Wrong polls blindsided nation, but 'Shorten knew all along'
As Scott Morrison charged to victory yesterday, seemingly defying all odds, Australians were left scratching their heads about how the polls could have got it so wrong.
In the past two years leading up to last night’s election, the Coalition did not win a single Newspoll.
Even as late as Friday night, Newspoll, YouGov/Galaxy, Ipsos and ReachTEL polls had Labor ahead 51-49 on the two-party preferred vote.
Although traditionally more accurate, the exit polls were also disastrously wrong, with Nine’s YouGov Galaxy Exit Poll pointing to a decisive ALP victory with a swing away from the government of 2.4 per cent.
But, while the public remained in the dark about the election bombshell that lay ahead, there are growing suggestions that both Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison were taken far less by surprise.
Speaking this morning on the ABC’s Insiders program, columnist Nikki Savva said internal polling done by both Labor and the Coalition showed very different results to the public polls.
“The published polls were certainly very different from the internal polling the Liberal Party were doing … it was picking up big swings in Queensland,” she said.
ABC journalist Patricia Karvelas agreed. “They could see what was happening. It just wasn’t being reflected in the public polls,” she said.
“The Labor Party polling showed them behind in every key seat in Queensland. Strategists there were very worried about their polling. In terms of gaining seats, they weren’t confident.”
Nine contributor Samantha Maiden wrote that internal ALP polling never saw the party getting above the 76 seats they needed to secure a majority.
“While the result defied expectations of a Labor landslide, the ALP knew all along it was a close-run thing,” she wrote.
“Mr Shorten knew all along. But even Labor was shocked by the size of the swing and the collapse of the primary vote that was far worse than its own polling.”
Tasmanian election analyst Kevin Bonham wrote on Saturday night that the polling failures were different to Donald Trump's 2016 election win, where the national polls were correct but there were serious local errors.
"This is a national total polling failure more similar to Brexit or to recent UK national elections," he said.
"Betting markets failed as well - initially expecting Labor to win by more than Labor's leads at the time showed."
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the polling fail follows a global trend.
"Pollsters got it wrong with Brexit, they got it wrong with Trump, and now they've got it wrong at the federal election here in Australia," he told ABC Radio on Sunday.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said it was time for a change.
"What it does show is that the era of opinion polls I think is over. They can't be trusted," he said.
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