Westpoll: 53-47 to Labor in WA

The latest 400-sample Westpoll survey (“based on interviews with more than 400 people”, according to The West, though I doubt you’d need both hands to count by how much) shows Labor with a 53-47 lead on state voting intention, at the low end of the 53-47 to 56-44 range which covers every published poll this year. The Coalition even holds a slight lead on the primary vote, of 39 per cent to 38 per cent. These relatively encouraging figures for the Coalition are accompanied by death row ratings for Troy Buswell: he trails Alan Carpenter as preferred leader 62 per cent to 12 per cent among all voters, and by 43 per cent to 27 per cent among Coalition voters. The West also gives the first published indication of how Buswell is travelling with women voters, showing a preferred leader rating of 9 per cent (bearing in mind the small sample size) – which presumably compares with 15 per cent among men.

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.

55 comments on “Westpoll: 53-47 to Labor in WA”

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  1. The Coalition figure is a bit academic anyway as the Libs/Nats will not be part of any Coalition to form Government, and in fact there will be 3 cornered contests in rural seats.

    So basically the Libs are rooted and shouldn’t even bother turning up 🙂

  2. So about one in eleven women think Troy is an all right kind of guy!!
    Says something about partisan politics.
    Should be more like one in 100,000 (his family).

  3. You’d be surprised at how much of the ‘grey’ vote is happy with Carps and his way of cutting to the chase.
    They even like Lannie MacT for organising a half decent rail service that they can use, gratis, on Sundays and public holidays.
    Not many outside the leafy Western suburbs have any time for the current parliamentary Libs, though the countryfolk remain securely attached to their Nat party philosophy but they have developed a greater distrust of the Libs than they have traditionally felt towards Lab.
    The teeter-board of politics is much tilted towards a significant win for Lab in any election held in the next 6 months, especially as the Nats are going to make a determined stand of their own, as Frank C so correctly points out.
    BTW the ‘Westpoll’ is not something that many in the West of this big island consider to be a reliable indicator of the state of public sentiment, for various reasons.

  4. Is Dan Sullivan’s defection to Family First going to have have much of an impact given the state of the Liberal Party? Also what is the point of having the .com in the party name (WAfamilyfirst.com Party)? Do you think that the misread the form and filled in the web address in the wrong spot?

  5. [Yup.
    He mightn’t even have a seat to sniff ]

    I believe he only won it by a couple of hundred votes last time.

    And to JoM:

    [Get rid of Buswell!]

    But have the Libs got ayone capable to repllace him ?

  6. [Is it just my impression or has family first.com died in the arse already? Another .com bubble? i haven’t heard a mention of them since their launch day]

    I think they’re saving their energy and dollars for the Election proper, mind you once they announce who their actual candidates are will be fun 🙂

  7. Frank #8

    Buswell might have won Vasse by 219 votes last time, but he was opposed by the former Liberal member Bernie Masters who didn’t receive re-endorsement after holding the seat for 9 years. It is a safe Liberal seat. Antony Green gives it a margin of 9.6%. But Labor got just 21.6% of the vote in 2005 and Masters slightly less at 20.6%. Only an independent would have a chance of unseating Buswell.

  8. [It is a safe Liberal seat. Antony Green gives it a margin of 9.6%. But Labor got just 21.6% of the vote in 2005 and Masters slightly less at 20.6%. Only an independent would have a chance of unseating Buswell.]

    But there wasn’t a Nationals Candidate at the last election either. But with the Nationals now endorsing candidates to run in Liberal held seats, expect the conservative vote to be split amongst farmers who want some sort of protectionist policies and the Free Enterprise small business folk.

  9. [Any chance the Libs would draft Julie Bishop?]

    Or John Howard, if reaction to his appearance in Perth is anythong to go by 🙂

  10. John Howard for Vasse! I can just see Hyacinth making muffins for the ladies auxillary of the Capel cow bell ringers club.

  11. The gas may have gone out of the govt but I can’t see them losing the next one. On these stats presumably most coalition voters want Carpenter to lead the Liberal party as well as Labor.

  12. So, 39%+38% means 26% don’t want either…any other figures from the Westpoll to show where they’re going? Nats getting anything? Grylls would be a much better leader than Buswell, except he’s from a rump party.

    As to WAfamilyfirst.com I think the marketting will be “WA First” judging by their website – and what about the CDP? They almost won a SW LC seat last time – will this be vote splitting that hurst both their chances?

  13. If by some act of God, the Libs convince Bishop to run, I believe she’d take her side to victory in a romp. She’d be the Bob Hawke of WA politics in that respect.

  14. Stewart J #21
    The addition of Family First has added to the total Christian vote. In 2001 the CDP received 1.5% of the Legislative Council vote. In 2005 this increase to 2.3% whilst FF got 2%. These were probably new votes. Certainly no indication of vote splitting.
    In the Legislative Assembly the combined votes of the CDP and FF was 5% overall. Where both CDP and FF fielded a candidate the combined vote was 8-9% which often was higher than the Greens. CDP outpolls FF in WA. But in the end preferences will play a big part on who has a chance at the last Council seat in a number of regions.
    In the 2007 Federal Election the Nationals and CDP exchanged preferences in WA.

  15. no chance Julie Bishop will go into State Politics. The arse covering has already begun and there are plenty of fall guys already setup (though some of them don’t know it yet)

  16. The continued leadership of Troy Buswell is one of many indications about the parlous state of the parliamentary Liberal arm. In addition, I would expect given some of the comments I have read that his leadership is also having a negative impact on the lay party (I think it was Ian McLean recently reported to have ditched his membership and he’d definitely not be the first or last).
    The failure to gain any traction over the shambles of the current government must mean that the party needs to look at either serious rebuilding or oblivion.
    On a brighter note – so far Christian Porter actually seems to be a real up-and-comer… who knew?
    Julie for WA – please, I sure hope not.
    Dan Sullivan – I had always thought he was a pretty shrewd operator and had pulled good numbers in his seat – sometime against the odds. With that said, his latest move doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me unless it puts him into a form of ‘independent liberal’ (like Constable and Woolard and Filing and Rocher) category that can attract the true conservatives, enfranchise the alienated middle-of-roaders and not p*ss off the rest… That’s why alignment with FF (.com or otherwise) doesn’t seem to ring the right bells for me???

  17. Kevin, Westpoll used to ask if leaders were doing a good, fair or poor job, and probably still does – however, The West has said nothing about it. The West have a funny way of not providing results, sometimes going so far as to conduct a poll and not publish it.

    VPL, I suspect you heard Iain McLean had decided not to contest preselection, rather than quit the party.

  18. VPL, i wouldn’t hang your hat on Porter taking the reins. Word on the “street” is that Porter is looking at going Federal. Apparantly the prospect of spending 8 years in opposition isn’t that appealing.

    As for membership, i don’t think Buzwell has had much impact, there is still a major lack of youth and Buzwell won’t impact on that.

  19. Newspoll – looks like everything is the same as last fortnight. I notice Nelson is going to give a response to the Green Paper on CC, even though he is on a weeks holiday. Doesn’t look like he was willing to see Turnball steal the march on the reply.

    Interest on Rudd’s approval rating – haven’t seen those results as yet. PPM still in very high range and one could not expect much else.

    Gov’t still maintains high rating despite MSM pining for the “honeymoon” to be over. Maybe it is over and the relationship could be maturing, and that would be bad news for the Opposition and their fellow travellers!

  20. #1

    I think the Nationals could be the big winners this time. With a just-barely-OK ALP govt propped up by an utterly woeful Liberal opposition, the Nats could make a genuine third-force appeal to voters disenchanted with both sides. Apart from challenging the Libs in rural seats, they should give Labor’s Albany and Geralton a real shake. Not sure if they do that well in the north, but the seat of North West could be another possibility.

  21. Interesting theory MDMConnell, do the Nats have a Geraldton candidate? And I might be very unfair and showing my age but really is the Albany candidate a serious candidate?

    They might also be able to run good candidates in outer metro / fringe rural seats but as far I can tell they aren’t doing this. Of course doing so would dent or ruin their ‘regions only’ image and possibly bolster the Libs which they mightn’t be keen to do.

  22. A fair question about the Albany candidate Jasmine, as he admitted (unwisely) that he was only running for experience. The Nats ran a serious candidate in Beverly Ford in 2005 and only got 5%. But a third of the new electorate of Albany was previously in National held Stirling, so perhaps there is a stronger base of National support this time.

  23. So the WA LIbs release their first policy on Laura Norder 🙂

    [The State Opposition says criminals will spend more time in jail if it wins the next election.

    The Opposition leader, Troy Buswell, and the Shadow Attorney General, Christian Porter, have released their first law-and-order policies ahead of the election.

    They include scrapping the automatic discount in sentencing for criminal offences, reducing the discounts given for early guilty pleas, and making prisoners serve more of their sentences before they can be eligible for parole.]


  24. [And maybe jail terms for self confessed indecent assaulters of females…]

    Oh yes 🙂

    Half of these “”Light” sentences are due to the fact that the offenders have already spent time in custody prior to going on trial, which in most cases is 12 months or more. Also, expect more “not guilty” pleas as people would be less inclined to fess up if there is no incentive to co-operate and spare the victims and their families the stress of a trial.

    All this to appease Howard Sattler.

  25. #38, 39

    I mean, due to the Libs’ almost comical ineptness, the Nats might be able to garner support from areas that have traditionally been Liberal rather than National- from people who are unhappy with the government but think the Liberals are unelectable. This means challenging the Libs in seats like Eyre and Blackwood, and possibly providing the main competition to Labor in the marginal rural seats.

  26. In theory I know what you mean MDM will be interesting to see what the Nats and Greens can do in lead up to the likely election date. I hear in about 12 weeks time.

    Also will be interesting to see if the Libs try and run local campaigns, you would think they would be terrified of a presidential style campaign, but then again it doesn’t seem Buswell could lose ground. Perhaps the limelight will suit him.

  27. I’m with you Frank.
    Reducing the discount for early guilty pleas is bad policy and economic disaster.
    Porter must know that the legal system can only function because the vast majority of prosecutions plead guilty and most of those fairly early. The time and cost of criminal prosecution work in every level of the legal system can be expected to blow out enormously if there is not a real incentive to cop a guilty plea early.
    I haven’t read the policy but I think this is crazy talk!
    Ok – so who saw the chatter in today’s West about recycling Colin Barnett for the leadership? Better than Buswell – sure but given that he’s retiring… what’s the point?

  28. Colin would promise to serve a full term and would do jokes about abandoning the canal … it could be a close and interesting election raising the standards of politics and governance in WA yet (yes I know I’m dreaming).

  29. [Ok – so who saw the chatter in today’s West about recycling Colin Barnett for the leadership? Better than Buswell – sure but given that he’s retiring… what’s the point?]

    Are they trying to do a “John Howard” type of resurrection with the hope of “Colin and his Canal being the saviours of the Liberal Party?

    I’m sorry, but since they don’t have their playmates in the Nationals, plus 1 vote 1 value – methinks they’re doomed to oblivion.

  30. Yes, I am seriously considering standing against Buswell as an independent. I still have to convince my wife it’s a good idea, as she graciously gave me up for 8 years while I was previously the Vasse MP. What makes the contest more interesting this time around is:
    * Buswell is very much on the nose, especially with female voters
    * he beat me by just 209 votes last time when he had everything going for him, including Liberal endorsement and Busselton Shire presidency
    * this time, the enlarged seat takes in Margaret River where the Liberal primary vote at the 2005 election was 37% compared to a combined ALP plus Greens vote of 52% so this would be a difficult box for Buswell to win.
    * the West (which really must be seen as the major news organisation in WA) isn’t too keen on the Carpenter government’s track record, so it won’t be enthusiastic for either Liberal or Labor at the next election, suggesting that independents should get sympathetic treatment.
    I hear that October 11 or 18 are Carpenter’s preferred election dates, so, if I do decide to stand, the decision has got to be in the next 3 or 4 weeks.
    Any comments or reaction?

  31. Do it. The more independent MP’s the better, I reckon. (I had the pleasure of voting for Janet Woollard last time around… it’s nice to be able to cast a meaningful vote for a non-major party). And Buswell needs the boot. As long as Mrs Masters lets you, go for it.

    Are the Nationals running down there this time? That might affect the result as much as the vote in Margaret River. So would Paul Omodei, if he runs.

  32. Thanks for the comment, Bird of paradise. The Nationals will probably run a candidate but they don’t have anyone with a positive and high profile to call upon that I’m aware of. The previous Nationals candidate Beryle Morgan got 10% of the vote and I believe she was grooming Busselton Shire councillor Ann Ryan to take her place in this coming election. Only problem is that Ryan had an adverse finding made against her by the CCC over the Smith’s Beach fiasco.
    Paul Omodei may run but, if I was in his shoes, I’d be helping my (i.e. Paul’s) mate and endorsed Liberal candidate Wade de Campo to try to win the seat of Blackwood Stirling which now looks like it’ll go to the Nationals’ Kim Redman.

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