Why (and how) Labor won

Possum has written a great post dissecting the latest Newspoll (yep, they still do those…) which shows that the Liberal/media spin of Labor winning because Rudd was a mini-Howard is bulldust. He demonstrates that a majority of electors voted for Labor for positive reasons, and that the issues that counted were issues on which the public preferred Labor’s policy.

And Simon Jackman has posted a very neat page with all sorts of pre and post election psephological data posted – I found it particularly interesting to look at the regional maps of the swing to Labor (and you can generate a map for any electorate anywhere).

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Posted in federal election '07
36 comments on “Why (and how) Labor won
  1. 2 tanners says:

    Others have pointed out the criticqal role of the lack of credibility of the Govenment in its loss, as distinct from it capture of the main issues (Possum’s central, and statisitcally well founded, thesis). So many lies surfaced over the years, but people still kept coming back. Hip pocket nerve, dog whistle, call it what you will. But Work Choices represented an essential breach of trust.

    The writers at The Australian and others made much of Labor’s me-tooism. They ignored it when Howard tried to me-too Labor on education, on Aborigines and on climate change (in APEC). But so did voters, because they didn’t believe him anymore.

    The MSM commentariat (both sides) wondered at his lack of traction on any issue, but if you explain it as lack of belief then two apparently opposed ideas can coexist – Labor won because it owned the issues, but the Liberals lost Government, rather than Labor winning it. The Libs lost the trust, then the issues, then the vote in that order.

  2. gummotrotsky says:

    Most interesting for me was the list of decisive issues and the differences between Liberal voters and Labor voters on what most influenced their vote. The economy was top of the aggregation for Liberal voters, about fourth or fifth for Labor.

    Might have to put a full ranking together.

  3. Paulus says:

    Gee, I had thought from a vast number of LP posts that the Coalition’s bugbear was its ghastly WorkChoices laws. And yet industrial relations ranked 9th out of 11 issues as a factor determining which way people voted. Could it be that the majority of people did not actually hate WorkChoices – contrary to the union scare campaigns? Surely not!?

    The overall results of the Newspoll are very encouraging for the ALP. Thankfully, the nation voted on the positives of the ALP platform – unlike the good citizens of LP, who were overwhelmingly motivated by Howard-hatred and had precious little liking for ALP policies (as evidenced by the vast number who wrote in saying they were going to put the Greens first).

  4. Paulus says:

    Oops, I just realised I had WorkChoices at 9th place when it was actually 7th. That still makes it a long way from the top of the list.

  5. Su says:

    But third for those who voted labor (am I reading that correctly?) after health and education. Pretty sensible priorities if you ask me.

  6. Katz says:

    Gee, I had thought from a vast number of LP posts that the Coalition’s bugbear was its ghastly WorkChoices laws. And yet industrial relations ranked 9th out of 11 issues as a factor determining which way people voted. Could it be that the majority of people did not actually hate WorkChoices – contrary to the union scare campaigns? Surely not!?

    Oh dear, Paulus.

    The quoted survey polled all voters, not just whose who changed their vote to Labor in election 2007.

    There is a difference between th question why people voted for Labor and the question why erstwhile Coalition supporters changed their vote for Labor.

    Habitual Labor voters are counted in this survey. They didn’t need to be persuaded by WorkChoices to vote for the party they alsways voted for.

    However, it is a reasonable hypothesis that those who changed their vote to Labor in 2007 were persuaded to do so by Ratty’s disastrous WorkChoices.

    The swingers, as ever, gave the election to the winner.

  7. Paulus says:

    Everything you say is perfectly true, Katz. The election came down to the swinging voters in around 20 electorates out of 150. They probably constituted only a few % of total voters, but they made the difference.

    Good policy, however, is about more than just capturing the votes of swinging voters in marginal seats.

    The interesting statistic is that only 52% of the entire voting population rated WC as an issue. (And who knows, some – managers, miners, professionals, etc. – may have viewed it positively, not negatively.)

    If it were really the horror is is supposed to be, I would have expected it to be ranked much higher.

  8. boredinHK says:

    “There is a difference between the question why people voted for Labor and the question why erstwhile Coalition supporters changed their vote for Labor.”

    This ties in with Gummo’s observation above and the list of factors and comparative influence will be interesting.

    The comments at Possum seem to be a bit split about the relevance of me -tooism -or am I reading this the wrong way ?

    Don Wigan makes a good point – that Work Choices was the issue which persuaded the voters that Howard couldn’t be trusted any longer.

  9. Katz says:

    The interesting statistic is that only 52% of the entire voting population rated WC as an issue.

    It comes down to what these responents mean by the word “issue”. One reading (certainly not the only one) of this word is: “the matter which caused me to vote in one way rather than in another way: the critical factor”. As I suggested above, many people may have had other reasons for supporting Labor besides WC.

    Perhaps a truer indication of what you are looking for would have been captured by a question like this:

    Which issue made you most determined to ensure that the party you voted against did not win the election?

    It is reasonable to suppose that WC would have figured prominently among those who voted Labor.

  10. joe2 says:

    “This is a complete empirical slap in the face to those in the commentariat that have been rabbiting on with superficial twaddle over Rudds “Me-Tooism”. That was always a shallow, vacuous substitute for what was actually occurring in the campaign.”

    Possum is so on the money with this comment. I can remember Rudd attempting to put new policy, on the table, very early in the piece – pretty much after he took over – and the Libs just grabbing it and running. Media never called that. He gave up on giving any more oxygen/ideas and starting playing the same tactics back.

    The commentariat ,including our brave independent ABC, gave him the tag of “Mr Me-Too”, as if it was established fact. I have a funny feeling that our new P.M. was working from a strategical book of wisdom that none of our journalists have read.

    Still, you get the feeling that the only reading they ever did, was each others column.

  11. CK says:

    Possum truly made a massive contribution to the Bloggening, and he’s a terrific writer to boot.

    On another matter, does anyone know what’s happened to the GG’s high-profile Chief Political Correspondent and Ms Oves?

    They appear to have been kidnapped.

  12. joe2 says:

    Oh hell CK when you fuck up in that tribe the only way is up.
    No more writing and stuff.

    Just higher pay and closer to the other board.

  13. Insight says:

    It would seem that Ms Ove will publicly reappear in the main support bout to the next Mundine mismatch.

    Opponent unknown. But suggestions welcomed.

  14. joe2 says:

    I’m thinking Super Sperm Milne VS Ms Ove in the ‘knock down do or die meltdown’, at the newly established, Muddy Murdoch Stadium.

  15. Tag team, all in wrestling – Overington & Albrechtsen vs Devine and Arndt. No holds barred cage fighting in a tub of lime flavoured Aeroplane Jelly.

  16. Paul Burns says:

    I think one of the reasons people voted Labor was Howard’s promise in his campaign speech to get rid of the welfare state. I reckon that scared a lot of people. Thats what the Libs will have at the forefront of their agenda next time they win power federally. And that old crone Howard will be behind the scenes manipulating whatever neophyte leader fools the electorate. So watch out!

  17. Jack Strocchi says:

    Kim says:

    the Liberal/media spin of Labor winning because Rudd was a mini-Howard is bulldust. He demonstrates that a majority of electors voted for Labor for positive reasons, and that the issues that counted were issues on which the public preferred Labor’s policy.

    The Newspoll survey is a bit of fluff for Left wing spin doctors to play with. Just post-electoral comfort punditry for ideologically-starved pinkos.

    The ALP won because it was way past time for a change of government, it had a fresh capable leader and it promised to repeal Work Choices. That was the only real issue that divided the party. It was that issue that frightened the marginal voters. Radicalism of any kind – Left or Right – will do that.

    On every other major substantive issue of interest to the public – fiscal, education, health, indigenous affairs, border security – Rudd echoed Howard or renounced Latham.

    A little exercise in transitive logic might do Kim’s view the world of good. Rudd was more like Howard than Beazley. Yet the voters liked Rudd more than Beazley. It follows that the voters were voting for an ALP leader more like Howard than any other.

    If Left issues were suddenly so important why was the Greens/Dems – the left-liberal parties par excellence – so underwhelming? A mere 1% up on the 2004 result in the middle of a vast pro-environmental media blitz.

    As Mumbles says:

    be sceptical of after-the-fact surveys, when result is done and dusted, all is seen through the prism of the outcome being “correct” and in some ways inevitable and the parties and people viewed as they are today, not as they were before 6pm AEST on election day.

    For example, it turns out the Rudd Opposition was brimming with ideas; the phrase ‘me-tooism’ has gone forever.

    Exit polls are better.

  18. kimberella says:

    Hmm, didn’t you “predict” a fall in the Greens/Dems vote, Jack? Now the vote’s risen and it’s “underwhelming”. So before the election, you constantly recite the mantra of “social scientific prediction” and now afterwards you seem to have dropped it and fallen back on the “punditry” which you previously scorned. How did all those “models” you lauded do? I think Mark’s tip of 87 seats was much closer to the final result than all the “social science predictions” we heard so much about from you before they met their reality.

  19. WaterDragon says:

    Possum’s link to Overington’s formal apology to Newhouse was a classic also.

  20. Nabakov says:

    So according to Jack, the ALP either won mainly because of Workchoices and/or because Rudd echoed Howard and/or, as he approvingly quotes mumbles, “brimming with ideas; the phrase ‘me-tooism’ has gone forever.”

    Yer just not trying anymore are you old paint? Pretty much a nervous reflex these days.

  21. Nabakov says:

    But to be fair, I can guess how you’d have other things on your mind right now Jack. Congratulations on your imminent fatherhood. No matter what’s been said online, I don’t doubt your kid’s gonna grow up with a very committed, engaged and enthusiastic dad.

  22. gummotrotsky says:

    A little exercise in transitive logic might do Kim’s view the world of good. Rudd was more like Howard than Beazley. Yet the voters liked Rudd more than Beazley. It follows that the voters were voting for an ALP leader more like Howard than any other.

    Well, there’s a fine howler. That argument only stands up if you supply one, two or more unstated premises, to wit:

    1. The voters will vote for the person who is most like John Howard.
    2. The voters won’t actually vote for John Howard, even though, as John Howard, he is the person most like John Howard.

    Whoops, let’s try that again:

    1. The voters would prefer to vote for the ALP rather than John Howard if (and only if) the ALP is led by someone a lot like John Howard;

    2. Kevin Rudd is a lot more like John Howard than Kim Beazley;

    so

    A vote for Labor is in fact a vote for John Howard;

    Nope – that doesn’t fly either.

    A little remedial reading on the subject of formal logic wouldn’t do your skills of argument any harm Jack.

  23. Enemy Combatant says:

    Jack S: [“The ALP won because it was way past time for a change of government, it had a fresh capable leader and it promised to repeal Work Choices. That was the only real issue that divided the party.”]

    That’s 3 “real Issues”, JS, and not a mention from you of Kevin’s first official act as PM. He signed Kyoto, Jack. I’m surprised that an aspirational transitive nationalist logician such as your good self failed to “register” this initiative.

    You’re understandably a little shell-shocked, Jack; the double blow to your hero Duce Rodente, the proximity of a new bambino(congratulations, best wishes), and the prospect of rooting for the tories in these wilderness years would be enough to pole axe a lesser man. But if you insist on being gauche about your “Rightist” bias, then folks are going to continue treating you as a difficult, though suitable candidate for instruction.

  24. Andrew says:

    Actually, I think Jack’s right. This sentence is spot on.

    “The ALP won because it was way past time for a change of government, it had a fresh capable leader and it promised to repeal Work Choices. That was the only real issue that divided the party. It was that issue that frightened the marginal voters. Radicalism of any kind – Left or Right – will do that.”

    I ‘swung’ to the ALP this time because I thought it was time for a change. It’s not healthy for one party to be in power too long – they get lazy and stale. I looking forward to see what Rudd can do – I’m just hoping he stays in the centre ground that he’s moved to occupy.

  25. If anyone wants to read a bizarre analysis of why the Coalition lost, why not try John Roskam’s 5 December opinion piece in The Age, ‘It wasn’t because they weren’t “liberal” enough that the Libs lost’. It’s hard to tell, but he seems to be saying that voters might not have discerned in WorkChoices underlying values they really didn’t like! He also makes the rather outrageous claim that the Libs could have been as ‘liberal as the Greens’ and still have lost – might not the likely insincerity of such a stance have something to do with that? Anyway, having woken absurdly early, I penned a letter to The Age in response.

  26. derrida derider says:

    The trouble with these sort of analyses is that there’s no counterfactual available.

    My contention, for example, is that its preoccupation with fighting the culture wars cost the previously government dearly. But not by directly changing votes – the swinging voter segment of the population is pretty apathetic either way about these sort of issues. Rather it took focus and energy away from things that did matter to them.

    People thought the government was past its use by date not because it was chronologically old, but because it was mentally old – it had no way to move the country forward. How could it, when like an old soldier in a nursing home it spent its days refighting ancient lost battles?

  27. Peterc says:

    Roskam is just trying to paper over the real reasons that the Liberals lost – which was that the likes of Howard, Ruddock, Brough, Andrews and Costello (+ most of the rest) lurched Australia across to right wing ideological outcomes (such as WorkChoices) and people didn’t like it. This is evidenced by small l liberal candidates/incumbents such as Petro Georgiou in Kooyong have no swing against him (a slight increase in fact) with the most of the right wingers had major swings against them. Roskam would be keen to rewrite this outcome to keep the rw agenda alive and well. So no sorry, don’t pass WorkChoices repeal in the senate etc. The beast is not dead, it is licking its wounds.

  28. Jack Strocchi says:

    [CROW ALERT: Readers with a propensity to weep should pass over the following.]

    Comment by kimberella — December 6, 2007 @ 12:26 am

    So before the election, you constantly recite the mantra of “social scientific prediction” and now afterwards you seem to have dropped it and fallen back on the “punditry” which you previously scorned. How did all those “models” you lauded do? I think Mark’s tip of 87 seats was much closer to the final result than all the “social science predictions” we heard so much about from you before they met their reality.

    Kim, you are off the mark, out of your depth and floundering desperately. Your case is based on double falsehoods about predictions by mark and myself.

    Mark’s pre-election tip was well off in the 2pp spread. He said that “My tip…is Labor with 87 seats – meaning a 2PP of just under 54%.” The actual 2pp result, which more accurately reflects public preference, was just under 53%.

    In any case, Mark’s “prediction” was made about two days before the election. This is like calling a horse race two lengths out from the finishing line! Not much skill in that.

    As for me, I got the major party result and spread exactly right and well before any other professional political analysts including mumbles, possum and Quiggin. More over I did this on the basis of standard psephologic models plus my own judgement, not blindly following polls, punters or pundits.

    One year before the election I predicted that the ALP would win. This was when some of the polls still had the ALP and LN/P neck and neck.

    I used basic psephologic theory, expecting that the “recessional” tendency of the electoral pendulum – after a governmental tenure more than 50% greater than average – would outweigh Howard’s advantages in economic prosperity, cultural identity and national security policies. This is pretty much the Occam’s Razor interpretation that mumbles also latched onto.

    And more than six months out from the election – in the middle of Ruddo-mania based on landslide polling numbers – I predicted the final result to within 0.5%.

    I think that the ALP will win comfortably, around 52%-48% 2pp. Mark is suggesting an ALP win in excess of 53%-47%. I am willing to put $100 that ALP 2pp will not get north of 53%. Is mark ready to put his money where his mouth is?

    Smart of him to decline the bet. I cleaned mark’s clock. And well before mark took his first tottering baby steps towards psephologic predictive competency.

    I did not believe that the post-Rudd polls – which consistently predicted a landslide like 55-45 2pp spread – were accurate. I predicted the polls would narrow as the campaign progressed as indeed they did to a 52-48 2pp spread. On LP I also predicted that Howard’s marginal electorate strategy would improve the efficiency of his polling-to-seating ratio.

    I dont entirely trust the polls predictive capacity. In the past they seem to have somewhat underestimated the LN/P vote, perhaps due to a certain pro-govt inertial tendency when ballot comes to poll. They also do not take into account the distribution of votes. Howard has proven a past master of harvesting votes in marginal seats.

    On Quiggins blog about a month before the election I said that “the polls, or samples, are flawed and are underestimating the LN/P’s vote by a couple of percent.”

    So to summarise my predictions on the federal election: On the ALP result: correct; On the size of the 2pp spread: correct; on the campaign poll narrowing: correct; on the marginal seat-to-vote ratio: correct. I make that a clean sweep.

    You can weep now.

    I understand that in the Kimverse, bahnischverse and nabakoverse this prediction could be spun as incorrect. But I am trying to address the reality-based community, which maybe they might consider joining?

    Guys, get your facts straight before you blunder into pixel. Then maybe you can move onto the next level up, scientific prediction that goes beyond next week.

    Kim says:

    Hmm, didn’t you “predict” a fall in the Greens/Dems vote, Jack? Now the vote’s risen and it’s “underwhelming”.

    I acknowledge that I did fall below my usual standard in predicting the minor party vote. For the Senate, in 2004 the GREEN/DEM vote was just under 10%. In 2007 the GREEN/DEM vote was just over 10%. So I was within 1% of being spot on.

    Not too bad considering that the campaign was utterly dominated by a full court press of media-academic-diplomatic Green-ganda, complete with endless pictures of cuddly polar bears frolicking on melting ice floes. The fact that the Left minor parties barely moved up with all this push tells me all I need to know about the shallowness of public support for the liberal agenda.

    I did however screw up in predicting a Howard victory in Bennelong. Failed to observe traders first law “Never get married to a position”. I have a soft spot for JWH ever since he managed the liberation of Timor.

    The problem for you guys is professional rather than political. Although I do think your cultural ideology is despicable. You just dabble in science and dont seem to have a facility with empirical data or theoretical logic.

    The bahnisch’s, kims and nabakovs try to get some psephologic runs on the board before blazing away at me. So far the only hits they have scored are in their feet.

  29. mbahnisch says:

    Props to you then, Jack. But your predictions, like mine which disclaimed the name, have no social-scientific basis and are just the punditry you affect to despise. What you in fact gave as instances of “social-scientific models” which had predictive validity were things like Possum’s, which if memory served predicted an ALP 2PP of more than 55%.

    I did however screw up in predicting a Howard victory in Bennelong. Failed to observe traders first law “Never get married to a position”. I have a soft spot for JWH ever since he managed the liberation of Timor.

    Yep, Jack, it’s all about the “theoretical logic” and the “empirical data” with you!

  30. Jack Strocchi says:

    Comment by mbahnisch — December 9, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

    But your predictions, like mine which disclaimed the name, have no social-scientific basis and are just the punditry you affect to despise. What you in fact gave as instances of “social-scientific models” which had predictive validity were things like Possum’s, which if memory served predicted an ALP 2PP of more than 55%.

    My psephologic model is a combination of the standard Down’s static economic model of median voter in a democracy combined with the Cameron-Crosby dynamic economic model of the electoral cycle. Parties tend towards the median voter (“convergence”) and will only make big moves when excessive political incumbency or financial stagnation puts the govt on the nose.

    You should use Occam’s Razor and the scientific method to analyse the result, not spin doctoring. The possum analysis of Newspoll is worse than useless since voters, like pundits, just impose a Platonic spin on their vote once they know the result. You, possum and kim are just indulging in Leftist spin.

    This is why good experimenters use “double blind” methods – neither subject or experimenter knows the answer in advance or specific process so the result is not contaminated. At least an exit poll would have avoided this pitfall.

    Call me an old-fashioned positivist but I judge a theory or model’s social scientific validity by its predictive veracity. I dont dogmatically assert social scientific validity for a model and put its misses down to bad luck or some such.

    You can deride my model as having “no social scientific basis”. But we are entitled to take a jaundiced view of the philosophy of science of someone who takes the works of discredited charlatans like Foucault and Derrida seriously.

    There is nothing amazing about the anti-LN/P’s swing, about 50% larger than most anti-govt swings. Its about what youd expect given that the LN/P was in office for about 50% longer than most governments.

    Leftists have been building a cocoon of delusion about the scale of the Rudd victory. It was not all that overwhelming.

    It does not portend a big change of policy direction. Rudd followed a me-too or small target strategy on most issues of substance apart from IR. He knows what works politically. A 3% anti-ALP swing next election would lose it for the ALP. He will not be taking any risks with fiscal or cultural policy, despite the fondest hopes of ideologically-challenged Leftists.

    You will just have to accept the fact, as proven by my links, that possum and you are scientific also-rans in this election. Mumble and I can claim bragging rights because we hit the mark, forgive the pun.

    Also, this is not the first time. I make that six elections on the trot that I have correctly called. Maybe its just luck. But, as Nicklaus used to say, “the more I practice the luckier I get”.

    PS As for the Howard prediction, following scientific practice I admit where I went wrong and specify the workings of the result. In this case I let emotion sway reason. Unlikely to happen very often since Howard can only liberate Timor once.

  31. mbahnisch says:

    You should use Occam’s Razor and the scientific method to analyse the result, not spin doctoring. The possum analysis of Newspoll is worse than useless since voters, like pundits, just impose a Platonic spin on their vote once they know the result. You, possum and kim are just indulging in Leftist spin.

    You specifically pointed to Possum’s model as an example of what you thought was social-scientific prediction, Jack, before the election. Of course, now you’ve decided you don’t like the data on the reasons for the results, so you claim “bias”.

    Call me an old-fashioned positivist but I judge a theory or model’s social scientific validity by its predictive veracity. I dont dogmatically assert social scientific validity for a model and put its misses down to bad luck or some such.

    I await with interest your mathematical adumbration of your “model”, then. Perhaps while you work on that, you’d like to explain further how the Downsian median voter hypothesis actually interacts with the Cameron-Crosby model.

  32. Jack Strocchi says:

    Comment by mbahnisch — December 9, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

    You specifically pointed to Possum’s model as an example of what you thought was social-scientific prediction, Jack, before the election. Of course, now you’ve decided you don’t like the data on the reasons for the results, so you claim “bias”.

    You are confusing a philosophic point with a scientific contest. I was referring to Possum’s pre-election predictions not his post-election retrodictions. Before the election I said Possum was game to subject his psephologic theories to a predictive test. Which is a whole world better than denying the possibility of predictive tests in principle – the banisch “contribution” to philosophy of social science.

    His pre-election theory or model did not track the final data as well as mine. That does not make his models unscientific. They were testable and falsifiable, which is the Popperian criteria for science. Its just that they did not pass the test as well as they might have. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

    The Possum study of Newspoll was a waste of time. Analysing the data on the reasons for the result is a perfect example of the uselessness of qualitative analysis of which you are so fond. The Newspoll questions are arbitrarily framed by the pollster and are unavoidably contaminated by the subjects awareness of the election result. Respondents invariably frame their reply in the Platonic mode, to make their preferences look more rational and benevolent in retrospect. It is a form of self-spin doctoring, derivative from the global spin doctors churned out by pundits.

    Mark says:

    I await with interest your mathematical adumbration of your “model”, then. Perhaps while you work on that, you’d like to explain further how the Downsian median voter hypothesis actually interacts with the Cameron-Crosby model.

    I posit the Downsian model as a first approximation of a AUS’s democratic political system because it accords with my observation and theorisation of AUS’s trans-ideological major party convergence. It is akin to a null hypothesis given the high degree of AUS partisan and polity consensus on ideological matters.

    I reccommend you bone up on DOwns as his theory is eerily prescient about AUS’s political stability and equability. AUS politics is now pretty much at median voter equilibrium, with the parties virtually indistinguishable in economic, cultural and ecologic policies. Just as I predicted from the early noughties.

    Downs also sets out the positivist philosophy with admirable brevity and clarity: he quotes Milton Friedman in chapter two that: “Theoretical models should be tested primarily by the accuracy of their predictions rather than by the reality of their assumptions” (Friedman, 1953).

    Of course Friedman only won a Nobel prize for correctly predicting stagnation. An intellectual pygmy compared to the mighty Bahnisch and his tea-leaf peering.

    The Cameron-Crosby model is theirs, not mine. It is similar in structure to Ray Fair’s model of the US politico-economy. I merely applied it to contemporary AUS data.

    The model works – ie successfully predicts- about 2/3 of the time. It predicts a rising vote for the govt as unemployment falls. It predicts a declining vote for the govt as incumbency duration is extended. So I split the difference and got the correct result.

    A little art and common sense helps when applying pure theory.

    Finally, I hope that this little exercise has taught you, Kim, Nabakov et al something about the methods of science. My application of standard theory got the correct result. Your abjuration of theory meant that you did not get to the starting line. To put it bluntly, I you got beat.

    SO you are not the one to be interrogating me about my analysis since I got it right, for the sixth time running – three on-line. You should look to your own intellectual deficiencies if you want to make a profession of political science, rather than resorting to cheap bluster and bluff about “strocchiverse”.

    “Sometimes nuthin’ cant be a real cool hand.”

    With apologies to C. H. Luke

  33. Jack Strocchi says:

    I should say Downs model is “default position” rather than “null hypothesis”. But it amounts to the same thing, since cyclical variations in the parties vote will tend to even out over time – amounting to “noise” over the long run.

    True changes in partisan alignment will be driven by exogenous ideological changes in the populations underlying preferences. This happened in the seventies with New Left cultural policy and the eighties with New Right financial policy.

    The big sea changes in partisan alignment came in 1993 with the defeat of New Right economic rationalism. And in 2001 with the defeat of New Left political correctness.

    Ever since then the population has settled down, with the tweedledee-tweedledum partisan alignment reflecting underlying popular consensus, at least amongst the broad mainstream of the public.

  34. mbahnisch says:

    His pre-election theory or model did not track the final data as well as mine. That does not make his models unscientific. They were testable and falsifiable, which is the Popperian criteria for science. Its just that they did not pass the test as well as they might have. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

    Jack, Possum had one and you don’t, I’m afraid. That’s demonstrated by your inability to specify mathematically how the two theories you’re invoking interact.

    the defeat of New Left political correctness.

    How would you measure this or operationalise it as a variable? Does it make sense as a concept? It’s those sort of questions you need to be able to answer if you really do want to construct a hypothesis and test it.

    I reccommend you bone up on DOwns as his theory is eerily prescient about AUS’s political stability and equability. AUS politics is now pretty much at median voter equilibrium, with the parties virtually indistinguishable in economic, cultural and ecologic policies. Just as I predicted from the early noughties.

    In point of fact I happened to be reading about it the other day. I’m sure you’re aware of the criticisms of it as logically incoherent and as having no explanatory value, only descriptive value?

    And the second statement is just your view.

    SO you are not the one to be interrogating me about my analysis since I got it right, for the sixth time running – three on-line

    Bully for you! Your claim that I “got it wrong” rests on parameters you yourself set. My informed speculation suggested 87 seats and a 2PP of just under 54%. The result was 84 seats (currently) and a 2PP Mackerras estimates at 52.6% when taking into account the votes for successful independents in two electorates. The seat projection was what I did first, looking at the situation state by state and in individual seatsand the 2PP number was what Antony Green’s election gadget said corresponded to that amount of seats. As it turns out, Labor won more seats than his model which sought to translate 2PP into seats won predicted (which I’m sure wouldn’t bother Antony). So I’m not embarrassed in the slightest! Particularly since I’m getting a nice payout from Centrebet on individual seats 😉

  35. Jack Strocchi says:

    Comment by mbahnisch — December 11, 2007 @ 1:03 am

    Your claim that I “got it wrong” rests on parameters you yourself set. My informed speculation suggested 87 seats and a 2PP of just under 54%. The result was 84 seats (currently) and a 2PP Mackerras estimates at 52.6% when taking into account the votes for successful independents in two electorates.

    Seats are not a good index of true political popularity due to gerrymandering and marginal seat vote buying. I love the weasel phrase “informed speculation”. This is just a dodge to avoid the using the word prediction. YOu need to get over your allergy to this word if you want to make it in the scientific community.

    Right now the hottest intellectual topic is the models predicting global warming. According to mark these guys are doing nothing more than “informed speculation”! So maybe I can go out an by that gas guzzling SUV after all because some post modernist says that prediction of “unique historical events” is impossible.

    More than 12 months out I predicted that the ALP’s vote would be 52%. About two days out you predicted the ALP’s 2pp vote would be 54%. This after endless waffle about the likelihood of a huge electoral wipeout for the LN/P.

    Given that the major party 2pp spread never goes beyond a 10% range – 55-45 to 45-55 – your 2% error translates into a 20% error. This when the horse race was within two lengths of the finish line. Nothing to brag about.

    The end result was ALP 52%. I got it exactly right. Moreover I predicted that the polls were exaggerating the LN/P lead by 2% in 2pp. Again this was exactly right.

    mark says:

    So I’m not embarrassed in the slightest!

    But I am not surprised that you are not embarrassed. Anyone with the gaul to be an unreconstructed Cultural Leftist whilst this sort of thing is going on has a pretty thick hide.

    One call that I am embarrassed by is my falsified prediction that Howard would win Bennelong. I assumed that the redistributed and strong North Asian community would vote with the general swing, or lack of it, in this electorate. I also thought that Howard could count on a local sympathy vote.

    It turned out that Howard’s vote mirrored the national swing, not too bad given the redistribution. However any sympathy vote he may have got was cancelled out by the Asian vote which swung heavily against him due to heavy ethnic lobbying by the ALP. This is exactly the kind of race-based politicking that bothers me about the modern Left. But I assumed they had gotten over it.

    This is an ominous sign and augurs for quite a long and bloody prolongation of the Culture War.

  36. mbahnisch says:

    Bored now.

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