Kingston and Wakefield

The Adelaide Advertiser has published a poll of federal voting intention in the marginal seats of Kingston and Wakefield, showing Labor with respective leads of 57-43 and 58-42. A similar poll published in January had Labor’s lead in Kingston at 56-44. Labor lost both Kingston and Wakefield at the 2004 election: Kingston by 119 votes following an unfavourable redistribution and a small swing against sitting member David Cox, and Wakefield by 0.7 per cent despite a redistribution that turned a safe Liberal rural seat into a semi-urban seat with a notional Labor margin of 1.5 per cent. The Advertiser’s article is very light on details, such as sample sizes and primary votes. Perhaps some community-spirited South Australian reader might care to send a scan of a table, if there is one.

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.

134 comments on “Kingston and Wakefield”

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  1. I hope Labor has made a preference deal with Family First in SA. If they have Kingston and Wakefield are definitely ‘in the bag’ for Labor but it is curious that they overlooked, Makin, Boothby, Sturt etc in their analysis.

    Primary Vote 2004 2PP 2004

    Adelaide 41.92 45.29 0.00 48.67 51.33
    Barker 21.47 53.17 10.59 69.88 30.12
    Boothby 35.84 50.62 0.00 55.37 44.63
    Grey 30.31 56.49 0.00 63.82 36.18
    Hindmarsh 42.33 45.88 0.00 49.94 50.06
    Kingston 42.29 43.59 0.00 50.07 49.93
    Makin 43.02 44.71 0.00 50.93 49.07
    Mayo 16.49 53.64 0.00 63.59 36.41
    Port Adel. 54.51 31.92 0.00 37.09 62.91
    Sturt 34.55 51.66 0.00 56.80 43.20
    Wakefield 42.37 43.81 0.00 50.67 49.33

    NATIONAL 37.64 40.47 5.89 52.74 47.26

    Makin is perhaps taken as a given for Labor because of the very small margin but it is actually ever so slightly better than in Kingston or Wakefield.

    Sturt looks very gettable mathematically speaking, but as someone said earlier it would be too much of a dream come true for Labor to see the back of Christopher Pyne. Boothby, ah, there’s a very possible target.

  2. Oops, sorry bout the mess up there- Bottom line is mathematically it wont take much of a swing to clean up a few seats for Labor in SA on 57-43 2PP outcome if The Advertiser poll results hold.

  3. I suspect that the sample sizes for these seat polls must be fairly small and these figures should really be taken with a grain of salt due to the huge margins of error (possibly over 10%). Last year about this time seat polls had ridings such as Eden-Monaro and Corangomite on level pegging or better for Labor, and they were retained by the Coalition by increased margins.

    The same applies to today’s telephone Morgan poll which had only 572 replies – a sample so small as to be totally and utterly useless.

  4. Ridings? Is Nostradamus a Canadian?

    Also, Nostra, errors due to sampling errors will be random (ie, in both ditrections), not all the same direction, and not consistently in the same direction over time. This is the second poll this year that has shown Labor miles ahead in the Adelaide marginals. Unless you want to argue that there is some structural error in these polls which is biasing them all in the same direction, you have to accept them as accurate. You can’t fall back on “margin of error.” This is particularly so when these polls are consistent with the major polls, which all show a large swing in SA and have done all year. Insofar as opinion polls are a valid method of sampling public opinion, these polls are as good as any other.

  5. Brillian work on the Kingston polling place map Andrew. I hope you get time to give all the marginals the same excellent update before the election strikes. I draw my most reliable research information on particular seats from a starting point of looking at your work. Thank You.

  6. At least Noturanus is being consistent. When the polls present bad news for his side of the fence he questions their fundamental reliability and/or validity.

    When it is good news (eg. when Howard’s preferred PM rating improved in one poll) he celebrates it without question and uses it as a launching pad for wild predictions about a landslide Coalition victory. Being consistently rediculous and delusional is not something I would be aspiring too nonetheless.

  7. Fantastic Adam: please allow yourself space to have a life outside of politics- your imaginary trip to Asia (?) was a good idea.

  8. I wonder what odds you could get for a triple treat (Kingston, Wakefield, Makin) all getting over the line for Labor David. IF I was a betting man, Id be on that straight away.

  9. Well you can’t multi up seat betting as you would in most other forms of betting (believe me I’ve tried). This should be unsurprising, since individual seat results in a general election are not independent of one anohter.

    Personally, I wouldn’t give you anything better than even money. We are talking about three of the Coalition’s four most marginal seats after all.

  10. Well said David. Okay, what would you give me for hmm. Lindsay, Wentworth Deakin or Solomon (that’s a good one) or McMillan or Sturt (another good one), none of which are as likely as the KMW trio in SA ?

  11. Here’s a trio I would spec bet on, Page (NSW) Longman (QLD) and McMillan (VIC) IF I was a betting man and wanting good odds to make it worthwhile.

  12. Red Rover Says:

    July 28th, 2007 at 2:33 am
    How about some commentary and discussion on the Queensland Local Government amalgamations?

    Red there isnt enough detail out there yet about the local Govt amalgamations and how it effects which ones to comment on it specifically, nor speculate any potential impact for the QLd seats in the upcoming Federal Election.

    Not even Premier Beattie is wholly happy with the report tabled yesterday; something about the new name of one of the new super local Govt places.

    I speculated on this site a few weeks back that Beattie’s persistence in bringing this change about in a Federal election year despite Rudd publicly making very public (media) noises about it and ‘suggesting’ alternative courses of action should be considered could do some harm in provincial/rural seats Labor is hoping to win.

    What kind of harm, where and at what level can not be speculated at this point. Personally I think if the goal was to drag local Govt economic management and efficiency (obviously kicking and screaming) into the 21st century and prepare Qld infrastructure for a substianially increasing population across the board, it is probably a good policy.

    I dont know how many times, for example, I have driven at night in the rain in Brisbane suburbs and cursed the fact that I cant see the bloody lane lines on the wet road because (a) the paint used is not visible at night and (b) up here in Qld ‘cats eyes’ are only stocked at the animal shelter.

  13. If the big swing continues in SA, Labor must have some chance of achieving the 13.8 per cent swing needed in the huge seat of Grey, for these reasons:

    1. Until recent redistributions included more agricultural areas, Grey traditionally was a Labor seat centred on the industrial towns of Whyalla, Port Pirie and Port Augusta.

    2. Regional areas seem to be swinging more than marginal seats.

    3. The sitting Liberal member is retiring.

    4. The Nationals will be contesting as well as Labor and Liberal.

  14. Remember it was a Poll Bill, not an election result.

    Here is what happened for the Green Primary vote in 2004 and the 2PP outcome in SA.

    Division 2004
    Adelaide 7.99 48.67 51.33
    Barker 4.08 69.88 30.12
    Boothby 7.11 55.37 44.63
    Grey 3.30 63.82 36.18
    Hindmarsh 5.11 49.94 50.06
    Kingston 5.30 50.07 49.93
    Makin 3.79 50.93 49.07
    Mayo 7.60 63.59 36.41
    Port Adel. 5.42 37.09 62.91
    Sturt 6.06 56.80 43.20
    Wakefield 4.15 50.67 49.33

    STATE 5.44

    The poll is consistent with the 2004 result in Kingston but below the 2004 result in Wakefield. Id be more interested in how the Green’s are travelling in seats where they had a stronger primary vote in 2004 (Boothby and Sturt) and could very well contribute significantly to a Labor ‘upset’.

  15. Im going to look at FF result in SA in 2004- If a preference deal has been done between Labor and FF this will influence the outcome also.

    Seat FF 2004 First Preferences

    Adelaide 2.06
    Barker 5.82
    Boothby 2.98
    Grey 5.05
    Hindmarsh 2.25
    Kingston 5.64
    Makin 4.92
    Mayo 3.65
    Port Adel. 4.77
    Sturt 4.78
    Wakefield 4.43

    Family First out-polled the Green’s in Barker, Grey, Kingston, Makin and Wakefeild in 2004 and split their vote about 60/40 in favour of the Coalition. Could FF and Green preferences win four seats for Labor (Kingston, Makin, Wakefield and Boothby) and put Sturt at risk? You bet.

  16. That would be great a FF ALP right wing deal and if we get FF into a position of influence we might be able to outlaw gays and bring back religious instruction in schools. Gee im waiting in excitement

  17. Bill, I know you have a passionate distaste for FF.

    However, we are a long way off FF out bidding Labor or the Greens for REAL power in either House and Labor are NOT homophobic or religous extremist’s and you know that.

  18. I can’t say I share Phil’s excitement about Labor’s chances in Grey.

    The Whyalla-Augusta-Pirie ‘iron triangle’ is not as staunch a Labor region as it once was. Additionally, as Phil concedes, the importance of the iron triangle has been diminished with every enlargement of the seat. The last redistribution saw Grey take in Yorke Peninsula.

    Look at state level results: Stuart and Frome in particular. They tend to suggest that whatever Labor’s strength in Port Augusta and Port Pirie, it will be swamped by the strength of the Liberal vote in the surrounding rural areas.

    It’s true that Wakelin is the only Liberal member of Grey since 1969. But I tend to be sceptical of sitting member factors. And I doubt the presence of the Nationals will aberrate the result.

  19. G’Day guys

    I’m looking at the news today, and I see that Beattie is changing the Local Governement situation in qld

    I had a look at the pendulum, and the only two seats in the ‘sweet 16’ that labor needs in qld are (Longman, which would go with a small swing) and Petrie. Labor’s most marginal seats in qld are Rankin, Capricornia and Brisbane, held by 3-4%. Also, they have said that the two mega-marginal WA seats for labor (Swan and Cowan) could be won by the government because of Labor’s stance on AWAs

    How big is the council issue in qld going to be come election time? Could Labor actually drop seats in qld? Will they drop seats in wa?

    Has everybody counted their chickens befoe they hatched?

    Comments please

  20. I doubt the council issue would be much of an issue in south east Queensland. Most of Brisbane is already under the one local government.

    Where it would be an issue is in the more remote areas of the state. It is there, presumably, where the major changes will take place.

    In particular, the issue may hurt Labor’s chances in the new seat of Flynn. The provincialism there was in evidence during the redistribution. Much opposition was aroused from the western parts of the seat at being lumped in the same electorate as the port city of Gladstone.

  21. I’ve just looked at the meat of the proposed changes. Here’s a quick look at how the issue affects some of Qld’s marginal seats.

    Pine Rivers, Caboolture and Redcliffe are to amalgamate. That affects the voters of Dickson, Longman and much of Petrie.

    The amalgamations of Boonah & Beaudesert and Laidley & Gatton means changes for the rural parts of Blair.

    And outside the south-east, the amalgamation of Townsville and Thuringowa will impact Herbert.

    But how attached urban voters are to their local government is questionable. Some may even see it as a positive move.

  22. David Walsh, I’m not excited about Labor’s chances in Grey, but it could be a bit of a sleeper – particularly if some effort is put into the campaign, which has not happened for a number of elections.

  23. THe Local Council stuff wil definately hurt labor in the regions, however if this actually translatesto federal results is another matter

    Here in Queensland there really are two states, south east and the rest and the rest dont like george st much

  24. Now let’s see. I’m having trouble with Howard. I want to see him gone for whatever reason. Beattie brings in something I don’t like so I vote for Howard. The logic escapes me.

  25. Country people dont have a problem with Howard

    I think some people are projecting their own views onto others

    40% of people may prefer him as PM but 60% think hes likeable after 11 years the GST, workchoices, and whatever other unpopular policy some people think he has.

    THere has been a lot of counting, and not a lot of hatching yet

  26. in grey wakelin is retiring (another rat leaving the sinking ship),thus his personal vote will be missing , speaking to people in grey howard and the lib’s are not popular
    personally i cannot see labor winning grey but i would like it to become a marginal seat and because being marginal get some government dollars spent on infrastructure
    i have found it has been ignored by state and federal governments because it is a safe liberal seat and wakelin was a mouse in parliment , never heard a squeak from him the whole time he was there

  27. If country people dont have a problem with Howard then they won’t be voting against him anyway. So little negative effect in regard to the council amalgamations.

  28. Just on your point about Howard being liked Andrew you left out a few other figures. 81% say Rudd is likeable. Hell, even Beazley out did Howard in the likeability stakes (72%).
    63% find Howard arrogant, while only 37% find Rudd arrogant and on trustworthiness Howard has 53% while Rudd 69%.
    So people may like Howard but find him far more arrogant and untrustworthy compared to Rudd.

  29. Kevin Rudd opposes the council amalgamations in QLD: how would that hurt the ALP federally?
    Today’s “Australian” really lays into Kevin Andrews – rather surprising!
    What is the margin in Menzies? Might be a sleeper seat to watch on election night.
    Also in “The Australian” – Malcolm Mackerras’s electoral pendulum for the 2011 N.S.W election(someone more internet literate than me can put up a link)
    And today’s SMH has a profile of George Newhouse, Labor’s candidate for Wentworth(going up against Turnball).

  30. # STROP Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Bill, I know you have a passionate distaste for FF.

    However, we are a long way off FF out bidding Labor or the Greens for REAL power in either House and Labor are NOT homophobic or religous extremist’s and you know that.

    Thats right i keep forgetting! We must drop our principles to do deals and win seats. I just cant do that. Its so wrong


    Seats possibly affected will be Dickson (9.1), Longman (6.6), Petrie (7.9), Blair (5.7) and Herbert (6.1) if you take their geographical location in relation to affected local Govt’s as David has noted above. Maybe the new seat of Flynn (notional 7.9) too David if you expand beyond location ?

    Anyway, I agree with David and Andrew (above) that the amalgamations issue will hurt Labor’s tilt at winning those seats to an extent, but who in those electorate’s and how many will not vote Labor specifically because of the amalgamation issue remains unpredictable.

    As Andrew pointed out, QLD is split into 2 States (abit like Tasmanian’s with a scar on the neck -old joke) and it would be foolish to assume that everyone in those regions is against the changes anyway.

    I would think Labor strategists up here are reckoning on (perhaps) not gaining 1 or 2 seats they might otherwise have won from the Coalition as a worst-case-scenario and Dickson would be one of the 2.


    According to the Courier Mail, the mail is that Qld National Party President Bruce McIvor is about to resign, unhappy with JWHs edict (via Senator Bosswell, Jeff Seeney and Warren Truss) that a joint Senate Ticket be formed for QLD at the 2007 Federal Election.

    The ‘in principle agreement’ will see Senator Boswell take the third senate nominee position and no Liberal candidate standing in the new seat of Flynn (7.9) and Kennedy (10.5) which has belonged to maverick Bob Katter as a National (1993-2001) and then as an Independent.

    No big favours won for the Nationals in Kennedy, but Flynn is a seat the Coalition are counting on winning and they are very worried it will go to Labor with the big pro-Rudd swing on up here in sunny Queensland.

    Forcing voters who would otherwise vote Liberal to vote National (as opposed to Labor) will strengthen the net outcome for the Coalition in Flynn (theoretically speaking of course).

    So much for JWHs claims that QLD politics “is a matter for my colleagues in..”. As late as Wednesday last week, it was rumoured that four of the 8 Liberal State MPs were ready to hang ‘Flegg’ before the phone box Liberal-National conference.

    Seeney is about as popular as no rain amongst the Nationals up here for trying to impose JWHs edict upon the conference attendees and McIvor is a millionaire sponsor of the Nationals up here- watch this space for the fall-out if JWHs edict gets up.

    In conclusion, I think that any reaction to local Govt amalgamations (bad for Labor) will be equalled or trumped by the bloody public infighting and discontent in the National-Liberal relationship up here in QLD. Score: 0.

  32. STROP Says:

    July 28th, 2007 at 7:31 am
    East Timor Times


    Journalist: “Good morning Master Howard. Can we begin with..”

    Howard: “That is a matter for my colleagues and the revelant Minister and/or State colleagues” {Except in QLD and NSW and..}.

    Journalist:..asking if you got any presents for your birthday ? ”

    Howard: “That is a matter for my colleagues and the revelant Minister and/or State colleagues”. {Except in QLD and NSW and..}.

    Journalist: Ok, I will take that as a no. Can we move on to why you chose to visit East Timor on your birthday?

    Howard: “That is a matter for my colleagues and the revelant Minister and/or State colleagues”. {Except in QLD and NSW and..}.

    Journalist: Mr Howard, even here in East Timor we are getting indications of a Labor victory in the polls which have been pretty consistent since Kevin Rudd became leader of the Opposition. Who will win the 2007 Federal Election ?

    Howard: “That is a matter for my colleagues and the revelant Minister and/or State colleagues”.

    Journalist: Oh, I see. The electorate don’t have a say in who wins Government in Australia any more ?

    Howard: What ? I am not going to respond to questions based on idle speculation. What is your source ?

    Journalist: That is a matter for your colleagues (Santori, Laming, Vasta, Hardgrave, Abbott, Costello, Andrews) and the relevant Minister and/or State colleagues” {Including QLD and NSW and..}.

    Howard: Who are they ?

  33. To me saying that people will vote against the coalition federally because the state Nationals are unpopular, for whatever reasons, is just as problematical as saying voters will punish Federal Labor for Beattie’s actions. Still not convinced. Voters these days are more educated than that, particularly when the federal issues start playing out in an election campaign.

  34. I doubt Labor’s prospects in Grey, but the iron triangle is the sort of area where Labor did poorly in 2004: older Anglo blue-collar voters. Labor’s vote might bounce back quite a bit this time. The Nats might have an imapct if they don’t have people to hand out cards to direct preferences to Libs, down here in Warrnambool their preferences drift a lot.

  35. Have to disagree with you on that perception Gary Bruce.

    First up, if you are responding to me with this–

    “….saying that people will vote against the coalition federally because the state Nationals are unpopular, for whatever reasons, is just as problematical as saying voters will punish Federal Labor for Beattie’s actions”.

    I dont think I was implying people will vote against the Coalition because the Nationals are unpopular. I was arguing that the Liberals are unpopular up here with the Nationals and visa versa and, therefore, the Nationals may not play ball with JWHs wishes regarding Federal issues such as a joint Senate ticket.. and that might impact at Federal level, of course.

    People with your pespective often point to the fact that at the present time every State/Territory Govt in the country is a Labor Govt, whilst the Federal Coalition have been in power for 11 years, winning 4 straight elections.

    Therefore, it is argued, State and Federal politics are 2 different world’s and people will vote for opposing sides at Federal/State level because they are “more educated”.

    That argument is uneducated in my opinion. To begin with no State Government can function effectively without Commonwealth funding in key areas like education, housing, infrastructure and health. Do you think most punters join the dots and realise the Federal Government shapes State policy (via resource allocation) to a large extent. I don’t.

    Do you think the punters who can join the dots and recognise the profound influence of Commonwealth funding/resources on State Govt capacity to function in key areas (education/health/housing/infrastructure) are going to accept the ‘blame game’. I don’t.

    Apart from that, I think that some people will vote for ‘the other team’ at a Federal level, at times, to express discontent with what is happening at a State level at the first opportunity (the amalgamation issue) and voters are nowhere near “more educated” as you might like to think.

    It may well be that Federal issues during a Federal election campaign will become paramount in most voters minds by the time they hit the polling booth on election day.

    However, to argue that things like the amalgamation issue and people’s perception of the Nationals, Liberals or Labor at a State level is not going to shape some people’s thoughts on a Federal election day is “problematic” at best.

    I often agree with your perception’s Gary. This time I have to pass



  36. This is the text of Kevin Andrews’s bizarre press release of Thursday, in which he attacks Kevin Rudd for *supporting* his actions in the Haneef case. As Michelle Grattan commented this morning, such comments show how frustrated ministers are becoming.

    Australians deserve more than Rudd and Gillard’s cheap talk

    Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard have today said that they believe the Australian Government has acted in ‘good faith’ and ‘handled appropriately’ the cancellation of Dr Haneef’s visa.

    “And based on the material or the facts that have been presented to us, we believe it has been handled appropriately.” (Kevin Rudd, 4BC Brisbane, 26/7/07)

    “The Opposition also gets briefed by the Australian Federal Police and we believe the Government’s acted in good faith in the immigration matter.” (Julia Gillard, 9AM, Channel Ten, 26/7/07)

    The Australian people deserve more than cheap talk from Mr Rudd and his Deputy. They deserve to know exactly what action Mr Rudd would take if he became Prime Minister.

    It is not good enough for Mr Rudd to simply say ‘me too’.

    It is about time Mr Rudd started telling the Australian people what decisions and actions he would take as alternative Prime Minister in order to protect the Australian people from potential terrorist threats.

    The Australian Government is committed to taking all necessary precautions when acting to protect the safety of every Australian. The government has made it clear that it will never compromise on such matters.

    Mr Rudd on the other hand should explain what action he would take in such circumstances and he should also guarantee the Australian people that he would not be subject to pressure from the likes of Peter Beattie and his state colleagues.

    If Kevin Rudd wants to refer to himself as the ‘alternative Prime Minister’, then it’s about time he started acting like one and stopped hiding behind the veil of opposition.

  37. Adam,

    As brilliant as your analysis is on this one I have to disagree, Haneef is still a neutral or slightly positive for the Feds.

    NOTE: This was actually written by the commenter normally known as Edward St John, who needs to wake up to himself – PB.

  38. Strop – the voters have been voting one way in the state and another federally. Fact not opinion. So they must be influenced by the issues of the time and can distinguish which is which – more so than in the past. They are more aware, if not more educated. When was the last time you saw a state government being turfed out because of a federal government of the same hue? When was the last time a state opposition failed to win power because of a federal government of the same hue? It is said that people in victoria voted against Federal Labor in the east because of the state government’s flip on tolling a freeway in 2003 but given Latham’s melt down in the 2004 poll how can we tell?

  39. The front page of the Herald Sun had “John Brumby will become the state’s 68th premier on Monday.” Pity Steve Bracks was our 44th.

  40. By my count Brumby’s ministry will be the 64th, but that includes a number of premiers who served more than once. He will be the 45th person to be premier.

  41. Gary,
    I am certainly in the school that says the EastLink/Scoresby tolls were significant in 2004. I’d point to the comparative swings in Aston, Holt, Dunkley and Isaacs, compared to the modest swings in virtually adjacent seats like Chisholm, Menzies and Bruce.
    I’m aware that others contest this view and suggest that the interest rate issue was the one that bit, and that this was evident in other metro fringe seats like Calwell, Scullin and Gorton.
    The other exhibit for the prosecution that voters use Federal elections to punish State Governments and State to punish Federal Parties are the (admittedly extreme) examples of Victorian Federal seats in 1990, which swung violently against Labor because of dissatisfaction with the Cain/Kirner regimes and the reverse swing in Federal 1993 in reaction to the early actions of the Kennett Government.
    Like you I’m Victorian-based, so they’re the most notable examples that come to my mind, but I assume Goss’ defeat in 1995 was largely about hostility to Keating, and I’d reckon we could find a few more with even brief reflection.
    I certainly don’t know enough about the Queensland local Government proposals to make an informed comment, but I certainly wouldn’t disregard its effect in the forthcoming election as a possibility.

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