Ipsos: 53-47 to Labor

Both sides down on the primary vote in Ipsos, as ReachTEL reiterates early findings of a big lead for Rebekha Sharkie in Mayo, and a squeaker in Longman.

My warning of a poll drought in the previous post hadn’t reckoned on Fairfax’s Ipsos series, which fills the void with a 53-47 result for Labor, down from 54-46 from the previous poll six weeks ago. As best as I can tell, all we have to go on at this stage is an editorial in The Age that suggests both major parties are on 35% of the primary vote, which is a two point drop for Labor and a one point drop for the Coalition. Leadership ratings and minor party primary votes will have to wait. Recent form suggests the poll will have had a sample of 1200, and been conducted Thursday to Sunday.

We also have two more federal by-election polls for the Australia Institute from ReachTEL, keeping in mind that the prestige of ReachTEL’s electorate polls have just taken a knock with the Liberals’ clear win in Darling Range. That’s all the comfort Georgina Downer can draw from its results, the latest of which gives Rebekha Sharkie her biggest lead yet in Mayo: 62-38 on two-party preferred, from primary votes (after exclusion of the 2.6% undecided) of 43.5% for Sharkie, 32.7% for Downer, 9.0% for the Greens and 8.2% for Labor.

In Longman, ReachTEL now records a 50-50 result after showing Liberal National Party candidate Trevor Ruthenberg leading Labor Section 44 victim Susan Lamb by 51-49. Primary votes after exclusion of 3.2% undecided are Labor 40.4%, LNP 36.1%, One Nation 15.2% and Greens 4.5%, so presumably One Nation’s respondent-allocated preferences are flowing solidly to the LNP. This poll was also conducted on Thursday, from a sample of 727. Full results from both polls are available here.

BludgerTrack: 52.0-48.0 to Labor

Two polls last week landed right on the existing trend readings from BludgerTrack, which has accordingly recorded next to no movement.

Newspoll and Essential Research both had polls last week, and since we’re probably not due yet for a ReachTEL (the last was three weeks ago), we presumably have a lean week coming up. The latest BludgerTrack update accounts for the two aforesaid polls, and they have had the most minimal of impacts on the voting intention aggregates, on which the biggest move is a 0.6% drop for One Nation. The seat projections have the Coalition up one in Victoria and Western Australia, and down one in Queensland. A new set of leadership ratings from Newspoll makes a modest addition to the established pattern of improvement for Malcolm Turnbull, with Bill Shorten flatlining. Full results through the link below.

Darling Range by-election live

Live coverage of the count for Western Australia’s Darling Range state by-election.

Final for Saturday. Some better results for Labor on pre-polls have brought the swing inside 10%. My own accounting of the results and swings can be found here.

8.24pm. Two booths are outstanding on the two-party vote, and with the writing well and truly on the wall, I won’t be waiting up for them. I’ve got the Liberal swing at 10.1%, which is a little down on where it was before, but still handsomely sufficient to account for the 5.8% margin. Other than Labor, the other losers are pollsters – ReachTEL was way off, and apparently there was a report this morning of Labor internal polling crediting Labor with 38% of the primary vote, which is 7% north of where they seem to have ended up.

7.57pm. All polling day booth results now in on the primary vote, Byford and Kwinana South doing nothing to disturb the overall picture. Still only eight booths in on two-party.

7.49pm. The biggest booth yet, Kelmscott Primary School, is round about par for the course.

7.47pm. Finally some two-party votes to play with: from seven booths, with an overall Liberal swing of 12.8%.

7.40pm. West Byford booth is consistent with the overall picture. We’ve also got a bunch of pre-polls and postals now, which are very slightly better for Labor than the polling booth votes.

7.34pm. Not sure where the numbers are, but Antony Green reports a 12.7% swing on two-party preferred from six booths counted out of 14, which is bigger than I’d figured.

7.27pm. Bedfordale and Mundijong booths maintain the overall picture of a double-digit drop in the Labor primary vote and only a slight improvement for the Liberals, with minor parties (not including One Nation and the Greens, who are static) soaking up the rest. The minor party vote is about evenly split between candidates of the left and the right, so presumably the primary vote will be a pretty good guide to the final outcome, and I’m projecting the Liberals will end up 4% in front (it’s 8% on the raw vote, but that’s because smaller rural booths have come in earlier than larger metropolitan ones). I’m not sure what’s going on with the two-party vote – I would certainly have expected to see quite a bit of it reported by now. There are four booths outstanding on the primary vote.

7.24pm. Roleystone Hall added, a slightly better result for Labor, but not enough to change the overall picture.

7.16pm. Mundaring Hall and Oakford are in, and Labor are still on track for a double-digit drop on the primary vote that could roughly be projected to give the Liberals a winning margin of maybe about 4%. Still no two-party results though, oddly.

7.12pm. Serpentine Primary and Picking Brook both in; the latter not bad for Labor, but the former has another double-digit swing on the primary vote and twice as big.

7.08pm. Big swing to Liberals at Marri Grove booth, so not looking good for Labor.

7.05pm. The non-major party vote is heavily right-of-centre, so Labor would want to be ahead on the primary vote, and I’m projecting that they won’t be.

7.04pm. Serpentine-Jarrahdale booth added, with nearly 1000 votes, and the primary swing vote against Labor is looking big enough now to be alarming for them. Still nothing on two-party preferred though.

6.59pm. I’m having trouble finding the error I thought I must be making, so it may just be a case of me and Antony doing things differently, and it generally being too early to tell.

6.53pm. It seems my projections are going awry, as Antony Green calculates a 7.6% primary vote swing to Liberal and minus 14.6% from Labor.

6.50pm. Another two smallish booths in: Armadale Primary and Bruno Gianetti Hall. Still looking close, but with a high combined non-major party vote, a lot will depend on preference flows we don’t know anything about yet.

6.42pm. Karragullen District Hall’s 234 votes in: Liberals up 3.3% on the primary vote, Labor down 7.2%. This suggests a very close result, but it is of course an extremely small booth.

6.32pm. I can’t quite get the formatting right, but my projections of the results can be found here. Unusually, we have 68 pre-poll votes in before anything else, which are impossible to booth-match. For what it’s worth, 28 of them are for Liberal and 19 for Labor.

6pm. Polls have closed. I will hopefully have tables presenting booth projected results by the time the first results are, which I’m guessing should be in about an hour, but I have a great many kinks to iron out before that can happen.

‘Twas the night before the Darling Range by-election

One last overview ahead of tomorrow’s Darling Range by-election in Western Australia.

Western Australia has its first state by-election involving both Labor and Liberal candidates tomorrow since the Peel by-election in 2007, at which, in a non-portent of things to come, the Labor government of Alan Carpenter picked up a rare pro-government swing. The circumstances this time around would not appear to be fortuitous for Labor, as the by-election was initiated by the resignation in disgrace of Barry Urban, who won the seat from Liberal incumbent Tony Simpson at the March 2017 state election by a margin of 5.8%, after a swing of 18.6%. This was the eighth highest swing of the election, making Darling Range the fourth safest seat lost to the Liberals and Nationals at the election.

Urban’s career unravelled last November when it emerged that a decoration he wore for police service overseas, which he originally claimed to have received for war crimes investigations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, had actually been bought online, and that two British universities he claimed had awarded him degrees had no record for him. He resigned from the ALP shortly after the story broke in November, and announced his resignation from parliament on May 7, a day before the parliament’s privileges committee was due to bring down a report on the matter. However, Labor’s troubles didn’t end there: a similar, though less severe, controversy would shortly engulf the candidate anointed by the party’s state executive as Urban’s successor: Colleen Yates, former chief executive of Regional Development Australia Perth. It shortly emerged that Yates had exaggerated her educational attainments on her LinkedIn profile, a misdemanour she could probably have glossed over under other circumstances, but fatal in the context of the by-election.

Labor promptly announced its new candidate would be Tania Lawrence, senior manager of global business integration at Woodside. The Liberal candidate is Alyssa Hayden, who held a Legislative Council seat in East Metropolitan region from 2008 to 2017, when she unexpectedly lost her seat to One Nation. Despite the seemingly ill portents for Labor, the one opinion poll of the campaign, from ReachTEL, credited Labor with a clear lead. My newly updated guide to the by-election can be viewed here.

Victorian federal redistribution finalised

A few nips and tucks and changes of name, but the final federal boundaries for Victoria are much the same as those in the draft published in April.

The Australian Electoral Commission has published the finalised boundaries for the redistribution of Victoria, occasioned by the state’s gain of a thirty-eighth seat. The main changes from the draft published in April are of nomenclature: Batman will now be called Cooper, in honour of William Cooper, an Aboriginal leader of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; and Corangamite will not be renamed Cox, as earlier proposed. It was surprising they didn’t get Batman right the first time, given their enthusiasm for changing names elsewhere (the changes of McMillan and Murray to Monash and Nicholls respectively have been confirmed) and the political sensibilities of the electorate in question. Minor adjustments have been made to 25 of the 38 seats compared with the draft, none of which is electorally consequential. Ben Raue at The Tally Room has published a set of estimated margins, and my own will follow in due course. Finalisation of the other two redistributions, in South Australia and Australian Capital Territory, will presumbly follow in very short order. Their completion will remove an obstacle to the calling of an early election, which it is increasingly being suggested might be on the cards for later in the year.

Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

After a spike to Labor a fortnight ago, it’s back to business as usual in the latest Essential Research poll, which also finds Donald Trump slightly less unpopular with Australians than he was a year ago.

Labor’s two-point gain in last fortnight’s Essential Research poll has proved to be an aberration, with the latest result snapping back to 52-48. This is matched by the primary votes, on which the Coalition is up two to 38% and Labor down two to 35% (we will have to wait for the full report later today to see how the minor parties have gone). According to The Guardian’s report, the poll also finds 50% favouring Labor’s tax policy over the Coalition, with the result for the latter not stated, except of course that it’s lower; 79% supporting the first stage of the government’s tax cuts, targeting lower and middle income earners, but only 37% for stage three, whereby the tax scales will be flattened to the advantage of higher income earners; support and opposition for company tax cuts tied at 39% apiece; support for higher finding for the ABC, though we will have to wait for hard data on which areas of the broadcaster’s activities were most favoured.

Other questions relate to international matters, with 35% responding that the North Korea summit would make the world safer, 8% less safe, and 41% no difference. On foreign leaders, Justin Trudeau (up nine on last year) and Jacinda Ardern (on debut) both scored 54% approval, and if I’m reading this correctly, Theresa May scored 42% (up nine) and Donald Trump 22% (up six) – I believe other leaders will have been canvassed as well, but further results will have to wait.

UPDATE: Full results from Essential here – the Greens are up one to 11%, and One Nation down one to 7%. Further international leadership approval ratings include a 43% for Angela Merkel, unchanged on last year, 42% for Emmanuel Macron, up one, 19% for Vladimir Putin, up three, and, if you could credit it, 9% for Kim Jong-Un. Fortuitously, this comes as the Lowy Institute publishes results of a survey of 1200 respondents on Australian attitudes to the world, which similarly finds high levels of confidence for Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron, and low ones for Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un.

Also out today is further results from the Newspoll in The Australian, finding Malcolm Turnbull favoured by 47% as best leader to handle the asylum seeker issue (down five from December) and Bill Shorten on 30% (up two). It also finds 26% expecting Labor will “improve the policy”, 37% that it will “open the floodgates”, and 24% that it will make no difference.