Newspoll: 56-44 to Labor in Victoria

The latest bi-monthly Newspoll survey of Victorian state voting intention has Labor maintaining its formidable 56-44 lead on two-party preferred. Labor and the Coalition are both up a point on the primary vote, Labor to 43 per cent and the Coalition to 35 per cent, with the Greens down two to 12 per cent. John Brumby’s approval rating is down two points to 46 per cent, while Ted Baillieu’s is up two to 35 per cent. Baillieu has also made up some ground on preferred premier, with Brumby’s lead narrowing from 54-21 to 51-24.

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.

178 comments on “Newspoll: 56-44 to Labor in Victoria”

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  1. Barking,

    The rule of thumb is Labor gets 80% of Greens preferences when directed and around 70% when the Greens run an open ticket.

  2. 21

    I think that the N-S pipeline is the reason that the ALP will lose Seymour. It is good that that silly scheme can`t legally pump water from the dry side to the wet side of the Great dividing range. Legislative Council forever. If only certain morons had not had it built in the first place.


    The desal plant is a silly idea. Water recycling, storm water and conservation are the answers.

  3. Tom,

    Can guarantee that both the NS pipeline and the de sal plant are winners for Labor.

    Just look at how the bay dredging has turned out. All the alarmists talking bulldust have been called.

  4. Forest Hill (1.7%) is in a cluster of marginal seats (Mitchim 1.9) these sorts of seats a vital for the Liberals bacially if they cannot pick them up then they have little to no hope of winning.

    The completion of the Springvale Road rail project which bascially is lowering the trainline below the road clearing one of Melbourne’s worst bottlenecks will be a big plus for the ALP, it will also make holding the corresponding federal seat of Deakin a little easier.

    If there can be some improvement to the performance of public transport and with the investment in local school building projects i would give the ALP a good chance of holding Forest Hill which in many ways shows what is wrong with the Liberals for this seat should be a safe Liberal seat and i suspect will return to being upon the election of the next Liberal Government.

  5. I don’t see the north-south pipeline as a vote winner but the Desalination plant is very are to oppose for its a project that could lead to the lifting of water restrictions.

  6. MB,

    The NW pipeline protest is a Liberal inspired political bulldust exercise. The Nats actually agree with it as do anyone involved with the process. Will be finsihed soon and everyone will wonder what the fuss was about.

    It’s an Age fed scandal which like the Bay channelling resonates only with the NIMBYs and inner suburban Greens.

  7. My sources tell me that on the ground there is very little heat on the Government coming from the North-South pipeline but still i feel the Governemnt may lose one or two country seats.

  8. Tom! the Desalination plant is an outstanding project that will acheive its objectives of allowing Victoria to start using that great untapped resource that we have surrounding Victoria.

    This country does not have a shortage of water, let me repeat that


  9. The impact of the N-S pipeline is hard to determine, but indications are that it won’t be the vote loser for Labor the Coalition hopes.

    Although it is a State issue, many of the Libs in the Federal seats impacted by the N-S pipeline ran heavily on it during the last Fed campaign. All of these seats – Murray, Indi, McEwen – swung TOWARDS Labor despite this, and all well above the average swing for both Victoria and regional areas.

    In one case I know of, an anti NS pipeline protest against Brumby, in one of these seats, consisted of a dozen people, few of whom were locals. When you spoke to them (as I did) it turned out they had very little understanding of the issue and were basically there because the local Nats said they needed some numbers.

    Another demonstration, which generated a lot of Melbourne media, consisted of a former Nat MP (Ballieu’s brother in law), his wife and a couple of friends on horseback.

    Although there is a lot of noise about the pipeline, it all seems to be generated by essentially the same handful of people. On the quiet, a lot of the businesses displaying anti pipeline signs and a lot of people giving the protest tacit support will tell you that they’re doing it to get these guys of their back, not because they themselves feel strongly on the issue.

    And most of the people who are against it were never going to vote Labor anyway.

  10. I recall one protestor getting arrested and the media made a lot of fuss but one thing that was not reported was that person and their family were strong Liberal Party supporters

  11. 59

    Extracting 3.5% salt from water takes a lot of energy. Piping the water to Melbourne also uses a lot of energy. It would be much more sensible to treat the water at the Carrum treatment plant to drinking standard and put it in the reservoirs. The Brumby government has a nutty water policy.

  12. Removing the salt and transporting the water uses energy.

    Yeah and medical equipment that saves lives run uses a large amount of energy.

  13. 63

    The medical equipment that saves lives is probably the most efficient way of doing it. The desal plant is a ludicrous waist as there are much more efficient ways of doing it. Permanent efficiency in water use is not a bad thing. Especially in a drying climate.

  14. Tom! If you have an unlimited resource and really i cannot see us using up all the worlds oceans and you don’t want to do this for it will use energy.

  15. [ Tom the first and best
    Posted Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Permalink


    Extracting 3.5% salt from water takes a lot of energy. Piping the water to Melbourne also uses a lot of energy. It would be much more sensible to treat the water at the Carrum treatment plant to drinking standard and put it in the reservoirs. The Brumby government has a nutty water policy.]

    There is nothing nutty about Brumbies water policy. The voter ( they are the things that mater if you want to form government by the way) will support the pipeline and the desalination before water recycling.

    The Greens can run on it, but it is not going to get them any votes.

  16. I never really understood what dredging of the Bay meant. Anyone?

    I can say from a Sydney perspective that any anger about the desal plant here dropped very quickly. I think it’s a genius idea; fresh water from the ocean, powered by energy from a wind farm.Brilliant.

  17. [I never really understood what dredging of the Bay meant. Anyone?]

    We needed a deeper shipping channel for larger more efficient ships ( reduce carbon emissions, you know that sort of stuff). So they brought in the dredges and stuff to do the job. Stirred up a bit of mud, guess what, it settled again, like it required real deep thought to work out that was going to happen.

    The normal suspects ( the ones that should support more efficient transport) and the Liberal party ( the party that is supposed to support the long term sustainability of our port) opposed it. Brumby did a Henry Bolte and just ignored the lot of them.

    Jobs finished, net effect on the bay, about zero, well not quite, the tidal range has increased by about 1cm.

  18. [If those morons continue to retain Ballieu, they deserve to get flogged.]

    I always love reading the toxic comments that ooze out of rusted Liberals when it comes to leadership issues.

  19. The opponents of the n/s pipeline are misguided Liberals and Greens who seek a political advantage from opposing it.
    The irrigators are solid in support of it, for it will result in them having one othe the most efficient and water saving system in the world.
    The suppliers, Rubican Systems, are exporting this system to the U S A and China, a real success story for australian industry.
    The few Lib and Green opponents are making as much noise as possible. A lot of noise but very little light or reason.
    The average voter is unaware of what a great project this is, but when it is completed it will be recognized for it water saving, and the fine engineering feat it is.
    This project will be a vote winner for Labor in all seats in north east Victoria.
    The DLP is a strong supporter of this pipeline project.

  20. goanna,

    Well said. Brumby just ignores the naysayers and gets on with the job. That’s probably why Labor is so popular here in Victoria.

  21. G G,
    I just cant understand the Lib and Green attitude or tactics re the whole pipeline project.
    They are setting themselves up for a massive loss of credability when the project is completed and is the resounding success it is bound to be.
    Lack of credability = lack of votes= lack of seats
    I see a loss of support for the Greens in particular in the whole north easter sector in the Upper House.
    This includes all the fire affected area where the Greens are being blamed by many for the failure to burn off sides of the road, which resulted in more fuel for the fires.
    What is yr opinion on the effect of the fires on votes?
    For Greens or other parties to?

  22. This election will be harder and a few seats will go down but overall, Labor will stay in power. I don’t get the harp about the public transport- the government has delivered a plan, it is extending lines, getting more trains, trams and buses- all up against a massive increase in usage, and some dimwit that privatised the whole damn thing- remember. The water supplies will be improved, as are the schools (thanks to the fed chip in) so everyone will go why change.
    I hear Kirtsy Marshall has been out on the hustings and doing a reasonably good job, so I think retain. I think Fran Bailey will retire so that will be a seat labor should be able to pick up. I also thing Fentree gully. There will be a few country loses- especially of Mudler takes the reigns

  23. Failure to clear timber from roadsides was more a problem because of burning trees falling and cutting off roads that were critical escape routes.

  24. Ýes Fran may lose McEwen but when the AEC do the next redistribution they may continue the past practice of removing city booths which may see the seat go back towards the Liberal Party.

  25. 75

    No new trains or trams were ordered under Bracks that were not already in the pipeline under the Kennet privatisation. They also allowed most of the still safe and serviceable Hitachi trains to be scrapped. The Bracks government also re-privatised the system when the Kennet privatisation fell apart. The Bracks government did not add very much to the metropolitan rail network. Frequencies should also be increased especially outside peak hour. Their changes have improved the bus and regional rail systems substantially on previously (except the singlification of part of the Bendigo line.

    Fran Bailey is federal. Agree that the ALP will stay.

  26. goanna,

    There are a lot of angry people in bushy areas regarding restrictions on clearing and burning off. Rightly or wrongly a lot of this anger is directed at “Greenies”. Brumby has just announced people can do more clearing without permits etc on their own land to head this off as a negative for the Government.

    Tom’s also right about Kavanagh rejecting the regs surrounding the NW pipeline. Have no idea why. That and the decison to support the no confidence motion against Justin Madden were quite peculiar.

    have no idea why the Libs are so pathetic. I just hope they keep doing what they are doing.

  27. 72

    The Green candidate for Melbourne has not been announced. His sources may be wrong. If Rose Iser has not won then it might be because she is City of Moonee Valley councillor and activist and not much of Moonee Valley is in the seat of Melbourne. Brian Walters has been involved in the Greens, environmental activism and civil liberties campaigns for a long time and this would be a major reason for the support he gets.

  28. Another Labor opinion poll victory hardly seems worth commenting on, but I can’t resist. Despite some imperfections, the Victorian Labor Government has done a good job over the past ten years, and the public sees it in infrastructure and services, while the Liberals and their supporters have shown a determined inability to understand what has happened, do not do the work necessary for Oppositions and thus keep trying failed tactics election after election. If you really want to know how out of touch some of their supporters are, go to:

    I can’t see Labor picking up any seats in 2010, but it looks like it will win with a majority solid enough to be difficult to remove in 2014. We are certainly looking at 25 years of Labor government and only 7 of Liberal government in the 32 years following Labor’s return from the wilderness in 1982. We may even be looking at a 29-7 (or 81 per cent to 19 per cent) split in the 1982-2018 period, which really ought to be enough for the Liberals to wakey, wakey.

  29. 82

    I as the ALP government gets older the Greens will get a higher proportion of the vote and start taking seats. I think that Tasmanian levels of Green vote are possible at the election after next. As the Coalition continue to gradually reduce the ALP majority minority government becomes a significantly higher possibility at the election after next.

  30. gg, I believe Kavanagh just wanted more informatio to be provided, and was against rushing it through.
    I have no doubt it will be passed.
    Not sure about the Madden vote but, maybe the decision by Madden to support the free abortion vote is also part of the reason.

  31. I would not be underestimating the Liberals. Personally i think they have a very good chance of winning. Brumby is not as well liked as Bracks. People do not focus on ththings until the election and i think next year will be a bad year for Labor. People should not be so sure about a Labor victory doing so will be seen as being arrogant.
    The pipeline is an issue, for rural voters and may become an issue if no water runs down it. When people see the amount of money spent and possibly wasted. The bay is a different issue and basically was supported by business and they contributed to it. They may see benefits. The pipeline was not something business badly needed.
    More strong winds, last year strong winds in Melbourne on day in April which brought havoc, this year the hottest day ever and just last week the hottest night ever in August. Is it me or is the weather changing dramatically… Climate change maybe starting to have an affect. Only a matter of time when governments will be spending more money on emergencies than on health and education.

  32. tom u r dreaming.
    Yiu continue to talk up the Greens, and state they will start to take seats.
    Not in my lifetime, or anyone else’s.
    They will continue to be a nuiscence vote as they are now.
    also on the on the n/s Pipeline vote, i see that Labor will reintroduce the Bill unchanged in the next 2 weeks.
    That Bill will pass with the support of the DLP.
    As a result the powers that b in the ALP will see the need to have a DLP presence in the Pariiment to counter the radical Greens, if we are to have progress in Victoria.
    A smart ALP would want both parties in the Upper House to give them flexability to pass various measure in the future

  33. [marky marky
    Posted Friday, August 21, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    The pipeline is an issue, for rural voters and may become an issue if no water runs down it. ]

    You have got to be kidding. You may not see it in the city, but the rural voters see the money being spent converting open channels to pipes. As for the water not flowing in the N/W pipeline. Greens and Liberals will get the blame for that ( and because I read poll bludger I will add the DLP).

  34. 86

    The Greens are in with a serious chance at the next election in Melbourne (margin of around 2%), Brunswick and Richmond (margins around 4%). The Greens vote is up since the election.

    The 19 ALP MLCs plus the DLP MLC equals 20.

    The 17 Coalition MLCs plus the Greens equal 20.

    The ALP do not appoint the Legislative Council so the ALP`s choice between the DLP and the Greens would only be relevant if the ALP`s vote is distributed and the DLP is still in the race. The DLP probably won`t get the micro party preferences in such large numbers as last time.


    The money could be spent on the pipes anyway and was being well before the government decided on this silly scheme. The only rural seat that the North South pipeline will effect is Seymour. It will reduce the ALP`s chance of winning if there is a backlash.

  35. the nsouth pipeline is seperate to the other pipelines, and was part of a scheme for irrigators in g valley.
    There will be no backlash in Seymour or anywhere else/
    The only backlash will b in yr dreams

  36. 89

    I think that there will be people who voted ALP last time in Seymour annoyed at the N-S pipeline. Large parts of the electorate are in the catchment of the reservoir that the pipeline is planned to take water from. The irrigators have zero water allocations.

  37. Interesting to note (going to the Newspoll site) that the driver in the fall of the Coalition vote is in fact a collapse of the Nats.

    The lead in to this thread is wrong: the Coalition primary is in fact 37% – 35 Libs and 2 Nats, down from the last election where the Libs were 35 and the Nats 5.

    Newspoll since charts a steady decline in the Nat primary.

    This suggests that their decision to re -coalesce has not been good for them on any level – they’ve not only lost their independent party status (and the perks which went with it) but they’ve also lost credibility in the bush.

  38. If I was making decisions in the Vic ALP I would preference the DLP ahead of the Greens in the upper house without hesitation. I don’t like their policies on sexual matters, but there’s not much left to legislate in that area, and Mr Confirmed Bachelor Kavanagh has to be a bit careful on that anyway. But on most social and economic policies the DLP is a labour party, albeit an old-fashioned one. The Greens by contrast are an upper-middle-class extreme-left party, who are right on some environmental issues but wrong about almost everything else. They can’t be kept out of the Leg Council, but balancing them with the DLP greatly increases the ALP’s room for manoeuvre.

  39. 93

    The DLP gets a very small vote and there may not be enough micro party vote to get them to a ahead of the ALP surplus.

  40. Well, it looks like there’s a split looming in the new DLP, something the Democrats’ experience should shout means the END for small parties. Michael Bachelard’s labelling of the current DLP and Right to Life as “far right” is idiotic, so we can question his judgment throughout the article, but if the facts claimed in the article are true, it will be interesting, except he fails to even mention the role of the NCC in any of it.

    See Michael Bachelard, “Turning hard right: the battle for Right to Life”, The Sunday Age, August 23, 2009.

  41. surprise surprise?
    The DLP and Right to Life actually got a write up on a major Sunday newspaper in Australia.?
    Why am I not surprises the article is negative to both of their futures?
    I am to shocked to comment in detail, i will do that later

  42. That’s an unfair comment, GG. You can’t slag the Greens for being hairy ferals, and then slag them for being yuppies when they find a candidate outside the feral stereotype. The Liberals and the Murdoch press do this to Labor all the time – if we run working-class candidates we are union thugs, and if we don’t we are latte leftists, so we can’t win whatever we do.

  43. He is also a long time activist for the environment and civil liberties. The Greens and their voters tend to like both the environment and civil liberties very much.

  44. Psephos,

    Old, rich, white, male, millionaire lawyers for candidates. What a refreshing change! He could be the Greens Malcolm Turnbull.

    I’m just interested in how the activists are going to react now that the Greens are introducing a no feral candidate policy. If they’re out to snare disaffected Liberals, the question is what do they do with them once they get them.

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