Wherein Labor under Kevin Rudd bounces all the way back to hung parliamentary territory, at least for now.
I have joined Mark the Ballot, Pottinger and Kevin Bonham in “implementing a discontinuity”, which in BludgerTrack’s case means re-comencing the model from scratch. Previously the BludgerTrack 2013 series was a single model utilising the full gamut of polling information since the 2010 election to plot out the parties’ fortunes over time. However, to continue would have meant imputing utility to late Gillard polling in determining the present situation, where plainly there is none. The charts on the sidebar represent a continuation of the old model, but it’s only there for show – the results in the tables above them are derived entirely from the polls conducted since last Wednesday (ReachTEL, Galaxy, Newspoll, Essential and Morgan). The sidebar charts will start representing the new regime when there is sufficient data to get a new model rolling which uses the return of Kevin Rudd as its year zero.
I have also started again with my relative state result calculations, as the return of Rudd has changed the game here just as much as with respect to the national result. Here things are particularly dicey at present, as I have only the Morgan SMS poll and ReachTEL breakdowns to go on. This is particularly a problem for Tasmania, so I am continuing to use Gillard era data there to determine the state’s deviation from the national result. This means the calculation continues to be dominated by the 2000+ sample ReachTEL poll of a few weeks ago (remembering that this is used to determine deviation from the national result, so Labor’s two-party result in Tasmania is still improved on last week’s, although the situation on the seat projection hasn’t changed).
Another development is that the announcements by Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott that they will not contest the election has caused me to junk the allocation of five seats as “not projected”. New England and Lyne will henceforth be treated as Nationals seats, while Melbourne, Denison and Kennedy will be credited to the incumbents unless and until published polling emerges which says differently. On a not entirely related note, it’s also interesting to observe that BludgerTrack finds the air going out of the “others” balloon which had been inflating since the start of the year, with disaffected Labor supporters who had been parking their votes somewhere (anywhere) else evidently having returned to the fold.
It’s a shame I can’t be more confident about the state breakdowns, because the results are many different varieties of interesting. Firstly, the dramatic difference between Victoria on the one hand and New South Wales and Queensland on the other has vanished, with Labor recording near double-digit gains in the NRL states but up barely more than a point in Victoria. Secondly, I’ve got four different states where the two-party result is pretty much bang on 50-50. Finally, the projected final seat outcome, which would put Labor in a position to continue governing with the support of Andrew Wilkie and Adam Bandt from a minority of the two-party preferred vote, further demonstrates the point made by Possum that a substantial advantage accrues to the party which seizes the middle ground in Queensland. So long as Julia Gillard was prime minister, that clearly wasn’t going to be Labor.