Election day open thread

Rumours, anecdotes, observations, predictions … post whatever you want, sticking to civilised discussion and no coarse language, please.

For what it’s worth, having predicted a Labor win from the start, I’ll stick with that, and estimate that Labor will get 80 seats.

36 thoughts on “Election day open thread

  1. Simon Jackson’s analysis of seat-by-seat probabilities of winning suggests that there is 7% chance that Labor will get less than 76 seats. This analysis assumes that the probabilities in each electorate are independent which is obviously not true, I’m not sure how that would affect the outcome.

    I just pooled the latest Galaxy, Nielsen and Newspoll results and obtained a two-party preferred of 54% voting for Labor. The sample size is 5885 which suggests a random error of 0.65%.

    Most coalition voters I know only seem to admit to having voted liberal when they are drunk, which would suggest that polls will have a slight bias to Labor. I don’t trust face-to-face polls for this reason. If I remember correctly, a face-to-face poll was predicting a Labor victory last election. The liberals are doing a bit of a voting booth scare campaign this election (like last election), this could also lead to polls having a bias towards Labor. I guess I’ll have to wait till tomorrow to find out how significant these sources of bias are.

  2. In Canberra the voting booth scare campaign of the Liberal is really strong on the message “don’t risk it”. I don’t know why the ALP is again being left behind on this tactic.

    Having regard to that, the uncertainties in Queensland, what Peter Wood says and the truly brilliant oratorical performance of Howard in the last few days (far superior to Rudd), I would give Howard a 60% plus chance of winning by a majority of 4 seats. I would love to be proved wrong.

  3. i didn’t get here in time for don’s party, but maybe there’s going to be a reprise. the smh commentariat where replacing ‘shoo-in’ with ‘on the other hand’ this morning.

    perhaps it would be best if howard got back. it might compel the chatterati to contemplate the necessity for democracy, if they really want to save the world.

  4. Whatever happened to the requirement that party supporters handing out election material should stay at least 100m. from the polling station? When I voted this morning in Cba they lined the approach to the primary school polling station right up to the front door.

  5. Whoever wins this election, it could be the “poisoned chalice” term. The waste product is about to hit the electrically powered rotor on a global basis. We need Howard to be thrown out but I hope Rudd is wiser than he has appeared so far. He will need to a statemen of the highest order and open to guidance by the scientists, sensible economists like our host JQ and the wisest educators. Otherwise, be worried. If he indulges in faith based reasoning, I shudder to think what the results will be.

  6. What do people think of Mauds coffee poll:

    ‘Analysts turn to coffee house polls PRINT FRIENDLY EMAIL STORY
    AM – Saturday, 24 November , 2007 08:29:00
    Reporter: Paula Kruger
    ELIZABETH JACKSON: As the numbers roll into the tally room tonight there’ll be an anxious wait for the delayed results from Western Australia, a state that holds five marginal seats considered crucial for Labor to win. Commentators say WA could be the only State where the Coalition holds its ground.

    But with those predictions aside, there’s a very special poll conducted by a chain of coffee houses, which has become a local institution because it has proved 100 per cent accurate in every federal election since 1996.

    The results of this year’s coffee bean poll are in, and the numbers are being analysed with great interest across the country, as Paula Kruger reports.

    PAULA KRUGER: The Miss Maud’s coffee house chain has 16 restaurants and coffee shops across Perth. And over the past few weeks every patron has been given a coffee bean, and as they leave the shop there is a stand with a sign that reads “your opinion matters and every bean counts.”

    Then they are confronted with beakers representing the political parties contesting this year’s federal election. It’s called the Bean-O-Metre, and it has yielded some uncannily accurate federal election results since 1996.

    The beans have been counted in this year’s poll, and it seems West Australians want the Coalition to stay in power. Of the more than 33,000 beans counted, 42 per cent were in favour of the Liberal Party, 36 per cent voted Labor, and 10.6 per cent voted for the Greens.

    Founder of the chain, Maud Edmiston, better known locally as Miss Maud, says she isn’t surprised by the results.

    MAUD EDMISTON: Obviously, I have followed it day by day, and it has varied. You know, it was hopping up and down. Sometimes other parties stepped up their game, so to say. But no, but it is the customers here in Western Australia who have expressed this view.

    PAULA KRUGER: Polls are big business. There’s the Galaxy poll, there’s the Newspoll, the Nielsen poll. They’re saying that Labor is going to win. Do you stand by the integrity and the credibility of the Miss Maud coffee bean poll?

    MAUD EDMISTON: Absolutely, absolutely. It has, I must say Paula, that the result of the polls is not really, for me, the most important thing. It is more the process.

    PAULA KRUGER: This year, Miss Maud also conducted a snap poll on what mattered most to her customers. Climate change was considered most important, followed very closely by the economy. Industrial relations and Australia’s involvement in Iraq however, were at the bottom of the list.

    ELIZABETH JACKSON: It’s all in the beans. Paula Kruger with that report. ‘

    Looks ominous

  7. Rudd has made some serious errors, in his efforts to woo liberal voters, like his razor to the public service, and backing down on indigenous issues. It looks as if this attitude will help gary Humphries in Canberra.

  8. I saw something this morning that I’ve never seen when I’ve voted before. Voting in the seat of Fraser, I was amazed to see someone walking in to vote with a stubby of beer in their left hand (thankfully the beer was in a stubby holder – don’t want the beer to get warm!) This was at 11.30am this morning: someone’s started early for their election party!

    On a more serious note, the argy-bargy of the ACT liberals attacking the Greens with a disingenuous pamphlet this week purporting that the Greens supported legalisation of illicit drugs could not have come at a worse time for Gary Humphries. A debate on the local ABC radio on Thursday morning between Humphries, Kate Lundy (ACT ALP Senator) and Kerrie Tucker (ACT Greens candidate) made Humphries look like he was trying to defend claims against the Greens, leading to a torrent of liberal voters calling the talkback lines to register their disgust, and their decision to vote Green. Humphries could very well lose, and there goes the Government’s majority in the Senate…

  9. I haven’t been following the election campaign at all, and making election predictions is a sure-fire way to end up with egg on your face, but you’re only young once and it’s all good fun, so … Labor by four, plus or minus 10 to a probability of about 80 per cent. That might translate into saying Labor has a 60 per cent chance of winning.
    The apparent late swing to the Coalition is very probably overwhelmingly explained by the fact that people who only decide which way they’ll vote late are disproportionately likely to vote for the Coalition. (This means there will be a further apparent swing to the Coalition after the last polls were taken.) I don’t know to what extent this represents a vote for the incumbent versus a vote for the more conservative party.
    It matters who wins essentially because Labor has promised a large increase in foreign aid to 0.5% of GDP but the Coalition has refused to match this. Domestic inequality will be almost identical given Labor’s endorsement of the Coalition’s policies on tax and social security. When Rudd and Swan say they are economic conservatives and fiscal conservatives they mean it (by First World standards). They simply aren’t interested in policies which would significantly reduce inequality in Australia. And without a serious carbon tax or similar (and with nuclear power off the agenda too) there is little prospect of Labor’s greenhouse goal being achieved without a big price-reducing breakthrough in alternative energy technology.

  10. I think Rudd blew the campaign by adopting the small target approach which is precisely what finished Beazley off. The Labor strategists need their heads read. He stood in front of a sign saying “new leadership” and said “me too”. People liked him more earlier in the year when he was acting like he was already PM.

  11. On the coffee bean poll, this kind of thing is only likely to work if no-one interested in the result knows about it. How hard would it be for a local version of Jackie Kelly’s husband to tip a bag of beans into the Lib container (or, for underdogging purposes, into Labor’s).

  12. On the bean poll..the person is given ONE bean….
    It looks as if this is seen as a microcosm….anyway, it has a good record or so i read.

  13. Who is worse One Nation or Citizen’s Electoral Council? I thought probably CEC so they came last on my under the line Senate vote.

  14. The Australians Caroloine Overington slaps Newhouse:

    ‘Award winning journalist Caroline Overington hurled abuse at Labor candidate for Wentworth George Newhouse before slapping him across the face at a polling station in Sydney’s east, witnesses say.

    Ms Overington, a Gold Walkley winning reporter who works for The Australian newspaper, has been embroiled in a dispute involving a series of emails to independent candidate Dani Ecuyer urging her to preference Wentworth Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull

    This is the same Overingon who was investigated by Mediawatch :


    Very dodgy this babe….

  15. Why the swing to Labor from the last poll? My guess is that we can attribute about 60% to the switch form Latham to Rudd. Rudd isn’t seen as a loose canon. He’s classic white bread material, very steady and doesn’t scare as many people. (But Rudd has more vim, vigour, verve, vitality, etc. than Beazley and Crean did which makes him more interesting.) Labor really took off in the polls only after Rudd was appointed.
    I’d give about 20% to some people growing tired of Howard (with Costello not being an attractive option).
    These two factors (leadership and “it’s time� for a modest change) will favour the Coalition at some point in the future.
    Issues-related matters might explain another 20%. Terrorism and asylum seekers aren’t the hot topics they were and Labor has partly neutralised the economic management concern by pledging to mimic the Coalition in this field. With Labor favoured in most policy areas, once “border security� and the economy are covered, The ALP has a decent chance. WorkChoices was unpopular, there have been 10 interest rate rises in a row including 6 since the last poll when it was promised that interest rates would be kept at record lows, and most people want a bit more done about greenhouse than the government will do.
    I’ve only seen online advertising but think Labor’s has been better (casting Howard as negative – “I won’t, I’ll retireâ€? – and being visually more attractive. However, if Fred Argy is right (I haven’t been watching), Howard has been campaigning better than Rudd of late. There might be some small effect, either for or against Labor, from the balance of these two factors.

  16. Fear and Loathing in Elwood Primary School

    I fronted up to vote at Elwood primary school, which was thronged with cheerful looking people seeking to influence their destiny.They all seemed fairly nice people. Not for the first time I gave thanks to the late Victorian “executive committee of the bourgeoisie” who gave democracy to Australia.

    I took every single How to Vote card from the polling spruikers at intending to give them all a proper study. I was trying to work out how I could vote against LN/P and the hated Work Choices and its associated gravy train of without voting for the ALP and its associated camp-follower, hackademics* and special interests. Unfortunately this proved mathematically impossible under preferential voting. I was in a quandary.

    Fortunately decision-making salvation was close at hand. Standing in line in front of me was a hairy academic*, sporting a Uni Melbourne logo-ed sweatshirt . He was accompanied by a attractive foreign-born wife, probably Chilean. I am an alumni of that august institution so the sight of his self-congratulatory attire immediately my BS detector into overdrive.

    I was not to be disappointed. Sure enough after a few minutes the hairy academic’s wife was approached by the Family First spruiker with a how-to-vote card. He brushed them away, remarking loudly that “everyone knows they are Nazis”.

    “Well, thats the party for me then”, thought I to my self, marking a big fat “1” next to the FF candidate.

    Bad taste jokes aside, I was pleased with the result. FF are against regressive elitism of the Big End of Town and the ostentatious elitism practised by our cultural operators.

    I just wish I had the nerve to tell logo-man. Saved by his pretty wife, I suppose.

    * Mine host excluded from these micheivous classifications.

  17. What would happen if the Coalition wins in both the House and Senate? My hunch is: not much that hasn’t already been flagged.
    The Coalition has already had three years with Senate control to do what they wanted and Peter Costello isn’t more of a right-wing radical than John Howard. Furthermore, the Australian people won’t wear a significantly more right-wing agenda, and the Coalition knows this and would tailor its policies accordingly.
    Costello seems less of a cultural warrior than Howard (he’s a republican, keener on Aboriginal reconciliation and a bit more sympathetic towards abortion than many in his party). Greater urbanisation, high migration and better education standards are all against a conservative cultural agenda over time. And I suspect that the economic program of the right has been implemented almost to the extent it will be.
    We’ve already had tax rates cut at the top end, support for private education and healthcare, more mutual obligation, Aboriginal interventions, harsher treatment of asylum seeker, privatisations, a cut to foreign aid relative to GDP, restrictions on university funding and “all the way with the USA�. But the government has backtracked in some areas later in its term (think the uni investment fund, the rise in aid, moderation of the IR laws and treatment of asylum seekers). And it’s supported public healthcare fairly strongly in terms of increased spending, including higher Medicare rebates to get bulk-billing up.
    Where would the Coalition go further if reelected? More privatisation of, and less egalitarianism in, the education system is the best bet (we effectively had a voucher proposal going into the campaign). Potential policies are ABC privatisation, voluntary voting, yet more mutual obligation and opt-outs from the welfare state as advocated by Peter Saunders. (Are federal takeovers a policy of the right?) But I don’t think the Coalition would risk these things given most people are pretty happy with how things now stand.

  18. The exit polls seem to be showing a comfortable victory for the ALP. Time for me to exercise bragging rights. In June 2006, when Beazley was Oppo leader and the polls were neck and neck and the odds favoured the ALP, I predicted the ALP would win the 2007 election:

    Jack Strocchi says July 13th, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    I cannot take Centrebet’s odds on the LN/P winning the next election seriously. The [LN/P] have to start out as less favoured because of the return swing of the electoral pendulum and the attenuation of national security and cultural identity issues.

    A year later, still somewhat skeptical of the landslide polls, I predicted that the LN/P would achieve a comfortable victory:

    I think that the ALP will win comfortably, around 52%-48% 2pp.

    I sharpened the focus a little bit as the campaign picked up:

    the ALP will win convincingly, roughly along the lines of its 1983 victory, rather than the LN/P 1996 landslide. I have predicted a narrowing of the ALP-L/NP gap to about 53-47 TPP when ballots are cast.

    I have also predicted Howard will retain his seat.

    I have standard psephological reasons for making this prediction: the periodic recessional tendency of the electoral pendulumn politically outweighs the periodic expansionary tendency of the business cycle, especially when one is deep into both cycles. See the Cameron-Crosby or Ray Fair model of cyclical partisan alignment.

    But this model of cyclical flunctuations underpredicts the size of the current swing against the government. Policy differences between the two parties are minimal, as I predicted three years ago (Great Convergence“). Leaders are important but tend to act as triggers, or traps, for underlying tendencies.

    So there must be some other structural factor at stake inflating the Oppositions vote. Norton-Quiggin’s “cohort theory” of Baby Boomer partisan alignment explains the bias of the middle-aged in favour of the ALP. The Boomer children of the revolution are replacing the Doomer children of the Depression in the electoral rolls. These two “cohorts” are biased, the Doomers pro-LN/P and the Boomer pro-ALP.

    But the ALP’s cohort are still alive and kicking whilst the LN/P’s cohort are dying off. So the ALP is getting a demographic double whammy at the polls. It seems that the polity, rather than policy, has changed.

    This turnaround seems to be sufficient to explain the extraordinary situation where a government responsible for presiding over an unprecedented period of industrial prosperity, martial potency and cultural pride is facing a major electoral rejection.

  19. I am crestfallen that Howard looks like losing. Bad call by me. Worse call by the voters at Bennelong, although it looks like they mindlessly followed the national trend.

    Prepare yourself for and endless bout of “i-told-you-sos” by Lilliputian journalists gloating to see a flawed giant toppled. What they wont admit is that they mindlessly followed the herd instinct when Howard had the upper hand.

    The LN/P should not be too vindictive towards Howard because he stayed on for this campaign. Costello was never as popular with the voters, especially LN/P inclined ones, as Howard. I think that his presence at the helm reduced the anti-LN/P swing which at one stage looked to be gigantic.

    But dont expect typical pundits to admit this. They will be too busy doing a victory lap around Howard’s political corpse.

  20. “They will be too busy doing a victory lap around Howard’s political corpse.”

    Damn straight. Break out the rumba music.

  21. Lobes Says: h 24th, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Damn straight. Break out the rumba music.

    We are “richer, stronger and prouder” under Howard’s ministry, at least than we otherwise would have been under alternative arrangements. Our portfolios are bulging, our armies prevail, our history is no longer trashed. Howard deserves proper credit for this.

    He deserved to lose the election. Work Choices was a gigantic blunder. Like Little Bill Hagget in the Unforgiven, he is entitled to complain that he “does not deserve this” ie losing his seat.

    But, as Will Munny said, pointing the gun at his head about to blow it off, “deserves got nothing to do with it”.

  22. I don’t think that Australia will recover easily from the damage that Howard has done to this country.
    Our international standing damaged by the Iraq/Afghanistan catastrophic misadventures.
    The skewing of our national assets away from education, research and infrastructure.
    The ridiculous demonisation of worker advocate groups, with a rerun of 30 year old culture wars.

  23. I should be elated. I am no fan of Howard. But , frankly, I feel that the challenges going forward are great. The body bags are starting to come from overseas, and the economic situation is less certain than what it was.

  24. With the pooled polls predicting a two-party-preferred of 54% for Labor and an actual result of 53% for labor it seems likely that there is a bias of 1% (or 0.35-1.65%) towards Labor from the pooled polls. My guess is that this is mainly from better campaigning from the coalition at the booths on polling day.

  25. The defeat of this Government of despicable and incompetent frauds should have been a foregone conclusion from a long time ago. Whilst I am enormously relieved and feel an enormous sense of satisfaction that this has finally occurred, I am still pissed off that I have had to wait so long to know for certain that that this was going to be the outcome.

    Fred Argy, melanie and Brian were quite right to be as apprehensive about the outcome of the election earlier today.

    That the Howard Government got as much as 46.76% of the 2PP vote is, in my view, testimony to the effectiveness of the Liberal’s scare campaign, including outright lies and dirty tricks, as well as the deceit of our newsmedia, particularly the Murdoch newsmedia. Had issues like the AWB scandal, the Iraq war, privatisation of Telstra, corrupt and wasteful pork barelling, the expenditure, since 2004 of AU$1billion of taxpayer’s money on often fraudulent government self-promotional saturation level advertising, their criminal neglect of the environment, their mismanagement of education and training and even defence (see my own article “The myth of the Howard Government’s defence competence” on Online Opinion) etc, the Liberals would not have got anywhere near that level of support. Even the supposed economic brilliance of Howard and Costello peddled ad infinitum ad nauseum by Limited News and even many supposedly on Labor’s side such as Beattie and Latham was a lie as has been.amply shown in article “How the bean-counters took over the campaign” by Ian McAuley

    All of us who worked so hard in our own ways in order to bring about the well-deserved and long overdue demise of this Government could have perhaps felt a little more relaxed a little more if we had a properly functioning democracy in this country that wasn’t being subverted day and night by our corporate newsmedia.

    This should be the subject of a public inquiry. If my views about the the media are borne out as they would undoubteldy be in a properly run inquiry, their licenses to peddle lies shoud be revoked.

  26. Apologies, but the sentence in my previous post:

    Had issues like the AWB scandal, the Iraq war, privatisation of Telstra, corrupt and wasteful pork barelling, the expenditure, since 2004 of AU$1billion of taxpayer’s money on often fraudulent government self-promotional saturation-level advertising, the criminal neglect of the environment, their mismanagement of education and training and even defence (see my own article “The myth of the Howard Government’s defence competence� on Online Opinion) etc,the Liberals would not have got anywhere near that level of support.

    should have been:

    Had issues like the AWB scandal, the Iraq war, privatisation of Telstra, corrupt and wasteful pork bareling, the expenditure, since 2004 of AU$1billion of taxpayer’s money on often fraudulent government self-promotional saturation-level advertising, the criminal neglect of the environment, their mismanagement of education and training and even defence (see my own article “The myth of the Howard Government’s defence competence� on Online Opinion) etc. been given the coverage that they warranted the Liberals would not have got anywhere near that level of support.

  27. John Howard systematically dismantled many of the checks and balances in the Westminster system, specifically he undermined the independence of the public service and essentially destroyed Ministerial accountability.

    He has also been the greatest centraliser of political power in Australia’s political history.

    Without question, the rot started to set in before Howard’s election and I don’t pretend simply electing Labour will reverse the damage done to ou democracy over the past decade.

    However, the institutional problems confronting Rudd are similar to those he dealt with as a senior public servant in the Goss Queensland government.

    The challenge for Rudd now is not to become fixated on institutional and cultural change at the expense of concrete achievements as Goss did.

    Rudd is a very, very smart man but it takes more than that to be a successful leader,

  28. Was anyone watching the Channel Nine election night coverage when Robert Ray unloaded on Dennis Shanahan?

    From memory, it was fairly late, comprehensive results from Queensland were coming in, and Peter Van Onselen had just offered another very cautious assessment of the swing and seat count, along the lines of “too close to call, results from WA may mean that the Liberals can still hang on”.

    A clearly exasperated Robert Ray threw up his hands, and said that his figures were (already) showing a 20-seat swing to the ALP and he’d offer $500 to the first person who’d write the Dennis Shanahan column: the one where Dennis analyses the election results and offers the interpretation that they in fact represent a stunning victory for John Howard.

    It was lovely to watch.

  29. The highpoint of the coverage for me was Kerry O’Brien’s Freudian slip as he reported another Labor gain: :That’s looks like another win or the ABC – I mean the ALP”.

  30. In listening to the valedictories, it occurred to me that (1) Howard won’t want the Lib scrutineeers nosing in too close trying to find him a ‘win’ by 10 votes. Sure enough it was reported the next day that no Lib scrutineers were present at the further count or re-count. (2) that Rudd didn’t mention the ‘help’ his candidates got from the Greens to win
    (3) Brown’s address on ABC was full of the passion we have missed from the others and I hope he sticks it to Rudd on where the feed timber supply will come from should a pulp mill ever materialise in Tasmania.

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