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. 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

    I would rather live in a universe where all serious news and all light entertainment featured Ms Crabb and no-one else that subject myself to 5 minuters of PvO, Smethurst or that idiot Phil Coorey.

  2. lizzie

    I knew my mother in law was a foreigner when she suggested making the hundreds and thousands on bread hours before the party…

  3. Bob Brown is weighing up the climate emergency versus mariners and landlubbers…

    “The world needs energy efficiency and renewable energy to replace fossil fuels, and fast,” Brown says in a letter published on his foundation’s website.

    “However … this Robbins Island wind farm is an aileron too far.

    “Firstly, the Tasmanian public, including the people of the North-West of the island, has not been properly informed of the private deals, or public impacts or cost-benefit analyses (economic, social, cultural and environmental) of this, one of the biggest wind farm projects on Earth.

    “Mariners will see this hairbrush of tall towers from 50km out to sea and elevated landlubbers will see it, like it or not, from greater distances on land.

    “Its eye-catchiness will divert from every coastal scene on the western Bass Strait coastline.

    “Besides the impact on the coastal scenery, wind turbines kill birds. Wedge-tailed eagle and white-bellied sea eagles nest and hunt on the island. Swift parrots and orange-bellied parrots traverse the island on their migrations,” he said.

    Brown also objects to the construction of new transmission lines to transport the energy generated at Robbins Island, which he says would cut through “wild and scenic Tasmania.”

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/greens-founder-brown-speaks-out-against-tasmania-wind-farm-43310/

  4. peg

    Right. So you accused people of misrepresenting Bob Brown’s position when you hadn’t actually read Bob Brown’s position.

    You suggested people might be lying on that basis.

    Wow.

  5. Doug Cameron

    “Cameron advised the party to hold the line.

    “I’ve said on many occasions, that I had never felt more comfortable with Labor party policy than with the policies we took to the last election,” he said.

    “… We must properly analyse why such a progressive and beneficial policy agenda for working class Australians failed to deliver government to the ALP.

    “We must not engage in an orgy of revisionism. We must never abandon a progressive agenda for Australia. We must resist pressure to move to the middle ground of politics.

    “We cannot win government masquerading as a pale imitation of the Coalition or as a ‘third way’ Blairite clone.

    “We must never abandon the historic struggles and principles of a forward thinking Labor party.”

    Cameron also used his speech to urge caution against waving through changes to national security without consideration of who watches the watchers, his advice arriving just days before the parliament considers Peter Dutton’s latest requests for further security powers.

    “No one from the left should forget the role that these agencies play in serving conservative governments by engaging in covert surveillance, infiltration and political attacks on left wing Australians,” he said.

    “We should learn from the lessons of the past and make sure that if we support increased powers for security agencies that increased checks and balances are in place. We need proper parliamentary oversight and the capacity to ensure that security agencies are acting in the national interest.

    “… Our existing oversight is inferior and in my view, almost non-existent. This is unacceptable and we should ensure our inferior parliamentary oversight of security agencies is changed and oversight enhanced.”

  6. Bob Brown is weighing up the climate emergency versus mariners and landlubbers…

    Am I just a really bad person or do birds that can’t see or avoid massive wind turbines, not improve the genetic pool by taking themselves out of it. That is pretty bad fail.

  7. I would rather live in a universe where all serious news and all light entertainment featured Ms Crabb

    If I found myself in that universe; Scotty couldnt beam me up quick enough.

  8. Cutnpaste Peg-Style….

    “The relationship between the Greens and Labor has become increasingly fraught as they tussle for ownership of progressive issues such as climate change, income inequality and social justice, often vying for the same voting pool.

    Earlier this week, Albanese criticised the Greens for stunt motions in the Senate, which he said were “usually aimed at … putting out a media release bagging the Labor party” and he wanted to see Labor defined for what it stood for, rather than what it was against.

    “The Greens have forgotten that the Coalition’s in government and are obsessed by attacking Labor,” he said on Tuesday.

    “That’s up to them. But the fact is, that were we successful on the 18th of May, we would have had an inquiry into the rate of Newstart. That was not an inquiry so that we could lower it. That was an inquiry obviously so that we could look at what an appropriate level is.”

  9. “The Greens have forgotten that the Coalition’s in government and are obsessed by attacking Labor,” he said on Tuesday.

    It’s all the Greens have done since 2009 when they caved in on passing legislation that would’ve abated our GHGEs.

  10. sprocket

    ‘presumptious and hubristic takes’ of the Greens.

    lol but not focussing on the Greens.

    Remind me of the wall to wall pre-election ‘presumptious and hubristic takes’ of Labor and its supporters.

  11. Rundle’s incessant all weather, all season attacks on Labor were one of the reasons I dropped my Crikey sub.
    The thought that I was actually helping to pay for a Greens concern troll was a bridge too far.

  12. Compare and contrast.

    Coalition backbencher:

    An increase to the dole would have a major implication for the budget bottom line at a time when there is a need for strong fiscal management, a Liberal backbencher warns.

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week again batted away calls for an increase to Newstart – even from former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce – saying the unemployment benefit will continue to be adjusted with inflation every six months.

    Liberal MP Julian Leeser agreed, saying the best thing the government can do is to get people off Newstart and into jobs.

    He said people on Newstart are also getting some form of assistance payment, such as a parenting payment or a rental assistance payment

    Labor Shadow Minister:

    But Labor’s families and social service spokeswoman Linda Burney said the idea that Newstart recipients get all these additional supplements is “pretty false”.

    “Our figures say that about 51 per cent of people on Newstart don’t get any supplementation,” she told ABC television.

    She also said one in four people on Newstart are over the age of 55 and don’t fit the stereotype that most people on Newstart are young.

    https://www.murrayvalleystandard.com.au/story/6283943/newstart-rise-bad-for-budget-liberal-mp/

    There are vast policy differences between Labor and the coalition, contrary to the Greens’ hysteria.

  13. lizzie

    Thank you for your civil response.

    The problem atm is Labor does not know what it stands for and has not known for a very long time. Until this is sorted Labor will not be going anywhere soon.

  14. Good Afternoon

    Just popped in to say I hope Labor listens to Doug Cameron.

    Please note this is endorsing a Labor stalwart not quoting the Green’s leader.

  15. I guess all the Labor faithful who criticise Albanese and his direction on the issues raised here and elsewhere are indulging in Greens’ hysteria.

  16. BW

    Are you pro or anti Trump?

    If against I suggest you watch Morning Joe on MSNBC. They actually called Trump a President with Nazi tendencies. This over send them back chants. Linked to immigration policy. The policy Trump praises Australia as model to follow.

    Time for everyone to pause and rethink.

  17. lizzie
    Saturday, July 20th, 2019 – 1:07 pm
    Comment #1308

    If you love happy dogs and need a smile, watch this. 8 mins – starts slowly.

    Those dogs are not so smart. It took two of them to manage the lady.😆

  18. I did warn Albo that he would shortly be the subject of a massive attack on his personality by the Coalition, the Greens, and the Murdoch papers.
    The Greens, the Coalition, the Murdoch rags. Same old same old same old.
    Wreckers.
    After all, this same motley crew spent $600 million and six years Killing Bill.
    And it worked! It really did. The Greens got what they wanted!
    Morrison can do what he wants!

  19. I wonder if Brown has gone ga ga?
    His Convoy helped the fossil fuel interests retain power.
    And now he is providing even more ammo for the fossil fuel interests.

  20. KayJay

    I’ve watched several “dogs dancing at Crufts” videos, and they’re much more sustaining to the psyche than moaning over Oz politics. 🙂

  21. ‘Tristo says:
    Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    @Boerwar

    I don’t think any ‘Kill Albo’ strategy is going to be anywhere near as successful as ‘Kill Bill’ was.’

    Not for want of trying, as Di Natale is demonstrating.

  22. Barney in the rabbit hole of fuckwittery @ #1212 Saturday, July 20th, 2019 – 9:42 am

    Bushfire Bill says:
    Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 9:25 am

    When thieves fall out…

    Folau hit back: “There’s one thing that’s common with all you prosperity preachers, You don’t ever speak of repentance, Hell, Sin. You (sic) worried about losing crowds & $$.”

    Says the man using other people’s money to try and regain his own personal money stream.

    These cults need to be exposed more often and the confidence tricksters profiting from them stopped from duping the vulnerable in our community.

  23. Some Australian Christian lobby or other is blackmailing Morrison with the threat that if the Religious Protection Legislation is, wtte, not holy enough they will campaign against him in the next election.

    Do politics and sport mix?

  24. Boerwar @ #1328 Saturday, July 20th, 2019 – 1:43 pm

    I did warn Albo that he would shortly be the subject of a massive attack on his personality by the Coalition, the Greens, and the Murdoch papers.
    The Greens, the Coalition, the Murdoch rags. Same old same old same old.
    Wreckers.
    After all, this same motley crew spent $600 million and six years Killing Bill.
    And it worked! It really did. The Greens got what they wanted!
    Morrison can do what he wants!

    Albanese going down the same pathway as Turnbull did by bowing to the right of the party.

    They’re on a road to nowhere…

  25. Some Australian Christian lobby or other is blackmailing Morrison with the threat that if the Religious Protection Legislation is, wtte, not holy enough they will campaign against him in the next election.
    _____
    Boerwar
    Don’t you mean CHRISTIAN enough?

  26. It is excellent to see various serious journalists in ‘The Australian’ endorsing Bob Brown’s off-the-planet climate response japes.
    Bob seems to think that if you can’t see it, it won’t hurt you.

  27. I wonder if Brown has gone ga ga?

    I have no idea whether BB has dementia or not…..

    ….but so classy to diss someone in these terms…

    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/gaga

    unable to think clearly and make decisions because of old age:

    My granny’s 94 and she’s a bit gaga.
    I know I’m 73 but I haven’t gone gaga yet!

    Dementia Australia: https://www.dementia.org.au/

    We represent the 447,115 Australians living with dementia and the almost 1.5 million Australians involved in their care.

    The new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia
    We are proud to officially announce the launch of Dementia Australia, a unified, national peak body for people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers. More information.

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    Dementia Australia has developed resources to assist all Australians to get a better understanding of what they can do to contribute to a dementia-friendly nation.

  28. ‘BK says:
    Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Some Australian Christian lobby or other is blackmailing Morrison with the threat that if the Religious Protection Legislation is, wtte, not holy enough they will campaign against him in the next election.
    _____
    Boerwar
    Don’t you mean CHRISTIAN enough?’

    BK, you got me there!

    Morrison had better be careful or he will end up next to Izzy in the Eternal Flames. (Perhaps Bob Brown should check with the Devil who seems to have an infinite supply of magic renewable fuel.)

  29. “In normal times an invitation to a White House state dinner would be a political windfall to a foreign leader, particularly when host and guest are of the same political tradition. No diplomatic honour is more glamorous and none is more prized. At such an occasion Scott Morrison should be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with a Republican president and bask in the reflected authority of the most powerful centre-right leader on the planet.

    But these are not normal times, Trump is not a normal leader and the Republican Party is no longer a normal centre-right party…”

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/even-the-liberal-party-stands-to-be-embarrassed-by-donald-trump-20190719-p528w2.html

    No worries. I’ve got a feeling that Morrison and Trump will get on famously.

  30. I asked earlier…Any comments re Cameron’s comments.

    So far only lizzie has responded.

    From some others – Look over there! Bob Brown!

    Those dastardly irrelevant Greens receiving so much laser like focus.

  31. Oh god, here come the Greens political slut shamers!
    It is apparently full bore shameful to suggest that, gasp, Bob Brown might be going ga ga!
    Because there are plenty of people going ga ga with Alzheimers!
    Bob Brown has twice this year handed fossil fuel interest significant comms war weapons.
    The first was the idiotic convoy of political gifts to the coal burners.
    These gifts were gratefully received and well-deployed.
    Morrison and McCormack were rapt!
    The second is the absurdly quaint notion that we should not be able to actually see windfarms or powerlines.
    It is ga ga to think that we can take our time about sorting out the climate crisis, and it is gaga to hijack the debate into third order issues about what wind farms might look like.
    Here is a hint, Bob. Windfarms look better than your coastline when the latter is flooded under 70 meters of rising sea levels.

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