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. Boerwar @ #1375 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.

    Did you compare wombat kills ..?

  2. Nicholas:

    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.

    That’s a “supply side” effect, and can only be correct to the extent that modern Wesrern-style economies are driven by the supply side. In most cases modern Western economies are 70% demand side / 30% supply side (“capitalism is driven by sales”, as someone said). The effect Breifly has highlighted is demand side (sales/pricing driven rather than investment/costs driven) and will dominate the supply side effect more or less in the 70% / 30% ratio.

  3. So is she rolling over or not?

    Jacqui Lambie @JacquiLambie
    ·
    3m
    If the Govt is saying that welfare recipients should be drug tested because they are on the public purse then by that logic everyone else being paid by the taxpayer should also be subject to drug testing why just pick on poor people? #auspol

  4. briefly @ #1398 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 6:18 pm

    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.

    Right. And your proposed technology to do this in a worldwide era of increasing deforestation, overly intensive land use, large scale desertification, increasing salination, decreasing fresh water supplies and increased ground water depletion is …. ?

    *crickets*

  5. We have technologies that will replace fossil fuels. They should be adopted as quickly and as broadly as possible, and they should be further developed as quickly as possible. It is not necessary or desirable to use taxes on emissions to achieve these ends. The sectors are evolving very quickly….and most significantly are ‘commercially stranding’ fossil assets. This process is accelerating. For Australia, this means our largest exports – energy commodities – face obsolescence. We have to prepare for that. That means we have to develop new energy sectors and replacement industries as quickly as we can. A tax on carbon emissions will not get us to the places we need to be on the cost curve. This is as plain as the proverbial….

  6. Player One says:
    Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 6:23 pm
    briefly @ #1398 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 6:18 pm

    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.

    Right. And your proposed technology to do this in a worldwide era of increasing deforestation, overly intensive land use, large scale desertification, increasing salination, decreasing fresh water supplies and increased ground water depletion is …. ?

    Comprehended by our new policy. We will change the dynamics – the political, economic, technical and environmental dynamics – to the extent that we are able to. It is the future.

    This is not as easy as crying for coal exports to be stopped. But at least it is relevant.

  7. Player One says:
    Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 6:28 pm
    briefly @ #1405 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 6:26 pm

    This is as plain as the proverbial….
    What is as plain as the proverbial is that you are determined to defend the continued use of fossil fuels to the death … which will be quite literal for some people

    Not at all. I absolutely welcome the transition. It is imperative that it occurs. It cannot happen soon enough. What I am opposed to is empty gestures that have political content but which will prevent genuinely relevant and effective action from being taken.

  8. briefly @ #1408 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 6:33 pm

    Not at all. I absolutely welcome the transition. It is imperative that it occurs. It cannot happen soon enough. What I am opposed to is empty gestures that have political content but which will prevent genuinely relevant and effective action from being taken.

    Right. So you want it, but not so far as to actually doing anything to bring it about.

    C’mon – admit it. This is a parody account.

  9. Keen followers of FPMKR will have noted his swipe at NewsCorpse in The Guardian, and in a recent speech – basically calling them a pox on our polity.

    So Lo and behold, the Murdoch Qld gutter rag publishes this tissue of lies today..

  10. sprocket:

    I can believe that Rudd sent gushing texts to Labor leaders prior to the election. He’s been hankering for an ambassador posting, and obviously realises that is only going to come via a Labor govt, esp now that JBishop isn’t FM anymore.

  11. Confessions
    says:
    Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 6:54 pm
    sprocket:
    I can believe that Rudd sent gushing texts to Labor leaders prior to the election. He’s been hankering for an ambassador posting, and obviously realises that is only going to come via a Labor govt, esp now that JBishop isn’t FM anymore.
    ____________________________________
    Geez. When I suggested that the reason Rudd appeared all loving at the ALP launch because he wanted Shorten to help him become UN SecGen I was howled down.

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

    Player One & briefly serve each other – and that’s fair enough, despite their, at times, disparate posts. I mean to say, this site was specifically designed for detailed CO2 meanderings(?).

    By the way, BB, don’t go, come back! We can’t let this site become boring.

  13. IMO, the best way to address our major political problem, which I take to be the global warming chain draggers, is for inner city smartarses to condescend to them.

    It has worked every single time for the last thirty years.

  14. itsthevibe @ #1289 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 6:59 pm

    To be fair, well-paid Senate gigs were also awarded to Deb O’Neill and Kristina Keneally after the voters had rejected them.

    Both of whose quality as contributors to their party was rewarded with positions in the Senate. They are no mere hacks. And I’ll take Michael Pascoe’s opinion of Senator O’Neill, and multiple commentators positive assessment of KK over your insinuations any day.

  15. PO

    You’re obviously resistant to my arguments. I’m not gonna bother myself any further. Debate is futile. The bludgers will be relieved, not least among them William.

  16. cat:

    [‘You can look forward to more belittling from him, Mavis, as can I and anyone he thinks is beneath contempt, he said he’d be back. ‘]

    We must allow the contrary view, however it might be too contrary. Poor old BB, I’m sure he means well – then again? In any event, I’m sure his mother loves/loved him. I must stop being so hard. I have got a feeling he’ll be out of the bocks soon.

  17. briefly @ #1426 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 7:28 pm

    PO

    You’re obviously resistant to my arguments.

    Not just me, cobber.

    I’m not gonna bother myself any further.

    Yay!

    Debate is futile.

    Well, your debating this subject is certainly futile. If you are the best Labor can do, we are all doomed 🙁

    The bludgers will be relieved, not least among them William.

    On the contrary. I think William would be pleased that we debate real issues, and also provide blessed relief from the interminable Labor/Green wars!

  18. briefly:

    PO

    [‘You’re obviously resistant to my arguments. I’m not gonna bother myself any further. Debate is futile. The bludgers will be relieved, not least among them William.’]

    I’ll take a guess, most are over your silly carry-ons.

  19. Interesting question OC: – re Murnain, if as reported she admitted knowledge of an illegal donation, surely that should result in summary dismissal not a payment of 12 months salary?

  20. Lars
    In your upcoming film on random individuals meeting Labor leaders could I suggest a vignette of my meeting with Eric Roozendaal.
    This would be a comic episode based on his inventive and multiple uses of the phrase “fucking dick head”. I am tending to think of Eric caricatured by his ethnic origins and played by Jack Gyllenhaal. The scene would end with ICAC agents kicking in the door and Eric saying “Fuck! I forgot to register the car”. I would be played by Mel Gibson or perhaps I could play myself

    Is it a goer?

  21. Player One:

    [‘On the contrary. I think William would be pleased that we debate real issues, and also provide blessed relief from the interminable Labor/Green wars!’]

    You could be right, WB having never complained. But Player, I personally find it more than a tad boring – this being a psephological site.

  22. I could work with that OC – but I think counterintuitively I would cast Alan Cumming as Eric. Can you see it?

    BTW , I am still waiting for more details about c@t’s meeting with Hawkie. It may affect the rating we get.

  23. Mavis Davis @ #1436 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 7:55 pm

    Player One:

    [‘On the contrary. I think William would be pleased that we debate real issues, and also provide blessed relief from the interminable Labor/Green wars!’]

    You could be right, WB having never complained. But Player, I personally find it more than a tad boring – this being a psephological site.

    So, it seems fitting that we debate the issue on which Labor lost the last election, and that is likely to also decide the forthcoming election, no?

  24. I have a working title too OC – Das LuftSchloss ( The Air Castle)

    I feel the themes will be the disappointment and anger of ordinary people as they encounter political power in various guises.

  25. Dennis Atkins tweets..

    Hearing there’s a Newspoll tomorrow that shows an increase in the standing of Morrison & the Coalition. Last one had the 2pp at 51/49 towards the government #auspol

  26. Player One:

    [‘So, it seems fitting that we debate the issue on which Labor lost the last election, and that is likely to also decide the forthcoming election, no?’]

    Yes, but it wasn’t the weather: it was most assuredly one Bill Shorten, lacking charismatic authority.

  27. Lars Von Trier @ #1309 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 7:59 pm

    I could work with that OC – but I think counterintuitively I would cast Alan Cumming as Eric. Can you see it?

    BTW , I am still waiting for more details about c@t’s meeting with Hawkie. It may affect the rating we get.

    I have already outlined a complete account of the meeting. If you missed it, hard cheese.

  28. The Central Coast section of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings will be one of the longest sessions and hardest to follow too – requiring an intimate understanding of Clerks’ Union politics and De La Salle school circa 1984.

  29. C@t
    Doesn’t it really come down to 2 people with powerful personalities disrupting operations through their mutual antipathy?

  30. sprocket_ @ #1413 Sunday, September 8th, 2019 – 6:47 pm

    Keen followers of FPMKR will have noted his swipe at NewsCorpse in The Guardian, and in a recent speech – basically calling them a pox on our polity.

    So Lo and behold, the Murdoch Qld gutter rag publishes this tissue of lies today..

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    Rudd and Rupert fighting to the death is a win-win …because they’re same same.

  31. Will the Truth and Reconciliation Commission be meeting at Iguana Joe’s?
    If so I think it will beimportant that the chief witnesses have reserved seats

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