Westpoll: 50-50; Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor

A polling bonanza for the Western Australian election, with a 51-49 result in Labor’s favour from Newspoll (UPDATE: Scanned graphic courtesy of James J; Peter Brent at Mumble doesn’t like the look of a mere 51-49 lead to Labor from even primary vote figures) and a comprehensive Westpoll survey in The West Australian. The latter includes a 50.2-49.8 statewide result in Labor’s favour from a sample of 400, plus electorate-level surveys of 400 voters from Scarborough (notional Liberal margin of 2.4 per cent, Liberals lead 52-48), Kingsley (notionally lineball, Liberals lead 54-46), Collie-Preston (notional Labor margin 0.9 per cent, 50-50), Kalamunda (notional Liberal margin 0.2 per cent, Liberals lead 54-46) and Riverton (notional Labor margin 2.1 per cent, Liberals lead 51-49). Full scan here. Other highlights of the past week:

• Nominations closed at noon yesterday, and the Poll Bludger election guide has accordingly been brought up to date with full candidate lists. A key feature is the late withdrawal of a large number of much-touted independent candidates. Two Labor-turned-independent MPs who had earlier planned on running evidently saw the writing on the wall: one-time Health Minister and Yokine MP Bob Kucera, who was earlier deliberating over whether to contest Nollamara or Mount Lawley, and Shelley Archer, the wife of CFMEU heavy Kevin Reynolds who was dumped from the party over dealings with Brian Burke, earlier weighing her options in Kimberley and her existing upper house seat in Mining and Pastoral region. On the other side of politics, former leader Paul Omodei has decided against nominating after most recently suggesting he would run for the South West upper house region. Troy Buswell’s predecessor as member for Vasse, Bernie Masters, has decided not to run against him after very nearly defeating him as an independent in 2005. The only remaining major party renegade still in the hunt is Ballajura MP John D’Orazio, contesting the new seat of Morley.

• Robert Taylor of The West Australian noted the Liberals’ unreadiness for the campaign in an article on Thursday, identifying two reasons for their lack of television advertising thus far: “The first is that they’re simply not ready. When the election was called, the Liberals did not even have advertising concepts in the can for former leader Troy Buswell, let alone a leader who had only been elected the previous day. The second is that they are woefully underfunded and Olympic period television advertising is extremely expensive. Labor is said to have booked significant airspace during the Olympics for about $250,000 … Liberal television advertisements are not expected to hit the airwaves until the Olympics are over, giving them roughly 10 days to establish their message before the media blackout comes into effect at midnight on the Wednesday before the poll.”

• On which subject, eastern states viewers can view the Labor television ad on the ALP site. Western Australian readers will have seen it a million times already. Interesting to note that the front page of the site includes a defence of the early election announcement.

• The Liberals do at least have two radio ads, both negative, which can be heard here. Message common to both: “If you couldn’t make things work with eight years of boom, what’s going to happen now that things are slowing down, prices are rising and interest rates are up?”

• Labor has also chosen the medium of radio to field its first negative ads, which fascinatingly pursue the theme of Liberal Party sexism: not conventional election campaign fodder, but well worth a run under the present extraordinary circumstances. As well as the lingering image problem from Troy Buswell’s tenure as leader, the Liberals can boast just one female candidate in a notionally Liberal lower house seat, and precious few in winnable Labor seats. The message is conveyed by a young girl declaring her aspirations for when she grows up, and the unlikelihood of them being realised through the vehicle of the Liberal Party. If you’re up early this morning (7am Saturday) you might hear me discussing the subject on the ABC’s AM program (UPDATE: Read and hear it here). More on the women candidates issue from Andrea Mayes of the Sunday Times.

• An interesting assessment of the overall situation from Kim Beazley in an article for WAToday, who in tipping a cliffhanger reminds readers that “the blue-collar component of the WA electorate is half that of Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, and 50 per cent less than Brisbane”, and that “a large non-English speaking background electorate so richly supportive of Labor in the east” is “likewise missing”.

• The Liberals have landed an interesting candidate in the safe Labor southern suburbs seat of Cockburn: Corruption and Crime Commission intelligence analyst Donald Barrett, who has taken leave without pay from his position to stand against Energy Minister Fran Logan. Jessica Strutt of The West Australian reports that “some Labor MPs are simply paranoid about the Barrett factor – more particularly the ‘dirt’ he may have”.

• The Prime Minister was on the campaign trail in the northern outskirts seat of Mindarie on Thursday as Alan Carpenter announced a $147.5 million extension of the northern rail line.

• Deidre Willmott, who stood aside in Cottesloe to allow Colin Barnett to rescind his retirement plans, has been appointed Barnett’s chief-of-staff. There seems little doubt she will realise her claim to Cottesloe at a by-election if the Liberals fail to win government.

• State political editor Peter Kennedy told ABC Radio on Monday that a Labor source had revealed polling in Swan Hills showing 69 per cent believed the Liberals were not ready to govern, but clammed up when probed about voting intention or figures from other seats. However, Labor has been openly trumpeting polling from Jandakot showing them leading 56-44.

• Former Labor MP and lobbying kingpin MP John Halden made the eyebrow-raising claim in an article in Monday’s West Australian that Ben Wyatt, who replaced Geoff Gallop as member for Victoria Park in March 2006, would succeed Alan Carpenter as Premier before the next election. The following day he told the paper it was “no secret” in Labor ranks he was being groomed for the job.

• Crikey subscribers can read me having two bob each way on the relevance of the Northern Territory precedent.

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.

277 comments on “Westpoll: 50-50; Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. Carps on Newspoll, He’s got it about right 🙂

    Mr Carpenter avoided questions yesterday on the latest Newspoll results, published in The Weekend Australian on Saturday, which showed a swing to the Liberals in Western Australia.

    Labor’s lead of eight percentage points in the April-June poll had narrowed to two points in the latest poll, taken during the first full week of the campaign. The Premier said he would find out on September 6 if the decision to call an early election was a bad one.

    “(The polling) shows the situation is evenly balanced and it nearly always is in Western Australia,” Mr Carpenter said.

    “You’ve got to make sure that you give people a reason to support you.

    “I always anticipated that it would be evenly balanced. It’s actually a knife-edge situation.”


  2. 198 [Poll Bludger was such a more interesting resource before the “let’s have a big political argument!” people with nothing insightful to add took over…]

    Cry me a river of crocodile tears. The other possibility is that Poll Bludger reflects the political reality of the times where the Liberals are unelectable at the Federal level and doing poorly in every state. They hold no position of power even in Brisbane City Hall since the Clive Palmer takeover, so of course their ideas are well outside the mainstream of Australian politics.

    It really was an “insightful” addition to Poll Bludger the quotes at 198 and 199.

  3. The beauty of blogging sites is that if you don’t like them you can leave them. Very democratic. I feel inclined to suggest quit whingeing; if you don’t like it, leave. But I suppose constructive criticism should be welcomed.

  4. On Dr Thomas and conflict of interest. There was a certain fed minister for minerals and energy in the early days of Howard/Costello whose family held large coal interests. Forgotten his name, but I seem to recall that he was a bosom buddy and sometime flatmate of the rodent. A sort of policy buddy on climate change?

  5. On Dr Thomas I would suggest a more assertive policy approach by the libnats:

    ‘Clean sand: the answer to affordable housing.’

  6. 207 Boerwar – that is certainly the answer. I haven’t visited another blog (the one which shall remain nameless) for yonks. I didn’t like what I was reading so I left. So easy to do.

  7. Here is the ABC News story on what Anthony Fels had to say about the Calremont Video debacle.


    Oh and according to the dead tree version of The West, The Grrens have stated they will be directing their preferences to the ALP, which will be crucial in key marginal seats as a direct response to Colin’s announcement of Uranium Mining

  8. Andrew @ 156 and 176

    Thank you for your reply and further comments. Our posts either crossed or I was playing with the sandman.

    1. I am sorry that I implied you were a libnat when you are not. False assumption on my part.

    2. In this case there it seems to me to be several ambiguities. It is one of the difficulties of sexual behaviour between people that things are not always black and white.

    3. With respect to confirming or denying stories, I believe the individuals whom may or may not have been the victims should have the right to make a decision about how they engage. They are almost routinely bastardised either way. They have the right to privacy. So I would reiterate two things: The first: Their call in general and in this case Ms Radisich’s call. The second, that the libnats ought to get onto quality policy.

  9. Ms Radisich started the media hoo-hah, Boerwar…started it and then piously claims to not want to engage in it, knowing that this does damage to the Premier.

    If she confirmed she was assaulted, she’d be defaming Carps. If she dienied it she’d have no story running against him. So she says nothing.

    It has bugger-all to do with victimhood, or media engagement.

  10. Ms Radisich started the media hoo-hah, Boerwar…started it and then piously claims to not want to engage in it, knowing that this does damage to the Premier.

    And your evidence is ? That is a total load of Horsepoop.

  11. Which hit the airwaves first, the chair sniffing or the bra snapping? I suspect someone from the chair sniffing side found out about the bra snapping and released it to overcome their problems with their chair sniffing leader. Just a guess mind you.

  12. Which hit the airwaves first, the chair sniffing or the bra snapping? I suspect someone from the chair sniffing side found out about the bra snapping and released it to overcome their problems with their chair sniffing leader. Just a guess mind you.

    The Bra Snapping came out fist which took place the same night that Troy entered the chamber drunk, there was video footage of him staggering into the chamber and he tried to snuggle up to Rob Johnston, and apparently grabbed the wedding tackle of the late Trevor Sprigg.

    The Chair Sniffing came out a bit later on.

  13. Georgraphe Gazette story.

    Troy Buswell was drunk, locked himself in a room at Parliament House with a Labor staffer and refused to come out and vote, said, Ron Scott a staffer for the Leader of the Opposition, Paul Omodei.

    In the letter published on January 1 in the Albany Advertiser, Mr Scott, a long time member of the Liberal Party questioned Mr Buswell’s credentials and suitability to lead the Liberal Party. Mr Scott said he found it “disgusting that Buswell could ever be considered as a leader”, citing the drunken episode and the events surrounding Liberal Party leadership challenge in early 2006.

    Mr Buswell conceded that on the night in question he had attended a trade function in the Speaker’s Chambers. Speaker Fred Riebeling has confirmed that he was with Mr Buswell on the night in his chambers. Speaker Riebeling described Mr Buswell’s state as “a bit merry”. Minister for Health, Jim McGinty, said that he remembered the night in question and described Mr Buswell state as “a bit tipsy”.


  14. Surprise Surprise, the Nationals will direct their preferences to the Libs in the Lower House.

    The WA National Party will direct its lower house preferences to the Liberal party in the coming state election, even though the Liberal party has refused to support the Nationals Royalties for Regions policy.

    The nationals want 25 per cent of the state’s mining and petroleum royalties allocated to regional communities.

    The Nationals will direct their preferences to the Family First Party and the Christian Democrats in the upper house.


  15. And I’ve noticed they’ve updated the original story.

    The WA Nationals have backed away from their earlier threat to preference Labor and the Greens ahead of the Liberal Party in some seats.

    Nationals Leader Brendan Grylls says the decision to put the Liberals ahead of Labor and the Greens in every Upper and Lower House seat, recognises there is a mood for change in regional WA.

    Some Liberals claimed the Nationals would suffer a backlash from their traditional supporters if they put Labor first.

    And this is interesting from Grylls.

    Mr Grylls is still adamant there will not be a coalition, even though the Nationals are giving the Liberals favourable treatment on preferences.

    “We do have to put one before the other and like I said the mood I have felt is a mood for change and a mood for the Labor Party to be removed from Government,” he said.

    Talk about being “Independent”, when push comes to shove, it’s all about their survival as a party.

  16. Hmm, my last comment was caught up in the Blockquotes, but this really proves that the Nationals are puppets of the Liberal party, despite their recent bleatings to the contrary.

  17. Frank

    That is like saying the Greens are puppets of the ALP, I can think of a fair few people here who disagree with you.

    The facts are the Nationals/Liberal/One Nation have similar ideals making them natural partners, but does not means they support each others 100%

  18. It’s pleasing to see that the little hill billy’s attempt at blackmail fell flat on it’s face and that he and his party are again exposed for what they are, an impotent little dag on the rump of the Liberal Party.

  19. It’s pleasing to see that the little hill billy’s attempt at blackmail fell flat on it’s face and that he and his party are again exposed for what they are, an impotent little dag on the rump of the Liberal Party.

    I know, so much for all his posturing he made on the subject, I’m pretty sure the Party Seniors had a quiet word in his ear about not “scaring the horses”.

  20. hmm, Odds have shortened for the Libs.

    Lasseters’ Gerard Daffy said the betting agency had shortened the odds on a Liberal win from $4.25 to $3.75 following the weekend polls and slightly lengthened Labor’s chances from $1.20 to $1.25.

    “I think we had an inkling with the Northern Territory election as to what lies ahead for some of these Labor governments,” Mr Daffy said.

    “I don’t really want to get involved in giving big odds against whoever they are up against, especially if they are long odds, as they are in this particular instance.”

    Mr Daffy said he had taken no money for Labor since WA Premier Alan Carpenter called the election on August 7, and very little for the Liberals, with less than $100 extra since the weekend polls.


  21. No real money has been out on either side yet. The next round of polls following the NT payout will get them in. If Labor drifts out to $1.40 or $1.50 by then the cash will start flowing if Labor improve in the next round of polling.

    It seems that Daffy is getting set to drift Labor out a bit further yet by the tone of his NT remarks.

  22. Frank Calabrese is calling you on this one. Do you have evidence?

    I notice that the silence is deafening, it’s funny that, those on the right always take a long time to either respond to their allegations, or don’t bother to reply at all.

    I wonder if they’re awaiting instructions from Menzies House ? 🙂

  23. I notice in the Midland Echo, which has a 2 page spread of local candidates that the Liberal Candidate is lamenting the closure of the Midland Railway Workshops and the number of people losing their jobs etc.

    Small problem, it was the Court Liberal Govt, who did this as one of their first acts when elected.

    Talk about kicking an own Goal 🙂

  24. I notice in the Midland Echo, which has a 2 page spread of local candidates that the Liberal Candidate

    I forgot to mention it is the Liberal Candidate for midland, Peter MacDowell, who is the President of the Swan Chamber of Commerce.

  25. Also see the Libs will bring in GM crops if elected. Looks like they are trying to lose.

    I’m pretty sure they only drafted Barnett in to reducing the Liberal Loss from a Bloodbath to a Flesh wound 🙂

  26. Libs welcome Nat’s Preference Backflip.

    Liberal Party state director Ben Morton says the decision is an acknowledgment that the Labor Party is their common enemy.

    Mr Morton would not be drawn on whether the Nationals’ decision means a coalition is now more likely.

    “The Liberal Party hasn’t ruled anything in or out, nor has the National Party,” Mr Morton said.

    “We are not in coalition. We are fighting this campaign against Labor and we’ll see what happens with the election result.”


  27. Frank @182,
    Are you denying then that your claims that Jaye had denied it were simply wrong, then – or is your denial somewhere in the (wide) Carpenter through Clinton range? The only denial we have here is the one word from Carpenter – not, as you all but claimed that all parties had denied it.
    The end result is that we have a one word denial from the Premier, and all other parties have clammed up. Hardly a resounding chorus of denial – apart, perhaps, from you on the subject.
    As for 232, I have never taken any instructions from Menzies House on any matter. Can you say the same as regards Curtin House?
    As I offered earlier – and you seem to be steadfastly ignoring – I would suggest you cease and desist on this. Up to you of course.
    On to the substantive debate (presuming you are happy to leave the chair sniffing, bra snapping and shirt-lifting behind).
    I just think that the Libs are being sensible on the subject of uranium and GM cropping. Remember when parties actually looked at the evidence and came to a reasoned conclusion? Perhaps it will not prove as populist popular as blinkered opposition to them, but they may actually be the right call.

  28. Substantively then, let’s just call the Liberals’ current policies on GM and Uranium issues brave and interesting, shall we Andrew?

    The implications have obviously been deeply researched and widely considered by the party in the two days since they ditched all previous positions on everything and embarked on Colin’s Excellent Adventure up the Canal Without a Paddle.
    Somehow though, I doubt there will be many non rusted on voters gleefully jumping in their canoes to follow those little black canards.

  29. Most remarkable feature of Louise Pratt affair I find , is NOT that unsubstantiated smear allegations hav been made made against Premier Carpenter , as thats simple dirty politcs by Liberals , but how any sensible person could posibly twist Louis Pratts unamgibuous denial to being an acknowledgment something may hav occured

    Louise Pratt said
    “I’m well known as a strong feminist. If anything inappropriate happened, I would raised it with Alan at the time.”

    Now had th smearers simply said Louis pratt was a liar , they would hav looked very foolish seeing both Carpenter and Pratt were both unambigously denying it , and there is no credible substantiation of this smear in existense

    So whats been amateurishly attempted is to suggest Louis Pratt should hav said ‘ no inappropriate behavour occurred’ , and because she did not use those particular Smearers’s desired words , therefore she is covering up

    One may hav had 1% credibility running that line had she merely said “If anything inappropriate happened, I would raised it with Alan at the time” ,
    (which is she needed to say reely)

    BUT in fact Louis Pratt went out of her way to deliberately emphasie her credibility/standards as a ‘Feminist’ that she would never tolerate inappropriate behavour (by prefacing “I’m well known as a strong feminist”) in order to double emphasie no inappropriate behavour occured

    Unless one guts th english language and ‘context’ of English , Louis Pratt’s denial is a premeditaed deliberate emphasied (via her ‘Feminist’ reference ) denial unambiguously of any inappropriate behavour For those that think otherwise , you will simply disbelieve anyones comments at will whatever evidence is to contrary


  30. Then again, there does seem to be a good reason why the Shadow Minister would be reluctant to leave his electorate.

    And ironically one of his constituents is the ALP Candidate for Swan Hills whose street is right on the border between the 2 electorates in Glen Forrest.

  31. From the Lavartus

    “exposed by Troy “I did not have intercourse with that quokka” Buswell,”

    Please tell that me Troy is not a quokka fokka.

  32. Rod

    the quokka story was a furphy, some smartarse blogger made up the story as a joke, and then lazy journos picked up the story and ran with it


    however there is rumour (that I can not substantiate) that there are plenty more Bad Boy Tory Troy stories out there, and it is only a matter of time before the other shoe drops. Most of the stories so far have been leaked from within the Libs, by people who did not want him leader, and there were threats to release more if he did not step aside. Now he has done that the leaks should stop, but Perth is a small town.

  33. One sentence does not a denial make Ron; which ever season it is made in.

    We weren’t there Ron, so we start out with each of our own subjective view of the credibility of the main players, our knowledge (or lack thereof) of the personality of the main players and we have to draw conclusions. My money would be on the non-denial of Ms Pratt and Ms Radisich and against the Premier. You money is clearly on the Premier. When has a politician ever attempted to mislead or lie to any of us? It is unchartered territory, it is not surprising we are having trouble.

    Andrew to my cost in friendly fire I agree with you on uranium mining but I think the GM stuff is a mistake.

  34. Jasmine
    “One sentence does not a denial make Ron; which ever season it is made in.”

    What do you want a book , Jasmine one sentence was always sufficent

    Clearly Ms Pratt’s unambigous denial is not accepted by you , and you hav not even afforded her ‘benefit of th doubt’ principal that our fairness system relies on
    However you hav not answered my earlier queston , please blog me a one liner of words Ms Pratt should hav used in your opinion to deny inappropriate behavour (and then tell me those words would hav 100% convinced you no inappropriate behavour occured)

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