Some unrelated electoral news nuggets to keep things ticking over:
• The Australian Electoral Commission has announced the deregistration of two right-wing minor parties, the more newsworthy of which was Cory Bernardi’s decision to decommission Australian Conservatives. This party owed its party registration to Bernardi’s position in the Senate, rather than its having 500 members, so the matter was entirely in his hands. In a sense, this also means an end to Family First, which won Senate seats at the 2004, 2013 and 2016 elections and had a presence in the South Australian upper house from 2002 to 2017, when it merged with Bernardi’s newly formed outfit. However, Family First appeared to lose energy as evangelical Christians increasingly preferred to direct their organisational efforts towards the Liberal Party, and was dominated in its later years by deep-pocketed former Senator Bob Day. Even further afield, the Rise Up Australia party, associated with controversial pastor Danny Nalliah of Catch the Fire Ministries, has voluntarily deregistered.
• JWS Research has released the latest results in its occasional series on issue salience, recording only one particularly noteworthy movement over the past three surveys: defence, security and terrorism, which only 20% now rate in the top five issues most warranting the attention of the federal government, down from 23% in February and 29% in November. “Performance index” measures for the government across the various issue areas have recorded little change post-election, except that “vision, leadership and quality of government” is up from 35% to 42% (which is still the fifth lowest out of 20 designated issue areas). The survey was conducted from June 26-30 from a sample of 1000.
• In the New York Times’ Upshot blog, Nate Cohn casts a skeptical eye over the record of online polling in the United States. It notes a Pew Research finding that YouGov’s “synthetic sampling” method achieves the best results out of the online pollsters, by which it “selects individuals from its panel of respondents, one by one, to match the demographic profile of individual Americans”. Another survey that performed relatively well, VoteCast, did so by concurrently conducting a huge sample phone poll, results of which were used to calibrate the online component.