Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

Vent Your Psephy Spleen – Open Thread

Posted by Possum Comitatus on October 15, 2007

While I’m waiting for Crikey to put my posts up so I can link into them, it might be time to start an open pseph thread.

Vent your spleen, pick on a journo, take a bat to a pollster, find your inner Crosby Textor or even come up with a grand unified theory of psephology. Have any politician sightings? Any poll goss? Any goat entrail readings?

This is the thread for you.

And how about that Gallaxy – primaries on 44/45 Coalition/ALP, yet with the Greens on 7% and the independents and others on 4%. Somehow out of that Galaxy gets a 45/55 preference flow favouring the ALP to give a TPP of 51/49 to the ALP.


Smells a bit fishy, particularly with Rudd running a preferred PM level of 54 to Howards 38 in the same poll, and Rudds satisfaction rating being 71% to Howards 47%.

Galaxy, what have you been smoking? Or what were your respondents smoking?

Under more frequent preference distributions of late, the ALP TPP vote would be around the 53 mark.

Song of the day is something very unpunkish, but still female. Some of the best pop-political lyrics for a pop artist I’ve heard for a long time.Pink: “Dear Mr President”.  Fear not, aggressive chic-punk will be returning shortly :mrgreen:



58 Responses to “Vent Your Psephy Spleen – Open Thread”

  1. David Gould said

    Do you know if the galaxy poll asked people to nominate preferences?

    Anyhow, with a margin of error of 3 per cent, the poll still fits within most of the rest (just). And if the margin of error is more than that, which it would be because this is seat by seat, I think, then really it does not say too much at all.

    Of course, I am biased, being a Labor supporter, but I do not think that the poll means that Rudd should be too concerned about Queensland.

  2. bungs said

    what about this Glenn Milne article?


    He seems to be positioning himself already to have ‘called’ Howards loss at the election on the first day of the campaign. Mind you, I agree with him a bit, which must be close to a first :-), in that Howard does not seem to have a coherent story to tell for the future. So may be this exercise of making it appear that he is not pro-Coalition biased, brings some truth into the GG. Or it is an indication of the anti-Howard backlash to come from within the Coalition when its all over and they do indeed lose?

  3. Doug said

    I voted on the australian’s cast your vote feature – to judge from the results at that point there are a lot of ALP and Green supporters reading the GG.

  4. George said

    Hey Possum, what the heck happened to some real analysis of the newspoll by The Australian? They’ve got the graphic up on their website but it’s mentioned no where else (I think). Would you agree?

  5. Ptobias said

    Shanahan has his typically insightful analysis – on the basis of movement in satisfied/unsatisfied ratings that are entirely within the margin of error, Howard’s reconciliation announcement has him better placed than he has been for a year, and Rudd is at his lowest point ever due to the McClelland debacle.

  6. disenfranchised Gippslander said

    If the Galaxy poll had been done by Morgan, the results woud have been about 56/44! IMO Galaxy are nearly as much skewed to the Coal. as Morgan is to ALP. BWTH, only 40 days till we know for certain!

  7. Rattus nonveritas said

    What’s the bet the GG’s risible ‘Vote-a-Matic’ will stay up on the News site throughout the campaign in a pathetic attempt to dupe the gullible into non-labor voting?

  8. Kramer said

    I too agree with Milne. I was surprised to learn the other day that Costello had actually walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 2000. Howard’s reconciliation is partially admirable because he admits that he mishandled the issue.

    That is where the praise from me stops. The whole thing is simply desperate attempt to win back some of the moderate Coalition voters in Bennelong.

    Yeah, Galaxy is clearly biased towards the Coalition.

  9. Lloyd said

    Agree the poisonous dwarf is actually readable this morning. Interesting that big Mal was informed of the Reconciliation speech that day and as we know Costello was never informed.

    WTF does this say about the ‘team’ and ‘leadership’.

  10. John V K said

    IR Laws taste bad but Good for You. Quote of the election so far.

    Recession we Had to have springs to mind.

    Bit of blowback I’d say on Galaxy at most. Indigenous apology (Tanner) and support for the Bali Bombers will most likely wash out. Agree Galaxy trends coaliton Morgan trends Labor. Must be in their questioning and the actual people sampling and emphasis or something, Timings.

  11. polliegraph said

    the glen milne piece nearly had me falling of my seat, because it made so much…sense! what’s glen been smoking?

  12. Alex McDonnel said

    It will be interesting to watch for when the MSM declare their hands for the election. Rupert has obviously been telling his papers to lean towards Howard but to give Rudd a ‘seen to be fair’ run. Perhaps Milne’s article today may presage the Murdoch press turning towards Labor as Rupert decides to back the probable winner.

  13. What I found interesting about Glenn Milne’s piece is his alledged inside information on what some senior libs have been saying about Howard in the past week. They may be sitting back letting him make his own bed this week but it will soon sink in that their own future is on the line and they’ll have to suck it up and pitch in. That said, there will be a lot of firewalling going on. Some of it nationally co-ordinated, and some if it very much not.

    All good news for the popcorn vendors.

  14. That Galaxy poll seems bogus to me. I can’t find the actual numbers at all, and the Galaxy website hasn’t got it that I can see. And why didn’t they poll in Blair? That’s more marginal than Longman.
    Is it accurate to say that the MoE is 3%? For this poll, isn’t it 4 polls of 200 people each, making a truly ridiculous MoE.

  15. Alex at 12.

    Rupert’s goal, always, is leverage. Above all he wants whoever walks into the Lodge in December to believe that they owe him. The Oz’s job is do everything they can to be seen to have influenced events. This is made hard for them when the polls refuse to move around.

  16. Possum Comitatus said

    Quote of the day must go to Kieran Gilbert on Sky talking about the Coalition:

    “Politicians try to seek underdog status….. But probably not as much as they have it at the moment though”.

    Milne sounds like he’s still positioning on behalf of Camp Costello.

    Newspoll analysis is all a bit quiet today – too much else to talk about I guess.Especially since ye old Newspoll is becoming like concrete.

  17. polliegraph said

    i think milne is starting to segue into an anti-Howard thing, not wanting to be seen ferociously backing what even he now realises is the Loser…i await further pieces with great interest. anyway, it’ll be an interesting psychological study.

  18. George said

    Galaxy boss on the World Today current affairs radio program right now (774 and radio national).

  19. Eric said

    Speaking of grand unified theories: Possum, have you or anyone else tried to create a function based on demographic data that is a close fit for the voting pattern for each electorate?

  20. George said

    Antony Green is on also – he rightly points out Labor will be more interested in their own polling rather than that brought out by Galaxy. Also, this poll from Galaxy will work in the Labor party’s advantage as it will be perceived to be a closer election that it probably the case.

    He also rightly pointed out that any shorter than expected swings in any particulat seats will mean other seats will have much larger swings (based on the National swing). Why the heck can’t these journalists reporting on this understand the numbers? Or maybe they just don’t want to…

  21. Possum Comitatus said

    Yep, tons of times Eric, it never works!

    And the more complicated I make them, the more useless it becomes.

  22. Beach Ball said

    Will this abbarant Galazy be factored into the Poll-average on the right of this page?

  23. GS said

    Shanahan and Milne – will they spontaneously combust with fear and indignation by 24 Nov? (Matt – hope you get well and come back soon!)

  24. Artee said

    On underdog status. Once again – the too clever but nonetheless cringingly humorous Shaun Macallef newstopia hit the mark with the faux debate between Lib and Lab trying to become underdog. Too real to laugh without bitterness.

  25. Dan said

    Is there any measurable correlation between demographic and voting patterns? Superficially you would say there is, but I get the feeling there might be too many variables for a function to even be poss-ible (ha ha). I guess the census data would be a good start.

    Ideas anyone?

  26. Possum, you know as well as anybody preference flows in opinion polling are a bit of an abracadabra.

  27. Possum Comitatus said

    Beach Ball at 22, nope, I only use the national polls for the big four to do the poll average with.

    Dan, the over 55s tend to vote for the Coalition more than the ALP, and that holds just about everywhere, but the correlation is a lot weaker for other age groups. Income levels arent a very good explanatory variable either because of the way a lot of low income households vote for the Nats and Liberals in rural and regional Australia. It get’s pretty complex when it comes to seat by seat analysis.

    Stephen, abracadabra gives it too much gravitas.

  28. Andos the Great said

    Hey Possum,

    Apologies if this has been raised before, but my view of the polls this year has put me in mind of the 1996 election (polling analysed by you previously). Is it possible to do a more in depth analysis of 1996 vs 2007 in terms of the polling?

    That would be excellent.

    Keep up the good work.

  29. Alex McDonnel said

    I read Matt Price’s article in Tele today – has anyone heard any details of what his surgery found? What’s the prognosis?

  30. Dan said

    Now that I think of it you’re also dealing with parental influence, quality of candidate, and that classic, undefinable “I just like the other guy for some reason”. Despite that logic I can’t seem to let go of the idea that it would be theoretically possible to come up with some kind of super-function, if you sat down and programmed all the thousands of variables. It probably wouldn’t be very accurate though. You’d have to have unbelievably high-quality data on every member of the electorate.

  31. Beach Ball said

    Thanks Poss.

  32. The Keegan said

    Glenn Glug Glug Milne does seem to be shopping for new master, yet his opinion piece is worthy of a read. The Libs should have taken the keys from Toad when they had the chance, it’s too late to hit the refresh button and hope a different narrative will appear – seems to me the story with affective adhesiveness is the one that says JWH is tricky and past it. Have youse seen the results on the GG core data vote gizmo? Crazy but fun, it’s a sea of red.

  33. Kirribilli Removals said

    OK, this is ‘out there’, maybe out there in a zeitgeist sort of way, but does anyone feel the resonance here in Oz with the implosion of the US Republicans?

    It’s always hard to get exactly the right degree of ‘cross talk’, but take the way Bush is on the nose over there, the way the executive has totally corrupted government, privatised everything including the military and siphoned off billions to their Republican mates. Bush just vetoed extending health care benefits to millions of non-insured kids and claimed it was toxic ‘socialism’.

    Having signed on to all his wars and shunned Kyoto, Howard is seen by many as Bush’s shadow, and his IR policies as taking us down the same entrenched ‘working poor’ road.

    If you view Howard as Bush’s little doppleganger, then there’s almost nothing he can do or say that will change the tide for him. The far right has had its day, the world is moving on.

    Any comments?

  34. David said

    Lot of talk saying ALP needs way over 52% on 2PP to win a mjority of seats. But Anthony Green’s excellent state by state sliders show ALP would win a majority with 50.5% 2PP to LNP 49.5% (an overall swing of 3.2%). As state swings vary it requires 5.5% in SA, 5% in Qld, 4.6% in NSW, 0% in Vic, 2.1% in WA, 3% in Tas, 3% in NT and 2% in ACT (all likely except Vic could be better). Try it and see for yourself. It’s almost certain Rudd can pull that small amount more than Latham. On top of that more people are now aware of Howard’s misrepresentations over his time in office. Good bye John Howard!

  35. GS said

    what’s the story with yr link on Crikey?

  36. Possum Comitatus said

    GS, Crikey seems to be a bit snowed under today.They’ve got a number of articles I’ve sent them that should go up on my page there, but none of them have appeared yet.Busy day.

    As the articles turn up here:

    I’ll link into them on the blog here.

    Well that’s the plan, anyway 😉

    The post that’s up there at the moment was my breakdown of the Crosby Textor research that got the lawyers all busy a few months back.

  37. disenfranchised Gippslander said

    seconding Andos @ #28

    i’ve an hypothesis that JHW is just as much on the nose as PJK was in 1996. To support or disprove this, I need the comparative stats for Keating vs Howard (good job, preferrd PM)in the lead up the election
    Possum, do you have these to hand, or can you point me to where I might get them?

  38. DeeCee said

    I filed this on OzElection07 http://ozelection2007.info/forums/viewtopic.php?id=928 but, in light of the above remarks (& as these areas of Brisbane have some peculiarities), it probably bears repeating:

    Queensland’s huge migration rate into the state’s south east (in excess of 1,500 a week) makes for considerable instability (esp lack of recognition of local candidates) in Brisbane, near-Brisbane & tropical NQld seats. Many coalition-held seats are in areas most affected by this migration.

    A closer examination of to-day’s Galaxy poll, and a comparison between “locked in” voting intentions, and the “Preferred PM” & “Satisfaction” stats shows that, while the current 2PP vote is close, the “Preferred PM” (Rudd 54/ Howard 38) & “Satisfaction” (Howard: sat 47%, diss 48%; Rudd: sat 71%, diss 20%) indicate the leadership recognition factor. Given the “Preferred PM” figures, the 2PP balance (Lab 51/Lib 49) seems odd, unless one considers the migration (lack of recognition) factor.

    Based on this analysis and on longitudinal voting trends, especially as a candidate’s political party now appears of the ballot paper, I’d assume that voters who do not know the candidates are likely to vote for their preferred party – and follow that party’s “How to vote” card!!

    NOTE: It should also be mentioned that some of the “true-blue” non-marginal Liberal seats (esp Blair & Ryan) are showing up as possible government losses because of Howard’s bizarre (& PERSONAL) determination to build a multi-lane, multi-bridge highway (which the state Lib leadership & Bris CC Mayor oppose, equally trenchantly) through his bluest of blue-ribbon Brisbane seats!

  39. Ptobias said

    Kirribilli Removals (#33), while there might be some parallels I am wary about going too far. Last year’s US mid-terms were to a large extent driven by a single issue – Iraq – which doesn’t have the same traction here in Australia, particularly since our opposition is not articulating as clear a pro-withdrawal message as the Democrats did. The number of troops being sent there, money being spent there, and dead and disabled soldiers coming home from there make it a highly emotive debate in America, whereas here there is much less passion for it in the populace as a whole. To see the effect of that one issue in the US, witness the rapid drop in public satisfaction with Congress as they have continued to pass “compromise” legislation that does not put firm restrictions on Bush. I don’t mean to say that there are no similarities, but I think Labor has a bigger job to do in the sense that they have to win across the gamut of issues instead of counting on one big issue to bring them home.

  40. Possum Comitatus said

    Gippslander – Bryan has what you’re after over here:

    Go down to the “Newspoll 1996 compared with 2007” section.

  41. disenfranchised Gippslander said


  42. Kirribilli Removals said

    Ptobius, I think you’re right on Iraq in terms of the relative importance here versus the US, but having such a discredited figure as GWB endorsing you (as at APEC most recently) can’t be a plus for those who are horrified at what’s happening in Iraq.

    But I think it may be broader than just Iraq, it’s also the complete denial of global warming until the electorate moved, and then the conservative’s focus groups told them which side of the bed to get out of! (To paraphrase a certain person! LOL). There are many underlying connections which Australian voters cannot help but notice, even obliquely.

    History will no doubt fill in the dots, but now…I have an empty van waiting to do some moving.

  43. So many polls comments, I may have missed this mentioned, but the pendulum version of the oz online poll has the greens ending up with more seats than coalition. Nice wallpaper pic.

  44. Rod said

    Anyone taken a look at the Australian’s “exclusive” CoreData on line polling thingo recently – http://uvote.coredata.com.au/

    At the time of writing (8.30 PM Monday) , with roughly 8000 “votes” cast, it has Labour winning government with 121 seats. The Opposition are now shown as the Greens, with 13 seats. The “coalition” of the Libs and Nats come in third, with 12 seats.

    All nonsense, of course, but I note that the GG doesn’t seem to be showing the same enthusiasm for providing commentary that it usually has for its more dubious tea leaf reading processes!



  45. Crikey Whitey said

    Maybe Glenn has been instructed to run his work by Matt, while his Sketch is down, in case the GG lists entirely over with the loss of a large part of the little ballast it maintains for balance.

  46. Niz said

    What is it about Petrie in QLD. The Australian polling thing has the Greens running at 34%

  47. Niz said

    Scratch that, the whole of tassie is green 😀

  48. Rod said

    Even more silly, of the 12 seats it had the coalition managing to win a few minutes back 4 (Brand, Calwell, Gorton & Griffith) are currently held by Labour by margins ranging from 4.7 to 14.9% 😉

  49. Rod said

    Getting even funnier over at http://uvote.coredata.com.au/

    The coalition dropped down to 9 seats for a while, with around 10,000 “votes” registered in total (back up to 10 now) . The greens are sitting on 24, with Labour on 110 and 5 “unknown”. 😉

  50. Rod said

    Another interesting change at “coredata”. For some reason the actual number of “votes cast” has suddenly [b]declined[/b] by a few hundred, the Libs/Nats are back as the primary Opposition (with a whopping 14 seats!) and the Greens have been reduced to an insignificant rump, falling from their once glorious 24 seats to a mere 2. Given that the actual number of votes registered has gone backwards one can only assume that there was a “technical issue” of some kind, or that that someone has been caught cheating!

  51. Mark said

    Sorry if someone else has already mentioned this – has anyone studied the seat by seat results in the poll in the Australian, it has Labor winning virtually everywhere (inc. Wentworth, Bennelong, Mayo, MacKellar, Kooyong and many other “blue ribbon” Lib seats!) – from what I can see the numbers are 10,000 plus participants so far….interesting especially in light of Possum’s story a while back about voters in some of these seats being polled for the first time! Go here: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22073824-5013404,00.html then click on ‘Map it’
    The resulting pendulum is here: http://uvote.coredata.com.au/

  52. Aspirational Aspirationalist. said

    The Prime Minister said “Well slogans are easy and they’re costless.”.
    So get a load of this.

    Aspirational Action on Climate Change, Australia Says No!.

    Fundamental Injustice Day 30 Jun 1999,
    Fundamental Justice Day 24 Nov 2007.

    Vote out a government who won’t Ratify Kyoto, I can do that.

    Return a government who gagged debate in the house, and abused their majority. Tell him he’s dreamin’

    Workchoices, Its the Vibe of the thing.

    “The time has come, A fact’s a fact, It belongs to them, Let’s give it back” — The New Tax Policy.

    I need a girlfriend.

  53. Aspirational Aspirationalist. said

    That last line is not meant to be a slogan. but a self-observation

  54. Rod Hagen said

    Mark wrote:

    “in the poll in the Australian, it has Labor winning virtually everywhere”

    Hi Mark,

    If you want to get some idea of just how unreal this poll is , take a look at the seats in which it has the coalition as the victors. Several of them are currently held by Labour, some with large majorities! Its fun, but don’t take it seriously for even a moment.



  55. Dogford said

    I understand that Crosby Textor used to focus on geo-demographic analysis quite heavily.

    I don’t know if it’s still the case. But the idea was that if you find a polling booth catchment area, and look at its demographic makeup, income, age, mortgage level etc, then you can also look at more qulaitative and subjective questions focussing on issues.

    If you find a way to make a message work in one booth, you find all the others like it and ram the same message at them.

    It all seems to rely on a fairly broad assumption that people in the same period of their life (eg young families) have similar needs, and when those needs change, they move to a place that better meets their new needs.

  56. mark said

    Hi Rod – thanks for pointing that out…..I wasn’t exactly taking it seriously – online, voluntary, opt-in polls have serious flaws but of course! Fun is what I was looking for, perhaps the tone of my original post didn’t reflect that!
    Oh Janet, thou art deluded (or perhaps spinning & obfuscating wildly): talking about Rudd’s press conference on Sunday she said “There was nothing about what the Australian Labor Party stands for”!!! So, exit strategy from Iraq, serious action on climate change, emissions reduction targets, ratifying Kyoto, no nuclear power stations, abolishing Work Choices……all mentioned by Rudd; this doesn’t add up to ‘what the ALP stands for’?!

  57. Rod said

    Another nice little quirk from the ongoing (silly) Australian “exclusive Election poll” results so far at http://uvote.coredata.com.au/ is that Bruce Scott in Maranoa is about to become the leader of the National Party. I can say this with some certainty, as, according to the poll, he is the only Nat who is going to hold his seat. 😉



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