Saturday, November 28, 2020

Groom By-Election Live And Postcount

Groom (LNP 20.5%) - CALLED (6:37 pm), Garth Hamilton (LNP) elected.  

Swing 3.29%, compared to historic average 6% for government seat by-election vacancies.

Updates will appear below the dotted line, scrolling to the top.  Once counting is underway refresh every now and then for new comments.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Queensland 2020: Final Results And Poll Accuracy

 Queensland: ALP 52 LNP 34 KAP 3 GREEN 2 PHON 1 IND 1

2PP Estimate 53.13% to Labor (+1.9% from 2017)

Another Queensland election is over.  In 2017 I wrote that the 2017 election had been "one where a great many dramatic things could have happened, but virtually none of them did", and in some ways this one has been similar.  Nonetheless, the Queensland election has again thrown up more than its fair share of electoral curiosities.  

Historic patterns

This election yet again showed that state and federal politics are fundamentally different and that projecting state elections from federal elections (just because it's easy) is false consciousness.  The 2PP result was over eleven points different from the 2019 federal election in Queensland.

In the leadup to the election I was curious about whether not being in government federally should provide an ongoing boost to the Palaszczuk Government so I wrote this.  Based on the age of this Queensland government and the fact that Labor is in opposition federally, the average expected result was a net gain of 2.5 seats.  The actual result, after two very close seat wins and one close loss, was a four-seat gain, so very close to the historic expectation.  The government was helped, perhaps decisively, by the pro-incumbency mood during COVID-19, but had also had some wear and tear during the term.  By election day the government was polling very well in terms of personal approvals of Annastacia Palaszczuk and which party was best to handle the economy, and it seems these polls were telling us something the voting intention polls were not.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Recent State Election Polling Does Not Skew To Labor

Advance Summary

1. A major polling failure in the 2019 Australian federal election has been attributed to unrepresentative sampling, coupled with inadequate reweighting, that produced a large skew in primary vote and 2PP estimates in Labor's favour.   

2. A recent report argues that a skew in federal 2PP polling was present throughout the period 2010-2019 and was not specific to 2019.  

3. If this was the case, and was so for the same reason, then a skew to the ALP should also be expected from the much larger sample of state-level final polls taken over the same period.

4. However, state level polls in Australia from 2010-2020 do not display any overall two-party skew to the ALP.

5. Also, while federal polling for 2010 overestimated Labor, final 2PP polling at the 2013 and 2016 federal elections was mostly very accurate.

6. While federal polls overall (not all specific polls) do have a record through recent decades of on average overestimating the Labor 2PP, this record is much inflated by a single pollster (Morgan).


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Groom: Australia's Most Boring By-Election?

Where time permits I aim to do a preview post for any federal by-election, but in the case of Groom (Qld, LNP, 20.5%) I'm not expecting to be hanging on the edge of my seat on November 28, and nor am I expecting any flurry of polls.  The major purpose in writing this guide is to point to some unusual features of this by-election in terms of its lack of competitiveness.  However, it is still an electoral indicator of some kind, and the swing will be watched with some interest in view of events affecting both major parties this week.

Groom History

Groom is mostly (in population terms) the city of Toowoomba, plus surrounding rural areas radiating to the west.  Groom is the successor to the Federation division of Darling Downs, the name being changed when the division was redrawn for the 1984 expansion.  The seat has had only nine incumbents, all of them male, since Federation (one of whom, Sir Littleton Groom, served two disjunct spells in the seat.)  

The seat has invariably been won by conservative MPs, with the slight complication of Sir Littleton Groom serving as an independent briefly in 1929 and 1931-3. He was expelled from the Nationalists after not using his casting vote as Speaker to save them from a no-confidence motion, and lost his seat in 1929, but won it back in 1931 and eventually joined the United Australia Party.  The seat has, however, gone back and forth between the Liberal/proto-Liberal side and the Nationals/Country side of the Coalition, with four changes of ownership in cases where it became vacant.  Three of these involved three-cornered contests.  The last of these came at the Groom by-election 1988, where the seat switched from National hands to Liberal hands after ousted Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen endorsed the Liberal candidate.  In this way, the ghost of Joh hangs over the question of whether the winner should sit in the Liberal or National party rooms.  

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Not Again: Oppositions That Went Backwards Twice In A Row

 A rare form of failure that normally happens about once a decade has happened on the conservative side of Australian politics at two elections in the space of two weeks.  In both the Queensland and the ACT elections, the official Opposition went backwards in seat share for the second election contested as such in a row.  (To be clear about what counts here, Victoria 2018 is not the same thing, since in 2014 the Liberals had contested the Victorian election as the incumbent government - both elections must be contested from opposition to qualify.)  Such a rare event happening to two Oppositions right now might be considered as a sign of how hard life is for Oppositions during the COVID-19 pandemic, or it might also be argued that the two Oppositions in question were unusually hopeless.  In one case (Queensland) there are also some special factors at play.  Anyway, such an event is so unusual that I thought it would be interesting to list all the cases I have found since 1900 of it happening, whether at federal, state or territory level.  I have not found any case of an Opposition going backwards at three elections as the Opposition in a row.  

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Not-A-Poll: Next Leader To Go!

 Introducing a new rolling Not-A-Poll series that will appear on the sidebar (scroll down).  The aim of the game is to predict who will be the next to leave office out of:

* The Prime Minister

* The federal Opposition Leader

* The six state Premiers

* The two territory Chief Ministers

I haven't included state opposition leaders as they are too low profile outside their own states.  

Every time one of the leaders leaves office, the poll will be closed, we'll see if the plurality were right, and it will then reset and start again!  

By the way readers may have noticed an annoyance with the new Not-A-Poll format in that words do not show in full when showing votes back to voters.  I have emailed CrowdSignal about this and I hope that they will fix it soon.  

Queensland 2020 Postcount

Labor re-elected with increased majority

Seat total after recounts ALP 52 LNP 34 KAP 3 GRN 2 PHON 1 IND 1

Labor won Bundaberg and Nicklin after recounts.

LNP has won Currumbin


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