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nielsen

Jul 31, 2010

Nielsen - Thump

Today brings about a Nielsen that has the tragics spinning with the Coalition hitting the lead on a two party preferred split of 52/48. The poll came from a sample of 1356, giving us an

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Today brings about a Nielsen that has the tragics spinning with the Coalition hitting the lead on a two party preferred split of 52/48. The poll came from a sample of 1356, giving us an MoE that maxes out around the 2.7% mark. The primary votes broken down into gender and geography as well as the preference flows, including their change from the previous Nielsen poll come in like this:

nielsen1aug1

nielsen2aug1

As we can see, Nielsen – like the previous Newspoll – suggests the gender gap has changed, but unlike Newspoll, it also suggests that substantially more women are now voting for the Coalition than for the ALP – the first poll of the campaign to suggest such a thing. At this stage, it’s worth looking at the results of all the polls we’ve had since the 1st July (click to expand):

allpollstersjuly31

Over the last week, there has definitely been a movement back to the Coalition, but Nielsen certainly appears to have overshot relative to other movement we witnessed from other pollsters over the same approximate period. Using our Pollytrend to cut through the uncertainty, it comes in like this:


pollylargeaug1

Our phone pollster trend, which includes today’s Nielsen result, is currently sitting on an ALP two party preferred of 51.3%. Galaxy, Morgan’s phone poll and Nielsen were all in the field last week with overlapping periods. Morgan got a 53% TPP to the ALP over the 27th and 28th, Galaxy got a 50% TPP on the 28th (and maybe on the 27th as well – I can’t find if Galaxy was in the field for one night or two) and Nielsen got a 48% TPP over the 27th, 28th and 29th. So Nielsen is the odd one out here, suggesting a bit of overshoot – and probably combined with the ALP week getting worse as it went on.

However, even if Nielsen went a few points too far, it did bring in results consistent with the events of last week. If we track the Nielsen two party preferred by gender and geography, a few things stand out:

gendertppaug1

Firstly, non-capital cities dropped 8 points on the TPP for Labor in a week. That doesn’t actually happen in the real world, so it’s a bit full on – but just because the magnitude of the change might be out by a few points doesn’t mean the direction of the change is wrong. Similarly, the female vote collapsed for Labor on the two party preferred, dropping by a massive 9 points in a week. Again, that doesn’t happen in the real world, but it doesn’t mean that females didn’t move back towards the Coalition in solid numbers this week – just probably not this solid.

The mediascape over the last week was filled with generically negative coverage of Labor – most of it self-inflicted –  but of particular focus was the allegations that Gillard questioned the pension rise and paid paternity leave.

The latter would certainly help explain some female movement, while the pension issue would have been expected to play out more in regional Australia than the capital cities since regional Australia is older than its metro counterpart and there’s a higher level of pension reliance among that older cohort in regional Australia.

If we track the Nielsen two party preferred by age cohorts (and I’ve combined the 18-24s and 25-39’s to give us a tracking sample for each cohort with an MoE somewhere around the 5% mark) it adds some more evidence:

agetppaug1

Young people came off a bit of a peak and 40-54s didn’t really move, but the over 55’s collapsed for Labor, from 46% last week down to 38% this week. So there would appear that there was movement towards the Coalition, and that the movement occurred in the places that last week’s events would easily explain – but the magnitude of the movement is probably slightly out considering the poll results that came from the field at the same time.

The problem for Labor of course is that the trends might continue – turning this Nielsen from what is more likely a slight outlier on the day, to an early adopter in hindsight – particularly if Labor can’t consolidate its female vote and pull back a few oldies as well.

Later today or tomorrow, we’ll have a look at the rest of the Nielsen poll, the full demographic tables of which can be seen here.

More interesting though is a 3 poll average of that table, which can be seen here – this latter table actually looks pretty spot on in terms of what appears to be the current state of play.

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58 comments

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58 thoughts on “Nielsen – Thump

  1. Rod Hagen

    Poss writes” the probability of you being polled over the next 25 years looks like this:

    http://twitpic.com/10835c

    Certainly doesn’t apply if you live in McEwen! Twice so far this time around and several times more over the last three or four elections! 😉

  2. cud chewer

    Btw, I heard the essential research guy on the radio today. Very sensible and straight forward.

    Were essential up and running last election and if so how did they fare?

    What do you think of their methods? I actually think it makes sense in several ways – provided the maths is done with rigor.

  3. cud chewer

    Hmm.. I should be soundly spanked for thinking PollyTrend had more inertia.. evidently its got more sensitivity towards the end. Oh well.. ouch.. ouch.. ouch…

  4. Possum Comitatus

    Alexander went:

    [The samples are far too small – MoEs are far too high.]

    It depends on what you want to use them for.

    [Where and how and when (day of week & time of day) were the samples gathered?]

    On the evenings of the 27th, 28th and 29th July by phoning random households.

    [I have never been asked by any pollster for my input.]

    Most people never have – but the laws of probability don’t require that everyone has their input at some stage. Let’s say that you turn 18 this year – the probability of you being polled over the next 25 years looks like this:

    http://twitpic.com/10835c

    [The way they are reported on TV and radio is inadequate.]

    Can’t argue with that!

    [The way they are manipulated by so-called journalists is culpable.]

    The polls arent manipulated, but some media folks certainly misrepresent their results to suit their own prejudices and desires.

  5. Alexander Goodman

    The samples are far too small – MoEs are far too high.
    Where and how and when (day of week & time of day) were the samples gathered?
    I have never been asked by any pollster for my input.
    The veracity of opinion polls is questionable.
    The way they are reported on TV and radio is inadequate.
    The way they are manipulated by so-called journalists is culpable.

  6. Just Me

    Sherbet@44

    Feel free to offer us your own alternative rigourous statistical analysis of the poll data. Or point us to some such analysis you believe to be superior to Mr Possum’s.

    crickets…

  7. jjulian1009

    Like many others, I greatly appreciate the clarity of perspective which your blog brings to a bewildering plethora of polling results.

  8. Possum Comitatus

    Geoff – I only get to publish about 2/3rds of the polling info I actually see, because some of it is shown to me with an understanding of confidence.

    If I look at all the polling I’ve seen in the last week or so, those Nielsen 3 poll averages are pretty close to what is popping up across the state and age demographics from just about everywhere.

    Nielsen started the campaign high and ended low, while others have barely moved – so it all kind of comes out in the wash.

    I’m just letting you know what I know – you don’t have to listen to it.

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