Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Not-A-Poll: Best Prime Minister Of The Last 45 Years: Round 3

Image result for gough

"The Honourable Leader of the Opposition, Sir Billy Snedden, has broken his promise: the promise he made to me before the election. He promised not to tell any lies about me, if I didn't tell the truth about him."*

Two months ago I started a multi-round Not-A-Poll to determine this site's visitors' choice for the title of Best Prime Minister of the Last 45 Years.  The idea is that each month the Prime Minister in last place is eliminated and the rest continue until someone gets over 50% and wins.  There are rules permitting multiple exclusions in certain cases, to speed up the process a bit.  Each round runs for a month, so you can vote for different candidates from round to round if you want to. Multiple voting is in theory banned and adjustments may be made if I detect it, but there will probably be a lot of low-level multiple voting I can't detect or prevent. Comments about the merits of the contestants are welcome.

The winner of each round gets their photo and a quote at the top of the article, except in the final round when photos of both candidates will go on top.

Round 2 Results 

Two primary vote wins out of two for Gough Whitlam, but this one was much closer than the first.  Having led from start to finish in round 1, in this case Whitlam led for most of the first seven days before being passed by Keating.  Keating then mostly held the lead, usually by three votes, until about the 27th of the month.  At that stage Gough came home with a wet sail (he also did this in round 1) and pipped Paul at the post by seven votes.  

There were fewer votes in round 2 than round 1.  This might be partly down to it being a pretty quiet month in terms of major articles, but also clearly some candidates did much worse in this round than before.  I mentioned last time that there was overwhelming evidence of repeat voting by one voter in favour of Tony Abbott, and that this may have accounted for nearly all the round 1 votes.  But the weaker performance of Bob Hawke in round 2 (slipping from a strong third to fourth behind Gillard) might suggest he had some jungle juice on board in the first round too.

I'm pleased to say there were no obvious irregularities of any consequence in round 2.  There was a very minor one - the board software failed to take Daylight Savings into account, resulting in the polls remaining open for about twenty minutes longer than intended.  I believe only one person voted in this time.  

The rules allow for mass exclusion to speed up the process.  John Howard, who barely escaped this fate in round 1 (though I would have let him off anyway because of the Abbott issues), easily cleared the bar this time around.  There was a surge in votes for him immediately after the Las Vegas massacre when he received ten votes in about a day.  However, two other candidates have failed to get over the bar and are excluded:

Excluded: Tony Abbott 3.67%

After possibly having cheated his way through the first round, Abbott did at least in this round show much more support than PMs Fraser and Turnbull (especially Turnbull!) in round 1, so it seems that seventh out of nine is a legitimate result.  That said, his votes tended to arrive in little clusters of two or three at a time and I can't rule out that there was some susso stuff in even his meagre 16-vote harvest.  Commenting on his exclusion on Not-Sky-News, Mr Abbott said that he was a victim of the agents of political correctness and was cut down in an election-winning position.  When he further promised that there would be no wrecking, sniping or undermining against the remaining candidates, John Howard said that he felt nervous.  

Excluded: Kevin Rudd 5.5%

Rudd started round 2 very strongly, and I suspect that this may have included some strategic voting from people who read the round 1 wrapup and saw that he had had a perilous escape.  He received 11 of the first 100 votes, but only 13 of the remaining 336, and ultimately fell five votes short (four plus tiebreak) of making it through to round 3.  I made jokes about Rudd last time but this time it might be worth asking the serious question: why of all the Labor PMs is Rudd so disowned by voters here (and not just here - I've done worst-PM polls on other sites where Rudd-hate rules the roost)?  OK, he was using hay stashed by John Howard, but did his government not save Australia from recession in the GFC? Was not their supposedly indisciplined, debt-running spending hailed by some economists as better than anything Howard would have come up with?  

Was Rudd not also unfairly deprived of a chance to rule for much longer, kicked out after losing just one Newspoll whereas his successors have been allowed to lose 113 for only two sackings between them?  Is the point really just that he was a pain in the neck?  I think it is an interesting question.  We now cross to the other Kevin for some incoherent blubbing.

So we have five remaining (four ALP and one Coalition).  A mass exclusion this round looks unlikely so most likely just whoever is last this round will be out.  Polls are open until 6 pm Nov 30 AEDST.

And as this is such fun, sometime next year I'll be running Worst PM of the Last 45 Years (just over two months with a runoff for the top two).  The final winner of Best PM will receive immunity from that poll.

Technical note: If you wish to vote on a mobile, switch to "View web version" at the bottom of an article.

*PS: An informer has filed a petition against Gough Whitlam's use of the quote at the top of this piece, alleging (apparently correctly) that it was kinda plagiarised from Adlai Stevenson and others.  


  1. Rudd is generally perceived to have spent 3 years undermining the ALP out of spite, helping to hand government to Tony Abbott.

    As such Rudd's merits as PM are irretrievably tainted by his later behaviour.

  2. Plagiarised from Sen Chauncey Depew (Senator for New York, and the railroad companies, from 1899-1911) apparently. But who knows if he got it from someone earlier?

  3. Kevin Rudd: I am first no matter what because I'm Kevin and I'm here to help. Bloody ^&% factions. ^&% mining ads.

  4. Surely Bob Hawke has to win. Handling the Coomb spy scandal. Opening up Australia for international trade; Fraser had been a total laggard.