Westpoll: Liberals lead in Perth marginals

A very encouraging result for the government from Westpoll in today’s West Australian, which has the Liberals holding firm in their Perth marginals of Stirling and Hasluck and set to win Cowan from Labor with a 5 per cent swing. The poll was conducted between Monday and Thursday with samples of a little over 400 for each seat. This is the second electorate-level poll Westpoll has conducted, and both have shown the Liberals travelling much better in these three seats than Westpoll’s regular statewide polling would suggest. If the overall 3 per cent swing indicated in today’s poll was replicated statewide, the two-party split in Western Australia would be at least 58-42 in favour of the Liberals. The last two statewide surveys showed Labor leads of 51.6-48.4 early last month and 53-47 early this month.

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.

293 comments on “Westpoll: Liberals lead in Perth marginals”

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  1. They’re not even terrible polls. (Bar this Westpoll… and remember the previous 2 had the ALP in front 54/46 and 53/47 if I recall correctly).

    53/47, 54/56 and 55.5/44.5 were what Labor were getting at their peak in ’04. Additionally, there’s no point overly fretting… we’ve each got one vote and do with it what we choose. If the other side is elected the world doesn’t end… we just try again in 3 years time. If Labor doesn’t want to be trying again in 3 years time they’ll step it up. Overcompensate for a non-compliant media (pull some serious stunts Labor…) and the ALP should be fine.

  2. 3 Polls?

    ACN showed an increase in Labor primary to 48%

    Morgan showed labor primaries going to the greens (and thus back to labor) while the coalition stayed static.

    Galaxy has been all over the place, but it is weird that whenever Howard is in dire need of a good poll galaxy provides it, then it moves back to the rest.

    So basically its the same as it has been for the past 9 months.

  3. So the Liberal strategy is to pour all their money into WA? Risky, particularly as they seem to be on the nose on the Eastern seaboard and in SA. Goodness knows why those Liberals in WA are worth saving, a rather unimpressive lot from what I’ve seen of them in parliament.

  4. [Funny reading all your shrill posts about how Labor will win before it comes down to WA…hahaha not likely my friends…]

    How do you know that it’s not likely?

    [Did anybody see Maxine McKew try to dance on 10 news at that fair she looked spastic]

    Better than Howard trying to bowl a cricket ball.

  5. Edward your honest opinion is just uninformed assertions based on wishful thinking.

    Your constant attempts to denigrate the opinions of professionals like Adam and Rod Cameron says more about your juvenile prejudices. Why not check out Mumble and Possum who are relentlessly rigorous in their analyses.

    Of course that would mean opening your mind to alternative interpretations of data which you seem pathologically incapable. Better to rely on the mindless abuse when facts get in the way eh!

  6. Let the Libs and Nats keep pouring their resources into the marginals. All the while safer seats are opening up behind them.

    Anyone who seriously considers that the Coalition is attempting to do anything more than diversionary tactics in ALP marginals has totally misread the situation.

    As they say: If the swing is on, the swing is on. The Coalition may end up clawing onto a few marginals but they cannot win with the overall (lack of) support they currently have.

  7. Oh dear Glenn… when you have that much compassion for people that you’re willing to call them ‘spastics’…

  8. Hey u guys call Howard a rodent all the time all im saying is Maxine cannot dance i cant either but seriously if u cant why make a fool of yourself…i pity the fool but meh..

    Your spin on the Westpoll puts Nostro to shame Rudd Huggers your denial will be worse than waiting for Wenck to break through…WA is a Liberal bastion!

  9. Err guys, you’re going to need a better explanation than margin of error.

    Given the similarity of all three results, it is disingenuous to pretend that all three of them are residing at the same outer end of the MoE band. It just aint likely.

  10. If you add the three polls, 1200, the moe is +/- 2.8% but inherent in this number is reliable methodology. I’m sure we’ll never know if there was or wasn’t (just wait till the 24th I guess).

    Anyway, I think that Labor really does have a problem with the West. Just like Qld last election.
    Fortunately, whatever has contaminated the WA political psyche hasn’t crossed any of its borders. They must think they are really special people over there!

    Labor can still win handsomely if things don’t improve in WA.

  11. i dont refer to people with disabilities as ‘spastic’ i merely referred to the incoherent manner in which McKew attempted to dance today…i wouldnt intentionally make fun of people living with a disability i wouldnt sink that low…so i apologise if i offended but i did not intend people to take it that way in the slightest….

  12. I’m a little nervous myself after the last couple of days’ worth of polls.

    The important thing, of course, is to realise that it is a very bad idea to draw conclusions from single polls, or even a single round of polls from the major pollsters. If we were to see a further string of Newspoll, Nielsen, Morgan & Galaxy results over the next 2 weeks and they all said 53% or 52% for Labor, then I would worry.

    Right now I’m willing to bet we’ll see more than one 57% or 56% results in the next fortnight.

  13. Yes you really need to look at the seat by seat breakdown./ It would be good if the pollsters at least provided a state by state breakdown. Base on state polling we should be able to determine the results of the senate election once party above-the-line preferences have been finalised.

  14. William,

    Can you please delete Glen’s childish post about spastics dancing at 104. Do we really need these insulting and juvenile comments?

  15. GG – What’s up with you? You seem to have a touch of that Paul K aggro going? You need to chill out more buddy!

    I can assure you if Labor wins my life will be as unaffected as if Liberal wins.

    I think Adam is the first to admit he is partisan and Rod Cameron was after all Labor’s long time pollster.

    I’d say it is hard to deny this election will be in part a big referendum on the place of unions/IR/ WorkChoices in our society. That in turn has been a big part of our Australian and the ALP’s history.

    On one level its choosing between the collective and the individual. Doesnt get more philosophical then that.

    If this isnt going to polarise the vote nothing will.

  16. One should take westpoll seriously if only because it has show the biggest resilience to the Rudd honeymoon and so it is possible that these figures are accurate considering we havent been leaked internal party polling for any of these seats…

  17. Glen, on the subject of internal polling for WA

    The impression I’ve got and from what I’ve heard. Both parties state they are in front in Stirling and Hasluck and will win Cowan. I believe I also heard rumblings a while back that the Coalition thought they may have a chance in Brand.

    Nothing has been said about Swan, which makes me think it’s not moving.

  18. ESJ

    “If this isnt going to polarise the vote nothing will.” is a sensible comment.

    If you look at ACN 90% are voting for the Majors. 48-42. That leaves 10%

    I suggest about 6% Green vote and 2% FF. That means the Coalition has to make up 3% on primaries from the remaining 2% of voters.

    Not easy. 😉

  19. Brand is clearly going to be marginal but Labor should win i wouldnt be surprised if Kim helped out the local Labor candidate which will help him alot id say…i know the State Libs are pathetic in WA but they arent when it comes to Federal politics so they should not be written off yet!

  20. Does anyone remember what seats they polled in June?

    They were the same ones as this time. The results for both are in the graphic.

    Am I the only one skeptical of the line “Don’t know vote allocated”?

    There is no reason to be. Newspoll, and anyone else that gives results that add up to 100, does the same.

  21. I’ve heard (albeit third-hand) that the Worst ‘suggests’ which parts of marginal seats that the Westpoll should be conducted in, with strongly Liberal suburbs preferred.

  22. #
    ruawake Says:
    October 20th, 2007 at 6:11 pm


    “Given the similarity of all three results” what similarity?

    The similarities:

    1. They all show small pro-Liberal swings from 2004
    2. These latest results are pretty similar to the ones Westpoll released for the same marginal seats a few months ago

  23. William,

    How do you explain:

    “4 per cent “uncommitted” and 2 per cent “refused” excluded”

    From the last newspoll? Their TPP still adds up to 100%

  24. *Shrugs*

    My source is a friend-of-a-friend who works at the paper. I don’t know her so I don’t know how reliable it is. Will let others decide if it is believable or not. I tried to encourage my friend to get her in touch with Media Watch, but she is apparently unwilling to risk her job.

  25. William – thanks for deleting comments about ‘spastics’. Glen, it may be that such words are used in the schoolyard these days, but to use that term in a derogatory way on a public forum is just not on. Spastic is an old fashioned word used to describe people who suffered from cerebral palsy, a medical disorder. Not even the medical profession use the term now, most of us have moved on to a more caring and sensitive society.

  26. {and Rod Cameron was after all Labor’s long time pollster.}

    And John Singleton was a long time Labor Advertising Agency.

    I would say that Rod Cameron was as much “rusted on” Labor as John Singleton.

    What in the blazes does their prior association have to do with their expressed opinion. In the case of Michael Kroger it is self evident where his affiliation and opinion lies, but other than that any consideration of Rod Cameron as being totally biased is a nonsense.

    he is not a Labor pollster, he runs a business and can surely give an appraisal of the current political situation equally as thoughtful and insightful as Paul Keating, John Hewson or Malcolm Fraser.

    This, because he or they, do not have a personal, vested interest in the outcome. It’s absolutely nonsense and I can’t believe people can lower themselves to constantly venting such ridiculous invective.

  27. Howie had a very serious senior moment today “Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker” he said, like “mum, mum, ’tis not fair” when heckled by the crowd, forgot where the fk where he was…. ha ha

  28. David

    1. They all show a massive swing to Labor from 2004.
    2. Westpoll’s latest results are light years of difference from the June figures.


  29. Melbcity (#121) – the sample sizes for the published national polls mean that the disaggregated state components of the poll are too small to provide meaningful results (ie the error margin for each state, and particularly the smaller states, is very high).

    However Newspoll publishes a quarterly aggregation of their polls with a large enough sample to allow useful demographic and geographic breakdowns. The last one (July-Sep) is here (look at the 21 Sep posts). Our friendly psephological Possum’s analysis is here.

    A fortnight ago AC Nielsen released a six-month amalgamation of their polls with geographic and demographic breakdown. I summarised the results (including the addition of 6 months’ worth of Newspoll & Nielsen) in this thread.

  30. I too saw JWH on the tv news calling for the ‘speaker’ to rescue him from hecklers today in his seat. This shows he is, and always has been, the ultimate political animal, living in a world which is disconnected from reality. However, there was no spineless, syscophant Speaker from the Reps there to rescue him today. Not a good look, silly old git.

  31. RE WA
    I think it very unlikely Labor will lose any seats that they retained in 2004
    possible change seats are Stirling, Hasluck, Canning , Kalgoorlie…….
    with the first 2 needing about a 2% swing…. It appears there is at least a slight swing to Labor statewide maybe 3 to 5%
    Forrest could be lost also given the intervention of the ind candidate ….
    also this opinion poll seems to be unreliable

  32. runawake – you might want to reassess those two statements in light of the facts.

    1. The graphic shows pro-Lib swings of 5%, 1% and 2%.
    2. The difference from the June results shows Lib improvements of 2.5%, 0% and 2%. That suggests either a small movement to the Coalition since June or else just a bit of sampling error noise.

  33. {the leader the of the WA Nurses Union wanting AWAs retained.}

    Hard to imagine a paid up member of the Liberal Party stating any thing to the contrary.

    Can’t imagine him still being WANU Secretary after the next Union elections, especially if the Coalition wins and the WA nurses are placed on AWA’s on inferior conditions to what they are on now.

  34. Perhaps the commonwealth should dissolve. We’ll be ok in the People’s Republic of Victoria. The weight of all these Queenslanders and West Australians if too much for us.

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