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

The last polls of the WA election campaign are in: 50-50 in Newspoll, 51-49 to Labor in Westpoll. The respective samples are 1802 and 402. Westpoll also has marginal seat polls of around 400 voters, showing the Liberals leading 54-46 in Scarborough, 56-44 Kingsley, 59-41 in Kalamunda and 52-48 in Collie-Preston, while Labor leads 50.5-49.5 in Riverton. None of these seats are must-wins for Labor.

The two-party figures conceal a collapse in the Labor primary vote, put at 35 per cent by Newspoll and 37 per cent by Westpoll (compared with 41.9 per cent in 2005). However, much of the lost vote is leaking to the Greens (12 per cent in Newspoll and 11 per cent in Westpoll, compared with 7.6 per cent in 2005) and coming back as preferences. Newspoll records by far the worst ever personal ratings for Alan Carpenter, with 42 per cent satisfied (down seven points) and 48 per cent dissatisfied (up eight points). Barnett is on 40 per cent and 43 per cent; Carpenter still leads as better premier 48 per cent to 35 per cent. Westpoll has the latter measure at 47 per cent for Carpenter and 27 per cent for Barnett, suggesting its smaller sample might be skewed to Labor.

Interestingly, Tony Barrass of The Australian talks of “Newspoll’s additional analysis in the 10 most marginal Labor seats” which “reveals an average two-party Labor vote of 48 per cent”. That amounts to a swing of 4 per cent, which would cost Labor nine seats and government if applied evenly across the 10 (unless John Bowler wins Kalgoorlie, as some are suggesting). However, Robert Taylor of The West writes that Labor are holding up relatively well in the southern suburbs, suggesting they should retain Jandakot and maybe even Riverton.

This raises the question of which seats are dragging up the average. Expectations are that John Castrilli will perform very strongly in his bid for re-election in Bunbury. It has been observed that Labor are struggling in the northern suburbs, which Westpoll backs up with a 6 per cent swing in Kingsley. This might have significance for Ocean Reef and Joondalup, notwithstanding that Labor has heavily targeted those seats while abandoning Kingsley. A Labor win in Jandakot could thus be cancelled out by a Liberal win in a northern suburbs seat further up the pendulum. That might mean Joondalup or perhaps Wanneroo, where new developments have been breaking out like acne over the past four years. Most of these have been concentrated around the new suburb of Tapping, whose booths split about 57-43 in favour of the Liberals at the federal election. Alan Carpenter could be found there yesterday campaigning at the local primary school.

Boy, this is going to be fun.

In the upper house, strong Greens polling suggests they should win four seats, although they have been disappointed before on election night. That should reduce Labor to 13 seats out of what is likely to be a combined “left” minority result of 17 seats out of 36. My tip for the 19 seats of the “right” is 14 Liberals, three Nationals (also performing strongly in Newspoll, confirming anecdotal evidence) and two Family First.

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.

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

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  1. Glen

    I drew your attention to the article by Hartcher to make appoint that here in Australia we are pretty civilised in our debate. I mean you (ie. one) can still be a party (eg. Liberal) supporter and have your views on issues like euthanasia recognised and respected within the party…

  2. “Late in 1977 I believed I was being called to work in the Church. (I can’t remember why, but I was playing a lot of football at the time and suffered many sharp blows to the head). I left school in 1978, moved to Sydney and joined the Marist Fathers. By mid-1982 it became apparent to all that I had misheard my call, and on emerging into the workforce, I was surprised to discover that my considerable academic achievements thus far (which included the much-coveted Associate Diploma in Religious Studies) had not equipped me for any other job.

    There followed “the wilderness years”, which ended in 1988 with the completion of my BA in Communications. The following year I left Sydney and joined The Canberra Times as perhaps the world’s oldest cadet. I covered a number of rounds, including the formative years of the ACT Legislative Assembly. In 1992 I moved on to the federal Parliamentary Press Gallery. In 1993 I left the Times to edit the ill-fated Canberra Weekly.

    I spent a year in India in 1996 and on my return joined the ABC as a producer. In 1998 I jumped the fence, briefly, and stood with the Osborne Independents in the ACT election.”

    Chris Uhlmann. 😛

  3. Lot of talk here about Labor’s primary vote going to the Greens, and the assumption that it will return to the ALP on the 2PP in enough numbers to let them fall over the line.

    The first point is certainly true, but I’d submit that the second may not….Labor has spent the last week of the campaign talking up uranium mining of all things. A total non-issue for most voters…except green ones. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that Labor’s research is showing less then expected Greeg preference flows, and they’ve been trying to scare those votes back into the 2PP cart. If that’s the case they might well be gone tonight.

  4. Very ignorant question, is WA optional preferential or full preferential?
    Sorry to ask such a silly one but it’s vital to the issue of where those Green votes are going to end up.

  5. 248 ESJ

    The best version I’ve heard of your comment is Michael Kinsley’s Law of Scandal

    The scandal isn’t what’s illegal; it’s what’s legal.

    His is also famous for defining what’s known as a Kinsley gaffe. “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.”

  6. Interesting morning on a polling booth. I think the ALP primary will suffer (any long term Govt does when trying for re-election i think) but i also think that a lot of those voting green will preference ALP as they just cant stomach Chairman Sniff still being on the shadow cabinet and still see the Libs as the party of R&P especialy re: logging and uranium.

    I dont think the supposed “corruption” issues with the ALP (which are old hat anyhow) really figure with voters over here, or at least are less of an issue than the seat sniffing, bra snapping, antics of the shadow treasurer. That was really off putting for a lot of people. Not so much what he did as he is a known moron, but that the Liberal Party continued to support him as leader for some time afterward.

    Apparently my wife’s fascist friend (who she always sounds out pre-election) is voting ALP this time around and that ussualy a good indicator.

    We had a lot of absentee voters (it was a CBD Freo booth) so even though it was a strong ALP seat i would have thought we would see it if there was a real anti-alp feeling. It just wasnt there. I reckon that Carps has another term in him.

    That said, i think this is one the libs have to win. If they dont, Barnett is out of there, Chairman Sniff is back in charge, and the State Libs will show us whole new ways to disintigrate that have never been contemplated before.

    Hope the Nats do well this time, but will be interesting to see if they stick to their position of no coalition.

  7. Leader on the HTV?

    I haven’t seen it in this thread, so forgive me if i am repeating something discussed

    I have seen HTV cards from a few seats today and one of the differences between the LIb and ALP cards is that ALP have Caprs on theirs and Libs don’t have Colin.

    Is this clever on either sides behalf?

    Shoot me for saying this, but I noticed many voters look at the fresh atractive profile of the ALP candidate for Kalamunda in the top left corner of the HTV with favour.

    They would reach out to take it and then see Carps in the bottom right corner of the HTV and hesitate if not withdraw.

    Any thoughts?

  8. Optional preferential was introduced in NSW by the Wran Labor Govt, with the aim of exhausting Lib/Nat votes against the ALP in 3 cornered contests.

    It is a great irony that the Greens now exhaust and waste votes that came from the ALP.

  9. Leader on HTV PtII

    The other point to consider is that many voters see Colin as being the only competent polly left in Lib ranks, so why not put him on the card?

    btw, i use the word “many” too “many” times- and i have told myself a billion times not to exagerate.

  10. From distant South Australia, I was wondering why the ALP was carrying on about uranium mining and genetically modified crops ….. of course, to try to lock in Green preferences. Thanks for the tip up above.

  11. At the risk of poking a hornet’s nest let me just say that IMHO any sane Green would be in favour of uranium mining and nuclear power plants. If you accept anthropomorphic global warming then, short of a return to the middle ages, it our last best bet. Even Bob Carr agrees with me and that’s saying something!

  12. So the Greens and Bob Carr are a perfect match? No.

    To think the Greens would ever go within an inch of anything with the word nuclear in it is… insane.

  13. HSO in the first couple of elections there were even groups like No Self Government Party who won 4 seats or Abolish Self Government who won 1 seat. ACT politics is crazy, also they had the Residents Rally group that toppled a Labor Government there too.

  14. VPL @ 275. Far from poking a hornet’s nest, you’ll probably get ignored, or from me, for goodness sake, go and do the research on why it’s a no brainer to build nuclear power plants in Australia – cost/benefit analysis 101 will do, and why places without access to alternative sources of base load power might be willing to part with their readies for Australia’s uranium.

  15. I cast my vote in the new seat of Cannington this morning at the Sevenoaks booth. To my shock horror, the liberals actually had more people manning the booth than the labor party.

    In fact, there were a bunch of bullshit hot chicks handing out liberal how to vote cards. Why are hot chicks helping the Tories?

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