Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

Teh Surge – Teh Narrowing -Teh Victory!

Posted by Possum Comitatus on November 12, 2007


I probably wont be around much later tonight or tomorrow, so here was me in Crikey today.


The Narrowing is surging strongly, placing the Coalition within reach of victory on or about the 28th July 2008.


101 Responses to “Teh Surge – Teh Narrowing -Teh Victory!”

  1. Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel XI said

    Any graph that has ‘oops’ as a caption is all right by me.

  2. […] [by MB]: Possum has a neat graph showing the glacial narrowing will deliver teh victory to the Coalition sometime […]

  3. Adam said

    p055, UR 1 L33T pS3f0loxx3R… ;^)

  4. […] Possum has definitive evidence that the Narrowing exists. […]

  5. _RAAF_Stupot said

    I wonder whether 24th November will coincide with a peak or trough in Labor’s 2PP. Also, from 1st November, the linear trend is (just) upward.

  6. Leinad said

    lol 0MG P055 UR 0r5u/\/\ ROLFCOPTERBBQLMAO

  7. Justin said

    Why has 4chan invaded your website, Possum?

  8. Stephen T said

    Tiss a beautiful thing that you do Poss woo! hoooooooo!

  9. Possum Comitatus said

    With all this Gonzo pollyblogging business Justin, you never know what might turn up. 😉

  10. Harry 'Snapper' Organs said

    Fear & Loathing, Poss.

  11. Leinad said


  12. Enemy Combatant said

    Take 2. (Curse you spaminator. ‘Twas not I who suggested that yo mama sleeps in a wicker basket!). Maybe this thread will be kinder than the other. Here’s luck.
    Tough school around here, Kid, better deal me in.
    Team Tin-Tin: 88
    The Parties formerly led by El Rodente: 60
    Indies: 2
    (same as in The Bludgers comp a few weeks back)
    Biggest State Swing: SA 12.5%
    Smallest State swing: WA 4.5%
    Biggest seat swing: Hindmarsh: 13%
    Smallest seat swing: Stirling: 3.5%
    Merci, Monsieur.

    The above is pure speculation. There is only one certainty.
    Democracy will be the winner one the day.

  13. Stig said

    Hmmm … if we extrapolate, the oscillation around teh trend line is predicting an ALP vote of 54.5 to 55.5% on election day. I can do that!

    I can also put that into Antony’s calculator, and come up with numbers of 92 ALP, 56 Party formerly known as teh Libs & Nats, and 2 Indies. I don’t think teh state-by-state has enough precision, but still reckon that Queensland will swing more than SA. Won’t be by much though.

    Fear and Loathing can be a good thing. I’m starting to get into this election campaign more, and I think that I will miss it when it is all over. Not yet time to get the drinks on ice, but it may be time to start composing a political obituary.

  14. Simon said

    That’s some really nice gloating. But I do enjoy seeing panic attacks from those on here and Poll Bludger too. We’ll see…

  15. Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel XI said

    Have we all seen Media Watch? Attard is a star, and has fallen on her sword (pen?) with great flourish. Overtington is an orang-utan, lucky for her Johnnie has discovered this demographic and will save her. It was gob smacking! We all knew the Shamaham, Glug Glug and Janet were filthy, but Overington has topped them all. I wonder what sort of media watch we’ll get next year with that lightweight Trioli in charge?

  16. Kamatsu said

    Yeah I saw it.. I love Overington’s supposedly non-biased statement “Please Preference Malcolm”.

    Won’t change the election though.

  17. Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel XI said

    from Aunty’s Media Watch site – “How To Vote
    An independent candidate in one of the most crucial, marginal seats to be decided at the election says a senior reporter from The Australian tried to persuade her to direct her preferences to the sitting Liberal member, Malcolm Turnbull. Caroline Overington of The Australian emailed the candidate saying that Malcolm Turnbull would be a loss to the parliament – denigrating the value of the ALP’s George Newhouse as a potential MP.”


    get a look at this…

  18. Bob Downe said

    “I probably wont be around much later tonight or tomorrow …”
    Do you have a job interview, Poss?

  19. otiose said

    i was more interested in the selected couples for 4 corners – i’m shocked that ppl who work 6×12 hr shifts can’t see that some arsehole is exploiting them – and they STILL can’t afford the INCREASED interest but (SOMEHOW) under RUDD

  20. otiose said

    i was more interested in the selected couples for 4 corners – i’m shocked that ppl who work 6×12 hr shifts can’t see that some arsehole is exploiting them – and they STILL can’t afford the INCREASED interest but (SOMEHOW) under RUDD it woukd be somehow worse?? – we MUST HAVE more electoral/economic education – unfortunately i sus that we REALLY DO get the govt we deserve – currently the worst sort of racist anti-intellectual

  21. otiose said

    not sure how i posted 2 times 😉

  22. Evan said

    otiose says: “i was more interested in the selected couples for 4 corners….”

    Yeah, what a selection. Former (and current) Coalition voters, rather than true swinging voters, I should think.

    That poor Bogan working the 6 x 12 hour shifts was pathetic. He & The Missus didn’t have a clue. Nice enough people, just as thick as two short planks. Concerned about Global Warming and professed to support Kyoto, but thought for some reason that Labor had backtracked and wouldn’t sign it. Concerned about interest rates and aware that Howard had lied to them, but felt Rudd was inexperienced. Concerned about union influence, “like in the late ’80’s”.

    Obviously, not students of history. (I think he meant to say ’70’s as Hawke had essentially broken pattern bargaining with the Accord in ’83).

    As they both said: “We just want someone to look after us, for a change.”

    They need it too. Poor buggers.

    Talk about Wood Ducks. They’re the sort that go down to the car dealer to buy a Commodore and come home with a Camry, after some Slim Shady in a suit has assured them it’s “just a re-badged Commodore, folks”. They know something’s wrong, but just can’t put a finger on quite what it is.

    I would guess that John “Welfare State” Howard will remain their man.

    It’s just a terrible pity that he won’t win Government or even hold his own seat.

  23. Jay said

    I’d like to hold out for the Camry. Reckon you’re much less likely to strike terminal problems, but …

    Hasn’t anyone noticed that Howard is offering capital gains tax exemption to rich buggers who can buy houses for their offspring? And what happens when they get divorced? The rich offspring lands up with the house; the poor person lands up with either the children or the family allowance mob chasing them. Ripper.

  24. Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel XI said

    Yes Evan they were a bit ‘challenging’ but you must feel very good to be superior to these ‘wood ducks’. The last thing social reform needs is ‘clever’ boys like you. Funny as a fire in an Orphanage.

  25. Harmless Cud Chewer said

    Don’t you feel sorry for those poor buggers on 4 corners. Wait till their friends see the program and ring them up to point out their bloopers 🙂

  26. Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel XI said

    I do feel sorry for them, but not because they appear stupid, rather they are an apposite indication of the electoral mess JWH has created over 11 years. This is serious Mum! And people who make fun of this mob because they say ‘stoopid fings’ are wits, wits with a capital F.

  27. Pi said

    _RAAF_Stupot… you’re missing the point. The vote isn’t oscillating, the polls are.

    Come vote time, the chances are you get close to the linear line, not the oscillating one. The oscillating one, after all, is only a sample.

  28. PoliticalHeadkicker said

    Right you guys! That’s it! Since when has THE been spelled TEH? Is this new blogspeak? Why wasn’t I told?

    Love your work P055

  29. Neil Cammack said

    Going off to buy a Camry and coming home with a Commodore would be a worse, and in this case more likely, fate.

  30. Amused said

    Off topic, but listening to Howard on RN. Sounds depressed, tetchy, voice wavering… I think he’s given up.

  31. Chatswood Statsman said

    Even Michelle Grattan, normally very cautious, commented on how tetchy JWH was when questioned by Fran on “The Succession”.

  32. KC said


    That last Newspoll was strange with the preferences, 48% labor primary, 12% preferences, including 6% Greens for a 2PP of 55%.

    I thought it should have been at least 56% and closer to 57% as would expect labor to get most of the greens and 50% of the others.

    Perhaps the narrowing refers to the allocation of preferences?

  33. Geoff Lambert said

    I didn’t think Possum actually believed in straight line projections like that above… but they’re really rather cool. In the 24 elections from 1946-2004, straight line projections made from the aggregated polls produced an average overestimate in predictions for the ALP TPP of 0.6%. In the worst case (1987), the error in the TPP was 3.8%. In half the elections, the error was less than 1%. The “gap always narrows during an election campaign” is not strictly true. In about 60% of elections it has, but in 40% it has widened. On average, the ALP has been the beneficiary of gap closing, but the nett benefit to it has been very small. Any change in the gap during an election campaign is usually similar to that which had previously occurred in the 6-month pre-election period. In only 5 of the last 24 elections did the gap change from narrowing to widening or vice versa.
    In this election, the predicted gap on election day and the date at which it will close are:
    8-month trend line: 11.6% July 2009
    4-month trend line: 13.4% August 2083 (!)
    Campaign trend line: 11.0% March 2008

  34. Kirribilli Removals said

    It’s fascinating to watch Howard’s brand of Socialism get a caning in the press (minus the usual offenders of course), with his middle class welfare now going absolutely feral in a desperate attempt to buy his way to power, yet again.

    All of it inflationary, from child care subsidy, now to open slather payments to anyone with a kid at school, tax relief for the wealthy to buy property for their kids.

    The Smirk can make wisecracks about the Labor Party hiding ‘fiscal conservatives’ under the bed, but can you find a fiscal conservative in the Liberal Party?

    This is deperation time, and appalling policy promises that remind me more of the Magic Pudding than sane policy.

    Howard has lost the plot, big time, and he’s self-destructing before our very eyes. Bring it on!

    By the way, Mega George from the GG (but I don’t hold that against him!) is dishing out a bit of sanity on Life Matters on Radio National this morning. Just heard the tail end, and it’s not flattering stuff for the Rodent.

    Now, if Rudd holds the horse’s head tomorrow and takes away the punch bowl with skill and a vision for a better Australia without inflationary wildfires scorching the earth, he’s going to romp to the finish line.

  35. Bruce said

    A couple of comments:
    The 2PP of 54.9% is very close to my projection of 54.8% based on a different method (logistic regression) and the trend from March. My best estimate of the narrowing was 0.47% per month, which would give the Coalition a good chance of victory in September 2008.

    Geoff Lambert, I’m interested to see the details of youer analysis. Are they online or published somewhere? My 95%CI (i.e. MOE) for the projection was +/-1% which should be compared with your statement, “In half the elections, the error was less than 1%.” My MOE is based on the assumption of an underlying linear trend, as there is no real evidence in the polls of underlying volatility. This assumption may be wrong. Also a consistent bias or systematic error would invalidate the projection. So, do you have an MOE on the 0.6% bias you calculate? I’m curious about whether it is reasonable to regard polls as consistently biased.

    Media Watch:
    I admire Monica Attard. In fact I admire everyone who has taken on Media Watch. Although they dish it out, they cop a lot of flak. It must be a very stressful job being the public “umpire” on your peers.

    4 Corners Last night:

    Apart from the old guy who changed his vote to Labor, Jonathan Holmes (spelling ?) didn’t get swinging voters. He seemed to get a bunch of termininally confused and indecisive people, some of whom were, “thick as two short planks” to quote from above.

  36. Bruce said

    “I probably wont be around much later tonight or tomorrow”

    Poss, are ASIO or the Feds after you? Or is it immigration? I suggest you get your passport number tatooed on your arm so you can still remember it after the interrogation.

    Did anyone see Lateline last night?


  37. Bruce said

    Oh and apparently Heffernan has won Australia’s most sexiest man!


  38. “Jonathan Holmes didn’t get swinging voters. He seemed to get a bunch of termininally confused and indecisive people”

    One and the same, aren’t they? Most swinging voters aren’t informed people who are weighing up the promises and policies before making up their minds. Swinging voters are generally people who don’t know or care about politics, don’t understand the issues, and who ultimately make a random, poorly-informed choice. Last election, a mate of mine told me he wanted to “get rid of the current government”, but thought that meant voting Liberal. It would have been more useful to find some formerly dyed-in-the-wool Liberal voters who had decided to change their vote and analyse their reasons – interviewing “swinging voters” just displays the depressing level of political disengagement we face.

  39. canberra boy said

    Re comments 20, 22, 26 & 38 – it also seemed to me that several of the people four corners interviewed were really pretty wedded to the Libs. I agree with Grant about swinging voters being ill-informed and making poor or even random choices. And Evan – the view that Labor has backtracked on global warming & Kyoto is exactly the kind of confusion Howard was trying to create when the Coalition jumped on Garret & Rudd and said “back-track”. It was an attempt to confuse people in to believing either or both that Labor is no longer different on global warming or does not stick to its policies.

    The problem is that there are a large number of people out there who are, as Grant says, disengaged and ill-informed. What little they know about the world comes from accidentally seeing a commercial TV news grab while channel-changing to find something to watch.

  40. I think that a some of you need to rethink how most people consume media. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a TV news broadcast, from any network this election campaign. Why is that? Kids. It is almost impossible for me to do anything between the hours of five and eight because there is a pre-schooler and a toddler demanding my attention. A lot of your disengaged, swinging voters, are in a reasonably similar position.

    These people may read the headlines, hear a news snippet on the radio in the car but that’s about it, that’s why the parties spend so much on ads.

    The other side of the coin is, if political engagement and education was the only thing between the people reading this blog and the 4 corners voters, then where do the rest of the tory voters come from?

  41. Trubbel at Mill said

    PB copping Teh Richard again…

    This person


    has put up this delicious, delicious looking election night site here;


    Looks fantastic – hope the young chappy has organised a fat pipe and plenty of transistors for the 24th!!

  42. Observer said

    Pollbludger is off the ether.

  43. dkindon said

    Heffernan is the most sexist, not the sexiest!!

  44. Geoff Lambert said

    35:- Geoff Lambert, I’m interested to see the details of your analysis. Are they online or published somewhere?

    There is a 9-page paper, which I sent to Poll Bludger; it or part of it may find its way online eventually.

    At election day, with an ALP TPP of 55.5%, the 95% fiducial limits should be about 0.7%. This is greater than the mean error since 1946 (and the mean error was not significantly different from zero anyway), so I decided that I wouldn’t bother to subtract the mean error to arrive at a projection. The polls are consistently “biased” inasmuch as each differs consistently in the same direction from their mutual mean. Morgan is above by about 1%, Newspoll and Galaxy below by about 1% and AGB below by about 2%. None may be “right”. These numbers have been that way for 15 years.

  45. PJay said

    Possum. One of your earlier reports (last month?) pointed to the Liberal heartland deserting Howard. From memory you referred to them being the heart of blue ribbon Libs – the breeding ground of the future. Was the article something about wedging?

    Anyways, do you think yesterday’s crisp, gold-crackling-pork election promises (upper class welfare) are a desperate attempt to halt the exit? If so, are they in full-blown panic mode?

  46. dany le roux said


    Speaking of Crikey, there is heading the “Tips and Rumours” today the insinuation that it is possible still to vote early and vote often.Is this possible? Aren’t the Electoral offices, state and federal separately regulated by separate state and federal staff? The tipster implies that voting in NSW is poorly policed.Do published opinion polls help to prevent election fraud by pointing to an expected result?
    If election fraud occurs are ther statistical techniques which can bring it to light?

  47. Bruce said

    Re. dkindon,

    “Heffernan is the most sexist, not the sexiest!!”

    I went fishing with that one and I think I got a nibble.

  48. Bruce said

    My favourite band, Spinal Tap.

    Favourite album, Intravenous de Milo.

    Favourite drummer,…

  49. Bruce said

    Hi Pancho,
    That is truly wierd. How did my reply to your post end up before your post?

  50. Pancho said

    Ian: They are not gonna release the album…because they have decided that
    the cover is sexist.
    Nigel: Well so what? What’s wrong with being sexy? I mean there’s no….
    Ian: Sex-ist.
    David: -ist, not sexy.

    Nigel is Nigel Tufnell if you need a hint.

  51. Pancho said

    Possum adding his own comedic twist. You can never quite tell what will be next (or precede as the case may be).

  52. Burgey said

    Anyone else still having dramas with PB? Now I’m getting the WordPress log in page to start a blog. Very odd.

  53. aj said

    yep Burgey, same here.

    As for the Labor launch tomorrow, Labor doesn’t have far to top the Lib/Nats campaign launch apparently. What would be the things that you think that Labor would announce at the launch tomorrow? My thinking would be infrastructure maybe, disabled pension boosted, business incentives maybe???

  54. Crispy said

    Burgey PB is stuffed at my end, and has been since about 11.30, with a brief window at 2pm when I snuck back in. Annoying, I had a bit of a stoush going…

  55. Burgey said

    I think somehting big on health/ aged care worked in together. Re. education, could go for something on a rebate/ concession but with a threshold that’s not too low to avoid any “class warfare” allegations.

    On infrastructure, I’d love to see something involving all the states which ties in with the idea of working together to get things done instead of the balme thingy. Can’t really think what would fit the bill though.

  56. John Button said

    I reckon they might have something to say about Universities as no side has mentioned them and we are having an ‘education revolution’. I also think that Ruddy will do something with respect to Aged Care as well.

  57. aj said

    Labor seems to be following the RBA statements about infrastructure bottlenecks especially around the ports, maybe new infrastructure for the rural areas, they seem to miss out on alot. Water maybe?? Your health/age care would be a great one. After going through the system in the last month with my mother, I can tell you that anyone who can get these obvious sick patients into a bed any bed and looked at quickly, would be far dinkum on fixing some of the problems with the health/age system.

    My sources say that age care is flush with money, but it’s bottlenecking somewhere and not getting to the people it’s suppose to help. On the other hand my disabled sister can’t find anywhere permanent to live, as she used to live with my mother, whom didn’t make it, the money in the disable services/accomodation is quite low in comparison. One person I talked to said that the accomodation for disabled/mentally ‘challenged’ people are so bad that people are being put in jail cells until emergency accomodation is found for them. We were told that my sister could be put in a hostel that has recovering alcohol and drugs addicts. That will never happen.

  58. kat said

    PB is broken, how am i meant to get my afternoon fix?….and i’m nto even taht addicted some peopel must be going through major withdrawls…..

  59. Dave from Albury, I wasn’t trying to say “all people need is a bit of education and political instruction and they’ll vote Labor”. There are, of course, a whole pile of people out there who vote Tory for a range of completely legitimate reasons. Because they feel it would benefit them personally. Because they have a free market ideology. Because they own a business. Because their parents voted that way (never underestimate this factor). Educated, engaged people who just have a different point of view than myself for example. What I was pointing to was that middle ground of swing voters, who do decide on the flip of a coin without regard to ideology or even common sense.

    Pundits like to pretend the “swing voters” are made up of rational, informed, interested people. People who are weighing up all the policies, waiting to see how much pork will flow to their electorate, people who are right now comparing Labor’s education rebate with the Coalition’s and doing the sums and deciding the best way to go. Rubbish. “Swing voters” are people who catch the last 12 seconds of an election ad as they return from the dunny to watch Dancing With The Stars, and decide they don’t like John Howard’s choice of tie or Kevin Rudd’s poofy voice. Write them off as noise.

  60. Frank Calabrese said

    Yep, PollBludger is STILL down 😦

    But on matters electorally – forget about political news in WA today, the BIKG story is the dropping of the last remaining charge against Ben Cousins, who has almost single-handedly starved any media oxygen here in WA since the campaign started.

  61. Rod said

    What will Labour offer tomorrow?

    Lets hope it is something like:

    Serious additional direct investment in schools and universities (infrastructure, staffing levels etc) , rather than additional tax perks and rebates perks for parents or student?. A return to focusing on support for council and community based childcare system would be nice, too, instead of the shifting of vast numbers of taxpayer dollars ad nauseum through subsidies that get turned into fee increases to the Lib’s mate at “Alphabetical Child Care”!

    Direct expenditure in the aged care / health area to reduce pressure on public hospitals?

    The foreshadowing of some real money and thoughtful approaches to overcoming housing, health and education issues in Indigenous communities rather than the current “bung in an extra ex copper as manager, cut social security and CDEP and get rid of the permit system along the way” approach.



  62. Frank Calabrese said

    From William:

    [The Poll Bludger is closed for maintenance for what I’m told will be “a couple of hours”. Hopefully recent technical problems will be resolved once it’s done.]

  63. Guido said

    The fact about the disingaged voter is that they tend not to be ideologically driven. They tend to maintain the status quo if it is OK.

    You can see this trend in Victoria. Kennett was king and the disingaged voter voted for him, even in 1999. But many who were pissed off about him (especially in regional areas) voted against him, and I am sure that many disingaged voters were surprised when Kennett lost, but they went on with their lives.

    However the same disingaged voters have now voted for Bracks because things are going OK and they don’t see any reason for change. I bet that if Rudd wins the same thing is going to happen to him as well unless he stuffs it up majorly or whether the economic tsunami that Costello talks about really happens.

    Also Lindsay is a very affluent area, and there has been a major shift to the Liberals, and I suspect the swinging voters are more likely to vote Liberal anyway.

    Mumble is very informative about this seat.

    Lindsay is centred around Penrith and, along with neighbouring Macarthur – plus Hughes in Sydney’s south – swung to the Liberals by over ten percent in 1996.

    Hence the “Howard’s battlers” story. But the demographics show that if these three are battling it’s for that second four wheel drive.

    For actual battlers, with income and unemployment to match, try Fowler.

  64. Enemy Combatant said

    Handy serving suggestion:

    (Rudd to camera at tomorrow’s launch)

    “Mr. Howard’s promises to Australian working families are not those of a fiscal conservative.
    They are the inflationary promises of a care-taker Prime Minister prepared to RISK the Australian Economy and Australia’s National Interest in order to cling to power above all else.
    A PM who ten days out from an election has so little trust in the Australian people that he unwilling to include them in his retirement plans.”

  65. Rod said

    I should have added some serious dollars for some serious climate change related stuff to my wish list for Labor tomorrow. Whether it be for implementation of genuinely modern energy technology (and I don’t mean the pseudo stuff like “clean coal”, nuclear, or ethanol) , or some more rational transport infrastructure, I’ll be be happy.

    On the other hand, you could actually have an even greater environmental impact by removing subsidies etc for various things. Somehow I can’t quite see Labor coming at such an approach though, despite their professed “fiscal conservatism”! 😉

  66. kiwipundit said

    Has anyone had a look at the individual seat betting on Portlandbet?

    Well Labor are now favourites in 79 seats, the Coalition are now down to 69 and 2 seats are safely Independent. That’s an 8-seat majority (and rising) for Labor. Of course, Simon Jackman will have all the details from Portlandbet, Centrebet and Sportingbet up on his site very soon. However, Bennelong still has the Rodent as the favourite to win. Still there’s another 11 days to go so anything can happen.

    Anyway, this is in sharp contrast to the Portlandbet individual seat betting markets when they first opened in early July. Then (surprisingly) the Coalition were predicted to have a 6-seat majority, being favourites in 78 seats, Labor in 70 seats and there were the 2 Independents.

    Speaking of young Angus Howard, who was mentioned a few posts back, he’ll be getting plenty of attention from his maternal grandparents very soon. I bet you that poor boy’s first words won’t be “mama” or “dada” but “pork” or “wedge”. When Angus gets a bit older I’m sure the Rodent will have his grandson dog-whistling like a pro. 😉

  67. Enemy Combatant said

    “PB is broken, how am i meant to get my afternoon fix?….and i’m nto even taht addicted some peopel must be going through major withdrawls…..

    Comment by kat — November 13, 2007 @ 2:32 pm ”

    Stay cool, kat. Mercifully, Bludger spillovers are being catered to by…(whips crack, hooves thunder)
    Posssum Of The Overflow!

  68. Evan said

    Hey, Trubble, that Orgbureau site you linked at post 41 is a hoot.

    It’s got a great link to a Russian Machine Translation site that will come in very handy when I’m changing-out the pre-compressor turbine blades on the MiG.

    величайшая благодарность, товарищ.

    I think.

  69. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said


    Forget the idealist stuff – Rudd’s first priority should be to counter the conservative pork with some substantial Labor lolly (preferrably dressed up as educational or other productivity growth benefits). Dont give the bribe hungry electorate any more reasons to vote for this sick bunch of fiscal whores they laughingly call the Government. Idealism can come later.

  70. George said

    Mr Thatcher @ 69 – hear, hear!

  71. Boothby Boother said

    Possum, the graph is indeed a corker, I just love the combination of science and humour.

  72. El Nino said

    Further to comment on Four Corners last night, here is a hypothesis (that’s what focus groups are for, after all):
    The Howard-battler marginals in NSW will not be the most marginal seats after this election. As Howard flanked Keating in 1996 and pinched a whole bunch of blue collar vote, Rudd is about to flank Howard and pinch a bunch of middle class vote (hence the Libs union scare tactics).
    The Lindsay voters are sailing close to the wind financially and vague uneasiness about the ‘Economy’ pushes them towards Howard in the same way the refugees and terror do.
    But the new marginals will be in seats where a better educated middle class are prosperous enough to not have immediate worries about the ‘Economy’ and have grown tired of Tampa/Iraq/Hicks -type adventures in loony conservatism and FINALLY they have someone who they can vote for in Rudd. That is why the broadband issue is such a winner.
    Its what Latham tried to do, but he was a bit too mental to pull it off.

  73. El Nino said

    Oh, and another thing that is overlooked in the whole Workchoices issue: the manager classes have a lot of teenage kids who are getting ripped off in their part time uni jobs – its not just a wage-earning class issue. And given that Workchoices has brought the ‘benefits’ of a casual labour force to to full time employees, its no wonder that full time jobs are on the rise. Its a classic fudge of the job stats.

  74. […] the graph from Possums Pollytics shows, yes, you can sort of see a little sign of The Narrowing. But that gentle glidepath has to […]

  75. Enemy Combatant said

    “I just love the combination of science and humour.”
    Me too, Boothers, in a Gary Larsen’s Far Side kinda way.

  76. Bruce said

    An article in the Age today sums up why I don’t like Howard and am heartily sick of the Coalition’s negative campaign.

    “The great deceiver is in a class of his own”

    The latest lie is the great spending splurge, which Rudd feels compelled to match, will not stimulate inflation.

    With so many disengaged, empty-headed voters no wonder Howard has rule the sewer for so long. The tragedy is it’s the middle class battlers who’ve been so entranced by him who will suffer the most. Their tax cuts will not match the increase in mortgage payments, because the biggest cuts went to the rich, whose houses continue to soar in value.

    When you tell a lie, make sure it’s a big one…

  77. Lindsay voter said

    El Nino, I think you’re right that there are just as many Labor supporters amongst the comfortable middle classes than the working classes. Issues like Tampa, Hicks, Iraq etc are more important to the small l liberals. Howard throws a few peanuts to the average voter and they whoop with joy without realising that for the wealthy he has laid on a feast.

  78. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Bruce – A spot-on article which everyone should read, especially the liberal die-hards on this blog. JWH – basically a lying rodent from the beginning to the end. would be very fitting if Maxine McKew turfed him out on E day so he leaves in dserved ignomy.

  79. Martin said

    anyone else noticed a “narrowing” of the results of the Sky News viewer polls?? the rodent might win them all, but the results are getting closer as the election draws nearer it seems. i don’t think i’m imagining this

  80. mate said

    I have

    Back in the old days (2 days ago) you could scam it to the best and still be outnumbered 5-2. No matter how fast you rigged it…
    Recently I gave up…

    Apperantly so did “them”

  81. ismark said

    Is there an insideous plot about….. larvatusprodeo and poll bludger are both off the air tonight….will I see poss in the morning

  82. Rod said

    Sorry GBMT & George, but I don’t agree.

    Rudd is very much on probation at present. Tomorrow he has an opportunity to show whether he is a national leader or simply the leader of an effective election campaign. He’ll probably scrape over the line anyway even if he isn’t able to demonstrate that he is the former (simply because Howello is/are sufficiently “on the nose”), but what he does tomorrow will have a substantial impact on the mandate he carries with him, and, I suspect, the size of the majority he takes into Parliament. Simply trying to “counter the conservative pork with some substantial Labor lolly” will probably actually cost him votes. He needs to be cleverer than that. If he is not then more than a few people will simply say “what’s the difference” and gravitate back to where they came from when it comes to election day.

    “Idealism” is not something that naturally “comes later” where the Labor party are concerned. Quite the reverse in my experience over the last few decades. If it is not “out there” when they kick off, then it ultimately disappears in morass of pragmatism and personal egotism (as we certainly saw with Hawke et al).

    Rudd needs to put up a substantial position tomorrow, and it needs to involve much more than pork barrelling. He needs to make a genuine mark before the election if he wants to be the leader of a government that is worth anything.



  83. Rod said

    On a completely different matter, Mumble’s piece on mortgages and electoral margins is interesting today. – see http://www.mumble.com.au/federal/megastuff/payingoffhome.htm

    It helps to show why Victoria, despite the absence of much in the way of narrow margins, is a very important state in this election. Three out of the top four (and 6 out of the top ten) “Mortgage seats”!



  84. mate said

    Or he could just show up, say “Hi, I’m Kevin and I here to help” again and then stand back and watch the noise as people flock to him!

    After all, simply pointing out that he isn’t Howard seems to have been enough. True that he should have been made to say/do more,

    Quite telling that he didn’t need too

  85. Peter Fuller said

    That reminds me of the story about Robert Kennedy, who was mobbed throughout his final campaign – the 1968 California primary. One cynical observer in his campaign team suggested he just read from the Los Angeles telephone directory, and the mob would still raise the roof.
    I think Rudd will excel at the launch; he began to show some of the required passion, when he was on Lateline last Thursday, and you can bet that he’s been preparing for this occasion (and probably his speech claiming victory, 24 November) since he was captain of debating at Nambour High.
    How much it’s the real thing and how much it’s contrived, who knows?

  86. Hemingway said

    Poss, Please return for the Labor Launch analysis!

  87. stevet said

    Kiwipundit, little Angus’s first word will be “core”.

  88. Neil Cammack said

    …. and when Angus is two he’ll stamp his foot and say “NOT sowwy!”

  89. mate said

    hmmm, methinks PB just sh!t itself again

  90. Will of Kooyong said

    I’m starting to think PB is getting Denial of Service Attacks, I wonder who would want to do that? Especially at certain times where maybe the future PM of Australia is talking, or when others are talking about how crap the LNP launch was. I’m not pointing fingers, but we aren’t doing digg.com or slashdot sort of bandwidth when posting on there.

  91. adam said

    87, 88 above:

    nah, angus will turn out to be a poster-boy for the socialist left, selling green left weekly at the market to latte-sippers, while grandad fiddles with his colostomy bag and wonders what the hell went wrong… ;^)

    (all positions contain the seeds of their own reversals)

  92. […] As much as some paid writers (for saying “journalists” feels like a stretch) have been keen to say how unpredictable the polls are, my favourite piece lately comes from Possum. He/She acknowledges that the polls are indeed narrowing, and do indeed point toward a Howard victory… in July 2008. […]

  93. […] next Saturday, but if the consistency of the polls over the last twelve months (and more recently) is anything to go by, there’ll be more chardonnay than tears at the Waugh […]

  94. […] next Saturday, but if the consistency of the polls over the last twelve months (and more recently) is anything to go by, there’ll be more chardonnay than tears at the Waugh […]

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