Advertiser poll: 54-46 to Liberal in SA

The Advertiser has published a poll of South Australian state voting intention from 512 respondents, which shows the Liberals opening up a 54-46 lead on two-party preferred. Recalling that the Liberals in fact won the two-party vote at the March election quite handsomely, this amounts to a swing of around 2.5 per cent from the election. Labor’s primary vote is at just 30 per cent against 46 per cent for the Liberals and 16 per cent for the Greens. Dubiously, the Labor primary vote is slightly higher in the country than the city. Isobel Redmond also has a strong lead as preferred premier of 51 per cent to 38 per cent. Sixty per cent of respondents say they do not expect Mike Rann to lead Labor to the next election: on the matter of his successor, 34 per cent favour Jay Weatherill over 12 per cent for Kevin Foley and 8 per cent for John Rau.

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.

25 comments on “Advertiser poll: 54-46 to Liberal in SA”

  1. Three things:

    1. I severely doubt that Rann will be leader at the next election

    2. Considering the number of issues the state government has had on it’s plate in the last couple of months, I’m surprised it isn’t worse for the ALP.

    3. 3 and a half years is an awfully very long time in state politics.

  2. [3. 3 and a half years is an awfully very long time in state politics]

    Will the SA ALP follow on from the NSW ALP? Play rotate the leader whilst the polls continue to dive.

  3. spur212

    3 and a half year is a awfully long time

    I remember hearing someone saying that about the NSW ALP 3 years ago, and QLD ALP 1.5 years ago

    I would put money on a Female leader to led the SA ALP to the next election, Keanelly would be looking for a job by that time

  4. [1. I severely doubt that Rann will be leader at the next election

    2. Considering the number of issues the state government has had on it’s plate in the last couple of months, I’m surprised it isn’t worse for the ALP.

    3. 3 and a half years is an awfully very long time in state politics.]

    1. Bank on it. If he doesn’t jump, he’ll be pushed.

    2. The thing that is hurting the government the most is its cynicism and arrogance. It is seen as out of touch and his alienating both its left and right bases, just to appeal to the Centre. The fact that they have the image of a bunch of tired old men doesn’t help either.

    3. Indeed. And there are a few reforms that are coming through, as well as important infrastructure projects due to be completed at the end of this term. With a new team, they may be able to pull it off. (People here are tired of the state government, they don’t hate them.) I would still tip the Libs to win in 2014, with a 6-8 seat gain. 12 years is a long time for any government. In the end, a major factor will just be entropy and stagnation.

    [Will the SA ALP follow on from the NSW ALP? Play rotate the leader whilst the polls continue to dive.]

    No. The SA Labor party does not function like that.

    [I would put money on a Female leader to led the SA ALP to the next election, Keanelly would be looking for a job by that time]

    The obviously intended sexism of that comment aside, the most likely successors are all male. If they wanted a female Premier, maybe someone like Chloe Fox, but she would have to move seats.

  5. Not really a surprise given how crap the Labor government is here. Kevin Foley is an embarrassment with his continued stuff ups and Mike Rann hasn’t got a shred of credibility left. Their attempt to try and sell The Parks while hypocritical when factoring in Rann’s statements in Opposition shows how much they hold the less well off in society with contempt. The firestorm that erupted from that idiotic & compassionless decision (they’ve since now done a backflip) proves how far this supposed Labor Party has gone to the Right.

    So far to the Right they can’t even see the people anymore. What a sad state of affairs it is that the majority of the public voted for the Liberal Party because they’re not as right-wing as the ALP.

  6. Rann was mortally wounded by the Chantelois affair. Sooner or later the ALP power-brokers will have to recognise this fact.

    Now here’s a thing. Four elections ago, genial farmer Ben Browne went within a whisker of winning the northern state seat of Stuart for the ALP. But Ben was factionally unaligned and so was not considered an appropriate candidate for the nest three elections. Two of them were pretty close, but the last one was a disaster for the ALP.

    What happened to Ben? Well he’s just been elected unopposed to the Northern Areas Council in the Spalding ward, which is 70 per cent Liberal.

    It seems that the local Libs want strong representation and persuaded one of their own to stand aside to ensure the election of a Labor bloke that the ALP doesn’t want.

    Not a bad morality tale.

  7. I will say that Jay Weatherill’s plan to get the public on his side by being open with his intentions and talking about them in the open, rather than behind doors, is paying dividends with the voters. A unique (almost reminiscent of US primaries) and almost clever strategy. However, he has pissed a lot of his colleagues off, so it remains to be seen whether or not this will have any effect on his success. But he is personifying the “fighting, yet electable left” and could represent the first step to party reform…

  8. They *have* to go with Weatherill. And sooner rather than later in my opinion.

    They also need to make huge changes at ministerial level. The departure of Atkinson was the first step; the second is to remove Foley and the third is to remove Michael Wright.

    Bring on the new faces.

  9. I don’t get the point of polls all this time out from an election.

    Can the stupid pollsters now go on extended leave please.

  10. The SA ALP has copped an absolute beating in The Advertiser over the last couple of months. It’s almost as if they’ve decided that instead of waiting for the factions to decide, they will get rid of Rann and Foley on their own.

    Also, I read an editorial in the Australian Financial Review about 3 weeks ago where they were saying that other state governments should follow South Australia’s lead in relation to spending cuts and that Rann was making very brave albeit unpopular decisions.

    I honestly can’t see Redmond lasting 4 years as Opposition Leader. She’s going well now, but she has to be in the job for a very long time and she’s had very little scrutiny from the media so far.

  11. [I honestly can’t see Redmond lasting 4 years as Opposition Leader. She’s going well now, but she has to be in the job for a very long time and she’s had very little scrutiny from the media so far.]

    Redmond is a puppet of Evans. As long as she jumps through his hoops, the job is hers.

  12. [I don’t get the point of polls all this time out from an election.

    Can the stupid pollsters now go on extended leave please.]

    That’s kind of the purpose of this blog.

    Also, with a state government in the yellow, but not quite the red yet, it’s useful to know if the government is treading into irreversable territory. That way, the ALP can step in and try to avert disaster in 2014.

  13. Pebbles, I detest Rann but can’t see the point of polling in October 2010 when we had an election in March 2010 that the pundits swore he would lose.

    So what is the point of a poll now about an election in March 2014?

  14. I still think it is important to track opinion polls on a regular basis, even if the election is still years away. I’d advise not getting too hung up over early polls, but they are still important to knowing where the public is at.

  15. It is all in the way you ask the question

    The Australian Government has done a poor job in promoting their Preferential voting system, Apart from the way they calculate and count Senate elections, the Alternative vote – preferential voting system gives voters a choice and ensures that who is elected has the support of a majority of voters.

    A Newspoll. published in the Australian and Herald Sun and promoted by  Liberal Party think tank “Institute of Public Administration” pushes the  false notion that Australia wants a first-past-the-post voting system,  but does it?

    The question being asked should be phrased in the terms

    [“Do you support a candidate with less than the majority support being elected or should they have 50% or more support?]

    You would find that the most supported answer would be “50% or more.” The highest polling candidate is not the most supported candidate nor does it represent the majority.  iN gact is more often then not the m,inority that has the highest vote as we saw in the UK elections

    In 1996 Melbourne City Council Candidate. Peter Costigan, received 40% of the primary vote. He was the highest polling candidate in his electorate the second highest primary vote candidate had 36%. Costigan later lost the vote due on preferences. Costigan of course having lost the election jumped on to the Radio and claimed that as he was the highest polling candidate that he should have won the election. Problem for him of course was that 60% of the electorate did not support his election.

    It is also interesting that the article promotes the British and USA first-past-the-post voting system yet in the UK there are moves to have this system replaced with the Australian preferential model.

    Our system of democracy is under challenge, not just as a result of the flaws in the way we count the Senate vote but primarily due to the poor level of education and government support and tinkering at the edges that undermine the effectiveness of our vote.

    The Australian government needs to do much more to promote the Preferential voting system. Not just in Australia but also internationally.

    A preferential voting system would save France which has a two round presidential ballot. 100s of millions of Euros. The cost of holding a second round ballot, should the first round ballot no deliver a candidate with  50% or more votes. Preferential voting would ensure that the person elected has the support of a majority of electorate without the need for second ballot.  Under the the US or British system a candidate with as little as 34% support can be elected to office (some times even less).

    It is this lack of understanding, lack of government education, lack of promotion that has contributed to the misinformation and push to see Australia revert back to the undemocratic first-past-the-host voting system.

    Optional preferential voting will only make it worst in years to come.. I for one would prefer to see compulsory voting abolished long before abandoning the preferential voting system.

  16. Maybe this issue should have its on thread as it is a poll that I think should be debated.

    No doubt the Liberal Party think that adopting a first-past-the-post voting system would benefit them and this is why they are trying to push it. Mind you it would kill off any Green aspiration at the polls.. But do we want this outdated undemocratic voting system. Do we really want to take a backward step?..

  17. This poll is part of the way to make news and undermine the Premier of SA. If a Premier is undermined then this in turn sells newspapers. When everything runs smoothly sales go down. There is every reason for the Murdoch Press to create a story if there is no other to tell.

  18. I wonder of South Australian residents share the concerns and hysterics of residents in Griffiths QLD in relation to the Murray catchment region water allocations? Coudl be end up seeing South Australia declare “war” on Queensland over water?

  19. Been thinking a little about this poll today.

    Considering the amount of unpopular decisions the state government has made over the last 5 to 6 months, I’m surprised the poll wasn’t somewhere around the 56-44 mark or worse.

    I guess the Federal election might have softened the anger as a lot of it has been specifically directed at Rann and Foley rather than the state government in general.

    I think over the coming year or so the focus will be on how SA Labor manages the transition from Rann to the new leader, whoever it is.

  20. To Speak of Pebbles #5

    It is not sexism, it is the working of the ALP party nation wide, when they are trying to hide from the baseball bat effect, they traditionally hand the premiership to a female

    Carman Lawrence, Kernot, Keanelly, Bligh etc

  21. [Too late. Anyone making predictions 3 and half year’s out has learned bugger all from the last 3 years federally.]

    Thank you.

    For every QLD Government that dives in the polls after a long time in power, there’s a Victorian Government that holds strong.

    The fact is that 3 and a half years is a very long time in politics. Surely the last twelve months has shown us that anything can change over the space of a year.

    SA Labor has copped a battering with their budget, but we’ve a few budgets to run until the next election. And the SA Libs have an uncanny knack of tearing themselves apart at any opportunity.

  22. [Carman Lawrence, Kernot, Keanelly, Bligh etc]

    A cute but misleading ‘etc’ there. You haven’t listed some female premiers, you’ve listed them all. The ‘etc’ is incorrect. I also assume you mean Kirner, not Kernot. Bligh ascended to the leadership after Beattie decided to retire, after having a long run. She also won the subsequent election and, now that Labor’s position looks terminal their, there are questions about her leadership, and some are there is talk of an eventual challenge, by a man. So you can’t count her.

    I’ll give you Kirner, Lawrence and Kenneally, as duds put up by the Labor party. But while we do that, let’s also list:

    Harry Holgate
    Lyn Arnold
    Des Corcoran
    Nathan Rees
    David Bartlett

    All men. Of course you completely overlook them because they are men, and just make the assumption that whenever a woman becomes ALP leader, it’s because of a “baseball bat” effect (a very thuggish term might I add) and whenever the ALP are in trouble they’ll appoint a woman to shield them. It’s unfounded, it’s stupid and it’s most certainly prejudiced. I was right to call your comment sexist, because it plainly was.

    (Oh, and I assume you didn’t take the Territories into account, wherein woman have led the ALP from opposition into government)

  23. Sorry to take so long to take on this thread but I think all but William are missing the critical point to this poll – the numbers.

    The ALP being more popular than the Libs in the country don’t stack up. It’s rubbish in fact. SA has less regional cities and less non-capital city population than any other state and accordingly a low ALP country vote, at best.

    In three rural seats the ALP came in third, and almost lost their deposit in the Riverland seat of Chaffey. There are also two rural independents one of whom represents one of the three blue collar rural cities.

    What am I saying? That the poll’s country figures are garbage, and I have real doubts as o their veracity when they’re showing the ALP vote there has INCREASED since the state election. Further, I have real doubts about the poll’s accuracy in the city too. ALP people have the feeling that their support has eroded badly since the state election and these figures don’t show that. I know the Libs are hardly setting the world alight at the moment but there is real anger at the ALP now especially in some of their safer seats – this poll is not showing that.

    This poll is a dud and whether it is by incompetence or otherwise, I don’t know.

    And as far as The Advertiser trying to undermine the Premier, compare their coverage to that of the Independent Weekly. The Advertiser under Rann has been very comfortable with him – whether this has to do with Rann’s long time friendship with the editor of this paper not is questionable.

    Everyone apart from the inner circle have forgotten about Chantelois and moved on as they all should. The real issue for the ALP is a Treasurer who is accident prone, a Premier who only turns up to good news stories, a Cabinet who is divided and tired, a backbench who are mostly on wafer thin margins and a steadily decreasing and moribund membership some of whom are talking openly of starting a new left wing party.

    The good news is the Opposition are divided and can’t even publicly back their own leader.

    As far as Chloe Fox taking over as Premier – she has a less than year old baby, no partner, is in the State’s most marginal seat and has other troubles that would stress the best – She will not be taking over as Premier.

    The next Premier will be Jack Snelling who has a low profile but has the support of the Don Farrell and is well regarded internally. He has strong family support and has no accidents marked to him.

    Weatherill has burnt his bridges with his colleagues (they make the decsion on ALP leader, not the population) and being of the Left cannot even garner enough support amongst all of them. He will never get there.

    It is sad state of affairs all round.

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