EMRS: 61-39 in Tasmania

Tasmanian market research company EMRS has today published one of its surveys of 1000 voters covering about 200 in each of the state’s five electorates, showing Labor on course for a clean sweep. This would mark a return to the state of play from 1998 to 2004, when Bass and Braddon fell to the Liberals. Coalition supporters wishing to find solace in the possibility of a dud sample should observe that the same outfit has produced a poll of state voting intention, conducted at the same time and presumably from the same sample, with disastrous results for Labor. Paul Lennon’s disapproval rating is at a terminal 66 per cent, with 64 per cent expressing disapproval for his government’s contentious fast-tracking of the Tamar Valley pulp mill. Those of a suspicious mindset will no doubt point to the fact that the poll was commissioned by Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill.

It’s always advisable to read these polls in totality rather than as five separate electorate-level results; nonetheless, I do not begrudge EMRS its attempt to read significance into its figures for Braddon, site of the federal government’s Mersey Hospital intervention, where Labor’s two-party lead has narrowed to 54-46 from 64-36 at the previous poll in June. After weeding out the undecided and non-voters (11 per cent of the total), seat-by-seat results are as follows:

Total 61 39 51 36 11
Bass (Liberal 2.6%) 59 41 52 36 11
Braddon (Liberal 1.1%) 54 46 47 44 9
Denison (ALP 13.3%) 64 36 53 32 14
Franklin (ALP 7.6%) 61 39 52 37 11
Lyons (ALP 3.7%) 61 39 52 36 13

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.

103 comments on “EMRS: 61-39 in Tasmania”

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  1. So, the pork really works then? Liberal party internal polling was probably already showing that the Mersey hospital takeover was doing well for the government, which prompted them to put together the massive $18 billion “war chest” for pork-barreling 40 marginal seats.

    Once upon a time, such misuse of taxpayers money for party political purposes was grounds for major inquiries and ministerial sackings. But now it just flashes up as part of the daily news cycle, only to be quickly forgotten. When the government can get away with such blatant misuse of public money, it shows just how much accountability, ethics, and fair game has slipped under Howard’s “win at any cost” regime.

  2. Tassie proves what I have always thought. People keep talking as if 16 seats is a lot to win. I can see Labor easily picking up 8- 10 seats outside of QLD and NSW. That leaves 6-8. Not a lot, especially since Labor is coming off such a low base in QLD and is polling well there (and is polling even better in NSW).

    That’s the magnitude of the libs’ task. They are less popular than when the ALP picked up a net total of 18 seats in 1998. Troubled times for My Howard indeed.

  3. I hope you are right but there are lies left to be delivered before the fat boy sings (being all for equal opportunity it is about time the greatly discrimated agaist boy got to sing the last note).

  4. So much pork for so few results.

    54 -46 aint within cooee of a hold.

    Mind you, it is amazing you can claw back 10% with such naked bacon.

    Problem for the libs – envy and rank national public policy means the safe seat next door you weren’t expecting suddenly falls over.

  5. I wonder of the people of Bass are pissed that their marginal seat status hasn’t produced anything. Look at all those lib primary votes under forty.

  6. So much for the view that the dullards in voter land can’t differentiate between state and federal parties when it comes to contentious issues.

    State Labor, under the great busted saveloy in Paul Lennon, is tanking because of widespread community disquiet over the proposed pulp mill – either because they don’t like the mill OR they don’t like Lennon’s trashing of the planning process as he belligerently rammed the project through.

    … Meanwhile, the same voters put Federal Labor’s 2pp support at a massive 61 per cent – almost equal to the saveloy’s personal disapproval rating!

    If the pulp mill issue (which I would argue is more contentious in Tassie than losing a few councils in Queensland) can’t take the gloss off Federal Labor’s support then no other state issue will.

    Peter Beattie should take a look at what’s going on way down south and be reassured.

  7. I think that people don’t want a country with all ALP Governments, but I think that they want to see the back of Howard more, so I’m predicting the ALP to win this Federal election but then lose the two state elections where they have been the most atrocious, TAS and NSW. WA and VIC seem pretty safe at a state level, ACT, NT and SA ridiculously safe and who knows with the QLD opposition as it is.

  8. NSW is not a bad government. It is just honest, nuts and bolts are on display for all to see, mistakes and all. That is why it won the election, people knew its shortcomings, but they were outweighed by their achievements.
    Lennon’s apparent disregard for proper process is worrying, even for Labor supporters such as myself. But to think the neocons would do better is a fantasy.
    I think Tas will experience a considerable ‘greening’ next election, and whichever party picks up more votes will be a minority govt.

  9. The poll is of interest in the surge for the Greens and the drop in Lyons for lab and lib where the proposed pulp mill is to be. Especially with Howards former close advisor Cousins talking against Turnbull.

    Both Howard and Turnbull have said the pulp mill decision is subject to review, has the “stoush” between Cousins and Turnbull been another orchestrated show to increase Turnbulls profile and highlight Howards continuing power stand off with the states.

    Will we see Turbull and Howard herocially overturn the Tas govt decision and demand the mill be resited.

  10. I’ve got to agree that the Tassie govt is on the nose. They really are a bunch of wankers but I don’t know anything about the Tassie opposition so can’t say if they’re any better.

  11. They could the whole $17 billion surplus in Braddon, that might guarantee one seat. Now, another 75 to go. I reckon a trillion in Pork could just about do it.

    Downer is a child. The more he speaks the more chance there is he could lose his own safe seat under the mercy rule.

    And he reckons Wiki is anti-govt? What about the entire public service, security services, govt funded agencies, military etc.. all politicised to the Libs.

    The NT opposition party are useless and, the Labor govt has the problem of too small a budget and too large a Territory and responsibility to manage it the way anyone wants. Look at the Indigenous issues. Howard reckons they are spending $500 million in the first year and they complain the NT govt hasnt done enough?
    Give me a break. And for history’s sake it was the CLP here that was first expert at playing the race card at election times. No doubt Shane Stone took that knowledge with him to the Libs.

  12. Lennon’s atrocious popularity contra excellent polling figures for the federal ALP should put to bed any more guff about the QLD council mergers being a liability for Rudd. People are clever enough to tell the difference.

    After all, even when Beattie won 66 seats out of 89 in 2001, the ALP only still managed to send seven MHRs out of 28 to Canberra later that year.

  13. I love your work William, and congratulations for including The Green results in some of your posts. You are ahead of the others, no doubt you can see the increase and importance of The Greens on the Australian (and World) poilitical landscape.
    Ive allways woundered why so much emphasis is placed on 2PP and always have to dig around for the other parties votes. Even when quite often these days the vote for the Green will out poll one of the major parties.
    If I were an old cynic I might almost thing there was a conspirisy afoot .

    This brings me to my request for the breakbown of votes booth by booth for the 2004 elections, I can’t find this info. on the AEC site.
    Perhaps some of your clever posters could help me with a link.
    Thank in advance.

  14. Envy: The Greens have not outpolled a major party on the primary vote in a general election EVER. Even the example of Melbourne in 2001, which is the one that got a way according to a lot green supporters, the Green was 8% behind the Liberal candidate (overtaking them on Dem preferences).

  15. Love your work too, Envy. For booth results, go here, and click the revelant state under “Division and Polling Place Results”. Then you’ll get a list of electorates in that state; click on the one you’re after, and on the following page click on “Polling Places”.

  16. re: post 14, the NSW state government won because an absolute nutter with ridiculous policies in Peter Debnam was the opposition leader. If I were Morris Iemma I would be very worried that there was a swing to a party led by someone like Debnam. I think O’Farrell, a moderate Lib, stands a very good chance in NSW.

    In Tas, interesting to see the rise in unsure votes as well. Perhaps people against the pulp mill but not yet ready to commit to the Greens?

  17. Without doing any proper calculations wouldn’t this result give 3 Labor, 2 Lib and 1 green senator? Very interesting poll indeed.

  18. Yes, it would give 4 senators to the ALP and Greens combined. 3 ALP and the final senator would in fact be a battle between them for the last seat. It would be hard to see the ALP getting it over the Greens.
    The quota for 3 senators is only 42.86% which I can now see happening nationwide for the ALP.

  19. The fourth senate seat could go to Labor if the Libs preference them to get rid of Bob Brown, but I doubt that will happen.

  20. Family First will go ALP over Green, Hanson’s Group might as well (but is unlikely to run in Tassie). Some of the rest will probably go Green (AD, smaller groups).

  21. #23
    B.S. Fairburn, hard to imagine perhaps, but in the 2007 NSW state election the Greens did out poll the ALP in the seat of Vaucluse.
    Vaucluse by the way is in the highly topical federal seat of Wentworth.
    Food for thought.
    Further to my point in #21 and why William is ahead of the rest.

    Just one example that springs to mind.

    Thanks for link William

  22. Even in a landslide I’d like to see Downer stay in – he is such a useless lump that it would be entertaining to see him being crushed in opposition.

  23. [Even in a landslide I’d like to see Downer stay in – he is such a useless lump that it would be entertaining to see him being crushed in opposition.]

    Totally! He is worth it for comedy value, in fact, I hope they make him deputy leader of the liberal party just as a gag.

  24. I predict Howard will resign at the end of APEC.

    Whoever replaces him will completly repudiate Work Choices in the next legislative session.

    This will not win the election, but might save the furniture.

    The Libs are beached whales!

  25. Dr “shadecloth in space” Jensen is on 11.8% in WA so it is likely that a rump Liberal party left after the ruddslide will have to put him in as the environment shadow minister or similar.

    Which will be nice too.

  26. It’s worth remembering that Victoria’s next election will likely fall right around the time of the 2010 federal election, Queensland only the year before, and NSW not until March 2011, so I’d say it’s far, far, far too early to start speculating about what’s gonna happen in the three largest states in the country.

    Actually, looking at the next elections in each state:
    NT 2008
    ACT 2008
    QLD 2009
    WA 2009
    SA 2010
    VIC 2010
    TAS 2010
    NSW 2011

    After the federal election, there’s really not gonna be much in the way of elections for a while.

  27. Whitlam was on TV today saying Rudd should propose combined state and federal elections. I’d go further local, state, federal on the same day, every four years, on a Monday that is a public holiday 😛

  28. Simon and Albert, on Downer I still think more laughs are to come and he is a distinct possibility to be leader after the election. He has a lot more support in the Liberals than he appears to have. I think those who are looking at Turnbull as the likely successor (assuming he survives) are looking at a much more stable party than what exists. Remember, they still really don’t know why they are behind and after they lose they won’t know why they have lost. Sounds like recriminations all round!

  29. The other point is the first opposition leader after a loss doesn’t become P.M., that kind of sounds like an ideal job for Downer! 😛

    My feeling is that Costello is going to bolt over to MacBank or wherever. I don’t think he has the guts to be opposition leader, he could’ve been opposition leader in 1995 if he wanted it.

  30. William William will you be adding discussion on the Victorian forthcoming by-electons soon?

    I would also like to express my concern at the statement published by Antony Green in respect to the conduct of the Victorian State Election. Antony very much appears to be an apologist for the VEC. He clearly has his facts wrong. Correct me if I am wrong but Antony are you not based in NSW… Looks like I will need to address a few more issues in my submission. Namely that the role of the FEC is not to meet teh requirements of the Media but to facilitate the proper and open scrutiny of the ballot. I am not sure when or if Antony has recently been a scrutineer on election night, given that he is preoccupied in the main tally room. Had he attended a polling place count he would have known that in the 2004 election Senate ballot papers were presorted into above-the-line and below the line. the most certainly is an efficient way of processing the ballot papers. Polling place return data for the senate was made published by the SEC on election night be it at a later time then the lower house. Contrary to comments made the collation of polling place data for the upper-house is not computer intensive as this information is readily available. it most certainly does not take 3 months to produce this data. As to the check and balances had the VEC provided information on the number of postal votes and pre-polling votes issued prior to the election and had they undertaken the most basic of check (Which teh local government Act/regulation requires the VEC would have and should have realized they had not accounted for all the ballot papers. Whether you are next door, 1,000KM or 20,000KM aways has no bearing on the availability and transmission of data. Then there is the question of the VEC accessing results of the electronic voting centers prior to the close of the ballot.

  31. Speculating on what Costello might do after a defeat is getting ahead of things – but I would not be surprised if he looked at the wreakage and the clowns surrounding him and bails.

  32. I fully agree with one pint. The main tally room is no longer a requirement other then for theatrics and media presentation “a gathering after the hunt”. The days of the virtual tally room is within here now but it very much depends on the availability of detailed information. information that is already collected and should be readily available. The size of the required data files for the upper-house electorates is approx 05. Mb and takes maybe 20 seconds to collate and publish,. very resource Hungary indeed. lol.. Your only as far away as the telphone or internet connection.

  33. [I fully agree with one pint. The main tally room is no longer a requirement other then for theatrics and media presentation “a gathering after the hunt”.]

    It’s somewhere for Bob Ellis to sleep.

  34. The observation by GG about Howard going after APEC, is very interesting. The same thought also crossed my mind earlier today. Itwas prompted by Possum’s piece on Howard’s movements. It is quite clear that during the period the Liberals were suffering some loss of popularity during the Latham period. Howard maintained a strong approval rating. This I suspect provided the basis for reclaimimg the ground during the election.

    If you look back at the 1993 election when the ALP was trailing badly in the year before the election they changed Hawke who was in terminal decline for Keating and managed to retrieve the position.

    Replacing Howard with a new leader (who?) could provide the circuit breaker that will enable an improvement. Without such a circuit breaker it is hard to see how there can be a strong enough foundation to win sufficient votes.

    APEC will give Howard his moment on the world stage, but would also enable a new leader not to be compromised by the photos with George W.

  35. One the topic on delaying the election. All commetators dismiss a Jan 2008 election because the election would be over Xmas. But if Howard is sufficiently desperate why wouldn’t he delay the election?

    Am I missing something?

  36. [Replacing Howard with a new leader (who?) could provide the circuit breaker that will enable an improvement. Without such a circuit breaker it is hard to see how there can be a strong enough foundation to win sufficient votes.]

    But Keating had time! If Howard goes now, he is leaving Costello with nothing. Rudd is a lot more popular than Costello, in fact a poll a couple of months ago showed that Turnbull is more popular thatn Costello!

    Downer gave Howard a decent amount of time as wel back in 1995l. The only exception is Hawke, but back then 50% of the work force was unionised, so everyone knew Hawke from the 10 years he had spent as President of the ACTU.

    [But if Howard is sufficiently desperate why wouldn’t he delay the election?]

    If Howard delays the election until January then everyone will think even HE knows he can’t win! As soon as that mentality sets in he will lose in a landslide.

    In practice, the first or second week of December is the latest he can go.

  37. I fully agree with one point. The main tally room is no longer a requirement other then for theatrics and media presentation “a gathering after the hunt”.

    The days of the virtual tally room is here and now but it very much depends on the availability of detailed information.

    Information that is already collected (you can not publish summary data without details) The detailed breakdown should be readily available as and when it is available and not just to service the limited interests of teh media.

    The size of the required data files for the upper-house electorates is approx 0.5 Mb and takes maybe 20 seconds to collate and publish,. very resource Hungry indeed. lol.. Your only as far away as the telephone or Internet connection it all depends on teh data and information available.

  38. Not only Bob Elise but also ABC consultants who clearly do not have a full understanding as to the process of the tabulation of the ballot.

    I personally enjoy “the gathering after the hunt” but I consider the for readily available access to information to be of fundamentally important for independent analysis and scrutiny of the ballot, even more so as we move into teh realm of e-voting and electronic counting. It is not something that should be designed to soley meet the requirements of certain media presenters.

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