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Why the pollsters (and most pundits) were wrong

Peter Brent writes in Inside Story (9.2.15):

‘Three years ago next month, Queensland voters ended fourteen years of state Labor rule with an almighty thump. The 13.7 per cent two-party-preferred swing to the Campbell Newman–led Liberal National Party left premier Anna Bligh and her party with a record low 8 per cent of seats in the state’s single chamber. It was a breathtaking result, at the extreme end of some pretty wild expectations.But last weekend it was reversed. On current counting, the swing, this time to Labor, again rounds out to 14 (or at least 13) per cent. The 51-ish per cent vote isn’t enough to reinstall a comfortable Labor majority, but it has delivered a probable Labor government under Annastacia Palaszczuk, either in its own right or relying on minor parties and independents.

‘This result caught most observers (including me), and certainly the betting markets, who at close of betting put the odds at around 15 per cent, by surprise. (Not Professor Brian Costar, who hails from the state and recently assessed a Labor win as a distinct possibility.) Why did it come as a shock?’

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