Westpoll: 57-43 to Liberal in WA

The first Westpoll survey since October (indeed, the first WA state poll since that time, Newspoll having gone quiet on the subject) shows the Barnett government back to a commanding 57-43 lead after recording a slightly worrying 53-47 last time. It can be presumed that this was from the usual small sample of 400, giving it a margin of error of nearly 5 per cent. The poll shows a big jump in the undecided vote on preferred premier, with both Colin Barnett (54 per cent) and Eric Ripper (12 per cent) down five points. It also presents the surprising finding that after a month’s merciless pillorying in the media, support for Police Minister Rob Johnson being sacked is running 22 per cent to 50 per cent against.

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.

14 comments on “Westpoll: 57-43 to Liberal in WA”

  1. [It can be presumed that this was from the usual small sample of 400, giving it a margin of error of nearly 5 per cent.]

    Actually 403 🙂

    re Ripper, I wonder if it’s because he is still thought of as the Treasurer who had to make some pretty tough decisions re taxes and charges ?

  2. Former Court minister George Cash has recieved a gong in the Australia Day Honours.

    # Name: CASH, George
    # Award: Member of the Order of Australia
    # Post-nominal: AM
    # Date granted: 26 January 2010
    # State: WA
    # Suburb: Augusta
    # Country: Australia
    # Citation: For service to the Parliament of Western Australia, and to the community

  3. Frank: I doubt that’s got much to do with it – doubt your average pleb would even remember he was Treasurer. Ripper’s problem is that he’s a truly godawful media performer, especially from opposition. I saw him in parliament the day he was trying to grill Barnett over Ian Campbell’s appointment to a government job, and he came across as so befuddled that Barnett actually came out looking good. He’s a state equivalent to Simon Crean, and the sooner they replace him the better.

    In Labor’s gutted state caucus, you’re basically left with either Ben Wyatt or Roger Cook, and while I don’t much care for either of them (I think they’re both hacks), they’ve both got a bit of charisma, and they’d do a mile better than Ripper’s doing now.

  4. Speaking as a former resident, although not voter, in sunny Cloverdale: Ripper was very ‘meh’. I met him once at a local forum thingy at a sports club near Belmont Forum… he seemed like a nice enough guy when I was talking to him afterwards with the coffee and food, but waffled a fair bit when I asked him about the atrocious state of public transport in the eastern suburbs, and if he was going to do anything about it. (Of all regional centres in Perth, Belmont is a tick ahead of Morley as the most painful to get to out of peak hour… forget about living further east, in High Wycombe or Kalamunda, etc.) When the election rocked up unexpectedly, I was still enrolled at my previous address in Armadale, had many better things to do than find the local AEC office (I was finishing writing an honours thesis at the time), and figured Alannah MacTiernan deserved my vote more than Eric Ripper in equally safe Labor seats. Alison Xamon would’ve got my other vote either way anyway.

    If Roger Cook ever becomes leader, one of his first speeches has to go something like: “Yes, I’m a party hack parachuted in from elsewhere, but I can still represent Kwinana better than a local because (insert perfectly good reasons here)”. Remember, he holds one of the most marginal Labor seats in Perth… they were as close to losing Kwinana as they were in Fremantle (probably for related reasons), and look what happened in Freo later on. Labor need to do a special campaign for the southern suburbs because of those seats that used to be marginal.

    As for Ben Wyatt, I’m assuming he’s the next ALP leader just because I can’t think of anyone else who could be. He’s youngish, relatively telegenic, and in a safe Labor seat… there aren’t many like that these days. Michelle Roberts stabbed Ripper in today’s West with the old “the leader has my full support” line, which means she will challenge him for leadership within the next couple of weeks (just like Turnbull did to Nelson, or Rudd did to Beazley). She won’t ever be premier either, as won’t be anyone who was in parliament when Richard Court was premier.

    If Bill Johnston ever becomes leader, I will get off the fence and join the Greens, like I keep vaguely thinking about doing one day.

    Also, Tom Stephens is quoted as not liking Ripper in the West article (he voted for MacTiernan after last election, too). Kinda interesting, considering his career isn’t going much longer anyway (he’s an old guy)… maybe he sees Pilbara in 2013 going the same way that Collie did in 1989: to the Nationals. If he retires in 2013, the seat’s winnable for the Nats; if he retires before then, it’s nightmare time for Labor. He’s probably had a word in his ear saying “please stay”.

  5. Until Labour cleans out the parliamentary party well and truly and get the factional hacks out,and puts people in who can think on the feet and represent the electorate they LIVE in they will get nowhere.
    Ripper and all the ministers in the last Govt bar Alannah should have been told to get out and let new people in,how much creditably has Fran Logan(incompetent fool) Roberts and the rest, none,they should in the words of someone just for Gods sake Go.
    Given the fact the Barnett runs a one man band, everything is run by him, none of his ministers open their mouths with out his approval,as for Johnson,the mans a fool and an idiot and will destroy himself given enough rope,but the present party and Ripper seem incapable of knowing the time of day,let alone damaging the Govt

  6. I think Allegory you are having a bit of an unfair go at Rebecca.

    Compare Carol Adams with Roger Cook. I think only one would be at risk of getting the ‘hack’ tag, but neither would fall into your very simplistic ‘no experience disaster’. There is a whole class of people involved in both sides of politics who don’t reallyl deserve the term hack. To be fair a lot of the miserably failed team carpenter weren’t hacks, but I understand some might be now.

    Also largely you describe the previous premier, both in terms of how he came to power and how he described himself. His ‘all above it’ strategy wasn’t a great success. You were being ironic when you declare ‘It aint gunna happen.’ I’m pretty sure it did.

    I find your position extreme and I suspect it is deliberately obtuse.

    I think Eric is very smart but he isn’t a leader. Kind of the opposite to Carpenter. Someone in the middle might be nice. Also interesting to see the media doesn’t feel a need to ‘boost’ the failing opposition in the interests of democracy they way they do at a Federal level.

    But bottom line is the hacks to cheered / supported / blindly followed carps to the last election are still in control and don’t seem to have hit a more successful formula than they did back then. Perhaps if they read that little report on the last election, and make a few serious changes, clear out some of the idiot hacks and find some half competent ones, then maybe we’ll have a competition in two or three elections time.

  7. [in the words of someone just for Gods sake Go]
    Oliver Cromwell, addressing the Rump (of the House of Commons) “You have been sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!.”

  8. Just read the story. 12% is not a good number, but at least it’s better than 12 alternatives.

    Is it just me, or does Harry Phillips appear to be suggesting that the Opposition Leader is too dignified for the job?

    [“He is very reluctant to play the cheap political game…”]

    So, Dr Phillips, he should get into the cheap games in order to pick up more support?

    Anyhoo, it’s a shame Tom Stephens felt it necessary to pass comment on the leadership. Seems a little vindictive to me, particularly given that Alannah MacTiernan (who I assume he was backing before she decided to run for Canning) is not a potential contender for the job.

    As Michelle Roberts said, contrary to the view of Rebecca at 3, now isn’t the right time (is there ever a ‘right’ time?) for a spill. More to the point, if things keep going like this there may come a time when Mr Ripper comes to the view himself that it’s in the best interests of the party that there is a change. Based on an assumption of continuing low polling, I think that’s a far more likely scenario than a spill.

    However, I don’t subscribe to the view that Mr Ripper’s leadership is necessarily terminal. I wonder about the correlation between the leadership results and the result on the question of Minister Johnson’s tenure, which seems unbelievable.

    Bird of Paradox, regarding your reflection that Mr Ripper ‘isn’t a leader’, I’d make the point that different styles of leadership are required at different times, and it was clearly the case that after the election defeat it is partly Mr Ripper’s leadership style that has allowed the parliamentary party to get into a rebuilding phase, much of which takes place below the water line.

    Dr Phillips suggests, relatedly, that Mr Ripper is leading the Opposition as if he were still in government. This is simply incorrect and one of those points of criticism people make when there’s nothing else they can think of. It’s different to the criticism ‘they don’t understand why they lost’, which is often more apt. It’s possible that the work of rebuilding is taking place away from Dr Phillips’ field of view.

    There are nearly three more years to the next election and it is wise to keep some, at least, of the powder dry.

Leave a Reply

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