Thoughts on NSW election

1. Opinion polls should be taken seriously, many doubted that Labor would do as poorly as it did at the federal and Victorian elections of last year but it did;

2. Big swings mean the loss of ‘safe’ seats, in 1932 Labor lost Granville where they had polled 70.2% at the preceding election in 1930. Expect similar surprises this time;

3. expect the swing to be somewhat irregular at its upper ranges, election defeats of this magnitude indicate a disruption of the party system whose outcomes are unpredictable; Continue reading

What do Labor and Green voters think of each other?

Further to last post I continue examination of the beliefs of Australians as revealed in the Australian Election Survey from 1998 to 2010. Asking voters were they position themselves on a left-right spectrum where 0 is furthest to the left and 10 furthest to the right might seem abstract but analysis suggests that these classification does match to views on public policy. It may be more directly relevant than the liberal-conservative classification favoured by American scholars. A substantial portion of self-identified American conservatives hold liberal views. Continue reading

Facts on the 2010 election

The 2010 election and Labor’s near defeat have been endlessly discussed by the media but until now we little clear evidence as to exactly what happened. After each federal election a comprehensive survey is undertaken by the Australian National University. The dataset for the 2010 survey was made available in late December. However it was then withdrawn due to the identification of sampling problems (I did hear that response levels were disappointing), perhaps because of these the database did not identify respondents by occupation. However an analysis of the available data is interesting and sheds light on the 2010 election and on the future prospects of the Greens. Continue reading

Obama and Gillard’s prospects compared

2010 was a difficult year for the Australian Labor Party and the American Democrats. Media coverage goes in waves; it was slow to catch up with Labor’s woes and perhaps has overstated Obama’s difficulties. Much was made of the Democrats’ poor performance in the Congressional elections. Little attention was given to the fact that they came off a high base and still polled around 47-48% of the national vote. Obama is still reasonably popular, is well-liked and outperforms all his potential Republican challengers. Continue reading

Following in the footsteps of the CPRS?

Labor is showing the signs of becoming obsessed about the Greens the same way they became obsessed by John Howard. Labor ministers have a point when they criticise the Greens for voting against the Rudd government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme but they sound rather like Greens complaining correctly that voters wildly overestimate the significance of asylum-seeker arrivals by boat. Continue reading

Labor wasn’t saved by the goldfields after all

This was a very good result for the Coalition. Obviously Labor had weakness but the Coalition had to be in a position to take advantage of them and to survive the scrutiny of an election campaign. Whereas in NSW and Queensland the opposition wilted under the pressure of an election campaign the Coalition flourished. The Coalition also benefited by Baillieu’s moderate image, Victorian voters had shown themselves unmoved by Tony Abbott’s aggressive conservatism. Did Green preferences drift more than at the federal election? Continue reading