Newspoll: 56-44 to Liberal in SA

GhostWhoVotes reports Newspoll has published its first poll of state voting intention in South Australia since Labor’s lucky escape at last year’s election. After limping to a majority at the election despite with 48.4 per cent of the two-party vote, the poll finds Labor trailing 56-44 and joining its New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australian (and very nearly federal) counterparts in falling below 30 per cent of the primary vote. The Labor primary vote of 29 per cent compares with 37.5 per cent at the election, but the Liberals are only up from 41.7 per cent to 42 per cent. The balance has mostly been soaked up by the Greens, who have soared from 8.1 per cent to 14 per cent.

Liberal leader Isobel Redmond has also opened up a commanding 50-32 lead over Mike Rann, whose long overdue departure must be awaited in Labor circles with growing impatience. Rann’s approval rating has crashed to 30 per cent, compared with 43 per cent in the pre-election Newspoll, while his disapproval has gone from 48 per cent to 59 per cent. Redmond has also gone backwards slightly, albeit off a very good base: her approval rating of 52 per cent compares with 59 per cent pre-election, while her disapproval has gone from 23 per cent to 25 per cent.

Oddly, the poll has been conducted entirely over the past week, in contrast to Newspoll’s usual practice of saving up responses from their federal polling and publishing them as quarterly results. The sample is 1028, with Newspoll’s usual 3 per cent margin of error. The graphic from The Australian helpfully charts the long-term decline in Rann’s net approval rating since he became Premier in 2002. The only other South Australian polls published since the state election have been two small sample efforts conducted in house by The Advertiser, both of which had the Liberals ahead 54-46, with Labor on 31 per cent and 30 per cent. The more recent poll, published on February 13, gave Redmond an ever bigger lead than Rann as preferred premier: 58 per cent to 31 per cent. Both polls had samples of slightly over 500.

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.

80 comments on “Newspoll: 56-44 to Liberal in SA”

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  1. Ah, I stand corrected, William.

    I recall a poll three or so months ago and I thought it was a Newspoll.

    Wow – 12 months is certainly a long time between drinks for an opinion poll like this, and it’s a little hard to know how to interpret it for that reason, apart from their, as you say, “helpful” graphic that shows a clear decline in Mike Rann’s personal fortunes.

  2. Clearly time for Rann to move on.

    When an opposition leader is leading as preferred premier, you know you’re in deep trouble.

  3. ALP strategists in SA should be sacked. Honestly, the ALP is being chomped by the Greens for pretty poor reasons.

    It’s probably obvious that I am not ALP fan, but taking back ground from the Greens ought to be a no-brainer: Fight the Green, not the RED. Doh!

    The ALP in a climate of declining union membership has well and truly lost its way. The Greens pick up voters because voters understand a colour and an apparent goal. Very few punters realise that 80% of gazetted Greens policy was a progressive/socialist agenda and 20% a Green agenda. OK, what about the ALP? around 15% Green issues, the rest, mixed, as you’d expect from a government that deals with the ideal AND the practical. So 5% difference. Serious… and the ALP fights the RED???

    You can’t beat the Greens on a socialist agenda. Why not. because-they-are-not-in-government-nor-in-opposition. They will not, for a very long time, if ever, have to account for lefty lunacy, you will.

    How do you score from Greens. Be Greener. Be Smarter. Why have “Greeny-lite” policies?? Be different, be pragmatic, win the Blue-Greens for goodness sake!!! These are ex Lib voters.

    BTW if the Libs woke up to this properly, they’d shoe in future elections.

    ALP strategists are PAID to know this basic crap. Read your data, you toads.

    Who ever said that having some moral conscience about the planet was a leftist issue??? You think Stalin was an environmental saviour??? Castro maybe??

    the ALP needs to leave the ‘workers in solidarity’ dinosaur and woo Mums & Dads who want a planet for their kids.

  4. [You can’t beat the Greens on a socialist agenda. Why not. because-they-are-not-in-government-nor-in-opposition. They will not, for a very long time, if ever, have to account for lefty lunacy, you will.]

    Sorry ‘bluepill’ the Greens are in government federally and also in Tasmania & the ACT.

    Not unsurprisingly News Ltd have stepped up it’s attacks on the Greens so it was good to see the Pure Poison guys point this out today:

    “They may have one seat, but it’s a seat that represents more than 1.4 million Australians”:

    [One other line that Miranda indulges in in that column is this week’s favourite News Ltd line on the Greens: they have only one seat in the House of Representatives! Why should they have any power at all! As Bolt puts it:

    Third, to please the Greens extremists who hold just one of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives, rather than appeal to the voters who chose the other 149, not one of which campaigned for her tax.

    How dare the Greens use that one vote! That one vote that represents the 11.76% of Australians who voted for them.

    You might have noticed that 1/150 is not 11.76%. In fact, it’s two thirds of one percent. If we had a genuine representative democracy, on those votes the Greens would have seventeen (17) seats in the House of Representatives. But, because of the single member electorate system that ignores voters if they’re not concentrated geographically, they only have one. Where did the other sixteen seats’ worth of Greens votes go? They went to the major parties in preferences.

    Which highlights the deception in the second half of that sentence. Many of the voters represented by those 149 non-Green MPs – more than 1.4 million Australians, all the Greens voters who didn’t live in Adam Bandt’s electorate (like me, as it happens) – actually did vote for the Greens.]

    and now the Greens are up to 14% in this SA poll. Something is happening. There’s a reason for it and I’d just quietly suggest it’s the exact opposite to what the aptly named ‘bluepill’ thinks.

    Keep listening to the Abbott’s and all the other right-wingers ALP, they’re leading you into oblivion.

  5. Rather well put Bluepill, if flamboyant.

    I can’t work out why Labor are trying to woo back Green voters either – they will preference them anyway (or more precisely, it has been repeatedly shown in polling and elections that Green preferences go 3-1 to Labor regardless of the Green Primary Vote).

    In SA, the Government appear as if they are trying to cheese everyone off. They are fighting more battlefronts than Hitler towards the end of WWII. RAH relocation, Adelaide Oval redevelopment, motor sport park denial, public service job losses, country hospital closures, unpopular major planning decisions, the whole economy of the South East…the list is almost as long as the failings of the NSW Labor Party, and we all know where they’re heading.

    Ex-Deputy and Treasurer Kevin Foley is running out of control, saying even loopier things than we are used to and unable to be controlled by the Speaker of the House. As Motor Sport Minister he has denounced plans for a Motor Sport Park in vacant waste land within his electorate (the developers wishing to BUY the land); and is now threatening “all bets are off” if the motor sport fans hold a protest near his beloved Clipsal car race. (Maybe he’s afraid he’ll be late for his taxpayer funded corporate hospitality suite).

    The real reason the Government won’t support this is that the ALP/public service didn’t think of this first, and the spokesperson for the group is a former Liberal Party candidate. At the last election the motor sport group endorsed the Liberals too.

    The problem for the Liberals is though they have been a small target, when some of them have popped their heads up, they are dredging garbage. Someone within the ALP/public service/media is still feeding them BS and they are swallowing it. Look what happened to Martin Hyphen-Smith when he swallowed that a few years back.

    There is one very interesting detail in the poll, to me.

    The two party preferred vote has been ascribed by Newspoll according to preference flows at the last election. For the Greens (as I stated earlier) this may be fairly safe, but no one knows who those turning from ALP to Independent and others may go for their preferences. My suspicion is that they are likely to go back to the ALP. For the Liberals to gain just 0.3% in Primary vote since then is hardly very encouraging for the Liberals. This is really more “I hate Labor” more than “We are becoming interested in the Liberals”.

    A sidenote about the Nationals. They have lost their 1 MP, they have no realistic hope of even putting up a fight in any seats (mainly as there are no Labor held regional seats they have a hope of winning) and I doubt their vote in 2014 will reach 0.5% statewide. I would ignore them for purposes of polling in SA and add their votes to the Liberals.

    Why Newspoll didn’t enquire about preferences I don’t know (save time and money I guess).

    Whereas the poll may be dire reading for Rann especially, the Liberals must be concerned that their PV pick up was so pathetic and that the Greens and others are polling so well. There are only 3 Lower House Independents in SA, whose combined votes at the last poll would make up only about 3% of the statewide vote, and add in the 5% for Family First and there are still 6% of people looking for local Independents to vote for who are currently got no profile as they don’t exist.

    The Greens too have increased their vote markedly, no doubt creaming off the younger voters and disaffected Labor voters on the left of the spectrum. The Greens in SA have been relatively low profile in the MSM but are working hard in the community. It will be interesting to see how this strategy works. I don’t believe that vote will hold come an election in SA lower house.

    The next election in SA, as always, will not come down to how Labor can hang on, but IF the Liberals can tear themselves part again just in time for the poll that matters. They haven’t let the ALP down for a few elections yet…

  6. Rann is clearly terminal. No one is listening to him and that won’t change. The longer he stays, the more damage he does to the Labor brand.

    Rau to take over soon, although he hasn’t been kicking too many goals recently.

    As above, the only way the Libs can lose is to give it away which is always on the cards.

  7. As I said when Rann won the election with 48% of the vote and all the Laborites was celebrating.

    The SA government is just following the path of the NSW and Qld government, 3 years from now they would have prefer to have lost the last poll, because at least they would not be wiped out.

  8. No doubt a very disappointing poll for the Liberals with no rise in their vote.

    Very interesting that the mych ballyhooed Newspoll has produced results very similar to the somewhat derided Advertiser polls.

  9. This is no surprise to many politically aware non partisan south australians. The damage done since March 2010 election by a run of poor decisions and project blow outs and stuff ups has cost the Rannbo Government as they have lost the faith of the people. From Trams to nowhere, a new hospital project that can’t be costed, super schools that are not so super to the closure of country hospitals, not to mention an overpriced not needed desal plant ready to be mothballed at huge expense to the state coffers. The Rann Gov have simply not been able to deliver.

    It took a so called treasurer six months to hand down a budget after a fixed election. Then there is the behaviour of said now EX treasurer, what a disgrace.

    All Tiser polls have had jay Whetherall as preferred ALP leader, but alas, he is from the Left Faction and the SDA Right Faction run this State and its government.
    In contrast Redmond seems to have a steady ship in opposition and fantastic workers in finance with Ian Evans and Rob Lucus flanking her well.
    Even the most rusted on old ALP voters will not be unhappy to see the Liberals win government. But with the fixed election date (yeah thanks Mr Hanna for that one) it is still 1100 days till the next election.

  10. Have a closer look at these ‘poor decisions’, LisaCrago:

    1. Trams to nowhere? Very, very popular. The public is clamoring for more, to Norwood, Unley, North Adelaide etc.

    2. New hospital project. Much needed to replace the present antiquated mishmash. Supported by younger doctors and nurses (but not some of the old fuddy-duddies).

    3. Super schools. Far too early to say.

    4. Desal plant. Demanded bythe Opposition. Then it rained. Now it’s “too big, too costly”. Hindsight vision.

    Rann’s mistakes (and Foley’s too) are more in the area of personal behaviour, or perceptions thereof.

  11. James J
    [Clearly time for Rann to move on. ]
    Agreed – the only logical conclusion. Following Dio’s comments, Labor’s best chance is to get someone in Vicky Chpaman’s ear and compliment her leadership potential.

  12. Toorak Toff,

    You might want to add the attempt to sell off The Parks community centre to be bulldozed by their Big Developer mates to that list too. Cheltenham, St Clair etc.

  13. Rann is poisonous to the party, it’s obvious. My mother, who is a good gauge of the average SA voter has said she’ll vote Liberal if Rann is still leading the ALP at the next election. Her criticism: he seems to no longer care. I think, regardless of who is leader, the Libs will win next time. I pray they don’t screw the state up like they did last time…

  14. Lisa Crago “It took a so called treasurer six months to hand down a budget after a fixed election. ”

    You can get away with posting outright rubbish on articles, but would you like to qualify that claim with any proof of anything? Id hope that pollbludger community demands a little more than Adelaide Now.

    If you are posting on a blog call poll bludger but cant grasp the majority of seats is what matters fact of a parliamentary democracy… you shouldn’t be here.

    If you are claiming the Family First stuff fixed the election, well while it sure looked dodgy (it was hardly groundbreaking though), it didn’t change a single seats outcome, and certainly didn’t change the result of the election.

  15. There is spculation as to why the fuddy duddies dont like the new RAH, email me for details lol.

    Weatherill would make a massive difference IMO. Firstly, he seems popular. Secondly, the Tiser seem prepared to give him a fair go. Thirdly, the state has cottoned on to the fact that ‘faceless men’ don’t want Jay in the job, and therefore every day he is not in the job makes the public angrier at the ALP and its internal machinations.

  16. Vote 1 wtf are you on about?
    Budget was in September…late!
    And where have I said anything about the FFP OR dodgy elections.
    in South Australia
    FIXED DATE every four years.
    So it is not like the ex treasurer was taken by surprise by a shock election and had any excuse for delaying the budget.
    how about you do your bloody homework before you go and kick sand in my face you 90 pound weakling.

    So I expect an appology in long hand thank you very much!!!!
    Also a retraction for denegrating my good name.

  17. Adam
    [Sorry ‘bluepill’ the Greens are in government federally and also in Tasmania & the ACT.]

    Sorry mate, just your partisan high hopes. I know precisely the state of green seats in the country and maintain that the Greens have yet to account for their socialist agenda. They are not in government, nor in opposition and may never be, I’d suggest.

    The ALP haemorrhage is from ALP to Green predominantly, in South Australia and mirrored in many places except NSW. This represents progressives leaving the tent for socialist havens.

    The ALP would do far better to dislocate the Environmental issues from the rest of the ‘grab bag’ of progressive ideals (some of which are even conflicting values anyway) and attack the greens on their ‘Green’ NOT their red. naive, politically ignorant younger voters could easily be wooed here. They understand the environment (or think they do, at least!!) not the economic implications of a fat government with fat taxes pandering to a few select groups targeted for support.

    Why gay marriage????? What about better indigenous outcomes? What about finally getting out of the third world with our attitude to carers??? What about defending the rights of Christians? Less vilification of Christianity on our national broadcaster? A better deal for refugees? More help for the mentally ill and poor?????

    Why are the Greens listing in their TOP 5 AGENDA the rights of a demographic which is educated, socially privileged, predominantly white and who have already had tremendous concessions ALREADY in the last 20 years. Where is your social justice for the poor?? Where are your bloody priorities????
    Greens are a disgrace.

  18. If so many posters here agree Rann has to go, including almost all the SA residents, then the obvious question is, why put it off any longer? With attention on Federal and NSW matters it is a good time to do it. Must Labor wait till the run-up to another election campaign a la Kevin Rudd? The sooner it is done, the longer Rau has a chance to establish himself and achieve something.

  19. [Sorry ‘bluepill’ the Greens are in government federally and also in Tasmania & the ACT.]

    The only one of these jurisdictions in which the Greens are “in government” in Tasmania. The other two have Labor (minority) governments, which the Greens happen to support.

  20. Independently Thinking

    “flamboyantly’ was certainly a great adjective and humbly accepted, your reply though is downright eloquent, especially this:
    [The two party preferred vote has been ascribed by Newspoll according to preference flows at the last election. For the Greens (as I stated earlier) this may be fairly safe, but no one knows who those turning from ALP to Independent and others may go for their preferences. My suspicion is that they are likely to go back to the ALP. For the Liberals to gain just 0.3% in Primary vote since then is hardly very encouraging for the Liberals. This is really more “I hate Labor” more than “We are becoming interested in the Liberals”.]

    This is a really well stated point and an excellent observation. Granted that Redmond has a high base of support and, normally, this would mean, all things being equal, a mood in the electorate for change and clear confidence for the ability of the opposition to make that change. However, the mood hasn’t tectonically shifted voters to the coalition.

    I daresay the nature of South Australians, particularly those in Adelaide being, in the best possibly sense, rather parochial, had a lot to do with Labor success in the federal election. It was clearly at odds with the will of the TPP majority (if not the seats) in the previous State Election to oust the government. That Julia Gillard hailed from South Australia, I think many commentators would agree, made a tight election for Julia less than it might have been.

    Much has been said about the demise of the ALP in Sydney’s West as ‘sinking’ Gillard. A less talked about topic may be the ‘life raft’ floated by South Australia in allowing her to drift into the Lodge…

  21. I like the trams, think the roads and rail system are improving, and I want a new hospital but I won’t be voting for or preferencing the ALP which sought to demolish the separation of powers, overturn the presumption of innocence, abolish freedom of association and convict people on secret evidence in a closed court at the behest of an unelected police commissioner.

  22. spur212

    Thanks for that, it reminds me why I do not buy The Australian. Or The Advertiser, Sunday Mail, Daily Tele, Herald Sun, Mercury…

  23. Socrates,

    Rann will stay until early next year when he ovetakes Bannon as longest serving ALP Premier in SA. He is not stupid enough to try to hang on any longer than about this time 2012 or he will be pushed. The Don has promised Rann this.

    Of course this is dependant on no more personal scandals a la Michelle Chantelois occurring again, and I am sure he is not stupid enough to throw his legacy for a leg over.

    The Don has spoken. Is Don, is boss.

  24. vote1

    If the ALP did not think it could change election result they would not have done it. I expect people to be jailed

  25. IT: not Bannon, it is Dunstan’s record he wants.

    And yes, that is right. It is the only reason he is staying on and the only reason The Don is letting him. As soon as that milestone has passed, he’s out of here.

  26. I actually believe there is a different dynamic being played out here in terms of Rann’s leadership. My understanding is that the opinion is there is little point in changing leaders until all of the animosity stemming from the budget dies down, as it inevitably will. No point a new leader taking over and having to lose political skin over such matters. I also am not a believer of the Rann will leave at point x kind of argument. Rann is a hard-headed political operator more in the John Howard mould. He is not likely to go down without a big, big, fight. I also believe he is more likely to be challenged than go quietly. Rann genuinely believes he will lead the party to the 2014 election.

  27. Sorry LisaCrago, I forgot to insert random words into your sentences in order for them to mean what you say they mean. Given the rest of your post was dripping in vitriol (and light on those pesky facts) it was easy to assume you were on the “Stolen Elections” bandwagon. As for your rant about fixed elections, well it doesn’t make any sense; if we did not have fixed elections, why would the Rann Government go early? If a Government is polling badly they are hardly likely to rush to the polls, so I’m not really sure what your point is. But seriously go back to Adelaide Now, you will fit in a lot better. Is this the part where I insert several exclamation points?

    Dovif: I think you will be disappointed. Nobody has been charged, and nobody is going to Jail, given that it wasn’t a breach of the electoral act (the whole thing was exploiting a loophole – the debate of it being right or wrong is completely separate – and one that is rather worn by now). Furthermore nobody went to Jail in Victoria in 1985, WA in 1998 and 2001, Melbourne Ports and Richmond in 2004 among others – all elections where accusations of dodgy HTV cards were made, common link… no jail time.

  28. Thank you very much to speak of pebbles….very funny name.

    No one likes to be taken out of context, let alone abused for it as Vote 1 has chosen to do. Saying some very nasty irrelevant things

    I do use my real name as I am not afraid to back up my pov in any forum. Political commentry is an australians only REAL form of freedom of speach and while I believe we should all take advantage of this I do not agree with personal attacks. I like to use these bloggs to comment on the content of the article, not attack other people pov. Mind you I will rip into the author if I so choose. For Vote 1 to have a such a personl dig at me for posts in other publications is out of order and irrelevant. Mayb HE would like to post under his real name and ID himself so that I may do the same (which I would not as I don’t play dirty pool)

    To those who made negative comments about my post. *If* you had read the entire post you would have seen that I not only mention that SA has a “… with the fixed election date” … But I also mention who introduced the legislation “(yeah thanks Mr Hanna for that one)” and exactly how many days until the next fixed date ” it is still 1100 days till the next election.” Very obvious that I am talking about a fixed election date and the timeline.

    So ‘paddy2’ and Vote 1 maybe you should read an entire post when giving it to the poster or learn something about South Australian political system and their elections lest you continue to make such daft ilinformed comments.

  29. [36 LisaCrago
    Posted Friday, March 11, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink
    Thank you very much to speak of pebbles….very funny name.]

    is the above a well know juno ???? i havent read her what paper does she belong to.

  30. Vote 1 you obviously do not know how to admit you have made an error.
    I have been writing for and posting on Crikey for about ten years now and will continue to do so , so don’t tell me where to go and what to write. If you are too dull to understand my post about the late timing of a budget then that is your problem Vote 1 not mine.

  31. a thought from the peebles web site.
    this is now in my FAVOURITES.

    [ voice of one can change a whole nation. The question is what are you doing with the voice God has given you, or have you lost your voice? Has your voice lost its power, or do your words fall to the ground rather than speak life into situations? The Bible says in 1 Samuel 3:19 (NIV), “The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.”]

  32. PEEBES
    i am so glad the above person drew my attention to your on line name i have never thought about it before,

    i think this was meant to be thank you for that lisa, it made my day knowing what a great name our peebes chose,
    thanks peebes. it bought tear to my eyes i know now that PB is a on a mission and great place to be thank you for letting me share the web page’

    [In the film, The King’s Speech (2010), Colin Firth, who plays King George VI says, “I have a voice.” When the nation needed to hear their king speak with authority, to give hope and leadership, the king spoke up and inspired them.

    When your nation needs to hear the words of the King of kings speaking with authority to give hope, to inspire them and give them Divine leadership, God wants to use your voice, just as He used the voice of John the Baptist who said, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”]

    the above is another thought for the day.

  33. My Say
    I am not a newspaper journo per say but a long time writer and commentator being involved in SA politics for a long time. I do have a couple of pseudonyms that others would not know in online bloggs where one must be ever vigilant to avoid defamation or being run out of town. But in published publications I respect such as crikey I do use my name. I think Vote 1 is just trying to be a smart arse. Obviously knows me from some political involvement and more than likely a member/supporter of the SA ALP or Greens. I am not a member of any political party and refer to myslf as an ‘oppositionist’ who will scrutinise and critique any political party and their Bills and Legislation if I believe them to be flawed in content or process.
    I am an aussie and it is my job.
    in my POV The Rann Government is the worst ALP gov that I have ever known, maybe the worst of any state gov, hey and I lived in QLD under Sir Joe, so I know poor governance when I see it.
    Have a good day.

    ps I still think Pebbles is a funny name (in a cute sort of way) it reminds me of an english football chant I once knew, but he has a seriously interesting blogg and some good povs
    Sorry I can’t point you to one of mine.,… Vote 1 would be all over it like a fat kid on a cup cake!

  34. Sykesie, Why? There is very little in political commentry that is “fair”. We can leave that to the political party spin doctors of which there are many.
    I have sat in both parliments (Sir JBP) and watched how they operate. The attitude and behaviour is almost identical. The arrogance and contempt of voters is not dissimilar and the voters dislike for the governments much the same. Even the most rusted on ALP lefties seem to want Rannbo and co gone, as this polling shows. Rann does not even pretend to be popular anymore.
    SA is the only State that does not have and refuses to introduce an ICAC indy commission of anysort into possible gov and police corruption so it may be many years before we actually know the true workings of the current SA govenment.

  35. Lisa, I think arrogance and politicians go together. Arrogance is hardly an indication of a poorly performing government – possibly one that isn’t listening.

    Rann’s political use-by date may well be close to being up, but to try and compare his government to one in qld where several ministers went to jail is hardly an accurate representation of reality. If you have any examples of corruption in the current government, I suggest you contact the police with your evidence.

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