Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

Putting the Newspoll in perspective and US election updates.

Posted by Possum Comitatus on June 17, 2008

Mr Mumbles again donned his secret squirrel cape and has the good acorns on todays Newspoll over here:

Primaries are running ALP 46/33 leading to a TPP of 59/41.

But to throw all these polls in perspective – let’s chart every poll taken so far in 2008 (by Morgan, Newspoll and ACN) and run a Loess regression through it as a line of best fit.

What is really noticeable here is that the drop in the ALP primary vote over time has been greater than the drop in their two party preferred – and larger than the rise for the Coalition primary vote that started around day 110.

The Greens and “others” vote have been the beneficiaries of this falling ALP primary, letting it flow back the ALP in preferences for TPP terms.  As we found last year, we often get a bit of noise in the minor party vote changing the TPP headline number by a few points here and there, but currently we are getting small movements in the minor party vote that is keeping the TPP numbers where they are and changing the underlying primary vote composition of the polls.

To see this, we only have to look at the ALP primary vote in the context of both the Coalition and Greens+Others vote. To do this, we’ll chart the ALP vote as inverted (meaning it decreases as you go up the vertical axis on the left) and chart the Greens+Others and the Coalition Primary normally on the right hand side axis . To see where the votes are shifting to, if the lines move together, then votes are shifting between ALP and the other party on the chart, if they move in opposite directions then that isn’t happening.

Up until the beginning of May (the 3rd Newspoll), voters were moving between the ALP and the Coalition as well as between the ALP and the Greens minor parties.

For the following two Newspolls votes were only moving between the ALP and the minors, and finally in the latest poll, votes moved from the Coalition to the minor parties.

We can also see this playing out in the satisfaction ratings.If we look at the satisfaction ratings of Rudd vs Nightwatchman  and how they’ve changed over time, Rudd at the moment has his second lowest satisfaction rating recorded this year by Newspoll at 59%, while the Nightwatchman has satisfaction and dissatisfaction ratings that haven’t moved a jot. As voter dissatisfaction has increased for Rudd, votes aren’t moving to the Libs as a result, they’re moving to the Greens and preferences are flowing back to the ALP two party preferred.

If we chart both the ALP TPP vote and the ALP primary vote against Rudds satisfaction level, we get:

We expect satisfaction ratings and vote levels to move together, but the satisfaction rating is having a much larger influence on the ALP primary than the TPP.

This is because most of the change in the ALP primary vote is moving to the minor parties,- these voters might not be impressed with what Rudd is doing, but they are refusing point black to support the Coalition.

On the Coalition side, they just recorded their lowest primary vote of the year at 33% driven by some movement from them to the minor parties – which is a bit unusual and probably a sampling artefact rather then any true indication of a large change in Coalition primary vote support. But regardless, I cant imagine we’ll be hearing any more Honeymoon is over stories this week, let alone Rudd in danger of being a one term wonder from the shallow end of the commentariat pool.

In other news, the most accurate aggregation of polling around, our Pollytrack series currently has the ALP leading 56.9% to 43.1% in TPP terms,  off the back of primaries running 45.1%  to 37.4% to the ALP – all with a margin of error or 1.56% and a sample of 3938

Over at the Pollytics US Election page, all the Intrade data has been updated and now includes large Monte Carlo simulations to get a better idea of the probability spread on the Electoral College Votes by State, as well as cumulative frequency charts of these simulations to show how the probability of the Intrade market has changed over the last month for every electoral college vote number –worth a squiz if your nerdy.


7 Responses to “Putting the Newspoll in perspective and US election updates.”

  1. […] takes – Pollbludger’s discussion thread, Mumble’s spin smackdowns, and Possum’s detailed analysis (including wonky graphics and a Pollytracker […]

  2. Topher said

    It’s interesting to look at what happened in the 2002 Victorian election, when Bracks went from just hanging on to having a huge majority.

    There wasn’t much swing in the ALP primary vote, but the Liberals went down by 8% statewide, and the Greens went up by about 8%.

    The TPP swing to the ALP was also around 8%.

    One possible conclusion from this is that the ALP lost support to the greens from the left (which came back on preferences anyway), but picked up support from the centre. This really hurt the Liberals.

  3. anthony baxter said

    One thing that the US vote page doesn’t account for is that not all states are winner-takes-all with their electoral votes. Nebraska isn’t, and there’s a couple of other small ones.

  4. Possum Comitatus said

    Maine and Nebraska arent – but never in their history have they actually split their vote. The winner has always taken all college votes in both States.

  5. Bushfire Bill said

    Heh, heh: “the shallow end of the commentariat pool.”

  6. I’ve borrowed Possum’s terrific graphs and conclude … Brendan’s doing all right. Seriously, it is not his fault the Coalition’s are in the pits; the blame clearly rests with John Howard:


  7. smokey said

    I certainly lean more to voting Green that Labor and have been quite annoyed of late with Rudd’s stupid notions of a possible reduction in petrol tax. Just dumb. But there’s no way in hell I’d vote for people who want to reduce it even more, and who are the architects of WorkChoices.

    Possibly many Green voters went for Labor last election with the simple mission in mind of dethroning The Rodent. Now with a comfortable lead and no sign of the Coalition doing anything to regain significant ground at all, a lot of Greenies are returning to the Greens?

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