Thursday, May 31, 2018

Not-A-Poll: Worst Opposition Leader Of The Past 45 Years: Round 1

For comments on the Braddon poll see Braddon guide.

Admin note: apologies for delays in comment clearing as I am not currently receiving notification emails for comments - this is a global Blogger issue which will hopefully be fixed soon. Also I have had a report that at least one reader can see the old Not-A-Polls but not the new ones.  If anyone else is getting exactly this problem please report it at , preferably with browser detail + whether you are using a mobile phone.


Following on from a long-running Not-A-Poll series in which Gough Whitlam was this site's pick for the best Prime Minister of the Last 45 Years, Worst Prime Minister only needed a single round for the knockout.

The left-wing skew of this site's reader-base was again apparent, but the result leaves little room for doubt that Tony Abbott would have won the thing anyway.  He finished almost fifty points ahead of John Howard, a result that barely moved through the time the Not-A-Poll was running. Even with the left-wing skew, Howard's second place might be surprising to those who are accustomed to seeing him rate highly but there is an argument for it out there.  Kevin Rudd eventually managed to beat Julia Gillard among the ALP contenders, while the very miserly totals for Paul Keating and Bob Hawke are interesting.  Keating was reviled as PM during his tenure (not only by the right but by a fair slab of the left as well) but nobody much hates him anymore.

Worst Opposition Leader

I'm now starting a Worst Opposition Leader series that will run for an unknown number of months.  The rules are:

* I have split the leaders into two groups - one including those who at some stage were Prime Minister and one including those who have not yet been PM.  The reason for this is to find out something interesting even if views of leaders' qualities as PM colour opinions of their role as Opposition Leader.

* Once the winner of each group has been determined, the two group winners will contest the Grand Final.

* Any leader who scores over 50% in a round will immediately win that bracket.

* At the end of each round in each bracket, the following are all eliminated
- the candidate in last place
- any candidate who would be mathematically unable to win from that position in a preferential election
- any candidate with less than 8% of the vote

* Because John Howard had two widely separated Opposition Leaderships, one of which ended in a landslide victory and the other one of which wasn't so successful, Howard appears in Group 2 twice.  The threshhold applies to both his options combined, but each has an individual threshhold of 4% as well.

* Ties will be broken against the leader who ceased to be Opposition Leader longest ago.  A tie in the final will be broken against the leader who was never PM.

* I reserve the right to make any changes necessary to the results, and to declare a result at any time, to deal with any cases of multiple voting that are detected.

Gee there are some duds in group 1.  It brings back memories, it does.  After this is finished I think I'll run a Best State Premiers series. 

Voting on round 1 for both groups is open in the sidebar until 6 pm 30 June.  For mobile phone users you may need to scroll down on the main page and click on View web version to vote.


  1. It's Hewson. Sorry, but it has to be - the Libs had the 1993 election for the asking, until he opened his fat mouth and stumbled all over his tongue.

  2. Kevin, how appropriate that you should announce this just as the Pollbludgers are discussing the rumour that Latham is going to be the lead PHON candidate in NSW at the next Senate election! And he's hit the front in your Group 1 poll already!

    1. Labor to Liberal Democrat to One Nation, now that would be quite a journey ...

  3. Interesting how that nearly fifty percentage point lead in the Worst PM poll has been so far replicated in Group 2.

    1. Dropping to around 40 points now but Abbott still well over 50%. The early flurry tends to be the most intensely left-skewed.

  4. There is an interesting distinction especially with Abbott, between effectiveness and decency. In terms of effectiveness, Abbott was a highly effective opposition leader, and even if not the best certainly well up there. For decency, on the other hand... *coughs quietly*

  5. Doesn't look like you'll need to run too many rounds Kevin!