Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

A Hypothetical

Posted by Possum Comitatus on November 15, 2007

Putting on your hypothetical hat for second, what would happen if the next Newspoll came out and looked like this (the black line is the hypothetical)


The last time there was a worst possible time for a high ALP Newspoll to come out for the Coalition, it happened.

Back in September with APEC. A few days before it came out, we were joking at the possibility and wondering how far the panic would spread were such a thing to occur. After it came out, it caused a leadership fiasco.

I’m of the view that the worst possible time for a high ALP Newspoll between now and the election for the Coalition is the next one, whenever that may be.

So if a 57/43 ALP TPP Newspoll came out – what result do you think it would have on the campaign, and perhaps even voter sentiment?

Likewise, to balance it up here – what do you think a 52/48 ALP TPP Newspoll would do to the campaign?

I’ve been finding it interesting lately that the Coalition seems to be one bad poll away from an implosion, and ALP supporters seem to be one bad poll away from mass suicide.


Apparently tomorrows ACN is 54/46


Over at the OZ, the new quarterly you have when you arent having a quarterly newspoll has been released, which is the state and demographic breakdown of their last 2 polls.

I’ll go over the numbers fully tomorrow, as well as the ACN, but in the meantime – according to Antony’s spiffy calculator – it would be 99 seats to the ALP.


97 Responses to “A Hypothetical”

  1. Bruce said

    Either result will definitely affect political party mood and voter mood for those who notice polls.

    It will affect my expectations as well as, even though I know sampling error is what explains most poll movements, it still leaves open the possibility of genuine movement in the electorate.

    I would have used 53/47 as equivalent to 57/43 – equal distances from 55/45 which is my best estimate of the electorate. At 52/48 we are over the edge of the MOE (2.5% on 1700 voters in the lastest Newspolls). So I’d see 52 as suggestive of some real movement but not yet convincing – Newspolls calculation of 2PP leaves a lot to be desired. I’d have to look at primaries as well.

  2. Jess said

    If the Coalition slips lower I think we’ll see some serious leaking and damage control initially from backbenchers… Mal Washer springs to mind as someone who like to vent – something along the lines of “if only we’d switched to Costello earlier” If it gets really bad then it good even be Minister’s trying to distance themselves from Howard.
    Personally I have trouble even considering your other hypothetical… too dark a place… but if I had to I think that Howard and Costello will attempt to take the credit and say that its all because of their continue to talk economic management. Labor will go harder on negative against Costello and the handover and newspoll will swing back in the last few days – hopefully!!!

  3. alpal said

    A 57/43 would cause voters to keep marching to Rudd – voters like to be with the winners. It would also cause a severe backgrounding and off-the-record briefing outbreak from supporters of All Tip. They would implode.
    A 52/48 would change Rupert’s mind – and ensure a nationwide attack on the Rudd machine all next week.
    I still expect a widening on the Primaries.

  4. gandhi said

    Surely if a result like that came out, Murdoch would just shut down the GG and refuse to report it, probably blaming the printer’s union for the inconvenience.

    Alternatively, they might report it the other way – as a swing to the Coalition – and then admit their mistake (after a lengthy enquiry) on Nov 25th.

    Even if they did publish it, Dennis Shanahan would loudly trumpet what a great advantage the “underdog” status was to Howard.

  5. Greeensborough Growler said

    The Liberal vote is the soft vote in this election (as it has been all year).

    There is nothing in the demeanour of the key players to suggest anything but Labor is well in front.

    Come next week, this may turn in to a further surge to Labor as the punters decide to go with the strength. Most people would prefer to have their local member in the Government.

  6. HarryH said


    1 thing i notice on your graph is the 1 up 1 down trend. From March each poll went up then the next went down.

    The recent trend however has been 2 up 2 down. This may point to your “hypothetical” 57.

    who knows? i’m only hypothosising like you.

    keep up the good work.

  7. VP for Hillary said

    Good god, possum. You seem to be forgetting the *inevitible* narrowing.

    Naturally, the next 2PP will be a difference of no more than 51/49. If it’s not, Caroline Overington’s head might explode. Hmmm. Could be worth it.

  8. John V K said

    Probably where your hypo is, is the real point anyway and newspoll was an outlier or slightly freakish.

    Interest rates have been playing subliminally for over a week with a bloody huge crescendo yesterday. So prob unlikely to go the other way.

    The coalition will only be able to have stiff upper lips.

    But if it goes down, H Haters will be double parking on bridges everywhere and free falling.

  9. Ratsak said

    57% would make a nice little series. Look at the major peaks 61, 60, 59, 58, … It’s “Teh Narrowing” I tells ya!

  10. The Doctor said

    Depends on the primaries – if ALP is on 47/48 as has been all year then I don’t expect any change to the expected 55/45 result.

  11. stevet said

    Considering Labor has easily taken the honours in the past two weeks and the Coalition are looking even more like a shrill rabble lately (Howard looked truly awful on TV last night) I think the only way is up for the ALP in the polls. I will be most disappointed if we go back to 53-47 or even lower. I think this week has been definitive in terms of athe whole year, let alone the campaign itself.

  12. steve_e said

    All the banks have now increased variable mortgage rates and letters to the lucky borrowers have been mailed detailing the higher payments they are required to make. Assuming the next Poll is from telephone or face to face discussions over the3 week-end of 17/18 November and published on Monday 19/20 November, it is more likely to up toward the higher level for the ALP than toward a lower level. The Economic management issue (how much is to be spent – interest rates, etc) is not likely to be positive to the Coalition given the fear of inflation that exists.

    Liberal blood will be flowing if the ALP TPP is above 56% – it will be all about survival and getting ready for the future in Opposition.

  13. Adam said

    slightly off topic but relevant to overt-ington’s cranial status:

    in a recent post of mine on her blog at the GG, swiftly moderated out of course, i suggested that a cunning writer could always cover her coercive tracks with a little “winkywink” symbol… as such a device could be happily construed as “light-heartening” the exchange in a legal sense. she’s sure made a lot of mileage from that point hasn’t she? hmmmm… i think of the well-known torts case where the fellow injured in a crash lost his suit, because the drunk driver of the car that he was injured in had stuck a jokey “enter at own risk” sticker on the dash. i would hope the aec were more awake to potential scams than that court was.

    you all know the balloon will settle on or above 55.
    oh, and as my lawyer says, ;^)

  14. Jess said

    When is the next ACNeilsen being released?

  15. Gezza said

    The results of the next newspoll will of course depend on the distribution of preference noise, or should that be Overington noise?

  16. My quote predictions if that happens

    Downer: If I can use a cricketing analogy, “A rising delivery has crushed my box.”
    Costello: I am the forgotten people.
    Abbott: (Wouldn’t show up for quote.)
    Bishop: The PM was a secret Maoist I knew it all along.

  17. Neil Cammack said

    If the ALP vote is at the lower end the Tories will conclude that the union fear campaign is working (and they might well be right) and ramp it up to fever pitch.

    If the ALP vote is 57% or better the Ruddster will repeat that “the election will go right down to the wire – it will be very close”, try to look serious, and I’ll buy another bottle of champers.

    I’m cautiously confident, but I have to keep reminding myself that by definition about half the electorate is on the wrong side of the IQ bell curve, and that I fear includes most swinging voters. Even when they vote the right way (by my lights) I don’t trust them to have done it for the right reasons.

    Having said that, while I was disappinted by the 2004 result I could hardly bring myself to blame all those people who tried to visualise Latham in the Lodge and had an attack of the vapours.

  18. VP for Hillary said

    Well, knock me over with a feather! The GG’s website is now running with a banner story slamming the government for financial mismanagement and pork-barrelling, quoting the Natinoal Audit Office.

    Maybe they see the writing on the wall and are deserting ship now (is it possible the early results of the next Newspoll are coming in?)

  19. Michael said

    I think the suggestion of mass suicide by ALP supporters is pretty close to the mark.
    I have my cyanide pill ready for the night 🙂

  20. Michael said

    It occurs to me that my previous post may have been in poor taste. If I have offended, I apologise.

  21. S said

    Aren’t we supposed to lie down and put a paper bag over our head? Oh, that was the Atomic attack drill.

    But you are right, moods switch with opinion polls – but I have a hard time seeing a drop in ALP support next week, the media has been the most supportive of the ALP in the last week and the tone, even in the GG people seem to be talking as though they are waiting for the new chapter to begin (i.e. ALP win). Chunks of the media are actually up to reviews of the campaign and talking about it as if its over.

    So, based purely on that, I’m going to predict a leap in ALP TPP (up 2).

  22. jim said

    dear god, don’t say it. it’s too much.

    But hypothetically, you’re right… I would truly love to see the government crumble into a pile of ignominious crap shivering in the corner for the next generation.

    Howard losing his seat: wet dream.

  23. Grumps said

    Interesting hypothetical. Conventional view on my behalf.

    A rise in the poll.

    Obviously the connotation for the Liberals is immense. Whilst there may be shrill voices in the rabble, the opportunity to turf the Rodent is gone. The game will be on to the bitter end. The leader will lead and the campaign will be equally shrill.

    The firewall will be well attended with fire fighting as well as fire lighting equipment. All hands will be manning the pump at the same time as drilling holes in the bottom of the ship to let water out, …… you get the idea mass panic with the air of dignified serenity.

    Only after the election will the purge begin. And I doubt if the Rodent will ever be a Liberal Statesman much before his deathbed.

    For Labor this could cause present a problem, with those who cannot bring themselves to vote for labor. There may be feeling enough others will vote for a change so I can keep doing what I do.

    Whilst there is anger in the community I don’t feel it is enough to overcome the habits of the like of our Spotlight manager in the ACTU “Work(no)choices” ad, who has always voted Liberal but cannot bring himself to say Labor.

    Labor’s campaign aim will have to focus on “getting the vote” out in the parlance of our American friends, to ensure the swing is seen at the end.

    A fall in the poll.

    Labor will not panic. Who ever is running their campaign is doing a bloody good job. Rudd has always kept the suggestion out there that this will be a tight election. This might help in creating that landside needed for change, by ensuring Mr Spotlight votes Labor.

    Rudd’s campaign will proceed as if nothing has happened. A little step back but Rudd will front the cameras saying I told you this will be tight.

    The Rodent will have a spring in its step. The Kirribilli Removalist (sorry mateeeee) will not be required in his mind. The rodent will feel that the “Porking” of the electorate has been the key difference, and in my mind will pork harder.

    Expect add campaign based on union bashing and flinging more money at any middle class baby kissing, granny hugging opportunity possible

    Will this swing voters on the day? Another interesting hypothetical. 😉

  24. George said

    Michael says: “It occurs to me that my previous post may have been in poor taste. If I have offended, I apologise.”

    Not at all Michael, but instead of a cyanide pill, I’ll be doing “death by Shiraz”

  25. jim said

    I’m a scotch man myself

  26. Adam said

    either way it goes, the script from this antique public safety film starring a certain critter should help in times of thermo-liberal implosion:

    [the following is sung to a jaunty tune, Poss appears in a hardhat and safety warden gear…]

    There was a psephie by the name of Poss
    and Poss the pseph was never at a loss;
    when liberals imploded, well he got the goss
    and knew just what to do…

    He regressed! [statistical confirmation sound]
    Then covered! [blogposting sound]
    regressed! [statistical confirmation sound]
    Then covered! [blogposting sound]

    He did what we all must learn to do
    You, and you, and you, and you!
    Regress! then cover!


  27. Refried Noodle said

    I’m ignoring the TPP. Looking at the last lot of polls before the last election. They were for the most part way off. Morgan predicting a Labor win, Newspoll a hung parliament and Nielsen was particularly close.

    Their respective primary vote predictions were alot more accurate and indicative of the result. They all were relatively close to 37-8% for Labor.

    Personally I can’t see the Primary vote changing from 47% for Labor – it’s been static all year. The Coaltion will get about 42%.

    A 10% increase in Primary vote is a massive change. Barring a terrorist attack, Labor party implosion or a secret hidden tape of Rudd calling Australians stupid I think he’ll be our next PM.

    To answer the question even though its based around TPP: I don’t think a 57/43 would recieve any more news than the other polls have. Yes, it is closer to the polling date, but the 58/42 poll a couple of weeks ago didn’t stir much up at all.

  28. stevet said

    In reference to numbers 24 & 25, I don’t know about suicide, but if Howard loses his seat I will be drunk for a month.

  29. Rod said

    My suspicion is that the answer this time around may well be “absolutely nothing”.

    Barring truly extreme events that produce unpredictability (9/11, invading Iran, etc) I think the vote is genuinely “locked in” this time. It will take a major event to change it one way or the other. The tea leaf readers and bandwagon spruikers notwithstanding I don’t think things are going to change. We will end up with 54 to 55% Labour (or that minus or plus any consistent in-built bias in the polls) regardless.

    If the many, many, millions of dollars spent on campaigns and advertising can’t change the results then a Newspoll or two isn’t going to make any difference. WE are fascinated by polls. I doubt that 99% of the electorate give a monkey’s cuss about them.



  30. ismark said

    I’m more interested in primary vote than TPP, the polls have been rock solid on the former and slightly all over on the latter. If there is even a percentage move to labor on primary (I’m a traditionalist and still think of it as labour) then its on for young and old. If no move in primaries then same old same old.

    I agree with death by shiraz but am buying a bottle of my favourite Sparkling Red (usually Christmas, major Birthdays and Christenings only)

  31. Fargo61 said

    Possum, you really are a scamp!

    The ALP vote simply can not go up any higher, and must come back down, as you well know.

    The combined effect of delayed post haste narrowing, revised agenda syndrome, reverse me-tooism, Hegel’s theorum, and gravity, will ensure that the opinion polls revolve around their axis of evil and turn south quicker than you can kick the cat and say 24th of November.

    The Coalition has had a simply brilliant week, what with their policy launch being on time, and so well received and all. You can add to that the timely detention of those ghastly Chaser terrorist organisation confederates, reminding the public that Team Coalition are still the preferred avengers, and that the war on undesirable aliases is going just swell.

    The Coalition has also been fortunate that the rise in interest rates has reminded the voters of just how good their economic management skills are.

    The Coalition have also been impressing everyone by showing that they, unlike that other mob, do not take their safe seats for granted, and have been campaigning hard in them, to good effect. I know this is an IRREFUTABLE FACT because of the vibe thingey, and because they (the C Team)say they have been told so in shopping centres, and by the very same people who choose to talk to them, no less.

    Finally, Mr Howard has even won back the enviromentally aware swinging voters by his well targetted measure to save the orangatans. There will be no none LEFT to vote ALP.

    Mark my words, Mr Possum, you will be eating your words, and your biodiversically dispersed numbers as well, very very soon.

  32. wilful said

    Possum’s just bored, can’t be bothered waiting till next week’s newspoll, thought he’d start it today.

  33. HarryH said

    i agree Rod. the vote is locked in and has been for months.

    i’ve got brothers,sisters,parents and a fairly wide circle of friends. they don’t take any notice of polls,campaigns,speeches or whatever. thats why i come to places like this for my politics fix…cause no-one else in the real world is interested.

    they just form opinions over a period of time. those opinions are formed and locked in.

    they like Rudd and Labor. and Howards record has caught up with him…and he’s old.

  34. SwingingVoter said

    Was just called by AC Neilson. They are doing a poll on Wentworth now for the SMH and Age.

  35. Rod said

    ROFL, Fargo61. Great post!

    You forgot to mention the additional impact next week of Rudd doing a Billy Hughes or Joe Lyons and joining the Tories in a deal which allowed Costello to remain as Treasurer for the next decade or until death, whichever is the later; Peter Garrett admitting that he is Joseph Stalin’s illegitimate grandson; and China and Russia invading Alaska, Sweden, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Or Howard’s announcement that he had seen the light on the hill, and always really wanted to be a member of the ALP anyway?

    Finally, of course, you didn’t mention the soon-to-be-announced Prime Ministerial fiat for the “outsourcing” of ALL vote counting by the AEC to a new company established by Dennis Shanahan, Piers Ackerman, Caroline Overington and Janet Albrechtsen!

    Possum, I’d find a good hollow in a nearby Euc. Rubida or Camaldulensis until this little show plays out. I certainly wouldn’t expect special treatment from Howard or Rudd, whichever party they happen to be associated with at the time. Look for a nice bit of Greenery , I reckon. The taste is always going be that little bit more – er – je ne sais quoi?.. (sorry about the accent, Freaky) — -err, honest, perhaps?



  36. DonPaullo said

    Rodent odds just blew out big time on Betfair.

    All corporates have tightened today.

    What poll is coming???

    This reminds me of the pre-Newspoll market. Someone wanted to get set in some ALP and didnt care at what price.

    Just going through the seats – will report on any movements.

  37. DonPaullo said

    Tightened for the ALP I should note.


  38. KeepingALidOnIt said

    ABC News announced an AC Nielsen poll that shows ALP TPP down 1 point to 54%, so maybe we have to engage with both parts of the hypothetical.
    Sigh. I have committed to 54% anyway, so sitting pretty right now.

  39. davo said

    ACN on ABC News 54/46. Does anyone know when it was taken?
    after Howard’s Vote-buying Splurge, Or Kev’s Fiscal Responsibilty… ?

  40. Ratsak said

    ACN coverage also on smh.com.au

    Monday night to Wednesday night so not much Rudd launch in that.

  41. Ratsak said

    Labor still out in front
    Email Printer friendly version Normal font Large font Phillip Coorey
    November 15, 2007 – 7:09PM

    JOHN Howard’s campaign launch on Monday has failed to significantly boost the Coalition’s fortunes as the latest Herald/Nielsen poll shows Labor still with a commanding lead with just over a week to go.

    The poll to be published in The Sydney Morning Herald tomorrow shows Labor’s leading the Colaition on a two-party prefered basis by 54 per cent to 46 per cent. This represents a 7-point swing to labor from the 2004 election. Labor needs a minimum 4.8 per cent swing to snatch the 16 seats required for outright victory.

    The poll was conducted from Monday night to Wednesday and began after the Coalition campaign launch in which Mr Howard unveiled $9.5 bilion in promises, including $6.3 billion in tax rebates for parents of school children.

    About 90 per cent of the polling was complete by the time Kevin Rud launched Labor’s campaign on Wednesday afternoon.

    The 54 per cent represented a 1-point decline in Labor’s support compared with the last poll a fortnight ago and a 1-point shift towards the Coalition.

    But these shifts were within the poll’s margin of error and 54-46 has been the two-party-preferred average since the election campaign was called almost five weeks ago.

  42. davo said

    on 7.30 report Hartcher says ACN gives 90% howard and 10% rudd launch …

  43. davo said

    sorry 100% Howard’s launch

  44. Beach Ball said

    Poss, come on now, if we wanted hypotheticals I’d be waiting with a’baited breath for David Flint’s next contribution to the intelligent commentary to be found in the blogosphere.

    (did anyone get the irony!)

    I think your forecast may have some strength in it given the complete lack of coherence in the Coalition’s campaign strategy of the last week. The track polling must be absolutely frightening.

    On another note, the ALP candidate for the blue ribbon seat of Mitchell was this afternoon campaigning at the intersection of Windsor and Old Windsor Roads. Literally standing there waving his own corflute posters and waving at the motorists as they sit in the afternoon gridlock. Callers into the Poisoned Dwarf on 2UE were very positive to Mr Gould’s initiative and were very disparaging about the Lib candidate, Alex Hawke, as no-one has seen him about the electorate.

  45. ismark said


  46. DonPaullo said

    Seats of interest on Centrebet in last six days are limited.

    Some rather safe Rodent seats have firmed slightly for the Rodent:

    Dunkley (lots)

    Best moves for the ALP:

    Solomon now $1.58
    Eden Monaro $1.23
    Hasluck $1.46 (from $1.60)
    Latrobe $1.75 (from $1.90)
    Petrie $2.00

    More speculative ALP firmers:
    Dickson $2.90 to $2.70

    In summary, considering pool sizes, no real changes!!!

  47. Cleanfred said

    Michael Kroger turned to Graham Richardson in the channel nine makeup room on the evening of the 1993 election and said. “Congratulations. Ive seen enough of the Tasmanian results and we’re f**ked.” Help me out her guys. It couldn’t happen again could it? Its not worth contemplating. What seats that matter will be declared first?

  48. Rod said

    Well, if the latest ACN poll is anything to go by it does indeed look, as I said in #29, as if just about anything that gets thrown up in this campaign (even poll result bandwagons! 😉 ) means absolutely nothing. Labor are headed for a win in the 54/46 , 55/45, or 56/44 region. They’ll have a majority about the same size as the Libs enjoy at present, give a handful of seats plus or minus.

    Absolutely nothing in either “the polls” or “the vibe” suggests anything different.

    Johnny needs to make sure the Wollstencraft renovations are up to scratch. Costello has to decide whether he wants to go through the necessary fight to become Opposition Leader over Abbott / Turnbull (if still around) / Freaky Downer, etc or whether he should head for the industrial bar where he will probably make more money and,. if the truth be known, have more real influence. Abbott might consider whether he should follow his earlier calling and try to succeed Archbishop Pell (unless his earlier lifestyle indiscretions rule out such things – though I’m sure a confession or two would get him square with Il Papa!). Freaky, from what I’ve heard today, should NOT aim for a career with Lingua Franca!

    No change. Labour with 87 to 91 seats. All over, Red Rover, barring something unpredictable like the so far uninvoked potential Martian invasion.



  49. Fargo61 said

    Thanks Rod, I am glad that you appreciated the insight.

    ALP vote down 1% already… I told you so.

    In more good news for the C Team, some unionised public servants bludgers, at some ‘audit office’, doubtlessly in Canberra, have stupidly criticised the wise and experienced people’s Government for providing much needed funding for good works in regional electorates.

    Just typical, the reds sneaking out from under the beds (“they’re coming back”) and unfairly criticising the Government because the funding just happens, coincidently of course, to have been allocated to electorates that sensibly elected C Team representatives last time.

    As if the Government could have NOT spent money in these places, just BECAUSE they are filled with sensible voters. That would have been discriminatory, and anyway, those are the sort of people that DESERVE our support, and they will doubtlessly rally to the cause of the Government once they hear about this outrageous attack, and so yet again the polls will narrow.

    Another great day for the C team. May there be many more.

  50. Stephen T said

    I really think that the post Howard presentation did not make a difference however if you look at to Rudd’s launch, even from Paul Kelly’s response, there is movement in the land. You guys really have not factored in the wedge in Rudd’s launch and the trashing given to the LIb’s by the Auditor General. Every day Howard’s economic credentials are coming into question. I have no trouble in predicting 12 point lead to Labor. Just have a look at the shambles the conservatives represent at the moment. It is a really, really bad look. Image is everything and Howard’s rabid response on SBS was a bad look. Think positive fellas don’t sink into their negativity now. It’s a done deal. Stats or no stats we must maintain a belief in justice and equity. The future of this country and the good old fair go depends upon it. Bugger it I am a true believer and will no succumb to doubt.

  51. Stephen T said

    Stop the bloody stirring poss you trying to give us heart failure.

  52. DonPaullo said

    ” electorates that sensibly elected C Team representatives last time”

    Like the ones who thought interest rates were controlled specifically by the Rodent??

    or the ones that thought the Rodent controlled housing/coal/iron ore/copper prices?

    Sensible indeed..

  53. Rod said

    DonPaullo, (re ” electorates that sensibly elected C Team representatives last time”)

    Inside my mouth I’ve discovered this strange appendage that I gather is called a tongue. I’ve also found a space on the oral side of the thing called a “cheek” that it can be usefully stuffed into. Somehow I suspect Fargo61 had experienced something of the same epiphany! 😉



  54. DonPaullo said


  55. Burgey said

    Just a note of caution – Newspoll has been counter-intuitive (and all over the place) lately.

    I won’t be putting my house on it going one way or t’other this time around.

  56. canberra boy said

    Re #47 Cleanfred – we should again expect to see the first electorate results called for Tassie – this will occur because Tasmanian electorates have smaller voter numbers than the mainland seats (given the Constitutional guarantee of 5 seats minimum for original States) and a substantial proportion of votes are in small booths which will be counted and reported quickly. One of the interesting features of voting swings is that you don’t get very big variation in swings between different polling booths within an electorate. Presumably the sort of factors which affect a swing are more likely to be State-level factors, socio-economic factors or urban versus regional and rural factors – that is they are usually differences between rather than within electorates. As a result, after some 15 to 20% of the votes in an electorate have been counted, the AEC’s comparison of the 2pp figures with the same polling booths last time gives a pretty good indication of the likely result for the electorate as a whole.

    I don’t know how much the Coalition are relying on Tassie (& presumably WA) for the miracle which will never arrive, but if they don’t retain either Bass or Braddon then there will be little joy to offset the inevitable loss of 40 seats on the mainland. I’m willing to bet that at Kirribilli House the computers linked to the AEC will rarely stray from the Bennelong results. Howard will know by Friday that the Government is sunk, and will only be worried about the ignominy of losing his own seat 🙂

  57. Rod said

    Worst of Perth writes:

    “My quote predictions if that happens

    Downer: If I can use a cricketing analogy, “A rising delivery has crushed my box.”
    Costello: I am the forgotten people.
    Abbott: (Wouldn’t show up for quote.)


    I reckon Costello must be just about in Gerard Manley Hopkins territory!

    “No worst, there is none,
    Pitched past pitch of grief
    more pangs will,
    schooled at forepangs,
    wilder ring…”

    Abbott and Downer, however, I suspect, are focused on something like the following cautionary tale:

    “Loup si leau quête,
    L’ossuaire peau quitte,
    Qui dix fissures fendîtes.
    D’ardoise, notre peine, ni nitre
    Bateau ribaud rendites”

    (with apologies and thanks to Luis D’Antin van Rooten)



  58. Martin said

    after seeing:

    1. the hysterical rantings of Lord Alex on Sky’s Agenda tonight, and, as a consequence
    2. the appalled look on the face of David Speers,

    not to mention

    3. the prime time coverage given to the latest Coalition pork barrell fiasco and
    4. the fact the member for Herbert has been running around sayinf he “doesn’t care” whether or not he retains his seat,

    it looks very much like we’ve reached the “ugly” stage of Coalition meltdown observers have been predicting.

    it’s getting ugly

  59. Rod said

    Thinking further about it, I reckon Costello and Downer would both find something familiar to their predicament in the following:

    Un petit d’un petit
    S’etonne aux Halles
    Un petit d’un petit
    Ah! degrés te fallent
    Indolent qui ne sort cesse
    Indolent qui ne se mène
    Qu’importe un petit d’un petit
    Tout Gai de Reguennes.

    (Gai de Reguennes, according to the story, “died at the tender age of twelve of a surfeit of Saracen arrows.” Seems particularly apposite for Freaky D. somehow! 😉 )

  60. Burgey said

    58 Martin – and now add Big Tone’s take on Work Choices, acknowledging rightd taken away, but the solution is “go and get another job” if you’re not happy.

    If you haven’t seen it don’t worry – you soon will in every ad break between now and next Wednesday.

    Abbott and Workchoices – they both just keep on giving.

  61. Martin said

    possibly the greatest masterstroke of Rudd’s entire campaign is the way he has taken to wearing perfectly pressed white shirts virtually every day now…

  62. I talk to the trees said

    Hyacinth finally marries the Rat as the last pieces of resistance crumble before the Red horde. The last few Tigers bravely lose out to Stalin’s t-34’s in the streets before the Reichstag, despite old and frail resistance from the remaining faithful at News. Tony pleads eternal allegiance before doing the big honourable in the bunker, along with his fuhrer. Alex heads west, in an ill fitting uniform, to plead, “he was only following orders” but eventually he succumbs to the “hollow tooth” solution at the subsequent end trial.
    Peter inherits a Reich with no future and ends his days as a prisoner of the GG and News before accepting a “thanks for coming” award from the “far gone” right and a ticket to the board of his choosing. Mal T loses his seat and buys the party instead, turning it into a lifestyle reality show that doesn’t really need people to vote for it, but just watch it.
    Kev thanks his generals and the proletariat but sits on his arse for 2 and one half years before reminding us all of what a tragedy we have all been through so many years ago.
    It doesn’t matter who you vote for, it will always be a politican

  63. Hemingway said

    If the ACN poll shows a loss in Labor’s Primary vote, then it’s even more of a FAUX-P0LL (Pardon my French, A. Downer) than it already appears from the 2PP. What is the point of polling between the two campaign Launches?

    ‘Tis sheer psephlunacy, which calls to mind Sol Lebovic’s statement that the 58-42 Newspoll at the end of the first week was inflated by Rudd’s tax-cuts plus students’laptops rebate being released on the Friday and dominating the election headlines for the next two days.

  64. El Nino said

    Poss, my theory for why ALP supporters are ‘one poll away from mass suicide’ is because they don’t actually know what the Ruddbot is on about. He isn’t speaking to them; he is speaking directly to the small-l liberals (true liberals?) much like myself. The ALP traditionalists get carried along because they see ‘success’ in the polls but don’t actually understand why he is gelling with the electorates. We enter yet another epoch where ideology fades into history. Without ideology, politicians become bureaucrats and Rudd is one of the best. We wets are tired of Howard’s loony adventures in radical neo-con, and at last we have someone who we can understand from the Labor side.

  65. canberra boy said

    Martin (#61) not sure your fetish is shared by the wider community…

  66. codger said

    Dear furry tree dweller & chi squared chump…

    # 50 Stephen T is right but to put it in context…last year we had Slightly Tampa & whatshername bobbing up to suck the apple at 51 odd; and I got cranky with RTS calling it ‘Klub Kim’ etc. It’s all history now. Except the ‘new‘& relatively constant primary.

    Since then it has been pretty much ramrod Rudd 55 45 give or take…on & on…same old same old & why? Well a lot of reasons, obvious reasons, but…

    It’s a long flight, a long trajectory, the killer target has always been to hit the economic management orthodoxy, the MSM mantra. The Reserve Bank duly delivered (again + 20 odd warnings) one hour before the rodent’s rang a tang porkathon; the delay on Rudd’s launch I suspect was to kill the rodent on this, a rewrite? (Oh, to have been a fly on the wall!) Big cue board moments there in delivery) & (see Morgan’s 4242) Then, bingo, the ultimate wedge on the master rodent. The best 40 minutes delay in politics of recent times.

    No narrowing here; minor squeeze only and all round the Jan Nov MoE

    Game over, next.

    PS2 Dennis: Need for Speed Underground…hoon on! Poll post Rudd…back to the future???

  67. canberra boy said

    I talk to the trees (#62) – the fact that you always get a politician is why I am (as usual for the last few elections) voting Green rather than Labor. The biggest worry now is that Kev will actually just be Rattus lite. If the new Government focuses on bribing the middle class with school subsidies, faster pornography downloads and tax cuts to encourage consumption, then we are all fucked. The latest information suggests that global warming is occurring faster than the IPCC predicted and that catastrophic climate tipping points may be closer than previously predicted. Think about it – and tell every friend you possess.

    Meanwhile, Possum, while you are teasing us with Newspoll predictions, how about telling us about autoregression in the polls in response to Simon Jackman, who says every poll is sacred (independent).

  68. Rudi said

    The spiffy Green calculator Poss fixed up says Costello will lose his seat.

    Costello wishes for such luck!

  69. VP said

    In re 60. El rodente will explain today that Tony Abbott’s comments were non-core so they don’t count.

  70. Enemy Combatant said

    “Just have a look at the shambles the conservatives represent at the moment….. Bugger it I am a true believer and will not succumb to doubt.”

    D’accord Stephen T @ 50. Toss in The Mad Monk’s “macaca” momemt from Lateline and you can put away the glasses. Team Tin-Tin have performed creditably over last 2 days and are cruising towards E day with plenty left in the tank in the unlikey event of “emergencies”. Mind you, they’ll need to keep Gaffe Garrett on a leash as tightasthis to be sure.

    Tomorrow will be all about trying to hose down Abbott’s melt down, polls that resemble Ardath cigarettes (they never vary), and De-Anne Kelly’s high-powered porking of Coalition electorates in the dying moments of El Rodente’s official regime.
    And here we were thinking The Minister For Last Minute Largesse was such a clean living, family values kind of parliamentarian instead of a grasping provincial Howard functionary. Personally, I’m shocked!
    Then it will be only eight sleeps ’til Tsunami Rising.

  71. Stephen T said

    I have the feeling that many have been preemptive on Rudd. Like Manglingeson’s rave in the GG this morning. I don’t really believe that Rudd will dump the Labor tradition. His campaign has been disciplined and effective and I am afraid the doom sayers need to step back and suck on a gob stopper. Poss has demonstrated clearly that the poles are steady as she goes and really they can only go up from here. We should have learned by now that changing the cultural paradigm is steady as she goes, discipline and a bit of a compromise. This country does not have to be dragged back to the left it’s got to get to the center first. It is a sad reflection on the enormous impact of the neocons. Monoploly media ain’t no joke. Howard, Bush and especially Chaney will suck shit. Calm down fellas got a good feeling about this. Give Ruddster a go.

  72. Enemy Combatant said

    “Just have a look at the shambles the conservatives represent at the moment….. Bugger it I am a true believer and will not succumb to doubt.”

    D’accord Stephen T @ 50. Toss in The Mad Monk’s “macaca” momemt from Lateline and you can put away the glasses. Team Tin-Tin have performed creditably over last 2 days and are cruising towards E day with plenty left in the tank in the unlikey event of “emergencies”. Mind you, they’ll need to keep Gaffe Garrett on a leash as tightasthis to be sure.

    Tomorrow will be all about trying to hose down Abbott’s melt down, polls that resemble Ardath cigarettes (they never vary), and De-Anne Kelly’s high-powered porking of Coalition electorates in the dying moments of El Rodente’s official regime.
    And here we were thinking The Minister For Last Minute Largesse was such a clean living, family values kind of parliamentarian instead of a grasping provincial Howard functionary. Personally, I’m shocked!
    Then it will be only eight sleeps ’til Tsunami Rising.

  73. Ben Chifley's Ugly Brother said

    What uniform swing?

    And where are the sixteen seats?

    Please list them. I’d love to know.

  74. Ben Chifley's Ugly Brother said

    Today’s Tele front page is the nail in the coffin


    Col Allen is in New York, and David Pembethry is no Piers Akkerman

    Rundle’s piece in Crikey today was brilliant. The Australian, even on information that totally matches their business plan, is way off kilter and WILL be like an ex at a wedding if Rudd gets in.

    I hope Overington has another sit lined up, otherwise she won’t enjoy writing advertorial puff pieces for the Wentworth Courier.

  75. gusface said

    Hi poss

    good to see labor on track to 100+ seats

    whats your latest prediction?

  76. alpal said

    Possum, At lot of debate about Newspoll State by State. I assume they were taken before the launches, before Abbott on WC, before the AG. I’ll be interested in Newspoll next week – again, assume it leads news bulletins on election eve. I predict a widening.

  77. Grumblebum said

    Bugger this mass suicide idea. The French solution will be required.

    As Wiki says:
    “The French Revolution (1789–1799) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on Enlightenment principles of republic, citizenship, and inalienable rights.”

    What are we hoping for that is any different?

    Oil the tumbrils!

  78. john said

    Possum I think you are going to be eating Kiribilli rosebuds!

  79. Kirribilli Removals said

    We’ve been getting the truck ready for the big day, and we’ve spoken to Hyacinth, and it’s not a pretty picture. The old man is drooling, becoming incontinent, and has suddenly professed a love that dare speak its name: for computers! Well, the wife is always the last to know isn’t she? She’s even caught him ordering truckloads of pork over the phone, and had to quietly talk him back to bed.

    Sad, very sad, but he’ll be happy in the retirement home, very soon.

  80. booleanbach said

    Following on from Tony Abbott’s recorded revelations about workchoices and the Coalition rorting of the pork barrel I expect to see a further upward extension to the chart at the head of this blog.
    That would mean a very rare event – A ‘widening’!!!
    As we now know ‘widening’ is caused by the extremely virulent Liberal Unliberalus virus which can be terminal. The Coalition seems to have succummed.
    The only response to an outbreak of ‘widening’ is to round up all the afflicted creatures and incarcerate them on a remote, isolated island for at least 12 years (Unfortunately Nauru is unavailable) after which they can be assessed for repentance and rehabilitation.

  81. Bushfire Bill said

    Don’t confuse the opinions of the Pundits (who have been wrong about just about everything all year long) with that of the Battlers (who have been bred to expect pork, and lots of it).

    Rudd has finally decided to strike out on his own for the Finish line instead of playing the safe bet, matching Howard tack for tack. Finally, in the last week of the campaign, Rudd has taken up Howard’s dare to be different.

    It’s either the most brilliant political ploy by the Liberals in history, causing Rudd to lose his cool and deviate from the me-too path, or it’s oblivion for them.

    Whatever it is I wouldn’t take the collective words of the likes of Peter Hartcher, Michelle Grattan, Shaun Carney or any other of the commentocracy that Rudd is on a winner by not bribing the Hungries in Battlerland with anything less than a large crystal cruet full of very salty salt.

  82. bird said

    Hey Bushfire Bill,

    are you going to an election party?

  83. Jess said

    Bushfire Bill I would also take all the other pundits (including 7s Mark Riley and DTs Malolm Farr) who claim that the Libs marginal seat strategy may get them over the line with a giant block of rock salt!

  84. Jenny said

    “I’ve been finding it interesting lately that the Coalition seems to be one bad poll away from an implosion, and ALP supporters seem to be one bad poll away from mass suicide.”

    There’s a couple of good reasons for that. 54:46 ain’t as good as it sounds because ALP need 51.5 to win. So to get a more realistic take on how things are going you need to subtract 1.5 from the ALP tpp which gives 52.5:47.5.

    The second reason is that commentators are treating the difference between the ALP and LNP tpp as the margin of safety. And it isn’t. 52.5:47.5 goes to 50:50 if just 2.5% of voters change their minds.

    And of course 2.5% is approx the margin of error. That’s scary! I hate to be a killjoy and I’d like nothing more than to start celebrating early. But there’s still work to be done and arrogance to be avoided at all costs.

  85. thewetmale said

    booleanbach @ 80
    Everyone knows the widening is what occurs once the narrowing has brought it back to 50-50.

  86. Trubbel at Mill said

    Kirribilli Removals; By now he’ll be scratching around the house trying to remember where is pr0n stashes are – especially that scrapbook he keeps with all the shots of Janet Albrechtsen, and those shots of Jonesy in his gay Wallaby days…

  87. jassy said

    I hate to be a killjoy but you have to make some assumptions about swings and where they are in what strength to get to a conclusion that 51.5 is needed to win. Then as some have been doing all year long you have to assume the Labor vote is at the bottom of the MoE. Then you have to read more of possum’s post and look at how stable the labor primary has been and wonder if that 2.5% has been steady all year why would it suddenly move.

    Now Howard might win there are any number of things that might have gone wrong or might still go wrong. But there must be some comfort to we Labor pessimists in a poll that shows a ttp vote indicative of a landslide not a gentle stumbling win.

    On the dark side of the ledger I was invited to cheer wildly for Kevin today, but will be at work 😦

  88. Peachy said

    More details on the ACN are in this article:


    ALP 2PP is still on 47%. Barring a complete disaster i really can’t see Labor losing from here. All the advertising has to stop in a few days, and I’m sure if the Libs have got any bounce at all it is from the ad campaign primarily.

    Re the State by State Newspoll, does anybody else think that the swings in SA and Vic look rather like outliers? Can’t think of any valid reason why they would swing by around 5% in opposite directions.

  89. Peachy said

    Sorry, i meant ALP PRIMARY is still on 47%. Didn’t mean to give you all a heart attack!

  90. Bert said

    Somebody on OC’s blog on the GG suggested Rudd should offer JWH the ambassodors position in Iraq.

  91. Ian said

    re 90.
    Preferably after the full troop withdrawal.

  92. Jess said

    Look at this – http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22768774-29277,00.html

    Its now shoot the messenger time! Talk about deperate.

  93. Lukas said

    for Jenny @ 84

    A 2.5 point margin might be scarily close to MOE of the polls were bouncing around, but when you have a large number of polls consistently showing the ALP at least at 54% 2PP, and you aggregate them together, then the real MOE is much smaller. Remember, Howard has not got close to having Labor down at 51.5 in a single poll this year.
    Personally, looking at how things are going in individual seats and states, I think Labor would win with about 51 2PP anyway.

  94. john said

    The 2.5 works both ways—considering this the coalition may be down to 44 2PP! Get the razorblades out!

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