Saturday, February 26, 2022

South Australia 2022: Can Even COVID Save The Marshall Government?

We're just three weeks away from the 2022 South Australian election and the first Newspoll of the campaign has just given a reminder of how challenging the Marshall Liberal Government's task is.  The poll has the Coalition trailing 47-53 off primaries of Coalition 37 Labor 39 Greens 10 Others 14.  Strikingly, Marshall trails Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas 39-46 as Better Premier (an indicator on which opposition leaders rarely lead unless governments are in big trouble).  Marshall's own rating is a shadow of its former COVID-boosted self at a still reasonable net +1 (48-47) but Peter Malinauskas is doing much better at +20 (51-31).

Perhaps the latter offers some hope for the Liberals since they may be able to dent the Opposition Leader's image, but that the Marshall Government appears struggling to avoid a first-term defeat at this stage is not historically surprising.  Firstly, the government was elected with a small majority and is federally dragged, so it would be expected to more likely than not lose some seats.  Secondly federal drag also predicts how state governments will go compared to their leadup polling, which for the SA Liberals wasn't crash hot anyway.  Thirdly the government has lost a majority it started with, and this is often associated with defeat (though I am a little more cautious about this at present given that voter contempt for hung-parliament games has seemed in recent years to be rising, both in Australia and the UK.)  At some time analysts were wary of predicting state governments would lose after a single term, but first-term losses in Victoria 2014 and, far more spectacularly, Queensland 2015, reminded us that it does happen.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Oops!... I Did It Again: Multiple Participation In Opt-In "Polls"

Recently I was involved in a Twitter exchange (of sorts, given the other party's predilection for blocking people they are arguing with) with the founder of a boutique poll-shaped object that I consider to be pretty much complete nonsense.  This "poll" operates by a combination of panel surveying (I wouldn't call it a panel poll as such, since every panel member can respond) and opt-in responses.  

During the (mostly now deleted) tweets in question I have formed the view that the person involved has some unusually serious mental health issues (at least intermittently). Given the way they characterised the experience of being replied to by me and another chap with similar interests, I'd rather soften the impact by not naming them.  However, during the exchange they dared me to vote multiple times in their poll (implying they would detect and remove duplicates), and I said I would do it.  In the interests of science, I publish the details and offer a hypothesis for falsification - if the other party is up to it.  My hypothesis is that I can participate multiple times in this agency's polling and the founder will not be able to catch me.  

Friday, February 11, 2022

New South Wales Feb 12 By-Elections Live And Postcount

Bega (Lib 6.9%) - CALLED 8:48 pm Holland (ALP) gain.
Monaro (Nat 11.6%) - CALLED 8:02 pm Overall (Nat) retain.
Strathfield (ALP 5.0%) - CALLED 10:50 pm Li (ALP) retain.
Willoughby (Lib 21.0%). CALLED following Saturday as James (Lib) pulled ahead on postal votes. 

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Sarah Courtney Resignation And Recount

Bass recount for seat of Sarah Courtney (resigned)
Seat will be won by a Liberal - most likely Lara Alexander or Simon Wood
Alexander had an advantage in votes for which the recount outcome is already known
Alexander has a lead in primaries in the recount and is likely to win. (Update: And has.)

UPDATES FEB 25: The recount has started and I have seen a media report that, unofficially, on primaries Lara Alexander had 44%, Simon Wood 37.6%, Greg Kieser 12.6%, leaving 5.8% for other candidates.  The exclusion process will be relatively fast and Wood will need over 67% of preferences from Kieser and the other candidates, which is unlikely.  Alexander has basically held her lead on known primary votes across the unknown primaries.  

6:20 It's over; Alexander wins by 620 votes (52.9-47.1).  The expected outcome and an unsurprising margin.  Interestingly this is only the second case of a female for female replacement on a recount (after Cassy O'Connor replacing Peg Putt (both Greens.)) The reason turns out to be that only 24 previous female MHAs have completed their careers and of these only four did so by resigning, so there have been very few chances for this to occur.