Advertiser poll: 51-49 to Labor in SA

The Adelaide Advertiser has published a small-sample (365) poll of state voting intention which gives Labor a 51-49 lead on two-party preferred. Primary votes are 39 per cent for Labor and 43 per cent for Liberal after distribution of informal and undecided. The paper’s previous state poll in February had 476 respondents, and showed Labor leading 57-43. Respondents were also asked how the current leaders compare with Alexander Downer, which takes the idea of his entry into state politics a little more seriously than I would have. The Advertiser blotted its polling copybook with this dubious effort in early August, but its long-term record isn’t so bad (although it usually uses larger samples). The polling is conducted in-house, I believe by its classified advertising staff.

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.

51 comments on “Advertiser poll: 51-49 to Labor in SA”

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  1. In the article it is mentioned that the last SA newspoll was June. They usually do the states on a quarterly basis don’t they? which suggests another SA poll could be coming up soonish. Will be interesting to compare the two if that’s the case.

  2. I’m not surprised that there’s been a narrowing. I’ve been disappointed in the Rann Government’s performance and I doubt I’m an orphan. I’ve never had the feeling they had plans for government beyond being the government.

    As in many of the other states, Labor has remained competitive because the Opposition appears even more useless. However, under Martin Hamilton-Smith the Libs here have begun to sound less of a rabble. They still have a log way to go, but the next election is going to be ‘interesting.’

    As for Lord Lunchalot, I would have though a state Premiership would be beneath him. Anyway, he doesn’t have the talent for it (or anything else) and I believe most people know it.

  3. This poll is too small to read much into but it does fit with the vibe in SA that Rann is getting on everyone’s nerves. Water is his worst area but Health is also a disaster. The fact that he hasn’t actually done anything since he got in is starting to bite.

  4. Hamilton Smith is a disaster, all he does is come up with wild pie in the sky ideas that would send the state broke in 5 mins, we had enough of that with the wine centre etc, it’s easy to catch everyone’s imagination with wonderful ideas you cant carry out in opposition, the few costings he’s given have been way under what it would actually cost, the new sports centre aka Telstra dome he estimated $1/2b under what it would have actually cost, i’d be terrified if he got his hands on the kitty, i dont think theres much to worry about if the gov. pulls its socks up, Rann still has a high approval rating and the Advertiser have been doing a hatchet job on his government for ages–actually doing Hamilton Smith’s job for him, the people i mix with have all commented on that, i think Rann will be ok at the next election, maybe i’m biased, Rann made me a promise a long while back that he’d try to make sure Von Einam would never be released and he kept it.

  5. This is a much deserved poll for the SA Government, a terrible do-nothing government which will be plunging down the path taken by the WA Government if they are not careful! In WA the most powerful election ad run was one which asked views to name three things the Carpenter Government had delivered, you’d have just as much trouble doing this for the Rann Government. The Rann Government’s motto is ‘if we can spin it once, we will spin it a thousand times.’ The government does nothing, it’s bullying and arrogant and refuses to create an ICAC because it has things to hide. Senior positions in government are stacked with Labor stooges and backbench MPs are ineffective (look at Bright, the local MP talks about cakeage fees and little else). The Opposition isn’t perfect and has a lot of work to do to form itself into an alternative government (particularly keeping Hamilton-Smith’s random and pie-in-the-sky ideas out of The Advertiser!) but we’ve just seen a largely dysfunctional opposition elected in WA, so Rann should be very fearful. His government is dull, he is boring and his Cabinet is arrogant and ineffective.

  6. umm the new Adelaide hospital just started for one, the south road overpass for two, the rebuilding of the current suburban hospitals {the Lyall Mac is shaping up beauitifully} extending the police force, building new jails — taking them away from the suburbs, changing the way the courts work to make it easier to include victims, the forming of a commissioner for victims rights and setting up police/victim laison officers, the starting up of the tram lines to be extended for an eventual light rail system, {Rome wasnt built in a day,} gaining a AAA rating after the Olsen government excesses, those few are without even thinking.
    or maybe you’d prefer Hamilton Smith’s recent idea, squandering $millions on making a bid for the next Commonwealth games to come to Adelaide, thats if he is voted in at the next election, the elephant in the room there is the bids have to be in now–the city hosting the games will be announced well before the election is due, like Nelson all H.S. has is whatever populist idea takes his fancy at any given time, to hell with the economics and planning to see if it’s viable, the libs will have to do better than that.

  7. Judith, how wrong thou art! The new hospital hasn’t be started, in fact we’ve just spent tens of millions on consultants’ fees, but it’ll be another two or three years until construction commences, so strike that one off your list. The AAA rating was regained not because of the Labor Government, but because of the motions put in place by the Olson government, privatising ETSA, etc, to regain a rating lost by the previous Bannon government, so none of your nonsense, admit the truth over this one. Labor in SA aren’t doing anything. I said clearly in my post that Hamilton-Smith’s team wasn’t brilliant, but Rann’s team is woeful. Reality check time!

  8. The announcement of the building of the new Adelaide hospital was made last year in June. Anyone who has had anything to do with construction and planning, like myself, will tell you this takes what seems like an eternity to get off the ground. The red tape is to be seen to be believed. Consultations with all those to be affected, planning and planning permits. So expecting this very big project to be well on the way by now is just unrealistic. No Liberal government would have it done any faster.

  9. thankyou GB, the fact that the planning and consultations are now being started means that the hospital is on the way, Bright Ideas, i think i’ve had more to do with pollies than the average person and i’ve seen first hand just how long it takes to bring about changes, not all policies are big building announcements, some are changes to the law or under the radar, actually in the past i’ve had a little to do with a couple of those changes.
    by the way i forgot to mention the desalination plant now in the offing, as for Olsen, the selling of ETSA was to get himself out of a black hole, if it wouldnt compromise this site i could tell you quite a bit about the past state lib governments, i have nothing but contempt for them–in case it doesnt show.
    i dont mind one little bit your conservative leanings–to each his own and i love this site and the differing ideas, but please dont patronise me or belittle my labor leanings, i have good reason for them, i wont reply to you again if you patronise me the way your last post did! — i may have left school and worked at 13 but i’m not stupid.

  10. Lucius, pmsl, i got myself in such a mess trying to work it out, i still dont know how it works, after hours of swearing and trying i gave up in disgust, then all of a sudden the thingy suddenly appeared by my name, i’d love to change it, i dont even know what it is but i dont dare.

  11. Judith, don’t patronise me by assuming i have conserative leanings. I was simply pointing out that the Rann Government has done very little for this state. We don’t need the new hospital, we certainly don’t need the desalination plant (it doesnt stack up economically or environmentally) and its location could be environmentally disasterous. The Rann Government is full of announcements and nannying policies. I fear the opposition is not much better. SA is a wonderful state to live in, but it is vulnerable to its fragile manufacturing base and the ongoing drought. We need strong leadership and vision here, not merely big action announcements to ensure reelection. A large scale renovation of the Royal Adelaide Hospital would cost half the price of the new one and would fulfil the needs of Adelaidians, likewise harvesting just 10% of our stormwater would fulfil ALL our water needs (amazing but true) in a city which is actually not as dry as people make out (this is science, not fuzzy facts). The Rann Government is not delivering and what it does deliver is unnecessary or purely thought through.

  12. Bright Ideas

    Thank you for clarifying that you are not simply coming from a stand point of a disaffected Liberal supporter. It helps to know that. I’d be interested to have your response to the following questions:

    Question 1. In post 20,you name a couple of things which you would like to see done, or done differently. Have you any reason to believe that a Liberal government would be any more likely to do them?

    Question 2 What would the Rann government have to do before you would change your opinion that it’s a do nothing government (specifics needed here not just generalisations – you have obviously thought about it).

    Question 3. Do you give Rann any credit for the extensions to the tram/light rail system that he has introduced and what do you believe the opposition would do on this score if they were elected?

  13. In my humble opinion the States all seem moribund, but I don’t think its necessarily the fault of the incumbent Labor governments. I don’t think it would be much better with Liberal govts. I think the States have run their course and its time to amalgamate them into the federal government … (don’t forget this is my idea and I thought of it first)

  14. Aurelianus, it’s not a bad idea and it’s been mooted many times before, BUT getting the general population to agree might be a bit hard lol, there’d be no more fun in one of our favourite pastimes — baiting and ridiculing the other states, it would certainly be easier running the country without the premiers grandstanding and wow! think of the money saved, but at this stage it’s only a pipe dream.

  15. ok mate then it’s up to you to go push the barrow lol, i cant see it happening soon, this old dear has done her share of stirring and changing things and now sits back comfortably in retirement and watches others take up the slack, you’ll do it if it’s important to you, it’s amazing what one person can do if determined.

  16. BI – [The Rann Government is not delivering and what it does deliver is unnecessary or purely thought through.]
    Interpretation – The government is not delivering. Oh hang on, yes they are but they’re not delivering the things I want them to.
    That’s some change to the original argument.
    You’re response to Darn’s questions will determine how serious you really are about this.

  17. BI seems to have disappeared since Darn asked for answers and asked a lot more politely than my blog, actually i’m sorry about the eruption but i hate being treated like a dumb little woman lol, perhaps i need anger management classes, time to shine my sense of humour up a bit i think.

  18. I wonder if somebody at the Tiser knows something we the pundits don’t…

    Putting Downer in the poll was completely out of left field, I don’t think I’ve heard one sane commentator float the idea. Besides, he would have to turf MHS who is doing relatively well, which wouldn’t bode well I imagine. Unless it’s the start of a Tiser smear campaign to get him out. Which they’ve done before, although generally slightly more discreetly.

    Downer at the helm would defeat utterly the idea the libs have new ideas and approaches, which is what they will paint come 2011.

  19. Max, i doubt very much it’s to get Downer to the table, it’s just a couple of journo’s looking for a story and stirring, i noticed they didnt compare Rann to Downer as pref leader, nor come to think of it Rann to M.H.S., the Tiser just skew things to suit their agenda, a journo pal, who likes to write facts rather than crap, left the Tiser a couple of years ago in disgust, he’s happy where he is now, he’s well known here for his down to earth factual reporting.
    the Tiser’s agenda, a little like the 00 and the Worst, is to put the boots into labor whether deserved or not, it’s only been since the election and i’m wondering if they’re trying to smear Rudd by association, i wouldnt put it past the right wing papers.

  20. If it’s not to get Downer to the table, so to speak, why then? The Tiser knows as well as anyone that having Downer in charge would be suicide for the state Liberals.

  21. Chade just stirring,trying to spice up the poll, trying to copy the 00 like the Costello fiasco, it sells papers,they never compared him to Rann, that says it all, Downer has a regular column with the Tiser every monday and letters to the editor has had heaps of complaints about it.
    by the way the ch.2 news tonight says the latest Galaxy poll out tomorrow shows Turnbull’s ascention has made no difference to Rudd, from what i can remember Rudd is way in the heights as PPM over talcum , the only thing Turnbull passed Rudd in was arrogance, he had a more than double rating over Rudd with that one lol, i think Turnbull was about 26 as PPM, unfortunately it’s not showing on the Galaxy site yet.

  22. Bright Ideas @ 19 –

    [A large scale renovation of the Royal Adelaide Hospital would cost half the price of the new one and would fulfil the needs of Adelaidians,]

    Have you been a patient there lately? I was nearly 3 years ago, in a high dependency ward during the hottest week of the year. The other patients were mostly old blokes who’d just had cardiac surgery. I’m sure their condition wasn’t helped by the air-conditioning pretty much giving up the ghost on the first day. The only thing the RAH has going for it is its staff. The facilities are beyond woeful so the quicker it’s knocked down the better. A rebuild would take much longer. Too long. And in the end the area is too small and car parks scarcer than hens teeth.

    All that said, I’m not sure the proposed site for the new hospital is ideal either. Nor am I happy that we’ll be paying extra taxes from next year to pay for it when it’s not going to cost the state anything for many years. That is just plain robbery!

    [likewise harvesting just 10% of our stormwater would fulfil ALL our water needs (amazing but true) in a city which is actually not as dry as people make out (this is science, not fuzzy facts).]

    Totally agree. We have two of the world’s leading experts on the subject living here but Rann only wants to know about the supposed hi-tech solution. So reasonably clean freshwater will continue to be flushed out to sea to be thoroughly mixed with seawater before being filtered back to freshwater at great expense. Sheer madness.

    Adam @ 20 –

    [What in fact SA needs is to be packed up and moved to somewhere that has a water supply.]

    The same is becoming increasing true of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart and especially Perth.

  23. Judith (at 28) I was at a wedding, (I have a fairly normal life outisde visiting this site) hence my non-reply … but I’ve returned now to Darn’s post at 21, so please be nice to me because I was certainly not treating you like a dumb little woman!

    I have no idea how to quote things so:

    Question 1. In post 20,you name a couple of things which you would like to see done, or done differently. Have you any reason to believe that a Liberal government would be any more likely to do them? I

    t’s hard to say really, I’d like to think that the Liberal frontbench are more qualified than Labor in terms of having achieved things in their lives (not just worked as union hacks, Labor staffers, etc, which aside from the talented Jane Lomax-Smith most of the current Cabinet are) and so would be able to drive through some vision, but at this stage, without seeing the substance of their policies on infrastructure, if and when those policies become available, I can’t answer that question. One would hope so, but my faith in state politicians of all persuasions is painfully low at the moment …

    Question 2 What would the Rann government have to do before you would change your opinion that it’s a do nothing government (specifics needed here not just generalisations – you have obviously thought about it).

    The Rann Government has to leave some sort of legacy which makes sense. At the moment we are going to end up with a hospital we don’t need (I agree with much of what MayoFeral says at 36, yes, the RAH is in a poor state, but the current site is just wrong. I’d like to see major upgrades to our suburban hospitals, giving them a suite of major healthcare facilities at all sites, not just ICU here and renal there and specialist cancer care over there. A major upgrade at Lyell McEwen is well underway but a similar expansion and upgrade is needed at Noarlunga in the south, Queen Elizabeth in the west and Modbury in the North East, perhaps a new hospital is required in the east of the city. If these hospitals were to be greatly enhanced, I don’t think we would need a CBD hospital. As MayoFeral says, the proposed site is far from ideal. Other major things we need delivered include a huge overhaul of our public sector, filled with too many bureaucrats shuffling paper … that is a fact, an end to the desal madness and a commitment made to stormwater harvesting and a fantastic network of world leading wetlands … not as difficult as it sounds.

    Question 3. Do you give Rann any credit for the extensions to the tram/light rail system that he has introduced and what do you believe the opposition would do on this score if they were elected?

    Definitely. One of Rann’s finest hours (there havent been many of those). I, like many South Australians, was highly sceptical of the tram extension. I thought it would mess up the CBD and was a total waste of money. But that was not the case. It has been fantastically designed and modernises the entire city centre, encouraging more people to leave their cars at home (for those who live in the tram corridor) and take public transport to work. There have been plenty of teething problems, but that is to be expected with what is an inherently difficult piece of infrastructure to put in place (it goes through the CBD) and it may be another couple of years before things are sorted out, but all in good time. I think the tram extension down towards West Lakes is not the best option, instead I’d like to see a city loop (north, east, south, west terraces) and a spur line into North Adelaide, and I think the Liberals might propose this at the next election. Duncan McFetrdige, Lib Shadow Transport Minister seems to be a fan of trams in general and has said that he will be arguing for more not less. I have no idea of his preferred routes though. All the same, despite saying that I think there are better routes for extensions, I’m happy to let this one play out as I think the govt does know what it’s doing in this respect and I would list this as one of the few achievements of the state government.

  24. BI, good on you for having a go at answering those questions. You’ve obviously thought about what is being done and could be done.
    This union hack thing though is a load of guff. Anyone would think they have done nothing else with there lives and what they have done for unions etc. doesn’t count for anything. That truly is straight out of the Liberal Party handbook and holds little validity IMHO.
    Again I say, in reading your answer to question 2, that the only thing the Rann government has done wrong is to do things you don’t like rather than not doing anything, as you previously stated. Nothing wrong with disagreeing but to say they’ve done nothing is really an exaggeration.
    Unlike some here you’ve put meat on the bones and I thankyou for that.

  25. That would tanslate into 4 senate seats to Labor should there be a full Senate election in 2010. So much for ‘Bartlett’s Theory’ that a double is on the cards. Highly unlikely. Maybe in 2014.

  26. Thanks Gary (at 39). One point I’d make is that I feel that the Rann Government was a better outfit in its first term when it hung by power by its fingernails. Really innovative programs such as Adelaide Thinkers in Residence were thought up in these early days and brought some really exciting ideas to the state (around homelessness, sustainability, early childhood development, etc). Bringing Rory McEwen and Karlene Maywald (essentially country independents) into Cabinet provided new ideas and energy back in the day (I think Maywald’s star has faltered somewhat in recent months) and showed a government that I thought was willing to reach across partisan lines and assemble the best ideas for the state. Sadly since 2006 the innovation and ideas have faded away in place of big headline items that are poorly thought through (Hamilton-Smith also equally guilty of this).

  27. units to provide cheap housing for the homeless is up and running well, a new set of over sixty units is being started in Whitmore square, this one really interests me bacause i was born and bred in Wright st many many years ago and i can remember as a young child the homeless sleeping there even then, we were a close knit mainly irish community and i remember most of the family’s left overs from dinner being handed out, there was far more a sense of compassion and community in those days.

  28. Too true Judith, and I worry about our city becoming more and more elongated without community infrastructure being implemented in our southern and northern suburbs. We risk a geographical underclass being created, although sadly I think it’s already here.

  29. Bright Ideas @ 38 –

    I’d like to see major upgrades to our suburban hospitals, giving them a suite of major healthcare facilities at all sites, not just ICU here and renal there and specialist cancer care over there.

    There is something to be said for having one centre of excellence for each specialty rather than diluting expertise across 3 or 4 hospitals.

    But I agree with your comments about urban sprawl. Not only is it socially destructive plonking people miles from anywhere, but it’s very energy inefficient. I had thought Rann understood that. He was certainly making the right noises about it just a few months ago. But the front page story in the local paper last week was how the state government might be about to force the Mount Barker council to expand town boundaries so more houses can be built to accommodate the big population increase the government is working to achieve.

    Like the desal plant, this is sheer madness. Instead of expanding ever outward we should be moving to increase the density of our cities and towns along the European model instead of the car culture based American blueprint we’ve been following for the last 70+ years.

  30. You try persuading voters of that, MF. In Melbourne Bracks and Thwaites tried, and failed dismally. Every attempt to promote greater housing density provokes outraged NIMBYism, which the Libs of course exploit.

  31. I believe simple economics will end up forcing the issue, Adam. The price of petrol will dampen demand for housing on the urban fringes, and even land half way to the Black Stump is becoming too expensive for many.

    Changing lifestyles will also have an effect. These days many people just don’t have time for gardening and the work involved in looking after a house on an individual block.

    Higher density housing is already becoming a feature here in new suburbs such as Mawson Lakes, the Port Adelaide redevelopment and the inner city. These may be out of the reach of most, but often where the ‘rich’ go, the less well off will aspire to follow.

    And to a lesser extent, its even happening in older ‘quarter acre block’ suburbs with houses being bulldozed and replaced with two courtyard houses. In fact I was surprised recently to find this had happened to the house I lived in (and 4 or 5 others in the same street) before moving here 14 years ago. It wasn’t even that old, dating from the mid 1970s, I believe. While this is still low density by European standards, it is a start.

  32. I wrote a comment on this story on Adelaide Now pretty much asking them what their obsession was with Alexander Downer and then helpfully pointed out that, since he had a huge swing against him at the last election and that he was clearly the preferred Liberal leader in this poll, it actually doesn’t bode very well for the Liberal Party come the next election. I suspect this is people taking an opportunity to have a swipe and Rann and Co; in reality, they will vote Labor again (or at lease vote a third party/independent and preference back to Labor). The Liberal Party in SA is unelectable at the moment – with or without Alexander Downer at the helm. If they want to get serious about getting elected to Government then they need to get rid of Vicky Chapman. The thought of her as Health Minister is truly horrifying.

  33. I think the lesson for Rann to learn, if any, from the WA election is that governments, in order to stay in power beyond two terms, need to show imagination, connection with the community and competence. A basket-case Opposition was able to win minority government because in a complete vacuum of policy or ideas, it simply became a popularity contest between the two leaders and Carpenter had done a lot to alienate people. The interesting figure was actually the turnout – the additional 3% of people who didn’t bother to turn up, even though the informal rate held up. Of the ones who did vote, a huge number of Labor voters defected to the Greens in Labor’s safest seats – something even I admit I had predicted would never happen, as the Greens had failed to penetrate working class areas despite years of trying. High minor party vote, low turnout (86.5%), moderately high informal rate and neither party with a majority of seats suggests a level of utter disillusionment and disengagement with politics that Labor, even with its huge margin of votes and seats in SA, cannot afford to ignore.

  34. The WA election was an ideal set of circumstances for the Greens: an unpopular Labor government against a “basket case” Opposition means those disaffected with the former hesitate to shift to the latter, and park their votes with minor parties. The 1990 federal election was another example.

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