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Above are calculations (using preference distributions from the previous
elections*) of two party preferred Newspoll results, from the primary figures,
from the beginning of 1985 to the start of the Iraq war. As usual, blue is Coalition
and red is Labor. Two party preferred always add to
100, hence the symmetry around 50% line.
Note: Every election is followed by a jump in support for the winner. Election results are closer than
most survey ones. The current term was notable for
tightness of contest until the Bali bombings; the subsequent jump in government
support was similar to recent war-inspired one. The biggest gaps in surveyed
support were in the
Keating government's last term, when both government and opposition took massive
leads at different times. Beazley also hit huge gaps for periods in both
his terms as opposition leader. Both times he peaked at about three quarter time
to go down in a close finish.
In 1987 and 1990 Newspoll over-estimated the Hawke government's support. In
1993 they under-estimated the Keating government's and in 1996 and 1998 they
were pretty right. The 2001 election was closer than they thought; they had the
Howard government further ahead than turned out to be the case.
* Preference allocations were calculated
using flows from the respective previous election. For the current and
previous term, these are allocated according to each minor party: Democrats,
Green, One Nation and "Other". For prior ones, all non-major
party votes are treated as one lump. This is due to data available, but it is
really only the current term, with historically large Green votes, that minor
party differentiation is important.