Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

What’s a swing worth?

Posted by Possum Comitatus on July 17, 2007

Just a quick nifty little graph today based on the Mackerras Pendulum.Click on it to blow it up.


What it shows is how many seats the ALP would win or lose at the election for a given uniform swing.

The way to read the graph is simple, pick a swing on the left hand side, trace it across until it intersects the red line, then move down to the bottom axis to see how many seats the ALP would win or lose based on that swing.

For example, if the ALP had a swing against it of 1%, which would be a -1% swing, they would lose 4 seats.

If the ALP had a swing toward it of just over +2%, it would gain 8 seats, and a +5% swing would gain them 19 seats.

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11 Responses to “What’s a swing worth?”

  1. Thanks for this.

    So.. that’s a 5% swing for the ALP to win government ?

  2. Possum Comitatus said

    From the Big Mals Pendulum, it would look that way.A 4% swing would give the ALP Bennelong, their 15th seat.

    4.8% would give them Dobell their 16th and 5% would give them Deakin and McMillan as well for 18.

    In a close election, that steep slope between 13 and 19 seats would be a real problem for the ALP, but if they get over that 5 and a bit % swing, the seats come rolling in quickly all the way up to 31 gains.

  3. Heretic said

    Thanks Possum, will be good for analysis for every poll published till the election. By the way what is your prediction for the ALPs TPP?

  4. Privi Izumo said

    It’s very disingenuous to make statements such as that. It simply does not tell the whole story. If the swing the the ALP manifests itself mostly in already held ALP seats, and in a few very safe liberal or national seats, and not the marginals, it will not make as much of a difference.

    While those swings might have credence in the upper house, it is not the upper house that forms government. It’s the lower house.

    There’s a long way to go, so it’s best to remember not to make assumptions out of nothing.

  5. Possum Comitatus said

    Privi – this site assumes that people understand that there is no such thing as a “uniform” swing.Swings arent homogenous, we all know that.

    Those that aren’t aware of this basic electoral reality would be very unlikely to be here, looking over the fine detail of polling minutia to begin with.

    This graph is meant to be read in conjunction with the Mackerras Pendulum, and the other info on this site like the Quarterly Newspoll breakdown of demographics and marginal/safe seats.

    Graphs like this give you the value you put into it.

  6. Possum Comitatus said

    You cant ask me questions like that, I might feel the need to answer them 😉

  7. Dario said

    Privi, marginal seat polling has been showing the same sorts of swing figures as the major national polls, so it may turn out that we do get a truly national swing this election.

  8. Privi Izumo said

    I just don’t want to get my hopes up. Been dashed before…

  9. Eric said

    Both sides will put more effort into the marginals and less in the others. I think that graph will be a good approximation.

  10. Steve W said

    Mr Speaker,
    Actually I think it is more like a 4% swing for a labor government. If Labor picks up net 15 seats then no one but labor could form government with labor holding 75 of the 150 seats. Of course the two independents could then join with the Libs to pass a vote of no confidence once a Labor MP had been installed as speaker (so it is 4.8% and Dobell for a stable Labor government), but recent history at the state level makes me think that Windsor would be unlikely to do that.

  11. Bring Back CL's swing said

    History bears out if the ALP wins anything over 51% they will win.
    Some marginal seats won’t be lost but some ‘safe’ seats will be lost.

    For example I think North Sydney is more likely to be lost than Bennelong. Blame it on the weather

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