Comments for The Tally Room Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:59:22 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Podcast #28: Polling after the federal election by Angus Moody Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:59:22 +0000 Ben and Kevin,

Shock – horror! But, I think I must have one of the very few people who managed to predict the result of the Federal Election.

Sure Shorten was ahead on social media followers, as was the clear favourite, but one was especially clear and that was (like in the NSW Election), the Coalition simply conducted a far superior campaign then that of the Labor Party.

It’s as simple as that.

Elections are won on the 6.00pm news and it was there where Shorten’s lack of temperment was exposed big time – think that question with the channel 10 reporter.

Also, the Coalition in Scott Morrison sounded far more confident in his campaign.

Comment on Podcast #28: Polling after the federal election by Kevin Bonham Sun, 17 Nov 2019 07:38:13 +0000 I’ve been offline a lot the last week. Re Goeff’s post, I’ve also noticed this “ALP Fail Factor” (as I call it) in a lot of historic polling analysis – in summary, the Coalition has won a lot more federal elections than Labor, but hasn’t had anything like the same average advantage in polling at any point of pre-election cycles. Labor rarely noticeably outperforms its polling, the Coalition often does.

A few things have mitigated against using it prominently in my 2019 projections. Firstly it isn’t apparent in state elections. Secondly it wasn’t apparent in the 2013 and 2016 final polls. Thirdly the rapid recent turnover in available pollsters and methods (eg 2019 Newspoll is not 2013 Newspoll) means that it’s been hard to say whether it is something innate in polling of Australian federal elections, or something specific to a set of past pollsters that, possibly excepting Morgan, no longer applied.

In the previous cycles I was looking at projections with the “fail factor” factored in and they produced worse projections with more data, so it was easy to suspect they were simply overfitted. Unfortunately at this election they would have outperformed projections without them (see eg Peter Ellis’ model, which outperformed those of us who thought house effects weren’t much of a thing anymore, even though it was only using data from the previous four elections.)

Comment on Podcast #28: Polling after the federal election by Andrew Jackson Fri, 15 Nov 2019 23:17:03 +0000 I was very surprised at result. All polls indicated an ALP victory, voter behaviour at Bribie pre poll was less overtly pro Liberal than in previous elections and at Morayfield pre poll only sign of change was visible support for One Nation amongst voters. Only sign that ALP was losing was behaviour of Trade Union put Liberal last campaigners whose aggression was an indication of problem. However I did not pick this up till after results were in. Shorten’s Town Hall Meeting In Caboolture was a roaring success. I guess this is living in a bubble but I thought ALP were romping home. The only other time I have been so wrong was when I thought Americans were too intelligent to elect Trump.

ALP’s review of results is a useful document.
It is a pity that Mass media who are so keen to have freedom of info and freedom to commit theft for themselves are as secretive as Government when it comes to their own failures.

If the cause of this failure was herding it means polling organisations do not even believe their results themselves.

Candidates are notoriously unreliable predictors of election results. They assume that because a voter is civil to them they are voting for them. It is only a small percentage of voters who slam doors in candidates faces.

ALP is preparing for Qld State election and I get impression that Palasczuk has bitten the bullet and is taking on the Green eco-fascists. She needs to get a real working class candidate in South Brisbane and push Jackie Trad out to Townsville.
Vince Gair was last working class candidate in South Brisbane and he was a railway clerk.
ALP needs a shearer or trucker in South Brisbane and Jackie Trad needs to have to Front up to the public bar at the Town and Country.
First sign of Council Campaigning visible in Strathpine other day. No doubt the seat currently vacant because of court case is attractive.
Last time this ward had only one candidate.

Comment on The pre-poll surge: what, exactly, is the problem? by J Knight Fri, 15 Nov 2019 22:08:03 +0000 ]]> Well as long as you are happy with the two party state – as the nsw electoral commissioner is – and don’t want representation of your needs and happy with a party’s lobbyists agenda, then prepolling is essential to further bastardise our democracy🤫

Comment on Podcast #28: Polling after the federal election by mick quinlivan Wed, 13 Nov 2019 09:19:58 +0000 what does the post election polling mean?
but the pattern for most governments seems to be they are elected then reelected 3rd election is close
the 4th election is closer and a 5th election win even less likely
in the case of miracle wins eg 1993 nsw 2007 and aust 2019…………. a bad bad reckoning comes for the winner. 1996, nsw 2011………………

Comment on Podcast #28: Polling after the federal election by Geoff Lambert Mon, 11 Nov 2019 00:10:10 +0000 What DID go wrong with the polls?

Ben, Kevin

I listened to the podcast—very interesting—but got the impression that, while it is agreed that there was SOMETHING wrong, the nature of the “something” is either obscure or jumbled. This morning we have an SMH story that more or less implies that the ALP was told by YouGov that it was in deep trouble; we also have the latest Newspoll.

These things caused me to rouse myself from my post-election torpor and have a closer look at what I was seeing in my own polling tracking tools. I used the usual suite of tools found in the psephologist’s toolbox (I actually INVENTED some of these as long ago as 1992). For all of these tools, I made regression projections based on trends and displayed the projection with SDs and 95% Confidence Limits. There were some 8 of these (of course, none are independent of the others) and all except 1 showed a lower CL of greater than 50%. The exception was the projection made on the long run trend in ALP TPP in the campaign period (only) of all elections 1992 to 2016. The 95%CLs for this were (48.4% to 52.0%). The 2019 election result was inside that envelope.

The driving force for me doing such an analysis is the old adage that “the gap always closes”. It was never true arithmetically but, if it is meant to imply “the Coalition always gains at the expense of the ALP” during the election period … then it has been true for 6 out of 8 elections, the average being about 0.4% per polling period.

This doesn’t mean I wasn’t stunned when I walked out from scrutineering a booth in Warringah, but it does imply I SHOULD NOT have been stunned.

Geoff Lambert

Comment on You can’t just legislate ‘fairness’ in our voting system by Andrew Jackson Thu, 07 Nov 2019 04:56:53 +0000 ALP Review of Election supports my previous comment. ALP Review is an excellent document examining good points and bad points of ALP campaign. Whilst I disagree with a huge amount of ALP policy the Party is the most professionally run party in Australia. Makes Coalition and minor parties look incompetent at times.
Unfortunately Party not judged on professionalism only on results.

Comment on You can’t just legislate ‘fairness’ in our voting system by Andrew Jackson Wed, 06 Nov 2019 21:06:28 +0000 Interesting long term analysis of Decline in ALP vote The Australian 7 Nov 2019 p 4.
State by state declines 2007-2019

NSW -9.5%
Vic -7.83%
Qld -16.23%
WA -7%
SA – 7.8%
Tas -9.36%
ACT -10.0%
NT -5.38%
Anthony Chisholm cites Decline in Bowen as being symptomatic of problem faced by ALP
2007 57%
2019 20%

Bowen used to be the reddest town in Australia electing Australia’s only Communist MP.
In NSW and Victoria a lot of loss in Primary vote returns to ALP as preferences but not the case elsewhere.
Palasczuk had better do some hard work in next few months outside the Brothel Zone of South Brisbane. In fact sensible thing would be to move Jackie Trad out of South Brisbane concede it to Greens move he to Townsville and concentrate on winning 95% of population who think jobs and prices are more important than climate Rebellion and protection of Sodom.

Comment on You can’t just legislate ‘fairness’ in our voting system by peterjk23 Wed, 06 Nov 2019 14:45:46 +0000 As David said above, when the SA electoral Commission finally got serious about applying the fairness law rather than just tinkering at the edges as they had previously, the result was immediate – the government changed. This is strong evidence as to the falsity of claims that boundaries can’t be made fairer. After all if boundaries can’t be made fairer (or less fair) it would mean that the concept of a gerrymander is invalid.

Comment on You can’t just legislate ‘fairness’ in our voting system by David Walsh Fri, 01 Nov 2019 12:52:08 +0000 I agree that trying to enforce fairness across single member constituencies is an extremely difficult task. And it’s true that to insist on the final seat share reflecting the overall vote share is really an argument for proportional representation.

But I also think that even within the constraints of the single member system, it is reasonable to attempt fairness. Given that it’s trivial to draw a gerrymander that favours one side or the other, it ought to be possible to draw an anti-gerrymander that favours neither side.

Community of interest should always be the primary criteria when drawing districts; otherwise what’s the point of having separate districts? But the overall electorate never divides evenly into equal sized districts. There are always judgement calls.

The court drawn map for Pennsylvania’s congressional districts is instructive. The court was forced to redraw the boundaries because of the unconstitutional Republican gerrymander. But it appears that instead of drawing a strictly apolitical map, the court instead went for a politically balanced map. The natural lay of the land tends to favour Republicans, so the subjective decisions – e.g. where county boundaries had to be crossed – tended to favour Democrats. This minimised the natural Republican advantage. The following article, which goes through the redrawn districts one by one, is instructive:

The same is true of South Australia. That the Liberals won in 2018 with a 52-48 result, after losing in 2014 with a 53-47 result, was in large part due to the ECSA’s decision to take the fairness criteria seriously.

We should also be clear about the conditions necessary to satisfy fairness. The most obvious precondition is a strong two party system. That obviously holds true in the US. It’s reasonably true in Australia, but not completely. It should not be forgotten that SA Labor’s minority vote in 2002 and 2014 only gave them minority government. Had the Liberals not lost typically safe seats to independents, they would have won those elections.

The other thing is there needs to be a clear, consistent test of the political leaning of each seat. Single member results don’t work so well because sitting member factors are real. That’s why American analysts use presidential results rather than congressional results. Perhaps ECSA should have been using LegCo figures instead of LegAss figures?

There’s also arguments over what “fairness” means. In the US, these debates get bogged down with arguments over proportionality, or “competitiveness”, or minority representation. To me it’s simple: 50% of the two-party vote should result in 50% of the seats. (a.k.a. the mean/median test.) In addition, the most marginal seats should be evenly distributed either side of that 50% mark. (i.e. on a bell curve.) That’s it. That’s all fairness can mean in a single member two-party system.