Over the last two weeks, Newspoll has been running big sample sizes in their polls, large 1700 jobs, and now we know why – so they can combine the last two polls and give us state and demographic breakdowns with decent sample sizes, and probably marginal and safe seat breakdowns tomorrow.

Today’s state and demographic breakdown is a shocker for the Coalition. If these state swings were applied uniformly, they would deliver 42 seats to the ALP to give them 102 seats in a new parliament, with Qld and NSW delivering seats by the bucket loads.

The primary vote swings for the two parties by state give us the broad picture of the “who and where” of primary voter change since the last election, so we’ll need to have a look at those. The swings are on the left, and below the bars are the actual swing results for each state.

As we can see, not only has the ALP managed to pull some serious numbers of voters directly from the Coalition fold, but they’ve also decimated the minor party primary vote, which is where the difference in swing sizes comes from. The Queensland numbers look a little overcooked to me, and the Victorian numbers a little medium rare – but that is easily explained by sampling error. These state by state results should have a margin or error somewhere around the 4% mark.

Next up is the demographic breakdown, by age, sex and city-type.

There is a lot of attention being paid to those swinging youngsters in the 18-34 bracket, but the bulk of the family vote, that 35-49 group is right up there with them in terms of which age cohort has shifted since the 2004 election. Even the 7% of the oldies isn’t something to be sneezed at.

What must be particularly disturbing for the Coalition is the large primary vote swing in the non-capital cities. That would be highly compatible with the big swings in Queensland happening outside of Brisbane in places like Forde, Herbert, Leichhardt and McPherson. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Fadden is a bit of a contributor there as well, considering its relatively high young population, part-time worker population and the highest population change of any Coalition held seat in Queensland according to the 2006 Census data.

Seats like Hughes, Page and Cowper in NSW could also be doing their part in the non-capital city swing, let alone the fabled panic that occurred in Grey down in SA recently.

The big question for the Coalition is if the Newspoll is approximately right, is it Nat seats, Liberal seats or a bit of both that are taking the weight of the swing in the non-capital cities? If the old cow cocky seats are relatively holding their own, the Liberal Party charge into rural and regional Australia could not only come to grinding halt, but be in jeopardy of a serious retreat.

Finally, the two party preferred swings by State and city type:

That swing in Qld is simply enormous, giving the ALP a TPP vote of 56%, up from the 42.9% registered at the last election.

I think the swing is a little overcooked, but what would I know – if that swing is repeated on election night, the rest of the country becomes sort of irrelevant, with 17 seats being delivered to the ALP alone in Qld on the basis of a 13.1% uniform State swing.

To that we can add 14 from NSW, 5 from SA, 2 from WA, 2 from Tassie, 1 from the NT and Victoria giving up 1 as well for a total of 42, and Parliament filled with 102 ALP members.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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