Newspoll: Labor ahead in Bass and Braddon

The mid-week polling drought is coming to an end with a vengeance, The Australian now bringing us a Newspoll survey of 1000 voters in the crucial northern Tasmanian seats of Bass and Braddon. The picture in Bass is as grim for the Liberals as most would expect, with Labor’s Jodie Campbell leading Liberal incumbent Michael Ferguson 57-43 (suggesting a swing of 11 per cent). However, the poll bears out suggestions that the pulp mill announcement has gone down better in the neighbouring seat of Braddon, which has also been the target of the government’s Mersey Hospital intervention. Here the Labor lead is just 51-49, pointing to a swing of 2 per cent. The primary vote figures in Bass are Labor 46 per cent, Liberal 38 per cent and the Greens 13 per cent, well short of the 20 per cent cited in some of the post-pulp mill commentary but still handily up on their 8 per cent from 2004. In Braddon the figures are Liberal 46 per cent, Labor 45 per cent and the Greens 5 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.

14 comments on “Newspoll: Labor ahead in Bass and Braddon”

  1. I think the result for Braddon here is a far bigger worry for the ALP than the other two published polls, Labor would have been counting on this one. Still, better to be ahead than behind

  2. William, can you dig out those figures from the poll a few months back which had 200 respondents from each of the electorates?

    I realise the sample size was quite low, but if I recall correctly, Braddon had a significantly lower ALP vote (and swing) than the other four seats. If so, that suggests that something significant is bucking the national trend in Braddon. What? If the earlier poll is taken as further evidence, then it pre-dates the pulp mill decision and the Mersey hospital takeover.

  3. What impact will a teachers strike have in tasmania? Whilst a state issue, it focuses Labor/Industrial relations/Unions.

    If the Government gives in then it becomes a story, if they don’t then a teachers strike affects a big slice of the population.

  4. Thanks William. My memory was only half-correct – Braddon was obviously weaker in August, but is even moreso now. That still leaves the question of why it is weaker for Labor than Bass.

  5. I don’t know if this is common knowledge or not, but one of the reasons the Liberal Party won Bass last election was due a housing boom in the Launceston area. Prices sky rocketed so the interest-rate based campaign was particularly effective. I think the massive swing towards Labor in Bass is in line with the swing in towards Labor in other mortgage belt seats. The pulp mill is more likely to help the Greens and Independents campaigning on the issue than either of the major parties (which both support it). Whether or not it translates into a change in 2PP vote I’m not so sure.

  6. Funnily enough I expected these polls to make me more pessimistic about Labor’s chances. However, they do seem more realistic to what can be expected come election day and show how tough it will be for the Coalition to come from behind. Of course it’s possible.

    However, if we look at the top 16 seats needed for Labor to win the election, so far published polling has the ALP in front in each of these seats, to varying margins. If Labor can pull off a slick enough campaign to win each of these seats they have it in the bag, regardless of the overall 2PP.

    We also have promising polls on some unexpected seats, eg. North Sydney, Leichardt. It’s still not over for the ALP by a long shot but they need to get moving and moving quick. The media will cut them no slack in this election and it’s all too easy to be painted as the loser (think Debnam, Barnett etc.) in which case it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    A big ticket, populous policy would work wonders right now. Petrol prices, child care, dental health etc.

  7. Braddon, Cbet: Lab $1.50 Coal $2.40

    Lab. have drifted 25 cents in the last 2-3 weeks. Minor fret land but hardly heart attack territory.
    These last couple of polls are a timely rev up for Team Tin-Tin, they are still on their feet, and have plenty to unleash.

  8. LTEP

    Apparently Hockey is debating Bailey on Sky on Sunday, would be interesting to watch, don’t have Sky.

    But Hockey being in serious trouble in North Sydney gives an indication of how many seats the libs will lose.

  9. Braddon could be due to the L-NP’s health porking, combined with the bounce from calling the election and the tax cuts.

    The amount of pork devoted to Braddon over the years is ridiculous – has some of the best highway in the country, and yet there’s so little traffiic on it, you could play cricket on it most of the day…

    But that’s politics.. :-\

  10. Having read this, my first thought is “how int’rusting…”

    Looks like the LP has written off Bass – you don’t come back from that kind of 2PP without a miracle. However, it also looks like they’re willing to fight for Braddon – with our money, of course, but that’s neither here nor there. The big question is this: will the pulp mill/Mersey issues last long enough (as positives for the LP) to carry through to Election Day (which is, after all, over a month away)?

    If so, the ALP will have to watch Tassie. While the 2 seats at stake are hardly critical, things tend to add up. Give a little bit of territory here, a little more there and so on, and fairly soon you’re talking some serious real estate. Certainly, the ALP should be making the life of every Minister whose electorate they can reach hell – scaring them in their own seats drives them back into self-defense mode, leaving them much less able to make trouble for Labor.

  11. You Bewdy if Labor wins only 1 Tassie seat the Libs have a chance to hold on Braddon is the seat with all the pork flying so it has a better chance of holding than Bass poor old Furgie in Bass maybe he might be given a Senate spot in 2010 to compensate?

    Braddon will be getting all the resources me thinks to try and overhaul the 51/49 margin….

  12. Arbie Jay – the Hockey/Bailey debate is on Sky News Agenda at 4.15 this afternoon, not Sunday………I agree it will be interesting, probably the first time the wider public have had a chance to see Bailey in action in his new field of endeavour; undoubtedly you’ll be able to find a transcript of it somewhere after the event
    Sky also podcast their Agenda shows via their website if you want to do that

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