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. Parties allocate preferences for two reasons: to Promote ideologically likeminded parties and to maximize their chances of being elected. Micro-parties like the CEC and socialist alliance, know they can’t be elected and so allocate preferences purely on ideological grounds. Pragmatic (read: unprincipled) parties focus mostly on getting elected. Other parties consider and weigh up both. I suspect that the ALP preferences to FF were certainly for maximizing chances of election and if a Rightist in the ALP had control (most likely) then also ideological issues might have come into play. Fielding has been bad for the country and in retrospect it has also been bad for the ALP. I don’t really care about this much to be honest, it’s not as though they lied in a preference deal – just the ALP’s true nature being even more exposed. I’d prefer the Greens went with open tickets, the ALP rarely does anything deserving of preferences.

    GG – yet more repetitive whining. Come back when you have something to say.

  2. [ I suspect that the ALP preferences to FF were certainly for maximizing chances of election and if a Rightist in the ALP had control (most likely) then also ideological issues might have come into play. ]

    For about the 50th time, the ALP-FF preference deal was negotiated by the then state secretary, Eric Locke, a card-carrying member of the Socialist Left. It had absolutely nothing to do with ideology. It was all about winning three ALP Senate seats.

  3. HM

    1. Noone doubts that FF was preferenced in order to maximise the chance of a third ALP senator being elected, so you don’t need to go around suspecting anything, it’s a fair cop.

    2. I don’t agree that ‘pragmatic’ equals ‘unprincipled’. I would argue (and in fact, I do, so there) that if you really really believe that (for example) only your party can save the world from the threat of global warming, it is in fact unprincipled of you to not take every reasonable measure to get your party into power.

    If you are putting your principles ahead of the actions necessary to win power in this scenario, you are simply putting your selfish need to feel superior to others over the future of the world.

    Less dramatically, if you felt that JWH needed to be removed to make Australia a better place, then the principled stance is to take all reasonable action you can to do this.

    Principles don’t get much done by themselves.

    3. What do the Greens do, which makes them deserving? This whole series of rants started on the thinly disguised premise that rightfully the preferences which went to elect FF and the DLP should have gone to the Greens – make no mistake, it’s not principle here, it’s pique.

    When Victorian Labor (and a SA ring in mightn’t know these things, but that’s what this thread is about) achieved one of the environmental lobby’s long term goals of removing cattle from the High Plains, losing at least two seats as a direct consequence, the Greens were nowhere to be heard. Not one Green parliamentarian went on the record to thank the Victorian government, to protect it from the various attacks made by conservative politicians (both State and Federal) or to argue the case in public.

    When Victorian Labor has championed wind farms, the only Green voices have been voices of dissent.

    The Greens are very happy to attack governments for what they don’t do, but they’re missing in action when it comes to supporting governments for what they do do.

  4. 153

    Before the 2006 election there were no Victorian Green Parliamentarians state or Commonwealth. No one the media was willing to go on most issues. The Greens should come out in support of good measures (what they define as good measures not what the ALP does).

  5. Tom,

    With a bit of common sense and luck I reckon the situation can be restored after the next election.

    Labor will continue to come out with good measures that are supported by the electorate and are in the best interest of all Victorians. The Greens can oppose Labor at their peril.

  6. psephos, Zoomster
    I might not have made my position entirely clear, though I have in the past. I don’t really care about this topic, it is discussed too much. You are correct, the Greens are not automatically entitled to ALP preferences, and vice versa.

  7. HM ‘discussed too much’ does read like code for ‘I can’t get people to agree with me”!


    1. Bob Brown has had no hesitation commenting on affairs in other States when it suited him. It didn’t suit him – or other Greens – to support the Victorian government, so they didn’t.

    2. You don’t have to wait for the media to come to you. You can go to them. If the worst comes to the worst, you can write a letter to the editor. Bob Brown, for that matter, could have got up in Parliament and spoken on the issue (mountain cattleman).

    Given that there were media stunts by the Libs in Canberra on the issue, and it was being made very much a Federal issue, he had plenty of opportunities.

    3. So windfarms are not good measures? Removing cattle from the High Plains wasn’t?

    4. Earlier this year, the Victorian government created four new National parks along the Murray, to protect the river red gums. This was preceeded by a couple of years of grandstanding by local Libs/Nats, trying to prevent the Parks. Again, no Green voice (that I ever heard) was out in public arguing the case.

    You can’t tell me that Bob Brown or Christine Milne playing a flying visit to these parks wouldn’t have made the news.

    The Greens are perfectly happy to make grave pronouncements about governments not doing enough environmentally, secure in the knowledge that (i) however far a government’s gone, it could always have gone further; (ii) they’re not going to alienate anyone by government bashing.

    They are consistently missing in action when it comes to supporting/defending a government’s decisions on environmental issues because they know that doing so will upset someone and they don’t want anyone to be upset with them.

    This kind of populism would be severely criticised if one of the majors went missing on a core issue. It doesn’t seem to bother Green supporters, who don’t seem to expect any better of themselves or their representatives.

    Yes, I do take this very personally. Too many times I have been the only voice locally speaking up on environmental issues — only to have local Greens turn around and attack me later for not being ‘pure’ enough. I’ve been willing to put my reputation on the line to defend environmental issues, they haven’t.

  8. At great expense to management, I have tracked down two media releases from the Green supporting these parks. Both date from the last State election (2006), with apparently no media statements ever since, despite there being 3 Greens members in the Upper House.

    So OK as an election issue, not OK to support it since and no comments, congratulatory or otherwise, on the actual establishment of these parks.

    Heaps on saving Brown Mountain, though.

    Couldn’t find ANYTHING – not a word – on the Federal site. Tried typing in ‘river redgum national parks’ – nada. ‘river red gum’ – zero. ‘red gum’ – zero.

    Aren’t river red gums sexy? Or are they too far a drive from Melbourne to bother about?

  9. ‘Wrong on right

    ‘MICHAEL Bachelard’s labelling the Democratic Labor Party and Right to Life as ”far right” in a supposedly straight reporting piece (”Turning hard right: the battle for Right to Life”, 23/8) tells us his political compass is not working.
    ‘The current DLP, of which I am not a member, seems to have retained much of the philosophy of the original DLP, which was unashamedly a party of the moderate centre left, committed to decent welfare payments, a fair industrial relations system and care for the environment before it became fashionable.
    ‘It came out of the anti-communist wing of the labour movement, and it never forgot its origins. It was to the right of the ALP of the day, but to the left of the Liberals. This does not justify the label ”far right”.
    ‘The danger the current DLP faces is that being so small means it is open to takeover by extremist groups.
    ‘CHRIS CURTIS, vice-president,
    Victorian branch, Democratic Labor Party, 1976-78’
    (The Sunday Age, 30/8/2009

    The last paragraph, as submitted, read:

    ‘The original DLP, which had been a mass political party, disbanded in 1978 because it no longer had sufficient workers to remain a viable political force. It too was slandered in the press of the time. The danger the current DLP faces is that being so small means it is open to takeover by extremist groups, not that Michael Bachelard would know what an extremist was.’

  10. Chris, while I understand why you class the old DLP as “a party of the moderate centre left”, and while I might even agree in some respects, I also think you fail to understand how it was seen from the outside. It did not seem at all “moderate” – it used very immoderate language, accusing all and sundry of being either communists or the dupes of communists, lashing out at “permissiveness” and “trendies”, supporting every reactionary regime no matter how nasty provided they were anti-communist. The DLP looked and sounded like a bunch of middle-aged to elderly Irish-Catholic men in old-fashioned glasses, who disliked everything that had happened in the world since they were young, up to and including Vatican II. The fact that the party had standard “Laborist” policies on various other social and economic issues simply did not register, particularly with younger voters. They could get all that, plus social liberalism, from Whitlam. Once Menzies and Calwell retired, the anachronistic language and image of the DLP became increasingly obvious. I recall in particular its tone of sneering contempt towards feminism – not a good way to win votes in the 1970s.

  11. Zoomster

    I agree that the Greens should publicly support the government when they agree with them but it is sensible for a non-government party to focus their attention on what the government is doing wrong as that is what needs fixing and is the best political strategy.

    Wind farms are good if they are placed properly and their is plenty of hydro and/or gas power to cover for when their is no wind.

  12. Psephos,

    I’ll have to make this brief as I am on duty on Danielle Green’s stall at noon and then I’m off to see an old mate from the DLP days!

    I agree with you on how the DLP was seen. I actually hated letterboxing the stupid 1972 election material. But I can’t let Michael Bachelard get away with nonsense unchallenged.

    I’ll try and dig out my WEL report from 1974 or thereabouts

  13. Tom the first and best! “Wind farms are good if they are placed properly and their is plenty of hydro and/or gas power to cover for when their is no wind”

    This is a classic Green line and while there is nothing wrong with it but at the same time this line is used by the Greens when they claim that they do support development.

    But this is also used by the Greens when opposing something.

  14. [“Wind farms are good if they are placed properly”]

    This is just a copout which enables the Greens to support windpower in theory while also supporting every NIMBYist campaign against wind farms in practice.

  15. Tom @ 161

    [I agree that the Greens should publicly support the government when they agree with them but it is sensible for a non-government party to focus their attention on what the government is doing wrong as that is what needs fixing and is the best political strategy.]

    So does this mean that the Greens don’t support the red gum National Parks?

    It is sensible for a non government party to appear sensible. The best game to play in Opposition (and I speak with the experience that comes from running several record breaking campaigns) is to present oneself as reasonable, a safe pair of hands – so yes, you criticise the government when it is wrong but you also acknowledge when they get it right.

    Tom, it’s not like writing and distributing a media release or two is hard work. To send out a couple saying, beforehand: “The Greens are totally behind the formation of these parks” and afterwards: “The Greens are pleased that the Government has listened to our advice on this matter” (which they would then be entitled to do) would take all of thirty minutes and garner heaps of ‘aren’t the Greens reasonable people’ type publicity.

    Anyway, just one example. I’m sure there are dozens.

    What I really resent is that when the Government does do something like this, with no visible support from the Greens, the standard line is that they did it to win Green preferences.

    So the Greens get some of the credit/blame anyway, without having to do any of the work.

  16. Zoom
    [HM ‘discussed too much’ does read like code for ‘I can’t get people to agree with me”!]
    Agree with me on what? I have no strong opinion on this topic. I said the ALP made the deal to get elected and possibly ideology might have come into play, I don’t know and don’t really care. The ALP did what they thought was in their best interests at the time, though perhaps not in retrospect, and that is perfectly understandable.

  17. Yes, Tom, I said there were two. Thanks for supporting me.

    Notice the dates on both of them? Notice who wrote them?

    2006, Greens candidates.

    As I said, not a word since, despite the issue being very hotly debated and the Government wearing a lot of flack.

    Just to save you further googling, the parks were approved earlier this year. You won’t find any media releases from the Greens about them, though.

  18. Psephos,

    I like him because he would just destabilise the Libs.

    There is no reason why he would not make a hash of it again. His Mayoralty seems to be a series of “the last thing I heard” type publicity grabs and gratuitous insults of other cities.

  19. 174

    Doyle makes a lot of silly populist comments and some of his policies reflect this. One example is reopening Swanson St. A very silly idea. However he made the correct decision on (not intervening in?) the China angering film being shown at the Town Hall. He is only there because of the current and previous governments stacking the electoral system in favour of business candidates who have less to say that would upset the government.

  20. Re comments about the Greens not writing press releases to support the ALP in its unrelenting drive to conserve the State of Victoria. LOL OMG Haaa Haaa, oh you poor things I never realised just how sensitive you lot were. Haaa haaa, really stop it. No please stop it.

  21. Oh sorry there was more, its one of the problems that the ALP have in dealing with the Greens in that they think the Greens will drop their metaphoric pants every time some pointy headed spin doctor works ‘environment’ into a press release. A classic example of this is the North South pipe line. The state government had no idea what to do other than to attack the Greens on the grounds that they should support the ‘environmental’ flows. The Greens saw throught the bizzare and rediculous proposition that two fifths of very little subtracted from three parts of something we are not able to mesure is not much.
    Main issue, the Greens are not a single issue party,.

  22. Today (Wednesday) the ALP, those bastions of environmentalism have ripped 100 billion litres out of the River at the Thompson dam? There is more said in that action than I could ever say in words re our parties understanding of who we are and where we are going. Shame on you ALP.

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