It’s as easy as APC

A new polling industry standards council takes shape; and the coronavirus polling glut keeps piling higher.

A promised initiative to restore confidence in opinion polling has came to fruition with the establishment of the Australian Polling Council, a joint endeavour of YouGov, Essential Research and uComms. Following the example of the British Polling Council and the National Council for Published Polls in the United States, the body promises to “ensure standards of disclosure”, “encourage the highest professional standards in public opinion polling” and “inform media and the public about best practice in the conduct and reporting of polls”.

The most important of these points relates to disclosure, particularly of how demographic weightings were used to turn raw figures into a published result. The British Polling Council requires that its members publish “computer tables showing the exact questions asked in the order they were asked, all response codes and the weighted and unweighted bases for all demographics and other data that has been published”. We’ll see if its Australian counterpart to sees things the same way when it releases its requirements for disclosures, which is promised “before July 2020”.


• The West Australian has had two further local polls on coronavirus from Painted Dog Research, one from last week and one from this week ($). The McGowan government announced its decision to reopen schools next week in between the two polls, which had the support of 22.7% in the earlier poll and 49% this week, with opposition down from 43.3% to 27%, and the undecided down from 34% to 24%. The earlier poll found remarkably strong results for the McGowan government’s handling of the crisis, with 90.0% agreeing it had been doing a good job (including 54.2% strongly agreeing) and only 2.9% disagreeing (1.2% strongly), with 7.1% neither agreeing or disagreeing. No field work dates provided, but the latest poll has a sample of 831.

• The University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Institute conducted a 1200-sample survey on coronavirus from April 6 to 11, and while the published release isn’t giving too much away, we told that “about 60% of Australians report being moderately to very satisfied with government economic policies to support jobs and keep people at work”, and that “more than 80% expect the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to last for more than 6 months“.

• The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage political science blog examines local government elections held in France on March 15, two days before the country went into lockdown: turnout fell from 63% to 45%, but the result was not radically different from the last such elections in 2016. Traditional conservative and socialist parties holding up well and the greens making gains, Emmanuel Macron’s presidential vehicle La République En Marche failing to achieve much cross-over success, and Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National losing ground compared with a strong result in 2014.

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.

2,180 comments on “It’s as easy as APC”

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  1. The International Space Station put on a good show last night – pity y’all missed it.

    10 May looks good for SE Aus., weather permitting.
    Enter your location, and use the “<” and “>” buttons to select a date range. Click on the result to see the details.
    (If you’re taken back to the home page after entering your location, select “ISS” under “10-day predictions for satellites of special interest”.)

  2. *happierface*

    The felines are from two separate homes in New York, the worst-hit US state and are expected to make a full recovery.

    In the case of one cat, a vet tested the animal after it showed mild symptoms of a respiratory condition.

    No humans from the cat’s household tested positive for the disease, leading experts to think it was infected either asymptomatically or through contact with an infected person outside the household.

    In the case of the other cat, its owner had the disease but a second cat in the household has shown no signs of illness.

    “Public health officials are still learning about SARS-CoV-2, but there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the United States,” the agencies said in a statement.

    “Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare.”

    The CDC says until more is known about how COVID-19 affects animals, pet owners are advised to keep their pets apart from other animals and humans and wear a mask and avoid petting animals if infected.

  3. The McGowan government announced its decision to reopen schools next week in between the two polls, which had the support of 22.7% in the earlier poll and 49% this week, with opposition down from 43.3% to 27%, and the undecided down from 34% to 24%.

    LOL obviously people are over the school holidays.

    And amazingly high regard for McGowan govt’s handling of the pandemic response.

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Yet another monster.

    Jess Irvine explains how our roadmap out of this economic crisis was delivered 12 years ago.
    According to Nine Media cutting company taxes and increasing the GST are not in the Morrison government’s plans to recover from the coronavirus, with the man appointed to guide the recovery instead pushing for fresh incentives for businesses to invest in Australia.
    An economic statement during the trial sitting of parliament would make the handling of the financial impact of the pandemic as transparent as the health response urges Greg Smith.
    Agreeing on the best exit route from the economic crisis is going to be even more difficult than the road out of the health crisis writes Jennifer Hewett. She says everyone is in furious agreement. Australia can’t afford a return to business as usual when it’s finally time to try to resuscitate the economy.
    The ACTU has warned the government to stop pursuing “yesterday’s fights” after ministers re-committed to controversial union-busting laws as part of IR reform.
    One of Australia’s biggest shopping centre landlords has threatened to take action against shop owners who close their doors to protect employees from the coronavirus in an apparent breach of new rules protecting struggling retail tenants. The stoush between owners and tenants in the big shopping centres has been brewing for years.
    According to Simon Benson Scott Morrison will push business and unions to join forces to drive a wave of reform that has not been seen for 30 years, when Australia was last in recession before the economy rebounded to an un­precedented era of growth.
    The senior doctor on the Ruby Princess said it would be wrong to say nobody on board was showing signs of coronavirus before passengers disembarked. As a special commission of inquiry into the cruise ship began on Wednesday, the hearing was told the senior doctor on board did not finalise the illness log until the day after passengers disembarked. Nice!
    NSW Minister for Energy and Environment, Matt Kean, tells party colleagues demanding Turnbull’s expulsion that they do not own the party.
    This is simply horrible! And there is an arsehole Porsche driver on the loose.
    Julie Inman Grant, the eSafety Commissioner for Australia, warns us that Zoombombing’s only the tip of the COVID-19 scam iceberg.
    The nation has pulled together to face the myriad challenges posed by coronavirus which is why it was so important this week for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to call out those targeting Chinese-Australians says the editorial in the SMH.
    We do not have to worry about paying off the coronavirus debt for generations opines Emma Dawson.
    What Australia can already see of the economic damage of coronavirus is scary indeed points out Greg Jericho.
    Max Koslowski reports that police will be barred from accessing metadata from the proposed coronavirus contact tracing app, after Christian Porter vowed regulatory action to stop access under controversial telecommunications laws.
    Adam Morton reports that Energy companies will face rising pressure to reduce consumer costs after the average wholesale electricity price fell nearly 50% in the year to March due to increasing solar and wind generation, falling demand and lower gas prices.
    David Crowe and Rob Harris report that Malcolm Turnbull’s publisher has called on Scott Morrison to issue a clear statement of support for copyright law after a top government adviser admitted to distributing a pirated version of the former leader’s new memoir. The publisher is going after the “spreaders and super-spreaders”.
    Neville Power, the chairman of the National COVID-19 Co-ordination Commission, is talking a lot of sense. Chip Le Grand’s article explains some of this.
    Ken Henry has backed a plea from the RBA for a tax shake-up, saying governments must replace fragile and damaging revenue sources.
    Mark Kenny reckons that despite huge coronavirus stimulus package, the government might still need to pay more.
    Michael Pascoe outlines the policies government must consider to rebuild employment.
    The Labor Party has ruled out supporting a potential hike in GST after the Reserve Bank governor implicitly recommended the move. Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said Labor would not support an increase in GST as the government could not be trusted to offset the negative impacts on lower-income earners reports Euan Black.
    The administrator for Virgin Australia has acknowledged it has provided ongoing advisory and restructuring work for the collapsed airline in disclosures that may open the door to challenges from a rival insolvency firm. Leeches at war?
    Virgin will emerge from administration with a better balance sheet and lower cost base but some brand baggage opines Elizabeth Knight.
    With Virgin Airlines pleading for a government lifeline, questions are raised as to which companies are most deserving of financial aid, writes Tom McCarthy.,13821
    We have the time now to pause and reflect on how we’ve been living, but more importantly to decide what we’ll prioritise once all this is over ponders Riley Wilson.
    Emma Koehn tells us that Nib managing director Mark Fitzgibbon has signalled rebates for private health insurance members will be prioritised if the shutdown of elective surgery due to the coronavirus leads to a temporary profit boost.
    Sue Arnold accuses the government of putting business ahead of the environment.,13819
    Sensationalism has focused on fistfights over toilet rolls, but the real story is the withdrawal of democratic oversight, and how little public resistance there is to the declaration of martial law. Power granted is power conceded; and power relinquished is power reclaimed with difficulty writes John Keane.
    With reports that safe deposit boxes at the major banks are regularly booked out, the resurgence in physical cash savings would explain one of the biggest mysteries in the money market: where are all the $100 notes asks James Kirby.
    Australia avoided using herd immunity as a strategy to defeat COVID-19 but now Sweden is about to show it is achievable through exercising moderate restraints. The success appears to have come at a high cost.
    Kathryn Lewis writes that more freedom in domestic travel could be a “first move” in coming out of coronavirus distancing measures and could be expected as soon as May.
    Enrolment applications for the government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme have now opened, with hundreds of thousands of businesses anticipated to sign up, but what next asks Matt Johnson.
    Victorian authorities are still weighing up whether to support the release of redacted child sex abuse royal commission commentary about Cardinal George Pell. Christian Porter has written to the Andrews government to determine whether it is now possible to release dozens of pages of the final abuse report, which includes commentary on Pell.
    Taking care of temporary residents and asylum seekers during lockdown is morally right. But it’s also in our national interest writes Ben Doherty.
    Private schools who fear they will lose students in droves as the country enters recession have asked Dan Tehan for a taxpayer bailout to prevent mass job cuts. Hmm.
    World Health Organisation investigators would be given the same powers as weapons inspectors to forcibly enter a country under an Australian government plan to avoid a repeat of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
    The transformation of “black gold” into a liability heralds a new round of deflation and financial destruction as the COVID-19 pandemic wrecks the world economy, some market participants believe.
    The Greens’ 15,000 members have begun voting on whether they will be given a direct voice in the election of future leaders. Rog Harris tells us how old wounds are being reopened.
    Holden dealers have hired a private investigation firm to find out if US car giant General Motors knew it was going to axe the iconic Australian brand more than a year before the shutdown announcement. This is going to get uglier than it already is!
    Mike Foley and Peter Hannam write that large totals of water available for irrigation contradict claims from NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro that farmers had been sacrificed for the environmental objectives of the “failed” Murray Darling Basin Plan.
    Most of us won’t cooperate with coronavirus contact-tracing apps unless everyone does explains The Conversation.
    On this subject Michelle Grattan says that the government needs a credible pitch and strong guarantees to get sufficient app take-up.
    Former News Corp chief executive Kim Williams says Malcolm Turnbull overstates the ability of the Murdoch press to influence elections because News Corp is “old media” with dwindling power. Yeah, sure Kim!
    Dana McCauley tells us that doctors are saying the lack of recognition of GPs as frontline health providers meant they were “held up by red tape” during the summer’s catastrophic bushfires.
    Graham Smith explains why China will never welcome a global inquiry into the source of COVID-19.
    Crude prices could go negative once again with no signs of improvement to the market fundamentals that sparked the wild sell-off this week.
    The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Trudy Rubin says that Trump has joins=ed the ‘Ostrich Alliance’ of loser leaders. She’s not wrong!
    We can’t let Trump roll back 50 years of environmental progress implores Elizabeth Sutherland.
    In The Australian, Cameron Stewart says that Trump has his re-election in mind with every decision he makes during the battle against COVID-19.
    Trump has pulled another unicorn as he instructs the Navy to shoot at Iranian gunboats if they harass US ships at sea.

    Cartoon Corner

    Peter Broelman

    David Rowe

    Cathy Wilcox

    Dionne Gain

    Andrew Dyson

    Matt Golding

    Mark David

    Fiona Katauskas

    John Spooner

    From the US

  5. Dr Chalmers actually did say some interesting things:

    Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said Labor would not support an increase in GST as the government could not be trusted to offset the negative impacts on lower-income earners.

    Less well-off households are disproportionately affected by GST as they spend a higher proportion of their income as the tax is applied at the same rate to all eligible goods and services.

    “We obviously wouldn’t be in the cart for an increase to GST,” Dr Chalmers said during a public teleconference with progressive think tank Per Capita.

    “It’s hard to see the government having the appetite to compensate particularly low-income earners sufficiently.

    “And the other thing that seems to be unfortunately forgotten is that every dollar of that would go to the states, of course, so if the government was going to do that for budget repair at the commonwealth level, they would have to claw back some of the other partnerships and payments that they make to the states.”

    …Dr Chalmers also noted it was disappointing to see the government had used the crisis “as an opportunity to undermine superannuation”.

    He added: “You can see how this rolls out over the next little while. The government will say, ‘well look, it turns out that the only way we can deal with these issues that have risen is to resuscitate and revive all of the things you didn’t want us to do over the last seven years’.”

  6. C@t:

    On those protests in the US, you were right about them being astroturfed.

    A network of right-leaning individuals and groups, aided by nimble online outfits, has helped incubate the fervor erupting in state capitals across the country. The activism is often organic and the frustration deeply felt, but it is also being amplified, and in some cases coordinated, by longtime conservative activists, whose robust operations were initially set up with help from Republican megadonors.

    The Convention of States project launched in 2015 with a high-dollar donation from the family foundation of Robert Mercer, a billionaire hedge fund manager and Republican patron. It boasts past support from two members of the Trump administration — Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Ben Carson, secretary of housing and urban development.

  7. Cat

    Chalmers is not dumb. He can see the Overton window has shifted.
    Of course he gets it that supporting a GST increase is the absolutely wrong thing to do.

    Labor is going to be enjoying electoral success as the poisonous fruits of LNP ideology bear fruit.

    Plus as William’s post indicates. State Labor seem to be getting popular in polling. Long term that does end up reflecting well on the Federal Party.

  8. guytaur – hope you are right, my fear with the news-ltd backing Morrison etc will continue. Headlines of our strong leader throughout the crisis etc.

    We are very early in the electoral cycle and there will need to be work to get the country back on track as opposed to ripping away conditions etc for those who will not be able to afford it.

    The Coalition will revert to rampant individualism.

  9. ‘fess,
    The remaining Koch brother is in the mix too. It’s just the Tea Party redux. What I find interesting is that no one has twigged that the states with Republican Governors who have enacted the same shutdown measures, haven’t been targeted by these Shouty McShoutyface groups. You’d think that would stick out to people. Maybe it is.

  10. Scout

    The ‘rampant individualism’ is for us peasants. For them it is cronyism,maaates and mutual back scratching, all in the trough together. A different aspect of their adherence to ‘privatise profits, socialise losses”

  11. What I find interesting is that no one has twigged that the states with Republican Governors who have enacted the same shutdown measures, haven’t been targeted by these Shouty McShoutyface groups.

    Yes, and those very Republican governors are up to their necks on the astroturfing! DeSantis has been named in the article as one of them.

  12. A promised initiative to restore confidence in opinion polling has came to fruition with the establishment of the Australian Polling Council,


    Don’t think this will make any difference to the libs/nats supporters

  13. Confessions @ #16 Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 – 7:28 am

    What I find interesting is that no one has twigged that the states with Republican Governors who have enacted the same shutdown measures, haven’t been targeted by these Shouty McShoutyface groups.

    Yes, and those very Republican governors are up to their necks on the astroturfing! DeSantis has been named in the article as one of them.

    They specialise in producing a uniquie kind of snake-in-the-grass in American Republican politics, don’t they?

  14. I’m reluctant to criticise the ABC too harshly, but I’m afraid they sent a rookie reporter to the accident on the Eastern Freeway last night.

    She reported 20 dead, when the truth was four policemen. Tragedy enough, even so. I hope they catch the Porsche driver.

  15. “After weeks of hyping it as a potential coronavirus miracle drug, President Donald Trump and Fox News have suddenly lost faith in hydroxychloroquine.

    A study of coronavirus patients in Veterans Affairs hospitals released Tuesday found more deaths among those treated with hydroxychloroquine than those treated with standard care. Researchers reported finding no benefit to its use.

    The study, which the National Institutes of Health posted to its website and is the largest of its kind, was not peer-reviewed. The authors concluded more rigorous studies are needed before adopting widespread use of the drug.

    Asked about the findings during the White House briefing hours after it was published, Trump dodged, saying “I don’t know of the report,” and tried to distance himself from the drug.

    “We’ll be looking at it, we’ll have a comment on it at some point,” he said.

  16. How a Stimulus package works.

    It is a slow day in the small NSW town of Bumcrack Mountain, and streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit. A tourist visiting the area drives through town, stops at the motel, and lays a $100 bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night. As soon as he walks upstairs, the motel owner grabs the bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.
    The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his supplier debt.
    The supplier takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill to his the Co-op. The guy at the Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her “services” on credit. The pro rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel owner. The hotel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the traveller will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the $100 bill and leaves. No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and now looks to the future with a lot more optimism . And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a Stimulus package works .

  17. ”We are very early in the electoral cycle and there will need to be work to get the country back on track…”

    Not necessarily. The election is likely to be about 18 months away if the Government is leading in the polls then. They could conceivably go this year to take advantage of a post-Virus boost if things are looking good for them then. They’ll find an excuse if they need one.

  18. guytaur: “Chalmers is not dumb. He can see the Overton window has shifted.
    Of course he gets it that supporting a GST increase is the absolutely wrong thing to do.”

    I’m not sure about that at all. The argument that “you can’t trust this government to provide proper compensation” is as weak as piss. Any decent journalist would have followed up with a couple of obvious questions:

    1) what about if there was proper compensation, what would you think about it then?
    2) any GST increase requires the approval of all States and Territories, so are you suggesting that McGowan, Palaszczuk, Andrews, Barr and Gunner would be in favour of a GST without proper compensation?

    I suspect that Chalmers is well aware that the GST is a great way of collecting revenue from all those high income earners who claim large deductions on their income tax in relation to the cost of investments. It also collects revenue from tourists (if we are ever going to have them again). Fully compensating lower income people for the effect of any GST increase is a simple arithmetical exercise. I can’t imagine that any proposed GST increase would ever get through the Premiers/Chief Ministers or the Parliament without full compensation.

    The fact that it would only raise money for the states and territories is also a good thing. Increased state investment in infrastructure is going to be crucial to economic recovery.

    Even if the base rate of GST isn’t put up, the exemptions should be removed from education costs (which mainly protects private school fees) and health costs (which mainly protects private health insurance and hospitals).

    The hard heads within the ALP know that they really should have a look at GST again, but I suspect it goes down like a lead balloon with the party faithful.

  19. poroti: “I’ve seen a number of rwnj commentators from the US raving how Sweden is the way to go.”

    There’s got to be a first time for everything, I guess. From the 1960s through to the 2000s, the standard US right-wing response to the “Swedish miracle” was to state that “they have a higher rate of suicide than us.” (Which was a garbage argument, in that statistics on suicide rates are well known to be highly unreliable: eg, due to uncertainty about the possibility of accidental death, families not wishing to have suicide on the death certificate for religious reasons, etc.)

    Now, when some might consider that the Swedish nation is engaged in an act of collective suicide, now they’re a role model!

  20. No comment, except – can’t they find him now?

    Heidi Murphy
    Not only did 41 yr old Porsche driver (allegedly speeding at 140ks with drugs in system) flee the scene of yesterday’s police tragedy.. he appears to have taken and uploaded some hideously gruesome photos of the crash site.

    Words. Fail. Me.

  21. Breaking news on ABC:

    Police say the Porsche driver is a 41-year-old man with an extensive criminal history. He is expected to attend a police station this morning.

    The Porsche driver was pulled over by police on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway for speeding and tested positive for “some type” of drug, police say.

    Victoria Police are urging people not to circulate photos of the crash scene, which were taken by the Porsche driver and posted on Facebook.

  22. The team of Beasley SC/Walker SC from the SA MDB inquiry are reunited for the NSW Commission of Inquiry.

    Pretty bold by NSW Govt.

  23. Lizzie @ 0830

    That’s truly awful. Photographs of a tragedy posted on FaceBook (aka WasteBook, EgoBook, etc). What. The. F**k.

    At least the driver has come forward. It has saved considerable further distress for all concerned. It would not have ended well considering the alternatives.

  24. So some are arguing that pensioners should be charged GST on food, kids with cancer should be charged GST on treatment and education as a fair way to raise revenue, but no mention of scrapping franking credits, negative gearing or super rorts?
    Sound fair to anyone?

  25. “Nobody’s done it like we’ve done it!” says Trump on testing. Well he’s right about that. The US is 42th on the list of countries with respect to tests per million people.

  26. meher baba

    That they lit on something like that sounds like they were desperate to find something………..anything . Very true about those social pressures, the ones in the US would be far higher than for Sweden.

    Now for the hard part, the ‘unwinding’ of restrictions. Don’t envy those making the decisions when it comes to picking the right time for each step . The virus will probably have at least one “surprise” in store as to how it operates.

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