Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

Morgan in the Age of Rudd – and a few oddities.

Posted by Possum Comitatus on December 10, 2007

We have our first poll out after the election that measures voting intention, and it’s of the Morgan phone poll variety.

The first post-election Morgan Poll since the Rudd Government’s victory shows the inevitable boost in ALP primary support, now 49% (up 5.6% since the election), with L-NP support at 36.5%, Greens 7%, Family First 1.5%, and Others 6%. On a two-party preferred basis, ALP support is 58.5%, L-NP 41.5%.

However, I do have it on good authority that the result is expected to narrow between now and the next election :mrgreen:

I was looking forward to seeing the results of the “heading in the right direction” question so we could all have a giggle about the soft Coalition vote – but alas, Gary of Morgan fame has treated us like the naughty children we are and taken away our fun. With a “heading in the right direction” percentage recording its second highest level since May on 60%, one would imagine Spanky Nelson would have a vote softer than a poached egg using the old methodology.

So we bid farewell to the legendary Morgan soft vote question, and usher in a new dawn with a brand new measure; a measure so important it even has its own acronym.

Yes, we now have (insert orchestral fanfare) “The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating” – the GCR.

Currently the GCR, which Gary tells us is calculated as “100 plus the difference between the percentage of Australians who say the country is ‘going in the right direction’ and the percentage who say the country is ‘going in seriously the wrong direction’ “, is sitting on a record breaking 144.5

I’m not exactly sure what that means – but it’s a big number! 😉

I’m currently going over the election results seat by seat and hunting down relationships between the swings in electorates and various bits of Census data and whatnot. In the lead up to the election we heard a lot about how single parents with dependent children could be the big swingers and determine a number of seats, simply as a backlash to Howard’s welfare to work programs.

While there was certainly a relationship between the proportions of single parents with dependent children in an electorate and the size of the swing to the ALP, it actually had a greater effect of consolidating the relationship between the ALP two party preferred vote and the single parent with dependent children population.

The following two diagrams are scatter plots on the proportion of single parents with dependent children in an electorate and both the swing to the ALP by electorate, and the TPP vote by electorate.

decswingsp1.jpg decalptppsp1.jpg

The R-sq on the swing regression is 3.2%, on the TPP regressions it’s 30.5% (this is cross sectional data, so we expect the fit to be pretty low- I was surprised at how strong it was for the TPP)

So single parents did what some were suggesting they might, but have now really consolidated themselves as a key Labor demographic.

On something completely different, one of the things I found while rummaging around the data was the correlation between the size of the mortgage burden in an electorate (defined as the proportion of median household income used to make the median mortgage repayment) and the proportion of GP visits in the electorate that are bulk billed (using 2006 non-census data for the latter). Running a scatter plot and a simple regression line for the two we get:


R-sq =42%

If anyone has any theories as to why bulk billing rates would be higher in electorates with a higher mortgage burden, I’d love to hear them? That’s a pretty interesting result.


I thought I’d also throw in the bulk billing vs the proportion of couples with dependent children by electorate as well.



It seems to suggest that while dependent children play a role, there’s something else going on as well.


I’ve found a few more correlations, some are interesting while others are just unusual.

First up, atheists and the housing market:


The higher the proportion of people in an electorate that ticked the “No Religion” box in the census, generally the lower the mortgage burden of that electorate (which is the percentage of the median household income in that electorate it takes to make the median mortage repayment for that electorate).  The ‘no religion’ electorates also tended to have experienced the greatest increase in median house prices over the past 12 months.

Atheists make the best property investors? :mrgreen:

Also on the religion thing I found this interesting:


It charts electorates by the proportion of people in them over 15 that have a year 10 education of less, against the proportion of the electorate that were of christian religion. There’s a big age and location driver here with older people and regional/rural electorates tending to have overall lower levels of education as well as being christians, but I was surprised at how strong the pattern held in metropolitan electorates that contained only average levels of the 55+ age group.

The next interesting bit was how the proportion of private school enrollments in an electorate played out against median household income ($ p/w) and the proportion of the electorate with a year 10 education or less:


I thought that the income vs private school relationship would have had less variance than the education level vs private school , but it is actually the other way around.

Finally, total child support case numbers by elecorate vs income and education:


The income relationship was as expected for all the obvious reasons, but I was expecting the education result to show a fair bit more variance than it did.

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49 Responses to “Morgan in the Age of Rudd – and a few oddities.”

  1. Geoffrey said

    Higher mortgage burden would be for people with younger families and the burden of morgage declines over the second and third decade of the loan – children under 10 or so are the main reason to visit the doctors for all those colds that go around and parents also pick them up – once the kids hit teenage years the number of infections seems to diminish according to the monthly decrease of mortgage payment divided by the increasing wages. That is my expereince with 2 children over a 25year period and a mortgage now down to less than 5percent of the value of the home. By the time the mortgage has fully morted the kids are onto their own doctors billing system and ready to enter the next generation of bulk billing.

  2. Possum Comitatus said

    That’s what I was thinking too Geoffrey, but when I compared bulk billing rates against the proportion of couples with dependent children, by electorate (which I’ve just uploaded) – it looks like kids with runny noses explain a bit – but it looks as if there might be something else going on as well.

    Maybe the higher your mortgage burden, the more stress – the more prone to illness :mrgreen: (only half joking)

  3. newt said

    Higher mortgage burden == less spare cash for making up-front payments at your GP’s reception desk?

  4. hobosexual misanthrope said

    Higher mortgage burden = newer communites, newer communites = new doctors practices,new practices bulk bill more often as they build customer base

    Try getting bulk-billed by an established doctors practice

  5. ViggoP said

    The GCR of 144.5. If “right direction” and “seriously wrong direction” were the only two possibilities then the responses were 72.25% to 27.75%, assuming 144.5 is exact. If there were more than two possible answers then the figures could be anywhere 44.5:0.0 to 72.25:27.75, whatever that means. More info please Mr Morgan.

    Are the lines on the graphs statistically significant or are we back to our old friend Moe (on 100% sample)? My stats aren’t good enough for this, or even to know whether I’ve got the right issues.

  6. Possum Comitatus said

    Viggo – those regression lines on the scatter plots are all statistically significant at the standard 5% level. All are significant at the 1% level except for the ALP Swing vs Single Parents diagram, which is significant at the 3% level.

  7. fred said

    If you look at the changes in the laws for Family Benefits, welfare to work [for single mums], WorknoChoices [for single mums], Child Support payments [due mid next year], you will find that MOST single parents with dependent children aka ‘single mums’, will suffer severe income loss and increasing stress from those nice empathatic folks at various govt. depts..
    So they are being treated dismally at present but cheer up things could be worse and they will be.
    So what will Kev and his ALP do about this?
    Present indications are 5% of SFA, they have said so publicly and privately.
    So unless there is a change in attitude and policy the maltreatment of single mums, which doubtless gave a lot of votes to the ALP in this election, could bite the ALP in the bum at the next election.

  8. Kerneels said

    In Melbourne, bulk billing is mostly only available in clinics where the patients cannot choose which doctor they see. While the mortgage is high, and possibly one one adult working, this may be the only available choice.

    As soon as finances are less stretched (both adults working, mortgage partly paid off) patients will switch to a chosen general practitioner even though up-front payments are required.

  9. Enemy Combatant said

    “Maybe the higher your mortgage burden, the more stress – the more prone to illness (only half joking)”

    “‘Roxburghe Ballad’ (c. 1665): Many a true word hath been spoken in jest..”

    Poss, the annals of healing for philanthropy and profit are rife with evidence that stress diminishes one’s immune response, thus rendering stressees more prone to infection and dis-ease.
    These hapless, rat-race refugees find entry requirements of onshore bulk-billing facilities both humane and economical. Their TPV is a green piece of plastic, and very often the act of having a nice, albeit brief chat with the medical officer is more efficacious than departing with the mandatory prescription.

  10. Lord D said

    ViggoP, 60% say Aus is heading in right direction, 14.5% seriously wrong, with the rest uncommitted. See the Morgan item.

  11. Rain said

    National Medicare Stats show rates of bulk-billing are highest in your leafy inner metro suburbs, full of rich people who really dont need it, has been like that for years.

    Medicare is for the rich, didn’t you know? Doctors, like everybody else, want to live and work on the nice side of town, hence these areas tend to have a higher-than-average ratio of doctors to population, which provides incentives (through a kind of local business competition) to bulk-bill more often. Its also interesting, that it is these richer suburban areas who also get most of the extended Medicare Safety-Net Benefits.

    The other thing to take into account, is a substantial number of people do not have regular doctors, and that many people visit doctors outside of their local residential area, such as doctors who have surgeries close to their workplaces for example. Or they have moved house over time, but still see the family doctor they knew from childhood.

    In outer urban areas, doctors are in shorter supply with a lower doctor-to-population ratio, and it is more expensive to run a practice so they don’t tend to bulk-bill. The newer outer metro “ribbon developments” often suffer a “service lag”, in health, education, police, public transport etc.

    This lower doctor-to-population ratio means the doctors are often overloaded, and can take days to get an appointment, and with public transport also being far more difficult inconvenient or non-existent, there’s additional access barriers for the lower-income earners, that go beyond just up-front costs. Its easier to make your way by bus to the local hospital for example. Positioning newer clinics on major public transport routes has helped, along with co-locating near hospitals.

    In some States there are still some community health outreach services, for example, home nursing for the chronically ill, home visits and deliveries from pharmacies etc, or maternal and child health services, and for older folks as well. When I lived in Sydney with young babies in the 1980s, it never occurred to me to ever use a GP, I went to the free “Mother and Child Health Centre” for *everything*. Some of these still exist and are funded by State health departments, and include home visits for new mums, especially single mums and Indigenous mothers, but are patchy. State public hospitals usually arrange this for mothers with newborns through Community health services on discharge.

    Kerneels said: “In Melbourne, bulk billing is mostly only available in clinics where the patients cannot choose which doctor they see. While the mortgage is high, and possibly one one adult working, this may be the only available choice.”

    Canberra city, has had the lowest rate of bulk-billing of the nation for decades, and with the highest up-front charges, and one of the biggest shortages of doctors. Been a local ‘in-joke’ for 20 years. Only in the last year or two, have bulk-billing clinics finally arrived in Canberra, and they have proved *sooooo* popular.

    Unfortunately, there are still not enough doctors to go around for the population demand, so these clinics might have 15 consulting rooms, but they can only find 2 or 3 doctors to work at any given time, so we still often have several hours waits to actually see one. Still better for many than paying the obscenely high up-front costs of the other doctors, even if they are (unusually) able to fit you in same day for an appointment.

  12. Biggles said

    G’day Possum.

    Great site.

    Your first figure in this thread looks to me to be a very low correlation, notwithstanding your 3% significance claim. Are you willing to give us an r squared?

    We should expect that there are correlations between single parents and ALP vote. These two variables reflect social status/class/income/etc.
    As a gross generalisation I suggest that finding more single parents in ALP electorates reflects the co-location of lower income voters in both groups. Single parents are more likely to be poor than dual income families. Historically labor electorates have lower incomes than Liberal electorates. It would be unwise to imply causality, or swings based on these data.

  13. winebloke said

    Poss, what are the r^2 on each of your trend lines? Some are clearly more meaningful than others.

  14. Melvyn said

    Is there any chance Morgan can tell me which colours are likely to be popular in 2008. Wouldn’t want to wear the wrong suit to work.

  15. Melvyn said

    Is there any chance Morgan can tell me which colours are likely to be popular in 2008. Wouldn’t want to wear the wrong suit to work.

  16. scaper... said


    Is the doctor shortage another Howard legacy?

  17. Mark said

    Hi Poss,

    Have you announced your competition winner yet?

    I’m a bit worried that Morgan has gone neo-con. What with getting rid of the soft vote (wets), and having the new you beaut GCR. They’ve even turbo-charged it by giving it a 100 point booster!

    Some great post election stuff, I was worried we might lose you.

  18. pedant said

    I enjoy your webpage, but naive use of ecological correlations is going to get you into trouble. You need to look at, and use, Gary King, “A Solution to the Ecological Inference Problem: Reconstructing Individual Behavior from Aggregate Data”, Princeton University Press, 1997.

  19. Possum Comitatus said

    Mark – havent announced the results yet, I’m waiting for the count to be concluded and the official AEC results announced.

    On the R-sq, they’re all pretty low, I’ll add them in a minute to the diagrams. This is cross-sectional data, and they’re always going to be pretty low as a result.

    But remember folks, these aren’t always about causation – the correlation is important for its own, not necessarily causative, reasons.

    As Biggles said (for instance), the single parents correlation with the swing probably contained a fair whack of co-location issues. That’s why the ALP TPP vs single parent with dependent children proportion is there also there. Single parents did seem to swing on the one hand, but the strong consolidation of the correlation between the ALP TPP vote and that single parent with dependent children population also needs to be kept in the thought orbit.

    Yes Pedant, you’re right. But trouble is a good thing – it turns on brains, encourages argument, and lets the sum knowledge of the readers and commenters to precipitate out into actual meaning.

    So what do you reckon of the single parent correlation for both, or even the bulk billing issue knowing what you know?

  20. Crikey Whitey said

    Gosh,Possum, you do set some demanding homework!
    My mind swung immediately to the Medicare Safety Net, as did Rain’s, at 11.

    This from Who’s getting caught? An Analysis of the Australian Medicare Safety Net

    Kees van Gool1, Elizabeth Savage1, Rosalie Viney1, Marion Haas1 and Rob Anderson2,

    CHERE WORKING PAPER 2006/8 1. Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation
    Faculty of Business University of Technology, Sydney

    ‘Despite strong evidence that poor health is associated with low income (Draper,
    Oldenburg,Turrell 2004; Turrell, Stanley, de Looper,Oldenburg 2006), the Safety Net
    appears to be most beneficial to electorates with high median income, suggesting that the Safety Net may be assisting those groups in society who can more easily afford health care.

    The results found in this analysis could be explained in three different ways.

    Firstly, poorer electorates may use more Medicare services that have low OOP costs such as bulk-billing GPs.

    Secondly, people in poorer electorates may utilise more health care services that are outside the realm of the Medicare program such as emergency departments and public hospitals.

    Thirdly, low income electorates may utilise fewer services and thereby face lower OOP costs’. *00P is Out of Pocket

    I would say that analysis of single mothers needs to encompass any number of correlations/variables. Such as age of youngest dependent as that equals change to Social Security Benefits, leading to stats as regards work participation, use of child care, be it a Centre, home based care, or relatives. Own home, renters private or public.

    Not least the strange business of Family Tax Benefits self estimated, Maintenance payments and the weird attitude of the Department to enforce in favour of the recipient. I have a good example of the Department’s failure to enforce fair and proper payment. The offender is my brother. Aided and abetted, in my opinion, by the Department, who seem to hold a distinct bias against the (working) sister in law/single now mother. Actually accusing her of being indulgent for having private health cover, whilst seeking her maintenance. And more.

    These people have a lot to be angsty about. And for sure, Kevin must come good.

    And Scaper, without looking for the evidence, Howard certainly did contribute to the doctor shortage. Remember the policy disallowing bulk billing ticketing, except, I think to newly qualified doctors prepared to go bush? The following link, describing the war of attrition on Medicare, does not refer to that, but pretty well nutshells.


  21. Ron said

    There may be no relevance one to the other and no cause vs. effect.
    What are the proportion of bulk billing services in progressively
    higher mortgage Electorates.
    Have the Greens single parent voters influenced the 2PP Labor graph
    What of the 2004 election graphs to compare.

  22. bigtibbs said

    Reagarding the relationship between mortgage burden and bolk billing rates; being a doctor myself who bulk bills some patients and not others, I will frequently make a decision on a patient’s ability to pay above the standard medicare rate for a service. Usually I would not bulk bill as I would barely be able to cover the costs of running my specialist practise. But for those who need treatment and would not be able to go ahead because of the cost, I bulk bill.
    I would think that this happens to a degree across the country and that those doctors in areas of more financial stress would constantly be under more pressure from their patients to not charge above the medicare rate.
    There of course could be other factors including the numbers of medicos in different areas and how well established the practice is.

  23. Rain said

    Scaper, yes in a way the doctor shortage was a Howard legacy, as Crikey also mentioned. I work in health stats/policy and am familiar with CHERE.

    You can check the archives of the 1996/7 Budget, where Howard’s maiden Budget identified there were too many doctors fraudulently “over-servicing” Medicare, *chuckle*, and promising to work with Universities in “reducing medical student intakes”… *chuckle*. I found this recently in digging around old Budget papers. Had to read it 3 or 4 times to make sure I was reading it correctly. Some years later by about 1999/2000 I think… a big *OOOPS* by the Howard govt and some reversals of policy at least with student intakes, about the time of the introduction of private health insurance, a few Band-Aids mostly for a few rural shortages, and in allied health services (eg physio, practice nurses) increasing overseas-trained-doctors (OTDs) intakes, while at the same time funding a boom in building private hospitals.

    Bizarre. Only country in the world that uses public funds to subsidise private health care, including capital costs in building them. World Health academic journals call it a “unique experiment”.

    Crikey said”without looking for the evidence, Howard certainly did contribute to the doctor shortage. Remember the policy disallowing bulk billing ticketing, except, I think to newly qualified doctors prepared to go bush?”

    This also hides the 15-20% of RMO doctors who dont want to go into private practice, or ever get their Medicare Service Provider numbers. They are quite happy on salary or a session-fee basis, working in hospitals, but the increased subsidisation to private hospitals with higher salary rates, means doctors, nurses, and other health professionals have an incentive to move to the private system, leaving public hospitals short-handed.
    State govts then have to pay more in salary to get them back, which they can’t often afford, especially the smaller States like Tassie, and especially when the Howard govt withdrew about 2% of GDP in State/Territory funding.

    As for Possums interesting graphs, correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causality.

    For example, there is a known academic term, called the “Social Gradient” in population health statistics, identified in all populations. Plot any health indicator against socio-economic status and it is almost perfectly linear (altho’ the slope of the gradient will vary depending on the indicator). Thats why Indigenous health is the worst health status of all. The poorer you are, the sicker you are, so obviously it will map roughly to SES of a given geographical area.

    Also electorates are not very comparable on a population basis, they weren’t designed for it. Apples and oranges. They are just political lines on the map, with little relevance for population-based analysis. Particularly in urban areas where they are often small in area, and people live and work all over, and may/may not easily access services down the road which may be in a completely different electorate. Also doctors are highly mobile – quite a number do move around, their Medicare Service Provider numbers popping up all over the city in a given week, or even interstate.

    Primary care services are also full of ‘confounding factors’, some areas just dont have many accessible services, some services are State/Territory govt funded and doctors are paid on salary not through Medicare, so they wont show up in the stats.

    Secondly Medicare stats data collection in Australia, is appallingly poor data quality, and considered unreliable for population health (service or status) analysis.

    The other pain, is that GPs in Australia have their own geographical boundaries, GP Divisional boundaries which are used as a basis for regional funding of groups of GP practices and regional projects, for example all GPs in one Division may be under contract to the local aged care nursing homes in their Division, or on rotation to provide hospital services for little rural hospitals. These boundaries also have nothing to do with electorates or Census boundaries!

    Better off using the big population health surveys like the ABS National Health Survey, or BEACH surveys, but hospital statistics are much more accurate, reliable and very good quality. Use a map of Australia with all the major hospitals highlighted and by patient postcode of residence, cross-mapped back to Electorate – that will tell you a lot.

    Like northern Adelaide – Elizabeth/Gawler region, huge data spikes in children under 5 with ENT infections being hospitalised at higher than national average. *ditto* South-Western suburbs of Sydney. High poverty districts, show up like emergency flares.

    If you use the ABS geographical boundaries, used for Censuses etc, which also have standardised socio-economic classifications, as well as “service accessibility” classifications, such as ARIA it gives much better numbers and correlations. Some electorates will match-up by chance, others wont correlate at all.

    In govt stats analysis, for service-planning or identifying service-needs on a population base, used ABS standardised geography break-ups, because they are designed to be comparable, you want to compare similar urban populations between say Sydney and Adelaide, but they may be quite different electorates *shrug*. Overlay pictorially, the Commonwealth or State/Territory electoral boundaries, didn’t correlate very often – because the electoral populations can often be very diverse and mixed, like Eden-Monaro with some parts highly urbanised, and others quite isolated.

    But Howard’s legacy for public sector data analysts was frustrating, insisting on being given numbers by electoral boundaries etc. Most of the administrative databases were never designed for it anyway, would cause enormous time-consuming grief in manually fiddling, some of us are *sooooo* glad those days are over.

    anyway, tiz late?

  24. Rain said

    I’m with Crikey on this one: ” I have a good example of the Department’s failure to enforce fair and proper payment…These people have a lot to be angsty about. And for sure, Kevin must come good.”

    This is supported from figures from women’s law groups, and social service advocacy groups such as the National Council of the Single Mother and her Children. Laws and taxation rules, and joint custody for tax purposes, enforced marriage counselling services, quite a lot was reversed or changed back to the 1950s under Howard with Family Law, and women’s rights reversals. Along with reductions in funding for things like women’s DV refuges, sexual assdault services etc. Women’s groups have been outraged for years. The rise of right-wing Father’s Rights Groups was also a symptom of it. This group of women was heavily silenced over the years. Many women’s rights groups advocated voting for Labor during the campaign, asking women to ignore all minority Parties in order to get the bastards out, and Mal was number one on many women’s Sh*t List. Also, its not just the single mothers or the disabled or any such group alone, it also includes their families, friends, neighbours, co-workers etc, who feel sympathy for someone close to them being unfairly treated.

    Many of us in women’s and other social services, really didn’t think our social networks of “girl-talk” and kitchen table kaffee-klatsching, on and off the net, would have much impact, but perhaps it did after all? Never underestimate girls gossip 🙂

    In my own case I have a disabled son, some years ago now, I was hit with a 5-year back-dated centrelink debt on my Carer’s Allowance from when he was a teenager, prior to his going onto independent adult disability pension. Took 9-months of legal and other paperwork battles. At one point, I visited a public social service lawyer, whose office was wall-to-wall case files. She apologised for being late, as she had received 12 new cases of intellectually disabled people being breached illegally by Centrelink.

    In the end, I was so frustrated by the total stupidity, blatant illegalities, the delays, the overt harrassment etc, that I wrote an e-mail of complaint to my local MP, the federal Opposition front-bench and cc’d in several major media current affairs TV programs. Within hours, Centrelink contacted me, with ‘let’s make a deal’. Case closed. I found out later through other sources that I was not just an odd one-off bad-luck case of administrative incompetence, there was even a Senate Enquiry into Centrelink from about 99/2000 or 2001 I think, showing something like 12,000 people per year were illegally breached by Centrelink, with 98% of Appeals being found in the recipients favour, with an average 18-month wait for the Appeal, in which they often had all benefits cut.

    Included a lot of University students I understand – I guess such riff-raff without rich parents to pay their education, shouldn’t be at Uni anyway. Should be out learning a trade, to work for peanuts under Serfchoices, not getting above their station in life.

  25. Mark said

    The diversity within electorates tends to muddy the waters. Drilling down to booth level I’ve been struck by the number of very large swings in medium sized rural towns with a solid conservative history. For example Eden Monaro wasn’t decided in the major population centre Queanbeyan (which barely shifted) but with big swings in Bega, Eden and Tumut.

    Other examples are off the radar because they’re in safe (or formerly safe) seats. Eg in Hunter the Labor strongholds around Cessnock and Maitland didn’t budge but there were 20%+ swings in decent-sized places like Scone, Murrurundi and Merriwa. In Barker, the five Mt Gambier booths swung 13-21%. In Hume, Labor won all six Goulburn booths with 9-15% swings – that has to be a first. In Capricornia, Sarina’s three booths all shifted 20+%. Work your way through aec.gov.au and you’ll find a host of others.

    These communities rely heavily on the low-paid, low-skilled workers who were most vulnerable to Workchoices. Whatever the reason, a lot of lifetime voting patterns have been broken ….

  26. David Richards said

    Mark – let us hope that these first time non coalition voters, having gotten a taste of what it’s like NOT to vote for the coalition, acquire a taste for same.

  27. steve_e said

    Poss, see below (and beware).

    [/B] TYPICAL middle income Australian family will spend $537,000 on raising two children through to age 21, a new report says. [/b]

    For a one income family the numbers are lower but represent 100% of income. Hence the common tracking of Bulk Billing, Mortgage or Rent stress and other income consumption variables.

  28. Anne said

    Goulburn also has a surprisingly large number of residents who work in Canberra, who can’t afford to buy a house in Canberra – and must be suffering badly with the rising cost of petrol. At least Yass (which is also becoming a Canberra commuter satellite) has a regular bus; lots of Yass kids went to my daughter’s high school in Deakin.

  29. Biggles said

    G’day Poss

    Recalling stats based on polling booths and correlations with voting from earlier in the thread.

    In the 1960s I recall hearing about how in the ACT the altitude of the polling booth was positively and highly correlated with the Liberal vote in the booth.

    Not sure if the correlation still holds up, although Red Hill is probably still conservative, and I think Turner votes Green ahead of Labor

  30. Enemy Combatant said

    Everybody loves a tight poll, right?
    Here’s your opportunity to participate in perhaps the most important poll since Mr. Rudd and his cabinet were sworn in.


  31. Geoff said

    Troll polls. Rudd should do some “me-too” ism where is matters, at bali, in front of the world’s media. He promised 20% targets here : why isn’t that figure promised as bare minimum there. It’s time for ideology and leadership, now polls are over, not cautious double talk. The Camp David summit on climate is about to be lost.

  32. scaper... said


    Rudd has his reasons and there is a lot of work happening behind the scenes.

    This change in direction for the nation needs to be planned responsibly.


  33. Kevin Rennie said

    Labor achieved a 4%+ swing in Kalgoorlie which was much better than the State average and what many people expected. Any thoughts on this result?
    ‘Labor View from Broome’

  34. scaper... said

    Kevin Rennie

    Forgive me if I’m wrong…but would most voters there be on AWA’s???

  35. Peter Fuller said

    Have you analysed where the swing was most (and least) pronounced?

  36. Andos the Great said

    The hugest, most enormous seat ever? Who knows? Pretty diverse electorate.

    Imagine the campaigning! 2.3 million square kilometres anyone?


  37. Belconnen Shredders said

    31 Geoff

    I am of the opinion that the only percentages that Rudd has been stating is 20% renewable energy by 2020 and they are not announcing CO2 targets until they get their report in halfway through the new year.

  38. Caravel in Canberra said

    Hello Possum

    I still visit your site regularly and again thanks for your work. I don’t pretend to fully understand your graphs but this latest exercise of yours brings to mind a heroic fictional character named Hari Seldon.

  39. David Richards said

    Ah I see Caravel sees some Foundation to poss’s observations 😉

  40. Rocket said

    Morgan Poll – they didn’t tell us how many of the Coalition voters were “soft” voters and thus less likely to actually support the Coalition on election day.

    Doctor Numbers – the Australian Medical Workforce Committee [www.health.nsw.gov.au/amwac/amwac] was established in 1995 to work out future doctor needs, and basically they messed it up (with a little help from the Federal Government). I think they overestimated total lifetime working hours for modern doctors [times have changed and most people, including doctors, don’t want to work themselves into the grave till they are 70+], especially as the number of female graduates had risen quickly from ~15% or so in 1970s to ~50% by late 1980s. Thus they cut the intakes of Medical Schools across Australia, which saved money in the short term, but created a long term problem which will take years to “work through” the system – they have created many more places now but it takes many years for these new graduates to be able to work outside the public hospital system. Also, many of these new positions are post-graduate, which means the doctors will be older when they start and therefore work fewer years post-graduation on average.

    So we now 25% of doctors in Australia got their medical degree overseas. And if we didn’t have those 25% the system would be REALLY stuffed!

  41. Caravel in Canberra said

    God pun David. I wondered if there would be other readers of an earlier age lurking Possum’s stimulating site.

  42. KC said

    The mule would fit Howard well.

  43. Paul said

    Fascinating correlation between education and Christianity.

  44. […] always interesting Possum Comitatus has some analysis of voting trends and social factors at the last federal election. Tucked away in […]

  45. Guido said

    One little project I was hoping to do if I had the time and learned how to use the CDATA software here at uni, was to correlate swings in seats and voters from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds (NESB).

    This would include people born from NESB countries, or have at least one parent born in a NESB country.

    Another interesting correlation would be to look at seats where proficiency in English is low.

  46. Rain said

    Caravel / David, *cute* pun –
    but didn’t Hari use much larger aggregations?
    Using small-area data is always fraught with problems, as Hari acknowledged.

    Fascinating correlations tho *hugs* Poss’, enormous fun such intellectual masturbation.

    Reminds me of my undergrad maths days (and nights), finding really odd correlations, like plotting day of the week against spelling test results in a South African education study. Tuesday kept coming up as a really, really, bad day. I concluded it was just ‘One of the Great Mysteries of the Universe’.

  47. Darren said

    I always used to study article in news papers but now as I am a user
    of net therefore from now I am using net for posts, thanks to web.

  48. Someone essentially help to make seriously articles I’d state. This is the very first time I frequented your web page and so far? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular submit incredible. Fantastic job!

  49. https://Ethelmartinelli.joomla.com/1412-answering-questions-about-silver-4

    Morgan in the Age of Rudd – and a few oddities.

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