Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor in SA

Four months out from the election, Newspoll has produced its latest quarterly survey of South Australian state voting intention. Conducted in tandem with federal polling over the past three months, it is of course the first to appear since the onset of Mike Rann’s present difficulties with Michelle Chantelois and her husband. Labor’s vote is down four points to an alarming 37 per cent, but as the Liberals can still only manage 35 per cent (up two), they still hold a 53-47 lead on two-party preferred. The Greens are up a point to 12 per cent, compared with 6.5 per cent at the 2006 election.

Importantly, Rann’s approval rating has not taken a hit: he is down one point to 50 per cent, while disapproval is down two to 38 per cent. The poll also provides further evidence that the South Australian Liberals have, not for the first time, stumbled by accident upon a better leadership proposition than what they had to begin with. After making a strong debut in August with an approval rating of 43 per cent and disapproval of 10 per cent, Redmond is now up eight points on both measures to 51 per cent and 18 per cent. However, Rann retains a strong lead on preferred premier of 48 per cent (up two) to 31 per cent (up four).

Here are charts showing the progress of South Australian Newspoll results over the current term.

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.

93 comments on “Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor in SA”

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  1. Before the Liberals start setting their sights on ALP seats, they might want to think about winning back Kerin’s seat of Frome (lost at a by-election) and Mount Gambier (where, if I am not mistaken, the independent is retiring). They should also be worried the Nationals who are a reasonable threat in at least Flinders, Goyder, Hammond and the Flerieu Peninsula seat (I think the last one is Finniss). The Nats are likely to finish second in at least two and probably three of these.

    Isobel Redmond is South Australia’s Sarah Palin. Lightweight, untested and highly temperamental and (unlike Palin) without sufficiently experienced tacticians in the back room. Watch her come apart like that fake designer label stuff her fellow Croweaters buy on their holidays to Bali and Phuket.

    It really is a very unfortunate state of affairs because, contrary to the opinions expressed by various Labor staffers in the posts appearing above, Rann is a disgrace. He is almost certainly Australia’s most poll driven politician with an appalling record (at least by Australian standards) on human rights, law and order, lack of respect for judicial and prosecutorial independence and public accountability. Remember, this guy is from the same party once led by Don Dunstan, John Bannon and Lynn Arnold.

    What a tragedy for South Australia

  2. Is it also possible that the 53-47 Newspoll 2PP is undercooked, if it were to play out that the new Green vote is flooding from Labor moreso than the last election?

    I dare say a majority of the Green vote is a protest against Labor’s attitudes to a) WorkCover b) censorship/other moral issues and c) climate change.

    I just jumped the boat before it become cool :kiss:

  3. [Isobel Redmond is South Australia’s Sarah Palin. Lightweight, untested and highly temperamental and (unlike Palin) without sufficiently experienced tacticians in the back room.]

    At least with Sarah Palin we knew where she stood. Who is Isobel? What does she believe in? She’s from the right, but is she a Turnbull or an Abbott? She certainly has shown a progressive streak ie: introducing her LGBT private members bill. She, either through herself or her party, isn’t putting out any image apart from look at me i’m a girl i can handle a taser mike rann is bad we can do things better the end. I want to hear what sort of Premier she would make should she ever manage to get there.

    [Rann is a disgrace. He is almost certainly Australia’s most poll driven politician with an appalling record (at least by Australian standards) on human rights, law and order, lack of respect for judicial and prosecutorial independence and public accountability. Remember, this guy is from the same party once led by Don Dunstan, John Bannon and Lynn Arnold.

    What a tragedy for South Australia]

    Certainly agree to much of an extent, though you do make him sound like the devil incarnate. I certainly prefer him and his government in comparison to the Brown-Olsen-Kerin Liberal govt prior to them.

  4. FYI anyway for those interested:

    [The Liberal, Labor and Greens parties say they are pleased the Commonwealth Powers (De Facto Relationships) Bill has finally been passed.

    The Bill was passed on the last sitting day before South Australians go to the polls next year.

    The Bill, which allows de facto couples (including same-sex couples) to access the Commonwealth Family Court in the case of a relationship breakdown, will make life easier for all unmarried couples, all sides claim.

    The Bill was originally tabled in May as a Private Member’s Bill by Liberal MP Isobel Redmond (pictured), then Shadow Attorney-General, now Leader of the Opposition.]

  5. Dovif @55, I never said the Rann Government was a bad as the Blight and [insert leader of NSW ALP here – it may have changed again while I wasn’t looking] Governments.

    Has state politics got to the point where its legitimate to measure state governments against what is happening in NSW? I sure hope not

  6. Chris from Edgecliff:

    Appalling record on human rights and law and order you say … I assume you would be an advocate for the Free Australia party then …


    There’s a few errors in that article on de facto relationships … apparently Chris Hanna is still the Greens member for Mitchell !! I thought Kris Hanna was the independent member for Mitchell …

    In any case I’m glad that bill has passed.

  7. LOL! I’ve just learnt who the Free Australia Party is – “When injustice becomes law, resistence becomes duty”….shades of Barry Goldwater’s “extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice…”

    Organisations like the Free Australia Party are of course symptomatic of the present state of affairs in S.A. – i.e. a state of affairs where too many educated people like yourself who should care do not care

    The bikie issue is the tip of the iceberg

  8. I do care chris – thats why I am involved in politics. However, I have no sympathy for lawyers squealing when the government doesnt roll over to their demands. The government is accountable to the people, the lawyers are accountable to their own self-interest. If the voters dont like the government … well that is the beauty of democracy.

  9. chris

    I agree with you about Rann. He is a disgrace. They should chuck him and bring in Weatherill, who seems to have more integrity that the rest added up.

  10. 51 – CoE – Redmond may not be a star but she is not a flake and certainly isn’t a Sarah Palin. She’s to the left of a fair number of Labor pollies on a few issues – sensible attitudes to law and order for one.
    Libs are unlikely to make much progress but they could do fairly well in the eastern suburbs where RAH doctor types might help them.
    Rann is so far into bed with developers, Business SA and the like that there isn’t a lot of space for the Libs.
    I would think there is definitely 1 Green LC seat and probably a second with Greens, Democrats, Winderlich and climate change groups getting close to a quota and 1 getting up esp if there is a small Labor surplus to help.

  11. Most of the RAH noise is coming from rusted-on Libs. If you took a poll of the STAFF at the hospital there is overwhelming support for the new hospital. I predict the Save RAH Party won’t even break 1%.

  12. [She’s to the left of a fair number of Labor pollies on a few issues]

    Pity she’s been gagged by the right-wing Libs which prevents her from stating her (allegedly) progressive credentials. She’s just a puppet should the Libs regain power.

  13. Diogenes, the SAVERAH party are nothing more than a bunch of liberal hacks with backing from people like Rob Gerard, Michael Angelakis and Tim Cooper. Zero credibility. They won’t get many votes. Why on earth would anyone want to vote for them? If someone doesn’t like the idea of a new hospital and wants to keep an out of date asbestos ridden set of buildings – just vote liberal – problem solved.

  14. Tom

    I think they’ll get a lot of preferences, except from Labor of course.


    We know that but the general public will just see doctors fighting to keep a public icon. The danger for Labor is that the votes they get will often be Labor votes, some of which will bleed to the Libs.

    The strong rumor is that Ken Rollond will be on top of their ticket for the Upper House. He’s been mayor of Holdfast for a long time and has a high profile.

  15. Contrary to popular opinion, I actually believe David Winderlich is in with a shot at an LC seat. He seems to have raised his profile somewhat recently and the xenophon vote will have to go somewhere. I assume he will find himself a running mate(s).

  16. 68 bob – read carefully – I talked about surplus Greens after electing 1, plus Democrats, Winderlich, climate change groups and the like who will swap preferences getting close to a electing someone esp if Labor have a small surplus to help. Might be a second Green both others in this general group are a chance.
    Save RAH will get some votes – perhaps 2 or at best 3 % but most will come from Libs. Will depend somewhat if they are prepared to support other smaller groups with preferences. If they just give prefs more or less direct to Libs and the right then they are a lost cause.

  17. It looks like the Labor Party will rely on the many messages that will be delivered via their war chest during their campaign and hope that the feel good effect of Mad March with the Festivals and Car racing to rub off on the ruling party. However there are a lot of people who are unhappy with the direction that is being taken and are fully aware of the spin. The new RAH to those in the Eastern suburbs sounds expensive, a long way off and for will be much harder to access. Yes, a new hospital sounds great but it will suck a lot of money out of the health system over all, and do nothing for the Modbury, Women’s and Children’s or Queen Elizabeth. There is also the perception that the Labor Party if given another four years will be out of control as the bully boys at the top will be so full of themselves.

    The issue of whether Mike Rann didn’t have sex with a woman who was another man’s wife is not very important to most people. The events around his denials of knowing who the husband was and then of denying the sex are far more relevant. His story isn’t believable because of the number of text messages and the suddenness of the end of the flirty friendship.

    Isobel Redmond is letting the government have its head and each day the government provides a new boost to developers and the real estate industry whilst services valued by the ordinary people are left to languish. Meantime Isobel Redmond has established herself as gutsy and principled with a fresh approach.

    Rann and Foley who have much publicised women problems are left looking silly as they don’t know how to handle any woman who is not young, pretty and blonde. This is on show at every Community Cabinet where older women are treated with contempt. The male leadership can’t move on fast enough to find the next developer to talk to.

    The only thing that may save the Labor Party is the union movement which despite its well founded problems with the Labor Party will not campaign against them because the Liberal Party has a poor industrial track record after Workchoices. It won’t stop many unionists, like teachers, however, voting for the Liberals if there are any crumbs offered from that side. The treatment of teachers has been appalling along with the creation of Superschools which look more like handing money to the developers courtesy of the taxpayer than in improving education. Preferences from the Greens could flow to the Liberals if they continue to make headway.

  18. Yes, the party with the more money to spend does tend to fare better, votes can and are indeed effectively bought via advertising. Both sides are 100% guilty at various times. The current state of affairs bodes very well for Labor and abysmally poorly for the Liberals.

  19. The one good thing I can say about my local member Redmond is that a while ago she vocally opposed the banning of hookers (that you smoke). Also, politics aside, she is a nice enough lady in person. I can’t point to anything she’s done as a local member though. Unless some weirdo runs I’ll be preferencing her last.

  20. Sorry, that should be ‘hookah’.
    I’m not actually sure what it was the government propossed or even if they implimented it but I think they were going to bann the sale of hookahs and possibly bongs (Hookahs though, are traditionally used for smoking tobacco as opposed to bongs). They’re always sold with a sign that reads ‘For tobacco or ornamental use only’. Banning the sale of hookahs would do absolutly nothing to stop people smoking in other ways or even obtaining them in other ways. Dito with bongs which are easy enough to make at home anyway.

  21. I don’t think the Nationals will even come second in Finniss. I don’t know about other seats where they have a chance.

    Hanna to be returned with an increased margin.

    Surely if the Greens actually did manage 12% in the lower house they could expect even better, say 13% or 14% in the upper house? That would make a second Green, or as Wakefield points out a second left wing candidate, quite likely. However I don’t think David Winderlich has much hope.

  22. Tom
    Yes I know, if it was much higher then a second GRN or other left winger could be garanteed. I predict 5 LIB, 4 ALP, 2GRN. (So says the man drunkinly blogging at a pub with free wifi when he should be socializing).

  23. The Nationals don’t have a prayer of seriously taking a seat off anyone. They’ll be happy just to retain Chaffey I think.

    I doubt they’ll even run in Finniss. They only did last time because it was an election where the popular local member (former premier Dean Brown) had retired, the libs had replaced him with someone less than impressive (Michael Pengilly) and the Nats were able to get a pretty high profile candidate in Kym McHugh, the mayor of Alexandrina (Goolwa) which is part of the electorate. He still only came third though. And things are much more settled now.

    I’m not sure if I agree with The Molotov about Kris Hanna being re-elected. He was extremely fortunate to be elected last time, and I don’t think people fully understand how much he relied on co-operation with Nick Xenephon to get the number of votes he did. The two of them did a deal – sort of a joint ticket arrangement to try and maximise each others votes in Mitchell. Nick X for the upper house, Kris Hanna for the lower.

    Mitchell isn’t really the sort of seat with the demographics to support a Hanna-esque indpendent naturally. I’d be quite surprised if he was re-elected, but I don’t rule it out.

  24. [I predict 5 LIB, 4 ALP, 2GRN.]

    It could be like Labor wins of late – Lab/Lib near equal primary vote in the Senate and ~10% to the Greens which in the lower would mostly flow back to Labor.

  25. People are getting a bit excited about the Greens upper house chances I think. As I said earlier a realistic vote for them will be around nine percent. Maybe a little bit more – but not enough for another seat unless preference flow miracles occur.

    The Greens are also currently embroiled in an old-fashioned bruhaha over the preselection of the number two spot on the LC ticket, so ugly splits and candidates running as independents and preferencing against the greens may possibly occur (again).

    The current poll is unreliable because it grossly underestimates the vote for both the ALP and for Family First.

    And people seem to be forgetting about Fundies First – they’ll be overwhelming favourites to keep their seat.

    Winderlich won’t even poll one percent. I’ll predict Labor 5, Liberals 4, Fundies First 1, Greens 1.

  26. [Maybe a little bit more – but not enough for another seat unless preference flow miracles occur.]

    I expect the Dems, Winderlich, RAH, and FREE parties to help the Greens along with prefs this time 🙂

  27. [The current poll is unreliable because it grossly underestimates the vote for both the ALP and for Family First.]

    Newspoll gave FF around 3% before and after the last election, where they got 5.9%.

    In the last several polls FF have been getting a consistent 1%.

    It mightn’t be accurate but it does show the FF vote has collapsed by at least half.

  28. I guess there are still heaps of posibilities in the upper house. We won’t be able to narrow down the posibilities until over the line preferences are sort out.

  29. Re FF and ALP vote – the poll doesn’t estimate votes – it records people’s views at a particular time. Unlike One Nation which was notorious because its voters were hard to find and also wary of stating their vote because they were mostly conspiracy theorists of one sort or another, FF and ALP would be expected to be available (allowing that quite a few are the ex One Nation conspiracy theorists). While FF relies on the 2% of the population who attend their church or closely related ones, getting involved in politics is a messy business and can backfire. Quite a few of their members might think climate change crankiness is not a good position. Anyway that’s my hope.

  30. Re the Save the RAH party, I haven’t been following them very closely but it seems quite possible they’re going to turn out to be little more than a liberal party front. More likely to preference Family First than The Greens.

    1% for Family First is ridiculous – their core support has to be at least triple that – but I think a lot of people who vote for FF at state elections do so only because they’re the only “other” option on the ballot paper in many electorates. State elections are a lot different to federal elections in that respect – too many electorates and not enough small parties and independents willing to make a very minor spectacle of themselves for no purpose and lose several hundred dollars in deposit.

  31. I wouldn’t completely rule out the ‘Save the RAH’ party. I know bugger-all about hospitals in Adelaide, but there was a similar party for Fremantle hospital at the 2005 WA election that almost arsed their way into an upper house spot in South Metro region, on preference snowballing that would’ve made the DLP and Fielding’s wins in Victoria look perfectly legitimate. And that was in a 5 member seat… this is an 11 member one, with half the quota. It’s unlikely, yeah, but it could happen.

  32. Weird question about the way redistributions happen in SA (deliberately done to make seats more marginal than they’d otherwise be): how does that work in seats like Flinders? That’s so safe for the tories that I can’t see how the process would even work. Do they bother with that?

  33. BoP – its just an overall outcome. There are plenty of safe conservative seats. The process aims to produce a number of seats that are fairly close around the 50:50 2PP vote so that in theory the party which wins the majority of support across the election gets a majority of seats. It is a bit hard to predict though when Chaffey which is a pretty safe conservative seat elects Maywald for Nationals or earlier Lewis in Hammond as conservative independent and then they decide to support a Labor government.

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