Well that was disappointing

After all the fuss and intrigue of a general election, nothing seems to have changed much in Australia. The Liberal-National coalition looks likely to scrape in with a tiny majority in Parliament, leaving things pretty much where they were when the election was called. If PM Scott Morrison looks surprisingly happy about that its because the polls (including the exit polls) were pointing in the opposite direction: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/19/scott-morrison-credits-the-quiet-australians-for-miracle-election-victory

People are scratching their heads about the opinion polls https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/19/voters-across-australia-left-asking-whats-the-deal-with-the-polls which had implied a small Labor victory. Now, the difference between the polls and reality was small when it comes down to margins of error but this is just one of several elections were the polls were marginally wrong.

The happy news is that the obnoxious Tony Abbott, ex-PM and generally unpleasant man, lost his seat to an independent. Ironically, this is good news for his party, as he was a source of disunity in parliament for them.

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15 thoughts on “Well that was disappointing

  1. Yeah, I was slightly surprised that anyone was surprised when the polls were fairly certain that it would be close and therefore the polls were going to be inherently unreliable – or, rather, that folk would need to understand concepts like “margin of error” which, given that they haven’t understood that since polling started was always going to be a longshot.
    On the other hand, it’s also depressing to learn that the clear hardcore of voters who care about nothing except making sure that politics is zero-sum rather than collective are just as prevalent in the southern hemisphere as they are in the north.

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  2. Tony Abbott will no doubt resurface on Sky News At Night or in the Murdoch press, opining at length about how terribly things are being done and how he wouldn’t do it like that if he were in charge. Or he’ll be sent off as ambassador to some country we don’t like very much but which isn’t large enough to invade us in retaliation. Maybe Mauritius.

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  3. Its been clear that something was wrong with polling methods for a while. Seriously landlines – in 2019? What weirdos own them? What weirdos answer them? What weirdos actually agree to doing the survey?

    But yeah, I think a lot us assumed the polls were biased toward the coalition (because we though the weirdos owning and answering thier landlines were retirees). Clearly polling has very little to do with what the electorate is actually thinking.

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    1. I think part of the issue is that some antipathy towards the Liberals went rightward — that would show as a loss of votes in opinion polls (even on two party preferred) but convert via preferences from Palmer or Hanson on Election Day to Liberal votes

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      1. Its an interesting thought… I’m so mad at the Liberals I’l vote Palmer/One Nation (meaning the preference ends up with the Liberals anway). I won’t be suprised if this is the conclusion the psephologists eventually give us. There do seem to be a lot of conservatives (both of the reasonable and and extreme variety) who dislike the Libs/Nats but dislike Labor/Greens even more.

        It might sadly point to the possibility Australia is moving away from the Centre and into a more divided nation if that’s happening. Which would be negative because generaly, the major parties pitching to the “sensible centre” has meant reasonable policy (by world standards).

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      2. Yes but when the Libs pitch right they lose wealthy city seats (ok – lots like they just scraped back Turnbull’s old seat of Wentworth but even so, it used to be super safe Liberal)

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  4. In reading the coverage of the election, I came across the factoid that you all have not had a recession in 27 years? You missed out on the Great Recession of the USA in 2008?

    What is your secret? The world needs to know.

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      1. It’s as if austerity doesn’t work or something. Almost as though it does the opposite of what we keep being told it’s supposed to do.

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