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. ABCs wasnt too bad, but it was very close minded, much like the rest of the WA media

    It’s quite apparent in planning circles that the north east of the city, which has lots of activity centres and capacity for high density is woefull underserviced by public transport – you dont spend $100m on safe Labor seats just for the fun of it, it’s a good planning outcome

    Channels 10 coverages was positively woeful, very very brief segment on launch and a full story on colin barnetts silly pensioner plan

  2. Channels 10 coverages was positively woeful, very very brief segment on launch and a full story on colin barnetts silly pensioner plan

    Ahh with the Boy Band Candidate ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a silly move by the libs to release ANYTHING major today, as the Public Transport Policy announcement today became the Media Narrative, and would’ve lead Radio News for most of the day.

    Oh and speaking of media types, saw Peter Kennedy, Robert Taylor and Geof Parry, and I note that the ABC tonight showed the LIberal Campaign Launch, and on Monday & Tuesday will be showing onw ALP and one Lib 3 minute announcement. I’m assuming with such a short campaign, the ALP policy launch would not have been ready before the Electronic Media Blackout on Wednesday.

  3. Apparently the fact that Labor people dont wear stupid glitter hats means something is up

    God that is such terrible journalism, was she even there? she certainly misread the mood

  4. The event started late with a grave and quietly spoken welcome to country by indigenous leader Noel Nannup.

    It was late because they were still processing the name tags at 9.59am.

    And so the OO prefer Style over substance.

  5. Well, at least she got the numbers about rightโ€ฆ

    Nope, the offical figure was 480, as I noted before, I’ll bet the Libs never got Morning Tea afterwards with the yummy muffins ๐Ÿ™‚ And Vanessa Amorosi isn’t “Rock” Music, especially that produced by Mark Holden ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Frank, I hate to say it, but you are starting to quibble….

    And when the choice of parties to vote for depends on the quality of their morning team and head banging music, I’ll move to Siberia, where the tea might be bad, but I can avoid the music.

  7. West watch.

    Page one: “I dare Premier to dump me: Roberts”. Michelle Roberts says the Labor caucus and not Alan Carpenter will determine the cabinet.

    Inside Cover: A photo shows Ainslie Gatt, the Liberal candidate for Maylands, in bed with four other comely young lasses. This was taken at the home of “Raunchy Promotions boss Steve Zielinski, who was holding a cocktail party to celebrte 28 years in business”.

    Page five: “Crash reignites P-plate ban row”.

    Page six: Robert Taylor’s Campaign Sketch notes Labor’s low-key approach at yesterday’s launch. Smaller items on Liberal refusal to submit costings to Treasury and Liberal efforts to keep the Michelle Roberts heritage properties affair alive.

    Page seven: Main article on Labor launch by Robert Taylor headlined “ALP hopes new train will put it on track to victory”, giving the kind of coverage Labor would have been hoping for. Side-column comment piece by Curtin University professor of sustainability Peter Newman on public transport, which might be rated pro-Labor in a broad sense. Fremantle mayor Peter Tagliaferri calls for a light rail line through my part of the world, down Hampton Road from Fremantle to Cockburn.

    Page nine: “Liberals pledge to create mental health minister”. Also includes coverage of Liberal promises targeting old folks. Smaller articles headed “Bans on three lobbyists to stay, says Barnett” and “Labor green credentials ‘window dressing'”, the latter quote coming from Greens MP Paul Llewellyn.

    Page 20: Editorial critical of Labor health policy.

    Page 22-23: Headline letter to editor critical of Labor uranium policy. Second letter says yay for the government. Three anti-government letters in “In Short”.

  8. The article from the Australian is truly amazing and not in a good way. I agree she obviously was not there. The cheers went on for ages. And we clapped till our hands hurt. Particular during the GM nuclear points. We be great if some of the press covered the real details of the reduction in crime and the number of new schools opened in the ALP government as carpenter covered. But that is never going to happen with our press. We need another newspaper in this town so we can have some real journalism.

  9. God Roberts is useless, is she trying to kill herself off? Talk about a non team player

    Unless she’s still pissed off that the New Right are now impotent ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mind you neither Kobelkie, Ravlich, Roberts or Ripper were on stage, but sitting in front row. And I note they put poor old Reece Whitby at the back of the candidates on stage.

    And I’m surprised Amanda O’Brien didn’t mention the Lib launch had personalised Bottled Water ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. re the Inside Cover story, that’ll really go well amongst the Women’s Vote, and perpuates the myth of the Libs being a “Boy’s Club”

  11. Hmm, There goes the Liberal Support from Rio-Tinto and BHP Billiton ๐Ÿ™‚

    WEST Australian Liberals are threatening to penalise mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto if they merge, saying that a Liberal government would wipe out vital royalty concessions now enjoyed by the majors.

    Party leader Colin Barnett, whose odds of becoming premier next week have shortened but who is still considered the outsider in the race, said the merged companies would be forced to pay higher mining royalties and make other concessions if he won.

    He told The Australian that BHP’s takeover of its iron ore rival was not in the state’s interest because such a company would become too dominant.

    “It is not healthy,” he said.

    As premier, he said, he would insist on a renegotiation of the various state agreements that governed the operations of both mining companies in the iron ore industry.

    Under these complex state agreements, which date back decades, both BHP and Rio pay royalties at reduced rates to the Western Australian government, a legacy of the desire to develop what was then a fledgling resources sector.

    “The state government couldn’t stop them merging at a corporate level,” Mr Barnett said. “But certainly the state government could have a big role in saying what happens in terms of their physical operations — not to frustrate, but as a player at the table.”

    The Opposition leader said that there would be a clear cost to the state if more than half its mining and petroleum industry ended up in the hands of one company.

    “If they want to do that (merge), then other things would come into play,” he said.

    “For example, why would they continue to receive a concessional royalty rate? It would be time to get rid of that. The current rates fall well below the normal rates for mining royalties. It would be one of the issues we would have to discuss.


  12. “For example, why would they continue to receive a concessional royalty rate”

    This is at odds with the fed libs stance on the concession Woodside enjoys on gas.

    Are the WA libs trying to distance themselves from the feds?

  13. For those who think that a simple merger will be the solution should the conservative rabble be beaten on Saturday, consider this:

    [A PROCESSION of 24 senior Liberals shuffled into a Brisbane CBD office for a meeting on Monday night with murder on their minds. Among them were former MPs and ministers, serving Liberal federal electorate council chairmen, former state presidents of the party, life members and assorted office bearers.

    The Liberals claim to represent 1500 to 2000 of the 5000 members who belonged to the Queensland division of the Liberal Party before it merged with the Nationals last month to create the Liberal National Party.

    Perhaps belong is more appropriate because, as the meeting heard, doubts have arisen as to whether the state Liberals have merged into anything.

    What the Liberals at the meeting had in common was a deep and growing anger at what they perceive as a Nationals takeover. The group of Liberal dissidents aims to stop federal Liberal recognition of the LNP, denying it acknowledgment as the Queensland division of the Liberals, or to establish a new party.

    As one Liberal at the meeting puts it: “We intend to blow this thing up.”]


  14. Did we ever get to the bottom of which way Campbell Newman jumped?

    As the most senior elected official of the Liberal Party, the fact he may not actually be in the Liberal Party anymore is an important development.

    He didn’t seem too ecited by the prospect a few weeks ago, as reported here

    Though his homepage now has the LNP logo.

  15. Sean,

    No, journalism that balances the single one-eyed paper that we suffer.

    even the Australian, with a decided Lib bias, is mature enough to have columists like Phillip Adams to try to balance Milne and Albrechtsen

    the West does not.

    Melbourne has a left leaning Age balanced by a right leaning Herald

    we do not

  16. Well since we had the laughable Fairfax online experience, I’m not sure another paper would make much difference. Barnett must be spewing though that The West built him up then Teh Paul Murray started saying he was going to lose last week. It was their cheerleading that pulled him out of potential retirement.

  17. On a slightly different subject from the last few posts:

    I am now officially peeved with Carps. On Saturday, I received in the mail my applied-for postal vote (for Hillarys – I had forgotten to register my change of address :oops:). On the back page of AN OFFICIAL (WA Govt-issued) ELECTION PUBLICATION was Carps’ grim face, urging me to vote Labor.

    Geez! Talk about abusing the levers of power!!! This has now switched me. For the first time EVER, I will be preferencing Libs ahead of ALP, and well does Carps deserve this kick in the teeth, by my reckoning.


  18. Gary Bruce #180

    I’m not saying that Colin Barnett is much (or any) better. But surely that kind of behaviour needs to be punished?

  19. That’s up to you Mathew, it’s a free country but if enough people think that way then it’s Colin here we come. From rabble to government in one easy lesson and as I say good luck with that.

  20. Matthew, you should clarify exactly what you received. If you received official postal vote material, that is the ballot paper and return envelope, from the WAEC and it contained voting material for the Labor Party, that is an offence under the electoral act, and if it was sent to you like that by the WAEC, then that is a scandal that should be exposed.

    If you received a postal vote application form and it contained Labor material, that’s OK because it was sent to you by the Labor Party. If it had been sent by the Liberal Party, it would have come with Liberal material. The postal vote application forms are sent out willy nilly by the political parties, and they have a return address to the party, who note your name, pass the form to the Electoral Commission to deal with the ballot papers, and then the party sends you its how to vote material. But it has been 20 years since postal vote application forms have been official documents that can only be provided by the Electoral Commission.

    My advice is always to pre-poll vote rather than postal vote. Postal votes rely on the post and matching signatures on application form and voting envelope. In a close contest, parties can go to town trying to knock out postal votes and there are more grounds for them being rejected from the count. Pre-poll votes receive a lot less scrutiny, and they don’t involve any processing through political parties.

  21. “If you received official postal vote material, that is the ballot paper and return envelope, from the WAEC and it contained voting material for the Labor Party, that is an offence under the electoral act…”
    Antony, have there been any cases of this happening in previous state or federal elections and have parties been prosecuted?

  22. “On the back page of AN OFFICIAL (WA Govt-issued) ELECTION PUBLICATION was Carpsโ€™ grim face, urging me to vote Labor.”

    This reads like the postal vote was dual sided. Sorry, but I find it very very hard to believe that anything printed by the WAEC has any pro-Labor campaign message. Let alone a dual sided postal vote with the Premier on it. Please clarify quickly or withdraw what seems to be a serious allegation.

  23. No, because the ballot papers come from the Electoral Commission, and if there is how to vote material inserted in with the ballot papers, then someone is tampering with the mail at the postal vote handling centre. There is no evidence of that ever happening. However, people get confused about whether they are receiving a postal vote or a postal vote application, and it nearly always turns out to be the application form that people are complaining about having receiving party material with. There is nothing illegal about parties sending out application forms as part of their party material.

  24. Actually, what confuses people even more, the parties tend to send out the application forms with envelope labelling like ‘important election material’, which is obviously ambiguous and makes people think it comes from the electoral commission.

  25. There have been some comments re the West’s reversal of opinion. I think saying the Govt is a shoe in to be returned (which is probably more or less true) it the very best way to maximise Lib / Nat / anyone else vote. So it seems consistent to me.

    And while I’m not sure the train to Ellenbrook is good policy, I’m pretty sure it is great politics and with the Libs coming out this morning (smelling a lot like they aren’t going to echo the policy) you have to expect Swan Hills was bought for approximately $850 million on the weekend.

  26. ALP Promises Cheaper Public Transport.

    The Labor Party has promised cheaper public transport if it wins the state election.

    The Premier, Alan Carpenter, says he plans to simplify fare structures.

    He says the plan will cost about $17 million.

    “We will reduce the number of zones to five and the fares accordingly,” he said.

    “So for example, if you live in zone 3 that is 20 to 30 kilometres from the GPO the changes that we will make will reduce the cost of public transport in and out of the city each day for work by up to $350 a year.”

    Oh and the Libs will match the Building of the Ellenbrook line.


  27. I joined the Australian Electoral Commission in 1981 and worked for them for about twenty years. When I first started, the practice of parties being involved in the postal voting process was almost unheard of (other than passing on any postal applications mistakenly sent to them rather than the AEC) and the AEC would have taken a very dim view of any such interference.

    Times change and now both major parties are up to their eyeballs in sending out thousands upon thousands of applications whether people ask for them or not. The net result is a lot of confusion, a lot of duplicated applications and a lot of frustration for the AEC trying to make sure that all applications are received from the parties in time to make the cut-off point for processing and posting each day.

    The parties claim of course that they are just trying to help the electors to have their vote, but out here in the real world we all know that is self serving bull shit. They are interfering because they both believe they can gain a political edge by doing so.

    It has become a very expensive practice for the tax payers., as postal votes cost a lot more to process than a normal vote in a polling booth. A high percentage of those now applying for a postal vote do so for no other reason than that one or both of the major parties sent them an unsolicited application. The total number of postal votes issued per election has been climbing massively over the past ten to fifteen years and there is no sign that it is likely to plateau any time soon.

    Just finally, I can assure everyone of two important things:

    1. Only the AEC and equivalent state organisations actually issue the postal votes,
    (The actual enveloping and posting of the ballot papers is usually outsourced these days – the wonders of privatisation – but it is carried out under very strict supervision).

    2. It is totally illegal to include any voting material from the parties with the ballot papers.

  28. And here is Barnett’s commitment to the Ellenbrook Spur.

    Meanwhile, Mr Barnett says the Liberal Party it will match Labor’s commitment to build a new rail line to Ellenbrook, north east of Perth.

    The promise was made yesterday by the Premier, Alan Carpenter, at the party’s official campaign launch.

    Under Labor, work on the $850 million rail line would begin in four years, and would be finished in 2015.

    Mr Barnett says the Liberal Party will also build a rail line to Ellenbrook because it is the next logical step.

    “Yes in the longer term 2015, it’s a long time away, yes we will build the spur line through Ellenbrook,” he said.

    “Can I say, remind people, that the south metropolitan rail line was actually started by a Liberal Government, the decision was made by Liberal Cabinet.


  29. Has anyone asked Mr Barnett if he intends to keep the new line (and all the others the Labor government has built) in public hands, or does he plan to flog it off at the first opportunity as all good liberals do?

  30. Iโ€™d have say Mrs Carps is hot.

    And she looks better in real life ๐Ÿ™‚

    I must say the Carpenter Story had more light and shade considering he has a family, while the Barnetts looked like empty Nesters. And I liked the grab with Peter Dowding, which showed that like Reece Whitby, they both didn’t take sides when reporting State Politics – take note Print Media ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Are we going to hear complaints from the press of โ€œmetooismโ€ about Barnett over the Ellenbrook train?

    And the Free Seniors Travel, and the extra Nurses.

    What hypocrites the Media are ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Barnett Rules Out Workplace Agreements, no doubt spooked by the Unions WA TV ads, but note there is no IR policy.

    The Opposition Leader Colin Barnett has ruled out bringing back individual workplace agreements if he wins the election.

    The agreements were introduced by the former Court Government and its Industrial Relations Minister Graham Kierath, who lost his seat of Riverton at the 2001 election.

    Labor reversed the changes in its first term of Government.

    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.

    No we’re not, we’re not going down that path,” he said.

    “The landscape of industrial relations changed when the Federal Government effectively took control of it.

    “Our responsibility if elected is to our employees within the state Government and there is no doubt the WA public service has been badly compromised by Labor.”


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