Sunday Mail: Labor “holding firm” in SA marginals

Adelaide’s Sunday Mail newspaper has conducted a poll of 1600 voters across the state seats of Mawson, Adelaide and Light, which shows much more encouraging results for Labor than recent surveys from Newspoll and The Advertiser. Labor is reportedly set to increase its 2.2 per cent margin in Mawson to 6 per cent and its 2.4 per cent margin in Light to 5 per cent, while in Adelaide its margin is set to be cut only from 10.2 per cent to 9 per cent.

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.

92 comments on “Sunday Mail: Labor “holding firm” in SA marginals”

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  1. Going from what the article says, it was conducted after the leadership speculation. It’s probably the fact that it never went further than rumours, and was just perpetuated by The Advertiser who turned on Rann Labor after Iain Evans was dumped as Liberal leader. It didn’t even build up to MHS’ challenge that never was, failing to gain a challenge backer to oust Rob Kerin, prior to the 2006 election.

    Labor isn’t anywhere near dead yet in SA.

    I was reading an Advertiser article a few months ago saying that whilst there had been a massive swing against Labor in country areas (where much of the Liberal vote is), the metro areas registered quite low swings, the main reason being the consolidation of regional health services. Considering Labor got 56.8% of the 2pp in SA in 2006, there’s quite a buffer there for them.

    When you look at MHS and his team, there’s barely any substance there, and MHS isn’t even bringing his own supporters with him. The latest statewide Newspoll may be 50-50, but the Preferred Premier rating is 48-30 Rann’s way. Quite pathetic on MHS’ part really. I know quite a few Liberal supporters who hate MHS and say he’ll never amount to anything.

    And once election time comes, people just need to be reminded of the SA Liberals in power. They are unable to govern themselves, let alone the state. The moderate and the conservative factions rip themselves apart trying to climb their internal heirarchy. People want stability, not a party more concerned about themselves than getting on with the job of government. Mike Rann has provided that stability. The people that call him Media Mike are the same as those who yell KRudd. Nobody cares about silly name calling, but I spose there’s not much else for rusted Liberals to do when there’s no credible criticism when one compares to previous Liberal governments.

  2. [The Sunday Mail polling also showed first-preference voting for the Greens reaching a high of 12 per cent in Adelaide – 17 per cent among women.

    The Greens and Family First both polled at 8 per cent in Mawson, and 6 per cent in Light.]

    Family First? Are you joking?

    See what happens with dodgy preference deals. They don’t even get half a quota, but once represented they can build up their media profile – the only thing they seem to care about.

  3. bob #2 – you’re right, Labor aren’t dead yet in SA. And the main reason they aren’t is because SA Libs are still a basket case. A lot of people, including myself, are very frustrated with Rann during his current term, but the populist alternative isn’t much better at the moment. I can see a lot of people voting Independent.

  4. bob1234, i never believed the earlier polls, they were against everything i’d seen and heard on the street, the Advertiser is usually a worse lib cheerleader than the OO, they’ve been doing MHS’s work for him, though he hasnt helped them much with his pie in the sky schemes, remember his first day in parliament as leader? they were going to file in and say and do nothing as a stunt untill someone leaked and it fell flat lol, what the hell did they think to gain by wasting a day of parliament by just sitting there mute? Mr.X got away with a lot because he was an independant and his stunts were humourous, you cant say that of MHS’s populist ideas.

  5. Judith Barnes, that guff sounds an awful lot like what Liberal Party supporters were saying about the polls and Kevin Rudd last year federally.

  6. ltep, Rudd jumped above Howard on Preferred PM and on primary/two party voting almost immediately after becoming leader? Why? Because he’s charismatic and people were sick and tired of the Libs, their policies were part of the reason for being voted out.

    As opposed to polling for MHS which even after all this time, trails Rann by 18% on Preferred Premier.

    injuddstree – why are you frustrated with Rann? If it’s WorkCover, the Libs would only go further in cutting it back, that issue will only give votes to the Greens. Excuse the skepticism in me but if you’re just here to say I hate Rann and I want him gone without giving a reason, you are a natural Lib voter.

  7. I agree bob1234, I said the Liberals were talking about the polls and Kevin Rudd in that way, not myself.

    “Excuse the skepticism in me but if you’re just here to say I hate Rann and I want him gone without giving a reason, you are a natural Lib voter.”

    That’s exactly the kind of arrogance that gets governments kicked out.

  8. Judith, when there’s not much to criticise the government over, you fall back on stunts. It’s all you’ve got. The other option is to sleep in until question time, sit there like a stunned mullet, and slack off for the rest of the day.

  9. ltep – “That’s exactly the kind of arrogance that gets governments kicked out.”

    Yes, but i’m not the government. I am me.

    That’s the one thing I note about Rann. Even Rudd gets more policy criticism than Rann. Everyone who slags Rann just calls him stuff like Media Mike and has hated him from the beginning.

    The exception to that are traditionally Labor and/or left voters who hate Rann’s cutbacks on WorkCover, but who’ll just preference the Greens first because the Libs would take it further.

  10. [You’d be very silly to read in to any minor party vote from The Advertiser polling.]

    Polling was from the Sunday Mail.

    Dunno if that makes it more or less accurate.

  11. Ltep, you might fancy it guff but i think most South Australians here would agree with me, Rann might not be the be all and end all but he’s immensly popular and he does get things done, you forget Howard was already on the nose and before Rudd Beasley was snapping at Howards heels, somehow i get the feeling you are extremely disappointed with this poll, you seem to be very negative accepting whenever theres a good poll for labor, is there a problem there?

  12. No Judith, I prefer Labor to Liberal markedly as ‘brands’.

    This is the type of guff I object to:

    “bob1234, i never believed the earlier polls, they were against everything i’d seen and heard on the street,”

    You seek to disqualify polling by ‘everything I’d seen and heard on the street’. This is exactly the type of nonsense the Liberals were trotting out before the last federal election.

  13. ltep, one big difference. Howard was on the nose prior to Rudd. He hadn’t won a Newspoll for the 5 months prior to Rudd on the two-party vote.

    In Howard’s last term, the average joe had a reason to hate him, but one example being WorkChoices.

    Rann doesn’t.

  14. The general feeling I get is that nobody is taking this leadership speculation the slightest bit seriously.

    Why? Because I imagine the general public knows it is rubbish. Rann is Premier. Rann has always been premier. Rann will always be premier. Foley is some twit who swears a lot but hey, he’s managed the economy pretty well so we’ll give him a break.

    These tensions are, despite what the Advertiser is saying, currently a non issue. The problem Labor has is that it is 500 days until the next election. Problems arise if there is leadership speculation this time next year, because that’s when the public will start to care about local politics again. All depends on whether labor MP’s sit down and shut up or not.

    Here’s my question though… what happened to the Big Proposed Reform from Rann to abolish the Legislative Council? Has he realised that it is wildly unpopular with, well, everyone except the tiser and consequently pretend he never came up with the idea and has no idea what people are talking about?

    If he wants to try to sell the idea he’d want to get started pretty bloody soon.

    bob – I guarantee you for every Liberal voter you find who doesn’t like MHS I can find you a rusted Labor voter who doesn’t like Rann. I know a few who absolutely despise him. Whether of course that amounts to them switching votes remains to be seen. I myself am sceptical of MHS because he quite simply hasn’t said yet how he is paying for all these ideas. But hey, it isn’t an election year yet.

  15. actually ltep I was challenged many times during the last fed election re the veracity of my comments.I was talking to people in pubs at shops even work, so the validity or otherwise is always going to be subjective.

    also my wife was also challenged after being sacked the day worstchoices came in.many a fib tool challenged her statements until the weight of others experiencing similair treatment came to i guess the proof is in the puddin

  16. Yes but Liberal Party supporters genuinely didn’t believe WorkChoices was a reason for the ‘average joe’ to hate Howard (somehow). Party hacks rarely can see why the public doesn’t love their leader and party of choice.

    All political parties have their time, whether it seems fair to the supporters or not. I’d still say Labor would have to be firm favourites to win in 2010, but as always the series of polling up to then will be illuminating. Yes, that’s polling rather than the impression some individual gets ‘from the people on the streets’.

  17. ltep
    I was responding to your @15
    “You seek to disqualify polling by ‘everything I’d seen and heard on the street’. This is exactly the type of nonsense the Liberals were trotting out before the last federal election.”

    so of us report what we honestly see/hear

  18. ltep, perhaps, but it comes down to this. The poll says that in 2 seats, Labor’s 2pp vote is up from 2006, and in one it is down 1% to 59%. This relates to the article I read a few months ago stating the swings were in the country areas due to the consolidation of regional health services.

    So when the metro vote is more or less stagnant, it is reasonable to assume that out on the metropolitan street where the seats are to be won, there is no increased level of anger toward the government as opposed to the days before MHS.

    And so what if the Libs didn’t believe people were getting sick of the Howard Libs? The polls were there to show it.

    Rann 48% to 30% MHS on Preferred Premier, and a negligable move in metro seats from the 2006 election.

    Only a rusted Lib would ignore that.

  19. Max – perhaps, but just remember, the last (statewide, including country areas, see above post) Newspoll had the 2PP at 50-50 with Rann on 48% Preferred Premier to 30% for MHS.

    In the metro seats, Labor’s 2006 vote is holding up.

  20. ummm Ltep, that quote was mine not bob’s, you obviously have no idea what the Advertiser is like, it is by far worse than the OO, OZ, yes this poll is a Sunday Mail poll and it would make it more genuine than any Advertiser poll, the Advertiser and the Sunday Mail have completely different editors and each do their own thing, the Advertiser ran a virulent spiteful campaign to destroy Nicole Cornes at the last federal election, none of it was fact, they showed a picture of her in tears as she spoke about her court case against a paedaphile who assaulted her as a very young child, they captioned it as her crying because she couldnt answer political questions, we in labor lost a savvy young mother who had owned her own small business and had worked hard for a law degree to a lib who is never seen in his electerate, they set out to destry Nicole by ridiculing her and they succeeded, my journo pal left the Advertiser when the current editor took over and hasnt looked back, most here take the Advertiser with a very large pinch of salt, theirs is the only polls showing MHS within cooie of labor, by the way their regular weekly columnists are Dolly Downer and his ex chief of staff Chris Kenny, that says it all.

  21. bob #9 – Woah, woah, settle down. I’ve voted at 3 state and 3 federal elections and voted Labor in all 6. I would call myself a Labor man, but not to the point that I blindly vote for them just because I always have. I am frustrated with the “good news Rann” aspect, as well as his refusal to deal with the current education and teacher issues in this state. I’m not saying I won’t vote for him, I’m saying I’m frustrated, and would consider voting for a suitable Independent if I don’t see some improvement in the next 12 months.

  22. [they showed a picture of her in tears as she spoke about her court case against a paedaphile who assaulted her as a very young child, they captioned it as her crying because she couldnt answer political questions]

    Wow, that’s pathetic.

    The media in this country needs a shake up.

  23. injuddstree – thankyou for validating my point!

    “I am frustrated with the “good news Rann” aspect, as well as his refusal to deal with the current education and teacher issues in this state.”

    Media Mike/Good news Rann is just an insult without any policy criticism to go with it, and education/teacher issues, like WorkCover cutbacks, are both issues that do not play in to the Liberals hands, and will see votes go to the Greens/inds and back to Labor in preferences.

    I am still awaiting to see valid policy criticism of Rann Labor that plays in to the Liberals hands.

  24. bob1234 I don’t get what your point is. I was merely objecting to Judith Barnes trying to dismiss earlier polling by saying that she didn’t believe it because of what she’d been hearing on ‘the streets’.

    On your point in regard to preferred Premier… Carpenter was preferred to Barnett and Keating was preferred to Howard.

    Judith Barnes, weren’t the Advertiser polls pretty accurate in the last federal election? Are you saying the Advertiser rigs its polls?

  25. Perhaps it’s true, because on ‘the streets’, ie: metro Adelaide, the vote is still relatively unchanged from 2006 where Labor gained 56.8% 2pp statewide.

  26. its true OZ any South Australian can verify it, injuddstree, are you saying that the government should give way to the demands of the teachers union, they have made more than a fair offer, the union wants a 25% increase with a raft of other demands, the government has offered them a 12 1/2% increase which brings most of them up to the $65-70,000 plus bracket, the teachers union right now is run by a very militant young woman who seems to be pushing for confrontations, the state can only afford so much, if they give the teachers union everything they ask for then next there’ll be the ambos and the police etc with unsustainable demands, theres only so much money in the kitty.

  27. Ltep, i wouldnt put it past the Advertiser to rig it’s polls, they’re not very honest about most other things–as the Nicole story tells you, i know quite a bit about the Advertiser’s workings being told by a few Adelaide journos.

  28. Judith Barnes, didn’t the Advertiser polls get quite close in the last federal election? Weren’t they also fairly close in the last state election?

  29. Actually having a look at the polls for the federal election myself, the Advertiser polls actually were very close, although they very slightly overestimated Labor’s support in Sturt and Boothby and to a greater degree Adelaide:

    Judith, do you still doubt the Advertiser’s ability to poll and present its polls ethically?

  30. bob

    Rann and Hill cannot run the health system. That plays into the Liberals hands. Although Chapman would be worse so maybe not. Rann is a policy vacuum. I’m a rusted on Labor supporter and I can’t bring myself to vote for Rann at the next election. I have enough trouble turning up to work at the hospital each day knowing I’m covering up for Hill’s appalling mismanagement of health.

    And he’s still at it.

    PS I’m not the doctor in the article but we work together and his views are shared by many.

    Doctors threaten to quit over surgery outsourcing,,24583273-5006301,00.html

  31. My few bobs worth on these issues:

    1. I agree that the Rann-Foley thing is a non-issue. Just the Advertiser s**t stirring. Mike Rann deserves (and has) the support of athe vast majority of the party faithful.

    2. I think the Rann government is full of good ideas, but the danger is they need to move them quickly enough to convince people they can deliver.

    3. If the Liberals can’t win back Light or Mawson at the next election, they may as well not bother turning up – although I suspect they will win them when all is done and dusted. The Seaford rail extension could be quite a strong votewinner for labor however.

    4. The Advertiser has done a reasonable job in the past with its opinion polls (As LTEP points out in #35), although generally did tend to overestimate the labor vote. Another example of this would be their Hindmarsh poll which was 60-40 – the actual result was more like 55-45.

    5. As I’ve said before I’m not quite sure why MHS thinks opposing the building of a hospital is going to be a votewinner when the alternative renovation of the Royal Adelaide Hospital would take the best part of a decade. Am I the only one that thinks this is really not going to stand up to scrutiny in an election campaign ???

  32. sykesie

    There are already plans drawn up to renovate the RAH. MHS has them (he got them using FOI). It will take less time to renovate on site than build a new hospital, and it will be cheaper, and it won’t have the frigging disgraceful name Rann has foisted on SA. Of course, the new hospital would be a better facility than a rebuilt one.

    MHS wants to build a sports stadium at the New Hospital site (I can’t bring myself to use its’ name). The Tiser is clearly backing him on that. Personally, I hate Football Park and think it would be great to have a decent city stadium. It would liven up Adelaide and we really need that.

  33. Where are these documents? Why have they not made more of a fuss? Should they not be on the Liberals website? I doubt very much it will cost less and take less TIME to rebuilt the RAH, instead of a new hospital.

    Happy to be proven wrong.

  34. Doigenes, i would rather be treated in a state of the art hospital than the old RAH, c’mon you know the constant renovations have been going on there non stop for years and its still no better, with the site chosen for the new hospital you will be able to reach it by tram, train, bus {they’ll all stop out the front} and there’ll be modern parking underneath, also a helicoptor pad on the roof, sorry this has taken so long to answer but you know whats been going on in my life this week and everyone has wanted to get in touch about the interview i did with the Sunday Mail today so theres been a constant stream of people coming through, i wasnt avoiding the issue, the forensic cops are coming out to do DNA tests in the morning and then maybe things will quieten down, for now i’m brain dead, i’ll take this up tomorrow, by the way thanks for the tip for my daughter, she’s a lot better and is shifting to Perth to get away from it all.

  35. Diogenes – I find it very hard to believe that a complete renovation of the RAH would take less time than the building of the new hospital. Firstly there is the small matter of patients being in the way (pesky blighters), and being a hotchpotch of old buildings one suspects there might be the small problem of asbestos to overcome as well. Plus if you build a new hospital – you end up with just that – a new hospital. The public of SA definitely want it. Most of the debate I hear seems to be about the name – but its just a name – who really cares. I’d have preferred the Howard Florey hospital, but if we get a new hospital I’ll be perfectly happy.

  36. Scott

    The documents were just the drawings for Stage 4 and 5 of the redevelopment (stage 3 is finishing now). They were public documents and MHS only had to ask for them and he would have been given them. Dunno why he chose to FOI them. He has done a tour of the RAH with Vicki Chapman to work out what they meant. Basically, they involve knocking down the Resi Wing and building the “new” hospital out off the North Wing and old car park. It would take about 5 years to do.


    I agree that for access the MJN site is much better, and that a new hospital would be much better than a rebuilt RAH. I’m glad to hear your daughter is a lot better. Make sure she sees a good gastroenterologist in Perth. Lasering on a regular basis helps a lot.


    The revamp plan sends the “R” ward patients to the East Wing for a few months. The “Q” and “S” ward patients can stay put. It sounded pretty messy to me but they claim it’s doable. The Health Dept have ridiculous plans for the MJN with dividing patients up into “pods” and “villages”. It’s all pie-in-the-sky crap. Every bit of consultation they have had has told them it will be a disastrous white elephant that can’t function properly. They don’t care. They’ll be gone when it starts running.

  37. Diogenes

    What are your thoughts on shared services. Kevin Foley’s idea to save millions. Does it affect you? I worked in the PS for over 40 years and think it is an absolutely stupid idea.

  38. enjaybee

    The history of PPPs in the NHS is that the private operators are much smarter than the public ones and fleece them for every cent they can get. The Health Department is so incompetent that I shudder to think what deals they will sign. It’s all bad. It doesn’t affect me unless they pursue this wacky “send in private contractor/doctors” debacle they seem to have fallen for recently. If that was the case, I’d just leave the public system.

  39. Diogenes

    I have not been involved in health PPPs but have reviewed several in transport and your words sound depressingly familiar. Most PPPs make money for the private financier (of course – otherwise they wouldn’t do the deal!) but leave the taxpayer worse off, irrespective of debates about the quality of the service. Of 7 PPP deals I reviewed in transport, NONE saved teh taxpayer money, but two went ahead anyway. One basically enabled the PPP financier to save the State money by ripping the Comonwealth off for tax revenue, while the other just hid debt for the State.

    Internationally the time PPPs save teh State money is if they are used as a way of acheving IR reform (i.e. lower wages) by stealth. I have seen virtually no evidence they have saved money in any field of public service in Australia. The NAO did a review of the outsourcing of IT and building rental in Canberra a few years ago and both programs had failed – taxpayes were worse off.

  40. Diogenes

    I think you have mistaken PPPs for shared services. The shared services department or whatever they call it will be doing pays, paying accounts, etc for all government departments. It was one of the recommendations of the Gosse review of the public service to reduce administrative costs.

  41. enjaybee

    Oh yeah! They’ve already started doing that. It’s crap, of course. It centralises all the bureaucrats who become even less responsive to their “constituents” than before if that’s possible. There is no loyalty to an institution, it’s all Dear Leader stuff. Their job satisfaction is worse than before.

  42. Diogenes

    Your not the first from one of our health institutions to have those thoughts. I’ve a mate in another who thinks exactly the same.

  43. Shared Services is an absolute joke.

    The ALP in WA wasted so much time and money on the idea with such terrible outcomes, there should be a public inquiry.

    The WA Libs are rightly scrapping it, regardless of the act there is a massive refurbished and half filled building and many agencies “transitioned” to the service already.

    Even if the Lib saw it as a chance to outsource IT and accunting services, no one would tender for the contract.

    Just think for a minute about what it was like for the govt workers too.

    Imagine being a disability services govt worker having to explain to some bean counter who isn’t from your govt agency why you should have been paid the “foul linen allowance” on a night shift you worked three weeks ago and being told you have to go online and fill in some downloadable form or something.

  44. Hi All..

    Otherwise engaged for quite some time. I ran away from home, because of my ghastly neighbour, not the owner of Rebel, to the home of a person who would like me to be…….

    This kind of partner then had a prostate cancer positive (or is that negative?) diagnosis, we spent quite a while working out as best we could, the options, eventually resulting in choosing robotic surgery, by happen chance, (heaps expensive) unavailable in a timely fashion in Adelaide, (albeit same heaps expensive), so we tripped to Melbourne, would have loved BB to catch up with you, but the time was not right.

    Judy B, courageous you are yet again, your direct challenge to the murderer/s as outlined in the Advertiser this weekend. Not at all sure that the Rann money is enough, yet let us hope that it it may break the wall of silence.

    May work, as the perpetrators all get older and perhaps someone, with nothing else much to lose, and some dirt money to gain, may break ranks.

    With you, Judy.

  45. crikey whitey, thanks mate for the thumbs up, i’ve been hiding out from the media all week, i dunno what part of no they dont understand,i only give interviews when the police want me to, poor dears had to run old footage of me, the Sunday Mail article was different, Nigel is a close pal who could have written it without my input if he wanted and still be accurate, we’re managing here by taking it one day at a time, whatever happens happens, you can see by the time of this blog it’s another night without sleep, however we’re tough and this too will pass, we’ll be fine, DNA wasnt known when the boys died so they’re running tests now, they need it from us to prove the labled samples they saved from Alan are really his, after that things should quieten down for a while.

    Diogenes, she’s doing all the right things, she still needs the occasional transfusion but not as often, much as i’ll miss her it’s better for her to get away to a stress free envirement, if things blow up here again it would knock her for a six, she’s lived it since she was 12 years old, the others handle things a lot better than she does.

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