Nielsen: 53-47 to Labor in Victoria

The Age has published a Nielsen poll which indicates the state Labor government may have finally lost the shine it gained in the wake of the bushfire disaster. Labor’s two-party lead is at 53-47, which The Age compares to The Sunday Age’s Saulwick poll from November to point to a five-point reversal. This is Nielsen’s first state poll since November 2008, when Labor led 55-45. Labor holds a one point lead on the primary vote, 40 per cent to 39 per cent, with the Greens on 14 per cent. John Brumby maintains a 13 per cent positive net approval (52 per cent to 39 per cent) while Ted Baillieu is 5 per cent negative (40 per cent to 45 per cent), with the former leading 54 per cent to 34 per cent as preferred premier. The sample for the poll was 1000, with a margin of error of about 3 per cent.

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.

45 comments on “Nielsen: 53-47 to Labor in Victoria”

  1. Another very interesting poll with the paper reporting:
    It is the Greens who have benefited from the drop in Labor’s primary vote. Fourteen per cent of those polled said their first vote would be for the Greens, up 4 percentage points from 2006.
    Labor is battling to fend off the Greens in at least three marginal inner city seats including Education Minister Bronwyn Pike’s electorate of Melbourne, held by 2 per cent, Housing Minister Richard Wynne’s seat of Richmond held by 3.7 per cent and Brunswick, also held by the same margin.

    With Labor sticking with the right wing agenda of the old foggies, the younger generation are turning to the Greens.

  2. Probably closer to what I’d think is the true feeling than some of those 58-42 polls. But they’ve certainly been very volatile recently.

  3. While a 5% drop is significant, the fact that there are no particular game changing issues to the fore might indicate it as an outlier. Not saying it is not true. However, I’d like to see some verification before taking it too seriously.

  4. “the fact that there are no particular game changing issues to the fore”

    err …….. myki mess/train meltdown/kosky quitting in response

  5. This is about where it will end up on election day. Pyke will get lots of air play with new school facilities, Jane in Brunswick will walk it in, not sure about Richmond. Do the libs preference greens in these seats?

  6. BKH,

    Kosky retired because of personal family issues nothing to do with her portfolio. This has been acknowledged by all Parties and the Media.

    Public Transport has allegedly been an issue for years. Why now to suddenly manifest itself as an issue in the polls?

  7. Lets start putting some numbers around Altona, its a big poll with zero margin for error.
    If the ALP have more than a by-election 5% swing then its a momemtun starter for the COALition.
    If the Greens get more than a 2-3% swing to them again its bad for the ALP.
    Hubris to suggest that all is well here for the ALP. One of my long held theories is that the Australian public don’t like having Fed and State parties of the same colour. Nothing to do with talent or ability. Anyone of an objective mind would say that the ALP in VIc are the best performers, but we have another Federal election, the backlash can be for any range of reasons, but if the ALP start thinking that they are immune from swings away then they will be in trouble. MyKi and Water are two huge issues and things like selling COAL to some dodgy indian company actually has an impact. Government is messy, its not personal GG, its just that politics, like life, is not fair. Look at the fed poll today, its bizarre that all the lies and confusion of the COALition should lead to a swing in their favour. Poor old Malcolm must be shaking his head.

  8. Bark

    While I love your COALition play on works

    It is because of Coal and our metal export (uses coal -smelters etc) that Australia is not in a recession and had not been hit by the GFC as badly

    It is also because of this cheap coal that China had been expending so strongly and have build up so many coal fired plants in the last 10 year

    And it is one of the main reason why Copenhagen was such a disaster, I guess you want Captain Rudd to stop selling COAL to China

  9. dovif,

    Its an interesting tangent, but hell why not.
    As a person obsessed with Global Warming, my considered reponse is that I don’t care what your motivation is, be it GW or peak oil. We should be trying to set us up as an energy future economy. There will be huge demand for energy in the future, why do we take this aggresively dumb approach to opportunity. Its classic Australian management failure stuff, oh tariffs, oh natural advantage etc, That type of thinking is just dumb. how about all that plus huge reasearch and development, agressively pump priming our manufacturing and tertiary industries around renewable. Can I be as blunt as to say that I actually think its because the vested interests of the dirty polluters are supporting the majors, I can see no other reason.
    To not start what we know must happen is madness, it is also the very thing that the whole denial industry is about. delay, delay, put off, leave the advantages around fossil fuels as long as they can. That is the fundamental issue. When and how are we going to transition our energy. I could go on but if there are any specifics that don’t make sense I’ll try and respond.

  10. The Age doing its best impression of Shanahan today with Ballieu “bonding into contention” Huh? Still 6% behind, and if replicated Labor would easily win with a reduced majority of up to THREE seats

    The GOOD news for Labor is if this keeps Ballieu there and the Libs thinking they are onto a good thing, then great!!

  11. I think you mean up to SIX seats (Melbourne, Richmond and Brunswick) if the above polling was replicated. Unless you were assuming a Labor/Green coalition…

  12. Barking

    I agree the future have to be alternate source of energy, quite simply without changing the source of the energy, there cannot be a reduction of CO2. An ETS might increase the cost of coal, but Wind power plants costs a lot of money to build, without government intervention, an ETS will achieve nothing

    I have heard about Nuclear from the Liberals, the Liberal gave subsidies for Solar panels to get houses to reduce energy consumption

    The ALP first mean tested the subsidies (so that noone will use it) and have not proposed any solution to encourage any alternate source of energy…. in fact they have took away some incentive

  13. 6

    The Liberals do preference the Greens in these seats to divert ALP resources.

    Pike has a margin of only 2%. The overall swing from the ALP to the Greens from the state election to this poll is 4%. An increase in the Lib vote is also likely to help the Greens in these seats as most of the Lib vote goes to the Greens on preferences. Melbourne is likely to change hands.

    In Brunswick, demographic change is on the Greens side and the margin is close to the swing shown in this poll and others. It and Richmond (similar margin) will be close.

    In the other ALP versus Green seat, Northcote, The ALP is likely to retain it with a reduced margin.

  14. The only seats i think the Greens could win are Melbourne and Richmond but both seats have areas rthat are weak for the Greens.

    I don’t see the ALP losing Brunswick or Northcote.

  15. Much as I wouldn’t normally be one to defend the ALP, especially those of the right, especially when they have parachuted into a seat traditionally of the left, I have to admit that Fiona Richardson has been a fairly active local member in Northcote.

  16. 17

    Agree about Northcote (this time at least). Margin too big at this election.

    Disagree about Brunswick. Virtually the same margin as Richmond and it had a 5% swing to the Greens on primaries from 2002 to 2006. Will be close. Greens may win.

  17. I reckon Labor’s chances of holding Richmond and Brunswick will swing on liquor licensing laws and how they’ve been affecting band venues like the Tote. That’s caused a huge stink there, and Richard Wynne (Richmond MP) has been going into bat for the pubs – he knows which side his bread’s buttered. (That, with the margins being the same and Brunswick’s MP retiring, makes me think Brunswick is more likely to go Green than Richmond.) Also, Richmond might have the rare sight of a Socialist getting >10% of the vote.

    How about Prahran? It’s more likely to go Liberal, but it’s the one seat I can think of anywhere (outside the flaming wreckage of the next NSW election) where Labor could conceivably lose to either the Libs or Greens.

  18. How about prahran? The libs have put up Clem Neutron Bomb. The greens pull about 20% of which 80% goes to labor. In Brunswick the ALP have gone with a little pocket dynamo. Richmond and Melbourne if anywhere.

  19. 21

    In Prahran, the Greens got 20% last time and have increased in the polls since. The Greens only have to get an extra just over 8% of the primary vote from the ALP (probably not a swing they will get this time) to overtake the ALP and win on their preferences.

    They say a good candidate (or is it local member) only gets 2% extra in an urban electorate. Brunswick is going to be close.

  20. only 8%!!! wow sounds pretty easy. how about 21% as the Greens vote, it will only take 8 more elections at this rate. In 2002 they got 18% but there was a democrat at 1.63% so you probably gained 1% between elections.
    The lazy liberals are more of the problem in Prahran

  21. I am going to start a new political party, if I get a 10% increase in vote in every election, I will have 110% of vote of every seats in the nation after 10 election. In 40 years I will be premier for life

  22. The Liberal vote is far too strong in Prahran for the Greens to have a chance, surely? They’re not going to get a worse result than 2002/2006, and Labor won’t crash so badly they’ll finish third.

    So how will the Greens beat one of them into second place? (Which they’ll have to do to win the seat)

  23. 25

    There is no chance of the Libs coming third in the current Prahran (redistribution due in the next term). Prahran in not likely to fall to the Greens in 2010 but is their fifth most winnable Victorian Legislative Assembly seat.

  24. I agree with the previous commentators: Prahran is really interesting … such a mixed seat. Clem Newton-Brown does a lot of campaigning for the Libs in the area which must be a thankless task for him. As a swing voter who lived in the area, my opinion was that he actually had a fairly high profile (I met him on several occasions) and outflanked Labor on a lot of issues such as gay rights. A good candidate for the Liberals to stand in the area. Unfortunately, the Liberal brand I think will keep down any candidate they put up … it’s just too little-l liberal.

  25. Coco i think the gay rights thing is well and truely in labors bag. The Greens generally run a gay man in this seat so most of that vote gets sucked up by them and then 805 flows back to ALP

  26. The Libs held Prahran in 1999 after the booths in the seat had recorded a Labor majority at the 1996 and 1998 federal elections I think. Jeff Kennett’s type affluent and socially liberal in a good Liberal year Ted B would be an asset here. The Green/Labor contests operate by their own rules and have little to do with the Liberal-Labor statewide swing. Look at the last election disappointing Green performances in Richmond and Northcote but unexpectedly close in Brunswick.

  27. I would suggest that Prahran is possible for the Greens but only after a redistribution.

    I would watch Albert Park closer. The Green vote isn’t that far behind Prahran, but after the kick that Labor candidates received in every single ward at the last Council elections, (where even the safest ward in Port Melbourne nearly went to a candidate who lives in East St Kilda and away from Labor), the Greens stand to gain the most.
    At the Council poll, The Greens won one seat, lost one by 14, and should have won another. The Major winners were Unchain Port Phillip who ran a very hard anti-ALP line. What if they stand an independent?

    It’s easy to spot an MP who is worried. They will generally come out swinging wildly.

    Martin Foley is swinging wildly at the Greens. Expect the Greens to be on a surge here.

    Rumour is they have an exceptional candidate.

  28. 34

    At the redistribution, Prahran is likely to take area from Albert Park (which is way over quota and shares most of its boundary with Prahran) and loose a bit of area to Malvern and/or Caulfield. If most or all of the extra area comes from St Kilda (most likely because of the geography) then the Libs will be out of contention for Prahran and the Greens will have to try and overtake them rather than the ALP whose vote would go up.

  29. Hi Tom,

    Interestingly if the redistribution does do that, The Liberals are completely out of contention and will boost the Greens through a solid vote in Toorak. That is if the Greens can do as well as they do in St Kilda East (where they win booths on Lib prefs), and St Kilda (where they win booths on Lib prefs) coupled with the Libs losing parts they are strong in like Armadale (Caulfield doesn’t make it into Prahran). It really becaomes a Green Labor Marginal.

  30. It is now half past the midday hour and tonight we will have answers to these questions relating to the Altona by-election:-
    a. How low the turnout was.
    b. The quantum of swing to the Greens.

    Bring on the close of the polls.

  31. #36, 37

    Possibly would also make Albert Park more winnable for the Liberals….I’d assume any losses to Prahran would be at the St Kilda end.

  32. The next redistrubtion will be interesting, last time Prahran was moved into St Kilda and part of Elwood went to Brighton. it is possible that move of Elwood might be moved into either Prahran or Brighton.

    There is another arguement that a new seat covering the St Kilda Elwood and Prahran or Caulfiled area might come into existances.

    The Greens would love a seat that was soley based on St Kilda and St kilda East but that wont happen unless the VEC reduced the number of voters per seat.

  33. Elwood cannot be moved into Prahran. Elsternwick is in the way.

    New seat with St Kilda, St kilda East, Elwood, Windsor (not Prahran) and Caulfield would make it a super Green seat. (probably a safe Green seat). It is a possibility because of population increases in Port Melbourne and South Melbourne for Albert Park, and South Yarra and and parts of Toorak and Prahran.

    However this is probably unlikely as it is a big change. More of Elwood to Brighton would be a shame as I’m sure the left leaning Elwood crowd would be none too happy at being part of a Liberal safe seat.

    More of St Kilda to Prahran and Armadale to Malvern would make the Prahran one of the most interesting at the election after next.

  34. ‘Transport water failings loom large in Labor heartland
    ‘Heartland fears apathy if Labor is re-elected (on line title)
    ‘The Sunday Age, February 21, 2010

    ‘PREMIER John Brumby faces a fight in Labor’s heartland, where voters fear the ALP will be complacent and apathetic and will ”carry on doing nothing” if re-elected in November, Greens internal polling has found.
    ‘A hundred ”green-leaning” voters in Melbourne’s western suburbs were questioned about their attitudes to the Brumby government by Roy Morgan Research on behalf of the Greens in January. Most were Labor voters who, at some point, had voted for or preferenced the Greens – the type of voter the Greens want to woo. Eighteen per cent said they feared inaction or apathy should the government be re-elected….’

    Note the sample size – 100.

    Note the sample selection – ‘”green-leaning” voters in Melbourne’s western suburbs’, most of whom were ‘Labor voters who, at some point, had voted for or preferenced the Greens’.

    Note who is the only person to get quoted in the article – a Greens MLC.

    Note the headline!

    Enough said.

  35. Damien – You are correct Elsternwick is sitting between St Kilda and Prahran unless the VEC were to create a funny looking seat.

    Looking over recent redistributions the inner city has only undergone small changes. the real big changes will be in the outer burbs.

  36. Mexcanbeemer nope.

    Elsternwick is between Elwood and the seat of Prahran.

    I understand that there may be little changes in the innercity, but Albert Park is getting bigger (which is why it lost a bit of Elwood to Brighton). They could easily lose a bit more of Elwood to Brighton which would make the seat of Brighton an interesting prospect for the Greens or Labor.

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