Monday, September 24, 2018

Poll Roundup: The Current Polls Aren't All That Meaningful

2PP Aggregate: 54.2 to Labor (-0.6 since last week) by 2016 election preferences
53.6 to Labor with One Nation preference adjustment 
Labor would win election "held now" with a large majority
(scores and text, but not graph, updated for Essential)

This week Newspoll, which has so far produced the worst readings for the Coalition since Malcolm Turnbull was replaced by Scott Morrison, came down two points on the two-party preferred vote from 56-44 to Labor to 54-46.  Taking into account the primary votes, the Coalition's gain was probably slightly greater.  Indeed this Newspoll had a slightly smaller gap (0.7 points) between the expected last-election preferences off the primaries and the published 2PP with Newspoll's adjustments of One Nation preferences than has usually been the case lately.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Hobart City Council Elections Candidate Guide And Preview 2018

All candidates are directed to the note for candidates at the bottom of this page.


Introductory Waffle

With some rather expensive looking corflutes already cropping up in parts of the city, it's time to start my resource page for the 2018 Hobart City Council elections.  This guide (like my 2014 guide) includes a list of candidates who are running for the Council for the 2018-22 term.    The guide includes brief bio details and links, descriptions of candidates' past electoral form (where any) and an attempted assessment of prospects.  All sections will be updated regularly, but there will be lags of a few days at times between Sep 25 and Oct 7.

During the campaign period voters will get official statements by the candidates, with photos supplied by them.  The online version will include web links.  This piece was first published for the interest of those who don't want to wait for the candidate statements, but will stay up to present a less filtered view of candidate backgrounds.

Donations to cover even some of my time in writing this guide are very welcome - but not from candidates or their direct connections.  There's a PayPal button on the sidebar or you can email me for bank account details. Please only donate if you are sure you can afford to.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Wentworth By-Election: Prospects And Polls

WENTWORTH (Lib vs ALP, 17.8%)
Cause of vacancy: Resignation of Malcolm Turnbull

A by-election for Wentworth has been set down for Saturday 20 October following the resignation from parliament of the former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.  This post will give an assessment of how this by-election stands in history and will also comment critically on polling. As I start it on 14 Sep I won't be brave enough to predict the winner yet, but I may do so later [edit: as of the final week I am not liking the Liberals' chances of holding off Phelps at all].  This post will be updated with new polls and changed assessments through to polling day.

By-elections often produce big swings against governments, but surely 17.8% is safe?  After all, there has only been one larger swing in federal by-election history (20.1% in Wakefield, 1938).  In fact there are at least two reasons not to take the seat's safety for granted.  These are the historic circumstances of the by-election and the prospect of losing the seat to an independent.  While I've seen some spinning suggesting that a double-digit swing should be viewed as a shocker for the Liberal Party even if they don't lose the seat, I think the circumstances are so unusual that they'd take a win by any margin now.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Wagga Wagga By-Election

Ham (Lib) vs Hayes (Labor) vs McGirr (IND)
GAIN by McGirr (IND) from Liberal

A very interesting three-cornered state by-election tonight in Wagga Wagga (NSW) where the Liberals are trying to defend a 12.9% margin over Labor, but also to hold off an independent.  Obviously, federal carnage is a factor.  Seat polling has suggested the Liberal primary vote has collapsed to the point that the independent Joe McGirr or perhaps Labor could win.  This hastily erected thread will follow counting and post-count developments.  Refresh for updates.  Latest at the top (I've flipped that to make it easier.)
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Friday, September 7, 2018

Tasmanian Senate Major Party Preselections

Tasmanian major party (Labor and Liberal) Senate preselections are expected to be announced on Saturday 8 September.  I will be posting the results when I know them, and discussion of such voting details as emerge, but I will be out on a field trip for some of Saturday, and I don't yet know at what time the news will be revealed.  For starters then, this post looks at what different Senate placements for some of the candidates would mean.  It will be expanded to cover all relevant aspects of the preselections that emerge.

Before I get any further, I would like to say this: media should not denote any spot on the Tasmanian Senate ballot as "unwinnable".  Unwinnable, obviously, means it is impossible to win.  Lisa Singh was dumped to a so-called "unwinnable" spot in 2016, and won, as a result of below the line votes.  Clearly then her spot was not unwinnable!   It's embarrasing to hear intelligent journalists say stuff like "Lisa Singh was elected from an unwinnable position".   An acceptable alternative to "unwinnable position" is "position winnable only through below the line voting".  This description applies to all positions below 3 for either major party.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

EMRS: What Goes Up, Must Come Down

EMRS: Liberal 36 ALP 34 Greens 16 Other 14
Interpretation: Liberal 39 ALP 36 Greens 13 Other 12
Estimated seat breakdown if election "held now" - probable hung parliament with about 11-12 Lib, 11 ALP, 2 Green, 0-1 Ind/other

Six months ago the Tasmanian Liberal government of Premier Will Hodgman snapped a run of increasingly mediocre polling with the largest poll-to-poll gain in EMRS' history.  This came just before an election at which the government outperformed even that polling and was re-elected, and the returned government was travelling OK a few months later.  But now that's over, and the government is back to almost where it was last year after chalking up the pollster's largest ever poll to poll loss.  It's almost as if the election never happened.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

How Did The Super Saturday Seat Polls Go?

With final results for the Super Saturday by-elections now available, including preference flows, it is worthwhile reviewing the accuracy of the seat polling for these by-elections.  Recently I have posted a few times here about seat polling - see Is Seat Polling Utterly Useless? and Why Is Seat Polling So Inaccurate?  The preferencing results of the Longman by-election are also of special interest to the debate about Newspoll preferences, as the first test of Newspoll's changed methods at any federal election.

We can put that one to bed right away: the preference flow from One Nation to the Coalition in Longman was a massive 67.74%.  This should not be taken as a sign of quite how strongly One Nation preferences would flow nationally, since they did preference the LNP in this seat but would not necessarily do so in every seat, and since LNP preferences flowed strongly to One Nation in the area at the Queensland election even in the seat where the party preferenced Labor.  But it does show that it is entirely reasonable for pollsters to assume that 2016-election preferences can't be trusted in the case of One Nation.