Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Poll Roundup: Silly Lefties Oppose Senate Reform

2PP Aggregate: 52.9 to ALP (+0.2 since last week, +0.5 in three weeks)
Labor would comfortably win an election "held now"

With the release of a new ReachTEL plus regular offerings from Morgan and Essential, and also a rather striking Morgan leadership phone poll, there's enough new content for another roundup of federal polling.

The Morgan phone poll didn't include a released 2PP figure (they sometimes include them and sometimes don't) so there are three new polls to add.  The ReachTEL taken on Thursday had a rounded 2PP of 54:46 and Essential's was 53:47.  However in both cases the released primaries pointed to the rounding having been in Labor's favour, and I aggregated them at 53.6% and 52.8% respectively.  

Last week's Morgan was 54:46 by last-election preferences; after adjusting for the primaries and the lean to Labor in Morgan's multi-mode series that one went in at 52.3.   The Morgan was unusual in that respondent-allocated preferences only gave an outcome of 53:47 to Coalition.  This was the first time in this whole term that respondent preferences have been a point worse for Labor than the published 2PP; they have been half a point worse four times with the last of those just over a year ago.

In all my aggregate shows a slight, but not yet statistically meaningful, drift back to Labor over the past three weeks.  This is best shown this week on the spiky (non-smoothed) graph of aggregate readings, noting that the ReachTEL has been back-inserted into last week's reading.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wonk Central: Morgan's Tasmanian State And Federal Sampling

Advance Summary:

1. Roy Morgan Research has issued five recent Tasmanian SMS state polls with small but usable sample sizes in which the Labor Opposition has small primary-vote leads over the Hodgman Liberal Government.

2. Both state and federal evidence suggests these samples have house effects in favour of Labor and the Greens and against the Liberal Party and that Labor's "lead" is therefore probably not real.

3. While pro-ALP house effects are seen in Morgan's federal polling (which partly uses a face-to-face component known to skew to Labor), they are not clearly apparent in Morgan's state SMS samples in other states.

4. Morgan's release of a two-party preferred estimate for Tasmania is misleading, since most Green preferences are never distributed in the state, and even if they were they would not flow as strongly as Morgan's model suggests.

5. If Morgan's recent state samples were actually repeated at an election, the result would be not an easy Labor win as Morgan says, but a hung parliament in which the Greens would determine who governed.

6. Given the dissenting stance of current Greens leader Kim Booth during the previous Labor/Green coalition government, it is not clear who would govern in the event of another hung parliament.

7. An aggregate of all recent Tasmanian state polling does not currently point to a hung parliament if an election was held "right now", but is extremely close to doing so.

(Warning: This piece is very "numbery" and is rated Wonk Factor 4/5.)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Godless Wealthy Greens? Too Rich By Half

Advance Summary

1. A recent article claims that Greens voters are likely to be rich and to be atheists, agnostics or others who do not believe in God.

2. While the connection between Greens voting and irreligion might be sound, the connection between Greens voting and very high wealth is not.

3. Booth patterns in electorates with high Green votes tend to show that very rich booths within these electorates vote Liberal rather than Green.

4. The use of family income data for inner-city suburbs overestimates the proportion of very wealthy voters within them.

5. As income is also highly correlated with Liberal voting, it is much more likely that some high-income suburbs are attractive both to very rich voters and Greens voters, but for different reasons and without much overlap.

6. There is a tendency for higher-income voters to be more likely to vote Green overall but that tendency probably weakens among the very rich and is probably strongest among those with moderately high incomes.

7. Census data by electorate is an unreliable source of information about the reasons for minor party voting.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New South Wales: Final Lower House Results And Poll Accuracy

The New South Wales Legislative Assembly election is fully counted.  The Coalition government led by Mike Baird has retained office with 54 seats to 34 for the ALP led by Luke Foley, 3 for the Greens and 2 Independents.

Many basic details of the results were covered in my day-after wrap Decisive Win For Coalition. Apart from Lismore falling back over the line on declaration votes and because the preference flow to the Greens was weaker than that to Labor, no seats have changed hands in the postcount, and in the end the swing did not increase significantly in the postcount.

Vote Share, 2PP And Preference Change

The primary votes were 45.63% Coalition, 34.08% Labor, 10.29% Green and 10.00% Others (including 3.24% Christian Democrats and 2.02% No Land Tax with most of the rest for independents).  The 2PP was 54.32% to the Coalition, a 9.9% swing.

Antony Green has posted a lot of goodies about the result including a very comprehensive new pendulum format that deals well with the three-cornered contests.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Poll Roundup: Discordant Polls But No Real Change

2PP Aggregate: 52.5 to ALP (+0.1 since last week)
ALP would win election held now with small to moderate majority

As my colleague Mark the Ballot notes, federal polling lately has been decidedly two-tone.  With the exception of Essential (which Mark ignores), once you adjust recent polls for what is known about their house effects, they tend to be either reasonable for the Coalition (the last two Newspolls, the most recent Morgan) or very bad for them (ReachTEL, Ipsos).  Individual poll results that are strong or weak create excited commentary in the media but on average there is not a great deal happening.  Here's the smoothed tracking graph:

There's a weak hint of a slow move to the Coalition over recent weeks, but there's been no significant 2PP change for over a month.  Indeed, because the aggregate had some lag from the Coalition's dire February polling for a few weeks, it may be that nothing has really happened in 2PP voting intention since the beginning of March.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Legislative Council Voting Patterns 2011-2015

Advance Summary

1. This article presents a revised analysis of voting patterns in the Legislative Council (the upper house of Tasmanian Parliament) based on contested divisions in the last four years.

2. Although there is a degree of independence in all Legislative Council voting, the Council continues to have a clearly defined "left wing" consisting of Craig Farrell (Labor), and independents Mike Gaffney, Ruth Forrest, Kerry Finch and Rob Valentine.

3. Excepting Adriana Taylor and increasingly Rosemary Armitage, the remaining MLCs can be considered to lean to the right to varying degrees.

4. In the past year several Legislative Councillors have displayed more polarised voting patterns.  Especially, Tony Mulder has more often voted with the endorsed Liberals than before, though this may well be a reflection of a changing mix of voting issues.

5.Despite this, there remains a diversity of positions on the "right" side of the Council and a lack of strong clustering in voting patterns there.

6. The revised analysis again shows most of the conservative MLCs to be between Liberal and Labor positions, albeit closer to the Liberals.

7. While the Liberals have had greater success on the floor of the Council since coming to office in the Lower House, they have still been defeated on several divisions.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Legislative Council 2015: Derwent and Mersey

This is my second candidate guide for this year's Tasmanian Legislative Council contests.  See Legislative Council 2015: Windermere for the most exciting of the three seats up for grabs at this election.  My current review of Legislative Council voting patterns may also be of interest.

Live coverage of these elections from 6 pm polling day here.

Derwent: Seat Profile

As its name suggests Derwent covers much of the middle and upper Derwent Valley.  It starts in the outer suburbs of Glenorchy and takes in Old Beach, Bridgewater/Gagebrook, Brighton, the major town of New Norfolk, and a scattering of small farming, fishing and timber towns up to Lake St Clair and out into the south-west.

Derwent is the sole remaining Labor seat in the Legislative Council and has been held by the ALP continuously since 1979.  Charles Batt and then former Treasurer Michael Aird were long-term occupants of Derwent, and on Aird's retirement in 2011 it was won by Craig Farrell.  Labor has won the seat eight times in a row, Farrell's win being the only one of these in which it has been taken to preferences.

This is not surprising given that the seat is strong Labor territory in state elections.  In spite of the general hiding that saw Labor poll only 27.7% in Lyons (which includes most of Derwent), the ALP was only just behind the Liberals in the Derwent booths overall.  In these booths, Labor polled 40.8% compared to 41.4% for the Liberals, a feeble 7% for the Greens, 4.8% for PUP and 4.4% for independent Paul Belcher.  The Labor result in the area was largely down to their strength in the Glenorchy area and Bridgewater/Gagebrook booths and there were massive swings against the party in smaller booths.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Legislative Council 2015: Windermere

Live coverage of this elections from 6 pm polling day here.

With NSW run and won (bar the odd seat here and there) it's time for my coverage of the 2015 Tasmanian Legislative Council elections.

I am going to start by posting the seat of Windermere, which at this stage is by far the most interesting of this year's three contests.  A separate article will cover Mersey and Derwent if there are actually elections in those seats.  At this stage I am unaware of any opposition to independent Mike Gaffney and Labor's Craig Farrell, both of whom are probably unbeatable anyway.

There will be a live coverage thread for Windermere and the other seats on the night of Saturday 2 May.  There may be other threads should a campaign issue warrant it.

Seat Profile

Windermere covers the east side of the Tamar River including George Town and the north-eastern and some eastern Launceston suburbs.  It is a diverse electorate, including the strongly Labor satellite suburb of Ravenswood, the pro-Liberal suburbs of Norwood and St Leonards, and some good areas for the Greens along the river.