With one week to go, the election campaign has descended to a level of debate at which rational argument is irrelevant. There’s little point in having a reasoned position on greenhouse policy, offshore processing or the efficacy of fiscal stimulus measures, if either (1) the parties are in agreement anyway, or (b) the parties’ most emphatic claims are nothing more than generic scaremongering, for example that Labor/Coalition policies will push up the cost of living, raise interest rates, or threaten jobs. It’s only a short step up from “Gillard/Abbott! Ooogaboogah!”
The contest is of interest only as a sporting spectacle. On that basis, I announce the following competition.
Predict the result of the election for the House of Representatives. Responses should be entered in the comments thread for this post. You should specify which party/parties will win government, and the extent of the majority. At present, for example, the composition is: ALP: 83, Coalition parties: 63, Independents: 4. So the Government has a majority of 16.
Update: The amount pledged for predictions accurate within five seats is now
$100 $150 $200.
Update II: The deadline is extended to
Thursday Friday. Have a stab, if you haven’t already.
As a result of adjustments to electoral boundaries, one Labor seat (Lowe) has been abolished, and one new, notionally LNP, seat (Wright) created. The seat of Ryan (whose occupant was expelled by the LNP) can be regarded as a Coalition seat. Taking these considerations on board, the status quo is effectively 82-65-3. This means that if the Coaltion can wrest seven to ten additional seats away from the ALP,we will have a hung parliament. Winning eleven will bring them government in their own right.
However, the Coalition parties would meanwhile need to hold on to six of their own seats that have become notionally Labor due to other boundary changes.
According to Antony Green’s pendulum, a uniform 2.3% swing would be just sufficient: to take Robertson, Macquarie, Bennelong and Eden Monaro in NSW, Solomon in the NT, Corangamite and Deakin in Victoria, Hasluck in WA, Longman and Flynn in Queensland, and Bass and Braddon in Tasmania. That’s twelve seats, but they’d need the extra one to compensate for Greenway, which they’d lose without a bigger swing.
But swings are never uniform, so there is scope for a feast of different predictions.
This brings us back to the rules: Additional details, including a Senate result or individual seat predictions, are optional, but will be advantageous in the event of a tie.
The prize is essentially the glory, with the option of a guest post on how you knew what would happen.
For every prediction (of the extent of the majority) that is accurate within five seats I will donate $50 to the Red Cross’s Pakistan flood appeal (to a limit of $500). If any other Club Troppo bloggers, commenters or readers care to pledge an additional five or ten dollars on top of my fifty, that would be very welcome.
The deadline is
Wednesday 9pm Thursday 9pm. I’ll tabulate the predictions when I have enough to warrant it.