. Rex Douglas @ #1337 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 2:18 pm

    C@tmomma @ #1330 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 2:15 pm

    zoomster @ #1326 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 2:13 pm

    Rex

    nath uses you as a useful idiot. nath isn’t a Green – no Green would suggest brown coal should continue to be mined or that the Coalition’s NBN is OK. He’s a Lib, pretending to be a Green because he knows people like you will side with him, whereas if he said he was a Lib you wouldn’t.

    Exactly.

    parrot

    One Trick Pony.

  13. Barney in Saigon @ #1360 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 2:38 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:15 pm


    It’s an opportunity for the Greens to campaign on actually establishing new clean energy industry jobs in the short to medium term for those coal mining regions.

    Do you mean something like Labor’s hydrogen policy?

    The Greens couldn’t do a worser job of selling it better.

  14. guytaur

    The old 1970s class warfare approach dismisses a large chunk of the Australian workforce as non-worker and that is where it fails, many on the left only see workers as people in the public sector, the trades or caring related work, this discounts many other kinds of work although this growing group of professionals is increasingly ticked off with the LNP so they are gettible if the ALP focused on playing the policy ball and not the man/women

  15. D: “His ex father in-law is a billionaire, Liberal. ”

    I read that and thought that, while I’m sure Julian Beale is very comfortably well off, I hadn’t ever heard that he was a billionaire (of which there are only two dozen or so in Australia). I looked at the Wikipedia article and saw that he was described as a billionaire there.

    But I really don’t think Beale is a billionaire. I think that somewhere, someone has confused the fact that Dick Pratt, an undoubted billionaire, was (allegedly) the godfather of Shorten’s ex-wife Debbie Beale. (Julian Beale having been on the board of Visy Industries at one point.)

    It’s interesting how stories can grow in the telling, and even end up on Wikipedia.

  16. I am liking this Albanese presser

    Turning the focus to the LNP.

    Talking about Occupational Health and Safety with the unions.

  17. The big plus for Claire O’Neill is her background will free Albo up to play more to his strengths, he can play the pub & footy crowd and Claire can play the wine bars and I think she is a Hawks fan (just terrible)

  18. zoomster: “nath isn’t a Green – no Green would suggest brown coal should continue to be mined or that the Coalition’s NBN is OK. He’s a Lib, pretending to be a Green because he knows people like you will side with him, whereas if he said he was a Lib you wouldn’t.”

    Or perhaps he realises that it’s far easier to get a rise out of some posters on here by representing yourself as a Green rather than as a Liberal.

    “Brian: People, we should be struggling together.
    PFJ member: [in a headlock] We are!
    Brian: No, we should be rising up against the common enemy.
    All: The Judean People’s Front?!”

  19. Lol
    “Trump’s base is a lost cause. Hillary was right that these are the deplorables and irredeemables among us. They just want to watch the world burn.”

    Yeh 62 million people who don’t want what you want are no good. Sounds like a good old labor in denial supporter.
    Anyway. Hillary kept the dept of state mail server in her basement for safety right? And smashed 33 blackberries with hammers, AFTER they were subpoenaed as evidence…Lol Or took $145m commission from Russian businessmen a few weeks after approving the sale of 20% USA uranium to Russia. And not to mention the sacrificing of a US ambassador at bengahzi so as to not interfere with her M/E arms deal.
    Seems the deplorable about a hundred times wiser than you.

  20. Blobbit @ #1324 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 2:10 pm

    “…short of ending all new fossil fuel projects …”

    So, how do we do that after the last election? If the answer is “educate the voters” I don’t think there is any chance of that working in the time frame needed.

    What’s the alternative?

    Educating the voters assumes you have media outlets that will publish your material – not so easy when 75% of the media is in the hands of a ‘Baron’ who does not want the public educated or informed unless it complies with his idea of the truth.

  21. Rex Douglas says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Barney in Saigon @ #1360 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 2:38 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:15 pm


    It’s an opportunity for the Greens to campaign on actually establishing new clean energy industry jobs in the short to medium term for those coal mining regions.

    Do you mean something like Labor’s hydrogen policy?

    The Greens couldn’t do a worser job of selling it better.

    Of course! Silly me.

    I forgot what masterful negotiators they are and how they inspire the masses to their every cause.

  22. Barney in Saigon @ #1374 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 2:48 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Barney in Saigon @ #1360 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 2:38 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:15 pm


    It’s an opportunity for the Greens to campaign on actually establishing new clean energy industry jobs in the short to medium term for those coal mining regions.

    Do you mean something like Labor’s hydrogen policy?

    The Greens couldn’t do a worser job of selling it better.

    Of course! Silly me.

    I forgot what masterful negotiators they are and how they inspire the masses to their every cause.

    You’re projecting…

  23. If the Labor right people see the Labor left people as the enemy, then Labor is screwed.

    The Left and Right hating each other more than the other side is not a new thing in the ALP.

    It’s even worse in student politics where their associated factions are actual electoral opponents.

  24. On educating the masses. Labor did that.

    Renewables went from Wind Turbine Syndrome with Hockey to being embraced by Sinodinos. That’s a victory for the combined voice of Labor and the Greens because facts count.

  25. “meher baba says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 7:35 am

    The campaign went really well in the inner cities and even the leafy suburbs, it went moderately well in most traditional working class areas (bar the mining communities), but it bombed out badly in the aspirational outer suburbs.

    Two political leaders in recent times who have made a big impact with the aspirationals were Turnbull and Rudd. ”

    Turnbull made a big impact with aspirationals?
    When?
    Not in 2016 campaign.
    Nor in following by elections.
    Especially not in Longman…..
    What makes you a fan of Turnbull – demonstrably the most politically inept Liberal prime minister, at least post war?

  26. Outsider says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 11:46 am
    Windhover – I have heard that argument – but it assumes that people actually understood the franking credit policy. You are absolutely correct that the actual impact of the policy was targetted at the very wealthy, Liberal held seats.

    But that’s not the problem. Its the legion of people with a limited understanding of franking credits – let alone the design of Labor’s policy change – who THOUGHT they were affected, even though they weren’t. It opened up the “retiree tax” angle for the Libs – which is what people voted against, not Labor’s actual policy.

    I spoke to many older people who were outraged that Labor was going to take away their franking credits – even though none of them were actually affected. It was almost impossible for me to shake them from their belief that they were getting shafted – even though they weren’t. If you start mentioning self managed super funds, exempt income, marginal tax rates, and how taxable dividend income is calculated via the franking gross-up, eyes start to glaze over pretty quickly. So what gets stuck in their head is “retiree tax”.

    It was a big lie, but it was effective, because its what people believed. It killed Labor in seats like Sturt (where I live) and Boothby – and no doubt many other middle Australia electorates.
    ……………………………………………………………..
    Outsider,
    What you argue above is not that the franking credit policy itself was a vote-loser, but rather that the policy was used to create a false impression that did damage. That may be so but is obviously NOT an argument against the policy itself, rather the way it was sold.

    It is true that some very sensible policies, like an inheritance tax, are considered impossible to have rational debate about because of the fear campaign surrounding a da da da daaa death tax. IMO that the ALP gained a swing in suburbs most affected suggests the rort that is the current franking credit scheme does not raise the same difficulties.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Outsider says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 11:48 am
    Andy Murray – your OH represents a group of people (low income earners with dividend income) who were absolutely getting shafted under Labor’s proposal. They didn’t account for much of the revenue to be gained, and should have been excluded from the impact of the changes during the policy’s design.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    It may be that there are a number of families in the Andy Murray situation where the couple are renting with capital to invest in shares and the OH is a stay at home no income parent who is receiving the franking credits. In that situation, sure the Andy Murray family will be affected but only until the kiddies get old enough for the OH to go out and work (which will be essential if the Andy Murray family ever want to own their own home as it aspires to).

    And when the OH goes out to work suddenly the franking credits policy doesn’t matter any more but the Andy Murray family could sure do with financial assistance to help with childcare.. Tough titty if those families only looked forward to the next 2-3 years. Meanwhile the superannuant rorters paying no tax on lovely incomes all give 3 cheers to the next generation of Andy Murray family renters because, for a snapshot in time, that next generation can be co-opted by myopic self-interest to argue for the superannuants.

  27. Should clarify my tone in my “Right ceding enough to the Left” comment. I meant that’s their perception, not mine.

  28. Tristo @ #1295 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 1:39 pm

    @slackboy72

    There are the two Center Alliance Senators and Jackie Lambie, they could join Labor and the Greens in blocking some legislation. Since I don’t believe either Center Alliance and maybe Lambie will support say repealing the Medevac Bill.

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/government-pushing-ahead-with-medevac-repeal-despite-senate-opposition

    So you agree that passing legislation is down to what CA, PHON, Aus Cons and Lambie agree to.
    Greens and Labor are powerless to stop it for the next three years.

  29. ‘Quoll says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    As for what now? I gather further Extinction Rebellion events and school student strikes are in the making…’

    Zinger! The way to stop extinctions is to form governments and to make laws and to invest in enforcing those laws. All this coupled with investment in active conservation measures.

    The way to speed up extinctions is for Bandt to thuggishly threaten a ‘brutal fight’ against Labor, to white ant Labor during election campaigns and to focus on Dirty Dick’s idiot wedges like the Adani Convoy. All the Greens achieved with their ‘triumph’ was to cling on to the miserable Greens representation and to help Morrison gain government for three more years.

    Get ready for more dams and for less water for the environment in the MDB. Get ready for more coral bleaching. All the Greens work!

    It is classic stuff from the Greens: always powerless to do anything except encourage nothing burgers and help bastard governments to get elected by white-anting Labor.

    The sooner real environmentalists realize what the Greens are doing, the better.

  30. Some of the stuff here about Trump, AOC, GOP, Labor are as bad the nonsense you criticise the ‘bogans’ for.
    I don’t many here actually even read anything except what is fed to them that already suits their bias.
    Trumps tax returns are going to be his downfall lol. This is the same hopefull thinking nonsense a bunch extreme left dems were hoping for on the Mueller report

    This is why the Dems are going to get flogged in 2020.. they hoping beyond hope that some miracle is going to ‘find trump out’. Meanwhile the extreme rabid left antisemitic part of the party is destroying its credibility.
    This so laughable and tells me not many here are smarter than their own wishful bias.

  31. @guytaur

    Sinodinos and others in the Liberal Party who have similar views, I reckon are going to have a tough fight against those who don’t, who have been emboldened by the election result.

  32. How would this be a good thing if it lead to shortages as we transitioned away from them?

    But it seems you would be happy if all such activities stopped now irrespective of the consequences.

    There’s nothing happy about any of this: there are bad consequences from stopping fossil fuel use, and worse consequences from not stopping fossil fuel use. Either you take the science seriously or you don’t.

  33. Rex Douglas says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Barney in Saigon @ #1374 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 2:48 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Barney in Saigon @ #1360 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 2:38 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:15 pm


    It’s an opportunity for the Greens to campaign on actually establishing new clean energy industry jobs in the short to medium term for those coal mining regions.

    Do you mean something like Labor’s hydrogen policy?

    The Greens couldn’t do a worser job of selling it better.

    Of course! Silly me.

    I forgot what masterful negotiators they are and how they inspire the masses to their every cause.

    You’re projecting…

    Only to highlight your stupidity.

    Although it’s nice to see you advocating that the Greens should start copying Labor’s policies.

  34. Tristo.

    Yes. However Sinodinos knows the right has to be reined in.
    It won’t be long before we see more LNP division for Labor to say “See we told you so”

    For Labor the climate is three years of opportunity

  35. Watermelon says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    How would this be a good thing if it lead to shortages as we transitioned away from them?

    But it seems you would be happy if all such activities stopped now irrespective of the consequences.

    There’s nothing happy about any of this: there are bad consequences from stopping fossil fuel use, and worse consequences from not stopping fossil fuel use. Either you take the science seriously or you don’t.

    Right.

    Deliberately causing major economic disruption is going to do wonders for any smooth transition¿

  36. When labour talks of “left” and “right” one must remember that Gillard, the most right wing labour PM in recent memory, was of the “left”.

    That would suggest it’s primarily about personalities not ideology.

  37. I have a number of American friends and they all generally agree Trump is going to be defeated in 2020. There is a lot of anti-Trump sentiment in America right now. On the other hand I just don’t detect anywhere as much anti-Scomo sentiment in Australia. Indeed I have a feeling that the people who are going to be opposed to the government are going to form the same percentage of the voting public as the MAGA nuts in America.

    Also the Democratic Nomination race includes candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who are offering more radical trans-formative agendas than Labor offered at the Federal Election. Indeed political discourse in America is streets ahead of ours, imagine if people in Australia were willing to discuss issues such as the date of the Australia, Aboriginal Sovereignty and fate of all those statutes to Colonial Governors and Explorers. In America people are seriously debating and challenging the racism and white supremacism in their society.

    I am disappointed only the Australian Greens are wanting to debate about such stuff that divides our country, such as the date of Australia Day. Since January 26th was when settlement on Sydney Cove was established, which understandably many First Nations people consider a day of mourning or invasion day. It is a holiday that divides, not unites us as a nation.

    Also there are all those statutes of Colonial explorers and governors who were involved in some capacity with the dispossession of our First Nations people. Along with the lack of willingness to face up to the shame of the White Australia Policy. Indeed Labor should have promised an National apology to all those affected adversely by it.

  38. “And not to mention the sacrificing of a US ambassador at bengahzi so as to not interfere with her M/E arms deal.”

    I have a genuine metallurgical question. When you make your tin-foil hats – they’re not made of actual tin, right, but of aluminium (which is cheaper and more pliable)? Asking for a friend.

  39. Sinodinos and others in the Liberal Party who have similar views, I reckon are going to have a tough fight against those who don’t, who have been emboldened by the election result.

    Sinodinos isnt necessary pure of heart here. He is expressing a stone cold reality that voters will desert the Coalition in many electorates if they go coal crazy. And donors.

  40. On completely unrelated matters, it’ll be interesting to see how Remain candidates perform in the European Parliament elections in the UK.

    Hopefully William will do a dedicated post!

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