ANU post-election survey and Essential Research poll

Comprehensive new research suggests a telling shift from the “others” column to the Coalition through the campaign period, while Labor were either consistently overrated by pollsters or fell off a cliff at the end.

Some particularly interesting post-election research has emerged in the shape of a paper from Nicholas Biddle at the Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research and Methods. This draws from the centre’s regular online panel surveys on social attitudes, which encompasses a question on voting intention for reasons unrelated to prediction of election results. The study compares results for 1692 respondents who completed both its pre- and post-election surveys, which were respectively conducted from April 8 to 26 (encompassing the start of the campaign on April 11) and June 3 to 17 (commencing a fortnight after the election). Respondents were excluded altogether if they were either ineligible to vote or failed to answer the voting intention question.

The results are, to a point, consistent with the possibility that pollsters were confounded by a last minute shift to the Coalition, particularly among those who had earlier been in the “others” column. The changes can be summarised as follows, keeping in mind that a “don’t know” response for the April survey was at 2.9%, and 6.5% in the June survey said they did not vote. Since the disparity leaves a net 3.6% of the total vote unaccounted for, the shifts identified below will err on the low side.

The Coalition vote increased an estimated 2.6% from the time of the April survey, suggesting the polls were right to be recording them at around 38% at that time, if not later. However, no movement at all was recorded in the Labor vote, suggesting they were always about four points short of the 37% most polls were crediting them with. The exception here was Ipsos, which had Labor at 33% or 34% in all four of the polls from the start of the year. The Greens fell very slightly, suggesting a poll rounding to whole numbers should have had them at 11% early in the campaign. Newspoll consistently had it at 9%, Ipsos at 13% or 14%, and Essential fluctuated between 9% and 12%.

The biggest move was the 5.9% drop in support for “others”, although a fair bit of this wound up in the “did not vote” column. Even so, it can conservatively be said that pollsters in April should have been rating “others” at around four points higher than their actual election result of 15%, when they were actually coming in only one point higher. This three point gap is reflected in the size of the overestimation of support for Labor.

The results also point to a remarkably high degree of churn — an estimated 28.5% did not stick with the voting intention expressed in April, albeit that a little more than a fifth of this subset did so by not voting at all. The sub-sample of vote changers is small, but it offers little to suggest voters shifted from Labor to the Coalition in particularly large numbers. The Coalition recorded the lowest rate of defection, although the difference with Labor was not statistically significant (I presume it’s normal for major party supporters to be more constant than minor). Conversely, 49.4% of those who left the “others” column went to the Coalition (which comes with a 9% margin of error), and most of the remainder did not vote.

The survey also features statistical analysis to determine the demographic characteristics of vote changers. These find that older voters were generally less likely to be vote changers, and that young vote changers tended not to do so in favour of the Coalition, presumably switching for the most part between Labor and the Greens. Also particularly unlikely to budge were Coalition voters who lived in areas of socio-economic advantage. Those at the other end of this scale, regardless of party support, were most volatile.

Also out this week was the regular fortnightly Essential Research survey, which is still yet to resume its voting intention series but will do so soon. A question on the anticipated impact of government policies over the next three years produces encouraging numbers for the government, with 41% positive and 23% negative. A question on racist sentiments finds 36% agreeing that Australia is a racist country, and 50% saying it is less racist than it was in the past. Breakdowns record no significant differences between those of migrant and non-migrant backgrounds, although the former may include too many of British origin for the results to be particularly revealing.

A question on political interest finds only 15% professing no interest in federal politics, with 53% saying they follow it closely or “enough to know what’s happening”. A big question though is whether polling has gone astray because too many such people are included in their samples. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1075 respondents drawn from an online panel.

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.

1,483 comments on “ANU post-election survey and Essential Research poll”

  1. Holy shit I know I jokingly said the Trump dynasty when referring to Don Jnr’s bid, but here’s Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign manager:

    Parscale, greeted with a standing ovation and excited cheers before speaking to hundreds of excited convention delegates, assured California Republicans of their critical role in the 2020 campaign.

    “Many of you are worried that we have written you guys off — that California doesn’t matter,’’ he acknowledged. But, recognizing it as hardly “a swing state,’’ Parscale still pointed to California — a bastion of fundraising, voter contact operations and volunteer firepower — as a lynchpin in “the fight for the future of this country,’’ he said, predicting that “the Trumps will be a dynasty that lasts for decades.”

    Asked later if he believes the Trump children represent future candidates, Pascale said: “I just think they’re a dynasty. I think they’re all amazing people…with amazing capabilities. I think you see that from Don Jr. I think you see that from Ivanka. You see it from Jared. You see it from all.”

    https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2019/09/07/california-repubilcans-2020-reboot-1484589?__twitter_impression=true

  2. Queensland thermal coal exports, when combusted for energy production in their destination markets, represent 0.18% of global GHG emissions. Astoundingly little but a true story. Labor have to tell the truth about coal, about jobs, about transition and the new economy.

  3. Labor aren’t doing coal mining communities any favours by giving them false hope and failing to create other jobs for them now. It does not help these communities to wait until the industry collapses for commercial reasons. It would be much better to have a carefully managed and supported transition.

  4. Nicholas @ #1302 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 2:07 pm

    Even the largest economy in the world can make the argument that “We could reduce our emissions to zero but if the rest of the world does nothing it wouldn’t be enough to solve the problem”. Clearly it is necessary for every nation to do everything it can. It is completely unacceptable for a high income economy such as Australia to fail to phase out its fossil fuel industries and transition workers to other livelihoods. It is immoral for Australia to shirk this task.

    75% of Australian voters are wimps.

  5. briefly @ #1275 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 1:37 pm

    A carbon price has already been superseded. Energy produced by renewables is cheaper than energy produced from fossil fuels. There is no reason to add anything to the cost of fossil fuel-derived energy, which was the explicit purpose of the carbon price.

    Absolutely certainly, CO2 will be withdrawn from the atmosphere by a variety of methodologies.

    Pleasingly, Labor are on to this.

    So your proposal seems to be that we essentially don’t need to do anything except hope that some as-yet undeveloped technolgies will save us?

    This is getting way beyond normal climate change denial – this is a denial of reality – political, economic and scientific. I do hope that some of the saner Labor heads on here are willing to set you straight, because you are damaging the Labor cause.

    In fact, this last post is so bizzare that am beginning to wonder if these are in fact genuine posts. If not, then we have all been well and truly suckered 🙁

  6. A tax on CO2 would increase the price of energy derived from fossil fuel consumption. Perversely, this would diminish the incentive for the price of renewably-derived energy to be driven down.

    A higher price for FFE (fossil fuel energy) will mean higher prices for RE (renewable energy) will be possible. This is contrary to the best-possible outcome for the economy generally, which is to reduce energy costs. The only way to reduce energy costs is to improve RE efficiency. This is occurring without any surcharge on FFE.

    A global economy powered by RE will be an economy with higher per capita GDP and more widely dispersed production. Such an economy is possible. Very fortunately, Labor have eschewed policies that will increase the prices of FFE and which will also hasten the creation of the RE economy and ensure we have a place in it.

  7. Rudd resigns and commits to One Nation values:

    @AmberRuddHR

    I have resigned from Cabinet and surrendered the Conservative Whip.

    I cannot stand by as good, loyal moderate Conservatives are expelled.

    I have spoken to the PM and my Association Chairman to explain.

    I remain committed to the One Nation values that drew me into politics.

  8. On the Indue card:

    “Wouldn’t Labor be on a winner if they just said that, instead of putting the money into the Indue card for welfare recipients, let the money that would have gone to Indue (quite a lot), instead go to mentoring and treatment for anyone with mental health or substance abuse problems and then training, in order to make them job ready? Instead of penalising the hell out of them by stigmatising them with the Indue card?”

    Yup C@t, they would. It opens up a way to do a bit more nuanced approach to welfare and wedgie the RWnuttbaggers in Govt. Take the $ that would have gone to Indue with a wide roll out. Use some of it to fund restricted spending cards on a case by case basis. Take some of it to fund the services you describe. Take some of it and hand the $ straight to the recipients who don’t have issues that may make a restricted spending regime at all relevant.

    Above all, dont let Indue siphon of needed welfare $ into their own pockets and the LNP coffers. This is a bit like the Parakalia thing but has the potential to be bigger in $ terms.

  9. Nicholas says:
    Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Labor aren’t doing coal mining communities any favours by giving them false hope….

    The Greens by contrast are serving these communities by blaming them for global heating. Terrific. There will be change even if the Greens do their level best prevent it.

  10. The Greens do not blame coal miners. They blame governments for failing to phase out industries that have to end as quickly as possible – for the sake of humanity and the planet – and with ample, well-designed support for affected communities. Labor are part of the problem because they do not accept the urgency and scale of the problem. They trot out fake talking points designed to minimise the importance of Australia doing its part.

  11. Former vice president Joe Biden holds a modest lead in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination, bolstered by his personal appeal and current perceptions among Democratic voters that he has the best chance of defeating President Trump in the 2020 general election, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    The Democratic race, once involving two dozen contestants, shows Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) forming the top tier of candidates. They are the only candidates whose support registers in double digits. All the others not only are in single digits but also are trailing the top three by at least 11 percentage points.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/joe-biden-ahead-in-democratic-race-with-sens-bernie-sanders-and-elizabeth-warren-also-forming-the-top-tier/2019/09/07/0bdba9fa-d0cc-11e9-87fa-8501a456c003_story.html

  12. Nicholas @ #1316 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 2:39 pm

    They trot out fake talking points designed to minimise the importance of Australia doing its part.

    I am wondering if PB is being used as a testing ground to find out just how outrageously silly Labor’s “talking points” can get before people start to realize they are being had.

    By the look of things, they have already decided we are all complete morons 🙁

  13. I think the more boring and gaffe prone Joe Biden becomes, the greater he will resonate with the American people sick of the Clown-in-Chief schtick.

    And the more his ‘enemies’ drag out examples from the past where he is shown as being ‘not politically correct’, the more Trump losers/voters will peel off and park their protest with Uncle Joe – Old Uncle Joe – Sleepy Old Uncle Joe. The lead Joe Biden has in the rust belt states over his Dem rivals AND head to head with Trump is double digits.

  14. Mike Carlton @MikeCarlton01
    ·
    2h
    The Prime Minister told The Sun-Herald and Sunday Age this week: “Being on drugs stops you getting a job. It’s that simple.”

    Unless, of course, you’re a coke-snorting merchant banker or newspaper editor. Best not test them, though.

  15. Toby G @Epigrammist
    29m

    People from the Kimberley have traveled 3000km for medical treatment, only to find the card isn’t accepted in Perth; they can’t buy so much as a sandwich for lunch. And while travel & accommodation isn’t 100% subsided, it means partners or family members choosing to sleep rough.

  16. sprocket_
    says:
    Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 3:03 pm
    nath, what plan?
    _________________
    the master plan arranged between Bob Brown and John Howard. Briefly knows all about it.

  17. Unless, of course, you’re a coke-snorting merchant banker or newspaper editor. Best not test them, though.

    Plenty of employers do random drug and alcohol testing of their staff. My employer is one of them.

  18. “Hundreds of climate sceptics to mount international campaign to stop net-zero targets being made law”

    The climate deniers are connected to a transatlantic network of think tanks pushing for environmental deregulation after Brexit, which also have a history of climate science denial.

    The letter, obtained by investigative non-profit news organisation DeSmog, shows the group has links with members of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.

    The “European Declaration” letter claims current changes in the climate are “expected from the cyclic behaviour of the climate system”. It also says there is “no proof” that carbon dioxide is a major driver of climate change

    Other signatories of the letter include directors and former directors of oil and gas companies as well as five fellows of the Geological Society of London, a professional body that represents Earth scientists.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-science-deniers-boris-johnson-environment-leak-a9094631.html

  19. Mr Morrison told a NSW Liberal Party meeting on Saturday he likes to set the Labor “tests” when parliament sits.

    “So the test is on them next week, whose side are they on when it comes to getting people off welfare and into work?” Mr Morrison said.

    Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke is unimpressed.

    “Doesn’t it say it all that we have got a prime minister who’s only determined to work out what fights he can pick rather than having a plan for jobs,” Mr Burke told Sky news on Sunday.

    https://www.9news.com.au/national/pm-sets-tests-for-labor-as-parliament-sits/80fbbfee-f7ed-4538-aaf7-8e6fdad4ccb7

  20. Andrew Catsaras @AndrewCatsaras
    ·
    1h
    Kevin Rudd says “Australia has become a complacent country.” No, not correct. We’ve always been complacent. We were lucky to have the Hawke-Keating Govs to wake us from our economic torpor & the Whitlam Gov to break us from our social conservatism. The rest is normal transmission

  21. Well, how about some ideas about how we persuade people to change their votes that won’t cost them the earth? Because that’s what’s at stake here and we all agree on that.

    “Cost them the earth.” I see what you did there.

    There is another option. I have said it a few times, I do believe there is a general consensus that climate change requires urgent action, and that sacrifices need to be made and that people will make those sacrifices. Unfortunately a lot of these people are voting Liberal. Many are sorta progressive too but unable to countenance voting for the ALP. So I have suggested the ALP need to figure out what it would take for them to jump. I guess this is the Rex/G option. It is high risk (they could lose more seats than they win). It is unlikely they would/could do it.

    What they cant do is turn away from climate action and the environment. Not now. The effects of climate change are growing and will be increasingly felt by the electorate. There are more votes in it than out and the differential is growing.

    Option 3 is wait and hope for a viable centrist party to emerge from the Liberals who are uncomfortable with where Morrison and co are taking them. We could call this new party… Godot.

  22. lizzie @ #1328 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 3:28 pm

    Andrew Catsaras @AndrewCatsaras
    ·
    1h
    Kevin Rudd says “Australia has become a complacent country.” No, not correct. We’ve always been complacent. We were lucky to have the Hawke-Keating Govs to wake us from our economic torpor & the Whitlam Gov to break us from our social conservatism. The rest is normal transmission

    Yes, indeed. If you grew up – as I did – with Whitlam, then with Hawke & Keating, you ended up with a completely incorrect view of how “progressive” Australia is.

    It took me the next 20 years to accept the truth 🙁

  23. nath @ #1167 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 2:05 pm

    It doesn’t matter what the ALP does. All that matters is what the Greens are saying about Labor. The Greens are writing the story of the ALP, who are now virtually impotent. Unelectable by the centre, under criticism by the left. All is proceeding according to plan.

    What you don’t seem to be getting about Labor is that they are moving into spaces The Greens and Moderate Liberals have abandoned, especially this government. All going to plan. There’s a lot more votes there. 🙂

  24. Player One says:
    Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 2:39 pm
    briefly @ #1309 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 2:20 pm

    A tax on CO2 would increase the price of energy derived from fossil fuel consumption. Perversely, this would diminish the incentive for the price of renewably-derived energy to be driven down.

    C’mon, admit it. This is a parody account, isn’t it?

    This is just self-evidently obvious. If the production of electricity derived from fossil fuels were taxed then that price will go up. That is the entire purpose of the tax – to increase the cost of production. This could make sense if the price of fossil fuel-derived electricity were substantially less than the price of electricity derived from RE. But this is no longer the case. The price of renewables-derived electricity is coming in below the cost of fossil-fuel derived electricity in many locations.

    If a tax were applied to fossil fuel-derived electricity the price would go up. Electricity supplied from renewables could also then go up and still be competitive with fossil fuel derived energy. This would be to tax energy for no environmental or economic gain.

    The biggest environmental and economic gains will come from the mass adoption of cheap renewables. This is happening without a tax. Strange but true. There are still many efficiency gains to make with renewables. There are almost no efficiency gains in fossil fuels. There is no need to tax fossil fuels and to do so would have perverse effects on innovation in renewables.

  25. If Morrison does roll out his silly welfare card to all, and as long as the ALP don’t lose the plot like they did in the months leading up to May then I don’t see the Liberals being returned. In Victoria and possibly elsewhere, it is already the case that the state can place a person under financial management but it needs to be shown that person cannot manage their own finances. In effect the people Morrison thinks he is targeting are in many cases already being managed so this really is a complete waste of money.

  26. Goodness, what is about the LNP (and their media barrackers) about “tests”?
    I seem to remember the Canberra media pack was always finding the “next test for Kevin Rudd/Julia Gillard/Kevin Rudd/Bill Shorten………………….”.
    Why was never a “test” for Abbott/Turnbull and now Scomo? Who can forget the press jackals grilling Gillard for what?, 2 hours or so on events 20 years beforehand, yet Julie Bishop and her mates had trouble remembering what they did a week beforehand.
    Our local Paul Murray dismissed Gillard’s efforts back then as “Oh, she talked them into the ground did she? or wtte………..Mind you he was right on the spot here in Perth to know what was happening in Canberra.
    Meanwhile, Murray still gets his twice-per-week gig in the West rag to bag Labor. He has been boringly predictable for the last 10 years though he must still be on the good side of Stokes to get his regular spray of bile.
    I thought his last one against the young woman from Sweden? who is all the rage in the climate change debate was about as tawdry as they come………….Personal, disparaging and nasty………..They call him “Mooner” over here………….I could think of much more appropriate names for him, but they would not pass any kind of civility test.

  27. Player One says:

    [‘C’mon, admit it. This is a parody account, isn’t it?’

    briefly’s first sentence reply:

    ‘This is just self-evidently obvious.’

    I’ll say no more.

  28. Simon Katich @ #1329 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 3:30 pm

    Well, how about some ideas about how we persuade people to change their votes that won’t cost them the earth? Because that’s what’s at stake here and we all agree on that.

    We could call this new party… Godot.

    🙂

    But on C@ts original point, it is worth pointing out that it is 13 years since the Stern report studied this very point – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stern_Review

    He came to this conclusion:

    The Review states that climate change is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen, presenting a unique challenge for economics.[2] The Review provides prescriptions including environmental taxes to minimise the economic and social disruptions. The Stern Review’s main conclusion is that the benefits of strong, early action on climate change far outweigh the costs of not acting.[3] The Review points to the potential impacts of climate change on water resources, food production, health, and the environment[clarification needed]. According to the Review, without action, the overall costs of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global gross domestic product (GDP) each year, now and forever. Including a wider range of risks and impacts could increase this to 20% of GDP or more, also indefinitely. Stern believes that 5–6 degrees of temperature increase is “a real possibility.”[4]

    The Review proposes that one percent of global GDP per annum is required to be invested to avoid the worst effects of climate change. In June 2008, Stern increased the estimate for the annual cost of achieving stabilisation between 500 and 550 ppm CO2e to 2% of GDP to account for faster than expected climate change.[5]

    Yes, Stern has his detractors, but much of what he said – including that we could be looking at 5 degrees warming (back when this was unthinkable) and that just two years later things were already happening even faster than expected (again, at the time unthinkable) – are now accepted reality. Also, some scientists now don’t believe we can stablize at 500-550 ppm CO2e anyway. Under the current fairly lame GHG reduction plans, we will not stabilize under 600ppm, and could go as high as 1000ppm.

    So you can probably already double Stern’s estimates again. And since we have let a decade go by since then with very little more real action, you can probably double Stern’s estimates yet again. And then double them again every 10 years or so from now on, until we do act.

    But the importance of Stern is that he basically pointed out that not acting on climate change will end up being a lot more expensive than acting. And since governments will inevitably pass on all costs related to climate change (either acting, or mitigating the consequences) to the voters, it is clear that voting for a party that intends to act on climate change will save you money. Perhaps lots of money.

    It’s just a shame that Australia does not seem to have such a party. An electable party with a real policy on global warming will win the next election “in a canter”.

  29. Stern was and remains absolutely right. However, nothing – not one scintilla – promoted by PO is relevant to the action we have to take to arrest and reverse global heating.

    The nostrums of the POs and the Greens and the other Lib-kin of the firmament are at best illusory and at worst self-defeating. To be generous, they are comfort food for the solutions-hungry. But they are not solutions.

  30. I hope the UK polling is as inaccurate as ours…

    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 35% (-)
    LAB: 21% (-4)
    LDEM: 19% (+3)
    BREX: 12% (+1)

    via @YouGov, 05 – 06 Sep

  31. briefly @ #1332 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 3:34 pm

    If a tax were applied to fossil fuel-derived electricity the price would go up. Electricity supplied from renewables could also then go up and still be competitive with fossil fuel derived energy. This would be to tax energy for no environmental or economic gain.

    Now we know you are just having a lend of us.

    Do the words “carbon tax” mean nothing to you? How about “emissions intensity scheme”.

    You surely can’t pretend you have never heard of these things. Both were – at one time or another – preferred Labor policies. Got a lot of press coverage “back in the day” – you know … when Labor had real policies in this space.

    Or perhaps you heard these terms but didn’t understand them?

    Or perhaps you just hoping that we didn’t?

  32. Sprocket_
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Johnson returned, the Labour Party response to Brexit looks meek and Johnson the campaigner comes off in a similar way as SoMo does so could appeal to a similar demographic.

  33. The market in the energy production sector has changed. There is no point in a carbon tax. To impose one would retard innovation in the renewables sector. Strange but true. Get over it.

  34. briefly @ #1337 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 4:06 pm

    Stern was and remains absolutely right. However, nothing – not one scintilla – promoted by PO is relevant to the action we have to take to arrest and reverse global heating.

    The nostrums of the POs and the Greens and the other Lib-kin of the firmament are at best illusory and at worst self-defeating. To be generous, they are comfort food for the solutions-hungry. But they are not solutions.

    If Stern “was and remains absolutely right”, then you must agree with his proposed “environmental taxes” that were part of his proposed solution.

    Or didn’t you get as far as that bit? To be fair, it was in the second sentence of the section I quoted.

  35. briefly @ #1342 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 4:11 pm

    The market in the energy production has changed. There is no point in a carbon tax. To impose one would retard innovation in the renewables sector. Strange but true. Get over it.

    Not true, but it is certainly strange that you don’t seem to even remotely understand the point of a carbon tax. Especially as it is apparently still Labor policy.

    C’mon – admit you are a parody account!

  36. Stern was right about market failure and about the economic costs of climate change. The path of tech adaptation is evolving as are markets for energy. Stern was right to say that tech innovation is required. But we do not need taxes to drive it. It’s happened in any case. If we imposed taxes at this point we would retard innovation in renewables tech by reducing the incentive to innovate.

    We can’t afford to retard this innovation. We have to accelerate it.

  37. Apart from P1, who has more perseverance than most, does anyone actually bother reading briefly’s continuous and increasingly bizarre utterances?

  38. What might have been relevant 15 or 20 years ago in the energy market is no longer necessarily relevant now or in the coming 20 years. We need to accelerate the rate of innovation and adoption of renewables and other environmentally relevant technologies. A tax on carbon will not achieve this.

    This is heresy but it’s also correct.

  39. briefly @ #1346 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 4:16 pm

    Stern was right about market failure and about the economic costs of climate change. The path of tech adaptation is evolving as are markets for energy. Stern was right to say that tech innovation is required. But we do not need taxes to drive it. It’s happened in any case. If we imposed taxes at this point we would retard innovation in renewables tech by reducing the incentive to innovate.

    We can’t afford to retard this innovation. We have to accelerate it.

    Oh look – what do we find on page 468 of the Stern report – you know, the one that you said “was and remains absolutely right” …

    “Creating a global price for carbon”

    C’mon – admit you are a parody account!

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