Westpoll: 53-47 in WA

The West Australian today carries its monthly Westpoll survey of around 400 voters, which shows Labor’s two-party lead in WA increasing to 53-47 from 51.6-48.4 last month. Compared with the 2004 election results, this points to a swing to Labor of 8.4 per cent – which would shift Stirling, Hasluck and Kalgoorlie and endanger Canning (which most reckon more likely to fall than Kalgoorlie, despite the margins). However, Kevin Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed from 47-41 to 45-43. No primary vote figures are provided.

Hat tip to Barry.

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.

527 comments on “Westpoll: 53-47 in WA”

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  1. Well, well, well.

    I must admit (as a Perth resident) that this is unexpected. WA was actually (thanks to the mining boom) shaping up to be the last real LP stronghold in the country – the only reason Gallop got back into government was that the Opposition was unelectable, and Carpenter will lose the next election hands-down.

    Seriously, the sentiment that I am reading (from family, friends etc.) is more like 45-55 than 53-47. I would question this poll stringently.

  2. We might as well continue the discussion about Brand here.

    I’d say Brand has replaced Franklin as the most overrated – in terms of its competitiveness – seat. On the Labor side of the pendulum at least.

    The point that Labor’s vote has dropped at the last two elections is a frivolous one. In this respect, Brand is no different to most other seats in the country. (Gray had a different, less convincing, answer.)

    Edman’s I’m-a-local-and-he’s-not tactic is a good one. Though I did giggle when he mentioned graffiti and hoons.

  3. [Carpenter will lose the next election hands-down. ]

    I wouldn’t think so with One Vote-One Value and with the Nats NOT forming a Coalition with the Libs and of course the Libs themselves.

    Back to Westpoll, I wonder if the increase is due to the ALP Ads featuring Kevin in Kings Park promising to give it’s shares of royalties back to WA and support more Infrastructure ?


  4. [Edman’s I’m-a-local-and-he’s-not tactic is a good one. Though I did giggle when he mentioned graffiti and hoons.]

    THat’s a common theme amongst ALL the WA Libs atm – they’ve disowned Howard and Serfchoices like a leper

  5. My suspicion is that it’s very close at the moment to 50-50 in WA. This will probably translate to roughly 48-52 on election day, although still a better result than ’04.

    I doubt the ALP will do worse in ’07 than ’04. The only question is how much better their vote will improve, and where that improvement will come from.

    Nafe, just because miners may be ‘happy’ with their AWAs (and I’m not sure they particularly care) doesn’t mean all the other workers are. I happen to know plenty of people in WA who are on terrible AWAs. It doesn’t stretch my imagination much to imagine these people will be too upset with the ‘union bosses’.

  6. Oh, and on the local front… unless the Liberal Party come up with a credible Opposition Leader they will not win the next state election. Birney and Omodei were both complete duds. Personally I think Barnett would’ve been doing better than them (fractionally).

  7. CTEP @ 6 & 7.

    Correct at #6 – I’ve worked as a waiter in Perth, and the AWA sucked big-time. I quit as soon as I could and never forgave the restaurant owner for handing out that POS or Howard for letting him. I’m thinking about 50-50, with a couple of Lib seats lost, but the Coalition should still comfortably retain at least 8 of WA’s 15 seats.

    #7 – I’m not so sure. Carpenter is not exactly prime-grade leadership material, you know. Not bad stuff, but certainly not up to Gallop’s level. Add that to Ripper’s monumentally unpopular Budgets, the still-resonating Brian Burke scandals (Norm Marlborough, anyone?) and the ongoing feud between the West Australian (Perth’s daily paper) and the Attorney-General (Jim McGinty), and you have an excellent recipe for a “shock” LP victory in the 2009 state election. Bear in mind, the polls had the Libs ahead of the Gallop government in 2005 until Barnett put his canal proposal up – it sank like a lead balloon (despite the support of the West Aussie) and took the Libs down with it.

    Incidentally, during the furious pro-ALP swing that this scored for Gallop, Carpenter actually suffered a pro-LP swing within his own electorate. Not that this matters directly, mind you -it’s still the safest seat in WA. But it is an indication of Cerpenter’s charisma.

  8. That Westpoll is a surprise, probably the 2nd message from that particular polling source indicating a swing toward Labor is on the cards in WA.

    Whether or not that will translate into net gains for Labor remains to be seen.

    If nothing else,the recent Westpoll results would suggest Labor can expect to retain it’s own seats in WA and may be fortunate to pick up Hasluck and/or Stirling. Still, Labor would not want to be looking across the rabbit fence for that extra one or two seats needed to gain Government.

    The key States will be QLD, SA and NSW in which Labor has focussed most of it’s election resources to date. Without a majority in those three States, or close too it, reliance on Tas, NT and/or WA to ‘get over the line’ would be an outcome completely foreign to the polls very clear message in the past 10 months that Rudd will win and win very comfortably.

  9. I didn’t mention Victoria in my thesis because I think Victoria may swap seats around but end up with the same net result.

  10. Mathew@1

    I don’t know about your family, friends, etc, but if I tried to read sentiment from the people I know, I would conclude that the Coalition could never win an election and would struggle even to win a single seat. I don’t do that, because I know very well that the people I know form an extremely unrepresentative sample. Something you might reflect on.

  11. Hi BlueBottle,

    I have to say I agree with you about WA not having much for labor, but can’t agree about the need for three states.

    Aren’t the numbers showing Labor will get ovet the line just on VIC and NSW alone?

  12. Westpoll has had the ALP primary vote over the 40 per cent mark for the past three months, so suggestions that it’s not measuring correctly don’t seem to stack up. The preferred PM question has barely moved over that same time as well.

    As for the AWAs, east coasters must remember that while there plenty of mining AWAs in the state, by far they are most numerous in the retail/hospitality areas. And there’s a lot more people working in those sectors than in mining. Remember, Woodside doesn’t use AWAs of the three big miners.

  13. Judy @ 9

    The liberal party seem obsessed with Gillard’s personal life – which really does astound me. Is there really a sizable percentage of people out there, in 2007, who find the concept of a career oriented woman distasteful?

    Secondly, if Tony Abbotts other opinions are what he got from his life experience, then I’m glad Gillard hasn’t shared them!

  14. Hear Hear J-D. The Coalition lackeys are getting mighty desparate if they have to keep resorting to unrepresentative straw polls to keep their hopes alive. Not just on this blog, but on the News Litd ones, we keep hearing: “I have conducted my own poll, and this tells me Howard will be back easily”. Such delusion is the reason for the Lib’s current predicament. Tony Abbot epitmoised this when he said “We have been a good government” etc, and just couldn’t understand why the voters would want to turf them out.

  15. How accurate 53-47 is, is certainly debatable, but to win the election, based on the supposed swings in other states, the coalition will almost certainly have to win 1 if not 2 seats from the ALP in WA. It’s hard to see the ALP doing worse in WA than in 2004, thus making the election that bit harder for the coalition.

  16. ALP to win 4 seats is what most have been saying for a while now,

    The AWA’s don’t come into it, there has never been and never will be any laws stopping employers paying over award wages, labor has also said it will honor existing AWA’s.

    Labor has also promised to give a fairer share of royalties, especially from the LNG fields, back to WA. When the Woodside deals were first signed the Fed govt took the majority of the royalty payments, money that rightly should have stayed in WA.

    Howard, Abbott and Costello have been ripping the states off for years, skimping on royalty payments, health, education and roads funding, it is how they achieved their massive surpluses.

  17. Hasluck and Stirling gains and no losses in WA would be a great result for ALP. Realistic and achievable; anything else, cream.

    Judy at 9. A fascinating trait of The Mad Monk is that he seems to be irrationally threatened by Julia Prole. He can’t bear to be bested by an intelligent, fiesty, focused female. The way uh-Tony uh-sees it; HE was Oxford scholaring, while Julia was rubbing shoulders with university and union bosses instead of fulfilling HER destiny as homemaker and brood-mother. As Uh-Tony’s good mate, Junee Billy Smearer said, she’s “deliberately barren”. The inference; women who make selfish personal choices cannot be trusted to hold high political office.

    Perhaps Tony should take advice from furthur afield than from his main mentor, who is a frocked-up career misogynist and a global warming denier of the heliophilic persuasion.

    In a modern, democratic, secular society, most of us have moved on.

  18. “Perhaps Tony should take advice from furthur afield than from his main mentor”

    I thought Santamaria was dead… 🙂

  19. people

    leave AbbottT alone

    i mean wearing a horsehair undergarment and a needle encrusted garter all day everyday would lead me to make similiar statements
    (why else is every second word UH-he cant just yell out “jeez this is scratching and hurts whenever i move)

  20. The Westpoll gels with Morgan in showing a big swing to Labor in the West. This would have been taken last week. I’m hoping that ACN on Mon will have Labor’s primary at 50%+; Morgan has tended to be a lead indicator of a trend.

  21. Carpenter losing? Ha. Not many would agree. Omodei has made my Worst in Perth list as worst politician, because Labor could be burning grandmothers, and Omodei would be going backwards in the polls. The libs are hopeless, and as Frank #4 points out, the one vote one value has made it even worse.

    If you’re interested, Paul Omodei, Worst of perth

    Federally, despite the boom, workhouse agreements are the killer.

  22. It is well to remember that Latham was not a welcome figure in WA and voters here reacted badly to him. In recent weeks, a few things have hapened to help Rudd: Bob Hawke was here. People still think he’s the greatest and he will have helped sentiment.

    And then there’s Liberal policies: the “local board” concept for hospitals will not be popular here. It undermines the ability of the States to plan properly and actually do things. It also further confuses accountability for health services and spending and will be big negative. In WA, the federation is still taken seriously. Every time a Liberal minister says how much better things would be if they could run things in Canberra, voters shake their heads and mutter darkly about secession.

    The administrative collapse of the AWA system will also register with WA voters – especially with small business owners as well as employees. The last thing people want is a labour market that disappears into a bureaucratic black hole.

    Voters will go for change here, I’m convinced of it.

  23. I have anecdotal evidence of a bank manager in Kalgoorlie electorate( a pretty wide area)who is P*ssed off bythe huge pay packets for miners which his staff process. He has difficulty controlling outrageous claims for overtime by his folks who are trying to catch up with the “49ers”.
    These are folk who get overtime! Imagine how you’d feel if you were on an AWA.
    Don’t believe that AWAs don’t have an effect in WA.
    Of course , a side issue is that the effect of splitting the proles into two hostile camps is the sort of wedge that JWH delights in… Workers of all nations, unite!

  24. In fact, if Labor ran an “anti-Canberra” theme on AWA’s, Health and Tax, they could get a very nice swing here. We are, generally, totally allergic to Ministerial Bigheads telling us how good they are when all the evidence is they haven’t got a bloody clue…

  25. I said this before about the recent Morgan polls (including the averaged poll), but given Westpoll and hopefully ACNeilson and Newspoll will show, is that the swing back to the ALP is just regaining ground that was before the whole ‘Team Howard/Costello’. There has been no Team, in fact they’re going around doing the same old same old. People thought it might help, so the polls showed a swing back to the LNP, but the more they delay the real thing and the less Team Howard/Costello we see the more people are going to flirt with the ALP.

  26. If the polls Antony just plugged into the calculator hold fast – which I would imagine they won’t, a 14% swing to SA seems a tad extreme – but if they did, it would mean 27 seats would fall in 2010 with just a 4% swing back to the libs.

    Which would not be enough to reclaim government – a swing of 6% would be needed to grab those last 6 or so seats. Completely useless data of course, but it’s interesting nontheless.

    Of course, all of this is hypothetical in the extreme. But I like to prove I have the ability to count from time to time. Or so it would seem.

  27. 16
    Thommo Says:
    October 6th, 2007 at 8:26 am
    I dont really care for Gillards personal life. I just find her to be a very unappealing souless woman.
    And Thommo, do you have the same feelings about Costello? Abbott? ..Or is it only females whose souls are evaluated??

  28. blindoptimist@36 – thank you for taking up the fight … and for this blog to have moved from evaluating souls as opposed to fashion sense is a great step forward. You can’t expect the boys to be evaluated they are meant to be doing politics it is the girls who are supposed to be staying home.

  29. Ah Jasmine,

    Of course with the ALP if you criticise a female ALP politician it is sexism.

    The reality with Julia “Medicare Gold” Gillard is like that of many people in the ALP, if you have sit about the age of 18 only ever interacted with ALP people and only ever “worked” for ALP people you do not have the broad experience of life that is likely to make you a more seasoned person.

    Medicare Gold is truly a soulless apparatchik – her gender is irrelevant.

  30. 35
    Will Says:
    October 6th, 2007 at 10:55 am
    blindoptimist: Pity Bomber never won, I’m sure WA would have loved to send their own as PM.
    Yes, Will….lost years for Kim, the party and the country…..but time to move on!
    jasmine_Anadyr Says:
    October 6th, 2007 at 10:59 am
    blindoptimist@36 – thank you for taking up the fight … and for this blog to have moved from evaluating souls as opposed to fashion sense is a great step forward.
    Too right, jasmine.

  31. ESJ: that’s so bold for someone who is still at school and lives with their parents. If you haven’t already, go join the Young Libs and say hi to Alex Hawke for us. That man has no soul, he has no compassion. A bit like John ‘Never say sorry’ Howard.

  32. I retract every adverse comment I have ever made about The West Australian newspaper. It is a paragon of journalistic excellence.

    But seriously, folks… The 53-47 figure sounds about right. You ‘Eastern Staters’ have been taken in by the media reports of WA as a bastion of Coalition support. It simply aint true to the extent that it’s promoted in the GG and -of course- the West Australian. The actual number of people employed under AWAs is quite small -below 10 per cent of the workforce, if my memory serves. Western Australians are worried about the erosion of ‘family time’ during this last decade, and see Workchoices as a further threat. And a decade of climate change denial will see the biggest ever Greens vote in WA.

    Conclusion: the Government is doomed, and can’t look to WA for its salvation.

  33. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard some high compliments for Gillard coming from businesspeople and IR-law practitioners. They are not Labor cheer-leaders, but hard-headed, sceptical, informed: they say she is smart, across the issues, persuasive, candid, humorous.

    Medicare Gold was not a high-point. But she is on the money now, apparently.

  34. ESJ,

    Poor argument. Medicare Gold was a 2004 policy – update your attack. And attacking someone on the basis that after they turned 18 they only moved in certain circles seems is a bit silly.

    Apart from the substance of the argument about moving in ceratin circles (too easy), are you claiming that until she was 18 Gillard had the same sort of experiences that you have had to date? Its just logic – I wouldn’t be trying to stand out and criticise a shortsighted fellow if I was blind.

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