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.