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When Wholes Are Less Than Sums of the Parts

Headline national two party preferred results are clouding the dynamics and reality of what is happening at the state level – where elections are won and lost

POSSUM COMITATUS | April 22, 2013 | QLD POLITICS | 20 |

Anatomy of a Modern Campaign

One of the biggest jokes politics plays on itself is “secrecy” – secret internal polling that apparently makes public polling wrong, secret campaign tactics that relegate Sun Tzu to the status of mere amateur, through to other various secret and supposedly profound insights into the electorate that are beyond the comprehension of normal mortals.  Cryptic […]

POSSUM COMITATUS | April 10, 2013 | QLD POLITICS | 12 |

Megapoll – Full Breakdowns

The data and breakdowns from the largest political poll ever conducted in Australia – all focusing on privatisation and Qld

POSSUM COMITATUS | November 11, 2012 | UNCATEGORIZED | 11 |

Trends, The Horserace and random numbers

Today we look at latest polling trends, the timing issues of the ALP carbon tax recovery and big analysis of how most of Australia’s polling and political commentary is based on random numbers.

POSSUM COMITATUS | October 01, 2012 | QLD POLITICS | 10 |

Qld State Polling and Bad Analysis

How two pollsters showing identical results can deliver two completely different accounts of voter behaviour – why timeliness matters if you want to avoid bad analysis

POSSUM COMITATUS | September 29, 2012 | POLLING | 12 |

The Primary Dynamic

The extraordinary growth in the relationship between perceptions of the Prime Minister and the electoral fortunes of the government they lead. A statistical analysis of our new primary dynamic.

POSSUM COMITATUS | July 02, 2012 | POLICY | 33 |

Introducing the Qld Treasurer

Introducing Tim Nicholls, the man who doesn’t realise he’s the Treasurer


What Australians Believe

What do Australians believe about the economy? What do we believe the role is for government in our society and its economy today? Do our beliefs match our actions – or better still, are our beliefs and expectations of government even consistent from one topic to the next, let alone consistent between our broad ideals and what we actually believe when we focus on any given specific issue?

But more importantly, just how representative are those voices in our national debate that so often claim to speak on our behalf – that so often claim to represent the views we supposedly believe in as a population?

What follows is a walk through the national mindset as we have collectively revealed it to be over the last 6 months in polling. Some of you will be rejoice over what turns up, others will be horrified – all of you will probably have a chuckle at some of the paradoxes involved  – yet whatever your perspective, it certainly helps explain some of the underlying dynamics of our national disgruntlement.  The 30 odd poll results here mention the pollster and the date the polls were taken at the bottom and all have sample sizes about 1000 for a margin of error around the 3% mark.

First up – what do we see as the role of government? (click to expand)

Adding some texture to this and focusing on some specific policy areas (click to expand):

As a country, we believe not only in an active government, but we also believe that our governments are doing too little in providing  the public services we demand. Health, public transport infrastructure, education – even holding banks and financial institutions to account (keep this in your thought orbit, as it will feed into some important themes later) – all show the public desire for more government action.

Yet this is where the first paradox occurs. What do we believe about the size of government?

Think about that for a minute. The largest response, a plurality of the population, believes that government is too large, yet clear majorities want government to do more on health, education, public transport and bank regulation – while a plurality wants the government to do more on crime protection and pollution regulation.

But let’s not stop there – if government is too large, do we believe that things like industry assistance for car manufacturing is part of the largesse problem?


Clearly not. Worth noting here is that this question didn’t ask  about current levels of assistance, but *additional* assistance. Support is not only strong, but bipartisan – with only Greens voters not reaching an outright majority for more government expenditure on car manufacturing.

But is this view of ours isolated to just assistance for car manufacturing, perhaps as some peculiar  cultural security blanket we’ve developed for Australian made motor vehicles?

Or course not! We support giving assistance to other manufacturing sectors at a higher rate than we do for the motor vehicle industry. What is also interesting to note is that while 55% of Coalition voters believed government is too large, 66% of them believe in what can only be described as high levels of industry support – and do so at a rate higher than ALP voters.

The “size of government” paradox in Australia is quite something – while we believe government is too large as some broad, abstract motherhood statement, we also want it to be that size or even larger whenever we focus on a specific issue. As we shall see later on, it just doesn’t stop at industry assistance or the usual list of public services, but covers a vast policy playing field.

So what then do we currently think of the economic reform program of the past 30 years – a program that reduced industry protection and the role of government in large areas of the economy? More to the point, *who* do we believe that reform program benefited?

POSSUM COMITATUS | June 05, 2012 | POLLYTREND | 18 |

The State of Play for June

Australian federal polling trends for June

POSSUM COMITATUS | February 09, 2012 | POLLYTREND | 49 |

The 2012 State of Play

Australian federal polling trends and election simulations