The exit poll survey won’t close until Wednesday, but 679 people did the survey after voting yesterday. The following is my first quick impressions and analysis on that first batch.
- Just over a quarter of our respondents changed or locked in their vote after Bob Hawke’s death. A further ~10% changed their vote in the last week, but before Hawke’s death.
- The perception that Hawke’s death would result in a Labor landslide caused many to not vote Labor: they either felt ‘released’ to vote for the minor party of their choice (especially to vote Green), or wanted to ensure they didn’t have too much control – i.e. they were voting against the expected landslide, not for the Coalition.
- The expectation of a Labor landslide absolutely crashed the Independent vote (combination of no benefit of being on the cross bench, people sympathetically voting with Labor, and others voting against the landslide), and moved a lot of preferences.
- While Labor loyal voters were reinforced to vote Labor by the Hawke reflections and memories, many were not. In particular, the comparison of the greatness of Hawke to Shorten was not favourable to Shorten. Others commented on remembering 17% interest rates and the ‘Recession we had to have’ as the cost of the Hawke/Keating reforms, and didn’t want a repeat of that pain.
- Franking credits remains the largest single vote changing issue.
- Rape allegations against Bill Shorten – which have always been loitering in a very small number of respondents’ concerns – seem to have had a dramatic spike amongst minor party right wing voters, causing a change in preferences. I’ll need to dig a lot deeper, and track back through the Facebook groups, to find out the full chain of events, but it appears to be generated from a story on Michael Smith News and The Pickering Post, replicated on a number of equally dodgy looking sites, that new evidence had been given to the Victorian Police by Kathy Sheriff, seeking the re-opening of her complaint against Shorten lodged in 2014. 2GB is the only credible news source I have found so far reporting the story – the sharing and commentary in Facebook groups is largely based on less than credible sources that did not include the caution that Ben Fordham put at the top of his interview that Victorian Police had cleared Shorten of these allegations.
- I’ve been saying for the entire formal campaign that there was no consistent trend, but LNP were notably up in Queensland, Labor notably up in Victoria, and NSW were not moving. When there is no national trend, national 2PP figures are useless in predicting a 151 seat outcome.
- The problem is not necessarily in the numbers, but the national obsession with the 2PP, and the misleading practice of translating 2PP figures into a seat count. Every time I raised this I got utterly abused on Twitter… but the regional variations were always of a magnitude that were likely to result in a hung parliament, and potentially a clear popular vote win not delivering the election win.
- Antony Green is right that part of the problem is getting a good sample – but it’s also a response bias problem. You can have a great, balanced, geographically distributed panel such as ours or YouGov’s- but it was very difficult to get conservatives to respond in the last 3 weeks. I presume phone pollsters had the same issue – the Coalition voters just hang up the phone, in the same way they ignored our emails. All surveys and polls are opt-in; you simply can’t make people who think their party is going to lose do a survey to say they’re voting for a loser.
- If the trend continues of ~35% changing their vote in the last week, then it follows that the polling was not necessarily that wrong (except for Newspoll’s election eve numbers, but Newspoll’s numbers were a bit off all election) – they were right at the time the poll was done, but have little predictive value with such a volatile electorate. As I tweeted when the news of Hawke’s passing broke, throw out all the polls prior to that event, they’re meaningless.
So a couple of initial notes on #BobHawke and the impact on the election.
– Throw out all the polls. They’re meaningless. And there’s not time to put another one in the field.
– Election day results will be significantly different to pre-poll.
— RK Crosby (@ktxby) May 16, 2019
Also, the bookies did worse. I see Sportsbet is having a good time joking about paying out early.