News Election 2019 Coalition election victory exposes ‘massive flaw’ in polls

Coalition election victory exposes ‘massive flaw’ in polls

Bill Shorten vote
Bill Shorten knew who was voting for, but Labor's review speculates many voters tipped the polls by forgetting who they backed in 2016. Photo: Getty Images
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The stunning election result returning the Morrison Coalition government was “a massive polling failure” that no one predicted.

Early on Saturday night, ABC election analyst Antony Green summed up the mood as the Coalition defied all the pre-election polls.

“At the moment, on these figures, it’s a bit of a spectacular failure of opinion polling,” he said on the ABC.

Most of the Newspoll, YouGov/Galaxy, Ipsos and ReachTEL polls had Labor ahead 51-49 on the two-party preferred vote, even as late as Friday night.

Instead Tasmanian election analyst Kevin Bonham said the Coalition was likely to get 51.6 per cent of the two-party vote – a “mirror image” of what was expected.

“What we’ve seen is a massive polling failure and a result that (whatever exactly it is) was not predicted by anybody much to my knowledge,” Dr Bonham wrote on Saturday night.

Dr Bonham said 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.”

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.

Perhaps the worst polling failure came from the Northern Territory, where psychic crocs have successfully picked the winners of the past three elections.

This time around, even Burt the psychic croc chose Bill Shorten to win.