Call of the board: Sydney

Ahead of Newspoll’s apparently looming return, the first in a series that probes deep into the entrails of the May 19 election result.

In case you were wondering, The Australian reported on Monday that the first Newspoll since the election – indeed, the first poll on voting intention of any kind since the election, unless someone else quickly gets in first – will be published “very shortly”.

In the meantime, I offer what will be the first in a series of posts that probe deep into the results of the federal election region by region, starting with Sydney and some of its immediate surrounds. Below are two colour-coded maps showing the two-party preferred swing at polling booth level, with each booth allocated a geographic catchment area built out of the “mesh blocks” that form the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ smallest unit of geographic analysis (typically encompassing about 30 dwellings). The image on the right encompasses the core of the city, while the second zooms further out. To get a proper look at either, click for an enlarged image.

In a pattern that will recur throughout this series, there is a clear zone of red in the inner city and the affluent, established eastern suburbs and northern beaches regions, giving way to an ocean of blue in the middle and outer suburbs. The occasional patches of red that break this up are often associated with sophomore surge effects, which played out to the advantage of Mike Freelander, who had no trouble retaining Macarthur (more on that below); Susan Templeman, who held out against a 2.0% swing in Macquarie; and Emma McBride, who survived a 3.3% swing in Dobell (albeit there was little to distinguish this from a 3.1% swing in neighbouring, Liberal-held Robertson).

The second part of our analysis compares the actual two-party results from the election with the results predicted by a linear regression model similar to, but more elaborate than, that presented here shortly after the election. This is based on the correlations observed across the nation between booth-level two-party results and the demography of booths’ catchment areas. The gory details of the model can be found here (the dependent variable being Labor’s two-party preferred percentage). The r-squared values indicate that the model explains 76.5% of the variation in the results – and doesn’t explain another 23.5%. Among the myriad unexplained factors that constitute the latter figure, the personal appeal (or lack thereof) of the sitting member (if any) might be expected to have a considerable bearing.

Such a model can be used to produce estimates that hopefully give some idea as to where the two parties were punching above and below their weight, and where the results were as we might have expected in view of broader trends. The latter more-or-less encompasses Lindsay, which was the only seat in the Sydney region to change hands between Labor and the Coalition (the only other change being Zali Steggall’s win over Tony Abbott in Warringah). The table below shows, progressively, the model’s estimate of Labor’s two-party vote, the actual result, and the difference between the two.

The first thing that leaps out is that the current leaders of both parties did exceptionally well, with their margins evidently being padded out by their substantial personal votes. Beyond that though, patterns get a little harder to discern. The Liberal-versus-independent contests in Warringah and Wentworth appear to have had very different effects on the Coalition’s two-party margins over Labor, which reduced to a remarkably narrow 2.1% as voters turned on Tony Abbott in Warringah, but remained solid at 9.8% in Wentworth, suggesting Dave Sharma may have accumulated a few fans through two recent campaigns and a dignified showing in the wake of the by-election defeat. That there was nonetheless a 7.9% two-party swing to Labor illustrates that he still has a way to go before he matches Malcolm Turnbull on this score.

The modelled result further emphasises the particularly good result Labor had in Macarthur, a seat the Liberals held from 1996 until 2016, when Russell Matheson suffered first an 8.3% reduction in his margin at a redistribution, and then an 11.7% swing to Labor’s Michael Freelander, a local paediatrician. At the May 19 election, the seat defied the national pattern in which outer urban seats that responded had unfavourably to Malcolm Turnbull swept back to the Liberals, with Freelander in fact managing the tiniest of swings in his favour. In addition to Freelander’s apparent popularity, this probably reflected a lack of effort put into the Liberal campaign, as the party narrowly focused on its offensive moves in Lindsay and Macquarie and defensive ones in Gilmore and Reid.

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.

1,549 comments on “Call of the board: Sydney”

  1. This “go back to where you came from” is very old. As a new migrant, if I dared to comment on the way things are done in Australia, not criticising but ruminating, like any traveller might in a foreign land, umbrage was immediately taken. “Why don’t you go back there, then?”

  2. Practically everything that humans do kills birds.
    The fundamental rule is the more humans doing more stuff the fewer birds.
    Within that broader rule a small minority of bird species benefit from what humans do.
    For their temerity, these beneficiaries are often known as feral pests.
    Which is why large numbers of Rock Doves are poisoned on the QT in urban locations by property managers.
    Both wind farms and solar farms kill birds.
    Siting decisions and design can reduce but not eliminate the death toll.

    Climate change brings with it a series of least worst choices.

    Wiping out some species and several million individual birds resulting from replacing fossil fuels with renewables will render far fewer species extinct and will kill far fewer individual birds than maintaining the fossil fuel regime.

    As someone noted above, when fossil fuel boosters start whinging about bird deaths you just know they are adding hypocrisy to their usual litany of lies and deceptions.

  3. ‘lizzie says:
    Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 10:58 am

    This “go back to where you came from” is very old. As a new migrant, if I dared to comment on the way things are done in Australia, not criticising but ruminating, like any traveller might in a foreign land, umbrage was immediately taken. “Why don’t you go back there, then?”’

    +1

  4. https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6256747/is-the-government-watching-you/

    Innocent bystanders are increasingly being impacted by Australia’s national security laws, a web of legislation that is becoming ever more intricate and complex.

    Analysis from the Parliamentary Library shows 17 national security bills have been passed in the past six years the Coalition has been in power. Another four were brought back before the Parliament last week.
    :::
    “Whenever the threat changes or starts to grow Australia has instead of adopting other measures has immediately defaulted back to enacting new laws, so at my count I think we’re up to nearly 80 anti-terrorism laws since 2001 which is really quite extraordinary.”

  5. Bob Brown is right in trying to maximize energy conservation measures such as not driving vast convoys around for party partisan purposes.

    But he is wrong to prefer fossil fuel over renewables.

  6. A contributor wrote recently wwtte that Albanese is a stopgap LOTO. I’m starting to accept his/her argument. Labor must stop siding with the Tories. It must adopt policies that differentiate, starting with endorsing a rise in Newstart.

  7. April 2019 – Bob Brown on fossil fuels:

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/renewables-clearly-the-answer-as-bob-brown-marches-on-adani-mine-81037/

    “When I read the Murdoch media and the diatribe against good people who stand up to this rotten fossil fuel industry … which is taking from all of us and our right to he hopeful about the future … I say you are complicit in that criminality (of building new coal mines) and … have torn up the rule book of journalist ethics,” Brown said at a rally in Mullumbimby on Sunday.

    It is a blatant misrepresentation of BB’s position to say he prefers fossil fuels to renewables.

  8. A contributor wrote recently wwtte that Albanese is a stopgap LOTO.

    That was me. I remain hopeful that he is replaced before the next election to give Labor a shot at winning in 2022.

  9. lizzie @ #1250 Saturday, July 20th, 2019 – 10:58 am

    This “go back to where you came from” is very old. As a new migrant, if I dared to comment on the way things are done in Australia, not criticising but ruminating, like any traveller might in a foreign land, umbrage was immediately taken. “Why don’t you go back there, then?”

    It’s the same stupidity I remember from my youth in a small NSW country town (of which I am still ashamed) many, many citizens from the ravages of Europe were treated to the “why don’t you” theme.
    The drill a hole in the head idea so that folk can operate computers and such by brain power will fix this because I am developing a switch to reverse the process. For suitable candidates this will then be followed with —
    Continuous transmission (with a heavy bass beat) of a soothing voice endlessly repeating
    “You are a dickhead and must report to your loving wife each morning for instructions.”
    The message for the loving wife is still under consideration.

    EOT 😆

  10. We may look back on the reasons why ‘criminals’ (who stole bread) were sent to Van Dieman’s Land with superior sniggers, but has anything really changed?

    Debbie Kilroy @DebKilroy
    19h

    The woman who was sent to prison for stealing a hot chook was released today after her appeal. She should never have went to prison. She was hungry & poor. Poverty must not be a crime #fresher #sistersinside

  11. Mavis Davis

    “whingeing pom”

    Not directly to my face, and I used to wonder how that arose. Years later I met some migrants from the North of England and after only a few minutes realised that their accents were easily called “whingeing”. (Remembering that the majority did emigrate from the North.)

  12. @Farmer3086
    Just finished today by artist “Smug” at Nullawil in the Victorian Mallee. Farmer and his dog looks magnificent. It over 100ft high. Cars stopping all the time to take photos. Smug flies out Tmoz for Boston USA for a new project

  13. This “go back to where you came from” is very old.

    It often comes from children and grandchildren of immigrants. ‘Last one in, shut the gate’ mentality.

    It is just a fabrication designed to strengthen the self-identity of the small and scared. The floccinaucinihilipilification of the ‘other’ is a compensatory mechanism for their own deep seated feelings of unworthiness.

  14. Guy Rundle

    https://www.crikey.com.au/2019/07/16/per-capita-think-tank-labor/

    Labor’s failure goes far beyond the party itself

    It’s time for think tanks like Per Capita to get some brains, and step back from the ideological failure that’s led us here.

    “Per Capita invites you to lunch with Alastair Campbell…”

    Oh thank you gods of the copybook headings. Just when it looked like I had no pretext for one more go around on Labor and the 2019 election, the group at the heart of the intellectual failure underpinning Labor’s recent loss is bringing out Tony Blair’s old press secretary — a man who was expelled from Labour after he publicly announced he had voted Liberal Democrat in the recent European Parliament elections.

  15. Is this peak arrogance? And why ever did QandA put them on th same program. Now he thinks he’s Cox’s equal. ROFL

    Malcolm Roberts @MRobartsQLD
    · 19h

    .@ProfBrianCox Please show me the empirical evidence of the #MoonLanding. And don’t bother with anything from that corrupt organisation NASA!

  16. Is this peak arrogance? And why ever did QandA put them on th same program. Now he thinks he’s Cox’s equal. ROFL

    Q&A is just bad. With even 4C happy to platform racists, the ABC is badly broken.

  17. FIVE Hunter coal mines have failed state government audits of their rehabilitation works sparking fears the environment and taxpayers are being exposed to huge risks.

    Mt Thorley Warkworth, Muswellbrook Coal, Ravensworth Operations, Rix’s Creek North Coal Mine and Rix’s Creek South Coal Mine have fallen short of environmental management and rehabilitation compliance.

    In a damning assessment of the mines, the NSW Resources Regulator uncovered ongoing delays in rehabilitation works, erosion features ignored, unexplained areas of low species diversity and poor record keeping.

    Inspectors raised serious concern about rehabilitation works at Muswellbrook Coal, owned by Japanese mining company Idemitsu.

    “An inspection identified several risks to the successful rehabilitation of the mine that may require considerable time and resources to mitigate/rectify,” the report states.

    “The risks are of concern given how close the site is to mine closure.”

    Inspectors carried out 112 unannounced visits to mines and petroleum sites across NSW in June issuing 54 work health and safety improvement notices, including ten in the Hunter Region.

    https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6281401/unacceptable-strike-rate-five-hunter-coal-mines-fail-rehabilitation-audits/

  18. I hope Albo has the troops in hand today.
    That’s 2 sugars in Scrotty’s tea and he prefers it around 11ish – not too hot
    The rest of the cabinet will take morning tea in the offices.
    (make sure there are freshh flowers in Michaelia’s room she gets snitchy if they’re left too long in the vase.- Marlesy, you take care of that please)

    Ok, hop to it.

  19. peg

    ‘It is a blatant misrepresentation of BB’s position to say he prefers fossil fuels to renewables.’

    All I did was quote him. If you can interpret the quote any other way, then please do so.

  20. Alistair Campbell is about 10,000 per cent smarter than Guy Rundle. His strategic and tactical political prowess is just outstanding. I have read all his diaries and many articles and interviews. They are always interesting and fresh.

    Now his own politics -obviously that’s a different matter. But again if you actually look it’s standard right wing labour.

  21. peg

    ‘Does a blatant misrepresention = a lie?’

    If it did, then you’d really be in trouble.

    You’ve quite often blatantly misrepresented what an article is saying, through selective quoting.

    In this case, Brown has quite clearly said that renewables are basically a last resort, and that instead of replacing existing power sources with renewables, we should make better use of what’s there.

    Which ignores the fact that coal power, no matter how efficiently it is used, is still emitting CO2, whereas a renewable should be carbon-neutral.

    As I said, if you can explain what Bob Brown meant in any other way, go for it.

    * My personal feeling is that he’s had a bit of a crisis over the Franklin River, realising that the hydro power it would have created may have actually been a plus environmentally, and he ‘s trying to reconcile this conflict.

  22. If it did, then you’d really be in trouble.

    You’ve quite often blatantly misrepresented what an article is saying, through selective quoting.

    LOL

  23. lizzie:

    My mother was born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Arriving here in the ’50s, she was invited to a function where she was asked to bring a plate. The problem was that there was nothing on it. And, much to my chagrin, at my first attendance at school, she insisted that I wear my uniform from my school in Portsmouth, cap, shoes included. To my shock, no one wore shoes, let alone a uniform. Needless to say, I had a bit of a hard time, but I eventually became adjusted to my maladjustment.

  24. “Is this peak arrogance? And why ever did QandA put them on th same program. Now he thinks he’s Cox’s equal. ROFL”

    Seriously, why is an idiot like Malcolm Roberts being given air time on Q&A on tbe panel with anyone?

  25. Bob Brown is 74, so possibly his judgement is deteriorating- as is his memory.

    Once he talked about us as ‘Earthians’, now he is a parochial Taswegian NIMBY.

    Once he talked about saving the environment, now his actions have the precise opposite by destroying the progressive vote in Queensland with his indulgent Adani convoy.

    Once he was for arresting and reversing the effects of anthropogenic Climate Change, now his anti wind farm actions may result in prolonging existing or creating new fossil fuel polluters.

    Time to put the cue in the rack, Bob.

  26. Mavis Davis

    Oh yes, “bring a plate”, “come for tea,” and my parents were mortified when they arrived two hours early for “dinner” at seven. And we were told at Australia House that we’d have no problem fitting in as Australians spoke English!!
    I enquired if there was public transport out to the farm where my parent lived, and was told by my landlady that I could take the “mile car”. Took a while to find out it was the rural “postie”.

  27. My Grandfather, the descendant of convicts used to say ‘half these so called Australians these days are actually Poms or half a Yugoslav’.

  28. Insiders – Richard Di Natale – Greens Leader

    Annabel Crabb joins Peter van Onselen, Annika Smethurst & Phil Coorey to discuss Newstart, private health insurance, flammable cladding, drought, indigenous recognition, franking credits & look ahead to a new sitting week

  29. Qanda is suffering Stockholm Syndrome, by inviting RupertRooters like Nick Cater – he is just like Piers Ackerman, without the undisguised bile.

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