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Jul 18, 2010

Galaxy, deserving to win and incumbency.

The first full day of the campaign brings us a Galaxy poll (via the News Ltd tabloids) that was taken on Friday night before the election announcement. The poll had a sample of 800, giv


The first full day of the campaign brings us a Galaxy poll (via the News Ltd tabloids) that was taken on Friday night before the election announcement. The poll had a sample of 800, giving us an MoE that maxes out around the 3.5% mark. galaxyjuly18

The only change in the voting estimates since the last Galaxy – the one from last weekend – was that the Greens dropped a point with the Others gaining it. Through the campaign, don’t be surprised if Galaxy barely moves at all – it’s sort of Pollster mogadon and has been the poll showing the least variation across recent election campaigns where it has been put in the field.

More interestingly, Galaxy pulled out their “deserves to win” question and the results are a pretty shocking indictment on the public perception of the behaviour of our major parties.

Do you believe the ALP/Coalition deserves to win thefederal election based on its recent performance.


We’re getting a bit of a “pox on both your houses” view coming out here – but substantially worse for the Coalition than the Labor Party. This brings into play the power of incumbency – where governments get natural electoral benefits by virtue of simply being in government –  and how these sorts of low “Deserve to win” results actually increase that power.

Back in the last Qld state election, Galaxy asked this exact question and the results came in pretty much the same for both the ALP and the LNP, with around 40% saying that each party deserves to win, with around 60% saying that each party did not.

Over that last week of that campaign, the undecideds crystalised out to favor Labor on election day and we saw a 1% swing or so run back to the government over the last week. That occurred when both parties were tied on the deserve to win stakes, or rather lack of deserving to win stakes.

Here, the ALP actually has a substantial advantage in terms of being the least worst government option. Oppositions have to take victory – but when only 30% think that you deserve to win, that’s a fairly significant generic boost to the power of government incumbency when the last week of the campaign rolls up and voters are forced to make up their minds.

Galaxy also asked a question on whether voters believed that the treatment of Kevin Rudd will harm Labor’s chances:

Do you agree or disagree that the way Kevin Rudd has been treated by the Labor Party will harm their chance of winning the next federal election?

The results came in as 57% saying Yes and 37% saying No. This is an odd question because it doesn’t appear to be asking people whether the treatment of Rudd has increased or reduced a respondent’s own likelihood of voting for Labor, but rather it asked respondents if they believe Rudd’s treatment will affect how “other people” vote.

So we have to be careful with how we interpret the results of this question, acknowledging that it’s actually more about perceptions of how other people might vote than it is about how the respondents themselves might vote.


We go through Channel Nines Galaxy poll from Sunday night here, and do today’s Newspoll here


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76 thoughts on “Galaxy, deserving to win and incumbency.

  1. Galaxy: Labor 52-48, but a pox on both your houses ::  Larvatus Prodeo

    […] Possum reports on the first poll released during the election campaign – Galaxy, which comes in with essentially the same numbers as last time, bar a drop in The Greens’ primary vote to 13%, with the one point lost going to “Others”. […]

  2. Venise Alstergren

    CAF: Canberra without booze for seventeen years? What a sobering thought! If you’ll accept my dry sense of humour.

  3. Venise Alstergren

    CAF: Why thank you! All my life that strange spelling has niggled at me, and I’ve just accepted it. You however, have made me a smidgen better informed. Thanks.

    Most sincerely


  4. Possum Comitatus

    Apols Sacha – my bad!

  5. Sascha

    I’m sorry Possum, I’m not sure what makes you think I want you to spin anything.. at all. Actually I don’t remember having a go at you or even mentioning you in my posts. I’m talking about the party faithful in the comments. It’s actually all the “spin” that pisses me off, hence why I’m voting independent or informal.

  6. Possum Comitatus

    Sascha – I can only go where the polling data takes me.

    How would you *like* me to spin it? 😛

  7. Sascha

    Thanks Caf, You make very good point…… ???? ummm… yeah…. Keep it up big fella!
    Anyway good luck to the party faithful, which ever party you chose to blindly follow and put your trust in. It’s interesting reading anyway. Now to look for an independent news source.

  8. caf

    Sascha: If you wish to “send a message to Canberra”, I suggest putting pen to paper and mailing it off to:

    All in Canberra,
    c/- The Lampost at 190 Northbourne Avenue
    ACT 2602

    I’m sure it will get the prompt attention it deserves.

  9. caf

    Venise: The reason it’s spelled the American way is due to the influence of a colourful character from Australia’s early political history, King O’Malley. An American who claimed to be Canadian in order to be eligible for election, he was also responsible for enacting Prohibition in the ACT for 17 years – a fact which has resulted in one of Canberra’s drinking establishments being named for him!

  10. Venise Alstergren

    SASCHA: Psst! It’s “Labor Party”, spelled the American way. I haven’t got a clue why.

    TO ALL THOSE PEOPLE living in marginal seats. You do not know how lucky you are. You know that your votes count.

    All my life I’ve lived in Higgins, different addresses, but always Higgins. And, Higgins is a blue-ribbon Liberal seat. Election after election I carefully mark my ballot papers and I always put the Libs as near to last as possible.

    Just once, I would like to think my vote counted. But it doesn’t, not one little bit, but I still vote. Silly me.

  11. Sascha

    Holy Crap! The Labour Party campaign certainly has a home here on crikey. Personally I think neither the Traitor or the Mad Monk deserve the job. I say screw them both. Find a local independant whos views you like and give them a go. Thats the only way to send a message to Canberra. One Nation might have been misguided in many of its policies but it sure made em sit up when they lost votes to them. I just hope that the idealistic killjoys from the Greens don’t manage to do too much damage before another election in 3 years time. Protect the environment, for sure, but do it without making Australia bankrupt and boring.

  12. powerisnotstrength

    Here’s the reference, it’s from Christopher Hitchens, For the Sake of Argument, p41:
    [In 1988, (Patrick) Caddell…had been hired to do polling for Alan Cranston, the Democratic senator from California. `He was in big trouble,’ Caddell related. `The Republicans were running Ed Zschau against him, a guy who was moderate and smart and young. All our figures showed that the voters were bored with Cranston and that the younger voters wanted a younger guy. It looked bad.’
    Bad, but not impossible. `There was one other finding,’ Caddell went on to say. `The voters were alienated. They weren’t strongly disposed to vote, and they were turned off by negative campaigning. The fewer who voted, the better for Cranston.’ The thinking went that because Cranston had more name recognition, and was the incumbent, with the attendant organization to get out the tried-and-true voters, he’d squeak by in a low-turnout race. `So I told them, “Run the most negative campaign you can. Drive the voters away. Piss them off with politics.” It worked. Cranston just made it by two points. The day after, I realized what I had done and got out of the business.’]

  13. powerisnotstrength

    I recall one campaign insider account from California some years back: polling found his campaign was losing, but the other side was suffering severe poll fatigue. “Piss them off with polls,” he told his team, and proceeded to flood the newspapers with media releases on poll after poll, causing record numbers to disengage from the whole process in disgust. It worked, his side won (and according to the story teller he left the campaigning business in disillusionment straight afterward).

  14. Oscar



    I’m always very suspicious of anyone who says “I don’t vote because …”. Often it is simply a pretence to discourage people (especially young people) from voting at all.

  15. Sancho

    America is also a case study in how easily large groups can be illegally but effectively disenfranchised if persuaded that they can’t or shouldn’t vote.

  16. Oscar


    Accepted that voting is not the only way to express an opinion – but only a fool would reject an option that costs nothing, and is far simpler and more direct than moving house.

    Agree 100% that anyone who is eligible should make an effort today. And if you have children of voting age, make sure they also make the effort.

    This election is far too critical to leave to chance.

  17. Galaxy 52-48 but a pox on both your houses « Larvatus Prodeo in exile

    […] 52-48 but a pox on both your houses by mbahnisch on July 18, 2010 Possum reports on the first poll released during the election campaign – Galaxy, which comes in with […]

  18. powerisnotstrength

    SHEPHERDMARILYN is correct to identify voting as the least of her powers as a citizen. The power to live and spend your earnings as you please, to speak openly, to associate freely, to choose your state or shire of residence, etc … these are all far more potent.

    However, abstinence from voting is potentially hazardous, because others will be voting. Outside Australia, optional suffrage enables vote-stacking by organized mobs, generally not selected for their intelligence or maturity. I really urge everyone who’s eligible to make sure they’re registered by the end of today.

  19. skink

    oh bugger, did I just invoke Godwin’s Law?

    on the very first day?

    I’ll sit down…

  20. skink

    I finally worked out what was giving me the creeps about that Liberal jingle

    there is something faintly ‘Triumph of the Will’ about it

    you can almost imagine Liberals standing up one by one and singing “Tomorrow belongs to me.”

  21. skink

    could Abbott perhaps get the Australian Rollers, recently crowned world champions of wheelchair basketball, to promote their “Stand Up for Australia” campaign?

  22. calyptorhynchus

    Tom Jones, #52,

    In #44 I was being sarcastic. Even the great Clarke and Dawe couldn’t make up something as bad as that Abbott ad.

    My wife hates Gillard with a passion, she says because she so obviously reading from a script. I’m giggling because I can imagine all the Liberal minders jumping up and down out of camera mouthing, “Stick to the script, Tony”!

  23. Charles Livingstone

    And the Abbott ad is truly dreadful. They must be looking to bolster the 55 plus sing-along vote. Not that the Gillard one is anything to write home about.

  24. Charles Livingstone

    Dennis at the journal formerly known as the GG tells us that Newspoll has the primaries at 42-38 the ALP’s way and the 2PP at 55:45.

    Can this be true?

  25. Tom Jones

    The first ads do Abbott no favours as he discusses battlelines in what looks to be an old fashioned classroom. The PM on the other hand is in an ad which looks forward and addresses issues in a far less simplistic fashion but still clearly. Abbott is in real trouble.

  26. skink

    Oh no, I just saw the first Abbott ad

    it’s got a jingle! a bloody jingle for chrissakes

    I don’t know about ‘moving forward’, but launching an ad with a jingle off a seventies soap commercial is hardly cutting edge.

    he criticizes Gillard for slogans and he’s got a jingle?

    ‘Stand up Australia, stand up, stand up for Action!’

    unless you’re in a bloody wheelchair as a stunt.

    Tony Abbott as Action Man? with realistic hair and gripping hands?

    what were they thinking?

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