Federal election plus five weeks

An already strong result for government in the Senate may be about to get even better, as Cory Bernardi eyes the exit. And yet more on the great pollster failure.

I had a paywalled article in Crikey on the conclusion of the Senate election result, which among other things had this to say:

The Coalition went into the election with 31 senators out of 76 and comes out with 35 — and may be about to go one better if there is anything behind suggestions that Cory Bernardi is set to rejoin the Liberal Party. That would leave the government needing the support of only three crossbenchers to win contested votes.

That could be achieved with the two votes of the Centre Alliance plus that of Jacqui Lambie, who is newly restored to the Senate after falling victim to the Section 44 imbroglio in late 2017. Lambie appears to be co-operating closely with the Centre Alliance, having long enjoyed a warm relationship with the party’s founder Nick Xenophon.

Such a voting bloc would relieve the Morrison government of the need to dirty its hands in dealing with One Nation — though it could certainly do that any time the Centre Alliance members felt inspired to take liberal positions on such issues as asylum seekers and expansion of the national security state.

Since then, talk of Cory Bernardi rejoining the Liberal Party has moved on to suggestions he will leave parliament altogether, creating a casual vacancy that would stand to be filled by the Liberal Party. Bernardi announced he would deregister his Australian Conservatives party on Thursday following its failure to make an impression at the election, and told Sky News the next day that it “might be best for me to leave parliament in the next six months”, although he also said he was “unresolved”. Paul Starick of The Advertiser reports that sources on both sides of the SA Liberal Party’s factional divide say the front-runner would be Georgina Downer, daughter of the former Foreign Minister and twice-unsuccessful lower house candidate for Mayo. The party’s Senate tickets usually pair moderate and Right faction members in the top two positions, and Downer would take a place for the Right that was filled in 2016 by Bernardi, with the other incumbent up for re-election in 2022 being moderate-aligned Simon Birmingham.

In other news, Simon Jackman and Luke Mansillo of the University of Sydney have posted slides from a detailed conference presentation on the great opinion poll failure. Once you get past the technical detail on the first few slides, this shows trend measures that attempt to ascertain the true underlying position throughout the parliamentary term, based on both polling and the actual results from both 2016 and 2019. This suggests the Coalition had its nose in front in Malcolm Turnbull’s last months, and that Labor only led by around 51-49 after he was dumped. An improving trend for the Coalition began in December and accelerated during the April-May campaign period. Also included is an analysis of pollster herding effects, which were particularly pronounced for the Coalition primary vote during the campaign period. Labor and Greens primary vote readings were more dispersed, in large part due to Ipsos’s pecularity of having low primary votes for Labor (accurately, as it turned out) and high ones for the Greens (rather less so).

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.

1,716 comments on “Federal election plus five weeks”

  1. I am a Queenslander and I can tell you why. The ALP offered nothing to most people in the suburbs, in fact it was going to take away stuff. Then add in Adani in the regions. Then overlay a dose of Shorten.

  2. Mexicanbeemer says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 5:17 pm
    Nicholas
    “Self funded is reference to people not using the usual industry or retail fund.“

    Wrong. Self-funded means that they are not reliant on the Age Pension. It has nothing to do with whether they have no super, a SMSF, Retail, Industry, Government or other Super.

  3. https://www.pollbludger.net/2019/06/23/federal-election-plus-five-weeks/comment-page-34/#comment-3210185

    Housing owned by the people who live in it is not a bad thing. It provides people with power over their own home and much better equips poorer existing residents in areas of rising value.

    The main problem with Australia`s housing market is the money being poured in to existing housing by landlords, inflating housing costs. Abolishing negative gearing (including for landlords of other properties by quarantining losses dwelling by dwelling) and the capital gain tax discount are important to reverse this. Numerical and area based limits on dwelling ownership should also be considered (so transactions where people try and buy over their limit get declined by the land titles office).

  4. The core rusted on Labor vote in QLD is very weak and has been for decades, since the QLP split really.

    In 77 Labor were reduced to two seats and in 96 to one, so volatile really means on a bad night Labor can just about get wiped out in QLD while on a really good night they can win about half the seats as Rudd did in 2007.

    About half the seats in QLD are rusted on tory and beyond the reach of Labor but there are only a couple beyond the reach of the coalition .Victoria is nowhere near as red as QLD is blue, QLD makes the tories the natural party of government at the federal level as there is no counterweight to it.

    If Labor want parity with the tories federally they must break the tory stranglehold over QLD it is simple mathematics.

  5. Queensland`s one-sided results are vastly exaggerated by single member electoral systems, due to the comparatively even distribution of different political persuasions across most areas of Queensland. A proportional system would make Queensland elections, both state and Commonwealth, far closer by making them closer to how people actually voted.

  6. The Coalition got 58.44% of the 2pp I don’t think they will be losing too much sleep over there pv. The combined Labor Green pv was 37% the coalition pv was 43.7 .

    My rough back of a fag packet calculations give Labor about 36% of the preferences from the combined pool of phon/Palmer/ others, which roughly corresponds with the 30% of phon preferences they got at the last state election (assuming a stronger flow from the others)Why newspoll had it at 40% when the recent QLD state election indicated it wasn’t going to get close to that is an interesting question to ask them.

    Why would they default to thepreference flows from a previous federal election in which phon only ran in a handful of seats over a more recent State election where they ran in most seats?.

  7. @Tom – True, but in 2007 Labor won 15 of thirty seats with a fraction over 50% of the 2pp, it only becomes a problem when things start slipping south of about 47% that is when the single member constituency system starts to really exaggerate things, and

    Labor in QLD really only have a rusted on 2pp of about 40% and a peak around 50%, Labor need to lift their base vote in QLD up to something like 45% to gain national parity with the coalition.

    Whith the base Labor vote is this weak in QLD the blue team will win a lot more federal elections than they lose, unless Labor can reduce the tories in Victoria to a position similar to Labor in QLD to act as a counterweight.

  8. @lucky creed

    Labor would need a Queenslander as leader and backing from the Murdoch media in Queensland. These what allowed Labor to win more than 50% of the two party preferred vote in the state in 2007.

  9. To get the “support” of the Murdoch media Labor would need a thumping lead in the polls like they had for most of Howard’s last term .

    The only time Labor under Shorten had the kind of leads they had in 06/07 was way back when Abbott was PM.

    Historical precedent indicated a federal opposition needs to be polling in the 55-59 range for an extended period leading into an election campaign for a federal government to fall.

    Howard in 95/ 96, Rudd in 06/ 07 and Abbott in 2012/13 all had those kind of numbers Shorten during this term never did, the best he got to was briefly touching 55 a couple of times.

  10. Tom the first and best says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    …. and offenders are forced to sing The Internationale before deportation to the Gulag on Heard Island.

    Policy genius.

    I do hope you are sending your policy advice to Albo and Chalmers.

  11. Tom the first and best says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 11:57 pm
    “closer to how people actually voted.”

    Um, the current outcome is “how people actually voted”.

    The Senate is proportional representation and the ALP got 1 Senator out of 6. #winning

  12. “Labor would need a Queenslander as leader and backing from the Murdoch media in Queensland. These what allowed Labor to win more than 50% of the two party preferred vote in the state in 2007.”

    Come back Kevin Rudd, all is forgiven. Serious post.

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