50:50 2PP not neck and neck

turtles-queen-wilhelmina-state-park-arkNewspoll (Australian) have published their latest (5th to 7th July) polling results and its 50:50 2 party preferred, just a 0.1% swing to the Coalition. So at 50:50 it must be too close to call? A real neck and neck race?

Actually no. Using Antony Green’s election calculator – A 50:50 2PP result (if it was a result of a uniform swing) would deliver Lib 75 ALP 72 + Bandt, Katter, and Wilkie.

At a 0.1% swing to Lib. A 50.0:50.0 2PP it is still Lib 75 ALP 72 + Bandt, Katter, and Wilkie.

At a 0.6% swing to ALP. A 50.7:49.3 2PP it is still Lib 74 ALP 73 + Bandt, Katter, and Wilkie.

At a 0.8% swing to ALP. A 50.9:49.1 2PP it is still Lib 72 ALP 75 + Bandt, Katter, and Wilkie.

It needs to be qualified that ALL of these analysers (myself included) are working on average national swing which is exactly what we will not get. Newspoll quarterly polls give you a state by state and get much closer to a “real” result – these are the polls to watch and really dig into.

The ALP is disadvantaged by:
a number of high profile sitting members not recontesting
some “its time” effects in NSW and Tas
the non-recontest for Tony Windsor, and the 17min man

On broad nationwide polling the ALP currently need 51:49 2PP to be “neck and neck”. In practice due to some of the disadvantages mentioned above they are probably not truly neck and neck even then. But don’t expect to see that analysis coming out in the mainstream media any time soon.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t expect to see ructions in the Coalition party room (in terms of polls it’s still not so close as to need the risk of a change of leadership and lose the “stability” positioning), but the desire for under-dog status is the reason no sensible Liberal parliamentarian will point this out.

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