Real danger of the yo-yo poll. I can’t bring myself to have any faith in an opinion poll which finds in its last four surveys that Labor’s federal primary vote has gone from 36% in late November, to 32% in the second week of December, up to 38% in mid January and down again to 32% during the weekend just gone. What Newspoll is measuring I don’t know but such volatility is a poor guide as to how people would vote if they actually had to rather than just give an opinion to a pollster.
That being said, there is one thing that would trouble me greatly about this morning’s Newspoll if I was a Labor member with a majority under 7 or 8%: this testing of public views followed the announcement by the Prime Minister of the date for the next election. An announcement like that is far more likely to provoke a considered response than the hypothetical circumstances of normal questioning. The fear should be that this one is for real.
The market seems to think so. The small but gradual improvement by Labor in our Crikey Election Indicator over the first four weeks of this election year has quickly disappeared. The probability of a Coalition election victory is now put at 79.4%.
Keep the pictures coming. I know from the comments that my snippets sometimes attract that Crikey readers tend to get angry when they think political coverage turns to non-policy matters but experience running campaigns taught me that the apparently trivial can have more impact on voters than the substantial. Hence the reason that between now and 14 September we will see many more pictures like these from the weekend press:
So wonderfully predictable. The inverse relationship I drew attention to when the first Newspoll of the year showed Labor doing better than expected still holds true. The higher the Labor vote the smaller the headline in The Australian. This morning, with the Coalition well in front, the opposite as big replaces small.
Stresses of the politician’s job. An insight into the stresses that political life can put on family life: British Conservative MP Charles Walke told The Sunday Times at the weekend that he estimates 23 out of the 147 new Conservative MPs have suffered marital or long-term relationship break-downs since entering the House of Commons.
News and views noted along the way.
- Telecracy: Media bias and political consensus — In Italy, where Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister, had controlled six out of seven national TV channels for 10 years, a switchover from analogue to digital TV that increased free national channels tenfold caused a drop in Berlusconi’s vote share by 5.5 to 7.5 percentage points.
- Why the rich don’t want to talk about inequality, and why the 99% do
- So, smacking kids is wrong — and doping them is right? — “Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, is a brave man. It takes courage to say you will ban Sky television from prisons, stop gay couples sharing a cell, and end automatic early release for inmates who misbehave during their sentence. But far, far braver was his admission that he had smacked his children.”
- Why ‘leftists revolutionaries’ are not the best feminists — “The far Left cannot face up to rape and its ignorance is killing it. The willingness to excuse the humiliation of women has already destroyed the reputations of Julian Assange and George Galloway. Now it is destroying the Socialist Workers party, which is not only Britain’s largest Marxist-Leninist group but the most unscrupulous gang of hypocrites.”
- The reduction of school days in Japan increased educational inequality — Japan switched to five-day weeks from six for its primary and junior high schools and saw an increase in educational inequality.
- 102 Spectacular Nonfiction Stories from 2012 — Conor Friedersdorf’s annual collection of the very best that journalism has to offer.
- The essential must-read guide on how to read all those must-reads — “We’re entering a golden age of long-form nonfiction online. But how’s a reader supposed to keep up?”