Sunday, December 31, 2017

Best Prime Minister Of The Past 45 Years: Round 5

File:Whitlam Lingiari Image 3.jpg
(image source, licence)
"A conservative government survives essentially by dampening expectations and subduing hopes. Conservatism is basically pessimistic, reformism is basically optimistic."

Excluded: John Howard (13.9%)

I chose this particular quote from the primary vote leader of round 4 of my multi-month best PM Not-A-Poll as a send-off by said leader to the last eliminated Liberal contestant.  Given the left-wing bias of this site's readership and consumers of psephology in general, Howard has actually done pretty well to make it this far, but overachieved by somehow edging out Bob Hawke in round 3, and his elimination in this round always looked extremely likely.  

Monday, December 25, 2017

Queensland 2017: Final Results And Polling Accuracy

Queensland: ALP 48 LNP 39 KAP 3 PHON 1 GREEN 1 IND 1
2PP Estimate 51.2 to Labor (+0.1 from 2015)

It's taken a while but I've finally found some time to put up something about the final results of the 2017 Queensland state election.  I try to always put something out on Christmas Day, though last year nasty weather interfered with that plan.

In a nutshell, the 2017 Queensland election was one where a great many dramatic things could have happened, but virtually none of them did, as the following sections explain:

Hardly any seats changed hands

You don't turn 89 seats into 93 without breaking a few eggs, but the level of seat transfer between the parties at this election was remarkably low.  On a notional basis and ignoring retirements and mid-term defections, just nine seats changed hands at this election, most of them marginal anyway.  The Liberal National Party lost Redlands (1.2%), Gaven (2.8%) and Aspley (3.2%) to Labor, and would have lost Maiwar (3.0%) to Labor as well but the Greens snatched it instead.  Labor lost Bundaberg (0.5% and which was a freak win last time anyway) and Burdekin (notionally theirs by 1.4% but LNP-occupied) to the LNP, and might have lost Mirani (3.8) to the LNP had not One Nation helped itself to its only win.  The LNP also dropped Noosa (6.6) to independent Sandy Bolton, and Hinchinbrook (3.4) to KAP's Nick Dametto.  In Hinchinbrook, Dametto (who according to his party had only been campaigning for four weeks) pulled off a duplicate of Andrew Wilkie's Denison 2010 winning method of coming third and getting everyone's preferences.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Poll Roundup: 2017 Year In Review

2PP Aggregate: 53.4 to Labor (-0.4 since last week, -0.8 in three weeks)
Labor would easily win election "held now"
Average for 2017 53.3 to Labor
By last-election preferences, Labor won all 93 polls this year

The polling year has just about come to an end so it's time for the annual roundup.  Should any further national polls appear I will edit in any necessary changes.

Since the last roundup things have improved slightly for the Turnbull federal government.  Following a brace of 55-ish results to Labor around mid-November, we've had two 53s from Newspoll, a run of 54-54-55-54-53 from Essential, 53s from ReachTEL four weeks back and Ipsos two weeks back (but the ReachTEL 53 came out at 54.7 by last-election preferences), and results from YouGov that came out to 53.1 and 54 by last-election preferences from YouGov.  (As noted further below, YouGov's 2PPs are wacky, so let's ignore them.)  The two 53s from Newspoll and today's 53 from Essential all looked like they were probably rounded down, and so my aggregate now sits at 53.4 to Labor.  Here's the (slightly) smoothed tracking graph:

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Bennelong Live: Majority On The Line (Plus Post-Count)

Bennelong: John Alexander (Lib) vs Kristina Keneally (ALP)
2016 margin: Liberal 9.7%

CALLED: Alexander (Lib) retains - government retains its majority


Here's a graph of the 2016 vs 2017 booth swings in Bennelong.

This is quite a strong relationship with 47% of variation explained.  Some booths (see the Tally Room map to see where they were) swung big and some didn't move much at all.  However those that swung big were mostly those that had swung big to Alexander in 2016 and the swing was just returning to sender.  This is suggestive of a sitting member having successfully worked certain communities that Labor either neglected or failed to appeal to in 2016, perhaps because the seat wasn't in play, but targeted more competitively this time.  It would be worth looking at data from other seats to see if the Coalition performed strongly in booths with large Chinese populations in competitive seats in 2016.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Senate Section 44: The Term Lengths Issue Is Back

Once upon a time, a young chap in the Senate discovered that he was a dual New Zealand citizen and resigned.  Back in those quaint, far-off days (it was actually July this year), the fact that he was the holder of a six-year term was one of the most intriguing things about the situation.  With Ludlam's resignation merely the start of a citizenship issue that has now claimed eight MPs, with two more currently referred and questions about many others, the term lengths issue has been on the sidelines.  The High Court following Re Canavan simply appointed Jordon Steele-John to Ludlam's vacant place and it was assumed that that was all, perhaps because there wasn't an alternative.  But it turns out that was all because nobody suggested otherwise, and following a mention of the question by amicus curiae ("friend of the court") Geoffrey Kennett in the Fiona Nash case, the issue is back.

Firstly, although Steele-John is listed on Senate documents as having a term expiring in 2022, the WA Greens conducted a preselection (which he won) on the assumption that he would be facing the voters again in 2019.  Secondly, the issue has now been brought to the High Court's attention in cases dealing with the replacement of Senators Nash, Parry and Lambie (who all had six-year terms) and in the Lambie case it impacts on the future party makeup of the Senate.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

EMRS Says The Wheels Are Falling Off

EMRS (Tas State) December: Lib 34 ALP 34 Green 17 JLN 8 IND/Other 7
Appears to be lowest Liberal primary for 11 years
Interpretation (based on historic skew) Lib 35.5 ALP 37.5 Green 14 JLN 8 Others 5

Modelled seat results based on this poll if election "held now": hung parliament with 10-10-4-1 (Liberal, Labor, Green, JLN) with next most likely outcome 9-11-4-1
Rolling aggregate of all state polls 12-10-3-0 
Rebecca White increases Preferred Premier lead over Will Hodgman to 13 points

If the December EMRS poll is to be believed (see also the helpful trend tracker), the Hodgman Government is currently headed for a Campbell Newman-like reversal of fortune at the 2018 Tasmanian state election.  Having won a massive victory from Opposition at the 2014 state election, the current poll suggests Hodgman's government, much like Newman's, could be going straight back where it came from and that election night could be carnage with incumbents losing all over the place - to Labor, the Greens, the Lambie Network and their own party.  On a like for like basis (which is rather difficult to follow through old EMRS poll reports) this seems to be the Liberals' lowest primary in an EMRS poll since August 2006.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

New England Washup and Bennelong By-Election Preview

I've decided to combine some post-result comments about New England with an overdue preview of the Bennelong by-election, which will be updated for any further polls that are published.  It's really not possible to talk about Bennelong now without talking about the former and whether anything seen in New England does or does not apply.

New England: Barnaby Bolts Back In

While Barnaby Joyce's re-election was always extremely likely given the lack of serious opposition, the scale of it surprised me.  Currently Joyce has 64.6% of the primary vote, a 12.3% swing to him, and a 73.6% two-party vote against Labor, a 7.2% swing to Joyce.  It seems that Labor are second, although in theory independent Rob Taber might overhaul the 4.4-point gap on the 17.2% of minor-candidate preferences.  Even if he does, his two-candidate result against Joyce won't be much better than Labor's.

My pre-election expectation was that Labor would not get much 2PP swing and that there would probably be a modest 2CP swing away from the result achieved by Tony Windsor in 2016, but that the gaggle of candidates running against Joyce might be able to take him to preferences and delay the result.  Instead Joyce has picked up a primary vote swing compared even to his 2013 result, when Tony Windsor wasn't on the ballot paper.