Parramatta and Eden-Monaro (again) (plus others)

A Taverner poll in today’s Sun-Herald is one of the few polls of the campaign to show Labor looking good in decisive marginal electorates. The samples are small, but the poll has the virtue of having been taken on Wednesday and Thursday evening, after the Labor campaign launch. The seats in question are the New South Wales Liberal-held marginals of Eden-Monaro, Parramatta and Dobell along with the endangered Labor seat of Greenway. The first two of these were covered by yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times polls but the Sun-Herald offers contrasting results, with Labor leading 60-40 in Parramatta and 52-48 in Eden-Monaro (bearing in mind the margins of error would be in the order of 10 per cent). The disparity between the Parramatta results is a bit alarming but ACNielsen, with a sample of 1002, would have to be given the greater weight. Pooling the Eden-Monaro result with that from yesterday’s equally small sample poll in the Canberra Times suggests a very slight Liberal lead, in keeping with general expectations. It appears that Taverner’s results from Eden-Monaro and Parramatta are from samples of about 300 while the results from Dobell and Greenway, where Labor respectively leads 54-46 and 51-49, are derived from 100 voters who are being tracked throughout the campaign. It may not be much to go on but these results are the first evidence that Medicare Gold has hit its mark, as the same voters were favouring the Liberals 51-49 and 54-46 three weeks earlier. The Poll Bludger has thus been fortified in his current assessment that Labor will respectively gain and hold these seats. Also today Newspoll offers its collective survey of 12 picked marginal electorates which, in contrast to their recent aggregate polling, shows the Coalition leading 52-48. The poll, like Taverner’s (which covered three of the same seats), was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday evening.

In "late" news, The Advertiser yesterday ran a poll of 686 voters in the marginal Labor Adelaide seat of Kingston. In contrast to their polling in nearby Liberal seats, this showed Labor well ahead by 56-44 on two-party preferred. Primary vote after distribution of the 14 per cent undecided: Labor 45.5 per cent, Liberal 37, Greens 7, Family First 4.5, Democrats 3.5.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.