NSW headed for colossal landslide


Yesterday’s Nielsen poll has Labor still on track for a catastrophic defeat. Along with the January Galaxy poll, the Nielsen poll has the ALP polling only 34% of the two-party-preferred vote, compared to the Coalition on 66%. On primary votes, the Coalition has hit a new high with 53%, compared to 51% in the Galaxy poll, with the ALP on 22% (compared to 20% in Galaxy) and the Greens on 13% (compared to 15% in Galaxy).

There is a general consensus that such a result would produce a massive defeat for the ALP, way out of proportion to the voting figures. Antony Green’s swing calculator has the ALP winning only 14 seats compared to 73 Coalition seats on a uniform two-party-preferred swing. In the next election, however, many contests will not be between Labor and the Coalition, with Greens and independents coming in the top two in many seats in Sydney and the country. In addition, two-party-preferred figures in polls are based on preference flows from minor parties remaining consistent. Yet it appears that the Greens preference flow to Labor will be greatly diminished. Both of these factors suggest that the impact could be worse than Antony Green’s calculator predicts.

I developed my own calculator which instead calculates swings on primary votes, based on proportional swing, which means a party’s vote will swing more heavily in areas where their vote is higher. This reflects the expectation that the swing against Labor will be more heavily concentrated in its heartland and marginals, rather than in Coalition seats, and that the Greens vote appears to have the most potential to grow in areas where it is already strong.

Before laying out what my calculator produced, it’s worth noting that many flaws still remain. Like a simple pendulum calculator, it relies on the concept of a uniform result. It doesn’t take into account the abilities and appeal of individual candidates, either at the current election or at the last. As an example, Macquarie Fields appears much more marginal than its neighbouring seats of Campbelltown and Liverpool largely because of the 2005 by-election and 2007 election which saw a particularly strong Liberal candidate and a local ALP hit by repeated scandals. It is unlikely to experience such a strong swing as other seats that have not previously swung so hard.

Neither calculator can factor in the strong Liberal candidates in Keira and Cabramatta, both of which are some of Labor’s safest seats in the state on paper. It is a particular problem when it comes to independents. The calculator assumes that defeated independent MPs will run again in Pittwater and Manly, while ignoring the independent candidate in Wollongong who many are tipping to win the seat.

In addition, the calculator allows the user to make changes to the estimated preference flows in a contest between any two of Labor, Coalition, Greens and Independents. These assumptions could be wrong. For example, I assume that 30% of Greens preferences will go to Labor, and 15% to the Coalition, which is substantially less than in 2007.

Having said that, the result the calculator produces is:

  • Liberal – 56
  • National – 19
  • Labor – 10
  • Greens – 3
  • Independents – 4

After the break, I break down these figures, map them out on a map of NSW, and give you a link to where you can download the calculator yourself.

In the seat of Keira, the result is an exact tie between Labor and Liberal. The ten other seats are Auburn, Bankstown, Cabramatta, Canterbury, Heffron, Lakemba, Liverpool, Mount Druitt, Shellharbour and Wollongong. The four independent seats are Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Northern Tablelands and Sydney. The three Greens seats are Balmain, Marrickville and Newcastle.

There are three seats which I think the calculator has clearly gotten wrong. In the seat of Wollongong, independent candidate Gordon Bradbery is polling strongly, and if Labor is this devastated, he should win. I don’t believe the seat of Newcastle will be won by the Greens. The calculator has the Greens narrowly pulling ahead of Newcastle mayor John Tate and winning on preferences from the Liberal and Tate. However, Tate would likely overtake the Greens on Liberal preferences. In the seat of Maitland, it appears that the main opposition to Labor comes from the sitting Liberal MLC Robyn Parker, with the independent Peter Blackmore now serving as Mayor of Maitland, and expressing little interest in returning to state politics. I also believe that Keira’s swing is underestimated due to the presence of a strong Liberal candidate, so that dead heat should be resolved in the Liberal Party’s favour.

If you change these three results, you get:

  • Liberal – 58
  • National – 19
  • Labor – 9
  • Greens – 2
  • Independents – 5

On these figures, Labor barely holds on to nine seats. Their hold on Heffron is also tenuous, with Kristina Keneally only barely outpolling the Green, with the Liberals ahead on primary votes, allowing Keneally to win with a sliver of Greens preferences. This could easily go the other way on similar polling figures, leaving the ALP with only eight seats. Many commentators have also raised the prospect of Liberal candidate Dai Le overturning Labor’s hold on Cabramatta. Once you take out these seats, you are left with the very definition of rock-bottom for the ALP: their rump consists of the Western Sydney seats of Auburn, Bankstown, Canterbury, Lakemba, Liverpool and Mount Druitt, and Shellharbour in the Illawarra.

Below are maps showing what an election would look like where Labor is reduced to single figures, with a conservative Coalition holding 77 seats.

You can download this calculator here. Please comment below if you find the calculator interesting.

Projected results of Nielsen poll in New South Wales.
Projected results of Nielsen poll in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.
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  1. I like your proportional swing idea, it’d avoid the problem Antony’s calculator is running into – that of the Liberals getting a 2pp vote over 100% in their safest seats with a swing any higher than this. He’s been sensible and noted seats like Pittwater, Manly and Goulburn with their notional Lib vs ALP margin, although he’s also using the by-election margin for Ryde and Penrith – they’ll be retained by Libs, but not on a 30% margin.

    Some of your results look pretty outlandish, though. I didn’t realise until I looked at the map that you’ve predicted Labor to not win a single Hunter Valley seat. Even for what’s about to happen there, is that realistic?

    Some other seats I’ll pick on:

    Cabramatta: I dunno, it’d depend on how much campaigning Dai Le has been doing over the last two years. (The fact that a random pseph nerd from Perth knows the name of a no-chance Lib candidate says plenty.) She has to do several % better than a by-election result, though. She’ll do well, possibly one of the highest swings in NSW, but I don’t think it’ll be enough.

    Macquarie Fields won’t go Liberal (although there might only be a few % in it), and neither will Smithfield for the same reason – big swing last time. They’d both be in that category of ‘true Labor rump’.

    Monaro: I know nothing about Steve Whan, but bearing in mind there’s perfectly respectable commentators (Antony Green and Peter Brent) giving him a chance, I’d toss a coin on it. Meanwhile, I’d be surprised in the Lib margin in Drummoyne is less than 10%, and that’s on about the same margin at the moment.

    Keira: I occasionally hear of it as a strong seat for the Greens… if Labor are truly headed for such a catastrophe that they’ll lose a 22% seat in the Illawarra, would it be to Libs or Greens?

    Toongabbie: if I lived in that bit of Sydney, I’d probably vote for Rees, because he’s just as much an enemy of what NSW Labor has become as the Libs are. I think he’ll win.

    Blacktown, Campbelltown and Fairfield: they’re the other seats your calculator disagrees with Antony’s on. Campbelltown is very marginal and actually depends on whether you tick the ‘sitting member retiring’ box, which Antony calls as a 1.5% penalty for the holding party. Fairfield, there might be a bit of blowback for the new ALP MP from his infamous predecessor. Blacktown… that’s where I dip out. Pondering on somewhere like that being a hard-to-call marginal is so far into bizarro land I don’t know what to think.

  2. I largely agree with you about these exceptions.

    I would think that Macquarie Fields and Toongabbie are defensible, but according to Millard Fillmore the ALP has withdrawn funding from those seats.

    Keira is reasonably strong for the Greens but nowhere near enough for the Greens to win it.

    I don’t think Dai Le will win Cabramatta, mainly because she is running a brilliant campaign in the east of the seat (dominated by Vietnamese community) but not in the west of the seat, which is dominated by the Balkan community. Labor MP Nick Lalich is Balkan.

    There is no Hunter seat which seems safe enough to survive when things get this bad. Wallsend is the last standing, but when Labor is on 22% even that one is gone.

  3. Sorry about the tl;dr, but I got more. 😛

    Ben: how does your calculator handle seats that have a Lib/Grn or Nat/Grn margin? There’s likely to be many of those… in the absence of conservative independents, I’d tip the current two (Vaucluse and North Shore), plus a brace of other northern Sydney seats for the Libs, maybe Blue Mountains and Coogee, and Ballina and maybe Lismore for the Nats. Does it give sensible results?

  4. I would think that Macquarie Fields and Toongabbie are defensible, but according to Millard Fillmore the ALP has withdrawn funding from those seats.

    You’ve read that wrong – he said all seats under 15% except Swansea, Macquarie Fields, Granville and Toongabbie.

  5. Oops, my mistake. That makes more sense.

    You can download the calculator yourself. It includes a matrix where you can determine preference flows for Labor-Coalition contests, Labor-Greens, Coalition-Greens, Labor-Ind, Coalition-Ind and Greens-Ind.

    So it allows you to set what you think the preference flow will be from Labor to Greens, and if it’s accurate it should work well.

  6. The calculator is a very clever piece of work from Ben and contains some additional features which aren’t immediately obvious. I’ve been comparing it over recent months with some of my own efforts to create something similar and I’ve found Ben’s methodology produced the most logical overall outcomes.

    I’ve recently made a Queensland calculator based on an earlier version of this Ben had shared with me. It paints a similarly dire picture for Qld Labor.

    Ben, you may want to explain how you adjusted the past results for Newcastle and Port Macquarie. It makes sense to me, but I think it’s worthwhile explaining it.

  7. There have been other exercises that used proportional swing experience is it makes little difference(search for ‘paradox of swing’ + David Butler UK psephologist who was one of first to identify it). I will stick my neck out on this one Labor to do a bit better than the polls and Coalition to do moderately worse, Coalition lead of about 20% over Labor. Using 2PP figures is of little value with so many exhuasting and so many non-major contest.

  8. can some one give me $10 for each seat labor wins over 10……….. this opinion poll seems way outside 60/40 which is a landslide. I expect this opinion poll is very wrong it is so bad for labor it must be wrong

  9. Agree. These polls are crazy. Come election day surely Labor will get over 25% and the Coalition under 50%.

    Incidentally how much TV advertising is Labor running in Sydney and are they running ads anywhere else? Perhaps not surprisingly there’s no sight of any Labor ads on the north coast.

  10. ALP Head Office’s ad spend was focused on Kristina because they felt it would help shore up the ALP’s blue collar westie vote on the back of focus group research about concerns relating to the cost of living in Sydney.
    The bulk of the ad spend is being held back for the last 2 weeks – they are hoping for mistakes from BOFFA and also hoping as March 26 draws nearer people will actually start thinking about what a Coalition government means for them. Its all about shifting 2-3% of the vote and the difference between John Robertson opposition leader and Dick Amery opposition leader.

  11. “The polls must be crazy!” A heartwarming story about a political party that has long forgotten about the wider populace.

    I can’t predict how this will turn. If the ALP is doing what I think they’re doing, they’re going for a SA-style sandbagging of safe seats, minimal effort in ultra-safe seats and sacrificing the marginals. The best they can hope for is a hung parliament.

    The “I make no apology for..” lines that Keneally keeps spewing seems to ensure the Liberals will take this in a landslide though.

  12. I actually think it will generally be about 50/25 or possibly higher on primaries to the co-alition over the ALP from lots of internal polling. I think the last few polls are around the mark actually. The swings will be immense in most of western Sydney.

  13. the latest opinion poll.. essential research…. suggests approx 60/40 split…… have a look at Anthony Green’s calculator…. see how close the seats are @ the final end
    Local factors & local candidates can make a difference…… Granville, Macquarie fields & Toongabbie will remain labor. Monaro is a possible labor retain, I also would not be sure of any National gains against the rural independents. It is possible that there will be a more normal election.

  14. Mick Quinlivan – the poll to which you refer is a rogue. The 2PP accounts for nothing in this election in any case. Preferences in many cases will not be issued and many seats will have a significant ALP/Green split with few preferences being issued from Green voters to the ALP. One can’t judge the extent of that from any polling conducted. I anticipate based on the information I know that the co-alition will get between 48-52% of the Primary vote and the ALP will get between 25-30% of the primary vote. That is measurable and reliable from ACNielson and Newspoll polling. 50% of all other votes are most likely to exhaust in this election.

    I agree with the seats that you mention. Monaro (if retained by the ALP, which is possible) will be the ONLY seat under a 10% margin that the ALP will retain. Maitland may go to an Independent, and if not, the Liberal candidate.

    This election is basically being fought by the ALP on margins of 14%+. They have practically given up on the rest (except for a couple in the Hunter) according to my information. Keneally has been sighted actively and passionately campaigning in the Campbelltown electorate twice in the last 2 weeks. That in itself displays the desperation and paucity in ALP confidence. That also basically means that Labor won’t win any other anglo seat in the south or south west of Sydney (in which the ALP presently hold 9 seats: Miranda, Menai, Wollondilly, Camden, Heathcote, Rockdale, East Hills, Oatley, and Kogarah). The Member for Oatley says privately that he is very unlikely to win. If this is true, Labor can only hope to hold East Hills and Kogarah and I can’t see them holding either. The Liberal candidate in East Hills is quietly confident of a major upset. Graham Annesely is already making preparations for parliament as Liberal candidate for Miranda.

    Don’t be fooled, this is an election will be like no other in NSW history. While 10 seats will be comfortably retained, the ALP will struggle to retain more than 20. I’m tipping 22, but it could be on the high side.

  15. Very good modelling Ben. Although it does kick out a few surprises (eg if you put in L:23, C:51: G:14 O:11 – the greens win 4 seats including Heffron and Newcaslte which, as you agree, won’t happen).

    However, I think your breakdown of:

    Liberal – 58
    National – 19
    Labor – 9
    Greens – 2
    Independents – 5

    will prove to be pretty accurate. This is on the basis that if Monaro (or any other seat such as those in the Hunter) does not swing then there must be a corresponding greater swing in another seat to have the overall TPP revert to the 64/36 split (of course assuming that the polls do not change). The greater swing cannot happen in an existing coalition seat as there are not enough labour voters to generate the swing. Accordingly, there will have to be 25-30 percent swings in some of the, to date, ultra safe labour seats which will cause a major upset (eg seats like Cabramatta, Bankstown etc) when the Libs win. So what Labour gains on the swings it will lose on the roundabout.

    Further, based on the primaries from roday’s essential reseach poll your model kicks out the following seat numbers:
    Liberal – 58
    National – 19
    Labor – 17
    Greens – 3
    Independents – 2

    (Give Lab one more and Green one less for Newcastle) But still less than 20 for Labour. Mr Green’s calculator (assuming a 2pp of 62.5% – as estimated by him after converting the raw primary votes to 2pp) shows Lab winning 19 seats. Which is for all intensive purposes the same as the 18 shown above.

    Regardless of how you view things, absence a change in the polls, Labour is in trouble.

  16. Yes the hour of Opposition Leader Robert Furolo may have finally arrived. This turkey is well and truly basting now.

    Morris Iemma is going to look pretty good on March 27th it would seem.

  17. db ……..”That also basically means that Labor won’t win any other anglo seat in the south or south west of Sydney (in which the ALP presently hold 9 seats: Miranda, Menai, Wollondilly, Camden, Heathcote, Rockdale, East Hills, Oatley, and Kogarah). ” this is a very broad statement…. I suspect you are half right
    I wouldn’t be sure of the results in the last 4.

  18. Mick Quinlivan – I am not saying that they are certainties yet (but I am making the prediction), however, I’d say Oatley is a certainty this time. Regarding the 59/41 Essential poll, Antony Green also says from the primaries in the poll the 59/41 can’t be right. He says it would have to be at least 61/39 no matter what reasonable methodology you use. But as I said above the 2PP is irrelevant in this election.

    Essential put the ALP at 27% on primaries to the co-alition on 51%. In the Newspoll and ACNielson the ALP were on 23% and 21%. Average it out if you like for 24% with the co-alition on 52% primaries and they lose the lot above. If Essential is correct (but I’d doubt it given their subscriber base), then they probably hold Kogarah but not Oatley, nor Rockdale, with East Hills 50/50.

    In any case, the best case for the ALP appears to be high 20’s seats and worst case mid-high teens.

    I still think the rout in the south/south-west will be the greatest we have ever seen. The M5 and train time-tables on the East Hills line will be major reasons.

  19. @ DB………. Rockdale should be safer than Kogarah………..
    I’d pick the min as the mid 20’s and the highest low…to .. mid 30’s

  20. Could I just make the argument, in addition to the above exceptions, that some seats in the Hunter and Illawara could possibly be excepted?

    Because the heart of the Anti-Labor sentiment is in Sydney. I expect outer suburban Sydney will see well above average swings against Labor. I do think the swing will be less intense in the Hunter.

  21. Gee Mick, for 35 seats the ALP would need around 44% on 2PP. Good luck with that one. Although there is an 8.8% swing required to deliver government to the co-alition the 2PP last time was 52.3/47.7. With OPV Labor will be hurt more than ever.

    35 I would say is impossible. 25 is about the watermark and about 22-24 the most likely. Less is possible. I can see that many Labor seats will go to Independents or even Liberals based on a split vote and little preferencing (Maitland a classic example).

    Crazedmongoose – regarding the Hunter, it’s not what I’m hearing. Possibly not the swings of 20%+ you will see in the outer suburban areas, but swings large enough (~15%) to lose most of the seats (except Swansea where the ALP seems to be ok).

  22. Agreed about Swansea. Sussex St. obviously seems to think we’re still with a chance there.

    But if we can agree that the swing will be below average, say 15%, then there’s still some hope for seats like Wallsend and….

    Okay no that’s pretty much it.

  23. So many people seem to be assuming a blanket swing will be the norm.

    While Labor is in for a landslide loss, we need to remember a blanket swing never ever happens.

    Lets keep the following thoughts in mind:

    * Labor have already abandoned enough local campaigns in seats they already hold. This will produce a swing higher than usual in those seats.

    * Not one Liberal seat has been targetted, so the 0.01% Port Stephens lib margin for example is likely to be allot higher.

    * Looking at some big wins in past history, the biggest swings are in safe seats. Dont be surprised if Labor’s losses are nowhere near as dramatic as first predicted. Many margins in very safe Labor seats are artificially high (eg Blacktown)

    * At the last election, the Labor seats with the sharp losses tended to be where the incumbant has been replaced (ie most of the Hunter). A good incumbant is worth about 5% of the vote. The Labor candidate will enjoy incumbancy this time, and that 5% needs to be considered.

    * Many people are getting too excited about seats like Maitland. Maitland had a very very high profile independent stand. Unless that independent is standing again, be very cautious as the numbers you are looking at will deceive you. There are a few similar seats like that where results are poor indicators.

    * Do not be surprised to see seats like Blacktown and Liverpool with 20% plus swings and on hold, and conversly, neighbouring seats with smaller swings. Do not be surprised to see current held seats on 15% swings as well. Remember 1998 federal election. Huge swings in safe seats, marginals out of allignment.

    * I dont think the Nationals will be as successful as the Liberals. Nationals do not attract the same attention and are seen as the poorer cousins to the Liberals.

    * We are still 4 weeks out. Dont be surprised if the polls close in a bit. Traditionally, polls get closer the more people become aware of the election. Remember 2007 where Rudd lead 55% going into the final week? These poll results are also likely to scare some people back to Labor.

    Remember – 20% of voters thought Abbott had a realistic chance of winning the 2010 Federal Election.

    Before you all chastise me, I think the result will be a landslide and Labor will only hold a couple of seats below 10%. If BOF cant declare by 7pm, he has failed.

    I feel people are counting chickens before they hatch.

  24. My prediction:

    Step 1. Get a map of Sydney.
    Step 2. Pull out a red/pink highlighter.
    Step 3. Colour in:
    – the geographical area south of the M4, North of the M5, east of the M7, and west of Balmain and Marrickville.
    – the 3 seats in wollongong
    – maroubra and heffron
    – mount druitt and blacktown.

    Step 4. Get a green highlighter. Colour in Balmain and Marrickville.

    Step 5. Get five blue highlighters.

  25. Anthony – no I don’t think there will be a blanket swing at all. If I were to generalise a little I would say:
    – 8-10% on the north shore seats / north-west suburban
    – 12% in the eastern suburbs
    – 13-16% in the inner west
    – 20-25% in the south and south-west seats
    – 20% in the west
    – 5% in Monaro
    – 15% in the Hunter and Central Coast
    – 15-20% south of Cronulla
    – about 15% on average everywhere else.

    This is what the polling is showing.

    Lachlan – funny, but you are right.

  26. To expand on the above, basically the ALP are heading for a drubbing in Sydney and WILL lose seats they never lost before (and perhaps even Campbelltown) in the metro area, but it is not as bad outside the metro area, although the ALP will still lose seats in the Hunter and Central Coast.

    They could end up with less than 20, but I predict 22-24.

  27. Still pegging the ALP to hold Granville, Toongabbie and Macquarie Fields. Those will be the over-performers against the tide in Sydney.

    Under performers will be, as said, the entire Anglo-south west.

  28. Crazedmongoose – yep, I have them in my 22 for the ALP. Based on the info I am getting I’ll call it so far as (for the ALP):
    – Lakemba, Cabramatta, Auburn, Canterbury, Liverpool, Shellharbour, Bankstown, Mt Druitt, Heffron, Blacktown, Keira, Fairfield, Campbelltown, Maroubra, Wallsend, Smithfield, Toongabbie, Cessnock, Mac Fields, Granville, Swansea, Monaro.

    Newcastle, Wollongong, Charlestown, Maitland (perhaps this one Liberal) to all go Independent.

  29. This bodes well for my mutual bet with several other YL young turks to take one shot on election night for each seat the ALP wins over 10

  30. People may notice that there’s still heavy ALP campaigning in Wallsend, Charlestown, Newcastle, Macquarie Fields, Granville and Toongabbie – the reason being, all of these MP’s are from the ALP left faction. Between these seats and the loss of balmain and marrickville, the ALP Left could be almost totally wiped off the map.

  31. Crazedmongoose – I think if this were a more conservative state, 10 would be about right.

    Pollster – not at all confident in Monaro as polling is 50/50, nor Cessnock. I think in Cessnock a Liberal candidate (rather than National) would have been a better choice. The large number of candidates may affect the co-alition’s chances here and therefore I think the ALP will just hold on, but I am not certain. Polling in Cessnock overall is very close and there have been wide result variations. If it were a 3 horse race, I think the National candidate would win, however, the ALP have a better shot with a likely 7 candidates running. There is a big chance of a split in vote between the National candidate and an Independent who is a Liberal on council, which is not the best situation for the co-alition here.

  32. Lachlan – I must say this ALP campaign is the most ineffective advertising campaign I have ever seen from a political party (except perhaps the Federal coalition in 1993).

    Pollster – I am confident that the ALP will lose Bathurst.

  33. Yeah ALP ads have been quite uninspired for a while…..

    psst…bring back Neil Lawrence and Tim Gartrell

  34. Lachlan – Unfortunately, Paul Lynch in Liverpool will be safe, so not an entire Left wing destruction.

  35. Lachlan:

    You are correct (you’re missing a few like East Hills and Blue Mountains) re: the Left seats but obviously the other reason is that in many of these seats the ALP does have a good hope of holding despite the lower margins.

    Nathan’s got sufficient positioning away from the party in Toongabbie, Macq Fields already had a swing etc etc.

    Borger’s a good performer, young, very attractive history in humble roots/community organizing and charity, not too militant on ideology, he’ll be a decent leader for the Left if Granville holds.

  36. Betting odds are said to give a great indication of election outcomes as they are an amalgum of all information around the election (ie all parties private polling as officials bet on outcomes). In the NSW election, one of the online betting groups have provided a market for all 93 seats. In summary, Lab lead in 25, Ind in 4, Greens in 2 and Coalition in 62. There are no seats that are $1.85 each way. For the record the non-coalition seats are:
    Auburn, Bankstown, Blacktown, Cabramatta, Campbelltown,Canterbury, Charlestoen, East Hills, Fairfield, Granville, Heffron, Keira, Lakembe, Liverpool, mac fields, Maroubra, Mt Druitt, Parramatta, Shellharbour, Smithfield, Straithfield, Swansea, Toonabbie, Wallsend Woolongong.
    Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Northern Tablelands, Sydney
    Balmain, Marrackville

    It will be interstint to see hiw the final results matach the bookies intiial odds (and also if seats change.). However, the money says labor will do better than expected with 25 seats. And money talks?

  37. In addition to my last post, if labor can snare a few extra seats – say Newcastle, Cessnock, Kogerah, Oatley, Monaro – then we are looking at around 28-30 seats. If this happened it would be a result far beyond what is expected. Kennerley for premier in 2015?

    Are the polls or the bookies wrong?

  38. I’d tip the polls over the bookies. At the WA election, you could get pretty long odds on the Liberals winning, right up to when they actually did – the polls had been OK for Labor for a while, but suddenly turned the other way when the election was called.

    I also remember someone grumbling (maybe here, maybe elsewhere) that they couldn’t put money on Gordon Bradbery in Wollongong, only Labor, Liberal and the combined “any other candidate”. Stuff like that might affect the odds in a few seats. (Also, how many people actually bet on, say, Tamworth? That’d be potentially easy to skew on purpose.)

  39. pollster… this is interesting……… I think Labor is normally guaranteed of about 30 to 35 seats
    much better then the 20 to 25 polls are suggesting

  40. Mick:

    I don’t think anybody in the ALP right now holds hope of getting 30-35. We’ll lose a lot of our heartland. The south-east, the outer south-west, the hunter, the illawara, the inner west and other seats people would never consider us losing in the past

  41. Pollster – Posted March Are the polls or the bookies wrong?

    Well I remember when the bookies opened Bennelong at the last Federal election, McKew was $1.40 and Alexander was $3.00, and the Liberal Party knew early on that Alexander was always going to win. Also in Hughes the ALP candidate was at shorter odds ($1.70/$2.10) until the last few days and the Libs won it comfortably. In Banks, Melham was at $1.10 and got 51% of the 2PP vote. Bookies don’t know anything about politics. Actually, if you picked different bookies on the same seats, there were great opportunities for arbitraging at the last federal election.

    Of the above seat the best values are:
    – Campbelltown (unlikely but possible Lib gain given the amount of campaigning there. Polling is very very close)
    – Charlestown (possible Ind gain. I actually have it as an Ind gain based on polling)
    – East Hills (Best value: This has always been my sleeper seat that I reckon the Libs will win on a 20% swing and never have before. Best value bet out there and the Libs are consistently ahead on polling).
    – Parramatta (could go either way, but I predict the Libs will win it this time based on history)
    – Strathfield (again, could go either way, but I think the Libs will just win based on polling)
    – Wollongong (outside chance of an Ind gain)
    – Dubbo (I think Dawn Farrell can retain this seat despite the Oakeshott factor. Nats are seen to be favourite here but I don’t think they will win).

    Based on the individual seat info I have, the ALP are unlikely to get to 25 seats.

    Pollster on your second post above, the ALP are a 10% chance of winning Oatley, but possibly could win the others (although Kogarah is a 30% chance and is also unlikely). The others are a bigger chance.

    I have a friend who is the son of an ALP MP numbers man and he suggests the ALP will be lucky to get 20. They are no hope of 35 at this election.

  42. DB is right. In 2004, if we used bets to work out who wins, Labor would have won majority of seats. In 2007, the margin would have been allot closer (Dawson paid $7 to Labor). Have a bet but dont use it as a guide.

    I have $50 on ALP winning the election at 10-1. Probably money down the toilet but my online agency wont pay out less that $100.

    Parra could go either way today, but I know there are a number of twists to come. This seat is allot different to the one Labor lost in 1988. I’d bet on Labor.

  43. Anthony – they only gave you 50-1 and you took it? I think you can get 50-1 on Hockey becoming the next PM and that is a much much better bet.

  44. DB – All in good fun. If Kenearly can pull it off, I’ll be a very happy man!!!

    Actually, if that comes off it’ll pay better than the trifecta in last year’s Melbourne Cup!

    Australians do like an underdog.

  45. Dum move from KK lowering the rail fares in her electorate. Bit like the Middle Eastern dictators ordering wages raised by 15% as the protests start.

    Heffron’s in play.

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