13 September 2003

Voters lukewarm on Carr to Canberra

The Carr for Canberra supporters could take heart from this group, as there is significant potential there for a Labor gain.

With Labor polling around 40 per cent in NSW, it suggests the federal ALP might increase its vote by up to 13 percentage points.

However, this cannot be taken for granted.

Pollster John Stirton said yesterday: 'Whether Bob Carr's enormous popularity can actually be converted to votes at the federal level is uncertain. The evidence in this poll shows that it could be a struggle.'

I should really have called this post 'How to spin a poll'. You have to read as far as paragraph 9 before you discover that a Carr shift could raise the federal Labor vote from 40% to 53%. I do not have access to a Mackerras electoral pendulum but a 53% two-party preferred vote sounds to me like a Carr landslide. If they're talking about a primary vote of 53% the seat of Bennelong (sitting MHR, one John Howard) is likely to go Labor. It is only an NSW poll so we do not know what the Carr effect would be in other states.

Why then, do we get the silly headline about lukewarm voters? According to these figures the electorate, in NSW at least, is red-hot for Carr.

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