A neck-and-neck result in a key Adelaide marginal, and a somewhat disappointing result for SA Best in one of their main Liberal-held targets.
The Advertiser has two polls of Adelaide seats conducted by YouGov Galaxy, one from Labor-held Lee, the other from Liberal-held Morialta.
In Lee, Labor front-bencher Stephen Mullighan trails the Liberal candidate by 39% to 34% on the primary vote, with everything depending on preferences from SA Best, who are a distant third on 18%. Galaxy estimates that this translates into a two-party result of 50-50, but this would seem to be highly speculative.
The Morialta poll has SA Best clearing the first hurdle, outscoring Labor by 25% to 21% on the primary vote, unless preferences from the Greens on 6% closed the gap. However, Liberal incumbent John Gardner is estimated to emerge 52-48 in front, from a primary vote of 40%. The SA Best result is consistent with a statewide vote more in line with the 24.9% it recorded for the Senate in 2016 than the 30% plus figures that were coming through in earlier Galaxy polling.
A better premier question has Jay Weatherill on 31%, Steven Marshall on 25% and Nick Xenophon on 22% in Lee; in Morialta it’s all but a three-way tie, with Xenophon 28% and Weatherill and Marshall on 27% each. The polls were conducted last Wednesday and Thursday from samples of 520 in Lee and 505 in Morialta.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents want Barnaby Joyce out as Nationals leader, as the Coalition and Malcolm Turnbull lose their gains from the year’s first poll a fortnight ago.
Newspoll has Labor’s lead back at 53-47, after its first new poll for the year a fortnight ago had it down to 52-48. The Coalition is down two on the primary vote to 36%, with Labor steady on 37%, the Greens steady on 10%, and One Nation bouncing back three points after a recent slump to 8%. Malcolm Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is down from 45-31 to 40-33. All we have in terms of leadership approval at this stage are that Malcolm Turnbull’s net rating has weakened from minus 13% to minus 18%. Also featured is a finding that 65% of respondents believe Barnaby Joyce should resign as leader of the Nationals, which breaks down into a lot of detail I’m finding hard to parse from Simon Benson’s report in The Australian. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1632.
UPDATE: Malcolm Turnbull is down three on approval to 34% and up four on disapproval 54%; Bill Shorten is steady on 34% approval and up two on disapproval to 54%. Only 23% agreed that Barnaby Joyce should remain Nationals leader, with 29% favouring him resigning from the front bench, 15% bowing out at the next election, and 21% quitting parliament immediately. The poll also finds 64% support for a ban on sexual relations between politicians and their employees, with 25% opposed.
Regional seat polling, an eleventh hour withdrawal by Labor’s lead upper house candidate, signs of improving Labor morale, and more besides.
The South Australian election campaign is now officially on, with the Premier visiting the Governor yesterday to advise the issuing of the writs. Here are some doings since this blog’s last South Australian instalment:
• Thursday’s Advertiser had two ReachTEL polls from the electorates of Mount Gambier and MacKillop in the state’s south-eastern corner. The Mount Gambier poll turned up a remarkably strong result for Troy Bell, who won the seat for the Liberals from an independent in 2014, then became an independent himself when charges of mishandling public funds were laid against him in August. Bell was credited with 36.3% of the primary vote, well clear of Liberal candidate Craig Marsh on 28.5%, with Labor on 13.3%, a then-unspecified SA Best candidate on 11.3%, others on 5.8%, and 4.7% undecided. According to Daniel Wills of The Advertiser, the result matches up with “steady rumblings coming from Mount Gambier for some time”. The poll was conducted on Tuesday from a sample of 665.
• In MacKillop, which is being vacated by the retirement of Liberal member Mitch Williams, ReachTEL had Liberal candidate Nick McBride on 56.7%, with SA Best on 15.8% and Labor on 12.1%. The sample for the MacKillop poll was 615; it too was conducted on Tuesday.
Continue reading “South Australian election minus four weeks”
ReachTEL polls New England, as the headline numbers from BludgerTrack poll aggregate record little change.
Essential Research was the only national poll of federal voting intention this week, and it’s made all but zero difference to the headline numbers on the BludgerTrack poll aggregate. However, the YouGov Galaxy poll from Queensland has made a very substantial difference, reversing the 52-48 lead recorded to Labor there and knocking five off their seat projection. Conversely, the shallow pool of data from Western Australia since polling resumed for the year has pushed Labor’s lead there well above what seems plausible, added three to their seat tally with the latest update. I’m sure this will moderate over the coming weeks. The other changes this week are a gain for Labor in Victoria and a loss in South Australia. Exciting developments are looming in the world of BludgerTrack in a week or (more likely) two, so do stay tuned.
In other poll news, today’s Fairfax papers have a ReachTEL poll of New England, which finds 43% of its voters still intending to vote for Barnaby Joyce, compared with 65% at the December 2 by-election. However, Tony Windsor was included as a speculative response option, recording 26.1% support, with Labor on 12.1%. However, opinion is divided as to whether he should remain as Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister, favoured by 45.3%, or resign either from the front bench (26.7%) or from parliament altogether (20.5%).
As the campaign approaches the half way point, reports suggest internal polling has the Liberals feeling optimistic.
Nominations were declared for the Tasmanian election today, giving me the occasion to tart up my election site. Some campaign news:
• The election has attracted a modest field of 109 candidates, down from 126 in 2014. Denison and Franklin have particularly uncluttered fields this time, with Palmer United, the Nationals and the Socialist Alliance all falling by the wayside. The Jacqui Lambie Network is running in Bass, Braddon and Lyons; Shooters Fishers Farmers are running everywhere but Bass; and there’s a party called T4T — Tasmanians 4 Tasmania that presumably won’t be troubling the scorers much.
• The Liberals have been prodigious in supplying the media with what wrongly gets called “leaked” polling, in this case tracking polling from MediaReach encompassing 300 respondents per electorate every couple of days. The Mercury reported yesterday that five rounds of polling from January 30 to February 12 has produced a combined result of Liberal 44.2%, Labor 29.9% and Greens 13.6% — immensely better for the Liberals than the last three EMRS polls, which have had Labor on 34% and Liberal ranging from 34% to 39%. The Australian today goes deeper into numbers ($), suggesting the Jacqui Lambie Network has tanked over the past fortnight, starting on January 30 with between 11.7% and 15.5% support in the three electorates where it is running, but now down to around 6%.
• Brenton Best is pursuing a comeback bid in Braddon, where he held a seat for Labor from 1996 until his defeat in the 2014 landslide, and is now running as an independent. Best has set himself up in opposition to Labor’s policy to phase out poker machines in pubs and clubs in 2022, which has been the subject of a heavy duty hotel lobby campaign branded “Love Your Local”.
• The Jacqui Lambie Network has nominated Lyons candidate Michael Kent for the health portfolio as a condition for the party’s support in a hung parliament.
• One of the Jacqui Lambie Network’s candidates in Braddon, Rodney Flowers, has been charged with riding a quad bike in the Arthur-Pieman conservation area, in what Liberal MP Adam Brooks describes as a “dickhead-like action”.
No change on voting intention from Essential Research, as respondents reject the government’s stance on company tax cuts.
No change this week on Essential Research’s two-party preferred result, which shows Labor maintaining a two-party lead of 54-46, although as usual we’ll have to wait until later today for primary votes. The pollster’s monthly leadership ratings find Malcolm Turnbull with 39% approval (up one) and 42% disapproval (down three), while Bill Shorten is on 33% approval (also up one) and 46% disapproval (also down three), and Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is 42-47, down from 42-25 last time. As related by The Guardian, the poll finds 72% supporting company tax cuts being made conditional on pay rises; more disagreeing than agreeing that company tax cuts would lead to higher wages without prompting; most disagreeing that penalty rate cuts would encourage companies to hire more workers. A series of questions on the proposed Adani coal mine found 48% saying it should be assessed on its economic and environmental merits, 22% saying coal mining in the Galilee basin should be banned, and 13% saying all mines should go ahead subject to environmental approvals.
UPDATE: Full report here.