Westpoll: 54-46 to Labor; Galaxy: 51-49 to Liberal

A bizarre set of results today from Westpoll, the headline figure showing Labor leading 54-46 on two-party preferred from primary vote figures of Labor 42 per cent, Liberal 35 per cent, Nationals 7 per cent and Greens 10 per cent. Alan Carpenter leads Colin Barnett as preferred leader 51 per cent to 28 per cent. If you believe the Westpoll results, you must conclude that Troy Buswell’s departure has been an unmitigated disaster for the Liberals, sending them from a 51-49 lead to a 50.2-49.8 deficit at the start of campaign to the fiasco indicated by the current figures. Stranger still are two individual seat polls. The Liberals are apparently set to seize the unwinnable seat of Morley, where they lead 51-49 from primary votes of 38 per cent for stop-gap Liberal candidate Ian Britza, 35.5 per cent for Labor’s Reece Whitby and 12 per cent for independent incumbent John D’Orazio. The point of this was to assess D’Orazio’s chances of retaining the seat after breaking with the ALP, and they were obviously not expecting such a result. In Nedlands, independent member Sue Walker languishes on 16 per cent compared with 47.5 per cent for Liberal candidate Bill Marmion and 23 per cent Labor’s Colin Cochrane. No sample size is provided for any of the three polls – we can guess the main poll was about 400, in keeping with the usual Westpoll practice.

UPDATE: Reader SeanofPerth reports a Galaxy poll of 800 voters in tomorrow’s Sunday Times shows the Liberals 51-49 ahead. This would be Galaxy’s first ever poll of Western Australian voting intention, which you can make something of if you like. The Liberal-Nationals vote is 46 per cent against 39 per cent for Labor. Report here; further results here.

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.

245 comments on “Westpoll: 54-46 to Labor; Galaxy: 51-49 to Liberal”

  1. perhaps that explains why Julie Bishop declined to attend the Lib launch

    And a perfect wedge to be applied federally by Julia Gillard, and locally by Carpenter – Will a Barnett Government still support a return to Workchoices.

  2. A leopard doesnt change its spots…just like Barnett doesnt change his slime! Cant wait for those individual agreements during the Nuclear winter……let them eat “Yellow cake” said Barnett to the angry masses!

  3. Barnett has just complained about a Labour ad the attacks his uranium policy


    Barnett said: “I saw the advertisement actually and it talked about where would you bury nuclear waste in Western Australia – you do not get nuclear waste from uranium mining, you get nuclear waste from nuclear power stations,” he said.

    not true, Colin. There is plenty of radioactive waste in uranium tailings which is either contained in ponds or pumped underfground

  4. Darn – you didn’t think your cheap shot at Libs being the party of privatisation would go unquestioned? Have you ever heard of a wonderful place called NSW and their current electricity situation?
    Or maybe QANTAS, or even the CBA???
    That is not to say that the Libs don’t privatise – but, hello, kettle will you accept a collect call from the pot?
    As for committing to match government promises – that’s very much in the style of Opposition leaders everywhere – including the current Prime Minister eg see http://www.smh.com.au/news/business/why-rudd-says-me-too-again-and-again/2007/08/05/1186252546386.html

  5. 207 VPL – ever thought he may have been talking about the WA Libs and WA Labor seeing that we’re on this thread? What has WA Labor privatised?

  6. Barnett can “consider” IR to be a federal issue all he likes, but until (unless) there is some kind of referral of powers, around a third of employees in WA will continue to be employed under State IR laws.

  7. “As for committing to match government promises – that’s very much in the style of Opposition leaders everywhere – including the current Prime Minister.”
    VPL, you really didn’t think you could get away with this piece of misrepresentation did you? No-one here was criticising the Libs for doing it, they were criticising the media for treating the Libs differently to how they treated Rudd. I bet even you now see it as clever politics whereas I bet you were criticising Rudd for doing it last year.

  8. I note that the ABC’s TV coverage will be curtailed by the opening ceremony of the Paralympics at 9.50pm, despite it also being simulcast on ABC2.

    If the result isn’t known by then, Pollbludgers will have to rely on ABC Radio, as the commercial channels aren’t doing ANY Election Night Coverage, bar I’m assuming some sort of News Update.

  9. Well that’s a little dissappointing. Does anyone even watch/care about the paralympics? Surely the state election is somewhat more important?

  10. VPL (207)

    I don’t agree that stating the truth is a cheap shot. Show me a Liberal politician and I’ll show you someone who’s just itching to get on with selling off everything that’s publicly owned – if there’s anything left. I admire Alan Carpenter for taking a strong stand against privatisation and regard him as being the best Labor premier in Australia at present.

    You make a good point of course in referring to the privatisations done or proposed by other so-called Labor politicians. But it’s the Liberals who have an ideological commitment to privatisation for its own sake – not Labor. That’s what I was referring to.

    For what it’s worth, my own view is that placing the whims of shareholders above all else, is not the best or most efficient way to run a society.

  11. To clarify regarding my WAEC Postal Vote…

    I had applied for a postal vote some time previously. I believe that what I received was a genuine postal vote form (but will check again, upon returning home) with Carps and his message to vote Labor on the back of the form.

    Upon getting home (late) tonight, I will recheck it and clarify, possibly with a giant mea culpa if I have gotten it wrong on first impressions.

  12. Sky Noos will be covering the election, if you have cable TV.

    But all the Post election Parties only have Access to Free To Air TV.

  13. GB,

    Peddling misinformation again – 203
    You would have been shot as an agent provocatuer in another less tolerant country.

  14. Matthew @ 216

    I haven’t applied for a postal vote, and don’t want one, but I got an application form anyway through the post, with ALP propaganda on the reverse.

    I think the parties mass-mailshot voters with these things in the (in my view, misplaced) hope that people will be grateful to them. I expect this is what you have got; as Antony has pointed out, an actual postal ballot form with party material on it would be a serious offence, and one that would be certain to be detected and publicised. So, if only for reasons of self-interest, neither party would do this.

    If I’m right, the fact that you have applied for a postal vote is coincidence; you would have got this application form anyway.

    For the record, I think the practice of parties doing this is shoddy and should be stopped. Parties should not be allowed to associated themselves and their publicity with the mechanics of compiling the electoral register or casting votes, if only because it can give the impression that voting and voting rights are susceptible to some degree of party control or patronage, and this degrades public confidence in the electoral process.

  15. Before you all get so upset about the ABC coming off air at 9:50, we normally go off-air at 10:30. All we’re doing is dropping the call of the board which takes up most of the last half hour. In this day of the internet, when we publish all of the elections results and with more detail on the internet, it’s not the most essential part of the coverage. We publish more detail of the Legislative Council on the internet as well, where we have almost nothing to say about it on air.

    All counting should be over by 9:50. By 9pm, the new totals reported are usually down to a trickle. If the result isn’t clear by 9:50, it won’t be any clearer by 10:30. If it is absolutely line-ball, and neither leader has spoken, we can extend past 9:50, but it is not scheduled that way. But there has to be a good reason to go past that point, as all the satellite switching has to be changed to prevent the paralympics going to air automatically at 9:50. Programming a national network at that time of a Saturday takes a bit of organising.

  16. The people’s court would lead you off to the execution cells quick smart GB. you are peddling lies and disinformation which you know to be untrue.

  17. Gary – did I kick your dog or something in a past life? Pointing out simple facts like 1) Privatisation is not limited to the Libs, and 2) Opposition leaders always go with ‘me too’ nowadays, seems to have rubbed you up the wrong way. Darn said ‘as ALL good Liberals do’. Even he/she didn’t take issue with whether it was a reference to State or Federal.
    For the record I thought Rudd ran a smart and tight campaign and I certainly didn’t criticise him for his strategy. As for my position on privatisation – I believe government exists to ensure services are provided – not necessarily to provide them. That said, some things are better done by government, others not.
    Now – on to tonight’s mailbag.
    I received two flyers from the ALP. The “Liberal Boys Club” one and a “Bill Johnston – working for our community” one. As for the first – a) since Diedre Willmott technically withdrew she wasn’t ‘dumped’. b) I doubt any Libs would prefer ‘inexperienced and immature men to talented women’ but they have to work with what they’ve got. Of course, the Libs don’t have an entrenched affirmative action policy. c) The Libs have at least four former ministers in their front bench IIRC – that’s hardly lacking in experience. As for the second – I have absolutely no idea what, if any, local connection Bill Johnston has with the seat of Cannington. I have certainly never seen him involved with any local issues. I don’t even know if he lives in the seat. Can someone enlighten me as to his affinity with my electorate (other than, of course, the fact that it has a double digit margin for his entry into the Legislative Assembly?).

  18. The Liberals don’t have an IR policy, as Barnett clearly states. 223 GB – you said you didn’t believe that there was no Liberal IR policy. Is there any proof or truth behind this remark or is it mere conjecture? I think that’s what ESJ was commenting upon at 220.

  19. “Mr Barnett says the Liberal Party won’t be producing an I-R policy before the election but he says there will be no return of individual contracts.”

    Barnett didn’t say he hasn’t got an IR policy just that he won’t be producing it.

  20. Oh – while I’m here… my local paper carried a letter two weeks ago from a guy saying he’d called Mike Nahan about a local issue and his call hadn’t been returned a couple days later so he went to Tony McRae and he sorted his issue out straight away.
    I wrote an email to Nick Sherry on 17 March 2008 as Minister for Superannuation re: my govt super. I just got his response today, a mere 5 1/2 months later or 168 days. Phew, the speed was overwhelming. On the upside he did include an apology about the delay 😉

  21. I can remember Salary-Anne Atkinson promising there would be no increase in the General Rate, too, during a Liberal campaign launch. Everyone assumed General Rates were not going to rise in the next Liberal budget. General Rates rose across the board, but not a very specific and inconsequential ‘The General Rate’.

  22. 235 steve – you’re probably right. As I said earlier this is a ready made scare campaign, whether they have one but won’t release it or they don’t have one at all. A stupid move on their part IMHO.

  23. Gary the only thing scarier than a Liberal IR policy is a sneaky attempt to hide their IR policy till after the election. It is afterall only words on paper why hide behind this Federal Issue propaganda?

  24. I think the distinction between having an IR policy and producing it is mere semantics. Obviously if elected the Liberals will have some sort of IR policy, but presumably it would be similar to the current situation otherwise they would announce it. Where’s this scare campaign stuff coming from? Hardly much to be scared about boys and girls!

  25. Well, there probably is no real policy to accounce. They are unprepared, and haven’t the faintest idea what exactly they’re supposed to do.

  26. 241 Duke – “but presumably it would be similar to the current situation otherwise they would announce it.” A very BIG assumption there. The scare campaign stuff as you call it is what Labor wants to tar the Libs with. They’ve left a blank sheet for heaven sake. State Workchoices here we come.

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