There’s been some sniping from
the media-spindustrial complex over yesterday’s Newspoll – and all the
sneering at last week’s AC Nielsen survey that put the ALP in front.
Nielsen called last year’s election result the closest, say its

Meanwhile, a subscriber has been wiling away in a slow week with their spreadsheets, playing with the polling:

has miles to go, as you say. But, equally, those who place undue
emphasis on the fact that ALP primary votes are as bad as, or worse
than, they were at the election are making too much of that too. It
always happens. The winner always draws farther away in the early
months of a new term. That it may have happened now (Nielsen says the
opposite, actually) is entirely unremarkable, especially given the
almost unprecedented mess the ALP was in from October to mid-January.”

They’ve produced this table, using Newspoll figures:

Primary votes at and after Federal elections 1993-2005

Election Winner’s margin 3-4 months later Early gain for winner
1993 0.5% 9% 8.5%
1996 8.3% 19% 10.7%
1998 0.6% 9% 9.6%
2001 5.3% 9% 3.7%
2004 8.9% 11% 2.1%

are right: opinion polls are meaningless for most of the electoral
cycle, especially in its early stages,” they say. Still, that last line
of the table should give Howard something to think about. Heck, it
might even scare him into tackling tax reform.