Nielsen: 53-47 to Labor in Victoria

GhostWhoVotes reports tomorrow’s Age will feature a Nielsen poll showing state Labor with a handsome 53-47 two-party lead, with both parties’ primary votes believed to be in the high thirties. More to follow.

UPDATE: The primary votes are 38 per cent for both Labor and the Coalition and 16 per cent for the Greens. John Brumby’s approval rating is 51 per cent, down a point on the last Nielsen state poll in January, and his disapproval is up four to 41 per cent. Ted Baillieu is up on both approval (three points to 43 per cent) and disapproval (one point to 46 per cent). Brumby holds a 52-37 lead as preferred premier.

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.

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

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  1. I’ve always thought and still do Labor will be returned as a Majority Govt , ad so it should be Its been and is by far best State Govt in oz following std left Labor reforms

  2. Radio interview today with Terry Mulder, the Shadow Minister for something or other.

    Asked (3 times) what people were saying to him – so not even what he thought – about preferencing the Greens, he refused to answer, then said it was a matter for Lib HQ.

    Then asked if he would be in favour of a minority Lib govt supported by the Greens, said wtte that that also would be a decision for HO.

    So our elected reps from the Coalition don’t expect to play a part in negotiating the government of Victoria but are going to leave it up to the faceless and unelected Liberal party hacks.

  3. Confess, I comPletely misread this one (althogh no a Victorian so can be excused)! I thought this was going to be a surprise cliffhanger with narrow minority gov , similar to feds. oh well, lets see how it turns out.

  4. Mod Lib

    Things are going rather well here in Victoria. So really, there is not much of a reason for change. We are having some issues with Transport, but I doubt the coalition could do better in that area.

  5. Mod Lib

    sorry , put away your champers for NSW , Vic Labor will win electon in its own rite

    it is becoming harder to even look at Morgan seriously , wish he’d go for either ph or face to face , and improrve his polling results consistnecy Trouble is when its posted we all damn well look at it , plus his unxpert comments

    dont see any where near enuf labor seats at risdk for a change

  6. It was not so much a belief that vic alp is a disaster (I don’t think that at all), but I have a feeling, a vibe if you like!, that there was a time it was good to be an incumbent but that time has passed…it still wouldn’t surprise me if polling is showing a landslide win that the actual result ends up much much tighter.

    This is not including NSW where I think Anthony Greens post about 17 seats for ALP is optimistic!!!! Notwithstanding some PBs who still seem to think they will win minority govt with greens

  7. 5

    But the Greens could get a better position from the BoP on this and so many issues and this is why their vote is going up.

  8. Ron, I agree with you: a 52:48 on Morgan TP would worry me if I was Vic ALP! But a 53:47 ACN should be much more reassuring(in normal times)

  9. Zoom

    Vic libs got a problem bcause at grass roots levels Greens regarded as extreme radicals from numerous radio feedback over yrs and letters

    plus in last 2 days Vic Lib Senator Helen Kroger and JWH public said Greens is dangerous and additonaly JWH said wwte ‘greens far more dangerous than Labor and Greens should never be pref’

    hope Liberals dont go for cowards way out of a open ticket
    (Labor would not and did not pref One nation in front of Libs)

  10. Ron

    As there seems to be some secrecy around the Libs intentions, I am not sure what deals may be in the pipeline. On the face of it. I just can’t see the Libs/Greens together.

  11. Mod Lib – I also think Antony is optimistic for Labor in NSW. With Optional Preferential Voting, and large Greens votes in many electorates, I think they may even beat the famous Labor “Cricket Team” in 1974 in Queensland (11 out of 82 seats).

    I still think Labor will lose majority in Victoria, but then again I actually thought Labor could lose on election day in 2002 so I’m not much of a judge!

  12. Vic, occasional visits, Italian at Donnini’s, coffee in the lovely little alleyways etc etc.

    I understand there was some issues around police corruption perhaps, but don’t really know much about this (so probably should have kept my mouth shut…oops)

  13. Mod LIb

    Premier Brumby has stated many times that he believes it will be a tight election, and that most likely a minority govt for either party.

  14. Mod Lib

    On the surface, the main gripes people have had is over our train network. Patronage has grown over the years, and although much has been done to improve service delivery, it is found wanting. Also, the ticketing system for transport has had huge cost blowouts. Generally speaking though. State Labor have been a very good govt. Hospitals have been expanded, rebuilit etc. Elective surgeries in hospital have been streamlined. The road network expanded and being renovated. Our economy is growing, and bustling along nicely. I just don’t sense a need for change.

  15. Vic, I posted a list of the NSW ministry as elected at the last election a month or so ago. The vast majority of Ministers have been dumped, under corruption investigations, resigned after attending gay brothels, developer corruption, even some whispers of mafiosi and a member currently in jail for paedophilia. Many of the ministers not in the above categoriesare past dumped leaders (dumped by factional machinations) or are leaving parliament at the next election.

    Good enough reasons to vote them out?

    If not, what about the transport disasters. Just too many to mention!!!

  16. victoria
    Posted Friday, October 29, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Permalink


    “As there seems to be some secrecy around the Libs intentions, I am not sure what deals may be in the pipeline. On the face of it. I just can’t see the Libs/Greens together.”

    They wont be together simply because there prim vote then would drop to 5% at best
    well apart from fact I’m quiteconfident on polling plus generic trends from 21/8 that Labor will win with fine majority

    issue is innercity safe Labor seats , there’s at least 4 of them If libs pref Greens over Labor and Greens get 2nd monst votes then Lib prefs allow them to pinch a safe seat from Labor

    they did it on Lib prefs in Fed electons , with”melb’ (brant) a rock solid labor seat , and in part did it in Denison rock lavbor again , that just got wilkie up just ahead of a Green , and they almost knocked off tony Albanese short by about 2.5% another rock solid labor seat

    so all seats Greens is chasing is labor seats , using Lib prefs …..not attacking Lib seats at all

    that is WHY Vic Premier Brumby yesterday and Lindsay Tanner earlier berought this Greens tactic into open , and why some Greens Anomy & Radguy last nite were upset i brought it up This danger to Labor been kept quite too long , i’ve been on about this for mths bfore Brumby wen public

  17. Ron

    As I said earlier on. The trend with the Greens getting more of the vote at the expense of Labor, means that Labor may have difficulty governing in their own right in future.

  18. Mod Lib

    you not mention privitizatons of enegy etc , or econ performance in NSW or Teachers or law & order

    whats O’Farrell goning to do

  19. Based on what he has said nothing, but as ling as he is nit a Sussex st hack, that’s good enough for this election. Next time around he will need an agenda! But I think this blog is meant to be about Vic so don’t want to get in trouble and get banned like truthy and geewizz!

  20. I’d be interested to know if anyone’s crunched numbers on how accurate polling is in the Victorian situation.

    From memory, there was no hint in the polls that Kennett was a dead ducky and I remember in 2002 that poor polling in seats such as Dandenong had the whole of the labor cabinet out doorknocking….with the targetted seats being returned with record margins.

    And the loss of seats such as Narracan were a genuine surprise to the party in 2006.

    I don’t know if Vic is more volatile seat to seat, so that statewide polls aren’t really applicable, or whether there’s a ‘soft leftie’ thing whereby people don’t admit to voting Labor but then do it anyway or whether I’ve just hallucinated all of this.

    I do expect big swings away from Labor in country areas, in seats they don’t hold anyway. (I know of some non held seats where it’s been harder than usual to get candidates, let alone ones who are willing to put in some work). I wouldn’t be surprised if these big swings skew the polling to some extent.

    I also think that people who are playing with the idea of sending their vote away from labor will change their minds again as they approach polling day and get a really good look at the alternative (we already have Ballieu gagging MPs, for example).

    So my expectation (and I’m a notoriously bad tipper) is that there won’t be much real change, with most of the swing against the government in seats that won’t hurt them anyway.

  21. Victoria

    labor needs to be aggro in selling its message and be more decisive on some issues one way or othr , later more diff in a hung parlament as CC , MMRT , MRB etc etc will take a long neg and review process

    also Labor has srtarted via Brumby and Tanner (and wuld you believe Howard yesterday) to educate liberol votes about there prefs , and to pressure Lib H/O to ake a stand and declare there hand on prefs (Labor or Lib)

    (as said earlier , Labor DID pref Libs over One Nation cause both ‘consevative’ “enemy” , but Labor felt ritely that One Nation was more xtreme , Libs got same choice)

    so with above , on those trends you say rite , is reversable

  22. zoomster

    I predicted Bracks would get over line, and Kennett would lose. Everyone thought I was nuts at the time.
    This time, I think Labor will lose its majority.

    On that note. Night all.

  23. Ron

    just saw your post. You are right. I think Labor have to stand for something and stick with it. Otherwise they will bleed votes to the Greens.


  24. [I’d be interested to know if anyone’s crunched numbers on how accurate polling is in the Victorian situation.

    From memory, there was no hint in the polls that Kennett was a dead ducky]

    Hi zoomster.

    From wikipedia at,_1999 on the 1999 Vic election:

    [When The Australian published a poll which suggested the result would be a cliffhanger, Steve Bracks is said to have stated ‘I hope it’s right, but I think The Australian is on drugs.'[5]

  25. Zoom

    Brcks ran a brillant camp[iagn on huge no of issues , each 10 second spots , with tag i think after each Kennett problam wwte ‘who cares , labor does’

    by last week Libs body language changed and oz poll confirmed Kennett has lost his former big lad awhen he announced electon (was quite arrogant what he said , tho forget actual words…tho he always arogant now i think about it

  26. [Ron, I agree with you: a 52:48 on Morgan TP would worry me if I was Vic ALP! But a 53:47 ACN should be much more reassuring(in normal times)]
    Except for one thing, this Morgan Poll is a phone poll which tend to favour the Libs.

  27. Gary
    Posted Friday, October 29, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    ‘ Ron, I agree with you: a 52:48 on Morgan TP would worry me if I was Vic ALP! But a 53:47 ACN should be much more reassuring(in normal times) ‘

    “Except for one thing, this Morgan Poll is a phone poll which tend to favour the Libs”

    corect Garry ,
    also I was not saying i was worried about 52/48 Morgons Poll , but that Morgan polls almost useless to read as he has a mix of ph and face to face 9later favorin labor about 4%)

    then as you know Morgan likes to pontificate on what his polls mean , and that is never inspiring , nor informed


    The election is tight, This poll is about right. It reflects more or less the same vote recorded in the August Victorian Senate results.

    Antony Green’s electronic pendulum is misleading in that is assumes a State wide swing will be even across the State. This is definitely not the case.

    It is a mistake to consider a statewide poll and apply that equally across the state. As as the case with the Vic Senate the distribution of the vote varies significantly across the state. Again the Senate is a good guide to determine the distribution.

    The best option would be to consider each of the eight upper-house regions. it is when you undertake a regional breakdown of the polls that you realise the outcome of the election is much closer then you think.

    Much will depend on the Green “sleezy preference deals” The Greens are set to win two seats but are dependent on LNP Preferences. In order to secure those preferences the Greens are expected to offer a deal on upper-house seats in exchange of lower house preferences. This is a risky policy for the Liberal party who are also under attack in Hawthorn but there is an assumption that the Greens will hold back in this seat.

    Many LNP members are opposed to a Green/Liberal preference exchange and this may rebound against the Liberal Party.

    The Greens can not direct preferences in the lower house but can direct preferences in the upper house thanks to the above the line ticket vote. only 3% pf the electoral vote below-the-line

    As part of the deal under consideration the Greens are expected to deliver the LNP preferences in Southern and Eastern Metropolitan Regions and possibly in rural Victoria.

    Do not be fooled a Split Ticket will be a vote for the LNP. The Greens in Victoria are not a party of principle.

    The Optional Preferential voting system is also option to abuse. For a vote to be valid in the upper house a minimum requirement of preferences is five candidates. The Greens run a team of five even though they only will elect one candidate and have an outside chance at two in Northern Victoria (Most likely they will be what is referred to as the wasted quota)

  29. Victoria @ 5

    [Mod Lib

    Things are going rather well here in Victoria. So really, there is not much of a reason for change. We are having some issues with Transport, but I doubt the coalition could do better in that area]

    Brumby has been a lackluster Premier and his government is very beige but bitter the devil you know. Why risk change when there is not real need for change. The Possibility of a Liberal Coalition government would be a backward step for Victoria and Australia. The notion of the Greens holding the balance of power would only undermine Victoria’s economy and destabilize Australia nationally

    For all the faults Brumby has and the lack of talent in the Parliament Brumby is still the best option.

    Victoria is not Tasmania. (Tasmania is in reality an overstated region that is no bigger then a mainland municipality hardly deserving status as a state) Its electoral system is seriously flawed in concept and design.

  30. The Greens in Victoria have had some luck this week
    John Howard condemned them as”worse than Labor” and the Catholic Archbishop has just said his Church thinks people shouldn’t vote for the Greens… Wow.!!
    The most discredited former PM and the most discredited major Church condemn the Greens.
    How lucky is that !

  31. lucky for Labor it is

    Well i want John Howard to keep repeating his comment to pref Labor over Greens as he says Greens is n\more dangerous extremist (correctly) than Labor , then Liberal voters may twigg to pref labor over Greens

    actualy Vic Liberl Helen Kroger has followed suit in public yesterday

    if successful , good bye Brandt , good by may be Wilkie as well , and Labor retains Vic rock solid Labor seats Richmond , Northcote & Brunswick

    tho suspoect a secret slipery unpurity deel is done by greens to pref Libs upper gouse and Greens pref libs in those Labor safe seats and othrs

  32. Mexi picked this trend months ago, lets look at the federal election, where was the Liberal campaign linking Brumby with Jules. it did not happen and for one very good reason, the Brumby Government is a strong Government delivering. sure it has made mistakes but that is more a result of it trying to do things.

    I reckon the Greens will win Melbourne, Richmond is 50-50 with both Brunswick and Northcote leaning towards the ALP.

    I will post more about difference seats has we approach polling day.

  33. DemmocracyAtWork I disagree, if the Brumby Government is lacklasture then please read the Victorian Transport Plan. then read up on who lead the States response to the Rudd Helath plan that resulted in a great result of this country’s health system.

  34. Oh dear, it appears Ron has caught D@W’s disease and hsi ptoss are now nt mkg muc snes.

    The Liberals are in confused on this one but if they are clever (and I am not assuming that at all by their actions to date) they would put the Greens behund the ALP and sell the case well – thus using this as an election strategy to attract more conservative ALP voters.

    A warning to the Libs if they are thinking of a preference deal with the Greens – I have been involved with the Greens in preference negotiations over many elections and found them to be the most dishonest of anyone I have ever dealt with (apart from one loony, flat earth, right winger who told almost everyone “I’ve put your candidate/party second”). This I hasten to add is in South Australia.

    But I digress: if the Libs can cut a real deal to give the Greens prefs across the board, then the Libs may get something out of this worthwhile. They could include the Greens running an average campaign in Hawthorn as part of the deal.

    It would be easy to set up – the Libs tell the Greens that HQ wants to put the Greens behind the ALP but the ‘negotiator’ and the parliamentary wing want a deal – and this is the price.

    The Greens would be in a bind – if they don’t accept the deal they’re screwed in the lower house and upper house seats become harder to win (will still win a few) and if they accept the deal they may alienate some voters as well as looking decidedly less clean.

    If the Greens won’t deal or renege on the deal then the Libs can also run the ‘They’re worse then the ALP’ line which many in the party are dying to do anyway. If the Greens cut a deal it will cause incredible instability in the Greens who are quite split over this issue as well. It will cause Green independents and whole branches fighting against HQ.

    But remember the Greens are going to be stronger with the ALP in Government making unpopular decisions – once the Liberals are in they are fearful that support may ebb away. This is untested to a degree as we have had ALP in power all over the country for so long but Federally, and their rise there is nowhere near as spectacular as it has been in some states’ opinion polls.

    The best deal for the ALP is the Libs preferencing the ALP above the Greens – the ALP will not lose any lower house seats and less in the upper house but the Liberals will be kept out of government, and the Labor Party if in minority government can always cut a deal with the Greens for that whereas the Liberals are very unlikely to.

    The status quo is the best deal for the Greens.

    My guess is the Libs are too gutless to preference the Greens lower than the ALP, and it would be considered too dangerous to preference them in key seats for help in return so the status quo will remain – which will help almost everyone but the Libs.

  35. 44

    I think that Brunswick is better for the Greens than the Commonwealth Election results show (ALP 0.6%) because it largely overlaps Wills in which the Greens were not putting in special effort to overtake the ALP. The Greens will be putting is said effort to try and take the seat.

  36. Brunswick is an interesting seat for the Greens normally do better in the Brunswick East booths are are generally weaker in the Brunswick West and North booths

    But if we look at the federal election result, we see the Greens improve their position in those booths. my only reason for fancing the ALP in Brunswick, is that I rate the ALP candidate Jane Garrett.

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