Analysing the polls

Dr Kevin Bonham has a post Abbott Fastest Ever To Lose Poll Lead with this helpful advance summary:

  • 1. Following the recent Newspoll, the new Abbott Government has lost the two-party preferred polling lead.
  • 2. This does not necessarily mean the government would lose an election if one was held now.
  • 3. The Abbott Government has lost the 2PP polling lead much faster than any other new government elected from Opposition in federal polling history.
  • 4. Tony Abbott has also recorded negative personal ratings much faster than any new PM elected from Opposition in federal polling history.
  • 5. While polling taken at this stage has very little if any predictive value, governments that have lost the lead very early in their terms have a historically greater risk of defeat at the next election.
  • 6. Bill Shorten’s polling as Opposition Leader appears good, but is nothing unusual by the standards of other Opposition Leaders at the same stages of their careers.
  • 7. Furthermore the strength or otherwise of an Opposition Leader’s personal polling after only two months in the job has no relationship with their success at later elections.

I’ll leave you to read the rest.

Michaela McGuire at The Monthly comments on the commenters commenting on Dennis Shanahan’s comentary on the polls. It seems Shanahan’s readers if he says something they don’t expect from him just translate it into what they want to hear. Has Shanahan become a Labor stooge?

Bolt is so in tune with his readers that he just winds them up and off they go. It’s all entirely predictable.

Bolt, canny operator that he is, has clearly realised that his flock doesn’t need too much tending. Instead, he can merely wind them up and watch them go. At this stage of his career, Australia’s most widely read columnist has become so successful that he’s made himself redundant. As long as he has a comments section, he doesn’t even have to be a scaremongering pundit, just a fluffer.

Unsurprisingly, Abbott has given himself a gold star and a koala stamp, presumably. (Readers younger than about 70 may not recognise this ancient way of rewarding excellence in primary school.)

Certainly I’m prejudiced, but Abbott often looks to me like a primate in a suit:


The Tandberg cartoon is a beauty:


Tony Wright thinks we have a government on training wheels. That’s optimistic and assumes this mob are trainable.

Mark Textor in the AFR today is reminding us that an stage win of the green jersey doesn’t count. It’s who’s wearing the yellow jersey at the end. Well we know that. Boring! See point 5 from Bonham.

Meanwhile, three months after the election in Germany, the SPD membership have voted in favour a ‘grand coalition’ with 76% in favour. I understand the party members had access to a large document detailing the policies to be adopted (168 pages, from memory). Couldn’t happen here.

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18 responses to “Analysing the polls”

  1. wilful

    (stickers, the modern equivalent of stamps, are very much still a part of the modern primary teachers kit).

    As to Abbott, I’m refusing to care, it’s bad for my health and it’s not like he’s failing to meet my expectations.

  2. Paul Norton

    As to Abbott, I’m refusing to care, it’s bad for my health and it’s not like he’s failing to meet my expectations.

    He’s exceeding mine, in the worst possible way.

  3. Tim Macknay

    Mark Textor in the AFR today is reminding us that an stage win of the green jersey doesn’t count. It’s who’s wearing the yellow jersey at the end. Well we know that. Boring! See point 5 from Bonham.

    If Textor wants his guy wearing the yellow jersey come the next election, he’d do well to close his Twitter account.

  4. Russell

    “I’m refusing to care, it’s bad for my health”

    There’s this t-shirt that you could get …

  5. faustusnotes

    Is there a data set of poll leads and election results somewhere easily available online? This is a problem crying out for a survival analysis.

  6. Fran Barlow

    FN …

    You might try

    a) pollbludger — ( )
    b) Kevin Bonham’s blogspot

    Kevin is an excellent pseph and so is William Bowe (who runs pollbludger). Both are generally pretty helpful with things psephological.

  7. Fran Barlow

    Oops … always read post before comments …

  8. Mahaut1329

    We could wish our Prime Ministers to be even a little bit self aware. First there is Keating’s lack of this characteristic proudly displayed and now our current PM seems similarly blighted. How sad.

  9. Debbieanne

    Self-awareness is for lefties, don’t ya know. (I think that fits for Paul as well)

  10. Terry2

    I’m assuming that Bolt is Australia’s most widely read columnist because he is syndicated throughout the Murdoch press who just happen to control 70% of the print media in Australia and, where I live, 100%.
    So it’s not rocket science is it?

  11. philip travers

    So it seems to find the weak spot in the Liberal Trojan horse under Abbott,so to speak,the clever amongst us must resort to seeing if anything evil is being said,by reverse playing of statements.And not Abbott unless he is singing the Cosmic Muffin song,at a Charity Night devoted to Liberal cat and dog owners!?

  12. Sceptic

    I was only thinking recently that TA’s dress up box did not seem to include an Akubra.

    Well! I have just been studying his shelves in the look-at-my-gold-star-allure pic when I spotted it. The Bushman’s special, complete with plaited leather band, it seems.

    Maybe J Howard left it behind.

    I wish he would adopt that deep north Queensland ten-gallon model, the yellowish one with the chimney stack and wide verandah. What a sketch that would be.

    I also noticed a model semi-trailer on the shelves.

    He-man stuff.

  13. Bernard J.

    Who knew?!

    Apparently Tony Abbott’s first autobiography is already out.

  14. Bernard J.

    …and hot on its heels is the volume that details his defeat of Kevin Rudd.

  15. Amy

    Is it too soon to declare him the worst Prime Minister in Australia’s history yet? Perhaps it’s time for a fresh election to rid ourselves of this minority Liberal government? Clearly, the man is intent on wrecking the joint — just ask Indonesia.

    What’s that? We need to give him time, the Murdoch press says?

    Well, I guess it wouldn’t be fair to tear down a new term Prime Minister without giving him or her a fair go first, right?

  16. Bernard J.

    Oh, and not to forget volume three covering the first 100 days, and wherein the education minister plays the lead role…

  17. David Irving (no relation)

    I don’t think so, Amy – he’s already manged to make Billy McMahon looks competent, nay, statesman-like, and I can’t see things improving.

  18. Nickws

    Geoff Kitney’s view in last Friday’s AFR is a very interesting neolib wonk take—he reckons the election result was all down to the public being sick of Labor politics, but otherwise they hadn’t had enough time to become sick of Labor governance. Hence the public turning against the Coalition on Gonski, going back to the Shorten plan.

    The AFR-has-a-sad takeaway is it that this dynamic is most unfortunate, as it mightn’t allow the Coalition to ever develop the political capital for their excellent new reform agenda.