Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor in SA

The latest quarterly Newspoll survey of South Australian state voting intention has Labor’s lead at 53-47, its lowest in three years. This compares with 56.8-43.2 at Mike Rann’s landslide re-election in March 2006. Labor’s primary vote lead is 41 per cent to 37 per cent: on both measures the two parties have exchanged 1 per cent since the survey from the previous quarter. Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith, who I haven’t been paying much attention to since he took over the leadership from Iain Evans early last year, has an encouraging satisfaction rating of 45 per cent against 25 per cent dissatisfied. However, Mike Rann’s satisfaction rating is up from 51 per cent to 53 per cent, and his preferred premier lead has widened from 50-25 to 54-24.

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.

29 comments on “Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor in SA”

  1. Martin Hyphenated-Smith is a ‘pragmatic’, illiberal individual without a hope of beating Rann — and I say this as a Liberal member. The Advertiser praises him for no apparent reason; he really hasn’t offered any sort of alternative.

  2. Hi Michael,

    I am a Labor person. But, believe you Libs have got to get your act together for the good of the democratic process.

    Whatever you are doing at the moment is not working. Don’t be afraid to tear down the facades of power that confront you.

  3. Michael

    From what I can see, there is not much to offer an alternative to. And I say that as a Labor voter. If the public really knew the true state of the health system instead of believing what Mike Rann tells the Advertiser to publish, they would be horrified. But the Libs seem too lazy or incompetent to be able to work it out either.

  4. Hi GG,

    I am a liberal person.

    I believe whatever the ALP is doing at the moment is excellent from a marketing view, its slick and polished, and very successful.

    Democracy suffers…….don’t be afraid to challenge the commercials that confront you

  5. Just to keep the theme going, I’m not Liberal or Labor.
    Just anti-Liberal – and loving every minute of it.
    28 years of Playford’s gerrymander is hard to forget.

  6. Just to keep the theme going, I’m true blue Labor, ex Country Party, cannot stand most of what the Conservatives stand for and have loved every minute of the last 18 months.

    [I believe whatever the ALP is doing at the moment is excellent from a marketing view, its slick and polished, and very successful.
    Democracy suffers…….]

    I also believe most of what the ALP is doing at the moment is excellent and that Democracy is being well served. The rest of that statement is rubbish.

  7. The figures published in this pole are really interesting. There is a 12% intention to Other up almost 9% from the last election. Family First has disintegrated from 5.9% to almost negligible. Greens are up slightly.

    Whilst Mike Rann is still preferred Premier there are no lofty 70% ratings.

    The Labor Party is becoming on the nose, they are fighting their base constituency with the latest proposed legislative Workcover changes, they have not addressed the growing call to improve public transport.

    Mike Rann has only been visible with the release of the report from the Mulligan Inquiry where he can score goody points.

    This is a government struggling, they dont really have any answers, just bully-boy tactics. The treasurer has accused South Australians of being wingers. Of course many do not appreciate Mr Foley, he lacks the vision thing. His vision has been a new building in the parklands and he acted like a spoilt child when he did not get his way.

    Martin Hamilton-Smith has tried the vision thing and although it was pretty crumby he has gained some points for trying and of course the Labor Government is so vulnerable to attack because they are so uninspiring.

    At present there appears to be a strong drift to the pox on both your houses in South Australia which can only be laid at the feet of the two major parties because they are so arrogant but at the same time incompetent.

  8. As a lifetime labor voter in both the uk and aus, i must say the conservatives in this country are PATHETIC. Hamilton Smith, perhaps ties with red ted as the worst state leader in the country! i dont want 2 hear about what the sas is like, i want to hear what he intends to do as premier, before the tories revert to there brown, olsen, kerin love triangle…again

  9. Readers will know I have complained. About Rann. His latest disaster is Work Cover.

    Interesting the sign, in my travels today. Engineers can be injured at work. We want our Work Cover. Or words to that effect. A big and no doubt expensive sign.


    The problem with Mike Rann is that he is not Labor. He is Mike Rann. The just made it Premier. The Premier who rode on the coat tails.

    The problem with Hamilton Smith is that he is a dullard whose sole aspiration thus far has been a hyphen.

    Now where do we go?

  10. Well well Newspoll came out before the Zimbabwe presidential results. The salute and the bad cloths thing didn’t work, are we now going to see less sulking from the press and perhaps a little bit of reporting?

  11. [Well well Newspoll came out before the Zimbabwe presidential results. The salute and the bad cloths thing didn’t work, are we now going to see less sulking from the press and perhaps a little bit of reporting?]

    No, see my post in the latest Newspoll thread 🙂

  12. Crikey Whitey Says:

    “Now where do we go?”

    The perennial question; what are the reasonable alternatives?

    Generally the realistic answer is there is no answer as our political system is made of rusted on voters who don’t care what their party says, it is right, swingers who like those of the sixties are only in it for a good time and a small number who want more. (Thanks Mr Dickens)

    I agree Mike Rann is really concerned with Mike Rann not in substance. I cant remember him ever taking a stand of substance and arguing a case against public opinion, this is left to his Ministers, except they have little substance.

    The Libs are a joke and the Greens are not credible.

    There is limited capacity for new parties to emerge unless there are drastic changes to the democratic process, particularly the undemocratic need for millions of dollars to run a campaign.

  13. Not sure at all, William, why you would close the Australia wide Morgan in favor of a poll in one State only. Bored?

    colin at 12, I disagree with the rusted on voters bit.

    As a Labor voter, real socialistic Labor, old values, I don’t need a new Party.

    I need my Party to act in accordance with the values Labor has always meant.

    I need a new leader. And Party representatives who are interested in retaining those values.

    May I cite Chloe Fox, my local, who represents such ideas. For one.

    Perhaps if Mike Rann is a bit over it, he could leave before people such as Chloe are decimated in a Howard like catastrophe.

  14. ‘Not sure at all, William, why you would close the Australia wide Morgan in favor of a poll in one State only. Bored’?

    Excuse me, William. Not abreast of the threads.

  15. Evening pinko communists, including true blue ALP supporters and greens supporters.

    No 13

    The people resounding rejected old socialist Labor in December 1975.

  16. Greetings, GP.

    ‘The people resounding rejected old socialist Labor in December 1975’.

    What is your point? Long time no see, 1975.

  17. I think the Tiser praises MHS because they are generally starting to get pissed off with Rann. As a lot of people are. There have been a lot of problems start to come out and bite in recent months, workcover is just the latest, and he plays the media so very well. They know it too, but what can you do? The only SA journalist I have an ounce of respect for his Mike Smithson.

    Having said that, MHS is a bit of a twit. Doesn’t look electable. But then again, he doesn’t look *that* unelectable either. The problem is, and this is why I think four year elections are too far apart for states, he is in a catch 22 situation. On the one hand the Libs need new blood desperately so that they can fill the ranks – most of the members are either too old or too incompetent. On the other… they can’t get those numbers until there is a new election. When parliament is something like 40 seats, it’s hard to fill the spots on your bench, whether shadow or otherwise.

    Ideally, he needs one new election to swing a few seats his way, before going for the kill the election after. Problem is… that’s not until 2014. Six more years of this government which seriously needs it’s arse kicked. But 2008 is essentially a dead year as far as politics go. Rann can only lose. MHS can generally only win – every good article gets him a bit more publicity, and the bad ones generally get ignored because, well, he is opposition leader.

    One thing these newspolls are NOT factoring in is this ridiculous plan by Labor to abolish the upper house in 2010. If Rann continues with it, and the Liberals are even slightly competent at their jobs, he will be punished badly (assuming the Tiser doesn’t stick its head up its arse.) If he pulls out, he can be painted as backing away from an idea he clearly believes in. So not only is he anti-democracy, he is chicken as well. You get the idea. Very dangerous waters for Mr Rann.

    Hey Crikey, fancy making a prediction two years out? I recall that we had a barter about this end of last year, can’t for the life of me remember what it was about though. Probably more or less along the lines of ‘this sucks but hey, at least we don’t have Iemma’. I’m predicting Labor will hold government, but may have to return to needing independents. Which would be amusing in itself.

  18. Hi Mr Sqiggle @ 4.

    I can understand that gratuitous advice from your political foes is unpalatable.

    Notwithstanding, attributing Labor’s success nationwide solely to marketing is a bit of an intellectual stretch.

    Denial of reality is a self indulgence the Libs cannot afford at the moment.

    Must try harder.

  19. As neither a pinko or a socialist, but as someone who works in major infrastructure I’d much prefer to have Rann as premier than the anti-development populist MHS. I had no time for him as Shadow Transport & Infrastructure Minister, and saw his promotion to Leader of the Opposition as a big step backwards for the South Australian Government.

    Media Mike is a shrewd operator when it comes to handling the press. There’s still plenty of time until the next election which makes the timing of his WorkCover changes perfect. From a purely economical standpoint it needed to be done and I’d hoped that a government would bite the bullet and do it, otherwise we’d be left with another massive debt in the same vein as the State Bank collapse. Sorry Crikey, but I just don’t see how billions of dollars in WorkCover liabilities is sustainable.

    Max strikes on another good point too. Given the annihilation of the Liberal Party at the last SA election, the field of current MPs is very weak, and Hamilton-Smith has to play Liberal Party attack dog as well as Leader of the Opposition. It makes him look very negative, whereas Mike Rann is able to use Kevin Foley and distance himself from the mudslinging.

  20. Ex-South Aussie, current New South Welshperson, slightly more sympathetic to Labor.

    However, both the Rann and Iemma governments are an embarassment to themselves, Labor and the residents of their states. The Carpenter WA government powers ahead with public transport investment and development – sweet. The Brumby Vic government is about to introduce a relationships register for same-sex couples onto its statute books – excellent. The Queensland mob seem relatively inoffensive, from down here anyway.

    But SA? A pack of parochial right-wing thugs spending too much time covering their arses to bother with innovation or forward planning. Mick Atkinson in particular is a real sweetheart.

    NSW the same, just better at it after more years of practice. Only reason they’re still in business is the lack of alternative government. Even then, I’d give serious thought to voting Liberal here in NSW if David Clarke and his harem of flying monkey extremists weren’t calling the shots. I imagine I’d feel similarly if I still lived in Adelaide.

    Is it true voters get the governments they deserve? Coz I swear South Aussies are just as polite and well-mannered as Victorians…

  21. Crikey, Chloe Fox is an awful local member, one of the most arrogant and unparticipatory in the state. She’s my local member too and I (a swinging voter) am craving a good Liberal candidate, someone young and fresh, to make my vote count!

  22. Generic Person Says:

    Evening pinko communists, including true blue ALP supporters and greens supporters.

    Look it’s 2008, it really is time to grow up, pinko communists, perhaps in 1958, but mate that was 50 years ago.

  23. I find the difference between the Federal and State results in SA interesting – it shows that people can distinguish between Federal and State issues. Personally I don’t think Hamilton Smith offers much as a choice to Rann. Some of his statements about transport and a new stadium are nonsense, which only the advertiser would run. He is obviously economically illiterate.

    The lack of decent opposition is regrettable for its effect on SA Labor however. Its a bit like Joh-era Queensland with teh roles reversed. How can South Australia still not have an anti-corruption commission when they have been introduced in almost every other state, including by Labor governments? Or how does a massive pulp mill get approved in Penola without even an EIS? Worse than Gunns in Tasmania! It is now almost two decades after the State bank collapse so graphically demonstrated the low standard of public administration here. Nobody was even charged. Oh well, it was only $5 billion I suppose, anyone can loose that… Yes, what a well administered state, I wonder why it is still the poorest on the mainland?

    Seriously, I don’t actually disagree with the strategic direction of the Rann government, but I find the operating style painfull. I can take comfort that with the mining projects now in the pipeline, the State economy should keep growing irrespective of government economic management.

  24. Just read the rest of the thread and I agree with Al (20) and must disagree with Crikey on Workcover. Rann is correct on that one. Like Al I also work in infrastructure and have heard so many stories about how badly rorted that scheme has become. The scheme was properly reviewed by an independant academic (whom I met) and was found badly wanting. It is absurdly expensive, yet seems to have been administered in an arbitrary fashion – neither efficient nor fair. Perhaps people wanted to turn a blind eye to that when there were no jobs. But now that there is a shortage of workers in most fields, it really is indefensible IMO. I saw the protest against it outside parliament the other day and, while noisy, it was really a very small group of people.

  25. No. The Work Cover thing matters. I have spent some time, in the last two weeks, exploring the views of those I know to be Labor voters. Especially as concerns Work Cover in South Australia.

    And, as it happens, John Button.

    And Work Choices. Work Cover is an equal turning point.

    Sorry, all. None of these Labor voters wish to vote for Mike Rann. They do not see him as Labor . And none of them have any praise for John Button.

    They say, as much as they hate the idea, and they particularly remember John Olsen’s sell out, that if Hamilton whatever Smith offered an alternative, to Work Cover especially, they would take it.

    They despise Rann.

    They even, to my despair, hate Chloe. Who to me is truly Labor.

    I have some more to say.. not now.

    And yes, Max, I will take up your offer.

  26. re: 24 Bright Ideas.
    AGREED, Ms Fox, the French teacher is the invisible MP. She is a shocker AND from the far right of Hard Labor in SA. I am also in her electorate. Her staff are rude and she goes to work in shorts and thongs. We do not get our quarterly or half yearly news letters and no yearly fridge callender also. When I asked her to visit the Rugby Club her reply was ‘they are all liberal voters!’. Sorry Ms Fox, if you will only play to a friendly crowd your political career will be very short indeed.

    For the Liberal 2010 marketing campaign they need not look any further than Mikes own words


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