Thursday, September 26, 2013

Labor And The Greens Shall Not Complain About Family First

(Update 1 Oct: Bob Day has been elected as expected.)

You'll see a lot of this sort of thing in the next six years if, as expected, Family First's Bob Day gets up in South Australia:

For those who don't know, Helen Polley is a Labor Senator for Tasmania, albeit a very "socially conservative" one.   Now, I have no problem with the proposition that there may be some real nutters in the seemingly soft and fuzzy Family First fold.  My open question then to Senator Polley is this:

If Day and Fielding are indeed so bad, why did your party preference both of them?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tasmanian Senate Seat Goes To The Button - Lambie (PUP) Wins

(Admin note to commenters: I have just done a cleanout of duplicate comments (where people submitted multiple copies of a comment).  If you get an email saying your comment was deleted, please don't feel rejected! One comment from a few months back was rejected for being off-topic but there will be a thread on the matter it relates to soon.)

This is the thread where I will post the result and details of the preference distribution that determines the last Tasmanian Senate seat.  The thread that has been following the late Senate count and attempting to model the outcome has been extremely popular but has also become far too long and I want to keep the analysis of (i) the known result, once it is known (ii) any recount action that might be necessary, separate.

My thanks to the AEC for their very quick provision of preference distribution information.


On Wednesday at about 10 am the AEC's computer system will be commanded to perform a complete distribution of preferences for the Tasmanian Senate.  Liberal Senators Richard Colbeck and David Bushby, Labor Senators Carol Brown and Catryna Bilyk and Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson will be re-elected.  Unless all modellers modelling this count have somehow missed something surprising and important, Labor Senator Lin Thorp will lose her seat, which will go to one of Palmer United Party candidate Jacqui Lambie, Liberal candidate Sally Chandler or Sex Party candidate Robbie Swan.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Too Much Information: The Mixed Performance of Seat Betting Markets At The Federal Election

Advance Summary

1. Seat betting markets, considered by some to be highly predictive, returned an indifferent final result at the 2013 federal election, overpredicting the number of Labor losses by at least seven and predicting fourteen seats incorrectly.

2. Better results were achieved not only by local/state projections based on polling data but also could have been achieved by a simple reading of the national polls.

3. Seat betting markets in the final week most likely misread the election because of an overload of contradictory data.  They placed too much emphasis on local-level polling and internal polling rumours and too little on national polling.

4. Prior to the final week of the campaign, however, seat betting markets performed well in projecting an uncertain situation that was difficult to model.

5. Seat betting markets were most accurate immediately following the return of Kevin Rudd.  However this probably reflects on the modelling skills of bookmakers rather than punters.

6. Modellers wanting to know what seat totals betting markets expect should look at direct seat total markets rather than attempting to derive that information via complex and uncertain processes from seat betting markets.

7. Final direct seat total markets were very accurate.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

EMRS: Liberals Cruising, Giddings Polls Bad Preferred Premier Score

(Note re Tas Senate: you can follow updates here.  The count is not finished, the ABC Calculator is not reliable, and the seat is too close to call.)

EMRS September: Lib 52 ALP 28 Green 15 Ind 5 Other 1
Interpretation: Lib 51 ALP 30 Green 13 Ind/Others 6
Outcome (if election was held now): Liberal Majority Government (most likely 14-8-3, or 14-9-2)

The September EMRS poll of Tasmanian voting intentions has been released, based on interviews conducted earlier this week.  The results show what every other Tasmanian poll by any company since the start of 2011 has shown, which is that the Liberal Party is on track for majority government.  (The trendline for EMRS can be seen here.)

The headline figures are Liberal 52, ALP 28, Green 15, Ind 5 Other 1.  They are not significantly different from the May EMRS results, with the Liberals a couple of points lower.  EMRS results have a history of favouring the Greens and underestimating Labor, because of the way EMRS distributes the undecided vote.  Past election results have shown that on polling day the Greens only get about their raw EMRS vote rate, and not their share of the huge EMRS undecided vote.  However at the last election, the EMRS projection of the Liberal vote was very accurate.

The poll is quite similar to an August ReachTEL which showed the Liberals on 54% (after removal of undecided), Labor 25.8, Green 15.6 and Others 4.4.  However, the federal election showed that ReachTEL polling overestimated the Liberal vote and underestimated the Labor vote at federal level, by about four and a half points.  An analysis of the ReachTEL poll on the assumption that the same was true at state level (which it may not be) projected votes of 49.2% Liberal, 28.7% Labor, 13.4% Green and 8.7% Other. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Modelling the Tasmanian State Election off the Federal Election

Note Re Tas Senate Counting: An erroneous claim was published today (18 Sep) on Tasmanian Times that the Sex Party has won the last Tasmanian seat.  This is untrue (at this stage) - the count is still going, and the Sex Party would not win on current figures - the ABC Calculator is a rough model only.  Senate count intricacies can be followed in the post below.


Advance Summary

1. Claims have been made that the result of the federal election, if repeated at the state election, would produce a hung parliament with the Palmer United Party holding the balance of power.

2. These claims are incorrect.  If the federal election results were repeated at the state election, the result would be a Liberal majority government with 13 seats.

3. The claims are also irrelevant as the Liberal Party has been tracking at a much higher level in state polling than in federal polls taken by the same pollster at the same time, and it is necessary to adjust for this.

4. A model based off the federal election results but with appropriate correction for state/federal polling differences projects a Liberal majority government with 13-14 Liberal, 8-10 Labor and 2-3 Green seats.  It does not at this stage project any seats for other parties.

5.  Despite this, the Palmer United Party has laid a strong base in Tasmania with its result in the Tasmanian election.  If it can keep its act together up to the state poll then it is capable of increasing its vote share and winning seats.

6. A very large increase in PUP vote share would be necessary on current polling to prevent the Liberals winning majority government.  It seems that actually the party most threatened if PUP performs competitively could be the Greens.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2013 Federal Election Late Counting: Tasmania Senate

Tasmania Senate: Current Assessment
2 Labor, 2 Liberal, 1 Green certain
Final seat between PUP, Liberal, Sex Party
Current assessment: All three parties have realistic chances.  There is no clear favourite, but PUP are in my view narrowly the best placed. 

The AEC currently expects to declare the result (subject to challenges) at 2 pm Thursday.  The button is expected to be pressed on Wednesday 10 am. 

Final Result Thread: Final result and analysis will be posted on the new thread here.

NB A report published on Tasmanian Times (18 Sep) claiming the Sex Party has won was a bad case of premature ejaculation.  Counting has not finished, the button has not been pressed yet and the ABC Calculator is not an exact model of what happens when it does. TT has since acknowledged the unclarities in the situation.


I have added this summary (which will be edited as needed) because this article is getting very long and very complex.  What follows below is my full analysis of the current Tasmanian Senate late count, some of which is highly technical in nature.  The current situation is that three different parties - first Palmer United, then the Liberals, then the Sex Party, have been shown as leading on the ABC Senate Calculator at various points.  However the calculator assumes all votes are above-the-line ticket votes, and in practice preferences flow slightly more weakly than the model expects, especially if a party has lots of below-the-line votes.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

2013 Federal Election Late Counting - House Of Reps

This post will follow late counting in the House of Representatives. The Current State of Play will always appear at the top of the screen, followed by Fairfax updates, some general comments from the early history of this article, and the newest non-Fairfax updates at the top of the section below that.

Current State Of Play (This will be changed when status changes)

Last updated 31 Oct (Fairfax)

Election result is 90 Coalition 55 Labor 5 Other (2 Ind 1 Green 1 KAP 1 PUP)

Fairfax: What Happens Now, and Past Close Finishes

31 Oct: It's over! (At least to the point the bookies pay out at; it remains to be seen if the LNP want to risk antagonising the PUP leader by taking this to Disputed Returns.) Clive Palmer will be declared the winner of Fairfax by 53 votes at the end of a massive struggle over an electorate that was not deemed worthy of a single published seat poll.

That officially concludes this thread, which has been the most visited thread on the site so far.  Thankyou all for your interest.

2013 Federal Election Late Night Wrap

This is my quick late night summary of where we stand after a more interesting election night than I was actually expecting!  The Coalition has won the election decisively, but it has been a middling win in 2PP terms and only a moderately heavy one in seat terms.  Note that the exact 2PP vote will change from now to the final tally in late counting and may end up being slightly more Coalition-friendly than what we have now.  It was not the rout that many were expecting following the 54:46 Newspoll and Nielsen and the astonishing seat betting plunge in the final days.

As usual a number of seats are in doubt and we will have to see how late counting goes in these to see exactly where Labor finishes up.  Currently 11 specific seats are gone (Bass, Corangamite, LaTrobe, Deakin, Braddon, Robertson, Page, Hindmarsh, Lindsay, Banks and Lyons).  Labor trails but is within striking distance in Dobell, Eden-Monaro, Reid and Petrie.  Labor leads but is not yet home and hosed in Barton, Capricornia, McEwen, Lingiari and Parramatta.  In 52 of its own seats Labor leads by more than 51:49, and indeed the first seat up from there is Coalition-held Solomon (NT), where Labor's internal poll that had them narrowly winning doesn't seem to have actually been far out.  So at the moment it looks like a loss of around 15 seats, but we will need to wait to see how late counting pans out and whether these close seats tend to fall on one side of the ledger or the other.  Usually they'll split fairly evenly.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Election night arrangements and election-watching hints

 Home now (midnightish): Late night wrap coming in next c. 2 hrs.

Over here folks:

I had hoped to post some more things here in advance of election night but unfortunately I have run out of time and need to work on some spreadsheets for this evening and also find some time to relax a bit in advance of tonight.  Therefore this is just a quick post to detail what will be going on here tonight and tomorrow.  The short answer is: perhaps not much!

Tonight I am very pleased to say I will be live-blogging at the Hobart Mercury at their website  The direct link will be posted here when known. At the moment I expect to start around 6:30 and to keep going for maybe four hours.  I will also be involved with writing an article for them tonight (or doing an interview for an article; not sure which yet) so I may not be back on here tonight at all.  If I am there will be a new late-night counting extra thread up.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Saturday (Final!) Federal Election Projection Model and Seat Betting Roundup

Note: I will be at on election night.  A pointer to the coverage will be here.

COALITION WINS ELECTION (probability >99%)
(This is an approximate projection only.)

Finally the time is reached for pollsters to release their final polls, modellers to release final projections and politicians to make final attempts to woo the "undecided vote" (which is usually, in real terms, a lot smaller than a lot of people think.)

Late And Final Polls

Essential was first of the regular pollsters to release what seems to be its final result, a 52:48 based on 1035 interviews from Sep 1-4.  If the result for Labor is benign or even an improvement compared to current polling by other sources, Essential will look very good, but if election day is a rout then there will be questions asked about going too early, using a smallish sample and the pollster's trending behaviour relative to others. Galaxy has released what seems to be a pretty safe 53:47, again showing statistical properties more akin to an aggregate than a poll; most likely if they're wrong at all it won't be by much (I am unsure if that's their final offer.)  ReachTEL is providing useful daily tracking and finals from Newspoll, Nielsen and others will arrive later today.  Morgan has released a multi-mode with respondent preferences at 53.5:46.5 (54:46 by last election); they will have a final poll tonight. (Update: this turned out to be just extra data for 54.5: 46.5)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Poll Roundup and Seat Betting Watch: All Disastrous Things Edition (September 3)

Election Night Update: I will be providing live commentary at The Mercury on election night from 6:30-ish til late.  An exact link will be posted on the night.

2PP Aggregate (Tuesday 3 September): 53.1 TO COALITION (+0.8 since last week)
Individual Seat Betting: Labor favourites in 54 (-5.5: Brand, Lilley, Parramatta, Kingsford-Smith, Lyons and Lingiari all to Coalition)
Seat Total Market: Labor 57 seats (-4) (This figure is probably slightly skewed by longshot bias.)

This is week ten in a regular weekly series in the leadup to the federal election.  Week nine was here and through it you can click back to the previous weeks.  Or just click the "betting" label at the bottom.  As stated before, the aim of this exercise is not to claim that seat betting markets have predictive value, but to test whether they do, and to see which of the markets and the aggregated polls see the ultimate outcome of the election first.  

This Week's Polls

The weekend's national polls were as follows:

* Galaxy 53-47 to the Coalition
* Newspoll 54-46
* Essential 52-48, including the information that this week's sample was 53:47
* Morgan multi-mode 52.5:47.5
* AMR (online panel poll similar to Essential) 53:47

Also late last week ReachTEL released a 53:47 and Morgan released a 54:46 (special multi-mode via combined internet and phone sampling).