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Mar 5, 2009

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The Courier-Mail’s second Galaxy poll of the campaign shows the LNP opening up a 51-49 lead, following last week’s dead heat. The LNP leads Labor on the primary vote 44 per cent to 41 per cent (compared with 43 per cent to 42 per cent last week), with the Greens steady on 8 per cent. The Courier-Mail promises tomorrow will bring “a raft of other surprise results, including voter views on the important issues and their opinions of the leaders”.

UPDATE: (Possum)

galprims galaxytpp

Galaxy polls usually have a sample size of 800 which gives an MoE of around 3.5% – so these movements are all within the sampling error. In fact, it would take a sample size of over 9500 for these movements to be significant.

UPDATE 2: (William)

A further smattering of info from the Courier-Mail:

But the Galaxy Poll of 800 voters on Tuesday and Wednesday contained positives for Ms Bligh and some worrying trends for Mr Springborg. Ms Bligh holds a commanding lead as preferred premier at 48 per cent to 37 per cent, however she has dropped two percentage points during the campaign … According to voters, Ms Bligh is also well ahead of Mr Springborg when it comes to listening, trustworthiness and in touch with their concerns. Most also prefer Ms Bligh’s vision for the state.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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74 thoughts on “Galaxy: 51-49 to LNP

  1. southbrisbane

    Mark @20, “I cleared about $1500” …
    Great, then you’ve got a bank to give odds on your apparently super-confident
    prediction that Anna Bligh will get 50% + 1 without needing a single preference. I’m also interested in the odds you’ll give for a side bet as to whether the Greens do the LNP in South Brisbane.
    I’ve got a family to look after, so you don’t have to worry about me making a big bet and possibly taking you to the cleaners, but if you decide to back your predictions like a good sport, in public, you might want to put a limit on the size of bet you take. Still, you’ve got a brace of statisticians there, they could help you work the numbers to run a book that guaranteed your house a take.
    So what odds will you give us that “Anna Bligh will get 50% + 1 without needing a single preference”? So correct weight can be declared on the night, that would have to be on the strength of in-person, on-the-day booth votes, counted on the night, declared by Antony, not relying on later postals and institutionals etc, wouldn’t it?

  2. ShowsOn

    What? The LNP’s mental health policy requires volunteers to act as some of the staff?

    Isn’t mental health a more serious issue than that, that actually requires tertiary qualified professionals to provide help?

  3. steve

    The crux of the problem for Labor is summed up well here:

    [They understand the problem, they just want some hint of a solution, even if it is just in the context of state government.

    Yet Labor’s message is all about business as usual.

    Bligh’s mantra on the campaign has been about protecting “jobs, jobs, jobs” with her Government’s existing infrastructure program, costing $17 billion just this financial year.

    It is why Labor is struggling to be heard over the LNP’s Lawrence Springborg, who is promising to maintain the same projects and not cut public service jobs while slashing $1 billion-a-year in recurrent spending from the budget. Springborg’s ability to deliver may be questionable, but the latest polls reveal that he is cutting through.

    There has been no big, imaginative vision — apart from capital works, announced well in the past — giving Bligh momentum.

    This week, two of her policy announcements have been drawn out of the federal money, with yesterday’s central stump, merely a few details on plans to build or upgrade 240 kindergartens that was announced last September.

    Everyone knows the state coffers are in the red. The 20, mainly-Labor, electorates who learned that they were about to get a new kindergarten might be happy but need more if they are going to return Bligh to government.

    There are two weeks to go in the campaign. Bligh is presumably waiting for the right moment to present a refreshed agenda, a compelling narrative for her bid to become Australia’s first elected female premier.]


  4. Jack a Randa

    Antony & others, can I take you back to our discussion of the 2PP vote at 29, 31 and 32? Winston & Antony both said it had been found that allocating 2nd prefs on the basis of previous elections had been found more reliable than relying on the pollees’ stated intentions. Well, you should know so if there is experimental evidence of that I’ll believe it – I’m a great believer in experimental evidence.

    But then you both also said that at the last minute people tend to follow the HTV cards. Voters for major parties do that, but in fact voters for the minors (and those are the ones who matter when 2PPs are being counted) do not. Look at the 2pp figures for 2006 on the ECQ site. They’re hard to find, first cos there is no link to the 2006 results from the “archived results” list but with the help of google I found them at . Then the 2pp counts are on the results/booth pages not the results/district pages where you’d expect them. But they’re there. I looked at Sandgate – safe ALP seat where the Possum and I both live (not together) – and Clayfield for comparison.

    In Sandgate they (oddly) distributed the Greens before FF though the Greens had a few more votes. The Greens went 28.5% to ALP 11% to Lib 13% FF and 47.5% exhausted. Then FF went 25% ALP, 37% Lib and 38% exhausted. In Clayfield the Greens went 47% ALP, 21% Libs and 32% exhausted. I don’t know what the Green or FF HTVs said (you’ll know, Antony, good old walking encyclopaedia) but clearly the majority was not following them.

    The government and Parliament went out of their way to help the pebble-counting and pendulum-making business some years ago by including s 124 in the Qld Electoral Act to ensure that prefs are counted for information even when not necessary for the result. People like MM and AG are using the results for constructing pendulums (yes, English plural) but you don’t seem to have looked deeper into the results -otherwise you couldn’t say things like “the voters follow the HTVs”.

    I think there’s a BA Hons or MA thesis in waiting for someone to study (i) how the distribution of Green prefs varies across the socioeconomic range and (ii) whether the distrib of minors’ prefs varies in sync with the swings in first prefs from ALP to Libs/LNP. More importantly for present purposes, these figures could (should) be considered by anyone trying to predict 2pp figures when all they’ve asked the voters for is their first pref. (Is the guy from Galaxy listening?)

  5. Antony GREEN

    Jack a randa, plenty of work has been done on how people are influenced by how-to-votes, though there is plenty of further work that could be done using AEC data and tying it to how actives candidate are in distributing how-to-votes. People are clearly ‘influenced’ by how-to-votes, every bit of research points to that.

    The ECQ has published ballot paper surveys at every election since 1992. Before you slag me off for not looking closely enough at the data with your one reference to Sandgate, I’d like to point I have looked at everyone of of those reports, which is something I presume you have not done. I have summary tables of preference estimates in every Queensland electorate since 1986 which I consult to produce preference estimates for election night. We use estimates until the point when the Electoral Commission releases actual preference counts. And yes, I do collect how-to-vote material which I store away and keep with the preference tables so that the tables can be interpreted.

    I do think the ECQ ends up with an overestimate of the influence of HTVs because they always get a high rate of following ‘1 only’ HTVs, but it is still the best data available on the subject because it actually looks at the ballot papers.

    Another approach is to look at preference tally sheets, which are done on election night to produce indicative preference counts. The tally sheet method summarises preference destinations, where preferences ended up rather than the exact copying of a sequence. But these can be used to measure the effectveness of preference direction.

    The AEC has published this data at every election since 1996, and I can assure you I have lots of table of preference flows for every party in every electorate at every election. The SA Parliament has done something similar using preference tally sheets for SA elections, and I’ve done the same research for the NSW and WA Parliamentary Libraries.

    In the case of my NSW election research, it was the only work of its type done on optional preferential voting. You can view the summaries at http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/publications.nsf/0/399440F051AE6096CA2573F00018CA2C/$File/2007ELection%20Final.pdf or the full detail of preferences booth by booth at http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/publications.nsf/0/4ABFD34F024071FACA2573F0001EA4BF/$File/408878.pdf

    I seriously think before you slag people off for not knowing what they talk about, you should do a little more research than looking at a few pages on the web.

  6. Jack A Randa

    The more accurate you make your method of picking a winner in an individual seat, the less accurate you make your statewide 2PP. In trying to ensure we get correct 2-candidate preferred results in Charters Towers, Gladstone, Maryborough, Nanango and Nicklin, I lose the ability to get an accurate state-wide 2PP. (Antony @ 70)

    Antony, seems to me you need to modify your computer program so that in seats like that it keeps 2 computed, or imputed, records – one of the 2-leading-candidates vote (once you’ve worked out who they are likely to be – not always easy I know), and another of the 2pp, as in 2 major parties preferred, vote. Then you’d use the 2-candidate-preferred for your beautiful rising-and-falling bar chart for the specific seat, but factor the 2-major-parties-preferred count for those seats into the statewide 2pp total.

    Of course there would be definitional boundaries to be drawn for the 2pp for these tricky seats – clearly all votes for Stuart Copeland would be counted as non-Labor, but 2pp purists might suggest that some people who vote for Peter Wellington would vote ALP if he weren’t there, so his vote should be notionally split. But if you think of 2pp as Labor vs non-Labor rather than Labor vs Really Conservative then all major independents who have a chance of stealing a seat, whether conservative or vaguely-centrist, can be counted as non-Labor. (Certainly some of us would say that people who vote for independents who might win, as opposed to voting 1 Green 2 ALP just to ginger-up the ALP, aren’t real Labor voters or even Labor-preferrers!) I think that would produce a number with some meaning, and if ALP campaign managers complained that you were undercounting their 2pp vote, well, it would only be a significant undercount in 1 or 2 seats out of 89. Anyway, ask them to suggest anything better!

    But, if you think this is a useable idea, how quickly can you modify the program? Can you dash off line after line of flawless C++, as I rather imagine you being able to do, or do you have to hire a contract programmer? If you can’t get it going for March 21, perhaps it’s worth considering for later elections? (But don’t ask me how to apply it to South Australian State elections – the 2pp concept really collapses there!)

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