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. By the way, it’s ‘per se’ and ‘Sir Joh”.

    And when it comes to shonky electoral practices, the Libs had pseudo Greens HTVs handed out in the Ryan (Qld) division in last year’s federal poll.

  2. The comment regarding the current NSW and Qld government is comparing government who stayed one election too long.

    Unless there is drastic improvement, at the next election, the electorate likes to punish those who stayed too long. For Rann, the unlikely election win could produce cricket team results like we might see in the NSW election

  3. Point taken. But extreme arrogance, going against the wishes of constituents in policy decisions is a slap in the face of the democratic process. Mike Ranns BIG promise post 2010 election is he got the message from the poor election result and promised he would NOW be listening to the people.

    There is also the arrogance of a total refusal to answer questions on notice in the House. I think to date Rann gov has answered less than 5% since being elected….this is a guestimate as I don’t have the exact figures at hand.
    but sykeis MY other point is that we have NO indy framework in SA to deal with possible corruption. It may well be in the future that we do have and this will enable possible charges of corruption in SA. But as in other jurisdictions this usually happens after they have lost control of power. Until then all we can do is BEG using FOI act that the current Gov has stifled. I have had very reasonable FOI requests refused for pure political reasons as Ministers judge them to be Not In The Public Interest.

    It is only going to be in hindsight that we will truely beable to judge and put on the public record what this current SA Governmentt has and has not done well. But right now the polls speak for themselves.

    thanks for your interesting input

  4. Toorak Toff I see the quality of your input into this debate is very limited if you have to resort to being blogg spell checker.

  5. [ I expect people to be jailed]

    Typical dovif. Despite fantasies of yourself and your thug mates, we don’t arbitrarily jail people in this country. We follow rule of law here. No law was broken. I don’t agree with the actions of the fake HTVs but I certainly don’t believe in sending someone to prison because what they did “should be illegal” besides, your lot have a worse record in this regard.

  6. TSOP

    LOL, thug mates, if there are thugs, it would be the SA ALP.

    What they did was misleading and deceptive conduct at trying to alter the outcome of election, it is vote rigging and I agree they should go to jail, whether Liberal, ALP or not

    It is thugs like you, who are defending this people, typical

  7. I do believe fake HTVs are illegal here now though. Funnily enough, as soon as it is used against them, the Lib party will change their tune and support a law they blocked last term.

    Anyway. I doubt such a strategy will be useful next time. Worst case scenario for the Libs, realistically will be just falling short of the 24 seats. But I am sure the independents will support them.

  8. Lisa I don’t necessarily agree with your comment regarding corruption allegations only being discovered post a government’s demise. The Fitzgerald inquiry was established in 1987 and had a big effect on hastening the end of the Bjelke-Petersen government. In fact quality journalism played a large part in hastening the decline of the government and the subsequent establishment of the inquiry. Judicial enquiries don’t require ICACs to be established. ICACs to me are just vehicles for lazy oppositions and journos to make a few cheap shots. Waste of taxpayer’s money. The opposition and journalists should be more conscientious in their jobs if they really believe there is a problem.

  9. Given that the SA ALP government is on the nose to some extent – do the pollbludging commentariat think that this may rub off adversely to federal Labor. There may still be an early election – all it takes is for an ALP member or a rural indy to have an adverse medical finding. The ALP did well in SA at the 2010 federal election – can they continue to rely on that level of support?

  10. dovif, stop making shit up. It’s not “vote rigging” as the electors were able to vote freely and their votes were openly and honestly counted. Stop dribbling shit.

    As for defending it, again with the strawmen from you (I expect no less of an ignorant ideologue) I am defending rule of law – the cornerstone of our legal system and the legal systems of the free world. Perhaps move to North Korea or Iran if you don’t like it. Their legal officials have similar views to your own.

  11. Blackburnpseph. I doubt it. Gillard is very popular here and the state election’s controversial results didn’t stop this state from going strongly to the ALP. Who knows if that will be the case in 2013 but the anti-state gov mood appears to be more fatigue and desire for change than massive corruption or a screw-up on the state bank debacle scale. Still, 2 or so years is a long time.

  12. blackburnpseph – considering the ALP 2PP votes in SA at the last federal election were at historic highs, the only way (in reality) is down. Hindmarsh and Adelaide are the most marginal seats, with Wakefield, Makin and Kingston all now being quite strongly labor. These 3 seats all benefited from strong sophomore surges in the 2010 election. The most likely scenario at the next federal election is still a 0-0 draw unless labor really tank.

  13. Sykesie Great Point! but to add to it, the Fitzgerald inquiry was ordered by the QLD parliament by the Deputy while Sir JBP was not in the state, so it was also a political move as Gunn wanted to take over after JBP and needed to distence himself from information and allegations already on the public record. It was ‘quality journalism’ that lead to Gunn’s decision. Fitz inquiry ( was unique politically and also judicially as the TOR for this morphed into those akin to a royal commission.
    Re; ICAC, I am a fan of the Royal Commission and many of their past reports, however as a republican I believe we must find a true independent way of dealing with investigating gov corruption that is as good as the old way. Unless we want to seriously overhaul the appointment of the judiciaryand we should) I believe we need another method and I advocate for each jurisdiction to have an ICAC.
    Justice always has been and always will be an expense we must accept… and while is is an old saying, justice not only must be done, but it must be seen to be done.


  14. TSOP

    I would rather have an ideal, then a mindless drone, who can only see one side of every story ie, what my great leader want

    It is people like you that create the NSW ALP type government in the first place, lying and deceiving their way out of office

  15. Dovif

    Yawn! Projecting and strawmen, that’s the only thing your capable of. Nowhere am I sticking up for the fake HTV actions but rather questioning your disgusting advocacy of arbitrary imprisonment of political rivals.

  16. Fwiw, I am willing to give Redmond a go. She seems very small L and looks steady enough. The ALP on the other hand are starting to collapse into factionalism and the fundamentalist conservatives are really making their ugly presence known. So they need some time on the opposition benches to refresh.

    SA has not, for the most part been that badly managed. Our economy is getting stronger and Adelaide now has a lot of life in it (as compared to 10 years ago when it was a virtual ghost town) fresh ideas and new directions are needed to keep this state and Adelaide growing economically and culturally. Alas the ALP no longer have those.

  17. Mumble’s take on the poll results

    We have seen the future of SA Labor—it is New South Wales.

    Up in Queensland, despite a floods-induced pause Queenslanders will return to detesting their government soon. It will suffer a huge loss at the next poll.

    And in the Northern Territory the CLP will win big next time.

    (Canberra is a Labor town and it’s difficult for the Libs to form government. Tasmania moves to a different beat as well, but the Liberals will likely form government there at the next election.)

    Antony Green at the ABC gives future election dates here.

    As you know, state/territories have been swinging big to the Coalition (or away from Labor) since the defeat of the Howard government. Each time, the opinion polls were slow to pick it up.

    The result in every case was pretty close; either the government hung on or it was just defeated. The two jurisdictions that did change government were Western Australia and Victoria.

  18. [The ALP on the other hand are starting to collapse into factionalism and the fundamentalist conservatives are really making their ugly presence known.]
    STARTING to collapse into factionalism?

    When was the last time Labor genuinely put factionalism second to the best interests of the party or, shock horror, the country?

  19. [As you know, state/territories have been swinging big to the Coalition (or away from Labor) since the defeat of the Howard government. Each time, the opinion polls were slow to pick it up. ]
    Do we perhaps interpret this as – dislike of Howard allowed extremely poor Labor incumbent governments to maintain power in the states. With Howard gone, votes felt free to savage state Labor across the land?

    OR (the “OO narrative”) Federal Labor is so horribly bad that state governments are copping it on their behalf?

  20. Patrick Bateman, my comment was in regard to the fact that for 8 years the state government looked completely unified and without cracks and now said unity is starting to crack and infighting has begun.

    All parties have factions and factionalism plays a part in all their decision making.

  21. [Do we perhaps interpret this as – dislike of Howard allowed extremely poor Labor incumbent governments to maintain power in the states. With Howard gone, votes felt free to savage state Labor across the land?

    OR (the “OO narrative”) Federal Labor is so horribly bad that state governments are copping it on their behalf?]

    OR after 12-16 years in government, the electorate want someone new? N

  22. Pebbles

    Iemma was reelected because the Liberal alternative was so poor – the better the devil you know scenario!

    Sykesie above is probably right the ALP at Fed level has hit a high point in SA and that down is the only way to go. Hindmarsh being the most vulnerable IMO.

    The current redistribution may throw up soemthing interesting but hard to see.

  23. If Isabel Redmond can hold the party together and keep her leadership intact she has a real chance at the next election just on stability grounds alone and it will be building on gains made in 2010. I am pretty sure that the Lib win in Victoria was helped by the Libs having stable leadership for some time.

  24. Although Hindmarsh is more marginal, the other electorates around Adelaide tend to swing considerably more than Hindmarsh. More rusted-on voters here. Makin, Kingston and Wakefield are much more sensitive to cost of living pressures.

    Last 3 elections (2010, 2007, 2004) (swing to ALP):

    Hindmarsh: +0.7%, +5.0%, +1.0%

    Makin: +4.5%, +8.6%, +2.8%

    Wakefield: +5.4%, +7.3%, -2.0%

    Kingston: +9.5%, +4.5%, -1.4%

  25. [SUPPORT for Premier Mike Rann has collapsed among unions, with key leaders calling for him to quit.

    More than 200 union leaders at the SA Unions’ annual conference during the week condemned the State Government over its policies which included a Budget that cut public service jobs and legislated away entitlements won through collective bargaining.

    Asked by the Sunday Mail during a Q&A session if anyone at the conference thought Labor could win the 2014 election under Mr Rann – now the nation’s most unpopular premier – not one person raised their hand.

    JAMIE NEWLYN, state secretary, Maritime Union of Australia: “Polling within our union shows the ALP and its leadership is on the nose – we are of the view there needs to be a change in leadership and of policy”.

    IAN STEEL, assistant secretary, Australian Services Union: “Our members want change and don’t believe the recent re-shuffle achieved that change – leadership is a serious problem for Labor”.

    LIZ TEMPLE, secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union: “Labor cannot get back in under Mr Rann and the sooner he goes the better. Labor needs to reconsider the values people associate with the ALP – to have a Labor Government that legislates away rights won through collective bargaining is just wrong”.

    CORRENA HAYTHORPE, president, Australian Education Union: “The ALP leadership has lost its way, and the sooner there is a change the better. We want a leadership that sticks to core Labor values”.

    DAVE GARLAND, lead organiser, National Union of Workers: “When they governed with Labor values they were popular but they are now so far out of step with working South Australians the leadership is terminal unless they reverse policy”.

    SUE FENWICK, director, Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers: “They need to regenerate the leadership – Labor cannot get back in under Mr Rann”.

    DAVID DI TROIA, state secretary United Voice (formerly the LHMU): “Our members are saying they have lost faith in the ALP – unless there is a change, support for Labor won’t be there in 2014”.]

  26. My Say

    What were you on last week? All that Bible bashing to explain Pebbles’ handle?
    I thought ‘To Speak of Pebbles’ came from some ancient Greek politician or philosopher who was “quietened” by having stones poured down his throat.

    And despite TSOP obviously being an ALP supporter, he supplies reasoned arguments and statements always in his posts, they are greatly appreciated.

    Unlike Dovif.

    Sykesie is probably right, in SA the ALP vote at Federal level has probably peaked in this cycle and it will come down to the redistribution as to whether any seats could be lost to the ALP here.

    I think Christopher Pyne and Andrew Southcott have seen off their most dangerous elections, unless there is some serious boundary realignments in Boothby, I think Sturt could only go further blue in any changes. I understand that SA will retain 12 Federal seats for now so can’t see too much radical surgery. Both major parties might be happy to leave them as they are.

  27. Danny Lewis @ 33

    [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.]

    Well, Mike Rann can pass Dunstan’s time in office, but that still leaves him about 3 months short of Bannon’s record as longest serving SA ALP Premier. I think he wants to achieve that record really.

    Now, he could of course try for Playford’s record of 26 years and a bit. He would need to be Premier for another 18 years…any support for that?

  28. If my maths in my head is correct, then Rann needs to stay on to 25 Nov to beat Dunstan’s time and 29 January next year to beat Bannon’s. I suspect he will go (with some pushing from faction leaders) around Feb/March next year, giving the party two years to prepare for the election and allow Rann to claim the title of second longest (and longest without the aid of the playmander) serving premier. Perhaps it might be closer to April, straight after the festivals – to go out on a high.

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