Automatic enrolment in Victoria
Yesterday Antony Green posted on the Victorian government’s automatic enrolment legislation. This would go further than the NSW act as it gets youngsters onto the roll for the first time. Also in NSW, there seems to be a possible unspoken agreement to hold off on the publicity until after the federal election so as not to play havoc with that portion of the federal roll. This is not possible in Victoria which goes to the polls in November unless the federal poll is early; Antony sees here possible evidence for an August federal election.
Green ^%$ preferences
Antony also posted on Green polling. His first commenter pondered Green preferences flows.
Possum posted on this this week using Nielsen poll data, concluding that Green preferences in the last seven months have moved in tandem with first preference support for the major parties, which means they increasingly favour the Coalition.
Possum reckons the “ALP Protected Left Flank Hypothesis” that “the ALP can lose primary votes to their left (the Greens) because they ultimately get them back via preferences” is “mostly piffle at the moment”. Hmm. This seems to assume all the recent increase in Green support in the polls comes from ALP support.
Like Charles Richardson in Crikey (subscription required) I have difficulty contemplating a path from Labor-voting to Coalition-voting that goes through Green-voting. Like him I reckon some (probably most) “new” Green supporters in today’s polls come from Labor and some (a minority) from the Coalition, and some of Labor’s primary vote is also going straight onto the Coalition’s. If these new Green voters then preference the party they came from, this is consistent with Possum’s Nielsen data.
At elections such a trend has not been in evidence, for example the Coalition v Labor primary vote gap was larger in 2004 than 2001 but so was the Green preference flow to Labor. (Don’t have 2007 numbers.)
It’s just one set of numbers from one pollster, so we shouldn’t get carried away.
Anyway, Possum’s strategic advice, that the ALP should “concentrate on the wider electorate as far as policy positioning is concerned” applies even more if you do accept the “ALP Protected Left Flank Hypothesis”.