Westpoll: 52-48 to Liberal in WA

I am informed via comments that Sky News has reported on a Westpoll survey to be published in tomorrow’s West Australian, showing the Coalition with a 52-48 two-party lead in WA. This compares with 53-47 to Labor’s favour in Westpoll’s last statewide survey on October 6, displaying a volatility which has been fairly typical of the series. The Liberals’ primary vote lead is 47 per cent to 38 per cent. The sample is usually around 400. The Coalition’s two-party vote in WA at the 2004 election was 55.4 per cent, so the latest figure still points to a swing which if uniform would win Labor Stirling and Hasluck. Between the two statewide polls, Westpoll produced a survey from Stirling, Hasluck and Cowan on October 20, each with a sample of 400, which had the Liberals ahead in all three. In other poll news, Lateline tells us that a Galaxy marginal seats poll to be published on Sunday will show Labor with a two-party lead of 53-47, although it’s hard to say what this means exactly until we know which seats were covered.

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.

797 comments on “Westpoll: 52-48 to Liberal in WA”

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  1. oakeshott @744, that just deepens the mystery about Paterson. Why are Labor targetting ads at Lyne and Cowper but not Paterson? Do they think they have Paterson in the bag?

  2. [733
    Big Blind Dave Says:
    November 17th, 2007 at 7:42 pm
    Betting markets have gone nuts!

    Benelong is about the only good value left.

    Can anyone give me another tip or two where the value is good?

    Check out the markets of Bass and Braddon for something weird also.]

    Dave, at $1.17 in Bass and Braddon ALP are certs to claim both.

    Frank Calabrese steered me to a good value Indie bet, Noel Brunning currently at $4.50 in Forrest. Noel’s got lots of Peter Andren-type appeal in the current climate of State and Federal skull-duggery in WA. Also, trawling through the work that Possum has done with demographics, I reckon Ross Daniels is still good value at $2.80 in Ryan despite requiring a 10.4% swing.

    If I were a big punter/large investor, a 17% return in 7 days is still a nice little earner worth serious consideration. A lot of superannuants would be happy to get a ROI like that over a whole year.

  3. Another thing Howard doesn’t need is the IPCC report saying climate change is really urgent and that it’s time to get moving. This isn’t what he’s been saying (or doing) and is yet another element in Howard’s perfect storm.

    It’s going so well for him, isn’t it?

  4. State By State Key Seat Predictions. (Bracket Labor seats they need to win government)

    New South Wales

    Labor gain. (1)

    Labor retain.

    Labor retain.

    Labor retain.

    Labor in a tight one, depending on the swing.

    Too close to call.

    Depsite TV portrayal, Labor will get this one. (2)

    Don’t count out Nairn here. Too close to call.

    Howard will hang on, but expect a 3% swing.

    Liberals will win this.



    Liberals, but expect a heavy cut in margin.

    Nationals hold.

    Nationals hold.

    Northern Territory

    Labor hold.

    Labor will win this one (3)

    South Australia

    Labor will win, but remember it is mortgage and age belt.

    Labor to extend margin here.

    Labor will win here. (4)

    Another Labor win in my home state. (5)

    Makin (My Seat)
    Despite flashy campaign from Liberal candidate, expect Labor to win with a reasonable swing. (6)

    It is likely that Southcott will win, but Cornes will be no pushover. Expect a close one.

    You’d think Pyne would hang on, but i’m tipping an upset. (7)


    Labor retain.

    Labor retain.

    The probable Treasurer will extend his margin. And coming up, You-Know-Who’s seat is not part of this.

    Labor victory (8)

    Labor to win well (9)

    Another Labor upset (10)

    I’m tipping the Local boys made good effect to give this one to Labor (11)

    Brough will just hang on.

    Gambaro to hang on will a big swing against her.

    Another Labor win. (12)

    Dutton will hang on, but the Queensland Labor swing will affect him here.

    Coalition will hang on here, but I won’t count Labor out.

    Pro-metropolitan Brisbane swing to Labor, but the margin is too big.

    Too big even for a large Labor swing. Nationals hold.

    Nationals hold.

    Potential upset. Coalition hold though.

    Nationals hold.

    An easy Katter victory.


    Labor hold.

    Labor hold.

    Labor hold.

    Labor to win. (13)

    Labor to win. (14)


    Labor win.

    Labor win.

    Labor win.

    Labor win.

    Labor again.

    Deja Vu.

    Melbourne Ports
    Labor. Labor. Labor.

    Labor will break it’s duck (15)

    A Labor upset (16)

    McArthur will hang on.

    La Trobe
    Will swing. Labor will win (17)

    Potential upset. Bailey will hold on.

    McGauran hold.

    Western Australia

    Bugger Westpoll, i’m tipping Wilkie to win

    Labor to win this as well

    Gray win

    Too close to call

    Tinley to win (18)

    Liberal win.

    Randall hold.

  5. #
    Triffid Says:
    November 17th, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    Anyone seeing any election advertising on TV tonight? Very little here in Adelaide.

    Yep, saw an ALP on Nine here in Sydney during the News. It was the Bells and Buzzers ad.

  6. Dyno – I agree with you. IF the ALP wins Wentworth, a record breaking win will be on the cards. I think Turnbull will retain – not sure if his primary will increase, but his 2PP probably will.

  7. For what its worth my prediction is the the outcome will be clear before the WA polls close 8pm est.
    You’ll all be well into the Chamfers long before us!
    Privileges of time……

  8. My tips on Bennelong and Wentworth.

    After a long thought, i’m tipping both will go to preferences, which will benefit Labor.


    Labor to win and it will be over before W.A.

  9. i’ve seen the adds on chanel 10 just b4, the labor one with rud and howrds faces flashing up and teh text saying “i’ll ratify kyoto”, “I wont” etc……

  10. Best value is in the Victorian Seats I reckon.

    Labor is going to sh*t it in in Victoria imho.

    Deakin and Corangimite still betting in Libs favour??? What a joke!

    And I still think Howards going to lose his seat.

  11. For those who don’t buy The Oz, here’s how its “Panel” saw the week:

    Paul Kelly – It was Kevin Rudd’s week.

    Shanahan – Labor continues to win the 2007 election campaign (et tu Dennis?)

    Patricia Karvelas – Labor won the week after a bold Kevin Rudd…

    Chris Uhlmann – Labor won the week and has comprehensively out-campaigned the Coalition. (yes he did say that)

    Stephen Loosley – The final week will still be hard, but Labor won this week convincingly.

    Matthew Franklin – Labor won this week decisively.

    David Speers – Week five went to Labor.

    Lynton Crosby (of Crosby-Textor) – Mixed fortunes this week. (and no I’m not making that up) Get this – “Labor’s attempt to misrepresent the cost of the policies by taking those on just one day played into the Government’s hands”.
    Gee it must be nice to be paid to make stuff up.

  12. #760 Kat – don’t know whether you noticed the other “bells and buzzers” ad on Ch 10 – it was for Rove! He has ripped it off and used it to advertise that Rudd IS coming on the show and Howard ISN’T. Rudd MIGHT tell us who he would turn gay for, Howard WON’T…..etc.
    Then, 30 seconds later – the real ALP ad. Gee, you couldn’t ask for better message reinforcement.

  13. For christ sakes I am getting sick and tired of people saying Turnbull won’t win Wentworth… do the maths idiots!!!

    He won on a 55.5% TPP in 2004. But wait… theres more!!

    He got 42% of the Primary which is nothing special right?? WRONG! King who was the previous Lib member went Ape and ran as an independent… he scored 18% of the vote!

    So we have Turnbull + King @ 60% for the Right Wing vote!

    You guys are dreaming for a 10% swing against Malcolm Turnbull, wake up and smell the coffee fellas

  14. Re 758,

    greggowa Says:

    November 17th, 2007 at 8:23 pm
    For what its worth my prediction is the the outcome will be clear before the WA polls close 8pm est.
    You’ll all be well into the Chamfers long before us!
    Privileges of time……

    Do they or will they call the race before the polls close in WA? Or will the “niceties” be observed and they will wait until after 8pm? How have previous elections worked out in that regard?

  15. Let’s see how the other national TPP polls, when broken down by state, line up with the alleged Galaxy story of just 2 seats in Qld:

    Newspoll 19-28 Oct
    Qld swing 4% above national average, highest swing of any state

    Newspoll 2-11 Nov
    Qld swing 3% above national average, highest swing of any state

    Nielsen April-Sept
    Qld swing 2% above national average, 2nd highest swing of any state (behind SA)

    Nielsen Oct-Nov (since election called)
    Qld swing 2% above national average, highest swing of any state

    Morgan FTF October
    Qld swing 3% above national average, highest swing of any state

    Each of those polls, by the way, also shows WA with the weakest swing to Labor. They mostly show SA with an above-average swing, with Vic and NSW swapping places between polls, with one above and one below the national average.

    On that basis, I would be very surprised if Labor only wins 2 seats in Qld.

    Note also that Galaxy’s calculations are not always perfect. Their midyear poll which allegedly showed a poor result for Labor was based on a miscalculation of the ALP 2PP vote at the 2004 election (they used 2001 figures) followed by a confusion of TPP vote and swing by the journalist writing it up (who said “And if the poll result were repeated on election day, Labor would not win the seats required in Queensland and would hand Prime Minister John Howard a fifth term” whereas it actually showed a 9% swing to Labor once the correct election results were used).

    I’d also add that the Liberals here are running 1000 miles from Howard. I’ve spent some time travelling around Petrie and there are posters for Kevin Rudd, the Liberal candidate Teresa Gambaro, the Labor candidate Yvette d’Ath, even Your Rights at Work, but I haven’t seen a John Howard poster yet. I guess there must be some, somewhere, but wherever they are it’s not prominent.

  16. Ad for the Ten News saying “A week out form the election a new poll shows the ALP are in front of the Coalition”.

    The odd thing was the way it was read was like it was a surprise.

    Don’t know if it refers to Galaxy or Newspoll. If it is Galaxy, it probably isn’t the way those hoping for a narrowing would like it to be represented.

  17. Howard to lose, Turnbull to hang on.

    We’ve got to have a prediction day/ night/post on weds thurs or Fri so we can all lay the cards on the table, and maybe have a winner of a free Kevin 07 tshirt or something.?

  18. I have a correction to make thanks to Adam-Carr’s website, in 1996 Keating suffered a 9.1% I must say while I only looked at NSW it would appear in 1996 the Liberals received larger swings in safe ALP seats in western sydney of around 8% while some of the more marginal ALP seats swung by less.

    On a funny note Howard’s primary vote was about what his currant margin is.

  19. Andrews: “Legal pettifogging gone mad – that’s why we’ll change the law …”

    He must be burnt at the stake, nothing personal, but our society must rid itself of … well … parasites and evil smelly things …

    He is a first-class, top shelf cruel born-again dogsbody with fleas and nits and hydatids that if on fire forget finding the bloody hose why waste water on a maggot …(sorry. Rant over)

  20. JUlie @ 771.

    It happenend once that I can remember, and it was before Day light saving that the election was all over before the polls closed in WA.

    Might have been in 72 with Gough and the ” It’s time ” Any way the Sandgropers were really p ( no upset ) that it was all over and they were not invited to the party.

  21. 781,

    Gerr, you will have to ask BlueBottle. (??) I think he is the official keeper of the list, someone else can correct me if I am wrong. If memory serves, they closed the list of guesses officially at that point just so that he wouldn’t have to be tied to the computer changing and updating the list all of the time. As you can imagine, that could get hectic in the final days.

    For the record though, I’ve no idea what the winner gets. However, for those of us with more than one on the same number, we’ve had to pick a tie breaker.

  22. For your info everyone, if you go to Roy Morgan Research main page, and go to the left column and you’ll see a pink square with Election 2007 written; click on there and they set out how each electorate is polling 2pp at the moment.

    You can either give a postcode, locality, or the electorate name, and it will publish the current situation. I stumbled on this last night and it was quite revealing. Don’t know anything about its methodology vis a viz individual seats, but its a pleasant exercise nonetheless. Ive simply been typing in the electorate name and the data comes up.

    For example, it shows that Wentworth, Bennelong, Warringah will fall but North Sydney will not, that Gippsland will fall too, etc. Have a go!!! Cheers!!

  23. This is why I am a mug punter.

    1. Bet my freebie $100 on Maxine @ $2.75
    2. $10 on Mike Bailey @ $7.00
    3. $20 on Peter Tinley @ $2.10

    If they all come in it’s a $287 payout for $30 outlay, or 8.6 to 1 odds.

    But of course they won’t all come in. That’s why I’m a mug.

  24. Gerr @ 776

    Tried to get a Kevin 07 T-shirt today in Parramatta. No luck. So, I’ll poke me head out and say: Turnbull will retain Wentworth, just. Reason: He is probably the only “reasonable” voice left in what’s presently known as the Liberal Party of Australia. However, I doubt he will last the distance in Opposition. Three Kevin 07 t-shirts, size small, would be good … ta

  25. gp

    sorry I haven’t spoken to u, had to study for final exam. You said workchoices was working because I got another job, just so you know, workchoices had nothing to do with me securing employment, perseverance go me a job – brethren.

    sayonara, mrs gusface.

  26. I think EC in comment 215 above puts his finger on something interesting. There is this election and then there are all these seats with their own peculiar niggles.

    In Warringah, the incumbent, Tony Abbott, holds the margin with 11.3% cushion.

    But the local rugby league team, the Sea Eagles, through the CEO, has pulled a stroke by announcing three days ago that because of lack of funding and government help to refurbish the 1940s vintage Brookvale Oval home ground, the iconic northern beaches team will move its base to the Central Coast, namely Gosford.

    This is clearly a put-up job to suck some money out of the desperate Tony Abbott and there would have been a bit of pressure leading up to this, with finally Abbo calling their bluff. He has ignored the requests, rightly or wrongly, saying this was state and local gumment matter – despite the fact that Johh Howard has promised $12 million for the hospital in Putney in Bennelong (a state matter), and Labor has pledged a few mil for Leichhardt Oval, home ground of the Wests Tigers rugby league team (another strictly state issue).

    Below is a link to Peter Peter’s column in today’s Manly Daily. Peters, known as “Zorba” is a PR flack for the Manly Leagues and his “view” must be taken with a grain of salt – he is paid to say these things, just like Hendo elsewhere.


    The Manly Daily is a local throwaway that is a genuine daily newspaper and arguably the best read and most authoritative free in Australia running to 98 pages with a weekend gloss realo supplement. Its home delivered circulation covers Warringah and Mackellar fed electorates.

    Warringah is largely a conservative electorate with a handful of genuine Labor booths. Yet it is gettable on local issues and people aren’t ideologically committed to the Liberal Party like they would be in, say, Toorak.

    In 2001, local identity, state member and currently mayor, Dr Peter Macdonald had a very good go at Abbott and reduced his margin to 5.4%, but Tampa intervened and punters looked at the big picture of hordes of wogs on boats coming into Pittwater and stampeded back to the Liberals.

    At another time, your correspondent ran the campaign for local councilor and deputy mayor, Julie Sutton, in the state election for Davidson, which is pretty much same as Warringah in the federal parliament.

    This was the election in which Nick Greiner enticed the then state education minister, Terry Metherell, to resign and get out of parliament, by offering him a public service position. Terry was coincidentally up to then, a member for Davidson.

    Metherell, a PhD, upset the punters with his unilateral and perceived arrogant beahviour in the education portfolio and was an electoral liability coming up to the state elections and Greiner wanted to rid himself of this millstone. And did.
    But this caused a furore and led to an ICAC investigation, which ultimately caused Greiner to also resign from parliament – although he was later exonerated. I took advantage of the turmoil and suggested to Julie that this was an opportunity where the electorate was disturbed enough to vote against the normal trend.

    It almost worked, and the new Liberal candidate, a rather obtuse chap called Andrew Humpherson, was taken to preferences.

    What I think spoiled Julie’s run was Sally Loan’s breathless “investigation” piece in the SMH into Julie’s background “discovering” that she was the sister of Jeanette McHugh, the then high profile minister in the Keating government. The Liberal Party then put about quite false but damaging scuttlebutt that Julie was a Labor plant – she ran as, and was a genuine independent.

    Abbott is on the nose in the electorate because of his down-the-throat-views about stem cell research and abortion and he is widely viewed as a hand-puppet for Pell on such things; because of his hands-off attitude towards the developing trainwreck that is the Royal North Shore Hospital and the hospitals debacle in Warringah generally, which involves the impending downgrade or closure of Manly hospital and its substitution in the as-yet-nonexistent hospital at Frenchs Forest.

    Hospitals are unusually important issues in Warringah, because of the high number of people who are getting on in years and indeed, in a state by-election, a local independent mayor in Pittwater, which is in the adjoining peninsula federal electorate of Mackellar, was able to beat the Liberal candidate after the incumbent, John Brogden flipped his lid and resigned.

    The mayor, Alex MacTaggart ran on a single issue: retention of the threatened Mona Vale Hospital (which is also set to be replaced by the non-existent super hospital at Frenchs Forest).

    Abbott has been near invisible on all this and he is the health minister. His mantra has been: “it is all the responsibility of the nasty nasty state Labor gumment”. This was not a good thing to say. Now people don’t believe him after Howard’s intervention in Tasmania and Putney (Bennelong).

    I reckon Abbo is already only just 3 to 4% clear from the brink. The Brookvale Oval shenanigans and payback threats for his intransigence, as per Zorba’s column, may indeed run him very close to the brink if not over it. And he knows it, hence the hysterical note in his latest appearances.

  27. Re a rebuild of Brookie Oval – you have to remember that for all of us who don’t support the Silvertails, our second favourite team is the one playing Manly this week (even if it is Melbourne or Brisbane).

    If the Gummint donated money to the rebuild it would alienate every supporter of all the other teams.

  28. I too am sick of the word Mandate. However when KR is elected on Sat. even with a hostile senate if it occurs he should just wait until the masses really get p..ss.d at the LIbs. After all wont Labor have a Mandate.

  29. I grew up in Scarborough but now live in Melbourne. I was shocked that WA could turn to Howard and then I looked at the sample size. 400 – let’s see – that would be meaningful if West Australia had a population of perhaps half a million. In Perth alone 400 would be + or – around 7%, but over the whole state, wow. In other words, maybe my former state mates are not as selfish as would first appear.

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