Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

The Sunday Round-up

Posted by Possum Comitatus on November 18, 2007

Over in the sidebar, you might have noticed the rolling 4 poll average. Well this is what it’s looked like over November, with the red line being the ALP TPP vote and the bars being the seats that TPP vote would have delivered to the ALP using a national uniform swing.


Out on the hustings we have a Taverner Poll of the mortgage belt – it’s more qualitative than quantitative but gives something to chew over on how the mortgage belt seats might be looking.

There’s an EMRS poll of Tassie suggesting the 2 Coalition held Tasmanian seats will fall.

There’s a Galaxy marginal seat poll as well for anyone that can be bothered to look at it. Their primary vote swings look like rubbish, their preference allocations in some places look as peculiar as these Galaxy grouped seat polls usually do considering what else we know is happening on the ground in these seats, the seat selection worthy of a good head shake, and they’ve ended up with a preferred PM rating in SA for Rudd that is actually higher than the ALP TPP vote – quite the effort considering the way that usually plays out. As happens with these things, they’ve pumped up the sample size at the end of the campaign in an attempt to gain bragging rights. I don’t know why they bother sometimes.

Mr Mumbles, Peter Brent has an interesting ACNielsen data breakdown here that’s worth looking at.

But the laugh of the day has to go to Christopher Pyne and family. Desperation writ large?

I wonder how many votes can be scrounged with the whole “Vote for me, my wife reckons I’m great!” line?

And for something completely different, if you head over here you can run your blog through the “blog readability test” which estimates “What level of education is required to understand your blog?”.

My result:

Whoops – sorry about that folks :mrgreen:


BillBowe Baggins of PollBludger fame informs me that over the last few hours the intelligence level of the site has improved to this:


OK, I want to know who in the comments section was responsible for this chicanery eh? :mrgreen:

Come on, own up – who has been channeling Terry Tao?


There’s a new Morgan out at 55.5/44.5 to the ALP and well as some marginal seat polling.

Beware of the commentary about individual seats, the marginal seat polling has an MoE of between 5.5 and 10% per State, and about 15% per seat.

The only useful things here are the overall national result of 55.5/44.5 with a minimum MoE of 2.5% and the overall marginal result of 54/46 with a minimum 3% MoE .


52 Responses to “The Sunday Round-up”

  1. Lomandra said

    Possum, I hate to break this to you, but the reading level for your blog is the same as, um, http://www.sesamestreet.com….(But I won’t mention that my blog requires a “genius” reading level. Tee hee.)

    Carolyn Pyne’s pleading that she’s no longer in work and is pregnant is Dickensian in its bathos. I wonder how it’ll go down in the electorate.

  2. nomad3 said

    Amongst other things poss you really are a very humble and a modest sort of person !!!!

    Love your blogs

    Keep it up


  3. Bert said

    We should show Mr Pyne the same consideration that his govermment has shown to refugees, the disabled, the unemployed, low paid workers, the sick, the old, the poor, aboriginals and people of various ethnic backgrounds to name a few.

    Great blog by the way poss. It is very rare to find anyone with truely original ideas these days, or was it so always.

  4. John V K said

    I knew there was a reason I came here because I like to hang around with big head boofhead boffins, they get the best chicky babes.

  5. Tomasso said

    Readability metrics aren’t appropriate here Poss. The reader’s interest level and your focus make up for that completely. The metrics are pretty dodgy anyway (based on sentence length and syllable counts mostly) – don’t pay any attention to content or coherence. If you tighten up the reading you might find the “grade level” goes up, not down.

    Usually you start with a good heading and a bit of a joke near the start, which makes it hard for me to stop until the end. It always makes sense to me.

  6. Also-ran said

    Noticed the Murdoch papers are conceding a Labor win but only by a ‘nose’. Interesting interpretation by Glene Milne when it’s clearly going to be a Coalition rout. Fairfax is another story though!

    Well done Poss – excellent independent, sound commentary. Amazing what one can do with a box of data, some coloured textas and a little statistical know how. Keep up the good work!

  7. Rod said

    I think Howard is going to move heavily to “values” stuff this week. Today he is re-invoking the “war on drugs” and chopping off social security to people who are naughty. – see http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22778710-2702,00.html

    Sounds like a good recipe for actually increasing the crime rate to me!



  8. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Rod – Methinks he may have already ‘devalued’ that particular issue as a vote winner.

  9. Gezza said

    On the drugs wedge, is Mrs Pyne on drugs or what? if Mrs (or is it Dr?) Southcott over here in Boothby sends out such a letter here I’ll send it right back (with helpful comments of course!)
    By the way, despite the best efforts of the still supporting the coalition Murdoch papers over here to discredit Cornes, Boothby could turn out out to be much more interesting than people think. In the last state election we had the biggest to Labor swing (10%) in our seat one within Boothby largely & which includes booths that were marginal to comfortable Lib. in 2004 – will this shift flow through? There are a good number of us so-called latte-lovers in certain parts close to these booths in Boothby. As for me I like my coffee much stronger, about as strong as Yo lo odio al Raton (I hate the Rodent)!

  10. tooweird said

    According to Mrs Pyne her poor hubby Christopher is “interstate more than he would wish!” Now you mention it – I think I know how I can help. Lucky for Carolyn I live in Sturt and I know just what to do on polling day to help Christopher stay home more.

    Perhaps he could pick up work locally after the election. I’m thinking one of those jobs advertised in the shop windows at Burnside Village might be suitable. He always struck me as something of a shoe salesman.

    But I don’t know how they’d go on a shop assistants salary if managing the family budget has been an issue for Carolyn – on two incomes including a Federal Ministers.

    Do I feel sympathy???? I think I will be sick.

    P.S. Poss – If there were a poll for World’s Best Blog – you’d have my vote. Love the analysis, humour and music to blog by. You’ve kept me sane during this election. Many thanks ….

  11. S said

    That whole ‘Heartfelt letter from spouse’ thing seems to have started in the states.

    I regularly receive letters from Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama’s wife whenever their partners want a little extra support or cash.

    (I subscribe to the US election campaigns… sad but true)

  12. Ratsak said

    Ha, my car club website is ranked genius!

    smh.com.au is high school, news.com.au is junior high!

    alp.com.au is undergrad, as is liberal.org.au, http://www.nationals.org.au is genius!, http://www.greens.org.au is high school, as is http://www.familyfirst.org.au


  13. Ratsak said

    http://www.ntnews.com.au/ is ranked elementary school.

    you’ve created a monster possum.

  14. The Doctor said

    Of course, with each equation you are supposed to lose 10% of readers aren’t you? Or does that only apply to books!

  15. Beach Ball said

    tooweird @ 10, that’s the counter-reaction that the desperates who use this technique seem to forget in the moments of madness of “WTF can we do to stop the wave from taking us down too?”

    The punters of Wentworth have apparently received something similar from the former lord mayor of Sydney.

    All Mrs Pyne has done is demonstrate to the electorate at large that the Pyne’s can’t manage a household on a publicly paid for salary of about $180,000 (not sure what a ministers wages are at the moment, so if anyone knows please provide the true figure)

    Whoever on Pyne’s campaign team who thought this was a good idea should be exposed so that they never work in politics ever again.

  16. battling hubris said

    Mrs Pyne’s ‘and another’s on way’ plea will go down well with all the women that have had to bear the brunt of Workchoices. Vomit meter just went into danger zone.

    Excellent work Poss on the available data. And what’s rattus rattus doing in Greenway? It’s on the safe list (11.4%), isn’t it?

  17. Gezza said

    Perhaps the Burnside Village shoe shop could offer an AWA to poor ol’ Chris before they disappear – at Bob Day – below minimum wage rates?

  18. Rod said

    GMT writes (re the reinvocation of trhe “war on drugs” ) “Rod – Methinks he may have already ‘devalued’ that particular issue as a vote winner.”

    Yes, I agree, GMT, but with Andrews re-appearing yesterday for the first time in quite a while, and the failure of just about all other approaches to gain traction, I think we’ll see a major return to the “Australian values” / “awful others” type themes from Howard et al this week . It is where they always retreat to when things get bad. Much of the electorate will be much more cynical about such things this time around , of course.



  19. Rod said

    The thing that struck me most about Mrs Pyne’s letter was her obvious strong desire to keep Chris in Canberra , and as far away from home, as possible! 😉

  20. Enemy Combatant said

    Barefoot, ankle deep in sprogs and seriously up the duff, sweet Caroline is even prepared to take in washing, if only her dearest Christopher were to be re-elected. Splutter, sob, sniffle. Sensitive folk gonna need a road train’s worth of Kleenex to mop up after Mrs. Pyne’s dispatch-de-coeur hits the letter boxes of Sturt.

    I’m with Bert:
    “We should show Mr Pyne the same consideration that his govermment has shown to refugees, the disabled, the unemployed, low paid workers, the sick, the old, the poor, aboriginals and people of various ethnic backgrounds to name a few.”
    This blogs reading level: COLLEGE (Postgrad)
    According to the logo, chemists(test tube, half-full, effervescent and topically nerdish); atomic physicists(dodgy looking atom, inherently unstable due to electron deficit, reminiscent of Disney’s Tomorrow World of the 1950s); and rocket scientists(Flash Gordon Special) are a walk-up-start.

    Poss, just as long as you don’t start offering us those cyber-ubiquitous Seppo-style:
    “So, you think you’re a pretty smart cookie, eh? OK, take this quick quiz and simultaneously TEST YOUR IQ for FREE!”

    This could be a promlemo, signor.

  21. V said

    The Pyne’s can take solace in the words of the mad monk. His greatest protection is he can go get another job.

  22. paulyt said

    I got “Genius” for my blog :/

  23. disenfranchised Gippslander said

    “Doctoral dissertations perused for Exogenic influences.”
    Poss, put that on your header, and watch your rating soar.
    BTW, do the comments you receive affect your ratings?

  24. Possum Comitatus said

    Want to hear something funny PaulyT?

    So does Piers Ackerman :mrgreen:

    Gippsy – I have no idea.

    If they do, I blame you with your multi-syllable moniker! 😉

  25. disenfranchised Gippslander said

    Sorry to hog the blog, but I just saw the Morgan figures. I’m not sure when they were taken, but they sure support the thesis that the campaign is having little effect. Nearly every poll within MOE of 55% ( except for the gorgeous 62%).
    I can’t see what Galaxy are trying to do with their “marginals” report. Their choice of subject seats seems bizzare. I was quite hurt they didn’t include Gippsland. Perhaps trying to get a predetermined result? It seeemed almost like trying to curve fit using 13 parameters (sorry, Possum)

  26. Gippslander said

    There! is that better? as Marnie says to the horse. And I hope the new name is accurate next Saturday!

  27. booleanbach said

    Sorry to rain on the parade guys but the web rating site is based on US levels of intelligence and education so I suggest you lower all the ratings a notch (or two) ((or three))

  28. Possum, you seem to have gone up in the world in the past few hours: you now rate “Genius” on the Blog Readability Test. Compare that with Mumble (“Junior High School”) and Palmer (“High School”).

  29. Possum Comitatus said

    Bloody hell BillBowe, so it has – I’m going to stick with blaming Gippslander!

  30. Rod said

    Poss, I’ve just read another interesting piece of yours in Crikey, where you discuss some of the implications of the latest combined Newspoll and look at the breakdowns in terms of age and gender etc. ( see http://www.crikey.com.au/Election-2007/20071116-Comitatus-Females-saving-Howard-from-a-three-figure-drubbing.html )

    Now, I suspect the headline came from Crikey rather than you, but wouldn’t these sort of breakdowns for age and gender be exposed to exactly the same sort of problems in terms of MOE that occur when attempting, for example, to make too much of State or marginal electorate level results?



  31. Possum Comitatus said

    Rod, it was actually my headline – it was just saying what the difference between the last Newspoll breakdown and the current one said.

    We all know that the sampling error involved in those things doesn’t really allow any real conclusions to be drawn, but we can certainly see what was responsible for the changes in the Newspoll data, even if not what the changes necessarily were in the actual electorate itself.

  32. […] mosied along over to Possum’s place today for our regular fix and discovered what may be the next internet meme. He has a link to a “Blog Readability […]

  33. Paul said


    With all this chat – my life is going to be empty next Sunday!! What are we going to chat about? Who are we going to lay the blame on for the evils of society, how are we going analyse the MoE and the TPP for that?

    We need an after party with the Poss, the Mumble, the Shrike, etc……………


  34. Lomandra said

    Paul, we’ll have to form a support group. I’ve dumped all the international online communities I was wasting my life on to talk Australian politics with the locals. I don’t think I can go back.

  35. Ron Brown said

    With Galaxy lets ignore the by seat & state %’s
    and concentrate solely on the National totals

    Galaxy does a HUGE sample of 4,000
    LETS FORGET the 4,000 were in marginals – its still 4,000 in total NATIONALLY

    Based on their ACTUAL figures , I calculated 2032 voted 2PP Labor (being 50.8%) and 1968 voted 2PP for Liberals (49.2%)

    1/ What is wrong with Galaxy’s methodology in giving us a NATIONAL 4,000 poll
    – lets leave aside the illogical resultant 2 PP 50.8%

    2/ Does Galaxy’s poll have value SPECIFICALLY FOR each of the 4 seats blocks
    per State they did poll .(so as to make judgements on each 4 seat block as
    a whole
    (IF SO , Labor can not win either Herbert or Longman)

  36. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said


    I feel the same – Its great to find a space like this to explore Aus politics issues. Would be good to be able to continue the conversation on this or linked blog.

  37. Possum Comitatus said

    Ron – you cant forget that the sample was in marginal seats. By being in marginal seats, it drags down the ALP national TPP vote because it ignores the safe seats which poll 56% ALP TPP and higher.

    So if you take the marginals and the safe ALP seats together you get a high ALP TPP vote.

    Then we cant forget the safe Coalition seats either, which drag that national ALP TPP average down.


    We know that there are some safe Coalition seats around the place like Ryan, North Sydney and McPherson to name a few that are swinging heavily to the ALP. So those still relatively high (although diminished) safe Coalition seats then have to be added to the national mix.

    Once we’ve done that – then we get a national TPP.

    You simply cannot extrapolate nationally from marginal seat polling. It’s like trying to pick your ear with your elbow.

  38. Beach Ball said

    If only the little back-bench KRudd used his elbow while watching time fly during QT.

  39. paulyt said

    Possum – The whole ranking process must be garbage. With my blog (and Piers for that matter) being ranked “Genius” I would have thought this blog would be ranked “Stephen Hawking”

  40. Matt said

    I was polled by Morgan on Thursday night, so I read today’s results over at their site with interest. I was particularly interested by this bit:

    “Currently, 17% (down 4%) of all electors say Australia is “heading in the right direction” yet say they would vote Labor if an election were held today. The Morgan Poll considers these electors to be “Soft ALP voters” and believe they are the key to the Federal election.”

    I was one of those 17%. (*) But the reason I said yes to the “heading in the right direction” question was actually because I was anticipating the election result, i.e. I both want the ALP to win and think that they will. It had nothing to do with being undecided about how I’ll vote.

    Makes me wonder how much store to put in this whole concept of soft voters, if this is how pollsters measure it.

    (*) Actually, I said I’d vote Democrats first but give my preference to the ALP. So I might not have been in that 17%, if it was based on primaries rather than major party preference.

  41. otiose said

    paul @33 – my exasperated family have asked me what i will have to hate after next saturday – tho surprised by the question i’m still struggling for an answer 😉

  42. Gippslander said

    Bloody hell BillBowe, so it has – I’m going to stick with blaming Gippslander!

    Comment by Possum Comitatus — November 18, 2007 @ 6:37 pm

    Well, poss, there’s no going past it, your posters have a certain eclat

  43. Gordon Liddy said

    Never mind the national TPP – it is seats that win elections not % overall- the Galaxy poll does show that the same results that the betting markets are showing viz. only 18 seats with probabilities of ALP win greater than 50%. That is no landslide!

  44. Gippslander said

    Easy one otiose, @41. Spend the rest of the summer watching the Aussies spank the Indians (or whoever it is) then settle back for AFL pre season. 15 teams to hate.. Magic happens
    But that makes me think of the Libs.. Sh*t doesn’t just happen, it’s caused by ars*s.

  45. Gippslander said

    Mr Liddy, the seat by seat market is dominated by “wide guys”. I would imagine there has been significant interest in about 15 seats.. This week you will see a little more movement in individual seats as bargains are snapped up.
    the “market”is no more expert than you or me, or Roy Morgan. It’s just that they’re prepared to back their guesses with money.
    Read Simon Jackman’s blog.. he understands these things, although he has more faith than I in the purity of the market.

  46. […] Exogenic influences Published 18 November, 2007 Uncategorized over at the marvellous possum commitatus blog there is a link to http://www.criticsrant.com/bb/reading_level.aspx which lets you […]

  47. Ron Brown said

    Thanks Possum. I THINK you are saying a poll of 200 in ANY seat is meaningless ?

    (OTHERWISE Galaxy’s 200 polled in EACH Bonner (0.5% swing needed), Moreton (2.8%), Herbert (6.2%)and Longman (6.8%) which produced an AVERAGE swing of 4.5%
    WOULD HAVE MEANT that MATHEMATICALLY Labor could not win Herbert or Longman ???)

    would appreciate your feedback Possum , thanks

  48. Verity said

    Having the wife write to selected members of a particular demographic is likely to raise concern rather than to convince voters. How did she get my name, address etc and what would she know of my life?

    Sturt is likely to swing because we have a young woman with a lot of potential in Mia Handshin against a male who is aloof and rude. It is quite strange as the wives were all at the launch too in support roles. This is a throw back to a time that no longer exists for most people. No wonder the sitting member is concerned for his seat. He has good reason as the Advertiser poll on Friday showed.

  49. Ron Brown said

    You said re the Galaxy Poll:
    “You simply cannot extrapolate nationally from marginal seat polling”.

    Understand , thanks

    BUT can you extrapolate from Galaxy’s Poll a NATIONAL average of the 20 seats of 4,000 voters that they DID poll AS A NATIONAL AVERAGE OF THOSE 20 SEATS ????
    (it produces a Labor 2 PP of 50.8% !!)

  50. mick said

    Crap, my personal blog came out at the genius level as well. That was far from intentional…

  51. CK said

    Is Christopher Pyne a lesbian?

  52. This will be a response to Stepahani “unadorned and sleezy feedback” Just how dare
    u render these types of an account whichs suggests that
    a misuse victim deserves abuse because of the sexual background
    or in securities? A lot of abused females grow up in sexually stiff homes which is usually protected and scheming or abusive.
    To stereo form abused females as some low life that deserves to become abused is truly a
    low blow. Abuse is definitely a learned habit which effects women of all societal
    and economical backrounds. To right here a feedback that way from another
    women really produces me sick!

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