Sunday, May 19, 2024

Budget Week Rolling Poll Roundup

2PP Aggregate 50.4-49.6 to ALP (last election preferences)
Pre-Budget aggregate 51.0-49.0 To ALP 
(Topline number will be adjusted as polls arrive)

I haven't paid a lot of attention on this site to federal polling in the first half of this year, but with the Tasmanian election out of the way Budget week presents an opportunity to do that.  This will be a rolling article where as polls come out through Budget week and through the current polling cycle I'll track whether anything happens.  Media speculation about a "budget bounce" seems to have died down a bit over recent years, perhaps because evidence has sunk in that it rarely happens (and when it does, it's usually in a Coalition election year).

Nonetheless, some pre-Budget commentary was seeing the Budget through the lens of a potential early election in the second half of this year.  Some anonymous Labor sources are supposedly drawing confidence from the Coalition's failure to get into the lead this year, and starting to think that if they strike at the right time they can win another majority.

If the Budget polls are poor for Labor that could well go back into its box very quickly, but it's worth a quick recap of the early election scenarios.  The current wave of redistributions is not expected to complete until mid-October, which in theory could be the jump for a late November election, but there is also the complication of an interest rates decision in early November.  There has been some speculation that that could be the jump-off (if favourable) but that would mean December 7 unless the writs were issued by November 4, the first day of the two-day Reserve Bank meeting, or otherwise December 14 (which I'd expect is untenable).   

If the government wants to go really early then that will trigger a mini-redistribution (a rather crude method of reassigning seats to states without the normal full process). Another reason not to go very early is that in Queensland, and perhaps depending on timing NT, voters will not have yet taken out their frustrations on their state/territory governments.  Incidentally if the mini-redistribution did happen, under existing legislation, teals would lose one notional seat through a temporary merger of Warringah and Wentworth, Labor would lose one through the temporary merger of Chisholm and Higgins, but Labor could gain at least one through the splitting of Hasluck and Durack into three.  (Southern Durack is very pro-Liberal, so joining a third of Durack and a third of Hasluck could cause either the merged seat or the remainder of Durack to become notionally Labor, or neither).  

Resolve

The first post-Budget poll out was Resolve with ALP 29 Coalition 36 Greens 12 One Nation 7 UAP 2 Independent 12 others 2.  (As always with Resolve, Independent is likely to be inflated compared to what would happen at an election because many seats do not have prominent independent candidates, and it's also possible that Resolve's forced-choice method contributes to a higher Independent vote although election leadup evidence so far hasn't shown that.)  My last-election estimate is 51.1 to Labor, down 1.0, from a poll that so far this year has been still fairly favourable to Labor (see below.)  While my house effect adjustments based on Resolve's past form are waning as Resolve comes back to the pack, they were still enough to knock my aggregate down to 50.4 for Labor.  (Mark the Ballot has discussed an alternative approach of simply treating 2024-model Resolve as a new poll.)  Leadership numbers were unflattering to Anthony Albanese whose net rating for performance "in recent weeks" was down from -2 to -10, with Peter Dutton down from -2 to -3, and Albanese's lead as better PM (which favours incumbents) shrinking slightly from 41-32 to 40-32.

Resolve found favourable results on whether respondents thought the Budget was "good for me and my household" (40-21), good "for the country as a whole" (41-21), good "for the health of the economy" (38-21) and good "for fighting inflation" (34-27).  

Resolve also put out some immigration polling which I found to not be very useful - indeed I generally think the ratio of noise to signal in polling on this subject is very high.  When presented with statements about migration levels respondents tend to think the current level is too high, and when after that presented with statements about projected levels 50% still think the projected levels are too high.  But this usefully doesn't sample what Australians generally currently think about the issue, since most Australians would not know any of these figures.  It only models what would be their immediate response if presented with a certain summary of the information - but in practice voters will receive a range of summaries, different summaries or none at all amid a sea of other political claims. (This isn't just this poll or this issue = I am critical of the majority of media coverage of the majority of specific-issue polling for the same reasons).  

The "before" picture

This is a summary of the state of polling before the Budget polls started to drop, mostly written the afternoon of the traditional post-Budget Newspoll.  

The Albanese government enjoyed a long post-election honeymoon that ended around last September and was followed by a narrowing in the two-party picture, finishing last year with an estimated 51.7-48.3 lead by last-election preferences.  In my aggregate, what has happened this year so far is close enough to nothing.  There was a narrowing over summer caused by a single bad Morgan poll at a time when no other polls were in the field, and apart from that there was a slight further narrowing from high 51s/low 52s to low 51s in late March.  In the last eight weeks the government has had some moderately good polls and some moderately bad ones, but they have tended to cancel out.   By last-election preferences the government has been as low as 49.4 and as high as 53.1 in this time (or 53.6 if one includes Resolve) but any sorta-bad poll tends to be followed soon enough by a pretty good one and vice versa, so my aggregate has tended to stay around the low 51s, give or take half a point.  


There are some points to note here.  Firstly the difference in primary vote gaps and expected 2PP between Resolve and the other polls has been far less pronounced this year than it was between the 2022 election and the end of 2023.  I don't know if there has been any substantial methods change at Resolve (none has been documented); whatever the reason the three pre-Budget Resolves this year have had an average last-election-expected 2PP difference from my aggregate of 1.5%, compared to an average of 3.7% in 2024.  

Another significant story continues to be last-election vs respondent-preference differences.  If voters for given minor parties or independents will actually give preferences to Labor more weakly than voters for those parties in previous elections, then last-election methods may be overestimating Labor's position.  However, respondent preferences don't work very well at estimating the shift when it does happen, and often predict shifts that don't occur.  This year so far, Morgan's respondent preferences have run a very plausible sounding 0.6% below the last-election estimate (compared to 1.0% between the Voice defeat and the end of 2023), while Essential's have run 1.8% below (compared to 1.3%).   

I'm mildly sceptical of Essential's recent respondent preferences.  For instance their overall preference flow to Labor in the last four polls is 55%, down from 61.6% at the election, and this even though (i) Labor's flow has always been above 60% since 2004 except for falling just below in 2019 (ii) Essential's minor party primary vote split is such that all else being equal the flow would be stronger not weaker.  (A note that Essential's model is not purely respondent-preference based; respondents who are unsure of their 2PP choice are allocated per the last election).  I suppose it's just possible that a very strong flow to the Coalition off One Nation together with some cooling from Greens and independents could do the trick but that seems unlikely - it would be interesting to see what splits Essential are getting from specific parties.  

Resolve also released a respondent preference 2PP for the April poll (50-50) but this seems to have been a once-off.  Although that implies a similar difference to Essential it's hard to know whether it is typical or not, especially if the decision to include it was a once-off post hoc decision.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Why Does Suspending Standing Orders In The Tasmanian Assembly Require A Two-Thirds Majority?

UPDATE:  Following this article - and I have been told this article had some influence - the House on 14 May suspended Standing Orders 358 and 359 for the current Session, replacing them with this: 

"358 Suspension of Standing Orders

Any Standing Orders or Orders of the House, except Standing Order No. 94, may be
suspended on a Motion duly made on Notice or without Notice, provided that such
Motion has the concurrence of a majority of the Members present."

This is not necessarily a permanent change.  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One thing that I have noticed in Tasmania's parliamentary debates that I find strange is that suspending standing orders without notice requires a two-thirds majority.  In the Standing and Sessional Orders from the previous term this appears as item 358:

"358 Standing Orders not suspended without Notice.

In cases of urgent necessity any Standing Order or Orders of the House, except Standing Order No. 94, may be suspended on a Motion duly made without Notice, provided that such Motion has the concurrence of a two-thirds majority of the Members present.

359 Motion for suspension carried by majority. 

When a Motion for the suspension of any Standing Order or Orders appears on the Notice Paper, such Motion may be carried by a majority of the Members present."

(Standing Order 94, for anyone wondering, is the procedure for rescinding previous votes, which requires three days notice and, if the decision is less than a year old, support of an absolute majority).  

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Legislative Council 2024: Elwick, Hobart and Prosser Live

Elwick: Thomas (IND) has won c. 53.3-46.7 after preferences

Hobart: CALLED 9:01 pm Cassy O'Connor (GRN) wins (final margin was 59.7-40.3)

Prosser: Kerry Vincent (Lib) has won c. 52.9-47.1 after preferences

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Donations welcome!

If you find my coverage useful please consider donating to support the large amount of time I spend working on this site.  Donations can be made by the Paypal button in the sidebar or email me via the address in my profile for my account details.  Please only donate if you are sure you can afford to do so.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Live comments (scrolls to top)

All numbers posted here are unofficial.  Check the TEC site for current figures.  Comments will appear here once counting starts - refresh every 10 mins or so for updates.  Note that Green in Prosser is Bryan Green the Labor candidate not the Greens.

--

Final Wrapup And The Road Ahead

It's all over bar a trivial number of votes to be added in the next week and these are the party standings in the new Legislative Council with the seat changes compared to the start of the year:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

The Tide Is Going Out For Queensland Labor

...and when the tide goes out in Queensland, they say that it goes out a long way ...

Yesterday's YouGov poll finding the Miles government trailing 44-56 led to a minor outbreak of poll denialism on social media (I've so far seen versions of A4, C4, C6, C8 and C9), but Steven Miles himself was not denying the polling at all, commendably admitting that it looked "most likely" that his government would lose in October.  (Just whatever you do, Premier, don't actually concede before election day!) I haven't covered Queensland polling since I gave the Courier Mail a big roasting for some really bad poll reporting in December 2022 and a return to Queensland polls is overdue.  It happens this time that the poll is so bad for Labor that even the Courier Mail can't spin it as much worse than it is.

It's worth noting that Queensland Labor during its nine years in power has often polled indifferently.  In the 2015-7 term it trailed on 2PP in a third of the published polls, but never worse than 48-52.  In the 2017-20 term there was less polling and there had been a few shabby looking numbers (again no worse than 48-52) before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in 2020 and lifted all governing boats.  The Palaszczuk government ended up slightly outperforming its final polling, but it was a very sparsely polled election.  Going into the 2024 contest that is now just six months away, it looks like we might see a higher volume.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Every Child Wins A Prize: Federal Seats With Swings To All Contestants

During last night's Cook by-election count there were a few comments about the swing column.  All six parties/independents had recorded a positive swing from the 2022 election.  In the case of Cook this was not at all surprising - three of the parties and the one independent had not even run in the seat in 2022, so their "swing" was automatically plus.  The Greens were always going to get a primary vote swing with no Labor candidate and no prominent left/centre independent.  That left the Liberals, and the question was whether they could gain enough primaries from the 34.6% who voted Labor, UAP or One Nation in 2022 to compensate for replacing a former Prime Minister and 17-year incumbent with some dude from outside the electorate.  This they did with 7% to spare and lo and behold there's a neat little line of pluses in the swing column for the recontesting candidates:

(Apologies to AEC, I've pinched the Wikipedia version for clearer display)

This is a common event in by-elections where one major party doesn't contest.  It has happened by my count in 9 of 21 such by-elections in the last 50 years, the others being Perth and Batman 2018, Higgins 2009, Isaacs 2000, Holt 1999, Blaxland 1996, Wentworth 1995, and Menzies 1991.  Perth 2018 achieved this feat despite having 15 candidates, however only three parties were recontesting.  Blaxland 1996 had five recontestants - I should note that I treat an independent as such only if it is the same person running and doing so as an independent both times.  

Saturday, April 13, 2024

2024 Cook By-Election: Well I Don't Think I Should Call It "Live", But Anyway ...

COOK (Lib vs ALP 12.4% - ALP not contesting)
Cause of by-election: resignation of former Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Lib)
CALLED 6:46 pm Liberal retain - Simon Kennedy replaces Scott Morrison.  
Liberals win on first preferences. 

----------------------------

9:09 Such postals as are going to be counted tonight is in now, and there is no change to the overall pattern with Simon Kennedy on a primary vote of 62.7% and a 2CP of 70.8%.  Nothing to concern the Liberals in one of their safest seats tonight but it is not in such places the next election will be won and lost. Unless something crops up that needs debunking, that is all from me for tonight.  

8:20 Animal Justice are opening up a gap to the Libertarians for third but postals might narrow this.  Overall the Liberal result is no cause for concern - they would expect some aspect of swing against them over the departure of an ex-PM, but also swings to them because there is no Labor candidate; to come out with a gain of 6.5% out of primary vote off those two things seems fine.  But I wouldn't say it's an especially good result because there's no basis for making such a call when the opposition is so weak.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Tasmania 2024: Is This Hare-Clark's New Normal?



Before and after ...


TASMANIA 2024: LIB 14 ALP 10 GRN 5 JLN 3 IND 3
Changes from 2021-based notional result: LIB -3 ALP -1 GRN +1 JLN +3
(2021 election for 25 seats LIB 13 ALP 9 GRN 2 IND 1)
(Before 2024 election LIB 11 ALP 8 GRN 2 IND 4)

Counting is over for the remarkable 2024 Tasmanian election and now come the negotiations.  The Jacqui Lambie Network yesterday announced it was expecting to release a confidence and supply agreement within days and independents are also being consulted.  Premier Jeremy Rockliff has stated he intends to request to be sworn back in, agreement to which would be automatic by precedent just to give him a chance to test his numbers even if the Parliament did intend to remove him.  But with Labor seemingly not interested in governing if it relies on the Greens in any fashion, the remaining crossbenchers' choice is to find some way to back the Liberals (at least on confidence votes when they happen) or else back the sort of instability that could see them defending their seats again within months.  If what the crossbenchers actually extract from the government right away (if anything) seems modest or embarrassing, that is one of the reasons for that.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Legislative Council 2024: Elwick

This is my guide for the May 4th election for the Legislative Council seat of Hobart. On Wednesday I released a brief survey of the Council's voting patterns.  Links to other seats: Hobart  Prosser . There will be live coverage on the night of May 4th.  

At the start of this year the Legislative Council consisted of four Labor, four Liberal and seven independents, with three of the independents strongly left-leaning, one centrist, and three somewhat right-leaning albeit still left of the Liberal Party.  Council voting has also seen a rapid increase in "Laborial" bipartisan voting patterns where the major parties combine against some or all of the indies.  The 2024 Legislative Council elections follow hot on the heels of an extremely messy lower house election, and for the first time since 1909 three seats fall vacant on the same day.  The three vacancies are one Labor, one Liberal and a left independent, so the elections are very important for both the left-right balance of the Council and the independent-major party balance.

The election for Elwick is a by-election.  The winner will hold the seat for four years rather than the usual six, and will be up for their first defence in 2028.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Legislative Council 2024: Hobart

This is my guide for the May 4th election for the Legislative Council seat of Hobart. On Wednesday I released a brief survey of the Council's voting patterns.  Links to other seats: Prosser Elwick. There will be live coverage on the night of May 4th.  

At the start of this year the Legislative Council consisted of four Labor, four Liberal and seven independents, with three of the independents strongly left-leaning, one centrist, and three somewhat right-leaning albeit still left of the Liberal Party.  Council voting has also seen a rapid increase in "Laborial" bipartisan voting patterns where the major parties combine against some or all of the indies.  The 2024 Legislative Council elections follow hot on the heels of an extremely messy lower house election, and for the first time since 1909 three seats fall vacant on the same day.  The three vacancies are one Labor, one Liberal and a left independent, so the elections are very important for both the left-right balance of the Council and the independent-major party balance.