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”

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  1. Expat Follower says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Of all the people with their head in their hands wanting to kick themselves, has anyone checked in with Kelly (i want more time with my family) O’Dwyer and to a lesser extent Pyne and Laundy?

    All made their decisions on the assumption of an electoral pasting…. Kerry especially would prob have been up for a v snr cabinet post now.

    Do we think Dutton retains his home affairs portfolio or is ScoMo brave enough to shift him… something like Defence?

    Conspiracy theory warming!

    Was this a plot by the RWFWs in the Party to move the numbers their way?

  2. I know that BK that wasn’t the point I was making.
    Push back.
    Every opportunity.
    Push back.
    I totally agree.
    In spades!

  3. @Expat Follower
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    “Of all the people with their head in their hands wanting to kick themselves, has anyone checked in with Kelly (i want more time with my family) O’Dwyer and to a lesser extent Pyne and Laundy?”

    It tells me that that the Liberals internal polling was looking as a bad or worse than Newspoll.

  4. lizzie @ #1542 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 6:40 pm

    Other contenders for Insiders had included ABC News Breakfast co-host Michael Rowland, RN Breakfast host Fran Kelly and RN Drive host Patricia Karvelas.

    Insiders is one of a number of high-profile programs where positions have been vacant, following the resignation of ABC veterans Cassidy, Q&A host Tony Jones and radio broadcaster Jon Faine.

    A new host for Q&A is still undecided.

    How come Michael stuffed shirt Rowland is considered for so many roles?

    Inoffensive, bland, uncontroversial. Although I find him pretty offensive actually.

  5. Labor needs to hire Palmer’s advertising people. They know how to make short sharp ads that change minds. Labor can’t advertise for sh-t. I got several glossy pamphlets from Sam Crosby in Reid. Nothing but a collection of pictures of him as a kid, and family pictures of him and his wife and kids. F’ing Weak.

  6. Mundo @ #1539 Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 – 6:37 pm

    Some Liberal type on the Drum tonight referred to Morrison’s ‘thumping great majority’.
    Craig Emerson sitting at the same desk who spoke after the Liberal type did not immediately correct the record.
    Labor never learns.
    It’s in their DNA.

    Yeah, somehow they have to break this habit acquired generations ago.

  7. Labor needs to hire Palmer’s advertising people. They know how to make short sharp ads that change minds.

    If “make up complete bullshit” is a strategy you’re willing to use, I guess so…

  8. And Palmer wasn’t trying to win people over to vote for him … he was trying to paint everyone with enough shit that voters didn’t feel happy voting for anyone. Not a strategy that would yield dividends for Labor I would think…

  9. According to the ABC TV weatherman, Sydney is now praying for an East Coast low to fill its dams during the month of June.

    Meanwhile, they still have 4% of dam capacity to waste before the official wake-up call arrives at 50%.


  10. Once global warming reaches about 3.5 deg C, the frozen methane (clathrates) will really begin to bubble out of the Siberian Tundra & many high north sea beds (it is already happening but at a reduced rate).
    That will trigger a further warming of (maybe) 2 or 3 degrees; at which point human and quite a lot of other (plant & animal) life is f*&ked.
    The planet will then take tens of millions of years to cool down a bit (maybe!) and equilibrate to a new state.
    Lots of opportunities for new evolutionary startups – just no humans.
    We are doing this and, to me, it does not look as though we will put on the brakes early enough.

  11. Palmer probably felt the current government was on the nose and enough people would,through clenched teeth, vote labor and tip it out of office.

    So he ran a pox on both houses campaign on the surface but it went much harder after labor including a five “infomercial” smack bang in the middle of the news informing us that Labor were going to sell the country to the Chinese Communist Party.

    It was a preference harvesting operation for the LNP .How effective it was is hard to quantify because it may have also helped the LNP and phon beyond just Palmer preferences, you can’t just look at the Palmer vote, there is no way to really tell.

  12. @Tank9999

    #auspol Steve Price on the Project denigrating Antony #Albanese already and he’s not even leader yet

    the Bill Shorten style Attack by the media commences now

  13. booleanbach, methane bubbling up from the tundra is one of many feedback mechanisms with regard to global warming. Others are reduce reflection off diminished ice caps, less cloud formation, decrease of carbon stored in the biosphere as forest fires and drought become more common.

    What the planet may experience is run away global warming and become to hot for life at all.

  14. Palmer’s advertising was so effective not one of his 151 HoR candidates nor any Senator got elected.

    As if that’s what he actually wanted. Undecideds normally break the same as decideds in the final weeks, but this time they almost all broke Right. That’s very abnormal and while there are a lot of factors involved, the flood of Palmer ads must have been a huge element. They were perfectly crafted to plant anti-Shorten doubt into the heads of low-info low-engagement undecideds. Labor needs to learn how to make ads like this. Actually the Mediscare ads were similarly effective, but the ads this year were just crap.

  15. We saw the attack on Julia Gillard, Anna Bligh, Shorten.
    Starting now on Anna P in Qld and three years of it coming for Albanese.

  16. jeff says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    “On Climate change, well where do you begin. You cannot pretend to be passionate about climate change mitigation and have a completely different view on mining within the Galilee Basin!
    Where was Bill’s understanding of the issue? why could he not have the courage to come out against the mine? does he not know that the Basin holds enough coal that if burnt will push the global temperature above the “magical” 2°c mark by its self?”

    Hi jeff. Welcome back!

    Listen, did you not receive the post election “talking points”? It’s all the Green’s fault! Check your inbox for title “Pepe: Librul in sheep’s clothing”

  17. https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/why-we-re-pressing-pause-on-political-polling-at-the-herald-and-the-age-20190523-p51qj6.html

    Why we’re pressing pause on political polling at the Herald and the Age
    By Tory Maguire
    May 23, 2019 — 7.30pm

    In the wash-up from last Saturday’s federal election questions are rightly being asked about how all the major public polling companies failed to predict the Morrison government’s victory.

    The Herald/Age’s pollster Ipsos consistently predicted a Labor win – with the final poll published last Friday showing a national two party vote of 51-49 in favour of Labor.


    Many months before the election, so therefore not influenced by the polls’ failure, we agreed that we would reassess our arrangements after May 18. From this week we have no ongoing contract with Ipsos or any other polling company.

    This is not to say we will never poll again. As chief political correspondent David Crowe says, accurate polling can be an invaluable reality check when journalists are faced with relentless spinning by political parties, interest groups and think tanks.


    If we do decide to continue publishing polls in the future perhaps we should reconsider the way we report them. After all, polls are even at their very best just a snapshot of a small section of voters at a specific time and place, not a crystal ball.

    It will take months for us to work out what we’re going to do at the Herald and The Age. And our decision will take into account what explanation the pollsters can deliver as they work out where they went wrong.

  18. Actually the Mediscare ads were similarly effective, but the ads this year were just crap.

    I cannot comment on Labor’s ads (or Liberal ads for that matter), simply because I don’t see either. The only reason I saw Palmer’s ads is because they were wrapped around the local newspaper in the final week. And even then I just ignored it, much like my colleagues who all reported being sick of being ‘Palmered’ throughout the campaign: soaked with texts, pop ups and ads.

  19. Albo’ll be fine. He’s a houso from Marrickville ffs. Do you think a few unpleasant words will bother him?

    In other news, still haven’t spoken with Darc since the election, on the not unreasonable grounds that he’s a Qlder and doesn’t deserve nice things any more.

  20. Palmer made ads claiming Labor were selling land and airstrips to the Chinese, who were then going to use those airstrips for their military and he did it with money he made from … selling Australian resources to the Chinese!

  21. The next person to ask me: “Do you have a pensioner card, love” – well, what can one do? Perhaps they should ask: “Are you eligible for a discount, love”? Then again, when one’s born in the ’40s, I guess it’s to be expected. That said, when ones frigging doctor’s receptionist asks: “Have you considered botox”,
    one knows from the objective evidence that one’s time is nigh.

  22. [‘Turnbull would have won in a semi-landslide…’]

    I very much doubt that, Lucky – Turnbull being on the nose up here in deliverance land.

  23. Rex Douglas

    The last decade has inarguably been one of total incompetence and destruction of the Labor brand …by Labor itself.

    If it’s inarguable then why are you wasting your time and ours in arguing for it?

  24. Speers will leave a big hole at SkyNews

    The question is why is Speers leaving Sky, is he after a larger viewership & more influence?
    Is he doing his bit for the country & democracy.. wanting to make a difference.. & a pay cut to boot?

  25. Starting now on Anna P in QLD huh, she had withstood the most extraordinary barrage from the news ltd media that I have ever witnessed in my life,(and the courier covers state politics more than federal) far far worse than anything Shorten copped.

    Sure they had given up and backed off after she won the last election, but prior to that it was relentless,but she still won (twice)don’t overate their influence you are just feeding their already inflated egos.

  26. Mavis Davis says:
    Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    [‘Turnbull would have won in a semi-landslide…’]

    I very much doubt that, Lucky – Turnbull being on the nose up here in deliverance land.

    A microslide?

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