I know this will be hard for Julia Gillard to stomach but she really must start hoping that Collingwood keep winning. The very success of her election campaign may depend on it. The very latest research on voting behaviour shows that a win by a high attendance or championship football team on the eve of a political election results in the incumbent party gaining an additional 2.42 percentage points and 2.30 percentage points respectively.
With the Magpies having the biggest following in the AFL, and the Prime Minister’s Bulldogs virtually bereft of supporters apart from oddballs like First Dog on the Moon, the message from the Californian academics Andrew J. Healya, Neil Malhotrab and Cecilia Hyunjung Mob is clear: hope that the Colliwobbles do not reappear until after polling day.
And if Labor wants to retain those seats in the outer west of Sydney start praying that the Penrith Panthers keep on their winning rugby league way. As for the Government’s chances in Queensland, things are grim with the Brisbane Broncos not in the eight and the Townsville based North Queensland Cowboys languishing near the bottom of the table.
And before the sceptical Crikey readership dismiss this advice as irrelevant nonsense I draw attention to the peer reviewedProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States which has just published the study Irrelevant events affect voters’ evaluations of government performance that describes how voters’ personal sense of well-being — as determined by events that are unrelated to political and economic affairs—affects their evaluations of their elected representatives.