Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

Election Prediction Competition – and the winner is….

Posted by Possum Comitatus on January 1, 2008

(Insert drum roll)


Since the 8 folks that foretold the magical 83 seats for Labor apparently used up all their Nostrodamus juice in the process, with none picking the biggest swinging seats for each side – Seajay was the electoral oracle that got their prediction in first and takes out the title of Psephseer 2007.

It was a close call with Seajay beating KeepingALidOnIt by a mere 33 minutes. The 8 electoral evocators and psephological diviners were, in chronological order:

November 12, 2007 at 10:16 am

ALP 83, Coalition 65, Ind 2.
Biggest swing; Grey
Biggest upset; North Sydney ALP win.
Best Senate result; Libs lose ACT.
Best moment; Live telecast of the Sherriff evicting Hyacinth (kicking and screaming: “But it’s mine, all mine I tell you”) from Kirribilli House on Monday the 16th.

KeepingALidOnIt :
November 12, 2007 at 10:49 am

“1. Would that be “Make your election tips”?

Comment by Andos the Great – November 12, 2007 @ 9:39 am”

And note another spelling glitch Poss, it’s “Official”, not “Offical” as well. :))

I am, as usual, being restrained, so I say a swing of 6.7%, being a 2PP of 54%, which should mean 87 seats on a uniform swing. But I think the number of actual seats won by the ALP will be lower – let’s say around 82 or 83 because the swing won’t be uniform – it will be big in seats that the ALP can’t win (doctor’s wives) or have already won (the return of Victorian true believers to the fold).
Gulp. I hate committing to a figure, even cautious, prudent ones like this.

Harmless Cud Chewer :
November 12, 2007 at 2:21 pm

Before I make my prediction I should say that my biggest concern all along has not been whether the campaign will change the final vote much, but whether there isn’t something systemically wrong with the polls. It doesn’t take much at all to create a global error of 1 or 2%. So bear that in mind when trusting a trend line of 55.

The other thing I predict is that Howard’s ongoing wedge politics and bad micro management is going to create ‘lumps’, and that this might show up in some seats. I’ll note a couple of these below.

So, depending on whose poll you trust, the trend line seems to be around 54.5. Take a point off that for systemic effects and I get 53.5. Plug that into Antony’s calculator and you get 83 for the ALP.

I predict Bennelong will go. We’ve had several polls showing about 52/48 and these polls aren’t fine grained enough to show the anger amongst the fairly tight knit Chinese community. Second to that is the university students (they also network well).

I predict Wentworth to go. In this case the two things worth noticing is the anger amongst the gay community and the reaction of wet liberals to Howard’s wedge politics on immigrants and climate change.

People have to be *really* pissed off to not only change their vote, but also change the votes of their social peers.

I’m also predicting Paterson. Not just because its my seat, but because of the micro management issues. The RAAF here is a huge employer and they are fuming at Brendan. There’s also the service economy (workchoices) and we’ve also seen a huge increase in mortgages. Last time we saw wall to wall posters with Howard’s face on them “trust me”. He’s strangely absent this time.

I’m also predicting Higgins is going to end up as a less than 2% marginal (with an outside chance of falling). Same goes for North Sydney. In both cases there will be a negative vote for the minister.

And a huge personal swing against Downer, oddly enough.

Places like Indi, Hume, Groom and so on may actually see an improvement of the Liberal vote. My theory is that less networked, more rural areas are going to cling to the conservatives. Since swings are ultimately about the flow of ideas between people and about who you network with.

I agree with Possum’s analysis regarding general socioeconomic issues. This is why I’m predicting Robertson for Labor.

However, when the dust has settled and people are left scratching their heads about weird swings, they’re going to be pointing at issues that have to do with anger over bad micro management and wedge politics.

It’s interesting to note that as the campaign was called, a bunch of voters jumped from the minors back to the Liberals. These were disaffected Liberal voters. And I bet these guys are getting a bit more disillusioned about now. The Widening?

Now, while I’ve predicted 83 and I find it hard to believe anything over 90, purely on what can be measured, in my heart of hearts, I hope that on polling day the people decide to deal such a humiliation that no one will ever try to repeat what Howard has done.

Grumps :
November 12, 2007 at 9:26 pm

Based on your good work possum my crack at this is:

TPP: 53.5% to Labor giving
Labor 83
L/NP 66
Ind 1

Wish to see, On the most prominent billboards in each capital city:

To the owner, editors and reporters of the GG,
Shananana (insert here any other name/s applicable)
You were wrong!!!!!!!
Next time report fact not opinion.

Long Live the Possum

Kramer :
November 12, 2007 at 10:27 pm

Labor 83
L/NP 66
Ind 1

Labor with a uniform swing of 53.5%.

Biggest Swing: Kingston
Smallest Swing: Stirling

I think Howard will lose Bennelong. I wasn’t thinking that a few weeks ago, but the polls are simply too large to ignore.

Faith :
November 22, 2007 at 10:06 pm

I’m predicting a somewhat conservative:
Labor: 83
Coalition: 65
Independents: 2

Biggest swing to Labor: Grey, S.A

Biggest swing to the Libs: Cowan W.A
I’m from Perth and let me tell you, there are a lot of rich, self interested (read liberal voting) people living in W.A. We’re going to have a busy time in Hasluck, Swan, Cowan and Stirling keeping Labor on top.

I would love to see the Liberals out in the wilderness for the next 6 years after a savage annihilation on Saturday, but I’m a bit nervous. I have spent half my life under Howard and if Australians are as apathetic this year as the have been since 1998, then the election may not be as spectacular as I hope. Yet I still hope!

Union thug :
November 22, 2007 at 11:40 pm

I’m in another comp at work where I’ve gone with 81 seats to ALP. Reading the other entries on this page, my guess appears conservative. I’ll go with 83 to ALP here. 2 will remain with Independents, 65 Libs.

Robertson will have the biggest swing. The YR@W campaign is going great guns up there. They’re all over it and the ALP candidates beautifal face is everywhere with the Liberal MP virtually nowhere to be seen. It’s people power in action and a fantastic vibe. It made me want to move up there.

kiwipundit :
November 23, 2007 at 3:37 am

I’ll be slightly more optimistic than I was a few weeks ago and say TPP of 54-46 in Labor’s favour, primary support of 46% for Labor and 42% for the Coalition and a seat count of 83 for Labor, 65 for Coalition and 2 Independents.

The 23 seats that Labor will win off the Coalition are:

NSW (7) = Bennelong (by a very narrow margin), Dobell, Eden-Monaro, Lindsay, Macquarie – held by a Liberal MP although it is a Labor seat on paper (or Parramatta – which is on paper a Liberal seat), Page, Robertson

Vic (3) = Corangamite, Deakin, La Trobe

Qld (6) = Blair, Bonner, Bowman, Herbert, Moreton, Petrie

WA (1) = Hasluck

SA (3) = Kingston, Makin, Wakefield,

Tas (2) = Bass, Braddon

NT (1) = Solomon

So congrats to Seajay and the 7 other tea-leaf readers extraordinaire, your electoral prophecy will be kept in the Hall of Fame list accessed at the top of the page.

If Seajay could drop me an email, I’ll post him/her off a copy of John Kudelka’s book, 101 Uses for a John Howard.

On another note – I hope we all had a relaxing, safe and enjoyable festive season.


19 Responses to “Election Prediction Competition – and the winner is….”

  1. Harmless Cud Chewer said

    Well, I have to say it. I blame Possum. My prediction of 83 was made in mid October after I saw Possum’s Pollycide. Thanks to you Possum, my bookie hates me 🙂

    Have to say it also. I get wordy when I’m sleep deprived. Oops. I got caught out thinking that the wet Liberals would protest vote. Didn’t happen. Howard might have lost, but he actually ran the best fear campaign ever invented.

    Still have to say it. Paterson could have been won.

    And as far as Wentworth goes. If someone can explain to me what really went on there I will be forever grateful.


  2. 2 tanners said

    Not really surprised that no-one picked Melbourne as the big mover, with the Green candidate coming second and therefore taking a huge bite out of Lindsay Tanner’s support base. About 1 percent less for the green candidate would have seen him move in the other direction in line with general Labor figures.

    To HCC on Wentworth, that was the theatre that we call politics at its very best. A rebel Minister, wealthy but populist, a promising opposition candidate, a whacko journalist, past relationships between competing candidates, and lots more. Couldn’t have made that one up if you tried, and our sound-byte nation gets pretty unpredictable when that happens.

  3. GrahamS said

    Bugger! I predicted 83/65/2 but didn’t enter the comp.
    Honest I did!!! Fair dinkum.

  4. KeepingALidOnIt said

    {blush} gee thanks. Famous!
    I just didn’t think I knew enough to predict individual seat results. But anything I got right I owe to PossCom and the other learned folk here. Any mistakes or hesitations were all my own. Happy New Year!

  5. Mate said

    Nice to see you back Possum

    Cheers mate

  6. gusface said

    Hi Poss

    congrats to the top tipsters
    BUT if:
    1The postal votes werent corupted by the nefarious tactic of sending back to Lib HQ to lodge
    2The disenfranchised ie people moving,havent changed address etc
    3The AEC wasnt so full of lib leanings then a few more”invalid votes” wouldve been allowed,less “guerilla marketing”-think of the “kelly gang” would have been allowed
    4The MSM provided a BALANCED viewpoint

    then i think my tip of 120 seats would have been a reality

    “such is life”

  7. Greeensborough Growler said

    I predicted 107 seats for Labor and the failure to achieve this modest achievement has blighted my existence since November 24.

    The champagne took four bottles to taste sweet enough. The defeat of Howard in Bennelong was only just enough to keep the bushfire going on the hills. The Liberal’s keeping all the second bananas on their leadership team and the firstish bananas on the back bench is filling me with beer and jubilation.

    As you can gather, I am a miserable old thing. And, I want to stay this miserable for years and years and years.

    Oh woe is Me too!

  8. Ron said

    Seajay could not have won without the considerable efforts
    of John Howard o he should send John a photostat of

    John Kudelka’s book, 101 Uses for a John Howard.
    duly autographed …………………………by Peter Costello

  9. Lomandra said

    Happy New Year, Possum!

  10. Mark said

    Happy New year Poss! Mike Huckabee??? What the…

  11. KC said

    HNY Poss

    Like the new layout, congrats to the winners.

    I spent most of last year trying to convince friends and colleagues that Howard and co were goooooone, none believed until about late October. Too many past disappointments and hopes dashed, amazing how many traumatised ones out there.

    Then spent about 4 weeks telling them it was going to be a massacre, a true cleansing of Australia’s soul.

    Slightly disappointed that it was only a mild to medium scrubbing, but most of the dags left behind are only hanging on by a few strands until the next cleansing is due.

    And most if not all of those poor tramatised souls are now relaxed and comfortable with a special inner glow that Howard got maxed.

    Great site and commentary Poss, as said my two fave memories of this election was your pollycide posts causing many libs to clench their cheeks that little bit tighter and the election night itself.

  12. Enemy Combatant said

    Congratulaions oh wondrous psephseers all, that Dame at Delphi ain’t got nuthin’ on you guys.

    Good to see you on the sniff for furthur fun, fear and loathing on the boulevarde of busted arse pollies, Poss.
    Know where a bloke can get any decent blog action from a marsupial perspective on the Sep Primaries, in say……
    places like New Hampshire, for instance?

  13. Enemy Combatant said

    Beforing retiring for the evening, EC placed a very tasty fresh Bowen mango on the intertube balcony in order to tempt any furry critters who might just happen to prowl by during the night.


  14. Thomarse said

    One of the things that is leaving me wondering as to ‘wot’s going on’ is the role of the AEC.

    On the one hand I hear how they went to High Schools and handed out enrollment forms to the senior students and so helped increase youth enrollment despite bloody Howard and his changes to the Electoral Act. Hope Rudd has undoing those changes etc as a high priority–if the Fibs in the Senate won’t pass it, there is a club to beat them over the head with and a double dissolution trigger.

    Then on the other hand I hear of the AEC doing bad things, denying FOI requests and doing things to help the Fibs win.

    Which of these is right?

    While it was nice, nay glorious to see Howard defeated in his own seat, and it was clever of the ALP to make sure Howard had to spend more time than normal campaigning in Bennelong, were there resources spent there that could have won 3 or 4 more seats for the ALp elsewhere?

  15. Martin B said

    So can we take this competition to the Court of Disputed Returns? 😉

  16. Possum Comitatus said

    There’s always one smarty pants in the room 😉

    Depending on the what happens in McEwen, there may be a whole new set of additions to the Hall of Fame.

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