Friday, August 31, 2018

Not-A-Poll: Best State Premiers Of The Last 40 Years

This evening I've cluttered up the sidebar with a new round of Not-A-Poll voting for this site's choice of Best State Premier in every state, and eventually, from the whole country!

Quite early in this site's history I ran one of these for Tasmania, and following the fun had with the recent Best PM, Worst PM and Worst Opposition Leader Not-A-Polls I thought it might be worth running something similar for all states.

But before that, time to declare the result of the previous Not-A-Poll exercise:

And The Loser Is ...

Despite the usual left-wing skew in voting on this site, readers of this site have voted Mark Latham as the worst federal Opposition Leader of the last 45 years.  It was a close one though:

After taking most of a month to get past Alexander Downer in the previous round, Latham was quicker out of the blocks in this one.  He was overtaken by Tony Abbott late on the first day of voting in the final but took the lead back on the second day and retained it throughout.  For a while Latham's lead was around 54:46 on a two-candidate preferred basis but in the final days Abbott came storming back (I cannot possibly imagine why) and Latham only just got home by seven votes.

State Premier Not-A-Polling

Voting on round 1 of the Not-A-Polls for each State and Territory is open in the sidebar until the end of October.  You can vote for as few or as many states as you like (but only once per state, please!)

Because I dislike first-past-the-post in principle, there will be runoffs in some cases where no-one gets 50%, but to stop things from dragging out too long there are threshholds for those.  To get into a runoff a candidate must:

* Be capable of winning from that position if it was a preferential election.
* Poll at least 10% of the vote.
* Either poll at least 20% of the vote or be within 10% of the leader.

Once all the states are decided there will be a final, which will also have runoffs if required.  The final will consist of all the state and territory winners who polled at least 10 votes in some round of winning their state or territory.  I may also add a few wildcards for party balance or close margins. Also, given the Labor skew in voting on this site, if no Coalition candidates win there will be a separate Best Coalition Premier final. The final will commence after the Victorian state election is over to prevent it from having too big an influence on the result.

Spruiking is, as always, welcome in comments.

Oh and one last thing - the Not-An-Electoral-Commission has ruled that Premiers cannot have "Sir" as part of their name on the ballot paper.

NB 1 Sep: Voting in WA has been restarted as candidate C. Barnett was accidentally omitted from the ballot paper.


  1. We seem to have a slight NSW bias.

  2. I expect the large states and perhaps Tasmania to get the most votes. I ordered the polls by population but if I suspect that the order is affecting how many votes are coming in I'll move them around now and then.

  3. I feel I should probably point out that you are missing an option from WA. The last Liberal premier Colin Barnett

    1. Thankyou! Hope I'm not missing any others. Voting for WA will be restarted.

  4. I've said this before, and I know it reflects the Left slant of your contributors, but Abbott even being considered "Worst Opposition Leader Ever" is ridiculous.

    It can certainly be argued he was a poor Prime Minister. But as OL, he took over when the Liberals were in dire straits and led them to the brink of victory under a year later. He took down the "invincible" Rudd within about six months. And in three years, Gillard was never able to get any serious momentum against him.

    His major flaws and drawbacks overwhelmed him almost as soon as he became PM. But as Oppn Leader, he did his job (take 'unelectable' alternative party and lead them to victory) extremely well.

    1. Yeah, but "Worst Opposition Leader" could reasonably be parsed as "Worst person who was opposition leader" which I suspect is how some people voted. Very easy for me to pick Latham though.

    2. This is the conventional wisdom, but it's wrong. You have to take two factors into consideration:
      1. The massive help received by Abbott from the uncritical mass media (even the ABC, which framed many breaking stories from Abbott's perspective with the headline 'Abbott says...' before even reporting what the government had done), partly in the form of the disgraceful hatchet job done on Gillard and partly in stoking the flames of negativity. In the end, a very unpopular opposition leader was elected by default.
      2. His complete failure to develop any sensible, acceptable policies while in opposition; surely a mark of abject failure. If he had been a more successful opposition leader his monumental personal failings might not have precluded him from lasting at least one term.
      The notion that he was 'successful' because he 'took down' two prime ministers is simplistic. They were 'taken down' for him, by and large; yet Gillard in particular was able to govern fairly successfully despite his nay-saying and misogyny, her lack of a majority, and her own errors of judgment.