April 2005
Newspoll and Morgan confirm our polling
Monday, 08 July 2013 21:35 | Written by Graham Young

Morgan has Labor at 54.5% to the Coalitions 45.5% and Newspoll has it 50/50 two-party preferred. That confirms our polling of last week where the positions of the parties had returned to where they were in October 2010.

FPI index shows Greens slow collapse hurting Labor
Friday, 07 June 2013 07:00 | Written by Graham Young

I've just calculated the First Preference Index for our April/May poll which shows that the Libs have risen again, Labor is static, and the Greens are in decline.

Who pays for democracy?
Sunday, 11 November 2012 10:35 | Written by Graham Young

Modern democracy is an expensive business. Obama and Romney apparently spent one billion dollars between them, and the entire election cost six billion (scale that back for population and that is the equivalent of spending around $70 million in Australia on a federal election campaign).

Queensland and National Parks
Monday, 30 July 2012 12:28 | Written by Graham Young

While most Queenslanders are opposed to government plans to rescind national park status over 875,000 ha of recently proclaimed parks that were state forest and grazing properties, most LNP voters support it.

How do I feel about the G20 and my vote?
Sunday, 15 July 2012 07:23 | Written by Graham Young

It is impossible for a politician not to have at least some political reasons for policies, even if it is from the point of view that good policies are good politics, but it seems that Julia Gillard has got to a place where it doesn't matter what she does, it is all bad politics.

June Omnibus - the leaders
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 11:32 | Written by Graham Young

Australian politics is increasingly negative. Many Labor voters cite Tony Abbott as a reason for voting Labor, while many Liberal voters do the same with Julia Gillard. Over to one side is a group of voters who just wish they had another option. Even when respondents are positive about the leader of the party they would vote for it is often qualified by phrases like "least worst".

Latest Newspoll shows trend towards Labor
Tuesday, 05 April 2005 11:40 | Written by Graham Young
Newspoll's latest poll is of 1145 people and puts its accuracy at plus or minus 3%. So when it shows a swing towards Labor of 3.8% one should be cautious. However, there are grounds for thinking there might be something in this poll. The result is in line with the Morgan poll that I reported on a few days ago. It is more or less permissible to combine the two samples, which gives us 3,036 respondents (1891 from Morgan and 1145 from Newspoll). Except the sample isn't quite that large as Newspoll excluded 8% of their sample because they didn't answer this question with a preference. Adjusting for this (and assuming Morgan didn't do the same and didn't tell us) the total is 2,944. Still pretty large. The adjusted totals are 44% Coalition, 40% Labor, 7% Greens and 10% other with a sample error of plus or minus 1.8%. In other words this is a statistically meaningful move since the last election. Newspoll also tends to confirm the results in its own terms because of the trend. Unlike Morgan, where the results have bounced in both directions, Newspoll shows a clear trend since the election. This trend is important because just as I can combine results from different surveys that occur over more or less the same time period, you can do the same with different samples within the same survey over a time period. By producing a rolling average (which is all a trend actually is) you can get a more certain result. ABC news reports Opposition Treasury Spokesman Wayne Swan on the result:
"Labor treasury spokesman Wayne Swan says the result is welcome but it is a long time before the next election. He says the poll reflects the public's disappointment in the recent interest rates rise.
He's right to be cautious about the poll result, and politic on the reasons for the change. While we can measure movement on these figures we can't measure cause. That's why What the people want asks qualitative questions and combines them with regression analysis based on the ABS statistics, wherever possible.
Latest federal Morgan Poll and margin of error
Friday, 01 April 2005 15:19 | Written by Graham Young
The latest Roy Morgan poll of federal voting intentions is out. You can read it at www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2005/3848/. It shows the Government on 44%, 2.4% below their result at the last election, and the ALP on 39%, 1.4% higher. Gary Morgan spends some lines analysing the movement and concludes: "This latest Morgan Poll shows the Primary vote has stabilised after the reaction against interest rates in early March. Primary support for the ALP has risen and an election at this time would be close." In fact it shows nothing of the sort. At the bottom of the page Morgan has a table showing the margin of error inherent in samples of 1,000. At 1,891 the sample on which this analysis is based is much larger than 1,000, so this table doesn't help. However, I've found a web page that not only explains the concept of margin of error, but has a calculator where you can work it out for yourself. In the case of Morgan's sample, his margin of error for the Liberal Party vote is 2.2% in 95% of cases. In other words, the Liberal Party vote could be anywhere between 41.8% and 46.2%, meaning that on the basis of this poll it could have either lost an election decisively to Labor, or won it with a similar margin to last year - take your pick. We pollsters spend a lot of time making up reasons for why things appear to be happening, when nothing is really happening at all. This appears to be yet another case of this phenomenon.