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Queensland Politics

Feb 1, 2015

What happened

How a dramatic change in the behaviour of minor party and independent preferences powered Labor to the cusp of victory in Queensland, plus results broken down by region.

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I’m going to progressively add a region-by-region post mortem to this thread as I go, so be sure to hit “refresh” every now and then if you’re hovering around the site and you think that might of use to you (UPDATE: Scratch that – I’ll do it tomorrow). I’ll start by answering a question that will be on the lips of many: how did the polls (and by implication the poll aggregators – see the sidebar) get it so wrong? The answer to this is simple: by allocating preferences as they flowed at the 2012 election. In fact, the pollsters did well at predicting the primary vote. As noted two posts back, all three late-reporting pollsters essentially had the LNP on 42% and Labor on 37%. The present vote totals are 40.8% and 38.1%, and they will probably edge closer in the direction of the poll results during late counting. This tends to argue against the notion that there was a violent late surge to Labor – and also the notion that there is likely to be a particularly big move back to the LNP on late counting.

The real key to the surprise is that Labor’s share of minor party and independent preferences went from 27% to 45%, the LNP’s went from 22% to 15%, and the exhaustion rate fell from 51% to 39%. This is based on slightly incomplete data, but it should be probably be near enough. Applying those preference flows to the current primary vote totals, it’s Labor and not the LNP that comes out 52-48 ahead, contrary to what all three of the aforementioned polls said. If the pollsters had been operating on accurate assumptions concerning preferences, they would have come out at 51-49 to Labor. Which gives them a lot to think about going forward, particularly with another optional preferential election on the way in New South Wales in a little under two months.

Anyhow, stay tuned.

UPDATE: Or I could leave it for tomorrow. Yes, I think that’s the go actually. Here’s a table that should set you a long way towards working out what I’ll end up saying. Seats are rated in doubt if Labor is ahead by less than 1.8% or the LNP is ahead by less than 1.2%, according to a crude 0.3% estimate of how much late counting generally favours the conservatives. The six in question are Mansfield (Labor leads by 0.1%), Mount Ommaney (LNP by 0.9%) and Redlands (LNP by 0.9%), in Southern Brisbane; Ferny Grove (Labor by 1.6%), in Northern Brisbane; and Whitsunday (LNP by 0.2%) and Maryborough (a special case, in that it will come down to who finishes second out of Labor and independent Chris Foley) on the Central Coast. Since Maryborough is in doubt between Labor and an independent, the ceiling for the LNP is 43, which includes the long shot of Ferny Grove.

LNP ALP GRN LNP ALP OTH DOUBT
Inner Brisbane 41.6% 40.1% 15.7% 2 8 0 0
-8.2% +7.2% +1.5% -7 +7 0
Northern Brisbane 41.3% 44.3% 8.9% 3 8 0 1
-11.4% +14.0% +0.6% -9 +8 0
Southern Brisbane 38.7% 47.1% 8.7% 2 10 0 3
-11.1% +13.7% +1.2% -11 +8 0
Ipswich 29.0% 54.3% 7.0% 0 3 0 0
-9.4% +20.4% +1.3% -2 +2 0
Gold Coast 48.1% 30.2% 7.8% 10 0 0 0
-10.2% +6.6% +1.1% 0 0 0
Sunshine Coast 45.2% 24.2% 12.7% 6 0 1 0
-12.4% +7.8% +0.7% 0 0 0
Central Coast 35.2% 38.2% 4.5% 4 6 0 2
-6.8% +13.1% +0.3% -5 +4 -1
Northern Coast 36.8% 40.6% 6.1% 1 7 0 0
-3.4% +13.1% +0.4% -6 +6 0
Urban Hinterland 45.0% 30.5% 6.1% 5 0 0 0
-5.6% +11.3% +0.3% 0 0 0
Interior 46.6% 23.5% 4.0% 5 0 2 0
-5.5% +8.5% +0.7% 0 0 0
TOTAL 40.8% 38.1% 8.4% 38 42 3 6
-8.9% +11.5% +0.9% -40 +35 -1

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274 comments

274 thoughts on “What happened

  1. Bobalot

    What’s astonishing to me is that the LNP is still acting like the public just didn’t get their policies and how volatile the electorate was.

    It wasn’t them, it was us.

    Unbelievable arrogance.

  2. Rocket Rocket

    Bobalot – that was Kroger all over last night as it began to sink in. Then again I think he had maybe just realised what a crap job he just inherited trying to sell the Liberal brand here in Victoria, and more broadly!

  3. frednk

    I think it is pretty easy to predict that if the primary is a lot different, the preferential flow will be different; which is why I thought the poll results looked like a hung parliament (minority government would be a better use of words). Looks like it could be a labor party majority.

  4. Socrates

    Beautiful morning. For once I am genuinely sorry I won’t have time to listen to Insiders. Will we see a Tony Abbott presser today? It would take some courage to front the media. Will Tony have the ticker to do it?

    William, may I say you did a fine effort covering the election last night for those interstate without access to ABC24, as well as your very good region by region wrap up the day before, which put the odds into perspective. I hope you enjoy your well earned rest.

  5. gloryconsequence

    If you get a chance, get a copy of Kroger at about 10.30pm last night. It was the definition of unhinged. He summed up exactly what is wrong with the current Conservative elite. He actually mentioned pink batts and school halls. Twice.

  6. bug1

    I wonder if there was a backlash against the LNP telling people not to do preferences.

  7. roger bottomley

    Prior to heading off to my inner city polling booth yesterday, I read Unitary States analysis. It proved to be spot on.

    US, if you are out there, take a bow. That was the most insightful psephological blog piece I have seen. Well done!

  8. It's Time

    [I wonder if there was a backlash against the LNP telling people not to do preferences.]
    Unlikely; I don’t think anyone was preferencing towards the LNP anyway.

  9. roger bottomley

    Bug1, I think so. The Greens did ALP a huge favour with their preference allocations.

  10. peter cavanagh

    The takers have once again voted out the party representing the makers.

  11. Rates Analyst

    Interesting theory bug1

    It would be very revealing to look at the rate of exhaustion of preferences. When a hated politician says “vote one only” it may indeed convince a lot more people to vote with all preferences!

  12. Roxanna

    Does counting the votes continue today?

  13. Bobalot

    I actually put money down on Labor winning. I thought the odds were way too high against Labor for electoral race that was running close to 50-50. I was won about $200.

    Everybody keeps talking about how shocking this result was, but the reality was the polls were 50-50 or 52-48 to the LNP (assuming previous preference flows, which was obviously not going to reoccur as there would be greater flows towards Labor). The final results are well within the margins of error of the polls.

    I thought Labor had a good chance of winning minority government.

  14. Rates Analyst

    Babalot I agree.

    When the last poll says 50-50 and either side gets a one-seat majority you can’t exactly claim to be shocked.

  15. ausdavo

    Yes Peter, you think the leaners have dismissed the lifters.

    It’s actually more like those who know “trickle down” actually means “gush up” have told the LNP they are sick of the largesse granted the rich & greedy.

    Those with the least, when given a bit more (yes given) spend it and boost the economy.

    The LNP just don’t get that fundamental economic fact!

  16. WeWantPaul

    [
    The takers have once again voted out the party representing the makers.]

    And those takers like to be paid – greedy barstards

  17. WeWantPaul

    [The LNP just don’t get that fundamental economic fact!]

    The LNP seemed to struggle with most facts. Worst govt ever

  18. pedant

    I would like to believe that it was Mr Newman’s implying that promises would only be kept for electorates which voted in an LNP member which put the final nail in his coffin. A truly disgraceful effort, of the type that characterises badly governed third world countries.

  19. It's Time

    [When the last poll says 50-50 and either side gets a one-seat majority you can’t exactly claim to be shocked.]
    The final polls were 52-48 to LNP. The “shock” result description from many commentators is either a bit of colourful exaggeration or they can’t count. Obviously Labor were going to win back a swag of seats; the only surprise is that they won so many back.

  20. Alan Shore

    peter cavanagh
    Posted Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 8:17 am

    [The takers have once again voted out the party representing the makers.]

    There you have it people, everything that is wrong with modern conservative thinking summed up beautifully in one succinct sentence. “Learners and Lifters”, “Takers and Makers”. It’s fantasy land stuff not to mention a foul and rotten way to view the world, your workers and your customers. The contempt that drips off every letter of every word in that sentence is why the conservatives lost in Victoria, why they look to have lost in Queensland, why they’ll get a shock in NSW and why they will be destroyed Federally if they keep believing in and spewing such socially destructive, economically illiterate nonsense.

  21. Socrates

    Obviously the polls moved 1-2% points to Labor in the last week. To me there were several causes of this shift, any of which could be called a backlash:
    – Newman’s spiteful threat to abandon promises in electorates that swung to Labor (pure bully)
    – the LNP going negative against new Premier Palaszczuk 🙂 showing they were both mean and desperate
    – continuing to promise more privatisation, a policy now clearly rejected.

  22. Socrates

    Forcing an entire State to come back from holidays early to an unwarned snap election of the shortest length possible probably also annoyed a few people. It might have seemed clever tactics at the time, but was in the end recognised for the stunt it was.

  23. ausdavo

    The polls were only showing LNP 52/48 because the pollsters made an assumption about preference exhaustion and preference allocation. They could have asked the respondents for that info (it’s been done before) and come up with a pretty accurate figure.

    Their primary votes were very close as William says and may end up even closer.

    All in all the result will be almost exactly as I thought the results would be, with the usual variations in seats actually won or lost.

  24. Bobalot

    Socrates@21

    Obviously the polls moved 1-2% points to Labor in the last week. To me there were several causes of this shift, any of which could be called a backlash:
    – Newman’s spiteful threat to abandon promises in electorates that swung to Labor (pure bully)
    – the LNP going negative against new Premier Palaszczuk showing they were both mean and desperate
    – continuing to promise more privatisation, a policy now clearly rejected.

    Honestly, I don’t think that had as much of an effect. Most people already felt that Newman was incredibly arrogant and resolutely opposed privatisation (see what they did to Labor in 2012).

    I think pollsters were just relying on previous preference allocations that simply didn’t occur this time. I think Labor were just even or slightly ahead the whole time.

  25. sohar

    Alan Shore @ 20,
    Brilliant response to #10.

  26. ratsak

    With a similar issue of big swing back from a massive over-correction last time and OPV we could see a similar under-estimation of prefs for Labor in NSW.

    Doubt it will be as big though as Baird is well liked and a new PM will be enjoying a honeymoon.

  27. ausdavo

    Alan

    Quite right. Until these “born to rule” politicians and their gullible hangers on realise that you can’t try to destroy the social fabric of our nation for spiteful idealogical reasons this will continue to happen across Australia.

    The days of the press, tv & radio being the main contributers to people’s awareness are gone.

    Social media has replaced them and the old chestnut “don’t talk about politics and religion” is out the window. People now know beforehand HOW reactionary government action will affect them as evidenced by the attempted changes to Medicare and university fees.

    We can say NO in a way never before allowed.

  28. WeWantPaul

    [Doubt it will be as big though as Baird is well liked and a new PM will be enjoying a honeymoon.]

    Sadest possible outcome from last night

  29. daretotread

    Too busy yesterday to post much and too tired late yesterday. Imbibed a little.

    I was very sure Kate Jones would win but did not want to jinx things.

    I was a bit nervous because the early morning poll was NOT pro ALP – lots of people taking not HtV and lots taking only LNP. It settles as the day wore on.

    <
    1 … 22 23 24

  30. Alan Shore

    Spot on Davo. Politicians dismiss social media at their peril.

  31. WeWantPaul

    All newman appointments should hand in their resignations this morning. I wonder if Fitzgerald is busy a RC would be in order.

  32. daretotread

    Greens preferences in Ashgrove went heavily to Jones

    Where I was it went 82% to Jones, 6.6% to Newman and 11.5% exhausted. Last election 23% of greens votes exhausted and only about 63% of greens went to Jones.

    This was remarkable also in that a LOT of natural and quite committed Greens voters chose to Vote Jones rather than Greens – At LEAST 5 votes I am aware of in this category, several making a point of coming to the greens and apologizing for voting ALP this time.

  33. daretotread

    Must go

    It was a great night last night.

  34. fredex

    Alan Shore at #20
    Thank you for saying so eloquently and accurately what needed to be said.

  35. William Bowe

    Greens and independent preferences in Ashgrove: 2107 to Labor (75.6%), 282 to the LNP (10.1%), 398 exhausted (14.3%).

  36. ausdavo

    Gotta go down to my Newsagency for a while. Back later. Have a great day.

  37. daretotread

    Bobalot

    There was a definite swing in the last week, but it was more a settled confirmation of intention I feel than a shift in intention.

    The LNP advertising was very poor with the ridiculous “chaos” add and the other adds being less than effective.

    Clearly they KNEW Newman was not popular because all their bunting and most core flutes was Newman free.

    In terms of the pre-polls about (10-15%) they will go heavily to Jones in Ashgrove. I cannot say about other places.

    The role of the Courier Mail and Alan Jones may also have been inportant.

  38. alias

    Bill Shorten is campaigning very hard on Insiders to keep Abbott in place.

  39. Tricot

    Seen from Perth, we can only look hopefully for what might be possible for Labor here.

    Great job WB.

    By the way, I would have thought the so-called Sophomore impact would have done more to protect first time members.

    Looks as though the anti tide was just too big for the S concept to have much effect.

  40. daretotread

    William

    Yes so in 2012 many more greens exhausted preferences, this time very few did, less than even 2007. As I indicated the figures underestimate the total “greenish” vote because as I noted the green vote was down by probably about 10% because of quite committed greens voters choosing to swing to Jones (I am aware of probably 9 such just in my own street – I am certain of 3 because they told me so and assume the family members who probably behaved the same.

    Must go. Should have more accurate info on my street voting in 2-3 hours

  41. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Campbell and his crony crew a bunch of “makers”? Hysterical.
    The real takers and leaners in any society are the rich, because they live off the labour of others. A capitalist is, by definition, a bludger.

  42. Leroy Lynch

    How victory was planned ages ago.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2013/04/22/anatomy-of-a-modern-campaign/
    [Anatomy of a Modern Campaign
    Possum Comitatus | Apr 22, 2013 2:29PM

    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 snippets of these Holy Grails of political knowledge find their way into the public space through deliberate leaks to the media, generally whispered by various political folks that either seemingly enjoy the ego inflation that comes along with being “holders of the secret information”, or believe that the stories generated from them actually make a rats arse of difference with the electorate.

    The actual reality of this “secret information” is usually a fairly different story altogether, with 95% of it being pretty banal and ordinary – and that’s when the stuff that makes its way to the public space isn’t completely fabricated to begin with.

    But hacks with delusions of being Bruno Gianelli will continue being so, and this sort of nonsense won’t disappear any time soon.

    So lets kick the door down on the secrecy and see how a modern campaign actually runs – the research involved, the technology, the analysis, the logistics of the ground game and the capabilities that get brought to the table when all of these things become integrated. Let’s look at the anatomy of a modern campaign – not just any campaign, but one of the more sophisticated campaigns ever run and one that is happening in Queensland right now.

    Some of the details involved here will surprise a lot of people, scare the bejesus out of others and demonstrate that there’s a lot of pontificating has-beens around the joint whose understanding of modern politics is pretty redundant and irrelevant.]

  43. fredex

    Well I made a mistake this am and thought I’d have a look at “Insiders”.
    I just turned it off.
    Cassidy, Kenny and Aitkins talking crap and even [cos I do expect better from her since she left Fairfax] Taylor joined in with superficial bumff.

    I did catch most of Shorten’s interview, thought he did well and liked him emphasizing a couple of times at least that it doesn’t matter who fronts up for the COALition the salesperson makes no difference when the product is crap [ not his exact words obviously].

    But I’m not wasting my time clicking on to ‘Insiders’ again.

  44. Bobalot

    daretotread@32

    Greens preferences in Ashgrove went heavily to Jones

    Where I was it went 82% to Jones, 6.6% to Newman and 11.5% exhausted. Last election 23% of greens votes exhausted and only about 63% of greens went to Jones.

    This was remarkable also in that a LOT of natural and quite committed Greens voters chose to Vote Jones rather than Greens – At LEAST 5 votes I am aware of in this category, several making a point of coming to the greens and apologizing for voting ALP this time.

    Personal anecdotes are not evidence of a trend. Is there any actual evidence that Greens voters decided to vote Labor despite wanting to vote Green?

  45. Warrigal

    dtt: [I was a bit nervous because the early morning poll was NOT pro ALP – lots of people taking not HtV and lots taking only LNP. It settles as the day wore on.]

    Yes, that’s how it looked from here, too. Didn’t say so yesterday due to a completely irrational fear of jinxing things, just hoped others had also had their preference order decided well ahead. As it happens, this electorate is still undetermined – one of the “bellwethers” along the SE motorway.

    (Also, thoroughly relished last night’s commentary from the member for Lilley – might have mentioned this.) 🙂

  46. Rocket Rocket

    William – thanks for excellent coverage – Queensland elections are the hardest state elections because of the regional variablity.

    Did you get any sleep?? Or is that happening now?

  47. Rocket Rocket

    Leroy – yes I reread Possum’s article last night. I see now why his site has been quiet – he has been very busy.

    The “grassroots” campaigns in Victoria and Queensland must be scaring the living daylights out of Federal Coalition MPs.

  48. rhwombat

    K17@41: Oi! ‘Oo are you calling capitalist?

  49. Greensborough Growler

    RR,

    With apologies to Leonard Cohen

    First we take Manhattan (NSW),
    Then we take Berlin (Federal)!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTTC_fD598A

  50. Wakefield

    Thanks for the quality coverage William.

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