Why 50:50 on a margin of error of 2.6% is still interesting.

nielsen 2013 07 15
Once again we get “neck and neck” commentary which I will pass by with reference to the previous blog “50:50 2PP not neck and neck”. But it is an interesting result even so…

Let me briefly put Antony Green’s election calculator results up 72 ALP, 75 Lib, 3 Independents. Even with the advantage of incumbency I would expect this to end up as a Lib government of some form or another. Interestingly as modelled it has ALP holding all 4 seats in Tasmania – something which I don’t think is on the cards.

Given this based on 1,400 person poll and a state by state distribution where margins of error at 4.6 to 9.0% and Tasmania excluded it does need to be keep as “guidance” rather than “measurement”.

So what IS interesting?

The poll pre-dates the “resolution” of the carbon tax, and asylum seekers, both of which I would expect to poll well for the ALP.

Rudd has a positive approval rating. That is more people like his leadership than dislike his leadership. First time in 2.5yrs any leader has had this. What is really worth digging in to in polling isn’t just the “preferred leader” figures but the preferred leader by voting intention. (Not available on this poll, and too small to be representative anyway).

What a leader wants is to appeal to non major party voters, and swinging voters. If the die-hards from the other side despise you it is probably not a problem. It may also generate a pretty negative campaign, which probably appeals to a core but disengages the middle.

The ALP primary vote has increased – 38.0% last election, 29% last month, now 39%
The Green primary vote has declined – 11.8% last election, 11% last month, now 9%
The Lib primary vote has decreased and increased – 43.6% last election, 47% last month, now 44%

The ALP primary vote has increased! Up from a pretty dismal 29% the previous month and higher than the last election (38%), this is a good thing for the ALP and makes them far more competitive.

The Green primary vote has decline from the last election. And the combined Green/ALP vote is back towards what it was at the last election – 49.8% last election, 40% last month now 48%. With 80% of Green first preference votes finally ending up with the ALP it is a combined figure to watch.

For the ALP the Victorian vote is not an outlier compared with the other states and Rudd remans more popular with women than men. It looks to me to be a pretty “clean kill” of a female Victorian PM.

South Australia continues to follow its trend of “independence” All the other states have a combined non major party primary vote of 14-18%. SA its 29%!

No data on Tasmania – with 4 ALP and Wilkie it’s all downside for the ALP and at least 2 seats are in play.

Best demographic:
ALP – capital city, 25 (and under) year old woman
Greens – capital city, 25 (and under) year old woman
Lib – rural, 55 (and over) year old man

As more and more polls are showing 50:50 it does indicate the ALP is coming to a point of competitiveness. It is worth still noting the state by state variation and margin of error at a state level.


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