Nielsen: 52-48 to Coalition in Victoria; Newspoll: 51.1-48.9

GhostWhoVotes reports an unpleasant surprise for Victorian Labor in the final Nielsen poll of the campaign, which has the Coalition seizing a 52-48 two-party lead. More to follow.

UPDATE: And now Newspoll confirms the picture of a late swing of considerable force, putting the Coalition in front 51.1-48.9. Labor’s primary vote is at just 33 per cent, with the Coalition on 45 per cent and the Greens at 15 per cent.

UPDATE 2: Newspoll was conducted from Tuesday to Thursday from a sample of 1451, boosted from the normally 1000-ish as usual for a final pre-election poll. John Brumby is down four on approval to 38 per cent and up four on disapproval to 52 per cent, while Ted Baillieu is up four to 44 per cent and down two to 44 per cent. Brumby nonetheless leads as preferred premier 48 per cent to 38 per cent, and Labor is expected to win by 55 per cent against 26 per cent for the Coalition. Full tables here courtesy of GhostWhoVotes.

The Age reports the primary votes from Nielsen are Labor 34 per cent, Coalition 45 per cent and Greens 14 per cent – a very similar set of figures to Newspoll, suggesting the 52 per cent Liberal two-party result has benefited from rounding. Nielsen has better personal ratings for both leaders: Brumby is on 46 per cent approval and 47 per cent disapproval, with Baillieu on 48 per cent and 42 per cent. Brumby’s lead as preferred premier is narrower, at 49-44.

UPDATE 3: The Newspoll metropolitan/non-metropolitan breakdowns are an eye-opener: Labor’s metropolitan vote is recorded as slumping from 47.4 per cent in 2006 to just 34 per cent, with the Liberals up from 34.5 per cent to 43 per cent. Yet for all the talk of a regional backlash, Labor’s non-metropolitan primary vote is only down from 36.1 per cent to 32 per cent, and the Coalition are treading water on 48 per cent compared with 47.8 per cent in 2006. In two-party terms, I’m calculating a metropolitan swing of 10 per cent, but a non-metropolitan swing of less than 2 per cent. This is a super-sized version of the JWS Research poll, which respectively had it at 5.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent.

If such swings were uniform, Labor would lose government in Melbourne alone with the loss of 14 seats all the way up to Albert Park (9.7 per cent) without dropping a single seat outside Melbourne. Of course, it won’t play out exactly like that – Albert Park I expect is too established an area to swing that big, and outside Melbourne Labor expects to lose at least South Barwon and is very nervous about Ripon and Bendigo East as well. Election watchers should keep an eye on not only Yan Yean (7.9 per cent) but volatile outer suburban Narre Warren North (9.2 per cent) and Narre Warren South (11.1 per cent). If these seats look shaky, Newspoll has it right and Labor are gone. But if it’s not as bad for them as all that, I suggest it will come down to the Melbourne seats in the 6 to 7 per cent range (Bentleigh, Eltham and Carrum) along with Ripon and Bendigo East.

Without wishing to call the game too early, the prescience of Peter Brent at Mumble should be noted: the scenario just outlined was exactly as he saw it on October 21.

UPDATE 4: Here’s an update of my earlier table.

Sample, Dates ALP 2PP ALP L-NP GRN
Nielsen 1533, 24-25/11 48 34 45 14
Newspoll 1451, 24-25/11 48.9 33 45 15
Galaxy 800, 23-24/11 50 36 44 14
Morgan 990, 22-25/11 49 35.5 44.5 13
JWS Research 9218, 20-22/11 50.1 35 39 19
Galaxy 500, 17-18/11 51 36 42 16
Morgan 943, 16-18/11 52.5 39 41.5 15.5
Nielsen 1000, 10-11/11 52 38 40 16
Newspoll 1000, 9-11/11 51 37 44 14
Nielsen 1000, 27-28/10 53 38 38 16
2006 ELECTION 54.4 43.1 39.6 10.0

And here are the Labor two-party figures with a trend line running through them.

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.

482 comments on “Nielsen: 52-48 to Coalition in Victoria; Newspoll: 51.1-48.9”

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  1. So Rob Hulls for Opposition Leader (should these figures be replicated tomorrow)???

    The trend is to the Libs but we could be in for a SA result with Libs winning on 2PP but not getting enough seats.

    Still rather be tied in one and ahead in 2 than behind….

    Could be in for Premier Ted Baillieu.

  2. I received this today, the results of an online poll I subscribe to. It gives no figures, but may be of interest…

    *The increase in the Greens vote appears to be entirely from
    disaffected Labor voters
    *Greens voters are very motivated this election, while Liberal and
    Labor voters are not, as represented by the various response rates
    *Greens voters want a hung parliament with Labor in minority
    *Greens voters think there is a very low chance that the Liberals
    will win, which increases the potential for a protest vote going to
    the Liberals from some Greens
    *Around 23% of Greens voters will preference the Liberals
    *John Brumby is a very polarising figure while Ted Baillieu suffers
    from not making enough of an impact.

  3. Well better than Premier Robert Doyle or Premier Denis Napthine…

    If the Libs do get up I hope to hell they bring in some good talent because they need it IMHO.

    Well this election is anyones Brumby could hold out or Ted could squeak it.

    Popcorn all round bludgers 🙂

  4. [tsop

    good grief. what happened to your analytical approach?]

    As I said, it’s just gut. The numbers do tell a different story. It just smells a little like WA. I may be completely wrong, so don’t put much stock in it.

  5. It may be relevant that if it is a late swing its impact will be softened by the fact that up to 30% of the electorate have already voted

  6. You might want to try plugging 52-48 into Antony Green’s calculator. Granted that they almost certainly would win from those exact figures, but it wouldn’t have to be too far wrong for it to be otherwise.

  7. flemingtonsportsbet have suspended betting on vic election (and at least 20 minutes before they said they would)

    Did ghostwhovotes punt the life savings on the Libs before telling us this poll? 🙂

  8. Late swings are a bugger.

    Looks like a re run of SA. Swing is varied and punters will give Labor a fright but will probably squeeze back.

    Libs surge probably saves Labor in the inner Melbourne. (No chocs for the Greens).

    Best guess is 46 for Labor, 41 Libs , Ingram survives.

  9. and the swings have to be in the right places, but 52 would get them over the line. Isnt it funny how an opposition offering essentially nothing different might sneak home?

  10. Sportingbet seat likely

    Greens- nil

    ALP- Melb, Frank, Bruns, Prah, Rich, Bell, Bend E, Ball E&W

    Lib- Mt Wav, Gem, FH, Mitch, S Bar, Mord

    It’s the bookies vs the pollsters

  11. The poll makes me think a Coalition win a little more likely than I thought before. Be interested to see what Newspoll says (remembering that what it said on the eve of the SA election was exactly what this Nielsen poll says).

  12. I will be watching it with my old man. I’ll tape it at home.

    Are you victorian Confessions or will you be viewing the election via ABC24 with Chris Ulhman’s commentary 🙂 ???

  13. I would love to know what the long term ‘internal’ polls have been saying and for how long – bit of context, over the past 3 months we have been very carefully removing all cabinet and cabinet related info from Dept files/emails/drives, the work, checking and double checking. Of course we did this before other elections in 02 and 06 but this is the first election there has been a real sence of urgency about the task.

  14. Feeny (from the other thread)
    [I’m having difficulty getting a seat-by-seat prediction by Sportsbet or Sportingbet. Could anyone give me a clue how to go about it? I get to the sites OK but can’t progress any further. It’s probably my own ignorance, not being much of a “tech head”, about the only thing Rabbott the Luddite and I have in common. Thanks.]

    Go to
    Move your mouse to the bar on the extreme left titled “sport” (below “racing”)
    Move your mouse over Elections, then over Victorian State Election, then over Victorian State Election – Seat Betting

    If you can’t get to it work, then just click on this link:

  15. My prediction of Labor’s Primary vote collapse has proven correct at least from the polls.

    Labor got nearly 42% in 2006. I think it will be more like 35% tomorrow.

  16. Glen:

    No, not a Victorian. I’ll be at a wedding tomorrow night though, so will have to catch up on events on Sunday morning.

  17. [Is there evidence of baseball bats out for brumby?]
    The Melbourne v Canberra baseball was washed out at the Showgrounds (would have gone until I saw all those thunderstorms coming) – so there’s a few angry batters!

  18. Also going to rain tomorrow so the trains not working may piss people off even more…

    Me thinks the FU vote is substantial if based on the polls.

  19. Diogenes

    Labor have been in power 11 years. I agree Brumby is not tired. But I do believe that people vote for change for the sake of it sometimes.

  20. I might point out that the Coalition have run quite a tight ship for at least the past week or so. No Steven Griffiths/ Vickie Chapman-style blunders here. Possibly food for thought for those comparing this to SA…

  21. Bolt wrote an article today saying there was about 0.05% difference between Brumby and Ballieu. He didn’t seem to care who won.

  22. The question is where are the swings, a 50-50 for the liberals in metro would deliver some but not enough, but a much bigger 54-46 in the regions would do damage in areas like macedon and seymour, those outside the notional 6.5 per cent

  23. Diogenes

    I don’t often agree with Bolt, but in this case I do. Either party will probably continue to run the state in the same way. Dagget may beg to differ?

  24. There could also be that ‘toggle effect’ where voters at a state level put in a govt opposite to what is at federal level.

    Does anyone in Vic think this might be a factor?

  25. I have a close relative who is a classic “swinging voter” – told me they were voting for Big Ted just for a change after 11 years – if Baillieu wins they will have voted for winning side in every Vic election from 1982 onwards. Nine in a row!

  26. From work we have done the only bats we could see were likley in smaller regional centres outside of Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong, kind of the more to regional vic than just them attitude but the bluk of that is in liberal/nat seats anyway.

  27. According to Antony’s calculator 52% 2PP gives the coalition 44 seats. If they can get to 52.4 2PP they’ll have 50 seats (assuming a uniform swing of course). They could fall just short.

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