Thursday, November 15, 2007

Labour gain 30 seats?

Following the official campaign launches of both major parties this week there are some remarkably firm predictions coming out. Labour need to win 16 seats to secure government; a feat seen by many as daunting.

To be sure, there are sufficient marginal seats, i.e. within picking off range for Labour. But that presupposes an even swing, at least across these key seats. The problem there is that marginals are often close because voters in these seats are often less volatile than elsewhere.

But Rudd is on a roll, and John Howard continues to fail to gain any traction. Following on after Howard’s big spending campaign launch Rudd declared "I don't stand before you with a bag full of irresponsible promises that could put upward pressure on inflation." Rhetoric perhaps, but the message is following the prevailing mood.

Back to those marginals, “Punters betting on the election with Sportingbet Australia have installed Labor as favourite in 19 Coalition-held seats, more than enough for Kevin Rudd to be the next PM.” The Australian

“Since the opening of the seat-by-seat betting markets, Labor has not looked as hot there as it has in the national markets. It now looks like the two sets of markets are moving closer together as the election draws closer.” Simon Jackman, Stanford University politics professor

What has surprised me is the number of pundits gamely claiming a 28 or 30 seat gain for Labour. That means 90 of the 150 seats up for grabs or a straight swap on the seat count.

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