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It's on !

August 29th, 2004

PM Calls Oct 9 poll In the face of such a long-anticipated announcement, I haven’t anything new to say right now, so I thought I’d invite commenters to post their predictions. Any sort of prediction is welcome, but I’ll have a contest for the commenter who can give the most accurate forecast of the number of House of Representatives seats won by the Coalition. The prize, if any, will be announced later.,

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  1. michael s.
    August 29th, 2004 at 16:15 | #1

    Sad to say, but Howard has the edge

    Latham has not really hurt him. They have laid a few gloves credibility wise on him but I can’t see a really urgent case for change coming from Labour.

    It’s a common mistake of people who follow politics to blame electoral failure of politicians on a lack of adhering to the said commentator’s views.

    I don’t think the problem is so much that labour have failed to stand up over Tampa, the FTA, the private Health Insurance Rebate, etc. as they have failed to really differentiate themselves substantially from any angle.

    Latham could still win it but it will be uphill for him. I hope he has a few good policies locked away in the desk.

    Living in the marginal electorate of Deakin I’ll publicly state (to stop the liberals spamming me with the supplied e-mail address) that I’ll be Green one, labour two, democrat/indys/cec everything but last. Phill Baressi your mailouts shall not phase my resolve.

    I’ll be encouraging others to at least put labour before the libs on the ballot regardless of who they put first.

  2. Steve Edwards
    August 29th, 2004 at 16:47 | #2

    Latham will win, afraid to say.

  3. matt byrne
    August 29th, 2004 at 16:57 | #3

    It’s time! to go… John W Howard, may he fall and never be heard from again.

  4. Robert Love
    August 29th, 2004 at 16:58 | #4

    I’m a Deakin man too Michael, and last
    election I was Greens 1, Labour 2, but
    this time (the Green’s worthiness notwithstanding), I’m going back to Labour.

    I had a good yell at “Rowdy” Phil (“only mentioned in articles about marginal electorates”) Baressi when I saw him at Blackburn Station in the last campaign, but I won’t if the same happens again for two reasons. Firstly, I’ve since seen him dropping his kid off to kindergarten (and how many MP’s do that?) Second, he’s going down with the Howard boat, (he’s on a 1.5% margin) and bad cess to the lot of them.

  5. Don Wigan
    August 29th, 2004 at 17:01 | #5

    That’s having a bit each way, Steve!

    I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess at this point.
    My inclination is that Labor will win, but I’m not sure if that’s wishful thinking.

    I want to see a reputable poll saying their (ALP)primary vote support is >45%. Then I’ll make a prediction of a shoo-in.

    But I think Chris has a point that Howard hasn’t really dimmed Lathams primary support in over three months. That’s included a lot of heavy targeting of Latham personally, alongside some big handouts to the likely movable voters.

    So I think the PM has the job ahead.

  6. Don Wigan
    August 29th, 2004 at 17:04 | #6

    Sorry, Steve. I overlapped reading Michael S’s prediction with yours -thought you were backing both sides.

    Old age is definitely getting to me!

  7. Steve Edwards
    August 29th, 2004 at 17:30 | #7

    That’s alright Don. I have written a piece here as to why I think Latham will win. It’s mostly instinct, but it seems most likely he’ll get up.

  8. August 29th, 2004 at 18:08 | #8

    On the basis of the previous experience, the AlP will need to win at least 53% of the tpp vote to win.
    In the House of Reps, if this were to occur, at a complete guess, you might have: ALP 75 seats, Liberals 56 seats, National Party 12 seats, and Independents 5 seats.

  9. August 29th, 2004 at 18:45 | #9

    My heart says a complete landslide for Labour with a strong showing from independent candidates, but my head says only a small shift, leaving the Coalition with 72 seats, and Mark Latham putting together a solid minority government.

    I’d like to point to my long list of qualifications and experience that enable me to make this prediction, but I don’t have any.

  10. Peter Murphy
    August 29th, 2004 at 20:04 | #10

    Steve: I had previously thought the Liberals could gain some seats in W.A. even if the national swing went Labor’s way. Any chance of that now?

    As for my punt for the poll – just like wbbbb’s actually. A 2% swing against the L/NP gets us 60 Liberals, 12 Nationals, 75 ALP and 3 independents. Labor gets government with Peter Andren’s support. The greens lose the seat they have.

  11. Steve Edwards
    August 29th, 2004 at 20:36 | #11

    Still a possibility out here, Peter. Scarborough is demographically turning against Labor. Labor has made a hash of Canning and was forced to recycle one of former Premier Carmen Lawrence’s ministers as candidate. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that the Libs could gain two seats in WA.

  12. August 29th, 2004 at 21:24 | #12

    But against that, Labor has a chance of picking up Kalgoorlie.

  13. Jethro
    August 29th, 2004 at 23:24 | #13

    I predict that the Coalition (unfortunately) will win, by 12 seats (I think they lead by 8 seats now), and there’ll be less marginal seats.

    I suspect that there’s just not enough voters tut-tutting over the “Howard Lies!” thang. Or if they are, they’ll soon be won over by Howard’s “18% Interest Rates Under Labor!” mantra.

  14. Blair Fairman
    August 29th, 2004 at 23:30 | #14

    House of Reps will be close but I have a feeling it may be a bit like the 1999 Victorian State election. Everyone expects the Libs to win but the polls are saying the opposite. (As they actually did in 1999). Six Majority to Latham…

    Alternatively, it could be 1969 again but that was BBB (Before Blair’s Birth).

    Senate is were I can have my fun…
    NSW
    Libs 3, ALP 2, Green 1
    VIC
    Libs 3, ALP 2, Green 1
    TAS
    Libs 2, ALP 3, Green 1
    SA
    Libs 3, ALP 2, Dem 1 (Only chance they have, the old supporter base is gone to the greens)
    QLD
    Libs 2, Nats 1, ALP 2, Green 1
    WA
    Libs 3, ALP 2, Green 1
    NT
    CLP 1, ALP 1
    ACT
    ALP 1, Green 1 (If Libs don’t get a third in primary vote they are stuffed. 34% in 2001.)

  15. tipper
    August 30th, 2004 at 02:01 | #15

    Ok, you clever political pundits. How about, as they say in the classics, putting your money where your mouth is?
    Centrebet has the Coalition at $1.55 and Labor at $2.30.
    For the non-punters, that means you have to bet $7 to win $4 on the Coalition and $10 to win $13 on Labor.
    I think I read somewhere recently, that the bookies have picked the elections better than the polls for the last couple of years.
    So go all you “true believers”, make an honest quid for yourselves, for the first time in your lives, by proving the bookies wrong. Or as John would put it, prove the “efficient market hypothesis” wrong.

  16. August 30th, 2004 at 03:38 | #16

    Oh, and I forgot to point out that Canning is currently held by the Libs. So apart from Stirling (which contains Scarborough and for which the Libs had to replace their candidate due to some unfortunate links to a convicted drug trafficker), which is the other seat Steve thinks Labor will lose?

  17. August 30th, 2004 at 10:18 | #17

    A wise man (or woman?) once said “it doesn’t matter who you vote for, a politician will always get in”. Can anyone place that quotation?

    Also, there’s an anarchist slogan I once saw on a wall: “don’t vote, it only validates the farce.” (I hasten to add, I merely report – don’t jail me for that!)

    And there’s always Douglas Adams’ theory of democracy and lizards, which google can tell you all about. It’s almost Swiftian in its edge.

  18. Homer Paxton
    August 30th, 2004 at 10:57 | #18

    I will say in Morganesque abandon that the ALP will win 52.7% of the vote winning seats in Sa, NSW and QLD and losing some in WA.

    Fancy a boring maan calling an almost 7 week election.

    like the late Alan Reid I love elections. They are fantastic. We should have them all the time

  19. RoD
    August 30th, 2004 at 11:08 | #19

    Hooray! An election. Unlease Antony Green.

    I hear Eden-Monaro will be close! :-)

    I sense many angry pensioners in marginal outer suburban seats. ‘
    My punt: Coalition will end up with 72 seats.
    Brisbane Lions in the Grand Final by more than 30 points.

  20. RoD
    August 30th, 2004 at 11:08 | #20

    Hooray! An election. Unlease Antony Green.

    I hear Eden-Monaro will be close! :-)

    I sense many angry pensioners in marginal outer suburban seats.
    My punt: Coalition will end up with 72 seats.
    Brisbane Lions in the Grand Final by more than 30 points.

  21. John Quiggin
    August 30th, 2004 at 11:21 | #21

    50 points if Alastair Lynch’s hammy comes good!

  22. August 30th, 2004 at 11:34 | #22

    ALP to win with 81 seats on the back of Green preferences. Greens to lose Cunningham but pick up 5 senators, to give them balance of power in the upper house, and they’ll come close in a few inner Sydney and Melbourne seats. This will be the last election that the Democrats get over 2%. The three rural independents (Katter, Andren, Windsor) will keep their seats, and if a minority government has to be formed in the HoR then they will back Howard. One Nation will continue to get about 2-3% in Qld, NSW and WA… and nothing elsewhere. ALP will pick up several seats in Brisbane, Eden-Monaro in NSW, Cunningham, Parramatta, Solomon (Darwin), Richmond (Byron Bay) and a few in Adelaide. Howard will retain Bennelong, but retire shortly afterwards and the ALP will then pick up his old seat. Liberals for forests will cause a surprise… you heard it here first.

    Oh, and the libertarian independents in NSW (C8to and Tim Quilty) will pick up about 0.1% of the vote.

  23. Paul Norton
    August 30th, 2004 at 11:38 | #23

    OK, here’s my best guess, and at this stage I can offer nothing more precise than a broad-brush estimate. A 3% two-party preferred swing to Labor which, based on the current Mackerras pendulum, would give Labor 82 seats, the Coalition 65 with 3 independents.

    As to what will happen in the inner-city seats where Labor is under challenge from the Greens, I think that irrespective of what the Coalition decides to do about recommending preferences, enough Liberal voters will vote ideologically to ensure that the Labor members are re-elected. In other words, a decisive fraction of Liberal voters will decide that they hate Lindsay Tanner, Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese marginally less than they hate the Greens.

    The irony of this situation (especially in the Sydney seats) is that for all the expenditure of energy by activists on the democratic left in a set of basically intra-left contests, the issue of which left-wingers win the seats will be decided by the preferences of morally contemptible creatures who pull on balaclavas in order to poison trees which obstruct their harbour views, or to beat up disabled people sleeping in parks who detract from the pleasant views and property values of inner-city yuppies.

  24. James Farrell
    August 30th, 2004 at 13:05 | #24

    I guess you’ve got to be in it win it. Latham has turned out to be even more just plain weird than I thought he was a year ago, when I decided he was an acceptable gamble. This will be his undoing in the marginal seats, and I predict the Government will be returned with a margin of six.

    Please make sure Alan Green is not related to Anthony before you give him any prize.

  25. August 30th, 2004 at 13:13 | #25

    John, put me down for 83 seats for the Coalition (random walk forecast based on current number of notional seats held).

  26. Paul Norton
    August 30th, 2004 at 14:57 | #26

    I think I’ve heard the first dog whistle of the campaign.

    Howard is quoted by the ABC as calling on voters not to vote Green because of the Greens’ “kooky” policies on a range of issues, such as drugs. I think this theme will be repeated by Coalition politicians and their media supporters during the election campaign. I also don’t think it will make any difference to the Greens’ primary vote (as a Green by affiliation and a political scientist by trade, I know what our supporters are receptive to). So why would the Coalition take this tack?

    My theory is that the subliminal message of the Coalition’s anti-Greens statements, especially combined with attacks on Labor and Latham over its lack of positive and consistent policy direction, is that a Latham Labor government will be effectively a Green wolf in Labor sheep’s clothing. This is intended to register with centrist and moderately conservative swinging voters who will decide the election outcome.

  27. August 30th, 2004 at 15:00 | #27

    Paul, if the Greens win a lower house seat it will be because they out-poll the ALP and get their preferences in a seat that would otherwise be a safe ALP seat. For example, if ALP have 60% TPP and the Greens can steal 31% of that, then the ALPs 29% will go to them.

    Also, lots of Libs do end up voting Green higher than the ALP… as was witnessed in Cunningham (where the Libs didn’t run and the ALP lost their safe seat to the Grns). Speaking of which — I think the Libs shouldn’t run there again. They can’t win it and it would be better to have a Green there. Why? Well – they have nothing to gain from having the ALP there. And imagine if the ALP required the Green for a majority in the house! The Libs could paint the ALP as radical left and win the next election.

  28. Blair S. Fairman
    August 30th, 2004 at 16:09 | #28

    The green vote in inner-city seats was at its maximum last time because of anger of the Tampa. Hey, I even voted for them after the independent candidate, which I am less likely to do this time. I can’t see it going very much higher in Melbourne anyway, if the state election result was anything to go by.
    That said they only have to get in front of the Liberals to have a chance. Thus a winning green vote could very well be 44% ALP, 34% Green and 32% Lib.

  29. Paul Norton
    August 30th, 2004 at 16:35 | #29

    John, the scenario which informs most commentary in relation to the safe Labor seats in the inner city is that the Green vote will exceed the Liberal vote (either on primaries or after Democrat, independent, Socialist Alliance, etc., preferences), and the Labor vote will still be highest, but will be short of a majority.

    This creates the possibility of a Green being elected on Liberal preferences, which could occur if (a) the Liberal Party directs preferences to Greens and (b) Liberal voters follow this advice. The Greens almost won two seats in the 2002 Victorian State election in this way, and the State electorates in question make up the bulk of Lindsay Tanner’s Federal seat.

    Of course there is the possibility of Greens outpolling Labor on primaries and winning a Lower House seat in the manner you describe. This is less likely than the first scenario, but not far-fetched depending on the local candidates and the local issues.

    Finally, I would agree that there is both a group of moderate Liberal voters (and rank & file Liberal Party members) who regard the Greens as their second-preferred option, and a section of eco-liberal Green voters (but not members) who prefer the Liberals to Labor. This peculiarity can be explained by the absence of an effective party of the small-l liberal centre.

  30. August 30th, 2004 at 18:38 | #30

    At the last election lots (i.e. > 1%) of people voted green 1, libs 2, at least in the booth I scrutineered. However in the inner-city seats I don’t think that candidates like Plibersek and Albanese are in any real danger of losing their seats.

    I think Howard L-NP coalition will win about 67 seats. 3 Ind and 80 Labor. Coalition will lose one of the northern NSW seats plus Eden Monaro. QLD and SA remainder of ALP gains.

  31. August 30th, 2004 at 19:16 | #31

    The Liberals will stay in power (thankfully!), although their numbers may be diminished by the rife allegations of lying (see SIEV X, ‘children overboard’, WMDs… did I forget any?) – if you’ve seen the laughable list of 27 “lies” John Howard compiled by Labor, it’ll become clearer as to why Labor is unlikely to win. Anyway, I’m just finishing up reading Tony Kevin’s book on siev x and the 353 people who drowned – and the alleged government cover-up of the Federal Police’s role, etc. (A Certain Maritime Incident). Got an interview scheduled for early September and I’m at somewhat of a loss because everytime I try finding an opposing view, I find none. The only websites reviewing the book are left-wing ones.

    I suppose I’m struggling to accept at face-value what Kevin suggests in his book, and am looking for something, anything to challenge him on. I’m searching the official record, but do you know anyone else who’s put half the amount of time and energy Kevin has into researching it, and has come to an even slightly different conclusion? I need some reasons to believe the public story (even if, judging by your active involvement, you may not believe these reasons yourself) for the purposes of knowing the other side…

  32. August 30th, 2004 at 19:18 | #32

    Oops, the brackets in the finishing sentence were meant for someone else

  33. August 30th, 2004 at 19:30 | #33

    Great… my tip is now a loser. I went with 81, and since then others have gone with 80 and 82. Maybe I should change my prediction to either 83 or 79? :p

  34. matt byrne
    August 30th, 2004 at 19:52 | #34

    Anyone willing to gamble on a Labor/Green coalition with Sen. Brown the new Minister for Environment and Sen. Nettle picking up a junior ministry?

    Also what are the chances of the Lib/Nat Coalition getting a majority in the senate and being able to block supply? Have fun son of Gough!

  35. Peter F
    August 31st, 2004 at 01:51 | #35

    I just wanted to put up a mug’s guess in advance of Newspoll.
    I think Labor will win a net 17 seats from the Government. I’m predicting Labor gains 5 from the Coalition in NSW (plus takes back Cunningham), 7 in Queensland, 4 in Victoria, 3 in SA, 1 in NT, and loses three in WA.
    I think that would make the result Labor 81 Liberal/National 66, with three independents (1 leaning to Labor, 2 to non-Labor).
    I do have a rationale for this prediction, but will leave it as just a bald statement of numbers for now.

  36. Peter Murphy
    August 31st, 2004 at 04:17 | #36

    John: you are keeping track of all these preductions, aren’t you?

    The problem with the Centrebet wager on the election is that the odds are pretty close to 1:1. The returns are miserable. They should get their hardworking actuaries to expand the range of options: not just whether Labor or Coalition win (boring!), but by how much, and the actual outcome – including independents. I don’t know the odds are for my prediction mentioned above: 100:1 perhaps? It’s the same as Poll Bludgers, so maybe it’s a good bet after all..

    A workmate and I have another wager for who wins the U.S. election. If Kerry wins, he buys me two packs of cigarettes, and I buy the same for him if it goes for Bush. (This is not mortgaging-the-house stakes. Over here, a pack costs about $1.20 AUD. But it’s the punt that counts.)

  37. Homer Paxton
    August 31st, 2004 at 10:35 | #37

    after looking at the seats I will go for 89 seats for the ALP

  38. stan
    August 31st, 2004 at 19:45 | #38

    Just to spite Homer, I’ll go with 89 seats to the coalition.

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