Houses in order

Early federal election talk portends a busy time on the preselection front over the coming months.

Still very quiet on the polling front, but speculation of a federal election later this year has given scribes plenty to work with over the quiet season:

• A report in the Age/Herald concludes the most likely months are October and November, with Liberal Party officials being told to have their act together at least by August. However, it is noted that “the pandemic could derail any possible plan for an early poll”.

• The above report also relates that the Queensland Liberal National Party’s Senate ticket is to be decided by May 1. This presents the Coalition with a difficulty, in that second position is reserved for the Nationals and duly assured for Matt Canavan, leaving Liberal up-and-comers James McGrath and Amanda Stoker in a high-stakes battle for first and third. The loser will at least be able to console themselves with the knowledge that the Coalition has won at least three Senate seats in Queensland at each of the seven elections since 2001.

• Also noted in the report is a fact that escaped my notice amid the excitement of events in the United States — namely, that the Western Australian Liberals finalised their Senate ticket in early November. This occurred at the same time that Ben Small, a logistics manager at Woodside Energy and owner of a bar and restaurant in Bunbury, was chosen to fill the vacancy created by Mathias Cormmann’s retirement. Small will take third position on the ticket behind Michaelia Cash and Dean Smith, both of whom have gone up a notch in Cormann’s absence. Smith had to overcome a bid by religious conservatives to dump him in favour of Albert Jacob, mayor of Joondalup and former state member for Ocean Reef. Peter Law of The West Australian reported the move was “perceived by some within the party as retribution for the eight-year Senator’s very public campaign for marriage equality in 2017”.

• There are a whole bunch of redistribution processes in train at the moment. At federal level, draft boundaries for Victoria and Western Australia are due to be published by the end of March, respectively to be finalised on July 26 and August 2. The redistributions will increase Victoria’s representation from 38 seats to 39, and reduce Western Australia’s from 16 to 15. A state redistribution process also began in Victoria last month, with draft boundaries due at the end of June and final boundaries to be published on October 14. In New South Wales, submissions are being weighed up to draft boundaries that were published in November, and while no date is set for their finalisation, it could roughly be guessed that it will happen in March or April.

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.

3,068 comments on “Houses in order”

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  1. Here’s my evidence:
    This survey was conducted by YouGov… and is based on 1512 interviews among voters conducted online.

    Here’s my evidence based opinion. The sample is friendly to the ALP, and is akin to all the positive polls in the US that had Florida going blue.

  2. south:

    Engagement method affects the stats. Online only! Think about who posts here and how representative they’d be on their views.

    The kind of people that post here would be heavily downweighted in the final figure though.

    I don’t trust the poll at the moment (see other response) but it’s not because of demographic issues – correcting their sample for that issue is table stakes for public polling.

  3. Player One says:
    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 10:03 pm
    Lynchpin @ #3021 Sunday, January 31st, 2021 – 9:59 pm

    ……..on the face of it a good result for ALP……

    Labor have made a study of ignoring its detractors and staying away from the obvious minefields and quicksand patches. The result is not too dusty. Most of the shifts that appear to have happened stem from the decay of the “other” vote, or might simply be polling errors.

    Political theatre is on hold. Most voters will welcome that.

  4. Caf,
    I know, but I expect that the last year and where you’ve experienced COVID from has had an impact on the sample. And not in a uniform way.
    If this was 7000 people and they did evenly distributed sub poll chunks of each state I think you’d get a great spread from QLD down.

    There’s more work for the ALP to do. To be satisfied with this poll would be a clear mistake.

  5. C@tmomma @ #3010 Sunday, January 31st, 2021 – 6:49 pm

    Bucephalus @ #2963 Sunday, January 31st, 2021 – 9:43 pm

    C@tmomma says:
    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Actually I do – in the UK.

    And a close family friend who did two 14 day quarantines in 6 weeks to visit his mother after diagnosis of terminal cancer and subsequently to attend the funeral.

    So why so hard-hearted? Other people, like myself, have family members overseas as well and I miss them terribly and if they want to come home, as an Australian-born Australian citizen, he should have every right and privilege to do just that!

    Not sure what difference “Australian-born” makes.

  6. I’m feeling happy. Great for the Labor team and…Go Albanese – glad this has come today. A genuine nice guy against a fake…going to have faith that 52% of Australians decide Scomo is not made of the right stuff. Can’t quite believe I now look back and thought Howard to be more sincere.

  7. south:

    The top-line difference in variance between 1500 and 7000 is not terribly large. It’s possible some subsamples are very small, though.

    I would assume that weighting by state is one of the factors used.

    A bigger problem is that the poll doesn’t appear to have the variance that a 1500 sample poll should have.

  8. Did I read that right, the Newspoll was actually conducted on-line by YouGov. I am on the YouGov panel and have never been asked to take part in a political survey, but I have taken part in many others.

    Thinking about YouGov, is anyone else on their panel? You earn points for taking part in surveys, in my case most surveys are about advertising responses and opinions about various corporations. Last November I tried to redeem some points for a couple a $25 vouchers that I was going to give to granddaughters. Nothing received and requests for information not responded to. They appear to be based in Singapore.

  9. Further to YouGov, if they do conduct political surveys, why wouldn’t every panel member be asked to do a political survey occasionally.

    Perhaps they interpreted some of my views about some corporations to mean that I am a bit of a lefty, so don’t want to know my political opinions. If so, how good are they?

    I am getting bolder. If Morrison pulls the early election stunt, ALP to win in a canter.

  10. The Anti-Albanese brigade can come forward for your spanking!
    The hat and the new female friend gives a rather Curtinesque mystic to the renewed Labor leader Mr Albanese and it only remains for Mr Albanese’s staff to organize rooms at the Kurrajong.
    Mr Albanese will be looking forward to guiding Australia through its current conflict with the Chinese, continuing the fight to starve off the Covid war while repairing the fiscal lunacy created by the inept Morrison and his sidekick “Robin” Frydenberg.
    Mr Albanese first job as PM will be install Monsigior Abbott in the Holy See and provide counselling for the about to be newly unemployed Kevvie Andrews as he join the ranks of the over 60s, finding it difficult to gain active employment while making do on his parliamentary pension of $4000pw, his free travel and using his franking credits to get by.
    George Christiansen is said to be relocating to the convent he sponsors in Manila.
    Marge Dutton will join the newly formed Home Affairs Volunteers and dedicate himself to patrolling Australia’s vast shorelines to prevent further incursions by pommie backpackers here to work as au pairs and partying at Bondi Beach.
    Greg Hunt is outraged that labour hire fruit pickers are to be given access to medicare and the right to join a union.
    The entire National party is said to be outraged that the new Albanese government is going recognise the existence of Australia’s 50,00 year old indigenous population.
    Mr Joyce, the leader without portfolio is incensed that the Mac fella has allowed this to happen and added that the next thing to go wrong will be the recognition of water rights for Australia’s inland river system.
    Angus Taylor is returning his unknown ill begotten gains in protest at the Austalian people exercising their democratic rights.
    Mr Morrison said that this new development was part of his plan and he intends to relocate to his now affordable waterfront in the Shire and hang out with Gall.
    Apparently George Brandis, Joe Hockey and famed order of Australia recipient Arthur are negotiating their flights home and are enraged that each of them in turn is unable to bring back through customs, a bookcase, a set of Donald Trump golf clubs and an unexplained chairmanship of a dodgy water company.
    Amanda Vanstone is said to be organizing a another sojourn in her beloved Italy where they can bloody well make proper pasta and the wine as cheap as a cup of coffee and a sandwich.
    Magda Szubanski has been announced as Mr Albanese choice for Governor General.
    Am I getting ahead of myself on hearing about the larest polls?
    Drunk with delight perhaps!

  11. Another poll showing opinions evenly divided and not much overall change since the last Election.

    The start of the political year this week might see voters start to become engaged given we have numerous stories that there will be an Election this year.

    But, the Government will be pleased that their Covid responses seem to have gone down well overall and Labor can be pleased that their non-hysterical approach to politics during Covid has also been well received. Contrast that with Lib Leaders in NT, Qld., and Victoria.

    The Government seems to be gearing up for a “We won Covid” campaign which I believe would be a mistake. Voters are always looking to the future and are remarkably unsentimental towards Governments and Politicians doing victory laps.

    To me, the Election, if there is one, is shaping up as being about debt and deficit, jobs and job security and general economic management. So, very traditional.

    Sure Climate Change, Leadership, Corruption, the fall out from the US Election and our trading relationship with China will all get a run. But, I’m guessing that people will be focussed on their families and their local communities when the the pencil hits the paper.

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