Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

The Narrowing, the Narrowing! Run for the Hills!

Posted by Possum Comitatus on June 30, 2008

Newspoll Tuesday, or for those insomniacs – Newspoll Monday Night – has come around yet again. It delivers us polling goodness of primary votes running 44/39 to the ALP flowing through to a TPP of 55/45 the ALP’s way.

The Narrowing Beast is upon us! Dennis shall regale us with tales of honeymoons concluded and political danger, Paul Kelly will tell us that Rudd needs to become a “conviction politician” to overcome this most dire of polling slumps, while Glenn Milne will, oh, probably talk about politicians social lives or something.

Yet all shall speak in dulcet tones of “The Narrowing”.

We’ll get into the nitty gritty chanelling of the bellybutton lint over the numbers on Tuesday, but in the meantime we can update our Pollytrack series (the most accurate tracking poll in the country)  and its webbed feet cousin Loess Allpolls to give us something to chew over.


Something you might be interested in; if we take every Newspoll from after the 1996 election through to today and look at the Government two party preferred result, turn that result into a probability distribution and simulate it a million times – we end up with a nice little curve that tells us the historical probability of a government getting between any two values of Newspoll.

Here it shows that the chances of the government getting 55% or higher in TPP terms is about 9%. Or another way, 81% 91% of all polls for the government are historically below 55%.

12 Responses to “The Narrowing, the Narrowing! Run for the Hills!”

  1. the narrowing? so John Howard can still overtake Kevin Rudd?

  2. Topher said

    Should that 81% be a 91% in the probability distribution?

  3. David Gould said

    It is not a disastrous result for Nelson, though. Obviously, if this were repeated on an election day it would be a disaster. But consistent polling around this mark was the case prior to the election, and Labor did not break 53 tpp. On that basis, Nelson appears to be doing not much worse than Howard did. He might hang on. Indeed, the trick for Nelson is not to improve the Liberal position too much – if he does, then the leadership becomes an attractive option. Nelson can’t make it appear too bad, though, or he’ll get replaced. This is where I would like to sit if I were Nelson until a couple of months prior to the election. And then I would push for a real Shannahan narrowing … 😉

  4. Possum Comitatus said

    Thanks Topher – slippery fingers!

  5. David Richards said

    What is yoyr take on Gippsland, Poss?

    Is the Lib result of circa 20% good or bad for Nightwatchman?

    Also, Nightwatchman’s “beauty contest” figure is still below Crean’s, so he’s just bobbing along with the other bottom feeders in the Liberal Party.

  6. Prof. Higgins said

    Many thanks to P.C. for your efforts to place The Narrowing, The Narrowing in historical context. Labor Supporters who believed that the Labor Party actually had 59% on the 2PP would be naturally a bit deflated at 55%. I reckon is the best Labor could expect given the economic conditions they inherited.

    Unless the Great Educator, PM Rudd, quickly and cogently outlines specific actions to significantly diminish the pain being experienced by those with high mortgage, fuel, and/or food prices, then further losses in his government’s polling numbers are inevitable.

    Previous advantages (Senate obstruction, the election tax cuts, a weak Opposition) will no longer provide sufficient cover for Team Rudd, who simply don’t have the luxury to persist with their “manana” mantra that no major changes can be made until some review or other has been completed.

    The MSM is never going to surrender its bogus, but lucrative, permanent election campaign coverage. Team Rudd could be handing Bolt, Shanahan, Milne etc., etc., etc. the perfect opportunity to “prove” that the Government has indeed fiddled while working families were getting burned. The MSM has already “proved” the Government abandoned pensioners in its first budget, so it won’t be that difficult to stoke the WF’s fire and ire.

  7. Guido said

    I don’t know how to get the figures. But if my memory serves me correctly the ALP had better ‘preferred government’ figures than Howard when the PM was hailed as the unassailable hero of the masses.

    So how it all works out?

  8. phil@vvb said

    Milne will somehow construe it as good for Costello, according to knowledgeable insiders.

    And the other voices in his head.

  9. Rod said

    What, though, does it mean for McEwen, if the court orders a by-election here?

  10. Rod said

    (I should add that the Federal Court judgement on McEwen is due today at 4.15PM)

  11. David Richards said

    In reference to the bleatings of the commentariat of the MSM, perhaps a quote from Macbeth, (played last night on the ABC), is apropos: “It is a tale told by an idiot. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

  12. Possum Comitatus said

    DR at 5 – By-elections only matter when the incumbent doesnt win them. Last motnh the Nats held Gippsland, today they hold Gippsland and the stuff that went on in between is mostly media driven piffle.

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