Pollytrend, Election Sims and Labor’s worst month in government
Being the end of June, it’s time to crank up the stats and run our quarterly election simulations based on polling aggregates of the last 3 months from all the pollsters that provide state level breakdowns. However, before we do, it’s worth updating our Pollytrend measures as the month of June turned out to be quite the mover and shaker – delivering the ALP its largest voter alienation in the history of the Rudd/Gillard government.
First up, the primary vote trends for the majors (the Greens are pretty flat – you can see them in the sidebar on the right)
While the ALP primary didn’t quite fall off a cliff, it certainly stumbled without grace or poise down a rather steep hill. The June period saw the Gillard government drop 4 points of primary vote – from 33% down to 29% (give or take a couple of tenths of a percent) in around 30 days. This flowed through into the two party preferred estimates as a slightly smaller loss of 3%. The two party preferred chart is starting to look a little horrific for the Labor side.
Again we see the same pattern emerge where the ALP vote flattens off at some level for a while before taking a hit and flattening off at a new, lower level of support – rinse and repeat.
The simulations don’t look much better – especially considering that a full two thirds of the sample period we’re using here – April through June – had the government in a much better position than they face right now. First up, the broad results where we look at the probability of the ALP winning at least X number of seats.
The most likely result were an election held over the last three months and where the outcomes of the election matched the polling, would have had the ALP winning 53 seats. To give an idea of how far the government has slipped over the last 3 months, it’s worth comparing this election simulation to the last set we ran for the first quarter of 2011. If we look at the same cumulative probability distribution above with last quarter’s, we get:
This chart again shows the implied probability of the ALP winning at least X number of seats – what we find in the comparison is that for any level of probability there’s around a 16 seat contraction in the number of likely elected ALP members. So, for instance, in the March quarter there was around a 60% probability of the ALP winning at least 68 seats – however, by June, the 60% probability level had fallen down to 52 seats. At the 50% threshold level (which gives us our most likely outcome), it fell from 69 seats down to the current 53 seats.
What also happened this month is that the Coalition has found themselves enjoying swings towards them in every state. In March, the ALP had been seeing a swing towards them in WA and the non-capital cities were giving the ALP around the same level of support as they did at the 2010 election. This quarter however has seen everything move towards the Coalition:
Remember – this is from 3 months worth of results where most of that time the ALP was performing better than today. The National swing against the ALP was running at an aggregate 6.4% 5.2% level during the period (thanks biasdetector in comments picking up the spreadsheet cell equivalent of a typo – what do they call them BTW, apart from habitual? ). As of today, according to out Pollytrend, that swing sits at 7.3% against (which you can see in the sidebar). With a swing of 7.3%, the simulations would probably come in around the mid 40’s in terms of the likely number of ALP seats won.