EMRS: Liberal 46, Labor 27, Greens 25 in Tasmania

Tasmanian polling firm EMRS has published one of its quarterly polls of state voting intention, the full report of which is available courtesy of the seemingly omniscient GhostWhoVotes. Conducted from February 17 to February 21, it suggests the leadership change from David Bartlett to Lara Giddings on January 24 has done Labor no good at all: using the conventional measure, the primary votes are Liberal 46 per cent, Labor 27 per cent and Greens 25 per cent. This compares with 42 per cent, 30 per cent and 24 per cent in the previous poll in November, and 39.0 per cent, 36.9 per cent and 21.6 per cent at the election on March 20 last year.

As always, I must observe that EMRS is most unusual in using as its headline figure a result based on raw responses to the opening question on voting intention. Like all polling firms, it then prods the undecided by asking them who they are leaning towards, and then excludes the stubbornly undecided from the final result. However, it is unique in publishing each of these figures separately – full points for transparency here, but I think they would do better to publish “percentage of respondents supporting or leaning towards a party after excluding undecided voters” as table one rather than table three. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless worth observing that the Greens have achieved parity with Labor on the raw result from table one, which could well be a first for them.

Despite Labor’s decline on voting intention, Giddings has done slightly better than Bartlett on the question of preferred premier, recording 27 per cent compared with 38 per cent for Liberal leader Will Hodgman and 16 per cent for Greens leader Nick McKim. The results in the November poll were 23 per cent for Bartlett, 39 per cent for Hodgman and 21 per cent for McKim. There are no personal approval figures, but breakdowns across Tasmania’s five electorates are offered if you’re interested – given the sample size for each is about 200, I’m not. The margin of error on the statewide results is about 3 per cent, but it must also be remembered that EMRS seems to have a substantial bias in favour of the Greens. This probably has something to do with the high undecided rate Essential always seems to end up, as undecided voters tend to end up with the major parties.

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.

15 comments on “EMRS: Liberal 46, Labor 27, Greens 25 in Tasmania”

  1. Even with a change away from an unpopular leader, this is Labor’s worst ever polling in this series. Given the way that the undecided tend not to break to the Greens and have some tendency to break to the incumbents, it might only really be as bad as 46-32-20. But even that’s around the edge of outright loss territory and it may well be (or get) worse. Those who reckoned we were in for a decade of hung parliaments were just silly and I think there’s a very good chance the Libs will win the next election outright.

    Writing an article for Tasmanian Times at the moment; was also interviewed by the Examiner today.

  2. William

    I can probably intend it for almost every tread

    Queensland: no cut to subsidy
    NSW: We will build infrastructure
    Tasmania: We will abide by the electorate dicision

    It seem to be the MO, whatever it takes, lie steal and cheat

  3. Kevin would know more than me, but my Tassie sources tell me there is a ‘change in the wind’ there after the election, and this result is no surprise.

    ALP voters are starting to change straight to the Libs (remember the Greens are despised by many more than who vote for them) in numbers and I tend to agree with Kevin, and would add that I think this trend will continue despite the personable Lara Giddings being in charge as the government is faltering even more so, in the same way Labor governments in more northern states have been, and look at the polls there…despite otherwise reasonably popular female leaders.

    OK, if William will let me indulge, which state or territory is the only one yet to have a female Premier/Chief Minister…no googling please!

  4. Bp, you are right. Ashamed as a South Aussie to admit that.

    New question – which state has never had a MP representing a seat in that State as Prime Minister?

    Thanks Kevin for the link, awesome.

  5. IT – You seem to love talking about SA! Curtin was from WA and Lyons from Tas, though I’m not sure if either has had more then 1 PM. Obviously the eastern states have had plenty.

    On topic… of coarse in Tassie people will start going straight to the Libs, since as long as Labor + Greens get 13 seats they will be in power. If people are unhappy with the government they are much more likely going to go to a party that isn’t in government.

  6. Bp – correct again.

    MD43 – I am South Australian, but with special interest in Tasmania, Victoria and ACT. However coarse people in Tassie are, you are right as far as there being a large switch straight to Liberal from Labor for the reason you give.

    There are also no lower house independents in Tassie of particular interest (unless Wilkie does, for whatever reason, leave the Federal scene and try his luck at state politics again) as the independents are strongest in the upper house.

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