Canberrans buck the trend with their bucks

You cant be nonconformist if you dont drink coffee 26 October 2007 23

I was perusing the Financial Review today (as I occasionally do when there is absolutely nothing else to read) and came across an interesting mini-article on page 24. I can’t find the story on their website, but the article basically said that where every other punter in Australia is betting on the Libs to loose the election, 87% of voters in the ACT are actually betting on them to win…WHAT THE? I thought this was one of the safest Labor seats in existence!

The bookie’s rep quoted in the paper doesn’t quite think we’ve all turned blue blooded just yet though: “Rather than suggesting all ACT punters have become Coalition voters, it’s more likely that those in the ACT and, in effect, those closest to Australia’s political hotbed, believe the election is closer than the market is suggesting,” Mr Bookie said.

Is this about right? Or do all of you know something I don’t?

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23 Responses to Canberrans buck the trend with their bucks
el ......VNBerlinaV8 el ......VNBerlinaV8 1:31 pm 30 Oct 07

The better scare campaign even.

Thumper Thumper 11:43 am 30 Oct 07

From the SMH.

During an interview with The Australian Financial Review on February 7, 2003, Rudd described himself as “an old-fashioned Christian socialist”. Today, the Opposition Leader still proclaims his Christianity but he has junked the “s” word. Now Rudd declares that he is an “economic conservative”.

Interesting times my friends. Is this election all down to Workchoices in the end?

caf caf 11:21 am 30 Oct 07

[poke thread]

caf caf 10:41 am 30 Oct 07

astrojax, the way the opinion polls are used to determine the possible election outcome is that a comparison of national polling results now with the national results at the last election is used to obtain a “swing” figure, telling us the proportion of people across the country who have changed their vote.

You can then apply this swing figure to the votes in each seat (adjusting for the fact that a uniform swing away from party A will be proportionally higher in seats where party A had a high vote to begin with), and determine which seats should fall.

Now of course the swing won’t be uniform – but if it’s significantly lower in one seat then it must also be higher in some other seats, so the overall result will be about the same (ie. on average for every seat that unexpectedly doesn’t change hands, there will be another that unexpectedly does change hands). That’s the theory of the electoral pendulum, anyway, and it does have a reasonably good track record (although not spotless).

Take a look at Antony Green’s very nifty election calculator widget. It’ll let you plug in various swings (either state-by-state or national) and tell you the predicted overall results. If you play with the state-by-state calculator you’ll see that NSW is the key to this election – a 5% swing in NSW will deliver the ALP 7 seats.

Here’s a link to a change of government scenario requiring minimal swings in the other states.

Note that the polls are currently averaging about a 7% swing to the ALP nationwide.

astrojax astrojax 3:58 pm 29 Oct 07

i stated late last year that the coalition is likely to be returned, and nothing so far has swayed that view – the polls seem to meld all the votes across the board into one figure, butr that isn’t how the system works.

sixteen. sixteen seats, labor needs sixteen seats and without the loss of any. i still don’t believe they’ll do it; rekkun qld will be a tough ask and wa a tougher one. can’t see sixteen marginals going in the other states, so it looks like another term of liberal/national coalition, with the big smirk getting the gig half way through.

fwiw – i rekkun they both should lose and i really don’t see much daylight between them, so will it really matter?

bring back the sun-ripened tomato party, i say, and let’s party party party!

barney barney 10:50 am 29 Oct 07

Well Howard hasn’t been able to pull any dirty scams out yet, but there is still time. But it isn’t looking promising, is it.

“Poor old John” – I heard somebody saying this the other day. It was an elderly woman.

caf caf 10:07 pm 27 Oct 07

If you’re looking for good odds but are firmly in the Labor camp and can’t bring yourself to wager on the Coalition, Centrebet are paying $2.25 on Maxine McKew to win Bennelong (this has shortened considerably from $2.40 only a day or two ago).

sexynotsmart sexynotsmart 7:33 pm 27 Oct 07

Yeah I was one of those who stuck money on the Coalition. 16 seats is a lot, but the market a few weeks back demanded an “investment”.

Odds of $3.90 in a two horse race? That’s worth a tenner. Carlton or the Raiders rarely paid that this year.

Spectra Spectra 5:16 pm 27 Oct 07

sepi/blingblingbears: Actually, not quite – if the Libs won by 10%, then 5% +1 of people need to change their votes for Labor to win. Consider: if the margin last year was 55%-45% the Lib’s way (all numbers I’m using are two-party-preferred to simplify), then when 6% of people change their mind the margin will be 49%-51% Labor’s way (the Libs lose 6% and Labor gain it). Therefore, the required swing is half the current margin plus one vote.

GnT: That is one way to look at it, but the reality is that most people don’t change their vote from year to year – for them to do so means they have to be convinced that something has changed enough to make last election’s “correct” choice the “incorrect” one this year. That’s why commentators tend to talk in terms of required swings based on previous results.

blingblingbears blingblingbears 1:18 pm 27 Oct 07

sepi is correctumundo:

“Anything more than an absolute majority (50% + 1 votes) is the swing required for the seat to change hands (for example; if a member holds a seat with 56% of the vote a swing of greater than 6% is required for the seat to change hands).”

boomacat boomacat 1:07 pm 27 Oct 07

is it too late to register the “party party party” party in the ACT for the upcoming federal election?

sepi sepi 9:26 am 27 Oct 07

GnT if liberals won a seat by 10% last time, then 11% of people need to change their minds this time around. So Labor need an 11% swing – which is quite a lot, considering a huge number of voters vote the same way at every election, no matter what.

I think a lot of people are sick of Howard, and Labor will will some seats with massive majorities, but they do need to pick up a lot of marginal seats to win this one.

Meconium Meconium 8:52 am 27 Oct 07

I don’t think I’m ignorant when it comes to politics, and I’ve got a good idea of how difficult it will be for Rudd to beat Howard, but I’d still put money on Rudd to win. Maybe it’s the sort of people I associate with – at work, at uni and out and about – but everyone seems to think that Rudd is in, because Howard is old and has nothing to offer apart from the strong economy at the moment, and most people seem to realise that he had nothing to do with it.

Admittedly I want Rudd to win, but I don’t think that’s coloured my guess at all. I’m quite surprised to hear about this 87%. It’s clearly to do with inside information rather than what people would prefer – as OP says, this is a safe Labor seat. But maybe it’s just a combination of a feeling of the strength of the Liberal party in and around the corridors of power, and what a couple of people have mentioned about betting against Labor so they’ll enjoy some sort of a win-win situation.

Still, where can I put money on Rudd to win? And when will the odds against him be best? As the Chaser boys said the other night, Howard really needs another Tampa…

GnT GnT 8:46 am 27 Oct 07

“When you look at how many seats Labor need to take, they have a hard road ahead of them.”

I don’t think it matters how much road they need to make up. Every seat starts with a clean slate with 0% swing. It doesn’t matter if at the previous election Lib won by 10%, ALP only needs 1% more than them to win the seat at this election.

Does that make sense? Or do I have no idea of electoral mathematics?

boomacat boomacat 1:01 am 27 Oct 07

I remember the “party party party” party and other such similar creations, always gave me a giggle and is a great talking point when travelling overseas to demonstrate the wonderfully self-depreciating nature of Australians.

junkett junkett 12:12 am 27 Oct 07

What ever happened to the “Sun Ripened Tomatoe Party” or the “Party Party Party” party? Ah, the good old days.

For now…Captain Rudderless or General Johnny? Won’t make much difference, you can’t beat the drought, the international markets, or oil prices if you think past the spin. The next few years will be hard regardless of who’s steering the ship.
(Instant week review: Johnny dropped the apple, and it was funny when Rudd was ganged up on by the toothless Tassie pensioner gangsta. But low light of the week was when Paul “The 18% Suit” Keating tried to prove how much dementia you can cause yourself with all that maths…who voted that twit in? Oh – he did, sorta. The COYOTE blew himself up trying to catch the Road-Runner you mindless twerp, not the other way ’round!)

boomacat boomacat 12:04 am 27 Oct 07

Maybe Barbara Bennett is pumping the bonus she got for presenting that thinly veiled pro-workchoices Liberal party propaganda into the betting markets, in a desperate last-ditch effort to influence voters to support the Coalition, return Howard and save her doomed-if-Labor-gets-in-and-punishes-her-for-being-a-Liberal-Party-stooge career?

Lord Mælinar Lord Mælinar 10:01 pm 26 Oct 07

My brother in law is a significant contributor to this statistic.

He figures that if Labour wins, it was a good investment. If the coalition wins, at least he won a few bucks to console himself.

I take it his investment is not insubstantial.

platypuspye platypuspye 9:51 pm 26 Oct 07

Question is, who do people want in – if they had to choose? Will it make any difference?

VYBerlinaV8...the_original_and_best VYBerlinaV8...the_original_and_best 8:37 pm 26 Oct 07

The election results will likely be MUCH closer than the polls would have us believe. Many of the polls are taken in specific seats with specific interests or characteristics. When you look at how many seats Labor need to take, they have a hard road ahead of them.

FWIW, I hope Labor loses.

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