Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Poll Roundup and Seat Betting Watch: Not Even A Dead Cat Bounce

2PP Aggregate: 50.0-50.0 Dead Heat (-0.1 for Coalition since end of last week)
Coalition would probably win with small majority if election "held now" (seat projection 78-68-4)
No significant move in voting intention detected in the past six weeks

This was a week in which it seemed like things might be starting to happen! First Peter Dutton said some rather provocative things about (supposedly) illiterate refugees.  This was widely regarded as a Lynton Crosby "dead cat" maneuver. The idea of that is that if you are hopelessly losing the argument, just say something ridiculous and disgusting and then everyone will talk about that instead of the issue you were losing.  A tiny minority of calmer voices pointed out that there was no need for Dutton to "throw a dead cat" since there had been nothing happening in the campaign worth distracting attention from, and suggested instead that Peter Dutton was just being Peter Dutton.  But still, perhaps all this was something voters would react to?

Then there was the NBN raid on ALP offices, a seemingly juicy matter that raised questions about the possible politicisation of policing referrals, and made people wonder whether the Prime Minister knew it was coming, and if he didn't know who knew, and who they told or didn't tell.  This, the commentariat told us, could only end badly for the Government, since at worst it looked like an unAustralian denial of fair play to a party in the middle of an election campaign, and at best it still focused attention on the government's failure to even deliver a second-rate NBN for anything near what they said they would.  Perhaps this then would finally set the polls alight?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Does The New Senate System Advantage Pauline Hanson?

Advance Summary

1. There is some thought about that the new Senate voting system may favour Pauline Hanson in the Queensland Senate race because she may poll a primary vote of 3% or so and then not be caught on preferences.

2. The image of Hanson's party One Nation as one that struggled under Group Ticket voting and would do better under optional preferencing owes much to Labor, Green and Democrat preferences defeating it in contests in 1998-2001.

3. Since then with One Nation's vote falling and the collective Others vote rising, it became just another micro-party and became able to attract good Group Ticket preference flows.

4. Had the 2013 election been a double dissolution, then based on the votes cast, Pauline Hanson would probably have won in New South Wales off 1.2% of the primary vote, overtaking several other parties under the old Group Ticket system to win.

5. However in the 2011 New South Wales Legislative Council election, where voters controlled their own preferences, Hanson was overtaken from an otherwise winning position and lost, even though a very high percentage of votes exhausted.  This was even though her primary vote was twice as high as in 2013 and the quota was much lower.

6. The idea that Hanson is advantaged by the change of Senate electoral system is, therefore, completely incorrect.  

7. Hanson is, however, one of a large number of micro-party candidates who have more chance at a double dissolution under the new system than at a half-Senate election under it.

8. Hanson's chances at the election are most likely to depend on her primary vote and what voters for other parties make of her candidacy, rather than being decided by how many votes are exhausted.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Poll Roundup And Seat Betting Watch: Neutrally Geared Edition

2PP Aggregate: 50.0-50.0 tie (-0.3 for Coalition since last week)
Coalition would probably just win election "held now" (seat projection 78-68-4*)
* see note re Greens below

So far a quietish week on the polling front, with Morgan and Essential the only national polls expected or seen.  However there are lots of polling snippets to deal with, plus the belated appearance of actual colour in the betting section, so here goes.

The week saw a fairly comfortable audience-scored win to Bill Shorten in a "people's forum" debate watched by hardly anyone, which commentators generally called a draw.   With the audience for debates screened on Pay TV basically containing no-one but political addicts, it's doubtful these debates have much influence on voting intention unless something really out of the box occurs.  The week-to-week shifts in voting intention so far this campaign (and the mock campaign before it) are so small they could be explained by anything ... or nothing.  A campaign about little of consequence meanders along in search of some defining Events.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

ReachTEL Points To Tasmanian Status Quo

ReachTEL (federal) Bass 51-49 to Liberal, Braddon 53-47, Lyons 51-49, Franklin 54-46 to Labor, Denison 66-34 to Wilkie.
(See comments on 2PP estimates below)
Poll shows Lambie support sufficient for one Senate seat.

This weekend the Sunday Tasmanian is publishing ReachTEL polling of the five Tasmanian federal seats.  The poll includes several questions and other questions will be released by the Mercury through the week.  At this stage two questions have been released - voting intention and a question on the Budget and economic management.

Tasmania has three marginal Liberal-held seats: Lyons (Eric Hutchinson, 1.2%), Braddon (Brett Whiteley, 2.6%) and Bass (Andrew Nikolic, 4.0%).  All were won from Labor at the last election so the new members should have some buffer against swings because of their new personal votes.  It also has the Labor-held seat of Franklin (Julie Collins, 5.1%) and independent Andrew Wilkie's seat of Denison (15.5% vs ALP), neither of which have been considered really "in play".  Until now there has been no released polling of these seats since Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister.  There have been small state samples aggregated by Poll Bludger, which have generally looked OK for the Liberal incumbents except for a wobble after the short-lived "state income tax" proposal.

This is the first large-scale poll we have seen, but it has a number of unusual aspects that make interpreting it challenging.  While the Liberal incumbents could take some heart from it, there is plenty of room for other interpretations.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Poll Roundup and Seat Betting Watch: Election Called

2PP: 50.3 to Coalition (+0.6 in two weeks, -0.1 since end of last week)
Coalition would probably narrowly win election "held now" (seat projection Coalition 79 Labor 67 Others 4)
Updated after Essential

On Sunday the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, visited the Governor-General and asked him to dissolve both houses and call a double-dissolution election for the long-expected date of July 2.  I hope the G-G asked him if he was absolutely sure the High Court would dismiss the Senate reform challenge case first, but in any case the G-G is in no position to be refusing such requests.

In the last week Scott Morrison delivered his first Budget.  So far if there's a budget bounce at all, it's very small.  We've got Ipsos at 51-49 to Coalition (up one on last month) but Newspoll unchanged at 51-49 the other way. We've also had two post-Budget appearances from polls not sighted for a while - a federal Galaxy at 50:50 and a Morgan Phone at 51:49 to Coalition.  In pre-budget days we had a 50.5 to Labor from Morgan multi-mode (by last election preferences, 51-49 respondent) and a 52:48 to Labor from Essential, which has mostly leant strongly to the ALP since mid-November last year.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Legislative Council 2016: Apsley and Elwick Live and Post-Count

Apsley: CALLED (c. 7 pm) - Rattray (IND) has retained
Elwick: CALLED (c. 8 pm) - Willie (ALP) has defeated incumbent Taylor (IND). 


Sunday 8:11 pm: We have a preference throw in Elwick with preferences splitting 53.3:46.7 to Willie, which makes the current result almost the same (53.16% to Willie).  It will change by fractions of a point but there are not nearly enough votes left for Taylor to have any mathematical chance.  In Apsley Rattray is 20 votes short of an absolute majority.  A provisional preference throw shows her gaining 36.8% of Green preferences (wow) to Clark's 35.9% and Hall's 27.3%.  Then with Hall excluded, his votes go 68.9% to Rattray giving her a 67.3% 2PP over Labor if we ignore the few undistributed votes.