Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

Site Additions

Posted by Possum Comitatus on August 29, 2007

I’m currently sprucing up the place getting it ready for the election, so I thought I’d better give a quick overview of these new bits and pieces.

The Contact page speaks for itself – it has a built in mail form plus my email address.

The current 4 poll average is the last Morgan, ACN, Newspoll and Gallaxy averaged out.

“Swing for Seats” is the national and state pendulums so you can easily find what a uniform national swing would deliver, or what a uniform state swing would deliver in terms of seat gains for the ALP.

“Swinging Voter Movement” graphs how voter movement has happened between the ALP, the Coalition and the Others since the 2004 Election.

I’ve added a little social bookmarking thingymebob at the bottom of each post, but it only works if you are actually on the page for that particular post (otherwise you just end up bookmarking the front page).You just click it and it gives you a list of just about all the bookmarking sites like Digg, delicious etc.Click on the one you want and it should (if you have an account with those things) take you through to where you add it.I don’t exactly use these things, but a few people have asked me for it, and that’s the best way I could find to do it.

That Meebo chat thingy at the bottom basically creates a private chatroom between myself and every visitor on the page (visitors can’t see other conversations going on, just the one between them and myself).I’m just testing this out to see how it goes.It also shows when I’m online, so if you have a simple question or feel the need to flame me senseless or something, feel free to whack it into the little box and we’ll give it a whirl.Try to keep it simple though, as you can see it’s not exactly a great platform for gratuitous monologues…. anything longer, the email form in the contact page is probably your best bet.

And if you give me about five minutes or so to answer, I should get it done in time.I’ve noticed a couple of times that a question is asked, and by the time I finish an answer the person that asked it has left the page – hence I cant reply.It would also help to keep track of these things if you entered in a handle rather than the “Meeboguest8744422” name that is the default if you want to send a message.

I thought I’d also whack up an open chat room – if it gets used it gets used, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t:


I’ll throw a link in below the Meebo thingymewap.

I’ve still got a bit of widget room left, so anyone have any suggestions for what else could be whacked up?

Finally, to you cheeky bastards out there – leave my Opossum alone! 😉

You know who you are.

Sure he might look a little mission impossible(ish), sure he’s an O’possum, and sure its probably not that cool having an avatar that sounds like a transvestite comedians fav cliche.

But I’m growing to like it and you’ll have to lump it.


11 Responses to “Site Additions”

  1. Lomandra said

    Like the 4 Poll average/swing thing, Possum-O. One thought, would you maybe be able to link from that to a graph showing the changes to this over time?



  2. Evan said

    Like the new set-up Possum. The State by State and National swings for seats tool is quite useful. Thanks.

  3. Enemy Combatant said

    You’re a bloody marvel. Opossum Rules O.K. !!

  4. barney said

    great site. great analysis although the maths makes my eyes glaze over.

  5. KC said

    Great work Possum.

    What is the timeline for the 4 poll average?
    ie, 3 months, 4 months.

    Can you do a moving average on 3 and six months?

    And is it a weighted average based on numbers or straight average. eg Pollster1 may poll 650 people to give 56%, Pollster2 1,300 to give 54%, a simple percentage average would give 55% whereas a number average gives around 54.5%

    thanks, sorry if I sound like a whinging can’t please b*tard.

  6. Phrog said


  7. Possum Comitatus said

    Unfortunately Lomandra, I dont keep records of Galaxy polls.It’s the only polling group whose results I dont keep because there’s not enough of them for me to do stuff with.Without the Galaxy polls I cant easily go back and create a 4 poll average history to graph.

    But I will start one from today and as the weeks progress, and the polls progress I’ll add to it.After a few weeks when we get a few poll changes I’ll throw it up as a thumbnail image below the poll average itself.

    KC, the poll average is just the most recent poll of the 4 big polling companie added together and divided by 4.

    I was going to do a proper weighting mechanism based on sample size and trick it up by taking into account the autoregressive nature of political polling data – but after playing around with that approach, it doesnt really make a valuable difference in terms of theoretical accuracy, especially in TPP terms (it would on the primary votes, but that’s another story).If I had a complicated poll average like that, and compared it to the simple average – there would still be more than a 50% overlap in their margins of error on a given day (I played around with a 3 poll average using morgan, newspoll and ACN data to see if it was worth it).

    So for anyone that is interested in that type of intense poll aggregation, Peter Brent of Mumble fame is doing it over at http://www.mumble.com.au

    His Monday August 27th entry is the latest one.

  8. Phrog said

    Eyeballing the moving averages for the different pollsters what I see is a fairly good tracking of each poll to other polls within a band that is not too wide, is that statistically relevant?. In a practical sense I would have thought that the ‘real’ figure would logically be in that band.

  9. Possum Comitatus said

    You’re right Phrog, the four major polls all follow each other.I dont use Galaxy, but if you take any of the other three polls and regress them on any other of the three polls, you end up with around 75-80% of the movement explained.

    IF you do the same thing with a moving average, you get an even higher result.

    Galaxy seems to track most favourably for the Coalition and Morgan most favourably for the ALP. ACN and Newspoll seem to wander around between those two polls normally.The real figure is somehwere in the margin of error overlap between the 4 polls, so its more likely that its between Morgan and Galaxy (which is where Newspoll and ACN usually sit)than anywhere else.

  10. KC said

    Thanks Poss

    I checked out Mumbles, he weighted his based on sample size and comes up with the same answer as your 4 poll average 94, seats, though he is tipping 91, which makes ense as there will be some unexpected results.

    Looking at yours and Mumbles calcs, I can see the difficulty in weighting for size and margin of error.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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