Readers may have noticed the lack of new articles over the past couple of weeks (though various old ones were updated, including frequent updates to the main guide page.) The main reason was that I was away on fieldwork unrelated to elections and had not only limited internet connectivity, but also very limited spare time. Anyway that's over now and I'll be online much of the time up to the state election, probably except for most of the long weekend. There will be quite a few new state articles in the next two weeks (yes, that should include a certain other state!) and it's probably about time for another federal polling wrap soon. Thanks very much to those who have so far donated money to support this site as without those donations I would not have been online over the last two weeks at all, and nor for much of the post-count.
Anyway, this thread just introduces my usual exercise in which you get to play psephologist by predicting an outcome. In this case the challenge is to predict the number of Liberal seats that will be won at the state election. Voting is on the sidebar.
In summary, the Liberals currently hold 10 seats (2 each in every electorate). Polling has consistently showed them on track to pick up hefty swings at the expense of Labor and the Greens. Based on seat breakdowns they have generally looked like gaining a seat in each of Bass, Braddon and Lyons. At times they have looked like gaining a seat in Franklin as well. At the height of their polling, four-seat results in one or the other of the northern electorates looked possible but pollster house effects may have contributed to this.
It does seem the Liberal vote could be softening slightly, especially with the emergence of Palmer United as a competitor for the votes of those fed up with Labor and the Greens. My own current view is that 13 seats is the mainline estimate, 14 for the slightly confident, 12 for those who are bearish about the Liberals' majority prospects, and anything else is adventurous to say the least. But it will be interesting to see what readers think and whether they agree with me. In very early voting, 12 has jumped into the lead; after 25 votes the combined majority options lead 12 by only one vote.
Anyway there is more than enough analysis of current polling up on this site in other articles for those who want to have a look at it. This thread will track the progress of readers' estimates of how many seats the Liberals will win. Updates will be posted every hundred votes or so.
Not-A-Poll is unscientific, intended for fun and easily corruptible and stackable, and you can change your vote. That said, its previous predictive adventures have been fairly accurate.
(PS: Yes, I know, it should say fewer than 10. But once a poll has received a vote, the wording cannot be changed!)
Update 2 March: Well that was quick, 120 votes up already!
Update 3 March: With 172 votes in the bank, 13 moved into a tie for the lead with 14, on 52 votes each. However since then there has been a surge for 14 which is the most popular option:
March 3: Not-A-Poll Stacked! It had to happen sooner or later, and it's not very technically difficult. I was a little suspicious of the surge for 14 cf 13 in the above voting, but more suspicious when the most recent check revealed another flurry of votes that were almost totally for the Liberals:
Now an obvious innocent explanation for this would be that someone in the Liberal Party forwarded the link by email to a bunch of their comrades, resulting in a deluge of hits from different Liberals keen to express their view that the party would win. And that would be fine.
But there's no evidence of that in my various site counters. What there is, is evidence that a specific IP address (and yes, I have it recorded) has visited my site 87 times since just after 2 pm today. 85 of those visits were to the site front page from no referring link and two of them were to the graphics in this article. Some of the visits were as little as ten seconds apart (with around 15 seconds a common break), though my guest took a break between 2:21 and 4:08 before resuming the volley.
It is of course entirely coincidental that the barrage (apparently originating from Victoria) started less than half an hour after I exposed a Liberal attack ad website on Labor as a clone of a Democrat attack ad website on Mitt Romney! :)
After I filed this update there were another ten votes for 14 and another two votes for 15, and a similar number of hits from the same IP address. As such a heavy rate of stacking distorts the results so as to make them a useless indicator of reader opinion, I've removed the poll. It was fun while it lasted, and for the purposes of testing how well it fared predictively, the 2 March update above is the official result.