They’ve been analysing the campaign since Day One, just what are Crikey’s commentariat predicting will happen tomorrow?
House of Representatives: Coalition 57, Labor 91, Others 2
Senate: Coalition 14, Labor 19, Greens 6, Other 1
In the House of Representatives, I give Labor 91 seats, the Coalition 57 and 2 Independents. In the Senate, Labor to win 18. Coalition 16, one Xenophon and 5 Greens.
House: Labor 82, Coalition 65, Independents 3 – O’Connor taking Corio
Based on the average of cumulative state-by-state Newspoll, skewed the maximum 3% error bars in favour of the Coalition, then removing Bennelong – Howard will squeak back on the cant-sack-the-PM principle, Labor lose Swan and Cowan, Libs retain Braddon and Bass. O’Connor won’t take Corio, but a man can dream.
Senate: Coalition 16, ALP 18, Greens 4, Family First 1, Xenophon 1
If this distribu is wrong, then I don’t want to be right and also polling no longer works.
ALP gains – Qld 7, NSW 6, Vic 2, Tas 2, NT 1, SA 4, = 22 seats so ALP majority in the reps of 6. Senate with Greens control.
Possum Comitatus: I’ve approached the whole election prediction thing in a different way to my learned Crikey Commentariat peers. After a few regressions using averaged Newspoll monthly data, adapting for campaign effects using modelled satisfaction dynamics, and forecasting one step ahead from October’s data – the prediction comes in at an ALP TPP of 55.15% (to two decimal places, just to be a smarty pants!). On a national uniform swing, that would deliver 94 seats to Labor – however, once you start breaking down seats into their demographic components using the census data, many of the seats that look to have the largest swings, don’t seem to have quite enough swing grunt according to the demographic polling to carry them over the line. So it’s ALP with 55.15%, 89 seats for the ALP and around a dozen Coalition seats left hanging with a margin under 2%.
I conservatively estimate that Labor will win eight seats in New South Wales, including Bennelong. I am giving Joe Hockey (North Sydney) and Malcolm Turnbull (Wentworth) the benefit of the doubt. Victoria is hard to pick: a swing of 5 per cent could win them nothing, but a just slightly bigger one could net them four or five. I’ll split the difference and say two. I expect a big haul for Labor in Queensland, including Ryan and Leichhardt on double-digit margins, plus another seven seats further down the pendulum. In South Australia, Kingston, Wakefield and Makin are no-brainers: the tough ones are Boothby and Sturt. I’m not enjoying having to call either, but I’ll go Labor in Sturt and Liberal in Boothby. I expect Labor to win Hasluck in Perth, but Stirling and Cowan are very hard to call: I’ll go for the status quo in both, so narrow wins for Liberal and Labor respectively. Labor will gain Bass and Braddon in Tasmania and Solomon in Darwin. So that’s a gain of 27 for a total of 87 out of 150. As per my predictions in Crikey last week, I expect a Senate in which the Coalition is reduced from 39 seats to 35, Labor up from 28 to 32, the Greens up from four to seven, a seat for Nick Xenophon and one from Family First carrying over from 2004.
I am not a psephologist, but I incline towards a modest Labor victory – 2 to 6 seats, but not an entirely confident prediction. The vote in WA to go against Labor. Bennelong lost. Liberals to lose ACT Senate seat to Greens; Greens to pick up sixth seats in NSW (3 ALP + 2 Lib), Victoria (3 ALP + 2 Lib), WA (3 Lib + 2 ALP) and Tasmania (3 ALP + 2 Lib); Democrats to hold sixth seat in Qld (3 ALP + 2 Lib) and Nick Xenophon elected in SA (3 ALP + 2 Lib).
After the re-counts are finalised some folks are going to look plain stupid. And I may well be one of them. But I can’t see Rudd getting sufficient numbers. I predict an ALP gain of 11 seats as follows: in NSW, the ALP gains Cowper, Dobell, Eden-Monaro, Lindsay, Macquarie, Page and Parramatta. In South Australia, the ALP gains Makin, Kingston and Wakefield. In WA the ALP gains Hasluck. In Queensland the ALP gains Bonner and Moreton. But in WA the Liberals gain Cowan and Swan. Tasmania, ACT and NT will return sitting members.
In the Senate the Greens will gain one in Tasmania, resulting in ALP 16, Liberals 16, Nationals, 4, Greens, 3 and Others 1.
My doppelganger Percy the Punter who had a flutter on the Coalition at $3.70 thinks he will beat the bookies
Reps: Labor with a 10-seat majority. The Government’s only hope was a perfect final week that accelerated the hitherto glacial drift of voters back to it. Instead, it has been one stuff-up after another. Nevertheless, the polls suggesting a bloodbath don’t feel right.
Senate: Greens to gain an ACT spot, Xenophon to get up in SA. A bit harsh on the genial, inoffensive Gary Humphries, but he can blame the seething resentment of the Government that has been building for years in Canberra, and a clever “anyone but Liberal” campaign from his opponents.
Labor will win 91 seats in the Reps, the Coalition 57 and independents 2. This week’s race-baiting controversy will have its greatest effect in Bennelong, the Liberal Party seat with the highest proportion of voters from non-English speaking backgrounds. A sitting PM losing his seat will provide a suitable final chapter for the second edition of John Winston Howard: The Biography. The Greens will win 2 new Senate seats, taking their total to 6. The incoming Senate will be interesting: Coalition 36, Labor 32, Greens 6, Family First 1, Xenophon 1.
I’m something of a sceptic when it comes to predictions. As I’ve argued at length, we don’t really have access to the sort of data we need to do so accurately, and on a broader level, elections are once off events and public opinion is constantly changing. This is little understood, and we see avoidable errors constantly in commentary on elections. It took some time for some pundits to realise that it wasn’t the exact 16 seats on the blue side of the pendulum Labor needed to win, but any 16 seats. Though such egregious mistakes aren’t universal (and perhaps their authors are too busy sending flirty emails to bother with a spot of psephological reflection), we still hear constantly “analysis” which assumes that the 2004 results are some sort of baseline.
So predictions? I don’t have any for you. My educated guess is that Labor will win by quite a respectable margin. My tip in Richard Farmer’s comp is Labor with 87 seats – meaning a 2PP of just under 54%. My own reading of the campaign is that it’s been in the bag since Wednesday last week when Rudd called a halt to the spendathon. Labor may do better, or a little worse, but I’d be immensely surprised if Rudd isn’t claiming victory on Saturday night. Your guess, of course, is as good as mine, and that’s the beauty of a democracy!
With a hundred consecutive surveys forecasting a Labor victory, you’d have to conclude that it’s going to happen. Unfortunately, the pleasure of contemplating life without Howard is marred by the fact that the man replacing him seems determined to enshrine as much of his evil legacy as possible – even spending the final campaign day promising to detain asylum seekers. The million people dead in the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq deserve a more definitive break with the past, and so one feels the mixed emotions nicely expressed by Hilaire Belloc:
Here, richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politician’s corpse was laid away.
While all of his acquaintances sneered and slanged
I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.
Notwithstanding Graham Richardson’s claim to infallibility, no-one is really able to predict correctly each and every election. I do not believe that the country will award Mr Rudd with a victory of the proportions of Malcolm Fraser’s landslide in 1975. In our national momento de la verdad , the people will not bring themselves to dispatch the Honourable John Howard. I am inclined to think the government –which after all has been one of the best not only in Australia but in the West – will survive, but narrowly. I do not think the Prime Minister will lose his seat. I think Mr Turnbull will prevail — if he doesn’t’ he’ll win the resulting by-election. By definition the Greens cannot hold the balance in the Senate – they’re hardly at the centre, they are Jacobins, at the extreme of the spectrum. The Labor-Green Alliance will probably have 38 or a controlling 39 Senators after 30 June 2008.
Helen Razer’s predictions and sommelier recommendations:
Psephology is a thing I rarely spell let alone enact. I will calculate the skittish unfolding of results, then, by a measure I find much more familiar.
Early on, it will emerge that a photo finish is likely. One soft red taken quickly from the Bellarine as La Trobe, Deakin and McMillan do not swing as wantonly as I’d wished. By eight, big jolly plums taken slowly from the Hunter as NSW mortgage stress shows, marginals fall, Lindsay is taken by the ALP and J Ho is sh-tting himself in Bennelong. Refuse to drink anything from Margaret River and rather think, through multi-grape haze, that boom-state WA is irrelevant to outcome anyway. At 11, I have a lie down and am revived at midnight by a Glitter Feral who brings me a Coopers and informs, The Greens have the balance of power in the senate. 2 seats in the lower to independents. 71 to the coalition. 77 to the ALP. I wouldn’t know, though, as am unconscious by the time Howard concedes.
Stephen Mayne won’t crack two per cent in Higgins.
And, finally, First Dog on the Moon: