If you’re wondering what the hell is going on lately with the polls being all over the shop, the time is ripe to run our trend measures to get a better grip on it all and maybe knock a few myths on the heads about what is actually happening with Australian political opinion.
Over the last 3 months or so we’ve witnessed a gradual decline in Labor’s two party preferred, with that 4 month strong flatlining of 46/54 to the Coalition finally coming to an end in the last week of February. Between March and mid May the ALP experienced a 3 point fade in the two party preferred vote – running at about a 1 point loss a month – followed by a slight one point recovery over the last 3 weeks or so.
Of course, that’s not nearly as exciting as some have put it in our absence – so if you prefer your polls with a little more histrionics and generous dollops of SHOUTY farce, let’s have a quick recap (click to expand)
Ahem – quite.
On the primary vote front, the Coalition picked up nearly 3 points between March and mid May, going from around 46 at the beginning of March, up to a touch under 49 in mid May – before pulling slightly back over the last few weeks to be sitting on 48.5.
The story for the ALP primary has been a little heavier, with the primary vote sliding from 33 at the end of February down to 29 in mid May, before recovering to around 30.5 over the last few weeks.
Meanwhile, the Greens vote appears to be following some strange 5 month cosmic cycle from peak to trough, picking up a point over the last few months to be sitting on 12.
The actual trend point estimates as of today come in like this:
Also worth mentioning is that broad menagerie commonly known as “Others” are currently rounding up the difference at 9.1%, which is a 2.4% swing towards that group since the 2010 election.
So that’s where we all sit at the moment on the political polling spectrum – the ALP chewing on various flavors of disaster, the Coalition alternating between landslide and wipe out, while the Greens are doing whatever peculiar thing it is that they do to get their supporters behaving like a sine wave.
Pollytics is now back on line – I’ll be posting at least a few times a week and we have an awful lot to talk about. As a primer, I wrote a big update to The Great Unhinging for the June Edition of The Kings Tribune – they’ve thoughtfully let it escape the treeware and have posted it online. It’s worth a squiz, not only because of the underlying social and political dynamics it explores – dynamics that are driving the place and have been for a few years now (which is why the unhinging was so predictable), but it also sets the groundwork for a number of articles that will be appearing here over the next little while. So go and have a read folks.
If you enjoy that Unhinging Revisited piece, also try and grab a copy of Laura Tingles Quarterly Essay “Great Expectations” that’s currently in news agents. It covers many of the same issues associated with the unhinging, but does so over a longer time frame with a much broader context. It’s a ripper.
And welcome back.