Newspoll: 57-43 to Labor in Victoria

The Australian has opted to deliver the bi-monthly Victorian state Newspoll result for November-December before the holiday period rather than after. It finds Labor’s two-party lead unchanged on 57-43, despite their primary vote dropping two points to 41 per cent while the Coalition remains steady on 35 per cent. The Australian report says the Greens are “steady” on 14 per cent, although this is in fact down a point on last time. John Brumby’s approval rating is up two points to 51 per cent, and his lead has preferred premier has increased from 52-27 to 54-26.

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.

138 comments on “Newspoll: 57-43 to Labor in Victoria”

Comments Page 1 of 3
1 2 3
  1. If things fail to improve for the Liberals then I think Ballieu will be knifed sometime early next year. While the Victorian Liberals havn’t shown the same tendency for regicide as say, the NSW Liberals, I think they will really have no other choice. Ballieu just doesn’t have what it takes.

  2. Dugong, can you name any obvious alternative leaders to Ted?

    I’m from Victoria and I can’t think of another state lib with any media profile at all

  3. [Dugong, can you name any obvious alternative leaders to Ted?

    I’m from Victoria and I can’t think of another state lib with any media profile at all]

    SA Lib leader Isobel Redmond shows you can pick any old unknown to lift an opposition slump in the polls.

  4. Terry Moulder seems to do ok. Also has a profile because of the transport problems.
    But a better choice would be Peter Ryan, the Nat Leader. Wont happen though.

  5. Peter Ryan, Haaaaa Haaaa Haaa, please stop its to much.

    The sad reality is that the opposition in Victoria are disfunctional. They spend to much time trying to shore up the lunatic right that they are just becoming increasingly irrelevant. Its like they never learn’t politics 101.
    Perception is everything and they don’t have one good performer. no team work etc. When the ALP were shamshed by Kennett what did they do. They drafted in at a byelection Brumby who took all the hard yards, worked, tried to win back the country, stopped the decline, took the fall, Bracks came through and then lifted them over the line with a jag of a win then handed it back to Brumby. Teamwork and dedication. The opposition keep talking about cycles, gone finished forget it, there won’t be a conservative government in Victoria at either level for at least 3 more cycles.

  6. The problem is in Vic is that there are a hell of a lot of seats that are under 4%. The libs got quite big swings last time but in their own seats, so it didn’t change things much. I think they lost 8 by memory

  7. [Labor will win in Vic and SA. Can’t see either opposition being ready for government as yet.]

    I used to think the same about WA.

    Oppositions don’t win elections. Governments lose them.

  8. Nothing to see, yet again!

    I stand by what I said last time:

    The rebuilding of the state over the last ten years has been impressive, in health and education particularly. NAPLAN involves 20 tests. Victoria came first of all the states in 10 of them and second in nine. (“Victoria takes a bow in national literacy and numeracy tests”, Herald Sun, 19/12/2009
    This shows that, contrary to the bleating of the IPA and The Australian, spending money on education is not “throwing money at the problem”, but a valuable means to achieving results. The public sees it, but the posters at the Andrew Bolt Forum still do not.

  9. Nothing surprising about this poll. the Brumby Government is very stable and as 2010 moves on with the roll out of the Voctorian Transport Plan and the school building program, both the federal one and the state Building Futures program i would expect to see the Government’s position to improve.

    Even the issue of street violence is being tackled, again removing a potential issue for the Liberals.

    I just cannot find an issue that the Liberals have any traction on.

  10. mb,

    You forgot to mention the Brimbank Council corruption circus has completely fizzled. The worst they found was that a few people waved their hands and spoke very loudly to one another.

  11. One of the tactics used against the Victorian government is to attack it as a big-taxing government. This tactic either uses gross figures of total revenue changes since 1999, thus ignoring increases in the CPI, population and the size of the economy, or picks on particular taxes that have risen dramatically; e.g., property taxes, which have naturally risen in line with the growth in property values. However, this tactic does not seem to have any impact on voting intention. I think I know why. I have checked figures from the 2009-10 Victorian budget and the ABS website.

    In 1998-99, Victoria’s total tax revenue was $8.794 billion. In 2007-08, it was $13.213 billion. That looks like a large increase, but it is not when you take account of inflation, economic growth and population growth. In any case, the largest part of state revenue does not come from tax, but from Commonwealth grants.

    In 1998-99, the Gross State Product was $151.213 billion. Government cash receipts (taxes, charges, grants, etc) represented 13.3 per cent of this total. Victoria’s population was 4,712.200, meaning income per head after state revenue was $27,822.

    In 2007-08, the GSP was $259.415 billion. Government cash receipts represented 14.2 per cent of this total. Victoria’s population was 5,297,600, meaning income per head after state revenue was $42,015. That is an increase of 51 per cent. The CPI rose by 31.3 per cent in the nine years from December 1998 to December 2007, so the real increase per head was 15 per cent. In other words, even when allowance is made for the increased proportion of total income that goes on state services, the remainder is in real terms still greater than it was under the previous government. In essence, we are through the democratic process allocating an increased proportion of our income to public services, not only without suffering any decline in our own standard of living as a result, but also with enjoying an increase in our own standard of living.

    So whatever individual charges have increased by in nominal terms, the average Victorian is a lot better off now than 10 years ago. Besides, the average Victorian sees the result of the tax expenditure.

    The Liberals are not going to win by fighting the 1992 election every four years.

  12. The people sufficiently swayed to change their vote from ALP at the last election seem to be according to the polls switching to the Greens and this means that the ALP will get most of that back on preferences in the vast majority of Legislative Assembly seats where the Greens vote is distributed as preferences. It will however have an effect on the Legislative Council and is bad news of varying degrees for the ALP in the seats where the Greens vote is not distributed.

  13. In every Upperhouse Region the Greens either won or came 6th, they were not distributed in any,,
    The one rumour that I can throw in the mix is that the conservatives have worked out that if thier preferences keep electing ALP before the Greens then with these type of numbers the ALP could quite coincievably get a majority.
    Therefore they are saying, if we are giving the Greens Preferences in lower house seats, (Brunswick, Richmand, Melb federally etc) why don’t we tip a few more to the Greens in the Upper house. Can’t in any way effect the number of Coalition members, only lower the ALP and invcrease the cross benches.
    The trouble is of course that in the areas where this is possible you have the National Party rump who think that the Greens are somehow morally bad. Ryan famously said in the last election that the Greens would be put last no matter what. They now realise that in the Council the Greens are worth their wieght in Gold as it makes the Coalition at least a little bit relevant.
    As we all know the Upper House as with the Senate is all about ‘following the preferences’.

  14. To make any of the previous point possible there also needs to be a reduction in the number of micro parties, and independants from the right. Word around the traps is that the last election showed many of these parties just how hard it was to get 4% and therefore funding and that this years federal election could exhaust them and their finances. Even the Dems are broke and were looking to Higgins for 4% and some money.
    The less right wing minor parties increases the primary Coalition vote and therefore brings this strategy into play!

  15. In 2006 Liberal preferences would not have helped the Greens because either they were fighting the Libs or Nats for the final seat or preferences from FF got the ALP over the line regardless. That is not to say that an increase the crossbench at the expense of the ALP would not be helpful to the Greens if it was a closer race between them and the ALP because it would.

  16. You have absolutely picked the weakness of this Coalition idea, its the conservative preferences from their loopy right that usually decides the last spot and the Coalition can’t control them. There is no way that the FF DLP CDP CEC nutters would ever put the greens after any other party.
    However its an interesting idea and there is some merit to the idea that a upper house not controlled by the ALP could be good for the ALP. They behaved well and reformed the upper house last time, but we all remember what happened when Howard got the control of the Senate, it just takes pressure off good government and to some extent restraint.

  17. Apparently, Michael Kroger has suggested that the Liberal front bench do some holiday season “soul searching” over the party’s dismal polling. Baillieu has responded by saying that Kroger is entitled to his opinion, that he utters it often, and that he’s perfectly entitled to stand for parliament but hasn’t.

  18. The ALP reforms of the upper house last time were one of the ballsiest thing done in the name of democracy. Fancy giving away a senate majority and losing several senators. The Libs would never have done it. In return they have the greens, and DLP holding the balance. The greens have been nothing but obstructionary and but a small senmblance to their federal counterparts. For the first 2 years it was the nationals that assisted them to get things through the legislative council.
    Barber is a twit, penechook only slightly better, can’t remember the third one.
    They tried blocking a graffitti bill, the wind farms in gipsland etc etc……….

  19. Centaur my understanding of the Labor VIC upper house reform was that rather than merely being “ballsy” they were taking a longer term view – realising that once the pendulum swung and the Liberals got back into office, the Liberals would themselves have an upper house majority, making opposition even harder for Labor.

    Seeing the strength of the greens in metropolitan Victoria and the absence of an equivalent on the right, Labor designed a chamber they thought would guarantee them essentially a permanent Labor/Greens majority – through government and opposition. The “socialist majority” Peter Costello used to crap endlessly on about re the senate. Whether this will turn out to be the case or not remains to be seen.

    So no, on the ballsy scale it is a long way short of Steele Hall ending the Playmander in South Australia and knowingly putting his (liberal) party into opposition for a decade or so.

  20. You have to give kudos to Bracks and Hulls for upper house (Council, not Senate) reform. The first time they gain control ever (apart from two weeks in the 80s), they legislate to make it harder to retain control.

    More broadly, nobody knows what the Victorian Libs stand for really. Brumby is all over the centre ground, the Libs can either be a weak version of him (in which case they need a charismatic leader, and some luck, some labor scandal) or go loony right, in which case they’ll be rejected by most sensible Vics.

    The greens have reached a plateau for now, it seems. One day they’ll win an inner city seat, and that will seem more momentous than it really is.

  21. Thats right wilful in the previous 128 years the ALP had control of hteupper house for two weeks, that was until peter bachelor lost on a challenge.
    There is a story here, now I had a friend who was handing out for the ALP in some back woods town near Benalla for this very byelection. there were only about 85 votes and at the end of the day he went to scrutineer. NOw remember this was a byelection because of questions of the previous process.
    Anyway he mantioned to the returning officer that there were not many people through the doors, and the returning officer frankly admitted that some of the voters didn’t bother turning up they just phoned him and he filled in their vote for them. Banjo’s and all.

  22. 26

    The Victorian ALP seems to have a mentality that the decisions of Cabinet/Caucus should be implemented without interference. The ALP must really regret not saying that the MLCs elected in 2002 were elected for 8 year terms and therefore should stay in office until 2010 when the PR reform would be implemented.

    The Greens have not been obstructionist but have tried to improve the legislative outcomes as well as have proper inquires.

  23. 28

    The Greens are polling up to one and a half times what they did at the 2006 election and so talk of a plateau is premature. The increase in the Green vote is likely to help in the battle for more MLCs next year as well as the three potential MLAs. The Greens are however unlikely to get to the 10 needed for parliamentary party status, unfortunately.

  24. 10, Tom?!?!?

    Sheesh, and I wondered where folks like Frank got their talking points from.

    I’m confident that the Greens will increase their vote nicely this next election, but Brumby’s running a popular ship, and isn’t giving cause for any dramatic victories (as is rather more likely in NSW this time around). I think the Greens stand a good chance of knocking off the DLP’s Kavanagh in Western Victoria (which they were unlucky not to do last time around anyway), and have a longer-shot chance of knocking off Bronwyn Pike in the Assembly (though I think Brian Walters would have been better suited to the Senate than a lower-house race). If they can win either of those, plus not lose Colleen Hartland (who was lucky to win last time around), then they should be positively thrilled.

    Anything more is simply dreaming.

    I’ve gotta say though that Victorian Labor should be totally unsurprised when the Greens get obstructionist on them. The Victorian branch never misses an opportunity to mount a smear campaign against the Greens, and never fails to stoop to the lowest common denominator – and then turn around and wonder why they have the worst working relationship with the Greens of any Labor branch in Australia.

    As far as the Liberal leadership, it’s plainly obvious that the only alternative leader they’ve got around at the moment is Terry Mulder, and as much as I think highly of him, it’s also pretty obvious that he doesn’t seem to want what would be a poisoned chalice. Brumby’s a smart, competent and popular Premier, and he isn’t giving the Liberals any room to move – no matter who leads them. Mulder would probably do fairly well against most other governments, but there’s no one they’ve got at the moment who could successfully take on Brumby, and I suspect he knows that.

    I suspect that Baillieu will take the Liberals to another drubbing in 2010, and you’ll see one of the next generation (O’Brien, Guy, etc.) stepping up in the middle of the next term, when Brumby might have had time to make some missteps.

  25. Rebecca,

    I know you have your Green’s sunglasses on full blast bullbutter, but the Greens never miss an opportunity to smear. It seems to be coded into their DNA.

  26. For what it’s worth, I don’t think even the Liberals are capable of stooping as low as Victorian Labor when it comes to dirty campaigning. Labor’s campaigns against the Greens in Albert Park and Les Twentyman in Kororoit could never be described as anything but Machiavellian.

    I can pretty safely say you’ll never see any Green candidate pulling a stunt like that. It seems to be something limited the Victorian branch, though – even NSW Labor, as wacky as they are, don’t seem to have anything on the Victorians in that respect.

  27. Rebecca,

    The Greens are the gold medal smearists of Australian politics. Nary a day passes. Apparently, Greens supporters absorb it through their Muesli.

  28. I’d pick Brunswick as the most likely Green gain in the Vic lower house. They got a big swing there in 2006 (margin now ~3%), and this time there’s no sitting ALP member because he’s retiring. Gotta be easier than knocking off a minister.

    It’ll be interesting to see what Richmond’s Socialist councillor gets if he runs again. He got pretty OK in 2006 (compared to the background noise they usually get), and much better in the local govt elections more recently. That was the main reason for the swing to Labor – it was actually a Greens-Socialists swing, and I’m guessing the Socialist prefs went more Labor’s way.

  29. The Greens winning Brunswick!

    Fat Chance – i totally agree with GG Jane Garrett is an excellant candidate and i reckonm she might win on primaries.

    Considering the Greens totally flopped in two by-elections (Albert Park & Higgins) with one of the major parties missing i just cannot see them winning Brunswick.

    The Greens may go close in Melbourne or Richmond but as i will explain closer to election day i really cannot see the Greens winning anything in the Green House.

  30. I’m not surprised the Greens didn’t do well in the Albert Park by-election. Compare to the Victoria Park one in WA around the same time; they both featured a premier quitting while the Labor govt was still popular, and Labor won comfortably. Once Brumby gets the boot in 2014 or whenever, a subsequent Melbourne or Richmond by-election could look very different (again, compare with WA’s last attorney-general’s seat).

    Also, the Vic Greens are several years younger than the WA or Tas versions, so they’ve got a bit of catching up to do. Both those states have had Greens MP’s since the 1980’s, all the way back to 1984 if you count Jo Vallentine; the Vic Greens didn’t even contest the 1999 election outside a few seats and have only had MP’s since 2006.

  31. Greensborough Growler: It’s interesting that you seem to be able to rant on to kingdom come about the Greens being “smearists”, but you can’t name a single time when the Greens have actually smeared a Labor candidate.

    It’s something which this particular branch of the Labor Party seems to be a bit slow in learning: if you’re going to take an “anything goes as long as it increases our odds of winning” approach to otherwise sympathetic potential competition, you’d better hope to hell you don’t wind up relying on their votes to pass legislation.

    I agree that there’s no chance the Greens will win Brunswick though. It’s a long-term target – the Greens didn’t even run particularly close in 2006 (against an obvious hack), and Labor’s been smart and selected a good candidate this time around, which in my book makes it even less likely than them.

    mexicanbeemer: I think you’ve just done another case of non-Greens people building up ridiculous expectations and then claiming it means something when they’re not met. The only people in the universe who seriously thought the Greens were in with a chance in Albert Park were in the Labor Party (as seen in their ridiculous own-goal of antagonising the hell out of people whose votes they needed in order to win a seat they were never going to lose), and Clive Hamilton was always the most extreme long-shot in Higgins – much longer than Organ was in Cunningham. As I said, I think Melbourne is well within potential reach, and I can see Richmond and maybe Brunswick coming into play down the line if they can do that, but any more than Melbourne this time around is wishful thinking.

  32. Rebecca i cannot remember the last time i gave the Greens any real chance of winning something, yes i thought they would do better in Higgins than they did but that was because the ALP did not contest.

  33. 32

    The Greens came within about 1% in Eastern Metro.

    If the Greens had had a percent or so more in Northern Victoria and Liberal preferences then they could have won.

    Western Victoria was decided on ALP preferences which might well do the same again but the micro party vote and preferences that lead to the ALP vote deciding the result between the Greens and the DLP may well not happen again.

  34. mexicanbeemer: It’s one of the most ridiculously wealthy seats in the country. It was theoretically in the realm of possibility, but it would be have been one of the most entertaining upsets in Australian political history. It’s a bit rich to suggest that the failure to pull that off says anything much in particular.

    Greensborough Growler: So, because Milne has the gall to criticise the ALP’s policy on climate change, she’s a “gold medal smearist”? It’s an interesting attitude towards dissent that you’ve got there.

    There’s plenty of things by both Labor and Liberal that I disagree with (and will say so), but dirty campaigning is dirty campaigning, and what Victorian Labor did to Les Twentyman and the Albert Park Greens is right up there with the disgusting stuff the CLP pulled to defeat Labor’s Ken Parish back in ’94.

  35. Rebecca~ True Higgins would have been a very big upset but considering the political climate of the month leading up to the Higgins By-election the Greens underperformed.

  36. Rebecca,

    Keep posting you’ll convince yourself of your moral virtue soon. But, you won’t convince anyone else.

    My point is and was the Greens are the champions of smear, abuse and innuendo simply because they do it on a non stop basis. Crying becasue you get your own treatment back in spades or because the other sides are more effective at revealing the truth about the Greens shortcomings and lack of policy clarity, is rather pathetic.

  37. Occasionally I do go Off, this sort of purile nonsense adds nothing to the debate, GG is one of the worst offenders along with our dear Frank, GG has shown in this thread the ability to start it, see it as a bit of sport and not have any substantial points to make.
    The questions I have for GG is
    1 ‘what do you actually think the Greens with one quarter of the ALP vote and one third of the Vic COalition vote should do?
    2 How should they express thier disagreement,
    3 How should they respond from the Newmann type attack of the last few cycles.?
    Finally, ‘How would you respond if in their possition?

  38. So GG, by-election results are relevent now?

    Before the Green vote at a by-election hasn’t mattered because only one major party runs.
    Now you have decided that the Greens will never win anything because they didn’t win Albert Park/Higgins where the entire Green Party knew that they were not going to win?

    Maybe you should keep to the same line if you actually want to convince people outside the ALP.

    Growler, your all bark and no bite.

Comments Page 1 of 3
1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *