Return to Earth

Today’s ACNielsen poll in The Age tells of a Liberal revival in more believable terms than yesterday’s effort in the Sunday Herald-Sun. The survey of 1018 respondents has Labor leading the Coalition 41 per cent to 40 per cent on the primary vote, with the Greens on 12 per cent and Labor leading 54-46 on two-party preferred. This points to a 4 per cent swing which, if evenly distributed, would cost Labor seven of the 62 seats it currently holds in the 88-seat lower house. Voters are now forming opinions of Ted Baillieu, most of them favourable: his approval rating is up from 40 per cent to 49 per cent from three weeks ago, with disapproval also up from 30 per cent to 37 per cent and the uncommitted down from 29 per cent to 14 per cent.

Another headline-grabber in today’s Age is a report that "the Greens are on the cusp of defeating Health Minister Bronwyn Pike and winning their first seat in Victoria’s lower house, according to Labor Party polling". According to the report, the poll has the Greens primary vote in Pike’s seat of Melbourne at an improbable 40 per cent, compared with 23.3 per cent at the 2002 election, with Labor down from 46.7 per cent to 41 per cent and the Liberals down from 20.1 per cent to 21 per cent to 16 per cent.

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.

27 comments on “Return to Earth”

  1. I’m always amused / confused at the last question. Fair enough to ask the question about the two main parties, but does anyone see value in asking if The Greens or Family First could win the entire election?

    Or… An independent? By how many seats, I wonder…?

  2. Just a couple of observations. Firstly, Labor is preferred clearly in most age groups. It doesn’t surprise me that they trail badly in the over 55’s.
    Secondly, Labor’s vote is holding up surprisingly well in regional Victoria. Both observations indicate to me that Labor will lose between 7 to 10 seats, a swing of about 4 percent. i really can’t see the swing being any more severe than that.

  3. What are the odds that this 40 per cent figure for the Greens in Melbourne is just scare mongering by the ALP? On one hand it was always going to be a close result and presumedly this is known by voters. Though on the other, the ALP have already been known to leak fake poll results in other states, in an attempt to manipulate the election outcome.

  4. Any comments on how fundamentalists first (FF) is getting 6% of 18-24 year old group, are there really that many young hardcore christians? I would have expected older people to vote for these extreme conservatives.

  5. The ALP to be returned with swing against of 3-4%, this would be a very normal type of swing for Victoria.

    Seats I think the Liberals will gain

    Bayswater
    South Barwon
    Everlyn
    Mt Waverly
    Hastings
    Ferntree Gully

    Seats I think the Liberals may gain

    Prahran
    Frankston
    Rippon
    Seymour
    Narracan
    Gembrook
    Eltham
    Ballerine
    Forrest Hill
    Mitcham
    Burwood

    Seats the ALP may gain

    Box Hill
    Mornington

    Seats the Greens may win

    Richmond
    Melbourne

  6. Mildly amusing to compare reporting at different levels of politics.

    A poll showing Ted Baillieu headed for inevitable crushing defeat (OK, he’ll pick up seats; who doubted that?) is reported positively for him. A poll showing Federal Labor leading by the same margin was reported a month ago as ‘Labor vote creeps up on Howard’.

    Journos are odd.

  7. Libs wont get Eltham, Steve Herbert is well liked and the Lib is too unknown and the Libs aren’t very organised.

    However, I think Jenny Mullhulland can cause an upset in Ivanhoe, she is well liked and respected.

  8. Here is what the ALP Youth think of the Greens – charming

    From: Steven.Brown@parliament.vic.gov.au
    >>>>[mailto:Steven.Brown@parliament.vic.gov.au]
    >>>>Sent: Friday, 17 November 2006 11:19 AM
    >>>>To: younglaborleft@googlegroups.com
    >>>>Subject: LIBERALS & GREENS PREFERENCE DEAL
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>Hi Comrades,
    >>>>
    >>>>It looks like those scum the Greens have decided to preference the Libs
    >>>>in the outer east in exchange for preferences in the inner city. This
    >>>>is a comprehensive betrayal by those filthy self- righteous pricks, and
    >>>>it’s important as many people as possible know it. Labor is now
    >>>>seriously in trouble in a dozen marginals, and everyone needs to work
    >>>>really hard over the next 8 days to help the campaign.
    >>>>
    >>>>Let me know if you’re available for anything; or you contact our
    >>>>marginal seat organisers:
    >>>>
    >>>>Doncaster – Elyse Brown
    >>>>Eltham – Sarah Wickham
    >>>>Ferntree Gully – Karl Tracksdorf Melbourne – Dean Rizetti
    >>>> Richmond – Paul Erickson
    >>>>
    >>>>Solidarity,

    >>>>Steve Brown
    >>>>Young Labor Left Secretary

    >>>>PS – today is International Round-House Kick a Green Day. Go for it.

  9. If the swing against Labor is sufficently small it is possible seats will go either way. But I think Labor gains are more likely in be in provincial cities; Benambra Liberal retiring and strong Labor candidate; SW Coast Labor are pouring a suprising amount of resources into this seat and there are local issues that may asssit Labor renewable energy is a big employer etc.

  10. Forgot to add on Melbourne remember a lot of Labor voters will be under represented in phone polling as their English will be poor, Melbourne is the public housing towers as well as Lygon St.

  11. Liberals wont gain Prahran. the Green vote there is too high. remember the the last state election. The preferences will deliver the seat to Labor.

    Also Labor has been on JoyFM with a huge scare campaign on Greens dealing with family first of all things. they are evry scared and resorting to anything to win back voters in inner city. I think there is a reason for this. the polling is close to 35% i think for the Greens in melbourne.

    Watch Richmond as well as northcote and brunswick.

  12. This is similar to the Morgan poll result but Morgan was way out on his assessment of who could win. The had Labor winning only 2 seats in the Western Metro even thought they have three quota on primaries. I shoved through some figures and for the first time I saw People Power have a chance of being elected to the firth spot in the West Metro. The problem with the Morgan poll is it shows a wide 12 % gap for minor parties. Again I used the senate as an estimate for the distribution of minor party votes where be and gave People Power the benefit of the doubt. They were elected from a lw base of 1.5%… Maybe even lower depending on the fold-yp. It was the only seat I came upon.

    There was a narrow window of opportunity for the DLP in Western Victoria. The other thing that Morgan highlighted was a change in the LIB/NP Split. The data I got from the upperhouse.info needed to be adjusted upwards. The Liberal party having dropped back a bit in the last week 1 to 2 percentage points. In terms of the lower-house the higher then expected polling and reports from the ALP internal polling and along with ‘deal” cut between the Liberal Party and the Greens could see Melbourne once again come under contention.

    Most punters think that Richard will survive Richmond although notionally he is is in a tougher position then Melbourne. Green preference once allocated are locked in and will not be distributed to Labor. Again this is based on ALP polling data published in the Age. I can not confirm the details of the polling of course and do not know if the 40% includes minor parties in a three horse race. But what is Clear is that the Greens have consolidated a inner-city vote that might effect Kew and even Hawthorn. It most definitely shows a drop in the Liberal Votes of some 4-5% similar to the ALP drop. The extent that the Liberal Party will ‘preference the Greens ahead of the ALP and the expected 2-3% vote from Family First could see Bronwyn hold on to Melbourne. But I am sure she and Tanner are worried and te AlP will be out in force. Bronwyn has come under fire for not attacking the Greens policy’s enough and her attack on Family First did little good. Family First is not a threat to her but the Greens are.

    Not sure if the result has eroded into Brunswick to the extent that Carlo will lose.

    On my preliminary analysis I believe Labor will lose all seats 3% and under and a few above. There is some debate about Prahran but I think it will swing close to the line along with Eltham.

    I can not comment on the South Eastern corridor although I have spoken to a few candidates and they are nervous as a matter of caution but they should do well. The main cause of nervousness is the third term complancy vote. Green preferences are not an issue in the lower house as the Greens can not direct its members how to vote. Family First can and will, but they are sectarian church and there is little support from the main christian churches who see there political push as a form of recruiting and division.

    The fact that the Libs did not pick up in the last week was interesting.

    Media blackout comes into force today. Last day for detailed information.

    I will update my blog and published details of the upper-house assessment later when I have refined the data.

    In the meantime I will be publishing Postal vote and pre-polling stats. If the VEC provide them. there is some data missing.

  13. BMW.. I think your assessment is about right. Again I stress the Liberal vote is down in Melbourne from 21% to 16% according to the polls this is not a win for the Liberals and I think the 40% allocated to the Greens is based on a three house race. 41% ALP, 40% Greens and 16% Liberal that leaves 3% for the minor unknown players. Family First are expected to hold on to their senate vote 1.2% (Morgan Poll) If Kevin Chamberlain’s vote is included in the Green vote along with the 6% from the Liberal Party it is still a close race but never the less equally worrying for Liberal Party held inner-city seats which no one is looking at. Polling on Saturday will tell all. Look for the anxiety level meter on the faces of those handing out HTV cards.

  14. This trend in the inner city along with the disgruntled Labor suporters in Northcote may deliver that seat to the Greens.

    The Greens may win a bicameral balance of power.

  15. A 3% family first vote is a reasonable estimate all up, according to the opinion polls the Liberal-National vote is up a little, The Labor vote down with the Greens being the main winners. My prediction on election day is ALP 44%, Greens 12%, Family First 3%, Liberal-National 37% , Others 4%. On a two party preferred result that is a 1.-2% swing to the Liberal-Nationals.

  16. Re ansteybranchopolous’s post, the author of the email was seriously regretful for the ’roundhouse kick’ remark. However, he stands by his remarks about the Greens being self-righteous, and that all Labor supporters need to get their proverbials into gear. At least you could have ditched the contact details down the bottom of the leaked email, for the benefit of those named. Such postings are common across the political spectrum, and I’d assume that the Greens would have said something equally uncharitable about Labor over… well, dunno, maybe Bronwyn Pike holding a seat that by divine right belongs to Richard Di Natale – the key difference being that no-one else cares what the Greens say about anyone, whereas they care enough about what’s said about them to go and bleat to the Herald Sun.

    As for the rest, I’d actually pay attention to the contest in Ivanhoe. Mulholland is probably leading in the polls there not so much because the electorate has warmed to Baillieu, or because they have grown a distaste for Brack, but because there is a general dislike for Craig Langdon. Having heard Labor supporters in Ivanhoe looking to assist anywhere other than in their own electorate probably says something about how on the nose he has become.

  17. Hey Alex C whatever – if both tweedle dee and tweedle dum are spooked by The Greens then they must be doing something right. It wil be good fo ra change to see alp daleks manning booths in brunswick for a change.

  18. All the polls show a swing of about 4%, this would be bigger than the ALP had in 96 and 99, now such a swing won’t be universal, so I image its a safe bet that somewhere the swing will be greater than 4%, the question will be where,

    We have spent a lot of time on the upper house, and it will be interesting to watch, but there a many marginals and not so marginal seats that no one as talked about.

  19. bugger.. thanks though. when do they start the counting for the lower and/or upper house? cheers i’d like to see any progress on the electio nas possible

  20. saguy, if you have pay TV you can see it on Sky News – live from Sydney! Failing that, you can hear the ABC Radio coverage on News Radio. I flatter myself to think that the live blogging on this site is not bad either.

    As for the upper house count, each booth would do its lower house count first and upper house count second. Small booths would get both done before large booths had even finished their first count, so the most important centres would not come in until quite late in the evening. Just as a rough guess, I suggest you would not be getting a clear idea for the upper house until towards 10pm – although you could get a pretty accurate idea by adding up the lower house vote for the electorates in each region.

  21. i live in adelaide and unfortunately will not travel to melbourne or sydney just for the vic election LOL. sorry i think we all agree wityh that one. thanks for that tho as i could have abc radio on all day, tho im going out to a concert in the evening. what time does the counting begin? thank you william. ps: great (and addictive!) site ­čÖé

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