W&D's psephological-bookie review
W&D doesn't have much faith in opinion polls. Take the current excitement over whatever the various newspaper polls say about the election outcome. W&D always notes the qualifications:
- There is a +/-5% sampling error
- Preferences are assumed to be distributed as they were at the last election
Add to this:
- the significantly increased number of 'undecided' voters
- the assumption that voter moods are equal across all electorates
...and you can see why W&D is skeptical of opinion polls.
Which is why W&D looks at the betting odds. Betting odds look at who the bookies/ punters think will win (on a seat by seat basis), not which way might people vote.
W&D's weekly table, Follow The Money, provides readers with bookies' thoughts, or rather, actual flow of money. And hence W&D is happy to use bookies' odds as the basis for predicting outcomes.
Current federal balance
Coalition majority: 15
Bookies' predicted federal balance
Coalition majority: 5
There has been a federal 're-distribution' to reflect population changes, with WA gaining one seat at NSW's expense. This means boundaries in some NSW seats have significantly changed. Two NSW seats, Dobell and Paterson that are Coalition held are now notionally Labor.
In addition to Labor gaining those two seats, the bookies predict that Labor will pick up:
New South Wales
- Burt (the new seat)
But, but, there are two others where the odds are even, as it were: Hindmarsh and Eden-Monaro.
The Coalition might scrape home. But a week is a long time in politics. And there are three, long weeks to go.