One interesting way of measuring a party’s chances in an election is to look at the enthusiasm of its supporters. The National Forum’s Graham Young reported on his blog on Friday that Liberal supporters in Victoria have been strangely reluctant to sign up for online polling.

Young writes:

Response rates vary from election to election and issue to issue, and generally seem to follow strength of feeling. For instance, while National Party voters are generally only a few percentage points, when we did a recent poll on a proposed amalgamation of the Liberal and National Parties in Queensland the National Party respondents outnumbered the Liberals.

The reason for these ruminations is that in our current poll on the Victorian election…we have found a record low number of Liberal respondents – three percent. This lack of enthusiasm means that the Liberals are most likely heading for a drubbing because even their support base doesn’t want to support them.

From a distance, the Victorian election campaign appears singularly dull. This may be because voters believe Bracks is coasting towards re-election. As the Premier himself let slip, perhaps the election is a “third-order issue”. It might be because, unlike Jeff Kennett, Bracks’ caution and nice guy persona have left few vocal groups of voters offended by the state ALP. But it might also be, as Young suggests, that not even Liberal voters can raise too much enthusiasm for their own side.

If any Liberal supporting Crikey readers want to prove this argument wrong, you can sign up for the online polling here.

Peter Fray

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