The next session at CMPM2014 starts with Murray Goot, who takes us back to the ALP's pre-election study in 1961. The common view is that Labor first conducted a professional opinion poll in South Australia in 1968, and nationally in 1971, but this is incorrect: NSW Labor conducted a survey in the 1940s, and federal Labor did so in 1961, focussing on a selection of seats across the various states. It examined respondents' issues agendas and perceptions of parties, as well as their perceptions of local candidates. Interviews also explored the key issues which drove voters.
This first large-scale piece of political research was a benchmark against which subsequent polls can be measured. It focussed mainly on NSW and Victoria, with Queensland dropped due to costs in spite of the potential for changing seats there. The seats were largely marginal ones, or seats where there was significant interest in outcomes. 100 respondents in each electorate were chosen in city seats, 200 in country seats, and the response rate was above 50%.