Along with President Trump, readers of Spectator’s Flat White should not have been at all surprised by the victory of the Morrison Liberal-National Coalition in the recent federal election.
Among the lessons to be drawn from this is for our media and political class to abandon the foolish pretence that Australian opinion polls are an exception to the universal truth that opinion polls are not infallible.
The claim they are reached a hysterical apogée when those Turnbull acolytes and their media accomplices used this to overthrow Tony Abbott. At least there was some justice when this boomeranged back to decapitate Malcolm Turnbull, the chief beneficiary.
As far back as the 1999 republican referendum, it should have been obvious that polls should be treated as no more than one of several predictive tools, all of which should be subordinate to reason and common-sense.
Thus after Donald Trump revealed his full election agenda at Gettysburg, common-sense, supported by the Rasmussen poll, should have told the commentariat that notwithstanding most polls, he would win over a large number of Christians, manual workers, farmers, those exasperated by illegal welfare, chain and low wage immigration— indeed just about any red-blooded American tired of the Obama policy of managing the decline of the United States as the dominant world power. And as to the whingers who say that, after all, he only won the Electoral College, how else would a rational person campaign but to win that?
Common-sense should also have told the commentariat that no Briton with any pride in what they had achieved over many centuries and especially when the Nazi monster was devouring Europe would wish to continue as a lowly and exploited satrapy of the Paris-Berlin Axis.
As for the recent Australian Federal election, common-sense surely indicated that those who had not been seduced into an unworthy state of dependence by the politicians would ever vote for such a government of thieves, industrial thugs and constitutional vandals. Understandably self-interest would ensure that a large proportion of the independent Australians looking after themselves and their families would incline to reject Labor.
Admittedly for many, their common-sense could have been partially neutralised through the fact that most people get their news from free-to-air TV bulletins, however, watched. These media blatantly ignore the adage (mandatory for the ABC, Mme Buttrose) that while comment is free, facts are sacred. Instead, most bulletins see politics through a Labor-Greens prism. Fortunately for those without the time to scour through the newspapers or unwilling to penetrate the paywalls, conservative radio and Sky TV act as entertaining and opinionated aggregators.
Returning to the Australian election, even in the last week, the polls did not reflect common sense and reason. So I wrote pieces published in The Spectator Australia’s Flat White explaining, with supporting evidence, what I thought would happen.
In one, ‘The Coalition could prevail’, I pointed out what I saw as a contributing significant error. While Morgan went to the trouble of asking small party voters about their preferences (even though the small number questioned then produces a large margin of error) most pollsters used the preference flows in the 2016 election. But there were significant differences from 2016, which I called the TPD factors.
The T (Thief) factor was the impact of Labor’s plans to confiscate franked dividend refunds, increase taxes including those on capital gains, change superannuation, and limit negative gearing.
The P (Palmer) Factor was the impact of Clive Palmer’s advertising, especially his concentration towards the end of the campaign on Labor’s weaknesses.
Then there was the D (Delco) factor, the return through direct votes or preferences of conservatives alienated by the Turnbull coup and his foolish assault on their superannuation. This was aided more by Scott Morrison’s down-to-earth style of campaigning rather than his policies which, for many, were a paler version of Labor’s.
I attached a table of 31 key seats setting out two crucial statistics which would indicate the impact of the T (Thief) Factor and which could show whether there were enough voters to ensure the Coalition held or took a given seat.
I have now updated that table with a summary table, both of which follow below. In brief, about two-thirds of the seat predictions proved to be absolutely correct. Thus the aggregate overall prediction that the Coalition was likely to win proved to be correct.
TABLE OF KEY SEATS PREDICTING THE IMPACT OF THE THIEF FACTOR WITH RESULTS SUBSEQUENTLY ADDED
|STATE||PARTY||ELECTORATE||MARGIN 2016 ELECTION||IS AVERAGE FRANKING CREDIT HIGHER THAN NATIONAL MEDIAN?||NUMBER OF RENTAL LOSS CLAIMANTS
(This could involve on average at least twice the number of voters)
|PREDICTED IMPACT OF TDP FACTOR||WAS THE PREDICTION CORRECT?|
|NSW||LIB||Warringah||11.55||No||8763||Likely Liberal retain||NO|
|LIB||Gilmore||0.73%||No||5428||Likely Liberal retain||NO|
|ALP||Lindsay||1.1%||No||8147||Likely Labor loss||YES|
|LIB||Reid||4.69%||Yes||15316||Likely Liberal retain||YES|
|ALP||Macquarie||2.19%||No||7059||Possible Labor loss||NO-|
|Ind||Wentworth||1.0%||Yes||8288||Likely Liberal gain||YES|
|VIC||ALP||Corangamite||0.03%||Yes||6969||Likely Liberal gain||NO|
|LIB||Dunkley||1.0%||Yes||6952||Likely Liberal retain||NO|
|LIB||Chisolm||2.91%||Yes||12168||Likely Liberal retain||YES|
|LIB||La Trobe||3.2%||Yes||8627||Likely Liberal retain||YES|
|LIB||Deakin||6.44%||No||9169||Likely Liberal retain||YES|
|LIB||Flinders||7.01%||No||6086||Likely Liberal retain||YES|
|1.21%||Yes||10901||Possible Labor loss||NO-|
|QLD||ALP||Herbert||0.02%||No||9532||Likely Labor loss||YES|
|LNP||Forde||0.63%||No||7232||Possible Labor loss||YES-|
|LNP||Flynn||1.04%||No||9950||Likely LNP retain||YES|
|LNP||Petrie||1.6%||No||7922||Likely LNP retain||YES|
|LNP||Dickson||1.7%||Yes||8712||Likely LNP retain||YES|
|NT||ALP||Lingiari||8.19%||No||7213||Likely CLP win||NO|
|ALP||Solomon||6.09%||No||10,875||Possible CLP win||NO-|
|ACT||ALP||Bean||8.85%||No||10,537||Likely ALP retain||YES|
|TAS||ALP||Braddon||1.73%||No||3562||Likely Lib win||YES|
|ALP||Bass||5.42%||Yes||3375||Likely Lib win||YES|
|ALP||Lyons||3.83%||No||3013||Possible Lib win||NO-|
|SA||Lib||Boothby||2.71%||Yes||9910||Likely Lib retain||YES|
|Centre Alliance||Mayo||2.9||No||8834||Possible Lib win||NO-|
|WA||Lib||Hasluck||2.05%||Yes||8942||Likely Lib retain||YES|
|Lib||Stirling||6.12%||No||9753||Likely Lib retain||YES|
|Lib||Swan||3.59%||Yes||10962||Likely Lib retain||YES|
|ALP||Cowan||0.68%||No||9533||Possible Labor loss||NO-|
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
|STATE/TERRITORY & NUMBER OF SEATS||Yes||Yes-||No||No-|
|Northern Territory (2)||–||1||1|
|South Australia (2)||1||–||–||1|
|Western Australia (4)||3||–||–||2|
|TOTALS FOR 31 SEATS||19||1||6||5|
KEY: Results for ‘likely’ predictions are either YES or NO. Results for ‘possible ‘predictions are either YES- or No-. that is YES MINUS or PARTIALLY CORRECT or NO MINUS OR PARTIALLY WRONG
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.