Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor in WA

Newspoll’s latest quarterly survey of Western Australian state voting intention provides more bad news for new Liberal leader Troy Buswell, with Labor opening up a 53-47 two-party lead after trailing 49-51 in the final poll on previous Liberal leader Paul Omodei’s watch. Labor’s primary vote is up 2 per cent to 42 per cent with the Coalition down from 45 per cent to 38 per cent. Buswell’s approval rating of 27 per cent is lowest recorded for a WA Opposition Leader since 1992, although his preferred leader deficit of 61-12 is little different from the 63-13 recorded by Omodei in the previous poll. The next election is due in February, although it is universally anticipated that Premier Alan Carpenter will take the jump before Christmas.

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.

30 comments on “Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor in WA”

  1. No they don’t.

    WA has flexible four-year terms.

    My recollection is that Gallop talked about fixed terms, but it was never implemented.

  2. Steve

    From the article you linked to, quite a short article, but gee I wonder what issues the OZ will be focusing on.

    “misconduct of MPs linked to Brian Burke.”

    “18 months of scandals linked to Burke”

    “Their only real link to the Burke dramas”.

    What will be the libs campaign song.

    “Who let the dogs (ie puppies) out.”

  3. Gallop moved to introduce fixed terms but couldnt get through cos of the Libs

    Funnily enough they complained about the timing of the 2005 election, twats

  4. Hmmm, after the Murdoch byelection I would think there is now a clear deck for a July-August election date, with formal campaigning starting in the 6-8 weeks. I would also expect to see more announcements on a range of projects and initiatives over the next 4-6 weeks, perhaps even running into mid-June. That’ll also keep the Libs on their toes in terms of policy. Would also be interesting to see a rural-urban divide in the polling as the Leg Council will be an interesting one to watch under the new system – will the Greens retain their South West seat or will it go ALP, and will the ALP pick up a 2nd and 4th in Agricultural and Mining & Pastoral.

    And no, WA doesn’t have fixed terms, they were talked about but not proposed in the amendments to the Electoral Act. Would be a sensible thing, though. An early election would be an interesting phenomena if say Carpenter won a narrow election but lost control of the Council – he’d have until next May to pass what he needed before losing the Council, not unlike the situation after the last election when the electoral reforms passed.

  5. re SeanofPerth@9
    From memory Gallop talked about fixed terms and electoral funding together originally but the stink from the Libs (propelled by The West Australian’s quite disingenuous campaign) led to both being dropped at the time – the electoral funding came back later, but the fixed terms did not.

  6. There is a practical limitation on when an election can be called in WA in that there is a fixed date for the expiry of the Legislative Council (around April 2009), a la the Senate, and the election for it must be held no later than a year beforehand. So any election before that date would require a separate election for the LC to be held at a later time.

  7. A very early election is extremely unlikely. The Legislative Council terms are fixed, but like the Senate, the election can be held up to a year before the end of term. The writ for a Council election cannot be issued before 22 May this year, which makes the first possible election date 21 June.

    However, the WA constitution also has a method of determining the length of Assembly term such that if the election is held before August this year, the government will only get a term of slightly over three years, and put the Assembly and Council a year out of sync. Much more likely is an election after September, say around October.


  8. Thanks Antony, that’s cleared it up. I must admit I was only going on an election timetable site which indicated WA had fixed four year terms. It’s obviously far more complicated than that.

  9. The present level of support for the WA State Govt is – IMHO – much more an indictment on the state of the Opposition than anything else.
    There is also a small (and shrinking) personal vote for the Premier.
    Oh how I wish for an effective and unified Opposition that could actually capitalise on the fiascos we have suffered without shooting itself in the foot.
    Buswell may yet turn out to be the saviour he was predicted to be but we ain’t seen any signs of it yet – on the contrary, the stuff he is most memorable for are all disasters (bra-snapping/Smith’s Beach/party room vote disloyalty and dishonesty). Can anyone think of a single big success since he took over as leader? Even the stuff he got airplay on turned out to be recycled…

  10. And everyone seems to forget that the libs don’t have the security blanket of the Nationals here, so the country seats will be 3 cornered contests. Plus One vote One Value.

  11. All sorts of possibilities spring to mind

    It’s only Carps that is keeping the ALP afloat.

    I not exactly enamoured. He is doing a Rudd, doing his darnedest to get his choice of candidates for the many vacancies due to the redistribution. Could cause a few waves, but the ALP has its hands tied.

    And I suspect McGinty, godfather of the left, will not be around next term.

  12. Both the Government and Opposition are short of capable people. Considering how weak the Opposition really are, it is surprising they can muster anything like 47% support. This says a lot about the performance of the Government, which has varied from simple ineptitude to plain incompetence on a lot of issues.

    Still, the Opposition are absolutely hopeless….

  13. McGinty has a talent for creating enemies and i’m sure lots of people would like him to quit. But he seems to relish his use of power, such as it is. There’d be rejoicing in the streets ig he did quit, I’m sure.

  14. Re 18: “both the Government and Opposition are short of capable people”. A recurring issue in State Government right around the country at the moment (NSW especially springs to mind). Average ALP performers in Government being shadowed by even more average Oppositions, each side being kept afloat by a handful of capable people only.

  15. Name a talented state government bunch of politicians of either party in any state in the last 40 years. Anyone? While you’re at it do the same for any oppositions for the same period. You may be able to name 3 or 4 people of any one government or opposition but you’ll be going to name any more. Talent at state level has been thin on the ground for many years.

  16. Gary talent is being excluded due to the factional system of both parties. I remember back to the 1980’s in Victoria and the labor party had a plethora of talented men and women who were in it to do things for the future,
    As a result Victoria achieved great and lasting things such as the TAC (Transport Accident Commission), Workers Compensation, Freedom of Information Laws, their was an Auditor General appointed, National Parks, Bike paths and Rail Trails were started, so many great and wonderful policies which today stand and continue and became policies incorporated in other states. Today the present Victorian Government is putting forth no legacies and lasting policies instead it is PPP’s which benefit the corporate set, freeways, poor planning and incompetent ministers which are products of stacked seats and stacked committee, policy and internal processes within the Labor Party which hinders debate, hinders democracy and hinders ideas, sadly the party is going no where and people who care are leaving it in droves. You end up with dead policies and dills as your representatives who care about themselves and little else. Steve Bracks is a great example- paid by the taxpayer and paid by a number of boards which he is now on and paid also by KPMG as a consultant for one day a week earning one hundred thousand a year.
    Yep what comes first the hip pocket or doing things.

  17. Marky, I too have fond memories of the Cain government. This was a good government for about 8 years but still only had a few good ministers. Cain was its strength. I think you overlook some deficiencies however with that government in the latter years, so much so in fact that I voted for Kennett in ’92.
    As far as Bracks is concerned he knew how to win elections. He read the electorate’s mind beautifully. He was in a position where acting like the Cain government would have brought electoral disaster. Kennett had remoulded the political landscape and expectations to such an extent that anything remotely reminiscent of Cain or Kirner was political suicide for Labor. Bracks had his critics but boy he gained the electorate’s support.

  18. “And then God, sorry Carps, created the world in his own image”….

    The holy trinity of Carps’ “Dream Team” is now complete; ….we have lawyers, we have lobbyists and now we have JOURNALISTS!

    Heaven help us! Sorry bout the religious connotations but it does have an apocolyptic ring to it.

    So FC, as an ALP member whats your call on this one? How are rank and file ALP members taking the parachuting of these non-members into safe Labor seats?

  19. Alan Carpenter was previously a journalist…

    One of Australia’s greatest PMs, John Curtin, was president of the WA Australian Journalists’ Association, and he proudly wore his AJA badge throughout his Parliamentary career. You can see it at the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library at Curtin University of Technology in Perth.

    What are you trying to say about journalists who go into politics?

  20. [What are you trying to say about journalists who go into politics?]

    And he fails to mention that the Liberal member for South Perth was a Journalist for The West Australian, and the Nationals member for Greenough, Grant Woodhams was a journalist from the ABC, and worked with Carpenter at both Aunty and at Ch 7.

  21. What I meant by my comments, was that for the field to be narrowed to lawyers, lobbyists and journalists,……. whilst in the same breath saying that people with a union background, or local ALP activists need not apply because we’re looking for fresh blood, seemed a little odd…..that was an observation from someone who is merely a spectator to all that is going on in the media etc.

  22. Mr Orange…whilst I do agree that membership of the ALP appears to be an impediment to preselection for the ALP in the eyes of the Premier, there are still processes in place that require candidates to be endorsed. Alan’s dream team can only be put in place at the will of the majority of State Executive. If Alan is successful in promoting his candidates through a negotiated deal, that can only be achieved with the agreement of the factional leaders. It would seem that they are prepared to consider the Premiers request on the basis of talent/convenience. That is they agree to a deal because it furthers their objectives in terms of promoting their candidates and ensuring that the Labor Party is returned to government. These candidates are not imposed upon the party in any way, the rules have not been suspended. It is a much preferable situation to the last round where Gallop had all sitting members automatically re-endorsed without an opportunity for any change.

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