Bizarre pseph triangle (open thread)

Onwards and upwards for Anthony Albanese’s leadership ratings, and a look at a new tool for analysing three-cornered contests.

With the flood of post-election analysis having subsided and opinion polling yet to properly crank up again (expect that to change when parliament resumes next week), there is not a lot to report. Roy Morgan’s weekly video update last week informed us that Labor leads 53.5-46.5 in its latest round of polling, out from 53-47 the last time it offered a full set of results in the middle of last month, but it didn’t deem fit to offer anything further. The international leadership approval tracking poll by Morning Consult suggests Anthony Albanese’s standing has continued to improve, his approval having cracked 60% and disapproval down to 24%, which compares with 57% and 26% when I last reported on it three weeks ago.

I do have another new entry to relate from the burgeoning field of online psephological tools, courtesy of Alex Jago and Ben Messenger, providing a triangular representation of the increasingly common occurrence of three-cornered contests between Labor, the Coalition and the Greens. This can just as easily be adapted to any combination of three parties or candidates you care to choose, as long as you have a reasonable handle on how preferences are likely to flow between them.

The starting point here is each party’s share of the vote at the second last preference count, to be identified henceforth as 3CP, or three-candidate preferred. The tool’s default preference splits are 80-20 against the Coalition when Labor or the Greens are excluded, roughly consistent with all past experience, and 70-30 in favour of Labor when the Coalition is excluded, which is about what happens when Coalition preferences are so directed. On the last relevant occasion I can think of when they went the other way, when Adam Bandt first sought re-election in Melbourne in 2010, they favoured the Greens 80-20. Happily, the tool allows you to set the splits however you desire.

To explain what’s going on here, I’ll stick with the defaults. The Coalition 3CP is on the x-axis, the Greens are on the y-axis, and the balance belongs to Labor. On the left we see the 3CP needed by the Greens to defeat Labor when the Coalition is uncompetitive, starting at 50% where the Coalition has no votes at all. At this end of the triangle, the dividing line between a Greens win and a Labor win is broken into three parts. As the Coalition’s 3CP increases from nothing to 29%, the Greens’ required 3CP falls gently from 50% to 42% while Labor’s falls sharply from 50% to 30%, reflecting Labor’s higher share of Coalition preferences.

Once the Coalition gets to 30%, they reach the point where they might make the final count in a race where both Labor and the Greens are competitive, without being competitive themselves. Such was the case in Brisbane and Macnamara at the May election, which is why the AEC conducted indicative 3CP counts to provide an early indication of who would ultimately win there out of Labor and the Greens. As this presents the Greens with a new winning scenario where Labor runs third, here their minimum winning 3CP quickly falls from from 42% to 34%. But once the Coalition 3CP is significantly over a third, there is no longer enough left over for both the Greens and Labor to be competitive. Here the 3CP needed by either reduces from 34% to 29% as the Coalition 3CP increases from 34% to 44%.

With the Coalition only receiving 20% of preferences, they need fully 45% on 3CP to be in contention themselves. Even here they only make it if the remainder splits about evenly between Labor and the Greens, since the preferences they receive diminish together with the 3CP of whoever out of Labor and the Greens drops out. From that point on, the Coalition’s chances steadily increase to 100% where their 3CP reaches 50%, at which point they win before Labor or the Greens are excluded.

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.

2,208 comments on “Bizarre pseph triangle (open thread)”

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  1. Saw the vid of Elon’s ex wife. Doesn’t really tell me much that’s new. Strikes me as a bit of self promotion.

  2. Regarding the military press conference. The rhetoric is all well and good but as of today, the US is still prevaricating about supply of ATACMS. These are missiles with a large payload and 300 km range. They would give Ukraine the capability to disable the Kerch strait bridge and cut off Russian supplies to Crimea (and thus to the rest of occupied Ukraine).

    Without ATCMS, the campaign to retake Crimea will be a lot longer and bloodier than it needs to be. If the US is really worried about what Ukraine might do with these missiles then it has the capability to pre-program them to specific targets (like the bridge). The rest is just bullshit rhetoric answering to Russia’s threats of escalation.

  3. It seems that images in a seminal and ground breaking 2006 paper in “Nature” pointing to amyloid plaques in the brain causing cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer disease may have been based on doctored images following close analysis by image experts.
    Billions in research money directed to this potential cause, the development of a $US56k/dose drug and the very probable misdiagnosis of many people as having Alzheimers when in fact it was most likely not , are some of the fall-out from this expose.

  4. Thanks Ven

    Really hope Pucovski goes well.

    Whatever Warner does over summer, and it is a long time sine he has made a century, he has not scored runs overseas for an eternity.

  5. Dr Doolittle’s directions to the Barilaro rural property need some uodating – it is available for AirBB rental from (ex-) wife Deanna at
    for as little as $1950 per night.
    Porky spent early lockdown here, presumably no longer available to him as local reports are that it is in Deanne’s ownership.
    Regarding the road status in the area, it is indeed a mystery that they are so bad – certainly only one project has reached fruition in Oallen. This is the spendid new bridge over the Shoalhaven at ‘Oallen ford’ but it is west of Dungowan and most traffic comes from the north via Nerriga, unaffected by the sporadic flooding of the ford (and the new bridge). The most serious road damage is substantially due to the plethora of quarries in the area with (some illegal) fully laden B doubles trashing the surface.
    The council for Oallen to the east of the Shoalhaven River is Queanbeyan-Palerang which is no longer under Porky’s infuence, having recently overturned the hated proposed construction of the High School on Bungendore Park.
    And yes, Porky;s family (father involved) in Queanbeyan Italian Club scam is just one festering sore that the Italian community in the area should know. Politics is local ..

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