That old 35% fail mark

Say hello, Buggers, to just three members of the Class of ’35.

As you can see from above, they’re far from the back of the class. They’re right up under the teacher’s nose because, to put it rather bluntly, they’re not too bright.

Despite supposedly being among the creme de la creme of Australia’s electronic mediocre political journalism, they’ve all been peddling of late the notion that, come election day, a primary vote of around the mid-30s for both the major sides of politics will mean a hung parliament.

They should all know better but I suspect some of these dunces are talking from the heart rather than the head. They are pushing this hung parlie scenario because they truly believe, bless their little right-wing cotton socks, that in the final week of campaigning, voters frightened by the possibility of such a messy outcome on the floor of the Parliament will swing late to the natural parties of government and just as God has always intended in His wisdom, ie: the Liberal and National Parties.

But here, dunces, are the cold hard numerical facts of life. If we wake up on 22 May and both sides have around 35-36 per cent of the vote by the end of the night’s counting, Labor will have won decisively and Anthony Albanese’s squeeze will be going through curtain swatches for The Lodge.

But don’t believe me. Here’s someone at least whom Michael Rowland and Greg Jennett should believe: their station colleague Casey Briggs. He’s taken the most recent Resolve Political Monitor poll findings of 35 per cent primary to the LNP, 34 per cent to Labor, and The Greens on 11 and using 2019 preference polls, has worked out a two-party-preferred position of 52.7 to 47.3 to Labor – or in other words a comfortable Labor victory.

And full marks to Dennis Atkins at InQueensland who in his latest essay has nailed this hung parliament malarkey for what it is. Dennis frames a hypothetical argument around Labor sitting on 36 and the LNP on 35 and finds Labor has an easier path to majority government. For mine, that’s being very over-cautious but his assessment is not incorrect.

The bottom line is that unless the LNP lift their primary vote substantially in the next 28 days, they are done and dusted. If both sides get 35 per cent on the night, that will represent a more than eight per cent turnaround since their primary votes of 41.44 and 33.34 respectively in 2019.

It’s also a fair argument that preference flows to the LNP won’t be as strong as they were last time, with Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party savaging all major parties equally now and a swag of The New Liberals who have vowed to put the LNP last (they could change their mind) and a number of teal-coloured independents who are going to look pretty damn stupid if they ignore the key issues they are fighting for and preference the LNP regardless.

At the moment, The Bug‘s exclusive big swinging dick pendulum has the LNP primary vote on average across four major pollsters at just on 34 per cent. If that sticks, the LNP is going to get nowhere near 50 per cent.

And apart from Albanese’s COVID-19 hiccup, the next polls due are unlikely to change that primary vote average on our pendulum after the last week-and-a-half Morrison has suffered. Because, while you won’t hear much of it from our wonderful, fair, balanced and professional MSM, Smoko’s had a shit time of it.

Don Gordon-Brown