Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hobart City Council Count (Includes Some Coverage Of Other Councils)

Wrapup (Saturday Nov 1):  

With the pressing of the final button in Launceston a few hours ago it's pretty much time to bring a close to my coverage of the Hobart and other Tasmanian local government elections and turn my attention to the deluge of Victorian and other state polls that I've neglected while this has been on.   If there are any post-count resignations then I will put up separate threads for the recounts to fill them.

Interest levels have been tremendous with both this page and the Hobart guide logging nearly 8,000 pageviews so far, each from nearly 3,000 unique visitors. Unique pageviews on Tuesday and Wednesday were at levels comparable to the busiest days of the federal election campaign.  I think this all says something against the idea that people are not interested in local government.  I'd like to thank readers for their interest, especially those who threw in a few hundred dollars in donations between them, which I definitely felt like I'd earned after 13 hours working more or less flat out on Tuesday.  It would be great to provide this level of coverage for more councils in 2018, but to do that there need to be more of me!

So what have we found out, especially from Hobart but also from the other results?

Monday, October 27, 2014

What Would Happen If Jacqui Lambie Resigned From The Senate?

This piece is brought to you by the Department of Absurd Hypotheticals, but there are a couple of reasons for it.

Firstly, as the Palmer United Party Senator for Tasmania now seems to be embarrassing her country, her state and (to the limited extent possible) herself and her party on a more or less weekly basis, quite a few voters wish she would quit.  Lambie has recently called for the resignation of Defence Minister David Johnston, and a natural response for many was to call for Lambie to get out of politics instead.  

It's no more at this stage than wishful thinking.  Lambie comes from a difficult financial background and a likely six years as a Senator will set her up nicely for the rest of her life.  There are also some issues she seems to care about (for better or worse, varying by case) and she probably thinks she can make a difference to them in her role.  So I definitely don't think she's going anywhere - though whether she stays under the PUP umbrella remains to be seen. 

However, those who are thinking of calling for Lambie to quit the office to which she is so unsuited may want to know: if she did resign from the Senate, what would happen?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Poll Roundup: Three Polls Have Small Swing Back To Labor

2PP Aggregate: 51.6 to ALP (+0.6 in a week, reversing chances two weeks ago)
ALP would probably just win election "held now"

Somewhat against the recent run of play, this week's new polls have all seen modest improvements in federal Labor's position.  It did seem as results crept ever closer to 50:50 that soon we might see a crossover into slim Coalition leads, but it hasn't happened this week - another reminder that in polling, "momentum" is an elusive quantity.

This fortnight's polls

This week's new crop started with Morgan which turned in almost identical figures to last fortnight. A half-point primary shift from the Coalition to Labor was mirrored in the last-election 2PP result, with Labor's position improving from 51.5 to 52.  (The respondent-allocated 2PP, which I largely ignore, came down from 53 to 52 causing the company to describe the gap as the "narrowest in six months").  As Morgan's current methods have skewed to Labor by about 1.5 points during this term on average, this was equivalent to about a 50.5 from anyone else.

The first Newspoll in four weeks (thanks to a public holiday weekend in several states and a desire to release at the start of a new parliamentary sitting week) surprised with a headline result of 53:47 to Labor.  The primaries (Coalition 38 Labor 36 Green 14 Others 14) would normally imply a 2PP of about 52.3 to Labor so it's likely the actual 2PP was something not much above 52.5 and has been rounded up for Labor (yet again!).  As per the standards announced in the smash hit post Wonk Central: What Do We Do With The Poll Rounding Problem? I've treated this result as 52.6 to Labor for aggregation purposes.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

State Liberal Conference Attacks Hare-Clark System

 Advance Summary:

1. Recently the Tasmanian state Liberal conference passed a motion calling for investigation into alternatives to the Hare-Clark system.

2. The limited evidence available suggests that the arguments advanced for change were based on false attacks on the accuracy of the system and inapplicable analogies with the grossly defective Senate system.

3. In fact the problem some Liberals have with Hare-Clark is that as a converter of vote share to seats it is too accurate for their liking, and by being so increases the chance of minority government.

4. Minority parliaments in Tasmania are often unstable because of the inverted nature of Tasmania's two-house system, compared to other states in which the proportional system tends to be used in the upper house.

5. Claims that the government needs to strike in this term on this issue are far-fetched given both the size of the government's buffer and the fact that the last major electoral system change was bipartisan and happened in a hung parliament.

6. Indeed a switch to single-member seats in the current environment would not improve the government's chances of retaining its majority in 2018, and would actually increase the chance of it losing outright.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Poll Roundup: Budget Blowout Over

2PP Aggregate: 51.0 to ALP (-0.5 in one week, -0.9 in three weeks)
Chances would be roughly equal in election "held now"

It's taken twenty-four weeks, an air disaster, "combat operations" and various backdowns but national polling has finally returned to where it was before advance reports of an unpopular Budget caused a blowout that at times was worth close to four points in Labor's favour. 

This should not cause very much comfort for the Coalition, since "where it was" in April wasn't by any means  good; based on current figures an election "held now" would be a tossup.  But the view about from hopeful ALP supporters during the initial stage of the Budget backlash - that this was a basically uncompetitive government that was always going to trail badly from that point on - turns out to have been incorrect.  With it goes one of the main scenarios under which this government would have been heading for defeat in 2016.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Recent Polling In Four States

NOTE re Vic polling (28 Oct): Three new Vic polls have appeared in recent days: a 52-48 to Labor from Galaxy, 53-47 from ReachTEL, 52.5-47.5 (with a much too high Green vote) from Morgan SMS.  However Fairfax Ipsos and apparently Newspoll are in the field so we may as well collect the full set.  I am busy with Hobart Council for a few days but will have detailed coverage of Victoria shortly.

This could be a dull week in federal polling, but fortunately new state polling has been released in four states.  The last article on polling from states other than Tasmania was Recent Victorian and Queensland Polling, over a month ago.  This one will cover what has come out since, and updates will be added for anything else that surfaces in the next few weeks.  Beyond that we will be getting seriously close to the Victorian election and polls should become more common.

Immediately after this article was written a Morgan poll including data from all states was released.  Comments about it appear at the bottom.