November 24, 2006 | Graham

Lower House seats to watch for Greens influence

Because of the small sample from the Victorian election (only 254 responses), and the strong skew to the Greens, I haven’t done too much analysis of the data to-date. You can make some useful quantitative conclusions from our qualitative surveys when there is a large enough sample, and if you are very careful (and maybe a little bit lucky). But with only 254 responses, and only 9% of them Liberal and 46% Greens, making broader predictions would be really pushing my luck. However, it does give a very good window into the minds of Greens voters, of whom there are 116 in the sample.
I’m going to share this information gradually, because I’m not sure how much time I will have to devote to it today – so best to blog a bit of information as it comes to hand.
The first thing that I have done is anlayse the Greens vote in terms of the seats that it comes from. Now if you assume that our Greens responses are distributed around the state in similar proportions to how they are in real life, then we can pinpoint the seats where they are going to have the most effect. In order, these would appear to be:
Richmond 13%
Northcote 12%
Brunswick 9%
Melbourne 9%
Eltham 6%
Footscray 5%
I’ve included Footscray and Eltham, because, while they are significantly smaller percentages than for the others, with a potential sample error of 9%, they could be much higher. The percentages in the others could also be much lower.
However, the Liberals are preferencing against the Greens in Footscray and Eltham, so it will be interesting to see whether this was a good judgement on their part. Footscray is safe Labor, and preferencing the Greens could help if there is a possibility of them finishing in the high 20 percent range. This is a possibility. Polls are showing the Greens on around 40% of the vote in Melbourne. So, proportionately, Eltham could be five-ninths of this, or 22%. Throw in the margin for error, and the Greens could feasibly exceed this by enough to be in the high 20s, or even better.
Eltham is marginal Labor, so it is probably unlikely that the Greens could win that. The Liberals should know how the Greens are travelling in Eltham, because as a marginal seat they should be polling it. Their guess is likely to be not even as good as ours in the case as Footscray as it is so safe you wouldn’t generally waste money polling it.

Posted by Graham at 12:08 pm | Comments (2) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. I am surprised by the Eltham results, I play basketball out there every 3rd week and while it isn’t redneck or bogan country, people do seem quite conservative. Their basketball team is called the “wildcats” which may or may not indicate a disdain for conservation.
    I suspect that a high proportion of parents ‘beat’ their children if they lose.

    Comment by Benno — November 24, 2006 @ 4:33 pm

  2. Benno, you’re probably right – that’s why I point to the high margin of error. There could just be a small nest of Greens roosting out there who all responded to the survey. We might have captured all of the seven greens who live in Eltham. And then again, we might not. Will be interesting to see the results tonight.
    Then again, it might not be that at all. When I analysed the postcodes on the Petro Georgiou petition I found a significant cluster of Greens in Page. You wouldn’t call Page Greens territory, but just around Lismore and Nimbin they are actually quite thick on the ground and in a tight election could make the difference.

    Comment by Graham Young — November 25, 2006 @ 4:08 pm

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