Nate Silver was suddenly a genius because he called the Obama victory in 2012 when so many people had written him off. What was Nate’s secret? Simply that he looked at each state and worked out – based on the polls – what was likely to happen and who was likely to end up with the most Electoral College votes. Of course, he predicted that there was high degree of certainty about Hillary winning and he got that wrong… Well, not exactly wrong, but people expect that when someone says this is ninety percent certain, it means you can presume that it’s a hundred percent certain and if the ten percent actually happens then you were wrong…
Malcolm Mackerras was the go-to man for elections in Australia before Antony Green but made the terrible mistake one election of looking at the swing and declaring the election for the wrong side. He looked at the overall swing and not the individual electorates. Yes, based on the nationwide swing, the government lost. They’re just wasn’t a uniform swing and, in the electorates that mattered, the government held on.
I mention all this because I’ve been reading a number of people who are all telling me that Morrison will win the next election because he’s just so popular and a number of them despair for Australia and the education system when a man like him can pull the wool over people’s eyes so easily.
Now, I could launch into a defence of schools here and say that it’s all the fault of the media, but that would be wrong of me because I think that there’s an element of truth in the accusation. Of course, it’s also true that if one attempts to educate children to think clearly and dispassionately, one may be in trouble for introducing one’s political views into the classroom. In other words, some of us don’t want kids thinking and if you ask them why some people may call Australia Day, Invasion Day, then you’re introducing a whole political flavour to the classroom… Personally, I’ve preferred to ban ideas like that and any talk of climate change and just relied on the fact that most adolescents want to rebel so it gets them thinking….
Anyway, while some of you are sowing the seeds of despair and saying that there’s no way that Scott Morrison won’t be PM for the rest of his life, I’d like to offer these little titbits of hope…
And, I’d also like to apologise if anyone found the word “titbits” offensive. Honestly, political correctness gone mad… it’s got so you can’t try to launch a violent overthrow of the government without social media banning you…
Moving on, I’d like to say at this point I’m not predicting the next election result. Yes, I did tell you that Tony Abbott would be dumped and replaced by Malcolm Turnbull. And I did predict that Morrison would do a Bradbury and skate through as Peter Dutton slammed Malcolm into the fence…
No, this is not a prediction. This is a reminder that most election predictions have been wrong for the past few years; this is a reminder that Nate Silver got it right.
So, let’s look at the state of play in the House of Representatives. The Government hold 77 seats, Labor hold 68 and Independents hold 6. This gives the Coalition a reasonably comfortable majority. However, if a government MP voted against them and all the rest did as well then they’d need the Speaker to use his casting vote to win the vote. I don’t think that this will happen, mind you, but I’m just pointing out that this Parliament is as tight as most of the previous ones and Morrison didn’t win a landslide, so he’s never going to stand up to Kelly, Christensen or indeed anyone.
So when we move on to the next election what’s likely to happen? And yes, the answer is: How the fuck does anyone know, when events can change everything in a minute?
Let’s just do the Nate Silver thing for a minute here.
A net gain of two seats to Labor puts the Coalition into minority government.
A net gain of five Labor seats makes Labor the major party.
Now for those of you who want to check this out for yourself, I’ve included the list of marginal Coalition seats 2019 and margins at the end, but I just want to ask you what you expect in each of the following cases and ask you to suspend your disbelief and assume that Labor hold all their current seats which – yes, I know that won’t happen, but stick with this, people…
Seat 1: Gladys Liu holds Chisholm by less than one percent. At the 2019 election, the Liberals had all but conceded it, but Gladys pulled off a surprising victory. Given that Morrison is going to hit his “We need to stand up to China schtick”, do you think that this will play well for Gladys or do you think, they’ll work on the theory that winning over the racists is the way to go and we’ll just accept that people may think that she’s a spy.
Seat 2: Dave Sharma won Wentworth by a margin of less than 1.5%. He seems to have presumed that this means that seat is his for life and that he can ignore the electorate and tweet things that will have the Matt Canavans backing him in future leadership spill. He completely overlooks the fact that Malcolm Turnbull may be prepared to back me as independent and donate a million dollars for my campaign for no other reason than he can put his arm around me and say, “I’m ambition for this guy!”
Seat 3: Steve Irons holds the electorate of Swan by a margin of less than three percent. This a Western Australian electorate. If the election is held too soon then all that they’ll remember is the “Come on, open up your borders and join the rest of Australia with the virus!” And yes, we did support Clive Palmer suing you, until we realised that was so stupid that even Christian Porter might lose his seat… And not just the one at the bar. (He’s a barrister, for god’s sake, what’s all this talk of suing me. He could lose the right to be a barrister. This has nothing to do with any other bars that he may have been in!)
Seat 4: Katie Allen won Higgins by slightly less than four percent. I would say Dr Katie Allen but I’m unsure about whether she’s ever delivered a baby and I do remember a kerfuffle about President Biden’s wife calling herself a doctor when she’d only earned a Ph.D in education. Anyway, there was some talk about this being a three way contest between Labor, The Greens and the Liberals. Like Dave Sharma, she seems to be trying to impress her colleagues rather than the electorate. I’m not the sort of man who makes predictions except when I think I’ll be right, but I am willing to say that I suspect that next election we’ll be crossing for the latest results from Higgins.
Seat 5: Terry Young holds Longman in Queensland but less than four percent. At the 2019 election, Queenslanders were upset when Bob Brown’s caravan of greenies told them to stop the Adani mine. If the next election happens too soon, then not only will they still remember Morrison telling them to open their borders, but Bob won’t be able to get in there and annoy them because their borders will be closed.
Ok, there’s the five seats that make the Coalition the minor party. And, anyone had actually done the arithmetic then you’ll see that I’m actually wrong even if all my predictions are correct, because I predicted that some them would go to other people and not Labor.
But, gees, when has being wrong ever stopped people from being successful in politics?
Just do what our leaders are doing and look at what’s below and make your own predictions about what to expect…
|Bass (TAS)||Bridget Archer||LIB||50.41|
|Chisholm (VIC)||Gladys Liu||LIB||50.57|
|Wentworth (NSW)||Dave Sharma||LIB v IND||51.31|
|Boothby (SA)||Nicolle Flint||LIB||51.38|
|Swan (WA)||Steve Irons||LIB||52.69|
|Braddon (TAS)||Gavin Pearce||LIB||53.09|
|Reid (NSW)||Fiona Martin||LIB||53.18|
|Longman (QLD)||Terry Young||LNP||53.28|
|Higgins (VIC)||Katie Allen||LIB||53.88|
|Leichhardt (QLD)||Warren Entsch||LNP||54.17|
|Robertson (NSW)||Lucy Wicks||LIB||54.24|
|La Trobe (VIC)||Jason Wood||LIB||54.49|
|Dickson (QLD)||Peter Dutton||LNP||54.64|
|Casey (VIC)||Tony Smith||LIB||54.64|
|Deakin (VIC)||Michael Sukkar||LIB||54.78|
|Brisbane (QLD)||Trevor Evans||LNP||54.92|
|Lindsay (NSW)||Melissa McIntosh||LIB||55.04|
|Hasluck (WA)||Ken Wyatt||LIB||55.39|
|Flinders (VIC)||Greg Hunt||LIB||55.64|
|Stirling (WA)||Vince Connelly||LIB||55.65|
|Kooyong (VIC)||Josh Frydenberg||LIB v GRN||55.70|
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