Federal pendulum

elections AT


two decades of Newspolls

state votes at federal elections

Votes and seat
1949 - 2001


Newspoll &
Morgan graphs

preferential voting

federal election 2001

NSW election 2003

Vic election 2002

Beazley versus Crean

Newspoll Opposition leader approval ratings

Newspoll Opposition voting intentions

State federal relations

Warning: this page has a medium to high esoteric rating. Enter at own risk .....

There are 12 graphs below, 2 for each state. One is a line graph of two party preferred federal votes (both Coalition and Labor) since 1949.

The second is a bar chart showing the state's relative support for federal Labor. It is the two party preferred Labor vote minus the average of all states'; the corresponding Coalition number would mirror Labor's around the horizontal line.

The red/blue horizontal line below the bar chart indicates which party was in power at state level.

Click each to enlarge


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NSW has historically been the Labor state. So although it sometimes gives the Coalition a two party preferred majority, its relative support is nearly always above the line. Not in 2001, however.

Queensland is the opposite: almost without exception a relative supporter of the Coalition, except its two party preferred Labor vote (the red line) only strays above 50% once every several decades (most recently in 1990.)

Tasmania was a traditional Labor state until 1975; it took another 18 years to get over the Whitlam experience and take its red line above 50%. It's been there ever since, was the only state to swing to Labor at the last poll, and currently the party holds all five seats there.

Victorian graphs, centre of the Labor split of '55, tell the dramatic story. Whitlam finally kicked the Vic apparatchiks into shape after '69 and got elected in '72. Victoria contributed a massive Coalition swing in 1990 but, after unloading Cain/Kirner government in 1992, has been Federal Labor's best friend.

In this way Victoria exhibits similar behaviour to NSW, although the Bracks government hasn't so far been particularly detrimental to its federal counterparts.

Of course, a comparison at any date of a state's behaviour relative to the rest should recognise that 'the rest' can be greatly influenced by a particular state's individual behaviour. On this and other things I'm guilty of simplification, but my main charge in this instance remains: the presence of Bob Carr, in the state with 50 of 150 House of Representatives seats, has been disastrous for federal Labor.

No wonder John Howard doesn't seem to be busting a gut for John Brogden.

There's a whole other story - of the disappearance of state Coalition government's since Howard's election. No coincidence here, some "over-determination" happening.

But that's for another day.

Recent history

In recent history, 1993 saw NSW, Victoria and Tasmania swing to Keating while Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia swung to Hewson. In 1996 everybody swung to Howard, in 1998 everybody swung to Beazley; in 2001 everybody except Tasmania swung to Howard.

See national two party preferred vote 1949 - 2001