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”

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  1. By the way, I received a thick, glossy, full colour 8 page brochure from Labor’s Mount Lawley candidate in my junk mail today. We’ve never seen so much campaigning in the area before!

  2. Helen, did they say they were from Patterson? If so you mean Westpoll rather than Newspoll. If it was Newspoll who rang you, it would have been for a yet-to-be-published survey which will appear in The Australian in the next few days. Going on their past record though, I would expect Newspoll to do their polling during the coming week and publish it on Friday or Saturday.

  3. Andos (97) – I’m a little confused. Is the light rail you mention for Alexander Drive in addition to the fast bus service down Alexander Drive mentioned in Bird’s post (99)?

    Also can you tell me when the light rail project is supposed to commence. Hopefully it is not just part of some 20 year plan that will probably never come to anything.

  4. Auto trams are like this

    I believe its to be completed within 3 years

    Still waiting for official policy on the Labor website

  5. Hi William, yes, it was Patterson, so it would have been Westpoll. It was very brief, asking whether I’d vote for Labor or Liberal, whether I’d prefer Carpenter or Barnett as Premier, and who I’d vote for in my electorate (which they named). I think that was it.

  6. Gary it is a distortion, the complete lies and fabrications of the West, along with their picking on extreme cases has created an image that is false and unfair to the underlying reality.

  7. It’s strange you should say that Jasmine, I was about to write something similar. I really have my doubts about Galaxy I must say. I’m open to change if they prove to be correct but this graphic and the way the poll has been used by the paper doesn’t fill me with confidence they will be. This is just being used for effect, to get the desired result IMHO.

  8. the galaxy was a load of huff
    the sunday times positively hates the carpenter government, they haven’t gotten over their silly little ‘raid”
    they used to be quite balanced, but it all came undone when the new editor (sam weir?) came in, he’s utterly useless, and a paul armstrong wannabe

  9. In that Galaxy poll, it has ALP 39 Libs 41, Nats 5 for voting intention. Out of 800 people sampled, I wonder a few things. Were those 800 evenly spread across the electorates? If so, that’s 800/59 ~ 13.5 people per electorate… hardly scientific. Plus, if the sampling included country seats (particularly Moore, Blackwood-Stirling, Eyre and Kalgoorlie), it isn’t smart to add 41 and 5 to get 46 for a combined Lib/Nat vote – anywhere Libs and Nats are running against each other, either the Lib or Nat figure won’t count, so the true Lib/Nat figure would be lower.

    Meanwhile, if this sampling was just within Perth metro area, why include the Nationals? Whichever way I look at it, it’s odd.

  10. I’ve just read Carpenter’s campaign speech and I’d vote for him for sure if I lived in WA. If you West Aussies ever want to swap your Labor government for our mob here in Victoria just let us know.

  11. Bird, you could ask those questions about any poll. No doubt they targeted a representative sample, and if successful their results should tell us the overall statewide vote within a 3.5 per cent margin of error. That covers all the poll results we’ve been hearing about except Westpoll, which itself had a margin of error of about 5 per cent. If you’re not comfortable adding the Liberals’ primary vote to the Nationals, skip to the 2PP where you don’t get that problem.

  12. Just out of interest, how many people here are Labor supporters? If I’m not mistaken I seem to detect a slight leaning towards the left…

  13. Ok,

    Launch Report πŸ™‚

    First of all, this site is a bible for quite a few candidates I spoke to, in particular the Candidates for Morley & West Swan, and Reece’s Campaign Manager sometimes posts here under a nom de plume.

    Now down to the juicy bits, as reported Public Transport is the big winner, as well as the environment. I was in the front row in the aisle and shook the Premier’s Hand :-), Carps did a great speech, and I enjoyed the reference to Mike Nahan and his Nuclear Waste proposal, plus the fact the Premier made him “Minister for Waste Dispoal” and Norman Moore “Minister for Uranium” πŸ™‚

    Today’s Announcements have starved the libs of any media oxygen and make Barnetts promise of up to $150 per seniors look like loose change.

    I also overheard the candidate for Bunbury saying that he saw John Castrilli and the other South West Libs at the Football yesterday and quote “they were cryin in their beers” – which means that the South West is in trouble for the Libs.

    All in all a great day and Roll on saturday πŸ™‚

  14. WB: not surprising Vertiy James is doing Greens ads… during the late 1990s as an interviewer she out greened the Greens!

  15. I noticed the Greens ad. I can’t help thinking the timing is bad, as their ‘vote for us for renewables rather than nukes’ line appeared 10-15 minutes after news reports of Carpenter saying the same thing at the launch.

  16. Just putting together a crack team for The Worst of Perth’s live full day election coverage next week.
    http://theworstofperth.com/2008/08/31/state-election-live-and-worst/

    Frank Calabrese, I’d have liked to include you as well, but you have already indicated you will be at a Party party. Have replaced you with Porn advice blogger Johnny “Young White Lesbians” Scrotum.

    Saw Verity at a comedy event I performed at once. She appeared somewhat maggoted, so may have turned a green colour later in the evening.

  17. Oh and I asked Mark McGowan why he did the LAP announcement for the ABC – he explained they took half a day to shoot, and they couldn’t afford to lose Carpenter for half a day shooting the announcement.

  18. Two ALP fliers in the mailbox today, Graham Giffard Trail Bike Strategy, and an ALP flyer NOT authorised by Bill Johnston, but a very good doublesider called “Welcome to the Liberal Boys Club”.

    Will scan it in shortly and send it to William to Post.

  19. Headline on the Galaxy graphic is hilarious – “Your Brutal Report Card …” !?!?

    But it is understandable that some might be confused by the figures presented. The problem is we don’t know the questions asked. The pie charts and the figures below are obviously the results of different questions. But we don’t know what those questions were – and we should.

    There are international guidelines for the publication of opinion polls – see http://www.esomar.org (the guidelines on public opinion polls are actually very readable and very informative as a primer on opinion polls) – which include an obligation to publish basic information about the sampling, survey methodology and the questions asked.

    It doesn’t seem that either Galaxy or Westpoll have reported the questions asked (although it may have been printed elsewhere in the article). Now this may be more the fault of the media – but for the sake of their credibility and professional standing the polling companies should be insisting on it.

  20. I find it very strange that Westpoll only highlights the seats of Morley and Nedlands, where there is a prominent Independent candidate standing. What about other seats, especially where it is a new seat with multiple non-ALP or Liberal candidates. Westpoll polled me, but I cannot find any mention of my electorate in the Westpoll results – why hasn’t the West reported on or published the full results?

  21. Helen,

    Westpoll apparently conducted a statewide poll and 2 separate polls – in Morley and Nedlands. This was most likely at the request of The West i.e their client.
    It would seem you were interviewed a part of the statewide poll.

  22. Would be very interesting times if we have a Lib minority govt needing support of the Nats in the lower house and the Greens having balance of power in the upper house. Forget about 4 year terms, we could be back to the polls next year!
    I haven’t had any flyers from anybody to date – but I am the Greens candidate!
    An independent (who resigned from the Libs the day nominations closed) is the most active campaigner with large posters on trailers and a large ad in the local paper. Wonder if he is funding it all himself or where is the money coming from? Has been a safe Lib seat but the incumbent member is not running this time.

  23. that insiders what absolutely shocking

    its clearly a bunch of people who know nothing about WA wishing for a Liberal win

    And what an idiot Glen Milne is “haven’t spent anything on infrastructure or education” wtf???? how does $26.1b sound?

  24. Barnett still insisting Uranium Mining is on the cards.

    Liberal leader Colin Barnett has maintained his stance on uranium mining despite attacks from Premier Alan Carpenter at the Labor Party campaign launch today.

    Although Labor promised not to allow uranium mining if re-elected, Mr Barnett stood by his decision to support the project, saying that there were no environmental dangers because it did not create waste.

    “But the concern that people have with uranium, in my view, is not the mining of uranium, the concern that people have…is about the waste,” Mr Barnett said.

    http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/uranium-mining-in-wa-still-on-the-cards-barnett-20080831-46b1.html

  25. Didn’t Labor promise to legislate on Uranium mining (I think it was Gallop) last time too? I’d be surprised if their recent environmental announcements were anything more than an attempt to keep a few percent of voters that were considering switching to the Greens – the backlash from the early announcement that couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Barnett.

    They’ll forget them as soon as they win no doubt. At any rate, there’s a risk that they may face an upper house that will stop any of this progressing if they’re too successful in winning (back?) the green vote. They’ll need a Greens balance of power.

    Good luck to the ALP trying to get anything done with a Libs/Nats/Dan Sullivan Legislative Council…

  26. It should be noted that Karen Middleton was the only West Aussie on the Insiders panel, and she used to be Political Editor at The West., but really I feel sorry for the Eastern Staters who had to endure this load of uninformed crap, if you needed local experts, get Peter Van Onsolon for heaven’s sake πŸ™‚

  27. I am but a humble NSW resident but it will be interesting (if the poll turns out badly for Labor) if the Labor campaign genius rhetoric gets retired.

    William when will you be publishing your predictions?

  28. Trust me, Labor will win this election and they will do well

    All this talk of tiny majorities and minority governments is bullcrap. Everybody was saying it last time, even Peter Kennedy from the ABC predicted a minority government in 2005

  29. All this talk of tiny majorities and minority governments is bullcrap. Everybody was saying it last time, even Peter Kennedy from the ABC predicted a minority government in 2005

    I was very disappointed in the ABC’s coverage of the launch, which like 7 focussed on the fact that the Transport plans arre targetrting to 3 marginal Labor seats.

    Oh and EVERY ad break on Ch 7 in the last hour has been a Liberal Ad ?

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