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. In WA, carbon pricing has been determinedly omitted from the State platform. I do know what’s in the platform and what we’re committed to doing here. We will accelerate the adoption of renewables right across the generation sector. We will promote mitigation efforts. We will fund these. We will fund transition from coal. We have banned the issue of new fracking permits – effectively prevents fracking in 1/3 of the Australian landmass. We will invest in and create jobs in environmental protection.

    Others can look with affection on the past. We have our eyes on relevant action in the future.

  2. Sanders and Warren should quit now and throw their full weight behind Biden in order to knock off Trump which is surely the number 1 priority.

    If they keep doing what they are now they are Trump’s electoral besties.

  3. Boer…..I like Warren and her chances….rising approval….very low disapproval….will mobilise the Democratic base….will unify the activist base…

  4. Whilst Dotard obsesses over the correctness of his hurricane warning to Alabama, his F Troop people are dissembling…

    “Washington(CNN) Long-simmering tensions between top figures on President Donald Trump’s national security team have devolved into all-out hostility, creating a deep disconnect between staffers on the National Security Council, led by John Bolton, and the rest of the administration, six people familiar with the matter said.

    While there’s been friction between Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for months, as CNN first reported in May, things have gotten worse recently. Bolton and Pompeo rarely speak outside of formal meetings, three of the sources said, including a recent stretch of going weeks without speaking to one another. That has left key coordination efforts between the White House and State Department to underlings.

    There’s also a rift between Bolton and Trump’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who oversees the West Wing. Mulvaney has clashed with Bolton over ideological differences in recent months and sought to distance himself from the embattled national security adviser.”

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/06/politics/bolton-pompeo-not-speaking-tension/index.html?utm_content=2019-09-08T06%3A34%3A05&utm_term=image&utm_source=twCNNp&utm_medium=social

  5. Briefly
    I don’t like any of them much but any of them is better than Trump.
    Sanders white-anted Clinton last time and Sanders and Warren should learn from that and unite behind Biden.
    The Dump Drumpf outcome is more important than their egos.

  6. briefly @ #1352 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 4:28 pm

    In WA, carbon pricing has been determinedly omitted from the State platform.

    Are you in WA emulating the teachings of your counterparts in Federal Labor? How to have a carbon price while claiming you do not have a carbon price … ?

    There will be no direct carbon price imposed on those companies. Any EITE
    company that breaches its pollution cap will be able to purchase carbon offsets – on the international market, at minimal cost. Any breach would result in an effective carbon price of a few cents per tonne of total carbon pollution. EITEs will be able to purchase 100% of any offsets they may require as a consequence of breaching their cap on the international market. EITES will have access to 100% international permits.

    Isn’t that a corker? No “direct carbon price”, just an “effective carbon price”. Talk about covering all your bases!

    Others can look with affection on the past. We have our eyes on relevant action in the future.

    If you want to talk about the past, I will remind you of this famous quote:

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    C’mon – admit it. Are you perhaps a Liberal plant, or do you just do this for fun?

  7. ‘sprocket_ says:
    Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Final tally: Sarah Henderson 234
    Greg Mirabella: 197 @abcmelbourne’

    lose lose for the people of Australia.

  8. I have just watched the part of Landline referred to in
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-08/dollars-from-dirt-the-farmer-making-money-from-healthy-soil/11486346.

    It is much more than this article, however, and is all about soil regeneration, enabling more food to be produced in the same area with less use of chemicals and less irrigation.
    “Soils for Life” has been given extra funding by the LNP and seems the most sensible thing they have done.

    Australian farmers have been engaged in “soil mining” rather than soil regeneration (my thoughts), and just like mineral deposits, fertility is eventually exhausted and carbon is released. I feel very frustrated, as Louis Bromfield’s regeneration of his land in the early 20C laid all this out.

    Too much to summarise here, sorry.

  9. How are the Greens going with filling the 150,000 jobs they intend to destroy by killing off the coal industry on Day 1?

    Not a problem because this jobs death ride will not affect a single Greens inner urban leafy street voter.

  10. Van Badham @vanbadham
    ·
    38m
    A reminder that “cashless welfare card” is just a marketing manager’s way of saying “food stamps” – if just as undignified and humiliating as the rotten American system it’s modelled upon. #auspol

  11. @jonkudelka
    ·
    13m
    In a crowded field, Craig Kelly does seem to be the most relentlessly boneheaded person in Australian politics. It’s quite something to be consistently catastrophically incorrect in public life and get out of bed the next day and do it all again.

  12. Looks like Lambie is going to support an expansion of the Indue Card.

    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/expanded-cashless-welfare-card-trial-set-to-pass-parliament-in-days-20190908-p52p5y.html

    Pity. If it goes into Tasmania there will be alot of unhappy people correctly blaming her for it.

    It will be problematic in the small communities of Tasmania and force people to travel to the bigger centres to find outlets that will accept the card.

  13. laughtong @ #1368 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 2:59 pm

    Looks like Lambie is going to support an expansion of the Indue Card.

    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/expanded-cashless-welfare-card-trial-set-to-pass-parliament-in-days-20190908-p52p5y.html

    Pity. If it goes into Tasmania there will be alot of unhappy people correctly blaming her for it.

    Is anyone surprised? Like the tax cuts she’ll probably end up expressing regret some 6 months later.

  14. lizzie @ #1234 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 4:41 pm

    I have just watched the part of Landline referred to in
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-08/dollars-from-dirt-the-farmer-making-money-from-healthy-soil/11486346.

    It is much more than this article, however, and is all about soil regeneration, enabling more food to be produced in the same area with less use of chemicals and less irrigation.
    “Soils for Life” has been given extra funding by the LNP and seems the most sensible thing they have done.

    Australian farmers have been engaged in “soil mining” rather than soil regeneration (my thoughts), and just like mineral deposits, fertility is eventually exhausted and carbon is released. I feel very frustrated, as Louis Bromfield’s regeneration of his land in the early 20C laid all this out.

    Too much to summarise here, sorry.

    I just watched the report on Landline and I guess it didn’t hurt that government support was forthcoming for Soils for Life as a result of its chairman being former Governor General Major General Mike Jeffrey. 😐

  15. I am very sorry to hear about Binna Burra Lodge.

    Some of the images in the libraries were captured while we were staying at the Lodge.

    I did think at the time that it was awfully vulnerable to bushfires. OTOH, it has been there since the 1930’s.

  16. I was at a rural wedding feast over the weekend: several hundred people with the spud shed being the venue.

    Top of mind: the drought and MDB water mismanagement.

    Global Warming is happening but the cause is not certain, apparently. It is probably still warming after the Last Ice Age and/or the result of natural cycles. They could not give a horse’s arse for the various political gotcha games.

    Energy, soil quality, carbon and coal did not get a look in. At all.

  17. Sanders white-anted Clinton last time
    ___________________
    Is it white anting to run in a primary? Did Clinton attempt to white ant Obama, or did Obama successfully white ant Clinton? I’m confused about the rules of white anting.

  18. C@tmomma says:
    Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 5:09 pm
    Lambie has a bad habit of selling her vote too cheaply to this government.

    She’s a Lib. Always has been.

  19. There are too many government actions making me angry atm. But I suppose this is mildly amusing “it doesn’t exclude pornography and tobacco”. So the unemployed are permitted to spend their days smoking and watching porn?

    https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/the-cashless-welfare-card-may-not-be-quite-the-success-it-seems-20170906-gybm0q.html

    The review found that, “rather than building capacity and independence, for many the program has acted to make people more dependent on welfare”.

    Two years on from that review, the government has tried it again. This time as a trial of a “cashless welfare card” that differs from the Basics Card only in that it doesn’t exclude pornography and tobacco and it is meant to be acceptable everywhere.

    While that may remove one of the problems, the card not being useable at cheap retailers, such as Aldi, and the retailers that do accept it jacking up prices, it leaves in place many more.

    The trial in the East Kimberley and Ceduna in South Australia quarantines even more of each payment: 80 per cent. It applies to everyone of working age who gets a government benefit. Most are Indigenous. Many aren’t used to handling cards. Many are unable to use the helpful app that allows them to check their balance. Smartphones are rarer in the outback.

    An extraordinary one in every seven transactions are declined, mainly because of “card user errors” or insufficient funds. It makes using the card potentially humiliating, as does the required use of a separate tills at roadhouses and pubs that serve alcohol, identifying card users to other patrons.

  20. Boerwar @ #1373 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 5:11 pm

    I was at a rural wedding feast over the weekend: several hundred people with the spud shed being the venue.

    Top of mind: the drought and MDB water mismanagement.

    Global Warming is happening but the cause is not certain, apparently. It is probably still warming after the Last Ice Age and/or the result of natural cycles. They could not give a horse’s arse for the various political gotcha games.

    Energy, soil quality, carbon and coal did not get a look in. At all.

    It’s not often you see such a clear example of evolution in action 🙁

  21. Player One/ Briefly:

    IF it is NOW the case that the cost of electricity generation from renewables (inc storage as required to ensure availability) is below the cost of coal fired generation from fully depreciated plant (not a “fair” comparison, but the world is not fair) then Briefly is correct (in isolation) that imposing a tax on carbon emissions from electricity generation will NOW act as price support to the competing renewables generation. This will both:
    – limit the extent to which price competition from renewable generation drives down retail electricity prices (quite limited anyway as most of the price is in transmission and distribution)
    – reduce the incentive for renewable electricity generators to cut costs of production further (via tech innovation)

    This is completely straightforward and arises from the (apparent) fact that the situation has changed since 2013 in that renewable generation is now cheaper, whereas then it was more expensive. If the facts change, the conclusions often do too. It follows that applying an carbon tax to electricity generation in isolation is now counterproductive (whereas it was useful right up to the point that renewables cost fell below that of coal)

    However, the electricity market is not isolated from the rest of the economy, and perverse effects can undoubtedly arise from a situation where non-electricity carbon emissions (which would driven down by a carbon tax, without perverse side effects) are taxed but electricity related emissions are not (one would find that a whole of emissions became “electricity related” overnight, for example).

  22. Sick of Briefly confidently predict the future?

    Welcome to BrieflyCheck, where we examine the prognostications of the prognosticator of prognosticators.

    Episode 1. Briefly predicts Christian Porter is ‘cactus’ in Pearce.

    briefly
    says:
    Monday, November 19, 2018 at 11:19 am
    I think he’s cactus. He’s fighting, but will fall short. The mood for change is real on the northern front.

    Result: FAIL. Porter is re-elected on a 3.89% 2PP swing. Making Pearce Very Safe Liberal.

  23. @MsRebeccaRobins
    ·
    12m
    #auspol Jacqui Lambie has revealed that she still blames herself for her son’s ice addiction after he spent years as her carer during his teens. She now want to inflict that pain to all Australians on welfare

  24. Jacque Lambie has sewn up a Tasmanian Senate seat for as long as she wants it – and Tasmanian’s are second only to PNGers in Cargo Cult mentality. You don’t need much, just keep it coming at regular intervals.

  25. @TheAusInstitute
    ·
    1h
    “I think it’s telling that, in the same week this govt presided over the worst GDP figures in a decade, we have not one but two punitive policies that target people who can’t find a job” – @ebony_bennett, Deputy Director of @TheAusInstitute on @SkyNewsAust

  26. Curious that Lambie is considering associating herself with Indue….and all its connections to the Lib/Nats. something that could come back an bite her on the arse.

  27. Now does this remind anyone of our Tasmanian friends and the charismatic Jacqui Lambie?

    “A cargo cult is a belief system among members of a relatively undeveloped society in which adherents practice superstitious rituals hoping to bring modern goods supplied by a more technologically advanced society. These cults, millenarian in nature, were first described in Melanesia in the wake of contact with advanced Western cultures. The name derives from the belief which began among Melanesians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that various ritualistic acts such as the building of an airplane runway will result in the appearance of material wealth, particularly highly desirable Western goods (i.e., “cargo”), via Western airplanes.[1][2]

    Cargo cults often develop during a combination of crises. Under conditions of social stress, such a movement may form under the leadership of a charismatic figure. This leader may have a “vision” (or “myth-dream”) of the future, often linked to an ancestral efficacy (“mana”) thought to be recoverable by a return to traditional morality.[1][3] This leader may characterize the present state as a dismantling of the old social order, meaning that social hierarchy and ego boundaries have been broken down.[4]

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

  28. Briefly is correct (in isolation) that imposing a tax on carbon emissions from electricity generation will NOW act as price support to the competing renewables generation.

    That doesn’t sound right. Even if renewables already have a cost advantage over fossil fuels, surely a carbon tax or price would increase that advantage by making fossil fuel power more expensive. That would make renewable power even more attractive by comparison, which would increase investment in renewables.

    Personally I believe that laws, regulations, and publicly owned and controlled assets are the most powerful tools for reducing emissions quickly and drastically. A carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme is a relatively weak mechanism inspired by neoliberal assumptions about how governments should behave.

  29. E. G. Theodore @ #1383 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 5:35 pm

    IF it is NOW the case that the cost of electricity generation from renewables (inc storage as required to ensure availability) is below the cost of coal fired generation from fully depreciated plant (not a “fair” comparison, but the world is not fair) then Briefly is correct (in isolation) that imposing a tax on carbon emissions from electricity generation will NOW act as price support to the competing renewables generation. This will both:
    – limit the extent to which price competition from renewable generation drives down retail electricity prices (quite limited anyway as most of the price is in transmission and distribution)
    – reduce the incentive for renewable electricity generators to cut costs of production further (via tech innovation)

    This is completely straightforward and arises from the (apparent) fact that the situation has changed since 2013 in that renewable generation is now cheaper, whereas then it was more expensive. If the facts change, the conclusions often do too. It follows that applying an carbon tax to electricity generation in isolation is now counterproductive (whereas it was useful right up to the point that renewables cost fell below that of coal)

    However, the electricity market is not isolated from the rest of the economy, and perverse effects can undoubtedly arise from a situation where non-electricity carbon emissions (which would driven down by a carbon tax, without perverse side effects) are taxed but electricity related emissions are not (one would find that a whole of emissions became “electricity related” overnight, for example).

    Breifly’s premise is not true, and neither is his conclusion.

    Anybody who thinks the cost of generating electricity is related to its price has not been paying attention to the Australian electricity market for the last few decades.

    It is just another Labor talking point, being promulgated by the coal-based states (Qld, Vic & WA) to avoid any meaningful action 🙁

  30. It’s difficult to assemble a majority in favour of action with respect to climate change. This being so, it’s important to take action that is both relevant and effective. The Green campaign is neither. It is not an environmental campaign. It is a political campaign aimed at defeating Labor and therefore at obstructing action.

  31. It’s obviously highly desirable to maintain the system that is driving down the costs of renewables while also expanding their reach…a system that will lead to the most rapid and widespread displacement of fossil fuel derived power.

  32. briefly @ #1394 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 6:10 pm

    For the pleasure of the bludgers….

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2019/05/29/renewable-energy-costs-tumble/#4febab5be8ce

    As usual, you seem to have missed that one important little word … “new” …

    However, all these fuel types are now able to compete with the cost of developing new power plants based on fossil fuels

    Even RenewEconomy doesn’t tend to make such a newbie mistake any more 🙁

  33. Of course, to reiterate, it is not going to be sufficient simply to replace fossil fuels with renewables. We have to withdraw CO2 from the atmosphere and reform land use more generally. This is just as important as transforming the electricity and transport sectors.

  34. @MsRebeccaRobins
    ·
    1h
    #auspol 51,000 people on the 18th May electorate of Corangamite voted to kick Sarah Henderson out of Parliament 4pm today 234 Liberal voters voted to give her a job in the senate at $200k a year 234 people while 51,000 people said NO

  35. briefly @ #1395 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 6:13 pm

    It’s difficult to assemble a majority in favour of action with respect to climate change.

    Not so. Your problem is that you are looking at the wrong demographic. It is quite easy to do this amongst younger voters who understand the benefits as well as the costs.

    But perhaps less so among coal miners and those approaching retirement age, who only see the costs and not the benefits.

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