Newspoll: 55-45 to Labor in Victoria

Shortly after Ivanhoe MP Craig Langdon threw him a grenade with his self-indulgent decision to abandon his position three months out from an election – which will apparently not require a by-election – John Brumby has received cheering news from Newspoll, which has state Labor blowing out to an unlikely sounding 55-45 two-party lead. Labor’s primary vote is up four points to 38 per cent and the Coalition down four to 36 per cent. John Brumby’s approval rating is up three points to 48 per cent and his disapproval is down four to 41 per cent, while Ted Baillieu is respectively down four to 39 per cent and up two to 41 per cent. John Brumby’s lead as preferred premier has widened from 47-31 to 52-27.

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.

22 comments on “Newspoll: 55-45 to Labor in Victoria”

  1. If Abbott becomes PM, does anyone think that will increase Brumby’s odds of reelection. By the looks of things, the ALP is not that terribly on the nose. So if there is a federal Lib govt that they were against, would it increase the chances of keeping a state Labor govt just as “tyranny insurance” so to speak?

  2. Regardless of the outcome, Labor will win at the State level. We had a swing in most seats and claimed 2 more seats which was nearly 4.

  3. I don’t think you can draw too many state conclusions from last Saturday. It seems pretty obvious to me from the pattern of swings and some local observations that the Libs threw all their Victorian resources at Corangamite, Deakin, Latrobe and McEwen….virtually conceding big swings in safer seats to pinch one of the four marginals.

    I agree Brumby should win though. As I said on another thread, it looks like being our NSW 2007 or Qld 2006/2009: ageing government starting to fray a little being propped up by a weak Opposition. But I wouldn’t be surprised if by 2014 we’re in baseball bat territory.

  4. Nice. 11 years in government and the rabble opposition has not landed a blow. A reminder: this government started as a minority government with the support of 3 independents!!

  5. Labor’s primary “battle” will really be with the Greens in the Victorian State election. Abbott has done a great job of reminding people here why they don’t like coalition governments. The Libs here have almost no State profile at all, with the exception of Baillieu, and he’s far from popular.

    It is hard to find state seats held by Labor that they would really be likely to lose to the Libs. It is much easier to spot ones where the Greens present a threat to them.

    It is not going to cost them government though.

  6. MDM: Interesting you should mention Latrobe. Andrew Elder (on his blog) was grumpy about how Jason Wood got hung out to dry by Mitch Fifield (I guess that means he didn’t get enough $$ for campaigning?).

    [ LaTrobe was lost because Mitch Fifield went and euthanased Jason Wood. The Victorian Liberals is comprised of clowns almost entirely. Their Senate representation would embarrass a suburban council. Tony Smith, Josh Frydenberg and Sophie Mirabella hold safe seats, and are liabilities. Kelly O’Dwyer is the only Federal Liberal MP worth the price of her food. ]

    Whatever it was, I’ll miss that guy, if only for that one Youtube clip – “genetically modified orgasms”. He’s doomed to be remembered for it and only it, and I still look it up occasionally when I’ve had a horrible day and need something to put a smile on my face. It works. Cheers for the good vibes, Jason. You’ll be missed, in a strange 4chan-ish kind of way.

    *raises glass*

  7. What I am most looking forward to is the Liberal “two step” dance – they will be telling everyone, especially the people who support their coalition partner the Nationals just how bad and dangerous the Greens are, yet at the same time they will be preferencing them in at least four inner Melbourne seats in a desperate attempt to get them into the lower house. Clever politically I suppose, but it might blunt their attack on the Greens, especially as the National WILL be competing with the Greens head to head in the regional upper house multi-member “regions” or whatever they are called.

  8. I’m a bit torn by this. I quite like Ted Bailleau, he seems like a decent bloke, and Peter Ryan, for a National, is relatively sane. That said, they’ve got nothing and no one else on their side, the pack of liberal shadows are just hopeless. Brumby deserves an absolute kicking for Myki and for failing to invest, but would the Libs be any better? Unlikely. Meanwhile the Greens are still unfit to govern.

  9. The hypocrisy of Mr Langdon is amazing, it was the faceless men who did this, the factional warlords. This after he stacked the seat with his right wing dills and got their because of them, defeating a polished and intelligent candidate. This is guy deserves everything and personally if their were laws in place his pension should be reduced or scrapped because of his childish petulant behaviour.

  10. Brumby is not fait accompli in November, nothing can be taken for granted regarding polls these days. I recall Gillard getting 55-45 also a month ago, a few subtle reminders of this governments problems could see this poll result slip- i think the electorate is volatile at present and the figures soft.

  11. 8

    I presume that the Coalition will be running joint tickets in the regions that are not Metropolitan (those that are won`t have Nationals)

    In Northern Victoria the Nationals polled over 20% and were elected 3rd and so were the 2nd candidate of what is now the Coalition to get elected and so would have a very strong case for the 2nd place on the Coalition ticked and assured re-election and the Greens fight is against the ALP because its vote is so low.

    In Eastern Victoria the Nationals were elected 3rd last time but could have made second place part of the Coalition deal and in either case and the Greens fight is with the ALP and their chances depend very much on Coalition preferences.

    In Western Victoria The Nats are weak but could have negotiated 3rd on the Coalition ticket and the contest is between the Greens, 3rd Coalition the ALP, and the DLP. Whether or not the 3rd Coalition gets it depends on how well the ALP vote holds up against any swing to the Coalition and the Coalition could quite easily get past the DLP and not push them past the DLP as they were under 1100 votes behind them last time. If/When the DLP are eliminated they (and the other parties that preference them) preference the Coalition then the the Coalitions could be elected at that point if they have had enough of a swing to them. If the DLP and co. preference the ALP like last time then this could get the ALP over the Greens and then take their or Coalition preferences (if the Coalition preference the ALP) to win. If the Greens stay ahead of the ALP then they are either elected or defeated on Coalition preferences (depending on which way they go) or elected or coming close on ALP prefences if they get ahead.

    It would be silly for the Libs to preference the ALP in Melbourne, Richmond, Brunswick as it would mean the ALP would spend less of its resources in those seats and would increase the chances of an ALP majority government substantially. The Liberals would be advised to preference the Greens in Footscray as the Greens may come second there and the ALP got 52% of the primary there in 2006 so the preferences distributions were not published and if the 2CP was calculated using only which of the ALP or Liberals the vote ended up with not the full distribution then the Independent may have got the Greens past the Liberals and this not been noticed.

  12. Thanks Tom, I hadn’t really looked at the numbers on this.

    Yes, from a “opponent resource wasting” point of view the Libs will preference the Greens in a lot of seats, but I think it may actually backfire in terms of their message overall, especially as they are supposedly in coalition with the Nats.

  13. Nice numbers but they mean very little this far out from polling day.

    Wilful – While it is true that for many years there has been a lack of investment in infrastructure but in recent years the Brumby Government has been moving things along.

    The current set of Infrastructure policies are starting to show benefit to Victorian and I think this poll indicated that the public can actually see the good work currently taking place.

    A number of major projects have either been completed or are currently underway.
    Peninsula Link
    Springvale Road Rail separation at Nunawading
    Regional Rail Link
    Geelong Ring Road
    New Trains and Buses also increased number of Taxis
    Soon new Trams
    Myki is now working across most of the Public Transport system and as far as I am concerned it is way better than the current metcard system
    New Tram stops along St Kilda Road
    Smart Bus services
    Rail has returned to several regional towns like Maryborough and Bairnsdale
    Four new Train Stations
    South Morang rail extension project has commenced
    Several of these projects were jointly funded by the Gillard Labor Government

    The Government is delivering.

  14. I also should mention the stae and federal school building programs that over the past few years have seen many schools regenerated

    Also places like Dandenong have seen business parks developed with additional Government services housed within these parks.

    Basically the Brumby Government is doing very well. and when you compare it with NSW well case closed

  15. Why would this ALP have a 4 % swing to them.?
    Its almost like the State watching the federal campaign and went out in sympathy.
    In defence of the merits of this poll, the NSW result showed no confusion between State and Federal elections.
    Tom, your analysis is spot on of the upper house seats, and the lower house effects. One thing to remember about Eastern Vic, the ALP preferenced the DLP before the Greens and cost Marcus Ward of the Greens a place in the House.
    Expect localised issues and different campaign types across the State. ALP to retain, as people have said its a bit like NSW in 2007 with no opposition. If we had a Kennett or a Bracks maybe. Its interesting how much more tolerant the voters are of State Governments than the federal or maybe the last ALP federal was a shocker and we are just to close to see it.

  16. There is a very sensible reason for the Libs to preference the Greens in inner Melbourne. In fact they should do so in every Lower House seat. The reason is this.

    There are two outcomes the Coalition would hope for.

    1. ALP concentrating on the Greens so much that the Coalition win a majority. This is extremely unlikely.

    2. Between them, the Greens and Coalition cause a hung parliament. This is good because, as so many argue, the Greens and ALP do not cooperate well. So even if the Greens put Brumby back in, the government would be less stable.

    Personally, I disagree that it would be unstable. The Greens have held the BoP in many states for long periods. Long enough to learn from past mistakes.

    But the alternative is for the Liberals to preference the ALP. I’m betting this would go down very badly among local branches, if nowhere else.

  17. 19

    The Libs would really kick themselves if they directed their preferences to the ALP and gave the ALP a majority. I am sure that Greens would try and make it so neither the Libs or ALP were allowed to forget such a thing for the rest of the term.

  18. It is not often that we get in at the beginning of a myth that will not die (e.g., the first time it was falsely claimed that John Howard changed the definition of unemployment), but I think we are in on the beginning of one today.

    Here is my letter to The Age on the topic:


    Contrary to the editorial assertion (Victorians won’t accept excuses for lack of policy or vision, 6/9), the AEU did not say that Victorian secondary classes are worse than they were under the previous government. As correctly reported previously (Teachers in early for state campaign, 30/8), secondary class sizes now are worse than they were “before” that government was in office. The average secondary class size was 20.0 in 1992, the last year of the previous Labor government. The last Coalition government had worsened it to 22.7 by 1999. The current Labor government had improved it to 21.6 by 2007.

    There is still room for improvement in secondary class sizes, but that will come about only if secondary teachers decide to stop whinging and start fighting for the staffing and conditions that were stolen from them by the use of retrospective legislation in 1992. After 18 years of teacher weakness, which included an overwhelming state-wide vote to agree to a worsening of conditions in 2004, I won’t be holding my breath.

    Yours sincerely,

    Chris Curtis

    Emailed to
    As A myth begins

    All that was required to set the myth running was for an editorial-writer to miss the word” before”.

  19. The Age did not publish my letter, and we thus see the next necessity for the take-off of a myth: when it first appears, no correction is published, so it “must” be true. I will keep my eyes open for the first time it is repeated.

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