Bob Katter as Queensland Aboriginal Affairs Minister

Discussion of the three rural independents has given little attention to their past political records apart from them all having been once members of the National Party. Bob Katter is the only former minister. He served in the Queensland National Party governments of 1983 to 1989. These were single-party government formed after the coalition with […]

Polls reconsidered

JWS poll poll-10

I was very critical of the JWS marginals poll. However it performed better than I predicted, the R-Sq between their predictions and the outcome (using the ABC figures from the close of election night) was 0.58. However it predicted five ALP victories wrongly and 3 Liberal victories wrongly. However the average Labor across all the […]

Polls & predictions

JWS jpg

Elections encourage an outbreak of ‘poll fetishism’ every poll or hint of one is racked over obsessively. But polls are not a magic time tunnel to the future but a summation of frequently unclear voter responses that reflect views held with varying degrees of intensity. Too often poll watchers fail to see the forest for […]

The truth behind ‘Howard’s battlers’

Since the British ‘church and king’ mobs of the French revolutionary era, Disraeli’s 1880 election victory and Henry Maine’s discovery of the referendum conservatives have sought to present themselves as true representatives of the people vs. liberal elites. Conservative rhetoric has often been successful in annoying the left, but despite the hyperbole conservatives have sometimes […]

Will the election campaign make any difference?

Election campaigns attract  fascinated attention. In fact I doubt the election campaign will make much difference either way, before it started the likely outcome was a narrow Labor victory. The evidence is that American presidential election campaigns made little difference as Brendan Nyhan noted just after Obama’s victory:

Tony Abbott as National Party leader

Discussing the National Party tomorrow morning on ABC Ballarat, some thoughts (which build on my predictions before the last election): For decades political observers have chronicled the decline of the National Party, and predicted the party’s final demise, in particular some have argued that the dismantling of agricultural market regulation would be fatal to the […]

Jack Lang, Rand Paul and Bob Brown

The rise of the Greens attracted Labor comment, some of it is uniquely self-absorbed we have those who blame their rise on the 1990 election when Labor appealed for second preference votes. Or historian true believer Nick Drenyfuth who identifies a looming battle betweenLabor’s social democracy and Green environmentalism, in fact the Greens are currently […]

Election (and after) predictions

Just go on the record. Some may call this a history-making campign, but I expect that this will be a campaign that will inspire low levels of interest and enthusiasm compared to 2007, Julia Gillard notwithstanding (see my recent article here and my earlier one here) Tony Abbott has done exceptionally well so far, he […]