Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

Polling angst and therapy thread – Open Edition

Posted by Possum Comitatus on November 23, 2007

OK folks – you lot seem to have more angst than a bunch of emo kids at country pub.

So jump on the polling couch, let it all out – you can even talk about your mum!

Will the polls narrow, will Howard sneak back in, is it really a landslide after all or just a good old fashioned electoral thumping?

Is it a Galaxy election, a Newspoll election, a Morgan election or does the ACN represent the electoral mood?

Newspoll out shortly.


Headline Newspoll figure 52-48 to ALP

Movement in WA and Qld, sample 2614

Now we have those figures, we can produce two new charts.Firstly, the 4 pollster average over November.


Secondly, a smoothed chart of all phone polls over the campaign period.



A shift from 55 to 52 in a week means 680 000 people have changed their minds in a few days.

I wonder if the primary votes are 45/42 to the ALP with minors on 13 and the Greens on 7 or 8?

The problem when Newspoll gets the number 13 for the minors is that they end up distributing preferences 53.8% rather than 61.x% (which is their 2004 prefs distribution target) to the ALP regardless of the size of the Greens vote. As a result, rounding issues compound realistic preference flows from the Greens to give an underestimate of the ALP TPP vote. That happened when Newspoll had the ALP at 53 a few weeks ago, before the rate rise and I said watch it bounce back next poll – which it did. That’s a house issue Newspoll has – they’re allergic to the number 13 in the minor party vote total.

It smells a bit like that and it would make the Newspoll series consistent with it’s history. If it is, I’ll explain tomorrow what that actually means as a real TPP vote level for the ALP.


Mr Mumbles hears that the primaries are 44/43 to the Coalition with 7 Greens and 6 others.

7+6 = the dreaded 13.

But this time they’ve actually overcooked the prefs by giving the ALP 8 rather than the 7 they’ve used previously (the 7 prefs is the usual undercooked ALP distribution for the dreaded number 13)

However – Over at PB, it was said that Martin ‘O of Newspoll on Brisbane local radio with Madonna King today stated that Newspoll upped the sample proportions for regional areas.

Can anyone confirm?

If so – that makes a lot more sense. Brave move by Martin if that’s what they did! (though I’m sure he weighted it properly)


263 Responses to “Polling angst and therapy thread – Open Edition”

  1. Michael said

    I’m so confused?

  2. George said

    Poss, no need for therapy here 🙂 I’m still sticking to my 87 seat prediction and very confident on at least that number being achieved comes tomorrow night.

    Laptop on, beer in hand and 774 pumping out “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…”

    …ahh, not long now…

  3. denise said

    will you come back to us with the average please possumm after 4p.m.
    you must have a very understanding wife tobe with all us worry worts annoying you, hope you get offers of really good job out of all this.

  4. Rudi said

    I’m as angsty as a goth in Darwin in summer.

    Release the bats! Release the bats! Release the bats!

  5. Rudi said

    (PS Possum, May be a problem with the site as after posting the comment window had George’s details including his email.)

  6. dylwah said

    G’day Poss, i’d like to join the chorus of thanks for the site. i don’t know much about psephy joy, being more aquainted with Rumi. in the spirit of emo then one of his poems.

    “It’s lucky to hear the flutes for dancing
    coming down the road. The ground is glowing.
    The table is set in the yard.

    We will drink all this wine tonight
    because it’s spring. It is.
    It’s a growing sea. We’re clouds
    over the sea,
    or flecks of matter
    in the ocean when the ocean seems lit from within.
    Iknow i’m drunk when i start this ocean talk.

    Would you like to see the moon split
    in half with one throw.

    I’ll be listening out for the flutes tomorrow


  7. Possum Comitatus said

    Oooh – that’s no good Rudi.

    If anyone else see’s anything like that, please let me know here.

  8. The Finnigans said

    I posted this on Bludger, for the anxious:

    “Never mind the width, just feel the quality. Forget the polls. Howard is on Skynews right now. Just look at the desperation in his voice and face. Pleading to the undecided voters. Now, if you know you got a chance, that is not the kind of voice and body language you would display.

    In addition, why is he storming around Queensland on the last day of the campaign? He knows he is on the nose in QLD big time. Dead man walking.

    Where is Rudd? Relax and comfortable in sunny QLD. Labor will win, the only known or unknown or known known or unknown known or unknown unknown is HOW MANY!!!!”

  9. Dave said

    I was comfortable until the Galaxy poll spooked the hell out of me.

    Admittedly, it was taken before LindsayGate but I have a feeling they might be closer to the mark. I just can’t believe that it will go 57/43.

    That would be an enormous swing never seen before in this country. I think the ALP will fall over the line with 77 or 78 seats and a TPP on around 52.5%.

    I hope I’m wrong and that Rudd wakes up with 100 seats on Sunday, but….

  10. Tom said

    I noticed in Crikey today you seemed to backtrack a tad, from 91 to 84 seats? Still tipping Ryan to fall to Labor?

    Must admit not happy to hear of that Galaxy poll, but soothed by the two AC Neilsons! Now Newspoll is supposed to show a cliffhanger?

    Oh man I want Howard gone, him and his rotten government!

  11. Pencil said

    Martin O’Shannessy and some mouths in the Canberra Press Gallery are all implying Newspoll will be tighter than Nicole Cornes’ push-up bra.

    We’re talkin’, like, 51-49 here.
    Obviously, not confirmed yet.

  12. Simon said

    It will be close. Accept that reality. It could go either way.

  13. Possum Comitatus said

    Tom – it’s still 89 seats – always has been since September.

    The model forecast had a TPP of 55.15% which is a uniform swing was applied would deliver 94 seats, but swings are only generally uniform. A number of seats that will swing big, particularly safe government seats will not quite make it – so my prediction in seats is the same as it’s always been. 89 seats.

  14. Andrew A said

    Mate, I’m so comfortable I’m not going to be glued to the set as Antony gives us the news. Going to tape it, go diving, go to a (non-election) BBQ and generally relax…

    It’s the last MSM election. 86 seats (only cause I don’t want Belinda Neal as my local member).

  15. Still not convinced! Know that Howard secretly believes he’s dead, but I worry, I worry – that he’ll rise from the grave after 8pm tomorrow night. Sleepless I am.

  16. Kina said

    I became confident 3 weeks in – too late to make such a large shift in the votes. The only big vote shift in short space of time was when Rudd took over. It takes a major event – thus 3 weeks in, miles ahead – too late Howard.

    And the SMH did make the comment that the Nielsen more closely refelected Liberal and Labor internal polling than the Galaxy. My 84 seats is looking conservative.

  17. Kate Ellis for PM said

    I just can not believe that with 52.5% TPP ALP will win only 77-78 seats. Sure I am anxious, but the logic dictates that ALP can only win from here. I keep thinking of the 1996 election in reverse!

  18. Anthony from Deakin said

    Has anyone else noticed that whenever the odds in the seat of Bennelong about 1.65 or 1.70 for Howard, that someone puts on a bet and pushes them back again? Who would do this?

  19. The Finnigans said

    For the anxious:


  20. Peter R said

    Pencil @11. I’ve heard that it’s going to be 52-48. We’ll know in 3 minutes though 🙂

  21. THB said

    Sky News – 52-48 to Labor in the Newspoll, kids.

  22. Kina said

    Creative but wont stop 54/46 tomorrow.

  23. Dave said

    If a “narrowing” has occured then where does that leave us?

    By my count, that gives us zero from Vic, 2 from Tas, 3 from SA and minus 2 from WA.

    So NSW & Qld will have to cough up 13 seats. If it has moved back to around 52/48TPP, then we might have a problem.

    But I can’t find the logic in it at all. With the last 10 days of Rudd having done absolutely nothing wrong, and then the Primates out in Lindsay this week, how will Newspoll explain the movement? Their state by state polling from the beginning of this week had 100 seats in Antony’s calculator.

  24. Ordem e Progresso said

    Hi. I’ve never posted here before. In fact, I only found this place about 15 minutes ago. I wish I’d done so earlier.

    I too am a total nervous wreck. I’m fearing yet another bloody Howard victory. Honestly, the impact of these bloody polls ‘narrowing’ all of a sudden bear the hallmarks of manic-depression: one minute I’m excited at the prospect of Howard losing, the next I’m melancholy he’ll sneak in (the bastard!).

    The Lindsay fiasco, however, may well tip Howard out of his own seat. And the Libs prolly would have lost Lindsay anyway.

  25. THB said

    According to Dennis, it was an “inevitable” tightening.

    I’m fairly sure under his breath I heard him say “Up yours, bloggers”.

  26. Rudi said

    Anyone know what the primaries are for Newspoll?

  27. 52-48


  28. Rudi said

    Re 26, ummhhh either we share the same name or you are squatting.

  29. Sharkbait said

    Has anyone read this poll on ninemsn.com and is it relavent?

    ninemsn mega poll predicts Labor landslide


  30. George said

    Ok, Rudi @ 26 and Poss – what happens is that I’m seeing someone else’s details in the submit form when I refresh the site. You might like to look into this

  31. Re: ninemsn poll, polls where the participants self-select are completely irrelevant.

  32. Kymbos said

    I’m loving it. High drama, even if it is fantasy. Remember when there was all that talk about Howard getting challenged? I was distraught that he wouldn’t be forced to give a concession speech on the night. But now we’ve got Howard and Rudd, big lead to the ALP, but what’s this – late narrowing!?! Oh, tomorrow will be such fun!

  33. Callum said

    Re George and Rudi’s comment attribution mixup. This was also happening on Pollbludger the other day. The common element? Both hosted by wordpress.com (which is a very good service I hasten to add). Some little bug perhaps?

  34. paul said

    Wow, what tension, what excitement, what an awful lot of pollsters looking for new jobs soon!

  35. Kina said

    God knows… maybe an attempt to limit Howard’s damage or just one of those things. But honestly 52/48 on the back of a bad news campaign doesn’t work.

    Howard’s mates trying to help him at the last moment, to limit the size of his loss.

  36. PASOK said

    Look how SMH reports the Newspoll:


  37. Lomandra said

    Thank you, Possum. I knew this was the place for a reassuring cuddle. 🙂

  38. Rog said

    Ordem e Progresso@24
    Don’t worry mate: you’re not alone regarding being a nervous wreck. Join the rest us.

  39. Tom said

    Cool. 84 seats it will be then. After tomorrow night I get my life back..

  40. BlueSkyMining said

    I wonder if Newspoll have changed from rounding to truncating after the deimal point. Just to sell a few more papers 😀

  41. paulyt said

    Andrew Bolt pisses me off. So much so I made a post about him, I had to get it off my chest. If he sees it (which he probably won’t) he will probably threaten me and try to make me take it or something lol


  42. BlueSkyMining said

    Also, both Nielson and Newspoll polled ~2000 people, so each has an MoE of ~2%. Hence:
    Nielson TPP 95% confidence interval is 55-59%
    Newspoll TPP 95% confidence interval is 50-54%

    So is this the first time that the Nielson and Newspoll TPP numbers have NOT overlapped within the MoE? Anyone?

  43. Peachy said

    Actually Nielson did 2 polls, one of ~2500 the other of ~1000. so total sample was ~3500

  44. Dave said

    Yeah- what’s with the missing decimal point in the Newspoll?

    If they run with the headline “CLIFFHANGER” then surely they must have a 5x.x at least

  45. Aspirational Aspirationalist said

    Can someone confirm that the following cannot happen. That a seat in the east who is closed and votes have started to be tallied has its results broadcast before the polling closes in the west ?

    And what time do you see the first results from a seat being announced? EG: we’ve counted 1512 votes and this is the breakdown so far….

  46. Kina said

    You can look at the Newspoll image. The last figure just doesn’t seem to fit it, especially given what we know of the past week.

  47. Martin said

    Newspoll & Galaxy both suddenly in sync, identical TPP figures, 24 hours out…how convenient

  48. NB said

    45 Aspirational Aspirationalist

    They start broadcasting the results as soon as they come in, well before the polls close in the West. Happens every election.

  49. battling hubris said

    Poss, thanks so much for all you’ve done to assuage our uncertainties and anxieties.

    Did anyone else notice that Howard was smiling whilst condemning the fraudsters?

    Anyway, bless your cotton socks Poss,and hope the future is bright for you.

  50. Guido said

    Now everyone take a big breath, yawn,stretch your arms upwards and release.

    Now think what if the worse happens and Howard is returned?

    Sure it will be pretty disappointing, but ultimately think how much this event will directly impact on your life.

    Is your health (or those of your loved ones) going to be seriously affected (apart from feeling a bit blue for the next week), are you going to be sacked from your job, are you going to lose your house?

    Just avoid buying papers – go and buy a book that you always wanted and read that insteas, don’t watch current affairs on TV and instead of the radio listen to your favourite CD’s for a while.

    Then think about your friends, family etc. They are the ones that remain. Whoever is Prime Minister on Sunday.

  51. Kymbos said

    I love it. They’re calling it 52/48.

    Oh, we meant 52.8/47.2

    You know, it’s rounding, people!

  52. Dave said

    I was thinking of moving the family to the Gold Coast next year.

    If Howard gets back in, I’ll move to New Zealand instead.

  53. KC said


    If Howard gets back in.

    My health may not be directly affected, but sure as anything the health system will suffer and I will too if I need it, through higher costs and longer waits.

    I may not be sacked but I will probably get my wages and conditions cut in his next phrase of Work Choices.

    I could lose my house as interest rates and the cost of living keep increasing as my wages are reduced.

    So there is a fair bit to worry about if he does get back in.

  54. Steve K said

    Kymbos, You are looking that the result of the last election. Today’s poll numbers are at the bottom of the image.

  55. Kina said

    Funny about that. My wife wants to move to HK, Canada or NZ if Howard wins. Fine by me, I can sell up and live anywhere. But wont be neccessary – Howard is toast. AND I cant wait for FOI to start doing its job over the next 3 years.

  56. wantok said

    That 52.8 is the Coalition figure from the 2004 election. No further info on the Newspoll except that the sample size is 2614.

    Based on the trend to date and what we know happened in the last couple of days, this looks like a lower-bound outlier to me.

  57. BlueSkyMining said


    No the world wont end (unless a vainglorious Howard does something reeallyy stoopid!) but if we didn’t care about who wins this election then why would we be here on Possum Pollytics??!!

    Which begs the question Guido, why are you?

  58. Stephen T said

    Something terribly wrong here. I don’t believe it and I know you don’t Poss. Smoke and mirrors. These last minute game plays have all the subtlety of a gay hippo at an ant party. Gotta sell some excitement somehow. There will be a large amount of excrement washing over some of our glorious pollsters due to their final bid for immortality.

  59. Peter R said

    Poss (Bruce et al),

    There seems to be a lot of nervousness 🙂 out there in blog-world re this poll. Any balms, psalms or qualms that may soothe the nerves or shed enlightenment on this poll?

  60. BlahB said

    It seems astounding, given the last week the govt has had, that the Newspoll has pulled back so much.

  61. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Time to stop crystal ball gazing and focus on the real thing. Que sera folks. See you in the new Rudd universe on Sunday.

  62. Adam D said

    Lurker, first time poster (timing, huh?).

    What do Newspoll and Galaxy have in common? Both commissioned by News Corp.

    I have no confidence in anything Murdoch touches being unbiased. None at all. Especially one day before an election in which his mate is odds on to lose.

  63. An Interested American said

    As a bit of hand holding for the Labor folks, we (Democrats) had the very same thing happen in the States in the ’06 Congressional Midterms- a very last second tightening in two of the many national polls (in others there was no movement at all) in the generic congressional numbers which set a lot of Democrats on edge. It ended up mattering very little in the end; the GOP got blown away in both the House and the Democrats ran the table in the Senate. The late movement may have saved 4-5 Republican marginal suburban seats and a handful of bedrock GOP seats that should never have been in play anyways, but with so many targets, it didn’t matter.

    Final results: House: D+31, Senate:D+6 (which was running the table), Governors:D+6

    Same with the ’06 Canadian Federals when I happened to be living in Montreal. There was some late drift back to the incumbent Liberals in the last week, but the Conservatives still won the minority government everyone had been calling for two weeks.

    Breathe, mates, breathe. There will be a Prime Minister Rudd under the Electoral Christmas Tree tomorrow night.

    Quick question(s) though: You guys don’t do the British thing where the results are announced one by one by a returning officer for each constituency/district, do you? Also, assuming they’ll all be streaming online, which channel’s got the best election night coverage?

  64. Stephen D said

    Aspirational Aspirationalist (re 45):

    Yes, that can and does happen. I seem to remember that when I was living in WA, some seats in the east were decided by the time WA polling closed.

  65. The Finnigans said

    Poss, you better start doing something for those who have no faith and not sticking to the fundamentals. Else they will start committing mass suicide.

  66. Crikey Whitey said

    Reassuring, Adam D.

    I commented on Pollbludger that they are playing with our minds.

    More graphs, Possum, I beg you, please.

    I know it’s still a winner, but, tummy is aching.

  67. Possum Comitatus said

    Interested American – our ABC has a pseph legend called Antony and his computer. He calls the seats as he see’s them as the results of the count come streaming in realtime.

    In Antony we trust :mrgreen:

    The official results come in much later, but the election is usually always called on the night by the TV stations and the political parties themselves.

  68. Matthew said

    Even though the polls have been so totally consistent all year, and with these sudden shock “narrowing” polls now appearing, my desperate hope is that the Howard government does not sneak back in over the line. Anything which sees Howard returned to government will be more than I could possibly take tomorrow night.

    I just cannot stomach another 3 years of their attitude towards the country. I find Howard and his front bench totally disgusting, and an affront to Australian traditional values. A return to government would see their attitude apparently vindicated, and they will probably feel the need to go further with their reform.

    I want Kevin Rudd to win – I will be f*cked up in the head if Howard somehow wins!

  69. The Keegan said

    I’m on a beer for every tpp point ratio tomorrow, so I drink only 52 beers tomorrow, not 54 or even 57, but I still get to drink a hell of a lot, and we still get rid of toad of toad hall.

  70. KC said

    Interested American


    ABC and Antony website

  71. Matthew said

    Argh! I’ve just seen Poss’ 4-poll average! This is the first time ever it’s dropped down into the 8x number of seats for the ALP! I can’t take this any more! I am going mental over the worry that the polls might be proved wrong, and Howard gets over the line!

    This is not good – why did Newspoll have to suddenly demonstrate this narrowing!?!?!

    If Howard wins, does that mean that far too many people in Australia fell for Howard’s lies, yet again? Would such a win offer the rest of us any hope that anyone other than the LNP might ever win a future election!!??!!

  72. Dave said

    When was this latest Newspoll taken?

    Does it include BoganGate in Lindsay?

    No decimal points…

    I smell a Murdoch rat

  73. Tony said

    I can’t help thinking movements in the Green vote and preferences could be distorting the polls. I have moved to a (politically) hopeless electorate (Barker) and even though have always voted Labor will just vote Green 1 and Labor 2 in both houses.

  74. Guido said

    Don’t get me wrong BlueSkyMining, I will be disappointed too if Howards wins. I am here because I really enjoy Possum’s analysis. I am interested in politics and this site gives me a statistical insight that I don’t get anywhere.

    Possum invited people to ‘be on the couch’ so that is what I am doing. I write how I feel rather than about statistical trends in polling.

    I have been somewhat worried by the type of comment that Labor had it in the bag months ago. Yes, the polling pointed to that, and I enjoyed the discomfort that poll after poll created amongst the Coalition. But frankly I have lost a bit of faith in the electoral process in regards to reflecting some moral dimension.

    I don’t hate Howard, but he has done lot of damage to this country, unwittingly. And that what is so tragic about it. My dissillusion was in 2001 when asylum seekers and terrorism was used to get the ‘Hansonite’ vote for the coalition. Those who were not xenophobic were made so by fear. The combination on 9/11 and the Tampa during those awful few months in late 2001 completely changed by attitude towards politics.

    What I thought was a country secure in its diversity and confident in its region retreated into a fearful place. Ready to vote for Howard because he was ‘safe’, while at the same time scaring the living lights of thiose who may be not as politically aware as us here.

    And what was worse it was that in the general commentariat, apart from a few exceptions, this was not condemned. Quite the contrary, it was applauded as ‘clever’ ‘a masterstroke of startegy’ ‘a great wedge for Labor’.

    The latest demonstration of this moral bankruptcy was shown just yesterday with the leaflet fiasco. The leaflet was really a more crude version of Tampa.

    This was not the place that I though I was living in. We can blame Howard about changing the country, but it was always there. I was lucky enough to come to Australia in 1974. And I had Withlam, Fraser, Hawke and Keating as Prime Ministers. All supporters of multiculturalism and a role in Asia. Maybe living under those Prime Ministers I deluded myself that those values reflected Australia. But that did not seem to be the case. One Prime Minister ready to exploit the fear of the outside and pronto, an election winner.

    So if Howard wins tomorrow, I will shrug my shoulders and try to live in Australia the best way I can. I will cling to the fact that I live in a very progressive inner suburban area of Melbourne, I will continue to be passionate about soccer, and still believe that it is still a damn good place to raise kids.

    Australia is not alone in choosing a status quo. But I thought that our history and our geography could make us better than everyone else.

    I think I was wrong.

  75. Stephen D said

    Interested American –

    Not the same way as the Brits, no. The progressive counts are constantly fed back. It’s all terribly exciting because of our paper-based voting system.

    Best coverage – I still like the ABC. But Seven has promised a light entertainment version of the coverage, and channel nine is also covering it.

    I just hope things turn out right – I love to see the Coalition commentators squirming and trying not to cry during election coverage when things are going badly.

  76. ej said

    “These last minute game plays have all the subtlety of a gay hippo at an ant party.”

    Comment of the day Stephen T, thank you for a much needed belly laugh. =]

  77. BlueSkyMining said


    A very short time ago in a polling place not so far away, the combined forces the upstart Galaxy Force and the omnipresent NewsPoll Stars came together to form the ruling Empirical oligarchy, backed by their wizened minions the Main Stream Mediums. Only the brave few stood against the combined weightings of the Empiricals, a group known as the Wotz-Left Alliance who were ably lead by the steady hand of General A.C. Nielson and the maverick hero of past campaigns, G.I. Morgan.

    On the penultimate day of the Federation Election era, the forces of Empiricals and the Wotz-Left Alliance stood facing off against each other on their chosen battle-ground on the planet Psephology. Death by Numbers was weapon of choice for both sides and by the time the waning star-light of the Gaussian system set over Psephology on the second day only one side would be left standing, bathed in the glory of righteousness, while the other would drag their scarred limbs and tattered reputations from the field of battle, forever a spent force.


  78. Rod said

    It would also be interesting to know whether the increase was in the “Liberal” or “Coalition” component of the vote, Poss.

    As I’ve suggested here before, we sometimes seem to see sudden jumps in the “Nat” component when there is a major jump in Newspoll’s coalition figures, even obscuring a decline in the Libs primary vote. Given that just about all of the first 30 most marginal coalition seats (yes , I know there is Page and maybe Cowper) are held by the Libs a jump in the Nat vote profits them very little.

    I suspect when the Nat vote increases suddenly , and we get a high coalition primary, it is often a reflection of sample variations rather than any real change in behaviour. Guess we aren’t going to know until tomorrow when the full results come out.



  79. Rod said

    Whoops, of course, I meant “Liberal” or “National” in the fitrst line of the last post!

  80. happy chap from Griffith said

    If you folks a bit of a laugh check this story in the Courier Mail out: http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,22806536-5013650,00.html

    Howard claims,

    “”I am an honest man, I have never lied to the Australian people, it’s for them to decide issues of trust,” he told The Courier-Mail late yesterday in an interview on his VIP air force jet.”

    That’s right…they did previously call him Honest John…has someone forgot to tell him that it was meant to be ironic? hahaha 😛

  81. Maurico said

    Maurico Says:
    November 23rd, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    So, 4 poll average is the best predictor

    ACN 57 = ALP win
    Galaxy 52 = ALP win
    Morgan 54.5 = ALP win
    Newspoll 52 = ALP win

    Average = 53.87 a swing of over 6% from 2004
    Bring it on!

  82. Aspirational Aspirationalist said

    Thanks NB & Stephen D for replies to me @ 45.

  83. Stephen T said

    Dennis is trying it on again over at the GG. God he never gives up. I have a conspiracy theory.

  84. oyster said

    these late polls are showing it to be tight,but i reflect that this time the good guys are going to win
    with no one nation to support it the libs are going down
    labor and greens combined will get the good guys over the line

  85. BlueSkyMining said

    Ah Guido, clearly I did get you wrong. Mea Culpa for underestimating you.

    While I was off spending my precious time on a completely escapist (but remarkably therapeutic) posting, YOU my friend have just “channelled” my subconscious thoughts and summed up clearly and eloquently the situation as I see it too. In fact I am a little freaked out because I might have written that post for myself almost word-for-word except that I was born here in Victoria 3 years before you emigrated. Even the “inner-suburban Melbourne” was true for me until 3 years ago (tree-change to buy a house start a family) and the love of soccer is inherited for me. But thank you for reading my thoughts back to myself!

    You said:
    “Australia is not alone in choosing a status quo. But I thought that our history and our geography could make us better than everyone else.”

    “I think I was wrong.”

    No my friend, you are right but unfortunately there is a sizable number of our fellow citizens who are so caught up in the “what’s in it for me” moments of their own lives that they just dont see that truth. Maybe they need to see Australia’s unique benefits fro mthe outside before it will click with them.

  86. short&jocular said

    A little birdy told me: Newspoll surveyed 397 voters in WA and recorded primary votes of 50% for Coalition and 37% ALP – a 6% turnaround. TPP is 56-44.
    Westpoll out tomorrow has the Coalition ahead 53-47 in Cowan and Hasluck, ALP ahead 52-48 in Stirling and 50.25-49.75 in Swan. Greens polling between 6-8% across these marginals.
    Westpoll surveyed 1850 voters from Sunday to Wednesday.

  87. Bruce said

    Relax, chill, take a deep breath…

    There must be a psychological name for opinion poll angst, psephophobia?

    We’ve had several attempts to measure the same thing (2PP) and got results that are inconsistent with MOEs.

    The sample size weighted mean (in this case the same as the inverse variance weighted mean) is 54.4%, not as bad as Poss’s 53.9. Morgan Galaxy and Newspoll actually fit within the MOE of this figure. ACN is outside it.

    Labor’s primary support has fallen lately to about 44% from 48% but the Coalition have only picked up 1-2% of this. This suggest a large Green primary vote. So it suggests the way preferences are determined by the pollsters is having a strong influenece on their 2PP estimates. (No details of ALP primary are available from Newspoll.)

    We already know Newspoll is underestimating Green to ALP preference flow. As Green primaries get bigger so will this error. My bet is that estimates of 2PP are systemmatically biased, and the true 2PP is still 54-55%.

  88. David P said

    The Nielsen poll shows the two-part preferred as 62/38, 60/40, 60/40 and 50/50 for the four age groups (youngest to oldest). It’s clear that the 55+ people just toss a coin and should not be allowed to vote (except me). Seriously, though, why didn’t Labor highlight climate change and ask the oldies to consider their grandchildren when casting their vote.

  89. CL de Footscray said

    Two paranoid thoughts, taking up Possum’s invitation for the couch:

    (i) Lindsay was a very elaborate dog-whistle. Only a couple of the d*#kheads knew, but the rest were happy to do it anyway. The message was relayed to the ALP by … the Liberal party? thus, the folk who care are reassured that the Libs are still the party that doesn’t like the Muslims … the rest take comfort in Howard’s denials.

    (ii) Newspoll has weighted its sample to get as close as it can to what it thinks the result is likley to be; it’s will be closer to 52 than 57 (I think we all agree).

    Just a little pre-poll meltdown here …

  90. dany le roux said

    If there were to be any fraud in the offing then Newspoll has just written a script for an attainable fraudulent result. Margaret Whitlam had a view like this concerning pollsters over thirty years ago .
    Please tell me that this is not possible these days.

  91. seajay said

    maybe that vile leaflet in Lindsay worked. “Well, that was naughty, but i never realised Labor supported new mosques, and it is true about that mufti, and they don’t want to hang the Bali bombers” – the Muslim wedge, the dog-whistle, and Howard gets to be holier than thou at the same time.
    Wouldn’t put it past them.

  92. Stevo Melbourne said

    I think we can stop the conspiracy theories re: Kellygate. In reality she and her ilk thought they could get away with it and influence the boganvote in that electorate. The other ideas are too elaborate for a half wit like Kelly and ruined Howard’s day yesterday

  93. Rod said

    According to posters over at PollBludger , O’Shannassy has actually said on radio that for this particular poll ” Newspoll increased the sample taken in rural / regional areas to ensure a better representation of voters from that sector.”

    If this is the case then the poll, simply, isn’t directly comparable to the others in the series. The issues that I suggested at #78 come into play in a big way, and , of course, any suggestion that the poll indicates a last minute “narrowing” go up in smoke completely. Now, I’m not into conspiracy theories, but , if “bandwagons” and “last minute headlines” really do make a difference, then Newspoll really has been playing its own little bit of “dirty pool” (or should that be “poll”?)

  94. paull said

    It may only be a small thing but take some heart from this; Very good friends of mine have not voted for ten years not even enroled couldn’t be bothered don’t care, they have taken the time to go out and enrol and tomorrow will vote for the first time in a long time for Kevie. they earn quite a good living, why are they voting this time because of workchoices and interest rates, where are they situated,In the seat of Petrie, I just wonder how many of these people are out there.
    My tip Dickson will fall $2.90 get on before it goes, one more sleep.

  95. wantok said

    Sir Shanahan the Deeply Deluded, loyal servant of the King of Id, interviewed on Sky News on the Newspoll, didn’t mention anything actually useful like primaries, but did say that the polling was extended an extra day to get some of the post-Lindsay effect, so the result “partially” reflects Lindsay. His other oral/rectal emissions included the claim that the poll showed “a strong swing to the Coalition in WA and Queensland” and made it clear, without being embarrassingly quotable, that he was tipping the Coalition to win.

    To which I say:

  96. happy chap from Griffith said

    Re Bruce @ 87

    Please correct me if I am getting this wrong, but the feeling I am getting is that this election might be similar to 2001. Except this time the inverse of 2001 might happen to the LNP, with them getting ‘One Nation-ed’ by the Greens and Climate Change…instead of Pauline and Racism…? Given the way all Howard’s ghosts of election past have reappeared in this one (with arguably the opposite effect) this would indeed be the icing on the cake…

    Or did I misunderstand Poss’ 2001 post on the ‘One Nation’ factor?

  97. Possum Comitatus said

    Thanks Short and Jocular – that info is invaluable, it’s all starting to make sense.

  98. Charles said

    Bloody good result, no one will be voting to stop a landslide.

  99. Grooski said

    Poss, if we take breakdown at 0.618 at last election for all minors, and assuming they discard the undecideds and using 44-43-7 primaries, we get

    44+8.06 = 52.06 = reported 52 TPP.

    I dont think the 13 minors is the issue

  100. ViggoP said


    Your site is a godsend. With your analysis and looking at PB and Crikey I have felt so relaxed and comfortable. Come Sunday, you’ll be able to say like the immortal Johnny Warren “I told you so.”

    Thanks heaps.

    For further reinforcement, doubters, just look at the margins of the seats where the leaders are ahampaigning. Thirty seats it is.

  101. Possum Comitatus said

    Grooski, 13 isnt the problem this time as they’ve actually slightly overdone the prefs rather than underdone. It’s the pump up of the regional sample that looks to have changed the numbers. It will be interesting to see whether it plays out for them. I’m not of the mind that it will.

  102. denise said

    why do you think it is brave for newpoll to up the numbers in the marginals.
    you see i am 59 and have no idea how its all done, but must say i do understand the hare clark system in my state

  103. Hemingway said

    The Channel 10 @ 5pm report indicated the increase for the Coalition was in QLD and WA and that the Nats were up. Since evidently the sample has been changed to include more rural voters, then this fits. So, how many Nat marginals were previously looking like swinging to Labor in QLD which would be impacted by this “swing” if it’s accurate?

    Newspoll chief on Skynews interviews was blatantly pro-Coalition in every interpretation of every poll during the campaign. The chosen News Ltd. polling agencies, Galaxy and Newspoll, make their big bucks from monster big business clients (like NAB and NCR), so will they lose any clients by being 1 or 2% lower than the final 2PP result for Labor?

    Newspoll got burned going the other way last time, and I’ll bet it cost them dearly. They certainly are not risking their profit line this time.

  104. Grooski said

    Yeah the change in population sample for rural – brave move if it works but they will be flamed if the result is nearer ACNs

  105. imacca said

    If Newspoll have biased their result by oversampling regional areas then their credibility will be shot by Sunday. Why would they change their sampling methods for one of the most anticipated polls all year??

    If the ALP wins big (and i think they will) then Next time around, ACN will do very well thank you.

  106. short&jocular said

    Glad to oblige Possum – thanks very much for your site keeping us all informed and entertained throughout the campaign.

  107. David P said

    There is a lot of talk about Newspoll including more rural/reghional voters in their sample. Isn’t their methodology clever enough to make the final 2PP figure reflect the population make-up?

  108. Kevin Brady said

    Now, don’t get me wrong – I like a poll as much as the next guy, but if you are going to compare polls, surely you should compare apples with apples? Poss you might need to set me right here, do pollsters – when they over-sample particular areas, such as in this poll – use a ‘weighted’ sample? And do they then calculate the final percentages based on this weighting? In other words, having asked everyone on a cattle station in far western Queensland how they will vote, and then three people in Melbourne, do they re-calculate percentages to actually reflect the true relative proportions of these polpulations in Australia at large? If not, then the comment that they “increased the numbers in rural and regional areas” might either mean that this poll is a better indication of the trend, or a total furball.

  109. Hemingway said

    Sorry, forgot to thank you P.C. for the Homeric job you’ve done on this website throughout the election. As they say in League, “Played strong. Done fine!”

  110. Nick said

    It’s not brave, it’s slimy. They’re trying to a) sell papers by deliberately inflating the Coalition vote, and b) much more seriously, alter the outcome of an election by making people think it’s closer than it is and somehow getting soft ALP voters to jump back onto the Coalition bandwagon as it picks up fictional speed. I really hope we get a 55-45 landslide and Newpoll, Galaxy, and Denis friggin Shamahan will have a large amount of poo to wipe from their faces before they look for new jobs.

  111. The Intellectual Bogan said

    Denise at 102, regional not marginal.

    Regional seats tend to be Coalition held, with fairly comfortable margins. Include more regional voters in the sample and the numbers you end up with are likely to be skewed to the conservative end than previous polls without the same regional emphasis.

    If this is indeed the case, much of the apparent improvement for the Coalition may be locked up in already safe seats and will do them no good in the marginals where they need it.

  112. Lenny Leverhulme said

    there’s some fellow on pm banging on about the coalition’s realisitc chances of re-election, on the back of the galaxy and newspoll results. yoiks. i wanna believe possum dear, but i’m wobbling. i’ve put the house on a labour landslide, so i’m doing the only thing left to do: i’m going out to get pissed.

  113. Rod said

    hemingway asks:So, how many Nat marginals were previously looking like swinging to Labor in QLD which would be impacted by this “swing” if it’s accurate?

    Flynn, Hinkler, Dawson and Wide Bay are the four closest Nat seats in Qld, Hemingway, at margins between 7.7% and 12.2%. There are 32 more marginal coalition seats than Flynn. Only two of them (Cowper and Page) are held by the Nats.

    If this is a “Nat” based “swing” (either because of a changed polling method or a genuine change in voting patterns in nat seats, it is completely irrelevant to the result of the election.



  114. Rod said

    (Sigh, sorry for yet another correction. I wish there was a way of editing a post!)

    hemingway asks:So, how many Nat marginals were previously looking like swinging to Labor in QLD which would be impacted by this “swing” if it’s accurate?

    Flynn, Hinkler, Dawson and Wide Bay are the four closest Nat seats in Qld, Hemingway, at margins between 7.7% and 12.2%. There are 32 more marginal coalition seats than Flynn. Only two of them (Cowper and Page) are held by the Nats.

    If this is a “Nat” based “swing” (either because of a changed polling method or a genuine change in voting patterns in nat seats, it is completely irrelevant to the result of the election.



  115. Peter Kemp said

    {Then think about your friends, family etc. They are the ones that remain. Whoever is Prime Minister on Sunday.}

    I’m thinking about my indigenous legal aid clients. If Howard gets back in, for me, work-wise, I should be happy because with another 3 years of buck passing between state and feds we will again not address the social justice, education and employment issues of the first Australians, which in turn will undoubtedly create more work and profit for the firm I work for.

    But I’m not happy with that for the simple reason that with more Federal money into public education and a holistic approach to indigenous affairs, for a helluva long time, with the indigenous stakeholders given proper input, I believe that with Labor there is an opportunity of progress. With the LNP it’s smoke and mirrors, wedging, disgraceful paternalism and symbolic stunts.(and not including “sorry”)

    So I’m also thinking of the dispossessed families, the forgotten families, the underprivileged families that Howard only thinks about at election time when he finds it expedient to have these sudden “road to Damascus” miraculous and hypocritical conversions, for a few votes.

    I could also go to New Zulland :-), but such families as above, have no such opportunity. That’s why I must stay, but it would be much easier for me if Howard were to go.

    You must go, Mr Howard, especially for the sake of the first Australians, if not for the rest of us.

  116. typingisnotactivism said

    Excellent idea!! I’ve been in political picture therapy for the last few weeks. I think it has helped – LOLspeak recommended, or google LOLpols.

    I think that one of two things has occurred – either Sol Lebovic polled Alexander Downer and Brendan Nelson’s mums 1307 times each (which would explain why 52% still goes to Labor), or Howard is a Sith Lord. This would explain the sudden rebound even after 7 straight days of f%$kups and negative press. When he says “the tide is turning”, half a million big fat hairy union bullies parked too close to a radio or tv go all eye-glazed and start droning “vote Libel Party we must. Turning the tides they is. Poodoo cha Wookie goona Solo cha wee wa.”

  117. denise said

    thankyou interletctuall, perhaps these extra gains are to liberal seats that are allready safe could that be. i did notice that out of the 12 comentators on crickey only three went for the unspeakable.
    i have heard before that galaxy and newspoll do not factor in the green preferences, is that so?

  118. Hemingway said

    ‘Onya Rod,

    That’s a relief!

  119. […] this is looking a bit fishy. Before going into a panic, read these threads at The Poll Bludger and Possums Pollytics in their entirety. Newspoll looks to have changed its methodology in the final poll before the […]

  120. booleanbach said

    From AlterNet in the US:

    As one observer succinctly put it: if you don’t believe in random sampling, the next time your doctor orders a blood test, tell him that he needs to take all of it.

    Nice One

  121. Cat said

    Poss I have been reviewing my tapes of this evening news (Karen Middleton and Laurie both tipped Labor wins when asked) but 7 mentioned exit polling. I have only heard of that in the States. What is its history like in Oz?

  122. Rod said

    Hemingway writes: “That’s a relief!”

    Try ” http://media.theaustralian.news.com.au/nich/20071123_secret_video.htm ” for some more, Hemingway! 😉

  123. Possum Comitatus said

    I dont know much about it Cat, except that it doesnt have a very good reputation in Australia.

  124. Enemy Combatant said

    Hold fast me hearties! Tomorrow evenin’ we’ll espy that Nantuckett Sleigh Ride afore the full yellow orb’s reached a quaterways to heaven.

    I think the 52-48 Newspoll somewhat creative; bullshit, as a matter of fact. Ditto Briggs’ baloney. Media are natural born gee-up artists. Rupert’s People(Newspoll) know the game. They move a motza more “product” when the zeitgeist sizzles.

    Team Rodent MHR’s outside The Firewall have well and truly been abandoned. If anyone really requires reassuring, pop over to Centrebet (elections) and take the few minutes to scroll down through the seats state by state. Count how many Coal. seats are “gone for all money”. Then yawn,stretch, fart and get back to having fun again.

    The self-centred little shmuck, His Excellency, El Rodente is about to chow down on his last free feed at Kirribilli House.

    Board Odds:
    LABOR 1.29
    COALITION 3.65

    29% overnight ROI is a nice little earner if you’ve been absorbing the wisdom of Maestro Comitatus over the last few months. Psephology ain’t astrology; it’s science. I reckon a lot of mugs might lengthen Team Tin-Tin’s odds a bit after the evening telly news, but from late tonight until closing I expect ALP to firm to a $1.20 S.P.

  125. Bobby said

    Sorry I have come a bit late to the party but can someone please explain to me as a layperson in simple terms what is wrong with this newspoll it looks like a duck to me but I just want it confirmed.

  126. Hemingway said

    Muchas Gracias, Rod,
    That’s a little bewdy.

    It does not work real hot in the U.S.A. either. In 2004 they showed Kerry winning the Presidency, including Florida evidently. The betting websites shifted up to 3 to 1 for Bush within an hour, but we know how that worked out (even if it took Ohio’s alleged significant Democratic Party voter suppression to get Bush over the line in the electoral college).

    Basically, entertainment, but don’t use it to place money on the result.

  127. Hemingway said

    Sorry, my 126 post is about USA exit polls. I’ve got to get it together.

  128. Cat said

    On the subject of polls I have a more general than specific question as in this case both results strongly support a Labor victory.

    I presume the Ninemsn poll ( I have been using the passion pulse daily for amusement) is ignored because it is self selected although it has a huge sample size. What is the difference between it and the ACN online poll?

  129. Frank Calabrese said

    Miss Maud’s Coffee Bean poll is out.


  130. Hemingway said


    The ACN online poll is still a select random sampling with the poll sent to the voters email addresses, not a free for all like the Ninemsn poll. I’m on the Zogby online poll, which I get sent to my Hotmail address about once a fortnight.

  131. Nexus 6 said

    Fug it, I’m turnin’ to drink and goin’ to the footy. Top work Pos. Will tune in tomorrow. I’m quietly confident – Labor 53 2PP on the day.

  132. I can’t believe the long dark may be nearly over. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself, hating a Labor government won’t be nearly as much fun.

  133. bewor said


    As Keith at #108 asked, wouldn’t the pollsters, in this case Newspoll, change their weightings if they asked more questions of regional people, to reflect the bias in doing so?

    Anyway, like all others I’d just like to thank you for helping keep me semi-sane over the past 6 weeks. I’ve had the same sick feeling in my gut for all that time as I had before the AFL grand final – dreading that the unthinkable could happen. Only you’ve saved me from going all the way to a full blown ulcer!!! Its a pretty sad indictment on democracy when a Prime Minister polarises the community so much that he evokes responses like mine from so many of his fellow countrymen, only to be kept in power by the self interested and gullable.

  134. Peter Sorkin said

    I’m still very nervous about this election. I’m just concerned that people will switch on the assumption that Labor will win easily (which they won’t, at least not on a number of seats basis), and thus they’ll vote for the Coalition thinking that they don’t want a 1996-style landslide. I’m finding this troubling.

  135. Just Me said

    Do we know the MoE for the latest Galaxy? What is their sample size?

  136. Rod said

    Sample size 1061 from memory, Just me, so MoE around 3%



  137. SJP said

    i Cant stand this. for weeks I have been up and down like a yo-yo one minute sure Howard doesn’t stand a chance the next sure he will win. im even dreaming about it.
    11 years i have watched this man bounce back from the dead so i cannot believe he will be beaten now – and i bet he’s loving it. Oh to see his ratty little face falter, pompous downer fall of his high heels, Ruddock return to his grave permanently and Abbott join a monestry, Bishop have her head shaved in penance for her sins on drug addicts.

  138. David Richards said

    Can any of you experts put us at ease by answering this:

    Even if Galaxy and Newspoll are right – is it still more likely that ALP will win, or not?

  139. Cat said

    No 137 SJP -Ruddock return to his grave permanently.
    Careful what you say about Ruddock – you might regret it later.

  140. whynot said

    I have a small problem that I would like to share… I am addicted to elections. I have been for a long time. It is not so much who wins or loses, it is the glorious battle. The last few weeks I have been overdosing rather badly. It started when I was getting up 15 minutes early in the morning to read the papers on the internet. But I cannot control it; now I am getting up 90 minutes early to get my fix. Like a naughty boy I have been staying up way past bed time reading blogs and what not. No longer am I allowed into the bedroom with the laptop.

    Watching the rodent scamper about in his cage has been close to perfect. Watching the faithful nearly puke with fear at the thought of losing to the rodent one more time has been perfect as well.

    Like a comet blazing through the size, Saturday night will be the summit. The family knows the drill. Leave Dad alone in the rumpus room with; a widescreen TV, contingency (battery powered) TV, laptop, booze in the fridge, munchies in the cupboard, and a picture of St Antony Green on the wall. Don’t talk, don’t enter, and don’t even think around Dad. The Sunday morning chat show will be like a perfect political dessert; the gloomy faces of the vanquished, the glistening eyes of the victorious.

    Gazing beyond this little oasis of election paradise there is a deep and vast desert. Oh what am I going to do? Reruns of the ABC’s election night coverage (safety captured from digital tv and stored on disk) will only go so far. Poking through the entrails of pre-election opinion polls is fun for awhile, but it is no substitute for the real thing. Even St Antony will disappear into the wilderness. I get a cold shiver at the thought of no more elections for awhile – all the more reason to be a glutton now.

    Only one more sleep until the Election. But like the day after Christmas Day, what post-election depression will I have to suffer?

    BTW, I still think ALP will go close to 100 seats.

  141. Bruce said

    OK, back online.
    I read the Herald on the way home and noted some interesting points. Firstly the ACN poll was reported in two ways. As people nominated they would allocate preferences (2PP 57/43) and as preferences were distributed last election (2PP 56/44). The 2nd of these is how Newspoll and Galaxy do it. I think this is a mistake as it assumes people voting for minors will distribute preferences the same way as last election. As Poss has pointed out it potentially introduces bias. The big problem is the bias will be proportional to the number nominating minors as their primary vote.

    For example ACN have primaries ALP/LNP/Dem/Green/FF/Other at 48/40/1/8/1/1/1 – giving 12 for minors. Based on their stated preferences, about 75% of this went to the ALP (12*0.75=9, 48+9=57). Based on last elections results about 66% went to the ALP (12*0.66=8, 48+8=56 – take it as 0.62 you get 7.44 and it’s easy to believe if the 2PP could fall over 55.5 and be rounded up to 56). Remember there are big errors in these estimates due to rounding and it would help if pollsters published results to the first decimal or even nearest 0.5 like Morgan.

    Now look at Galaxy. The Herald says in the Galaxy sample the primary votes are tied on 42.5 each for ALP/LNP. The missing bit is a huge 15%. From Grooski @ 99 if you distribute using 0.62 to ALP that adds 9.3, giving 52% ALP 2PP. If you distribute 0.75 (more likely) that adds 11.25, giving 2PP 54/46.

    Now Newspoll. We have less information here. From Poss, Mumbles has Newspoll primaries at ALP/LNP 44/43. That leaves 13 the difference. Using 0.62 (Grooski again) we get 52/48. But using 0.75 we add 9.75 (call it 10) and round off to 54/46.

    So my conclusion is much of the difference in the polls can be explained by treatment of minor party preferences. As the minor party vote increases any errors introduced, especially be using the wriong assumptions will get bigger. I’m not sure how Morgan does preferences, but we can now estiamte the ALP 2PP from ACN, Galaxy and Newspoll using 2 assumptions:
    Preferences from minors flow the same way as in the last election:
    ACN/Galaxy/Newspoll 56/52/52 – the weighted mean is about 54.

    People voting for minor parties first distribute preferences 0.75 to ALP, or in the case of ACN as people nominate when asked:
    ACN/Galaxy/Newspoll 57/54/54 – the weighted mean is 55.5.

    The 2nd set of figure gets all polls within the MOE of the weighted mean.

    Sorry for the long post.

  142. Dave said

    Is anyone interested in getting together in person after the election?

    I’m thinking we go to a pub – and we all make sure that Possum & the Bludger do not stick a hand in their pocket all night.

    I’m in Sydney – does that work ??

  143. The Steel Golem said

    52-48 72 hours out…WTF?

    According to another Blog it looks like this
    ALP 44
    LNP 43
    Green 7
    Other 6

    Any clarification ’cause now I’m a bit worried…My partner and I decided to move the family to NZ if the Tories win this one…you do know that it is cold in NZ don’t you?

    Anyway I will now impose an election blackout on myself until tomorrow morning where I’ll get to the polls early and hopefully help make Michael Johnson and ex-MP.

  144. SJP said

    nO 137 – Cat- i dont regret what i say: anyone who can be immune to the suffering and torment of young children that i am saw happen in detention centres after Tampa, thanks to Ruddock and his immigrations nazis does not deserve any sypmathy. Ruddocks soul left his body a long time ago. besides i am not the least bit superstitious im a scientist after all!

  145. […] Aussie Election soundtrack & video thread…. Posted in Australian politics, GetUp!, LOLitics, art, breaking news, climate change, environment by typingisnotactivism on November 23rd, 2007 The ever-on-to-it PossCom has had a great idea – the freeflowing live-to-air online thread of election angst and therapy. […]

  146. SJP said

    hey guys im interested in finding out the demographics of the people who use these blogs and doing a chart anyone interested in giving me theirs?
    Full time student/part time work
    live alone
    voted green at last election
    have never voted liberal
    will vote green senate tomorrow; labour in lower house

  147. Ricky said

    Possum – here is a question.

    What if you are wrong? Are you confident that two encouraging polls for the coalition is enough for them to scrape in or for Labor only to win with a small majority?

  148. Stig said

    If there’s anyone out there who’s still nervous and down with a case of polling angst – do something about it.

    May I suggest that the best therapy is to rock up at a polling place tomorrow, vote, then talk to someone there from your favourite party and offer to hand out HTVs. Do it for an hour or two, talk to your rival HTVers, and discover that they’re mostly actually pretty good people.

    By 6PM you’ll know that you’ve actually made a political difference, and have your faith in human nature restored. Then, go home, watch the election stuff on TV, and drink a lot of beer.

    Try it, it’s fun.

    Thank you. That is all.

  149. Rod said

    Not sure what you think Poss is saying Ricky? Seems to me that he is still going for an ALP seat count in the 85-90 seat range.

  150. Rod said

    Good advice, Stig. Just what our family have planned for tomorrow , in fact!

  151. JWH said

    Hi SJP

    I’m late 60’s
    Wrk full time, but have announced my retirement
    Married (but thinking of having an affair with my biographer, like the guy before the guy before me)
    Go for morning walks
    Don’t like Victorians but like cricket
    I like to play hide & seek for WMD’s
    My favourite boat is called Tampa (although I like Siev IV)
    I’ll treat you well & that is a non-core promise

  152. Cath said

    I know this is only anecdotal but my liberal voting father has just told me he will be voting for the Rudd team tomorrow (picture me happy dancing – you have no idea the tears and sweat I’ve spent every election since I was 16 trying to get that to happen), while my apolitical/ habitual donkey voting friend voted formally for Labor yesterday in an early voting booth (she is working tomorrow). Dad’s reason – Howard is old and he hates Costello, friends reason, Workchoices. It twas the potential loss of penalty rates that got her attention.

    The fundamentals are all there and two polls won’t change them – a high vote for the Greens is a great thing and I’m expecting to have a very good time tomorrow night.

  153. Callum said

    Amusing piece of writing at 140, Whynot. I think you keep it all in perspective well.

    I’m also still confident of a labor win. But if a narrow liberal win did eventuate, which I think unlikely, then I don’t agree that it would be the triumph that people ascribe. The rot has truly set in in the liberal party and they need the cleansing that only a wandering in the political wilderness can bring. Returned to power they would only deteriorate more rapidly before an even greater eventual demolition.

    To all those wailing about not being able to stand another liberal win, count yrself fortunate to be living in Australia. Others have suffered much harder regimes for far longer. Strengthen your backbone and continue to live the values you believe in.

    On a side note, the fluctuations at the betting agencies today have been rather intriguing. Qld seats shortening for labor whilst the odds simultaneously have been shortening for the coalition winning overall.

    I’m off to read King Lear again. Did you know that Howard is a Leo?

  154. PASOK said

    Re Accuracy.

    All polling companies can go around proclaiming their accuracy even though none get the full result (primary & 2PP) spot on. Newspoll and Galaxy CAN fudge the 2PP figures and still look right. As long as the primaries are correct, that is what they’ll advertise next time around while conveniently forgetting how they calculated the 2PP.

    Remember this Newspoll headline/interpretation is all Shanahan’s opinion, and we know what credibility he has. I find it astounding that the Labor primary could possibly have fallen given the week Howard has had.

    Anyway, these are illogical factors causing heart-burn, so I will raise another non-statistical point: look at Howard and Rudd today in the shopping malls. It looked like JWH was running a marathon trying to shake every sinlge hand he could find, while Rudd took a leisurely cruise.

    Body language is VERY important when deciphering what the candidates actually think themselves. There are people who vote on overall impressions only. At JWH’s press conference he was practically pleading voters not to throw him out. And the fact that his new message is Keating’s old one indicates the well is dry and he knows it.

    That’s it for me, I am also on election blackout until Ant calls it for Kevin07!!

  155. Active Emu said

    Going on the posts and rumours the easiest explanation seems to be that Galaxy apparently weighted towards liberal marginals, and more importantly Newspoll changed their sample towards regional and rural which would include extra weighting for some marginal seats and undervalues the inner city labour seats and urban marginals relative to previous polls. This would also seem to be borne out by the lower green vote and higher others vote in the minor parties relative to other poles. This isn’t so scientific but perhaps that means things are looking good for the ALP in regional areas! I think I am trying to reasure myself as this is messing with my head.

  156. Stig said

    Good on you Rod! There’s no substitute for it, and it does make a difference.

  157. Possum

    Your progression prediction model seemed to be very accurate in predicting final results


    Can you run the numbers including these election eve polls?

    Can you tell us what the new figure is and if you believe that will be the result or very close to it and the reasons for your answer please?

  158. Mick said

    Sol Lebovic, founder of Newspoll, on Sky News saying tomorrow’s published Newspoll will show big swings to Labor in South Australia and Queensland, hence Johnny’s rush up north to end the campaign. Line ball in WA and ….Newspoll started polling Tuesday night and only captured a small number of opinions post Lindsaygate….

    Just got this from a friend of a friend, apparently from a Liberal insider….

    “We don’t know what to do. We’re shooting the alsatians and shredding the
    “You know how I said before that we saw the seats falling into two tranches?
    The second one’s just gone. We’re now desperately trying to hang on to seats
    we’re holding with 7-8% margins.
    “In the last week of the campaign, Rudd’s in Fran Bailey’s seat of McEwen.
    They’re not even worried about the 16 marginals. When you’re campaigning
    against Joe Hockey, you must be pretty confident you’ve got the 16 in the
    bag already. You don’t waste time with your leader if you’re not 100% sure
    its in the bag.”
    On the TT lovefest. “Ha! That was in response to Rove – Rudd did really
    really well – to 1.3 million viewers. And our campaign went ‘oh, fck, we
    just blew it’. So we desperrately scrambled together this freak show, this
    Morecambe and Wise freak show. Their big concession to the youth vote was to
    have their jackets off. It was two uncomfortable elderly men. Yuck.”
    Is Costello in trouble in Higgins?
    “Costello’s freaking out because the polling’s showing him, he’s on a knife
    edge.” But he thinks he’ll pull through.
    “Newhouse is a fckwit. He’s the ALP’s candidate from Hell. This one will
    buck the national trend.”
    What about Turnbull as leader?
    “The party room sees him as capable, intelligent, but so arrogant – his
    strong sense of destiny and capacity makes him hard to deal with. It’s not
    been a good campaign for Turnbull. It has been good for Costello. He’s
    massively repositioning himself to avoid criticism. He’ll be the best chance
    as leader after the election. The party will be in shock. Cos will walk into
    the room, and say I’m it. There may be a couple who want a spill motion.
    Nelson might stand, but he’s got no chance.”
    Howard on 7.30. “I thought he did well. He got his points across.”
    On Rudd
    “Rudd’s not great, but I’m amazed he’s come across as well as he has.
    Howard’s had a long time to master all this stuff. Rudd moved from foreign
    affairs to hadling the lot, and he’s been under forensic scrutiny, and has
    handled it well. He falls back all the time on campaign lines and slogans,
    but he’s kept it together.”
    Howard in Bennelong? And does Howard know they’re going to lose?
    “He knows we’re gone. On the eve of the debate, he got all this polling
    showing he was gone in Bennelong. He cracked the shts, and they had to calm
    him down. That’s why he was so crabby. So they did this very intensive
    polling, in every sector of the community, every day, and found it wasn’t so
    bad. But now it’s swing back (to Maxine).
    “He just doesn’t want to lose his seat. He doesn’t give a fck about the
    election – he knows its lost. And he’d still be the second longest serving
    PM. So he’s have his place in history. But he knows what the party’s like.
    If he loses his seat, he’s lost it all. If not, he moves to the backbench
    and undermines Peter the same way Peter’s been undermining him over the past
    three years.”

  159. Mick that story was already posted a few nights ago on Poll Bludger

  160. CookElector said

    Poss, I lie on the couch and seek guidance.

    I am a swinging voter, undecided – I swing between Labor and Greens, and I want to swing my baseball bat at JH. Do I (a) vote Labor as 1 and tell John Howard that I don’t like him and put all my effort behind Rudders… or (b) vote Green as 1 and Labor as 2 so that I can tell John that I double-don’t like him?

    Should I listen to my inner Green, and vote with my heart? I lie here on the couch full of anxiety, waiting for the results of the Only Poll That Matters. When the 16th seat falls, fireworks shall go off, angels in heaven will rejoice, choirs will arise throughout the land and sing “Hallelujah” … sorry, just fantasising.

    So you see, I am a poll tragic. I want to vote for every party that stands against Howard just so that I can show how much I detest his Wasted Years. And I worry that Rudd might be a little too Labor Lite for my tastes (must have been all that reading of Marx back at uni in the 1970s, though I am more Groucho than Karl).

    So have you, O Consulting Psephologist, words of wisdom and comfort for one who voted for Tickner back in 1996, only to see Danna in the seat in 2007? (my polling booth has been moved into Cook since 1996). Tomorrow, how can this poor undecided voter best show his abhorrence for all things Rodentical?

    PS: best thing this election? Seeing Hawke and Keating come out in the Age and SMH and DEFEND their governments. Strong arguments putting down the Mendacious One with facts. Did my heart good.

  161. Martin B said

    I remain confident of the outcome, but am saddened that there does appear to have been a Narrowing of sorts.

    OTOH my tipping comp entry has come right back into play 🙂

  162. ShowsOn said

    If you vote Green they will be paid $1.50, if you vote Labor first, they will be given $1.50 worth of public funding for your vote.

    That’s all it comes down to. It doesn’t bother Labor if you give them your first vote or your preference. Just as long as they are higher than the Liberals and / or Nationals.

  163. Martin B said

    we all make sure that Possum & the Bludger do not stick a hand in their pocket all night.

    I’m in Sydney – does that work ??

    The latter’s a good start on the former, isn’t it? 🙂

  164. dosi said

    professional, work full time
    just started partime postgrad study
    parents vote liberal – i”ve always voted labor/greens maybe democrats when i was 18 and they were actually a party?

  165. Harry 'Snapper' Organs said

    Guido, I was so touched by your post. Mi casa and so forth. This election is so important to returning some heart to our nation’s soul. If there is enough of us left, and I believe there is, the appalling LNP will be vanquished tomorrow. No science about it, I might add.

  166. sondeo said

    Read the pro stats bloggers lips. There ain’t no swing and if there is it is irrelevant. I did suggest conspiracy and it seems to be the case though it will be covered by News-speak and Dennis drivel. I have a felling after tomorrow there will be some hard hitting questions asked of the polls by some very savvy individuals. In fact I would hope that Poss runs a critique of the poles open to all like minded bloggers. I would imagine there would be a paper in it for an enterprising statistician. Don’t let this one go after the election it really is nasty crap.

  167. Enemy Combatant said

    “I’m off to read King Lear again. Did you know that Howard is a Leo?”

    Callum, love the bit where Lear, when his world has completely turned to shit, asks the blind Gloucester how he “sees the word”; Gloucester replies that “he sees the world feelingly”.
    Whynot at 140: “Like a naughty boy I have been staying up way past bed time reading blogs and what not. No longer am I allowed into the bedroom with the laptop.” Sounds pretty much like my joint too. Great writing.
    OK, as predicted earlier on this thread, the maket has “narrowed” after the evening TV news bulletins.

    LABOR 1.38
    COALITION 3.05

    Before they “widen” again, consider the overnight value. 38% in 24 hours. I wanna poultice ’em at those odds but The Minister For War has issued her ultimatum.

    “Touch the kids’ lunch money and you’re dead meat, mister!”

    “Aw, Jeez Honey, they’re absolute certs.”

    *door slams*

    Oh,well, at least I got a few bob on Rossie Daniels in Ryan and the Indie in Forrest while their odds were still juicy. Besides, I’m a great believer in domestic harmony. Going forward.

  168. Stephen T said

    Fellas get a grip. Its gonna be OK. The variability is laughable and in no way represents the solidity of the trend line. Poss and the other stats freaks are handing it to you on a platter. Get rid of the doubt its win all the way from here. I am sure in post election analysis Poss and many others will be asking some fairly insightful questions of the polls and hopefully it will all be played out here. I am no conspiracy theorist but this really reeks of Newspoll, Dennis the Sham and maybe boss man in there somewhere. It is just all too fishy. There will be the expected Newsspeak excuses and Shanaham drivel however tis going to be a bad look.

  169. Stephen T said

    Opps! posted twice cause first seemed to get lost in blogosphere Sorry!

  170. David Richards said

    Geeze this country is tough on your nerves and your patience if you don’t follow the right mobs LOL

    I back Ford as well.

    Suppose I should be used to disappointment by now lol

  171. adherent said

    Interested American,

    Aside from yourself, does anyone else over there know we’re voting tomorrow? Has there been any sort of coverage?

  172. Styx said

    Some time ago. God knows when. I proclaimed that I would not believe that Howard had lost the election until the day after. I concede that Labor has been ahead in the polls all year, I accept that a lot of the movement in the polls in the past week is within the MOE or the consequence of errors in the underlying assumptions in the distribution of preferences and that Labor by any measure should win and win comfortably tomorrow. And yet, and yet, I’m having a Hanrahan moment (we’re all rooned) , I just can’t look. I just ‘know’ the Howard is going to spring back up and with a grin like a Cheshire Cat proclaim that he is now Lazarus with a quadruple by-pass.

  173. Bernice said

    A hearty thanks Poss. Nice to see someone giving stats a good name again. & if ya aint seen it –

  174. Anxious Emo said

    I’m feeling incredibly anxious right now. I don’t know if I’ll sleep tonight… Please, don’t let Howard win tomorrow. I just couldn’t take it.. AAAAaaahhhhhhhhh..

  175. Callum said

    EC, yes that’s a lovely quote.

    Here’s another one that I think will be good for tomorrow:

    Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides:
    Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.

    I got on Ryan for Labor when it was 3.05 and Longman at 3.05 too. I now observe Ryan is at 2.25 and Longman at 2.10 on Centrebet. For me that’s much more significant than the ravings of Shanahan and Sol.

  176. mytym said

    1. Why didn’t galaxy take a larger sample for their last poll?

    2. Why did Newspoll conduct all their polling today while most people were at work?

    3. Why haven’t morgan released a F2F poll today?

  177. mit said

    RE Enemy (#167)
    Market is already back to 1.30/31/33 on Portlandbet, Centrebet, and Sportingbet @ 10.25pm. Won’t see 1.38 again.

  178. David Richards said

    Like Jason, Freddy Kreuger, or Dracula, you mean Styx?

    Know what you mean – the evil wizened warthog has been haunting Canberra for 33 years.

    We might need a Van Helsing, a Buffy, or an exorcist to get rid of him!!!!

  179. Ordem e Progresso said

    Guido #50:

    I switched off after the disastrous 2004 election. It broke my heart. How could a liar like Howard face us with the question “who do you trust”? Worse: how could the people of this country vote for him and give the Libs control over the Senate? It made me terribly upset.

    I turned off news and current affairs. I threw in my Honours at university and instead, focused on things that didn’t make me sad – like Australian politics.

    My resurgence in interest in national politics was only effected by Rudd and, most importantly, the real prospect of Howard and the Libs being ousted.

    Howard’s term has been indecent. He’s taken us back down our racist past and I passionately believe we must be rid of this man lest racism and the immorality of WorkChoices are entrenched in our society.

    C’mon Labor!!

  180. Rod said

    CookElector writes:

    I am a swinging voter, undecided – I swing between Labor and Greens, and I want to swing my baseball bat at JH. Do I (a) vote Labor as 1 and tell John Howard that I don’t like him and put all my effort behind Rudders… or (b) vote Green as 1 and Labor as 2 so that I can tell John that I double-don’t like him?

    Should I listen to my inner Green, and vote with my heart?

    ShowsOn is spot on, CookVoter. The bat will hit Johnny just as hard whether you use a Green or Labor handgrip, ands long as you keep them both closer to “1” than his mob in the numbering. Personally I reckon for many of us there may be a little extra to be gained from putting Green in front of the Ruddster. Helps to remind him that he isn’t winning simply by virtue of taking the party further towards the centre / centre right into what was once Liberal territory. It might spin things out a little longer, too, in some electorates keeping them both on tenterhooks as they wonder which way the prefs will fall.

    Ultimately it won’t do Rudd any harm at all, won’t help Howard in the slightest, and will let your “inner Green” , your heart and your head stay better in tune with each other! 😉

  181. SJP said

    Hey Styx your not the only one. Seen that sneaky rodent come back too many times
    Thanks Dosi the rest are too scared to reveal their stats!

  182. BV said

    If Howard gets back, all those who profit from or study the art of polling should fear for their future because no-one will be paying you anything post 12 months of solid pollings which is worthless.

  183. Enemy Combatant said

    Now the heavy smart money is being laid(as humbly predicted). Tin-Tin has kicked in the straight. The only uncertainty is the winning margin. You can put away the glasses, ladies and gentlemen, The colt from Old Eumundi’s going to win in a canter.

    LABOR 1.31
    COALITION 3.50

    CBet closes at “8 AM” when I suggest Labor’s S.P.(starting price) will be closer to $1.10 than $1.20.

  184. Kina said

    “3. Why haven’t morgan released a F2F poll today?”

    Why would Morgan risk ridicule with a F2F at the very last – they always give Labor +2%

    They should extend their phone poll instead and forget about trying to do marginals.

  185. Amaranthus said

    Bruce @141, that’s a fantastic analysis. I cannot disagree. My bet as an amateur pseph and professional ecological statistician is a 54-55% ALP TPP too.

  186. Blackburn Bob said

    Howard is a Sith Lord. Rudd is Luke Skywalker.

    If the Australian people vote to have their wages and climate destroyed then that is their perogative.

    I can call New Zealand and get a job tomorrow. And what is more, my wife agrees.

    But I won’t have to!

    But if. . .

    . . .If ‘Kellygate’ gives Australians the opportunity to turn racist, well, I am racist. Australians are best at cricket. The French make the best cheese and wine, the Thais are the most beautiful, and the Sudanese I see walking around Blackburn have a sense of style (gangs? What gangs bring their six year old sisters along with braided hair. They look like families to me. Working Families!).

    If the Australian people turn to the dark side, they will turn through fear, and I will respond (from a distance) with compassion. To paraphrase Tolkien, it our privelege to fight evil, not neccessarily to defeat it.

    Thank you so much Poss for your great site. You and PB and Oz politics and Surfdom and Blogocracy and LP have made me realise that, to quote the meme, I live in a society, not an economy. I will stil be here after the election to learn regression.

    I really think based on an exclusive poll of my own family, that the last minute movement is a move to the Greens. I will take the advice posted earlier and vote early tomorrow and offer to hand out Greens HTV. I’m a long term Labor man, but I look forward to a time when it is Green and Labor, and the Libs are where the DLP is now, nowhere.

    Howard is doing what Mark Williams did for Port Adelaide earlier in the year, talking up a weak hand. We are Geelong (in a North Melbourne kind of way). We are winning, and we will win.

    I love youse all. . .

  187. Sir Henry Casingbroke said

    Hey Guido and EC, Just think, Johnny could win with Labor polling 53.5% if the marginal votes fall his way. You’ll see his grinning skull, up on the stage, thanking the Australian people, promising to govern for all Australians, thanking everyone who worked so hard, and being grateful for “this historic mandate”. He’ll kiss Jeanette, and raise his hands in triumph. Aren’t I cruel?

  188. Better than Santa said

    Love it #140. Luckily I can still get the laptop into the bed.

    Just spent the evening with my 18 year old daughter, cooking away for the house full of tragics coming around tomorrow night to celebrate. Feels like christmas eve, but better. My daughter is looking forward to voting for the first time tomorrow. Like me (’83), it will be great for her to remember that her first vote helped do something big for the country.

    Keep the faith everyone. As PJK said in the SMH a few days back, tomorrow is all about “restoring a moral basis to our public life”.

  189. Rod said

    Amaranthus said: My bet as an amateur pseph and professional ecological statistician is a 54-55% ALP TPP too

    Agreed Amaranthus at 185 and Bruce at 141. All roads lead to 54% ALP TPP for me too.

  190. ViggoP said

    You’re so right Blackburn Bob: it’s not the economy, stupid – it’s people.

  191. Socrates said


    Thanks so much, that was a very comforting read to those who like the maths. I couldn’t really believe that the vote could shift in favour of the coalition in a week where nothing but their scandals came to light. Now I know my gut was right. I find it appalling that a professional pollster would change their methodology and then report teh results teh same way. It deceives anyone who is following their trend. And they must have a view as to which method was right – either their earlier poll 2PPs were all wrong or this one is. After tomorrow we can turn Kirribilli into temporary accomodation for assylum seekers.

    Given how questionable I find the practices of both Galaxy and Newspoll in these final polls, may I suggest that someone like yourself or Adam write an article for the MSM after the election? It would be worth preserving in people’s memory how reliable the varius polls were.

  192. canberra boy said

    Blackburn Bob, can I take regression classes with you? I’ve come to realise it’s the one thing I’ve been missing all my life… 😉

  193. Neilbris said

    Antony is right when he says that on election day the undecideds tend to break 2/1 in favour of the trend. Galaxy and Newspoll (particularly with its dubious changes in methodology) is an ill disguised attempt to camouflage the trend and save the annihilation.

  194. Beach Ball said

    What to expect when you get to your polling booth tomorrow.

    In Lindsay the Libs have got plastic bunting that has been rolled out over the whole length of fences with the scare tactic warning of wall to wall labor, mixed in with 70% union dominance.

    Then, wrapped around the telegraph poles around the booths, they have six feet high corflute posters, bright red in colour, with a black and white photo of Peter Garrett with the words “We’ll change it all when we get in.”

    The libs are still running hard out here, in spite of the fact that Chijoff has blown out to $9 in the betting.

  195. Dockerman said

    Hey Poss
    First post, this was sent me by an old friend from Melbourne last week
    Seems relevant to the election issue and may provide some consolation to those starting to doubt RUDD’S “winning post” streak
    By the way Poss – many thanks for your brilliant contribution to the 2007 election – you’ve kept us all sane and on track..!!!!


    FIRST READING Ml 4:1-2a (Heb 3:19-20a)

    For the day is coming now, burning like a furnace; and all arrogant and evil-doers will be like stubble.

    The day that is coming is going to burn them up, says the Lord Sabbath leaving them neither root nor stalk.

    But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will shine out with healing in its rays.
    This is the word of the Lord. All: Thanks be to God.

  196. Enemy Combatant said

    Sir Henry, your pathetic attempt to gee up intelligent adults reminds me of an uncle who came by home on yuletide’s eve(pissed as a newt) and told us kids that Santa would not be making his traditional visit tonight.

    Askance,crestfallen and bewildered we turned to him as one. With a look of deep concern he informed us that there had been a terrible accident on the Hume Highway:

    “Most of the reindeers were mincemeat. Blitzer wasn’t going to make it, Rudolph was cut up pretty bad, and Santa had been taken to hospital by ambulance.”

  197. Hasta la Vista Rodente said

    Like other posters I am oscillating between confidence in a righteous result, and dread at the thought of the impossible comeback. What a dark memory I have of watching that lying little c* walk through the crowd on his previous victory march. Like others here I have descended into a blog-fed daze in the last few weeks. Bring on tomorrow night, and either way I might get a decent night’s sleep.

  198. canberra boy said

    CookElector (#160) I agree with Rod at #180 that you should vote Green and then put Labor ahead of the Coalition in your preferences. This means that in the seat of Cook you will effectively be voting for a Labor representative and in the Senate you will be voting for a Green Senator to keep the Rudd Government honest.

  199. Hemingway said

    Morgan Poll out now: Labor 54.5 (down 1) Coalition 45.5 (up 1)

  200. Hemingway said

    Morgan link:


  201. Bert said

    Have faith my sons, the polls have barely moved. I cannot predict the numbers on the swing in various seats, but my best guess is 94+ seats to Labor.

    It will be a massacre of biblical proportions!

  202. Hemingway said

    Morgan: Labor 54.5, Coalition 45.5, Primary Labor 44.5 (down 2), Coalition 40.5 (up 0.5) and Greens 9 (up 1)

  203. Hemingway said

    Gary Morgan says:

    “With a day to go, the ALP is set to win the Federal election. The final Morgan Poll will be conducted tonight and released on election morning — see http://www.roymorgan.com for full details.

    “Marginal seat polling in 22 Coalition seats finds the ALP 3% ahead: 51.5% cf. 48.5%. This suggests an ALP gain of between 14 and 20 seats even with the likelihood of Labor losing a seat in Western Australia.

    “However, the latest Australia-wide Morgan Poll — with a swing of 7.2% — indicates the ALP will win some safer Liberal seats outside their 22 most marginal.

    “John Howard should retain Bennelong and Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth.

    “The question is: How many seats will Labor gain in Victoria?”

  204. Hemingway said

    A million pardons. Got it off another site that this was the last Morgan. Won’t get the last one until tomorrow. Thank god no one was in here!

  205. Rod said

    Evening all.

    I’ll be back when Prime Minister Rudd is our newly annointed leader, and the Greens controlling the Senate. (In other words, tomorrow evening or Sunday)

    The answer to Life, the Universe and everything is really going to be 54% 2PP .



  206. Wayne said

    The latest polling from the Dark Lords Empire is designed to play with our heads.

    Take heart in the following:

    There are presently a great number of Liberal Pollies and an even greater number of their staff getting ready to pass around the Coolaid (just as Jim Jones and his followers did at Jones Town)after tomorrow night.

    And an even happier thought to hold on to is that the polling that is causing heart burn for the rest of us will be clutched to the chests of these desperate individuals in the hope that it is true.

    Nows thats justice.

  207. Mick said

    Sleep well everyone, the last time under John Howard (so to speak)

  208. marty said

    Palms sweaty, throat dry. A quick look at Centrebet odds and found Labour ahead more or less comfortably in these seats:

    NSW: 28
    VIC: 20
    ACT: 2
    NT: 2
    TAS: 5
    SA: 6
    QLD: 10
    WA: 6

    These alone will give a 79-69-2 result to Labor. There are a further 11 seats that are currently line ball but with LNP slightly ahead.

    Sturt 1.68/2.05
    Bennelong 1.50/2.40
    Corangamite 1.85/1.85
    Deakin 1.80/1.90
    McMillan 1.75/1.95

    If the swing is on big in Qld…these are up for grabs:
    Bowman 1.72/2.00
    Leichhardt 1.76/1/95
    Longman 1.65/2.10 (Brough)
    Petrie 1.83/1.87
    Ryan 1.57/2.25
    Stirling 1.60/2.20

    If Labour win even a third of these line-ball seats it’ll be 83-65

    I feel better now. Well, a bit.

  209. marty said

    Of course, Stirling is in WA…

  210. Kramer said

    My brothers and sisters.

    Thanks for the great blog Poss. This site was instrumental in me retaining my sanity throughout the year, particularly after the comments section of ozpolitics was shut down.

    Today’s Newspoll made me sick to my stomach, but I simply cannot be fully swayed into believing that successive polls all year (as well as the betting markets) can be so completely wrong. I think they’re finished people, let’s just hold our nerve and toast their demise.

    Down with the Coalition! Hello to a new Rudd Government counterbalanced by a Green controlled Senate.

  211. Josh said

    Tonight we see the coalition firming in to around $3.30 under what must the weight of some serious late money betting. Anyone care to comment on what this means?

  212. BlueSkyMining said

    Well I guess this is it. Off to sleep, out to vote first thing tomorrow, then a day out ignoring the rest of the world and back home by 6pm to watch the count on the ABC.

    Thanks to Poss for both his site and his insight. Thanks to all the rest of you for the informed and intelligent discussion and the light-hearted moments. And a good dose of poll-analysis therapy to boot.

    See you all on the other side. Viva la Ruddolution!!!!!

  213. Socrates said


    My guess is that some people who dont know statistics read the Newspoll and were fooled. Others who do love the Liberal Party must have decided to hope against hope.

  214. Socrates said

    Well good night all too. If in beauty there is truth, then it follows that falsehood is ugly, adn JWH’s appearance is suddenly explained. See, philosophy is useful.

  215. Leopold said

    With due respect Possum, I’ve never read such nonsense as your above comments re Newspoll preference flows. Newspoll ALWAYS distributes preferences 61% to Labor, 39% to Coalition; the fact that they do it from the unrounded data sometimes makes it look slightly odd, but the method is always the same.

    The 53 came off rounded primaries of 47-42, which left 11 minors to be distributed. 61% of that is 6.7, which goes to an ALP 2PP of 53.7 from the rounded figures. But if Labor was 46.7, the Coalition 42.3 before rounding, it goes to 53.4, which rounds to 53.

    Newspoll have had a number of polls this year with this ‘dreaded 13’ as their minor party number. They have typically given 8 out of 13 to Labor, so primaries of 48-39 went to a 2PP of 56-44, 49-38 to 57-43, 46-41 to 54-46 etc. It is possible it may have been different once or twice due to rounding error (i.e., if Labor was on 45.51, preferences of 7.93 would only get them to 53.44) but I don’t specifically recall such an occasion.

    Were you drunk when you wrote that post? Or just a bit stressed after your beloved Newspoll offered the same result as the ‘comedians’ at Galaxy? 😉

  216. CookElector said

    #198, #180 and #162 – thanks, some interesting comments, especially about the cash (an aspect I hadn’t thought of). I will seriously ponder your collective advice.

    If Rudd wins, Labor will have all the spoils of office. Better to give my $1.50 to the Greens. Good thought.

  217. Wingnut said

    Been worried this blog is a fix for an addict but today who cares ? – Turps’d up & happy!! Tomorrow I’m up at sparrow’s and starting the queue in Bennelong to vote out the rodent. It’s been so long.

    Even thought Stephen Hawking (or was that Bob Carr) brilliant tonight on Lateline batting down Kroger.

    1980 Taylor’s port ready to go. Let the games begin.

  218. Leopold,

    You seem a little angry.

    You don’t have to agree with Possum, nor do you have to get personal.

    State your case and leave it at that.


  219. Hang on Leopold,

    My mistake. Just spied the smiley face…which leaves egg on mine.


  220. CK said

    Yes. Quite so Julian. Disgraceful behaviour.

  221. Enemy Combatant said

    Hey Leopold! Check out your hero, Johnny Wood Duck.


  222. Verity said

    If there is a shift it could be because of the direct marketing which has consisted of a deluge of letters for weeks followed by automated phone calls. Some people will be fooled into thinking that the local Liberal polly actually cares.

    At the same time the action at the booths tomorrow will probably be crucial for those who only make up their mind as they enter the local school or church hall.

    If Howard and his crew do get back it will almost certainly be courtesy of the millions of taxpayer dollars spent to achieve just that result.

    I am incensed at the waste and poor environmental effects but will donate my money to the greens to strengthen their hand next time.

  223. David Richards said

    This is like xmas for grownups .. I do hope I get that new train set and not the hideous itchy jumper from nana.

  224. KC said

    What hasn’t got much of a mention lately is Equine Flu.

    Racecourses in Sydney and Brisbane are closed tommorow, as the trots were tonight and tommorrow night. The punters, staff, track attendants, caterers etc should all have been voting early then off to the track to earn their wage, that’s off.

    The tab punters should be voting early then to the TAB or home to bet, still can but EI has restricted the fields so it is more of a lottery than it was.

    In todays Tele, story of Turf staff being Work Choiced, AJC has contracted out its turf services. This story will get around very quickly to all racetrack staff around the country.

    But besides the racing industry tomorrow is, or was before EI, a popular day for the riding schools and the pony clubs, these people feel the financial pain extra hard.

    There are going to be some big swings out there.

  225. not.so.very.worried said

    Cheer up everyone, read this article:


    and especially note this line:

    “But sources from both main parties believed that the Herald poll more accurately reflected what their internal polling had found.”

  226. typingisnotactivism said



    Turnbull has taken out a full page ad runnoing in papers today to more or less tell Wentworth that he better win or he’s going to put them all through the whole bloody election process again.

    Pardon my French, but what a dick!

  227. Mathew Cole said

    I’ve just talked to an economics professor over here in Canada, where I’m doing an exchange semester (of all the stupid timing!), and I came away from that chat with the impression that this may well be the election that Labor wanted to lose.

    According to him, the US economy is looking remarkable similar to that of 1928.

  228. innercitylefty said

    Cheer up everyone. Even if newspoll is accurate, if you put the state by state figures into Antony Green’s calculator, you still end up with 83 seats for the ALP, not including Dobell and McMillan which are in the bag for the ALP.

  229. An Interested American said

    Re: Adherent (#171)

    There has been absolutely no coverage of the happenings Down Under here. This is largely because: a)its Thanksgoving holiday here and everyone is busy stuffing themselves with Turkey and Christmas shopping and b)the first presidential primaries in Iowa are in just a few weeks (and the media here are absurdly focused on that topic).

  230. Rx said

    Observation 1: Australians are, electorally, the stupidest people on the face of the planet.

    Observation 2: Howard is smarter than all the Liberal voters put together.

    Let us hope that today finally puts makes these two observations obsolete.

  231. Grumblebum said

    SJP @ 181
    [Thanks Dosi the rest are too scared to reveal their stats]

    Twaddle! Try, ‘won’t waste Poss’s bandwidth.’ Suggest you post your email address and offer to mail out a questionnaire to those willing to participate.

  232. Gezza said

    V-Day, sharpening my baseball bat now

  233. not.so.very.worried said

    newspoll has primary votes in every state bar WA as approx 48/42 ALP to LNP, WA 50/44 ??? What the?
    anyway I think in this election 90% of Green and Dem and other centre to centre left party 2nd preferences will go to ALP this election
    (People are sick to the stomach LNP shenanigans) so the TPP east of WA will probably be about 57/43 as predicted by AC Neilsen…
    Does it matter what happens in WA with that result?????

  234. Rx said

    Go Australia!!

  235. David Richards said

    Even if Galaxy and Newspoll are 100% correct, (which I don’t accept for a minute, due to high greens primary and the underestimation of how tightly they will go to ALP this time around, so 2PP is at least 1-2% higher), almost the best Howard can hope for is a hung Parliament. Any kind of Lib lead is too fanciful.

    Australia – don’t let me down this time. I did my bit last time and my seat was one that turned red against the tide.

    Give the countray an algal bloom – a red tide – to choke all the blue meanies.

  236. David Richards said

    If WA DOES decide it – Sandgropers will be grateful there’s a continent between them and all the angry easterners. As a South aussie – we have to live next door to them! LOL

    WA will become a leper colony.

  237. Ian1976 said

    Come on Australia. Make my home country one I can be proud of again and maybe one day return to! Get rid of the lying rodent!!!

  238. Lenny Leverhulme said

    for the waverers and the nervous nellies (like me), get over and read alan ramsey
    and if possible listen to chris uhlman this morning on ‘am’. both men, esp ramsey (of course), threw cold water on the notion of “the narrowing”. ramsey’s imagery of the hundreds of wheelly bins full of confidential waste parked outside the ministerial wing at parliament house was particularly heartening. i think the coalition realise the jig is up.

    also, there was an article that some kind soul posted here yesterday that took us back to the eve of the 1996 election where the polls and the pundits were universally predicting a photo finish, many saying labour would squeak in. only malcolm makerras was close to picking the actual result. what does he reckon this time: labour on 90 seats i think?

  239. Lenny Leverhulme said

    btw, forgot to say, dear possum ccmitatus, whatever the result, thank you so much for your wonderful insightful psotings and also for hosting this great forum too!

  240. Rx said

    M Makerras has tipped Labor this time too.

  241. scaper... said

    Today we are at the crossroads of our future as a nation.

    I have faith in my fellow Australians to throw this disgusting government out on their ears.

    There is a lot of hard work ahead to once become the great nation that we were.

  242. Bobby said

    Love this quote from the age – Go Kevie – we’ve reached the fork in the road

    Yesterday, the Morgan poll came in midway between the two, showing Labor with 54.4% to 45.5%. And Newspoll lined up exactly with Galaxy. Both Morgan and Newspoll have a poor record in recent elections. They both tipped a cliffhanger in 2004, Morgan tipped Kim Beazley to win in 2001, and Newspoll tipped Beazley to win in 1998 and John Hewson to win in 1993.

    Someone’s reputation is likely to end up tattered tonight.

    The most reliable guide in recent elections has been the combined results of Nielsen polls throughout the campaign. This time they point to Labor winning 55% of the vote after preferences, and the Coalition 45%, which would imply a Labor majority of 30 seats or more.

  243. Stig said

    Stop reading & go vote.

    Don’t forget to hand out HTVs!

  244. Bobby said


    Its all over guys – the footballers back Rudd!

  245. innercitylefty said


    can you please take my details down off the leave a comment section, it is still showing my email address

  246. JFC said


    my submission to the greens lolpol group on flickr, but isn’t up yet

  247. Gezza said

    Punters out early in large numbers here in Boothby.

  248. Possum Comitatus said

    Innercity – I cant actually see your details when I view the site normally as you folks do – but I changed your details anyway.

    This seems to have been happening occasionally on the wordpress.com system for a few days now – I wish they’d pull their finger out and fix it, as I have no control over the problem at all except to be able to change the details on those strange occasions where they become viewable.

  249. kiwipundit said

    Possum, as someone from across the Tasman who made a prediction in January this year to family and friends that Labor will win the Australian federal election this year, I have taken a keen interest in the campaign.

    I’ve visited various election and psephology sites, but I’ve found your blog fascinating mainly because of your analysis of polling trends (you must be a pollster or have worked as one in a previous life). Many a time your analysis has calmed me down when some polls were showing the 2PP at 53% or less for Labor. Your analysis was also reassuring when last month the individual seat betting on average had Labor struggling to get the 75 or 76 seats they needed – I liked your phrase that the individual seat betting markets were as thin as Kate Moss after a laxative bender! Since then individual seat betting has shown Labor as the favourite in at least 81 seats – so those markets have at least been fattened up enough in the last few weeks.

    Anyway I must be the only person here who isn’t going to vote today – I’m a New Zealand citizen and resident. However I do have family and friends in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth – the latter being a Labor supporting uncle and aunt in the seat of Stirling!

    p.s. I wonder if you’ll be following the New Zealand general election next year. I’m sure you can quickly get your head around our Mixed Member Proportional (M.M.P.) system. My “gut instincts” and polling to date is suggesting a change of government in New Zealand.

  250. David Richards said

    Job Done!

    Johnny says no anger?

    I gave his YoungLib lackey some anger to take home to his master.

    Pity I didn’t have a baseball bat – even an inflatable one.

  251. David Richards said

    Apart from WA, any signs of any salmon swimming against the current?

  252. Leopold said


    Hardly angry. We are discussing preference allocations in an opinion poll, after all…

    But Newspoll preferences aren’t a complicated topic. I don’t know how Possum, who does some quite brilliant work, could have got himself so confused about them. Especially this stuff about the number 13, which is quite baffling given that the regular primary result of 48-39 (for example) has pretty consistently gone to 56-44 through the last few months.

  253. Possum Comitatus said

    It’s about the history of 13 minor party votes in Newspoll, and how rounding runs into that number (and a couple of others) to produce under or over pref allocations. As the two majors + others= 100, that’s where the problem comes in. It’s just an unavoidable issue when the polls only publish integers.

  254. Cat said

    SJP: nO 137 – Cat- i dont regret what i say: anyone who can be immune to the suffering and torment of young children that i am saw happen in detention centres after Tampa, thanks to Ruddock and his immigrations nazis does not deserve any sypmathy. Ruddocks soul left his body a long time ago. besides i am not the least bit superstitious im a scientist after all!

    SJP – he is my local member and I cannot stand him. The reason I said it is because he is apparently quite ill.

  255. Rod said

    Looks like Australian journo Caroline Overington has been “livening up” processes at one of the booths in Wentworth, abusing ALP’s George Newhouse and then slapping him in the face!

    see http://www.theage.com.au/news/federal-election-2007-news/journalist-slaps-labor-candidate/2007/11/24/1195753353073.html

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