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. Steve777

    You’d imagine that a ‘christian’ Morrison would want to pray rather than go to war, but then we remember his intransigence over BOATS. Little Johnny Howard was dazzled by the thrill of being protected as an important someone during the World Trade Centre Crisis, and I bet Morrison will be just as much of a sucker.

  2. I never thought Albanese as Labor leader would be the best thing to happen for the Greens political fortunes but here we are.

    Values count and if you are a progressive party you have to show it.

  3. Pegasus @ #1346 Saturday, July 20th, 2019 – 2:06 pm

    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.

    Cameron sees what we all see but has the courage to speak up rather than stay silent.

  4. lizzie

    Morrison, Payne and Reynolds are being tested as we speak.

    The Neocons such as Bolton in the Trump Administration and Israel want a war with Iran.
    Step 1 was to unilaterally walk away from wtte the Iran nuclear agreement.
    Step 2 was to goad Iran mercilessly by way of ever-increasing sanctions which are crippling the Iranian economy.
    Step 3 is to compromise other countries such as England with respect to the Gib tanker, etc, etc, etc.
    Step 4 is to ostentatiously beef up the US military presence in the ME.
    Step 5 is to enlist the aid of idiot vassal countries in ‘patrolling’ the Strait of Hormuz.

    The current chatter is that Australia’s contribution will be spy flights or a frigate.
    Is becoming embroiled in a shit fight between the US/Israel/Saudi Arabia and Iran in the Australian national interest?
    Almost certainly not.
    Will Morrison chuck the Australian national interest down the plug hole in order to be treated to dindins with the Apotheosis of Western Civilization and Judeo-Christian values?

  5. That Conversation article about the test for Albanese on his leadership is correct.

    It’s either all the way with Morrison and Trump. (Perhaps) Boris Johnson as well or you oppose them.

    A good starting point is defending human rights. Don’t follow the LNP. Voters that love authoritarian government already have the original

  6. Boerwar

    Watching from a distance as the fools pursue their silly games. No wonder I sometimes retreat into the world of dogs dancing!!!

  7. Nazis ‘feed off of’ Trump’s statements: MSNBC law enforcement analyst warns of the president inciting violence

    Anchor Joy Reid interviewed Jim Cavanaugh, a retired ATF special agent-in-charge on Friday evening’s “The Last Word.”

    “You know, when you get more power, your words carry more weight. When you get into this undercurrent of the Nazis and the white nationalists and the klansmen, they feed off of this. They feed off of public figures — on the regular media, in the government, congressmen, senators, the president — saying the things they always say,” he explained. “It bolsters them. It gives them strength and power.”

    “Now we have on top of this, our four congressmen (sic) who are under direct attack. So the Capitol Police, I have worked with them, they’re great — the time for talk is over,” he argued. “These four congressmen (sic) have to get protection, they have to get security briefings, right now.”

    “They need to take this on now, because the hate groups are out there, they’re active and foaming at the mouth,” Cavanaugh warned.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/07/nazis-feed-off-of-trumps-statements-msnbc-law-enforcement-analyst-warns-of-the-president-inciting-violence/

  8. lizzie:

    We may speak/spoke the same language but arriving in Oz in the ’50s was a bit of a cultural shock, no more so than the outside dunny, where we were told redbacks nested.

    poroti:

    Yes, the Geordie accent is rather unique, more Scot than English. By the way, and if you don’t know, Wallsend is a suburb of Newcastle, known locally as “Worldsend”.

  9. lizzie @ #1332 Saturday, July 20th, 2019 – 1:49 pm

    KayJay

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

    For reasons beyond the control of the KayJay magement – my daughter (the one who insists on showing me puppy and bunny pictures on her phone) will not be in attendance tomorrow night and therefore I’m running low on dog, dolphin, bunny etc stories and pictures.

    We attended a funeral last week. The lady who conducted the service (a Salvation Army lady) is a friend of the FD and, after the ceremony, came over and started to address me, thinking I was one who had made humorous remarks concerning my dear departed nephew. FD took her off and sorted her out.
    Later at a gathering at a nearby bowling club she (the Sally Annie lady) asked my FD “who is the grey headed dumpy woman?”. Replied FD “that’s my sister”.

    Conducting my own internal investigation into this matter – I now conclude that I should be addressed respectfully by the family as “the old, bald headed bedraggled” bloke.

    On the subject of clever dogs.

    A man went to visit a friend and was amazed to find him playing chess with his dog. He watched the game in astonishment for a while. “I can hardly believe my eyes!” he exclaimed. “That’s the smartest dog I’ve ever seen.”

    “Nah, he’s not so smart,” the friend replied. “I’ve beaten him three games out of five.”

    Very old – always makes me laugh. 😆

  10. Mavis Davis says: Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    phoenixRED:

    Trump is a gutless piece of work, knowing exactly what he’s doing. I guess it’s a question of how many he alienates, certainly not his core constituents. And, I wonder what servicemen and women really think of him, in the knowledge of his serial draft-dodging, just like his grandfather:

    **************************************************

    Writing in the Washington Post, columnist Greg Sargent :

    “Trump’s naked hatred and cruelty was captured on live television, and along with it, so was the seething anger of the hard-core Trump base,” he writes.

    “The whole nation saw in dramatic fashion that Trump voters understood his meaning perfectly well, and watched them not just agree with it but also amplify it with as ugly and hate-curdled a chant as one could imagine.”

    It’s a lot harder to pretend Trump’s policies aren’t driven by white nationalism.

    ( P.S. – thanks for your kind words last night 🙂 )

  11. mundo says:
    Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    There are quite a few things Labor could justifiably be attacked for.
    Being fucking gutless is one.
    Being shit scared of Scrott is another.
    Being spineless big girls blouses is another.
    _—————————————————————————————————

    mundo, the pretend ALP member from Tassie showing it’s true colours

  12. “The whole nation saw in dramatic fashion that Trump voters understood his meaning perfectly well, and watched them not just agree with it but also amplify it with as ugly and hate-curdled a chant as one could imagine.”

    And do you know what was the saddest thing to hear at that rally?

    It was a group of women that started the chant.

  13. phoenixRed:

    [‘It’s a lot harder to pretend Trump’s policies aren’t driven by white nationalism.’]

    Those four congresswomen the orange dolt singled out for special mention must be living in dread. If anything bad was to befall them, blame must be sheeted home to him. The man’s out of control.

    ( P.S. – thanks for your kind words earlier today )

    My pleasure, and don’t be put off by an oft-pompous critic. I enjoy your work, as I’m sure do many.

    Anyway, I’m out of here for a few hours.

  14. Peg

    ‘Of course, attacking Bob Brown is proxy for attacking the current Greens party.’

    No, because the article quoted makes it clear that Brown does not agree with current Greens party policy when it comes to renewables.

  15. sprocket_ @ #1367 Saturday, July 20th, 2019 – 2:54 pm

    mundo says:
    Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 2:39 pm
    Boerwar @ #1318 Saturday, July 20th, 2019 – 1:28 pm

    There are quite a few things Labor could justifiably be attacked for.
    Being fucking gutless is one.
    Being shit scared of Scrott is another.
    Being spineless big girls blouses is another.
    _—————————————————————————————————

    mundo, the pretend ALP member from Tassie showing it’s true colours

    It’s funny how he never has ANYTHING good to say about Labor. Just more and more negative ways of pissing on them from great heights.

    Well, there’s a review of the election going on right now and if he’s all that he big ups himself to be then he will write a contribution and tell the Labor Party how they can win the next election and what they should be doing better.

    I bet he won’t.

  16. Re Bob Brown, I have been well disposed towards him over the years even if I did not agree with all his positions.

    With this latest controversy, since it was being pushed in the pages of The Australian and was not mentioned (that I remember) in any media outlet to which I pay attention, I assumed that it was the usual Murdoch crap and ignored it.

    Given the talk about the issue here, I am assuming that the report has some credibility after all. If Bob Brown is going all Nimby, that’s a bit disappointing but he’s entitled to his views. Whatever, I have neither the time nor the inclination to delve into the issue. Bob Brown is no longer in politics, he’s a private citizen, no longer a big player. What he says now does not change the fact that one way or another, the future is Renewable.

  17. guytaur says: Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    PR

    The scary part about Trump. That’s just the launch week for his campaign

    *****************************************************************

    Guytaur – I am hoping that Robert Mueller testifying publically before Congress this coming week will answer many questions – but it could all be an anti-climax if he decides not to answer anything more than his report as he has done so far

    – or AG William Barr shuts him down like he has already done to a number of investigations of Trump/Family/Staff …..

  18. From Released Documents, It’s Clear Trump Engaged In Criminal Scheme With Cohen

    The only reason Trump has not been indicted is because he is president, making his re-election a must.

    https://mavenroundtable.io/theintellectualist/news/from-released-documents-it-s-clear-trump-engaged-in-criminal-scheme-with-cohen-4psuDFsts0KhZJIyE1hNqQ/?utm_source=Amplify&utm_medium=Intellectualist&utm_campaign=Twitter&utm_term=Alessandra

    Michael Cohen‏Verified account @MichaelCohen212

    I welcome the opportunity to return to Congress to once again testify under oath truthfully and honestly regarding the hush money payments, which was performed at the direction and in accordance with @POTUS @realDonaldTrump. Justice will be served.

  19. PR

    I have more confidence in the debates changing the narrativE. Each time something has come out it has been like here. Disappears with the next Trump distraction.

    It’s noteworthy Pelosi was forced to do exactly what Trump wanted. Defend the socialists. The party would be better to embrace change than pretend things can go back to normal.

    The GOP and right wing media feedback loop have changed the ball game. Continuing to play by rules that no longer exist won’t work. The GOP has gone radical. Pretending you can work with that just won’t work as we saw Pelosi find out. The normal internal faction fight became a national test of character for the US.

  20. Mavis
    Worldsend is my home town. A very apt nickname
    At the last election West Worldsend booth returned 26% One Nation, 15% Nationals 40% ALP
    Things have changed since I left to go to Sydney Uni (that was a culture shock fromn which I am still recovering)

  21. The essential political problem for the Centre and the Centre Left is how to address the post truth and post shame era of politics.
    The approach of the extreme Left, aka the Greens, seems to be to double up on political slut shaming. We have seen an endless stream of this behaviour. It is clearly targetted at Labor voters. It also appears to be having no impact on Coalition voters.
    In other words, a basic element of the Greens political slut shaming is acceptance that the Coalition will continue in power indefinitely. This is, incidentally, also why Rundle’s continued political slut shaming of Labor is such a gift to Morrison.
    By no coincidence whatsover, AOC&Co, are doing the same thing: political slut shaming Trump while loudly proclaiming that they will protect ‘their’ minorities. This probably works to rust on the rusted on but will it shift the votes which are needed to be shifted to gain POTUS? If AOC&Co really are attacking Pelosi for being tacitly racist then it will be a re-run of the Sanders spoiler effect and they are gifting Trump another four years. You can see why Trump has framed messaging by chucking out the bait in frankly racist terms. They went for it hook, line and sinker.
    British Labour is tearing itself to pieces around exactly the same framing. Again, the subtext is border control/race with a dash of anti-semitism and fuck the Irish thrown in for good measure.

    For both Labor and for the majority of Dem supporters this leaves open the question of how to approach political substance and political messaging in the post truth and post shame ages.

    Frankly, I don’t see a path forward. The Albanese belt buckle approach will be politically slut shamed by the Greens and the Rundles. It does hold some prospect of inching Labor towards being acceptable to swing voters in those outer burbs and in the regional centres in Western Australian and Queensland which will determine the next election.

  22. Or, now that he has got his heroic deeds in the look-at-moi 24/7 cycle, is McKim safe and sound back and home while Bookhani continues to rot in jail?

  23. Mundo is just expressing what a lot of ALP members are thinking.

    Pretending that this isn’t an issue, won’t make it go away.
    Really, blind partisans from whatever political party, are part of the problem.

  24. Lizzie, even in the political basket case that is the UK, they can reach political consensus about global warming and take reasonably effective action.

  25. Lizzie

    Best thing for Australia right now is to get a Federal ICAC and a Charter of Rights in place. We are already having the culture war a rights debate engenders anyway

  26. Excellent news from ACT Labor:

    “Crushing victory for the Job Guarantee motion today on Conference floor. ACT Labor has become the first branch of the ALP calling for a fully funded living wage job for all who want one.” (ACT Labor conference delegate)

  27. Nicholas

    As you know I prefer a UBI. However a Job Guarantee is a huge improvement over work for the dole so good move by the party 🙂

  28. adrian @ #1388 Saturday, July 20th, 2019 – 4:27 pm

    Being an ALP member myself, and talking to other ALP members.
    We don’t all spend most of our waking hours on PB!

    And I’m an ALP member as well and have been to about 6 meetings since the election of various kinds in my neck of the woods and the general consensus around here is that we need to redouble our efforts to defeat the Coalition, contribute to the election review, and don’t try and turn on ourselves, because that only benefits our political enemies.

    I’m just saying people like mundo, if he is in fact an ALP member, need to keep that in mind before they hit the keys with another slag and bag of the party.

  29. Cat

    Labor supporters don’t have to be paid up members. Also different branches have different positions.

    Labor should embrace dissent is patriotic just party loyalty.
    It’s been one of Labor’s strengths for a couple of centuries. Saying shut up don’t talk about why we lost as party supporters and members is just showing you are scared of a plurality of opinions.

    The whole point of why Labor conferences are superior. Just like democracy. Warts and all messy as but superior than the my way or the highway or secrecy of other parties

  30. C@tmomma @ #1391 Saturday, July 20th, 2019 – 4:39 pm

    adrian @ #1388 Saturday, July 20th, 2019 – 4:27 pm

    Being an ALP member myself, and talking to other ALP members.
    We don’t all spend most of our waking hours on PB!

    And I’m an ALP member as well and have been to about 6 meetings since the election of various kinds in my neck of the woods and the general consensus around here is that we need to redouble our efforts to defeat the Coalition, contribute to the election review, and don’t try and turn on ourselves, because that only benefits our political enemies.

    I’m just saying people like mundo, if he is in fact an ALP member, need to keep that in mind before they hit the keys with another slag and bag of the party.

    If the rank and file aren’t happy with the new Lib lite approach they should voice their opinion loudly from the get go to let head office get the message rather than let the wound fester.

  31. Adani site

    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/major-land-clearing-about-to-begin-at-adani-mine-site-opponents-say-20190720-p5292o.html

    “Major land-clearing operations at the site of Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine will begin from this Monday, according to information leaked to groups opposed to the controversial project.

    The first of some 450 hectares of bushland earmarked for clearing will be cut down in a process expected to last 80 days at the mine’s site in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, Galilee Blockade said.

    Ben Pennings, a spokesman for the blockade said the deforestation was “a disaster” because it allowed Adani to build infrastructure that would take groundwater from farmers.”

  32. Pegasus @ #1398 Saturday, July 20th, 2019 – 4:59 pm

    Adani site

    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/major-land-clearing-about-to-begin-at-adani-mine-site-opponents-say-20190720-p5292o.html

    “Major land-clearing operations at the site of Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine will begin from this Monday, according to information leaked to groups opposed to the controversial project.

    The first of some 450 hectares of bushland earmarked for clearing will be cut down in a process expected to last 80 days at the mine’s site in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, Galilee Blockade said.

    Ben Pennings, a spokesman for the blockade said the deforestation was “a disaster” because it allowed Adani to build infrastructure that would take groundwater from farmers.”

    We’re told we should ‘celebrate’ it…

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