State polling: WA, NSW, Victoria

Newspoll’s first quarter survey of 827 respondents in Western Australia shows the Coalition government maintaining its commanding position, even if it has failed to pick up any further in the wake of Labor’s leadership ructions in January. Labor’s primary vote has actually picked up two points from the record low of 29 per cent in the last quarter of last year, with the Coalition and the Greens steady on 49 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. The Coalition’s two-party lead has edged down from 58-42 to 57-43. Colin Barnett’s personal ratings are much as they were before: approval down a point to 54 per cent, disapproval down two to 33 per cent. Eric Ripper’s ratings have reached a new low following Ben Wyatt’s abortive leadership challenge, although his decline has in fact been quite modest: approval down two to 31 per cent, disapproval up one to 44 per cent. Ripper has actually managed to make ground on Colin Barnett as preferred premier, although the latter maintains an enormous lead of 56-17 compared with 60-16 last time. Full tables courtesy of GhostWhoVotes.

In other state polling news, Roy Morgan has conducted two micro-polls for New South Wales and Victoria which do little more than confirm the fairly obvious point that voters do not feel inclined to turn out brand new governments. The first thing to be noted is that the sample sizes of 345 and 273 entail huge margins of error of between 5 and 6 per cent. If the results still interest you, the New South Wales poll at least offers the novelty of a Coalition two-party vote with a seven in front of it (70.5-29.5) and a Labor primary vote in the teens (19 per cent). The Coalition primary vote is 56.5 per cent, with the Greens on 13 per cent. The Victorian poll has the Coalition leading 57-43 on two-party preferred from primary votes of 48 per cent for the Coalition, 31 per cent for Labor and 11.5 per cent for the Greens.

The polls also offer the first personal ratings for the new Labor Opposition Leaders, and while these might have a certain interest the sample sizes and don’t know ratings are such that there’s not really much for them to measure. In New South Wales, John Robertson has 18.5 per cent approval and 22.5 per cent disapproval, with 59 per cent can’t say. Barry O’Farrell has 54.5 per cent approval and 10 per cent disapproval with 33.5 per cent can’t say. O’Farrell’s lead as preferred premier is as big as it gets: 69.5 per cent to 7 per cent. In Victoria, Daniel Andrews has 25 per cent approval, 26.5 per cent disapproval and48.5 per cent can’t say. Ted Baillieu has an approval rating of 50.5 per cent and 23 per cent disapproval with 26.5 per cent can’t say, and leads as preferred premier 60 per cent to 14 per cent.

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.

53 comments on “State polling: WA, NSW, Victoria”

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  1. Next major thing to affect the WA polling will probably be the CHOGM conference, in October. It’s already starting to make waves now that the security measures are becoming public – things like closing major roads and bus stations, and removing all homeless people from the city centre (just like the Sydney Olympics). Even for Perth, where you eventually get used to it being a police state if you haven’t been over east in a while, it’s a bit much.

    I’d like to see Labor use that opportunity to whittle the Libs’ lead back to something like 52-48, instead of what they’ll actually do: start a massive internal shitfight with John Hyde (MP for Perth) in one corner and Margaret Quirk (shadow minister for the Stasi) in the other, and end up looking about as credible as Kim Beazley’s mob did after the Tampa. Go Ripper go!

  2. Why would Morgan bother with such polls given the number surveyed and this time of the political cycle in those states? I don’t get it. The other thing I don’t get is how anyone can take then seriously.

  3. Will be an interesting test for the govts fail oppositions don’t succeed theory (although at a federal level I’d suggest there is a partial counter-example) but the everyone loves Colin mood seems to be failing – will be interesting to see if polling follows.

  4. Of course O’Farrell will be benefitting from an electoral honeymoon, and Robertson is known only as the bald headed union leader.
    It’s pointless doing any polling in NSW for the next 6 months or so.

  5. None of these results are really a shock and, ultimately, don’t tell us a lot. It’ll take Labor a while to be truly competitive in each of these states.

  6. Except that the Libs have been back for some time in WA.

    And Labor only just lost in Victoria.

    Yet in both cases there’s a wide gap.

  7. Eric Ripper has reportedly blamed the poor poll result on the carbon tax.

    [Except that the Libs have been back for some time in WA.]

    Yes, and it will take them a while to be truly competitive there! Sometime in the next term perhaps.

  8. These polls are depressing. I’m beginning to wish Abbott had won minority government with a greens controlled senate. I detest him and the far right loonies running the coalition, but I have a horrible feeling that he is going to win in a landslide at the next election, and then they are really going to be in control and we’ll realise that even though he looks like an agro arsehole now, what we see of Abbott now is him being ‘Mr Nice Guy’. In NSW and Vic the libs have been quick to tear up election promises and are proving that even their ‘moderates’ are deeply beholden to the far right nutters that took control of the party during the Howard years – it seems they are determined to turn into the US Republicans, as evidenced by the free exchange of advisers /strategists between the parties (Howard’s son worked for them) and their use of the same divisive and hate-driven politics. A neutered Abbott as lame duck PM (with independent balance of power in the lower house, and greens in the senate) would help to expose them for the buffoons that they are and let Labor get its act back together. They can’t ditch Gillard without looking like NSW all over again, and as much as I am a committed fan of hers, I think the misogynistic right-wing media and the powerful mining and energy lobby have damaged her and will continue to fund attacks on her to the point where she can’t come back. I hope I’m wrong – hopefully some PBers can convince me why I’m wrong. Do we need an indi or a by-election to let her government go with some grace, so Combet can take the leaders job and win the next election? In an ideal world, Bill Shorten would change the government by defecting to the libs where he belongs ’cause he’s going to de-stablise Combet otherwise. Maybe once she gets the carbon tax up it’ll all blow over, but the libs are going to have so much campaign $$$$ from the miners and energy lobby to fight the next election, the msm are rabid, the ABC trots out extreme rightwingers without countering them with anyone more than centre-left, and the Australian public looks like they’re dumb enough to be fooled.

  9. Until the WA Labour Party breaks away for the 2 union power brokers Bullock and Kelly who control the party through factional hacks like Ripper,Quirk and a lot of others are shown the door the party will go nowhere.

  10. [John Ryan

    Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Until the WA Labour Party breaks away for the 2 union power brokers Bullock and Kelly who control the party through factional hacks like Ripper,Quirk and a lot of others are shown the door the party will go nowhere.
    ]

    Rubbish.

    The poll was taken during the Buishfires and Floods – B arnett was seen as the Good Guy.

    Things are changing – but5 stick to your 6PR tyalking points.

  11. From the main thread:

    [[2874

    confessions

    Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    The OO suggests Alannah MacTiernan should do a Campbell Newman and become leader of the ALP in WA.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/lady-in-waiting-labors-saviour/story-e6frgd0x-1226038742690

    Also says Don Randall is a very good local member for Canning. What has Randall ever done for the electorate?!
    ]

    The OO are dreaming – Ripper is slowly getting through – despite Newspoll – considering it was taken when there Floods and Fire and Barnett was seen as the Caring Father.]

  12. The Labor party is a spent force in WA and will be remembered as an aberration of history. Good bye, good riddance, and I look forward to participating in a strengthening WA.

  13. [
    Daryl…

    Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    The Labor party is a spent force in WA and will be remembered as an aberration of history. Good bye, good riddance, and I look forward to participating in a strengthening WA.

    16

    Daryl…

    Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Is there any reason why the banner for this column contains almost all Labor figures?

    ]

    dream on – your mate Barnett is only popular cos of our gutless Media.

  14. [Is there any reason why the banner for this column contains almost all Labor figures?]

    It’s just the last few election ‘winners’. Howard is the only Coalition leader amongst them that will fit.

  15. @12

    Frank, you’ve been repeating exactly the same “this poll was taken during XYZ and before ABC and so next poll we’ll see a big change” line after every poll, for 2 and a half years now.

    Surely it’s time for you and the broader WA ALP to admit that they really are doing poorly. If this head-in-the-sand attitude persists, Labor will get smashed at the next election.

  16. [20

    MDMConnell

    Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    @12

    Frank, you’ve been repeating exactly the same “this poll was taken during XYZ and before ABC and so next poll we’ll see a big change” line after every poll, for 2 and a half years now.

    Surely it’s time for you and the broader WA ALP to admit that they really are doing poorly. If this head-in-the-sand attitude persists, Labor will get smashed at the next election.
    ]

    How long till the Next Election again ??

    But dream on with you pal Barnett and his one man dictatorship.

  17. Frank: your support for Eric Ripper is admirable, but even you’d admit that the WA Labor Party is going nowhere under his leadership.

  18. [22

    evan14

    Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Frank: your support for Eric Ripper is admirable, but even you’d admit that the WA Labor Party is going nowhere under his leadership.
    ]

    How long till the Next Election again ?

    you don’t live in WA – despite wjhat the media say – Eric is slowly, but surely cutting therough – a poll of 800+ is not a true indicator.

  19. @21

    I can’t help noticing you avoided the question and tried to deflect by attacking me. Which was silly, if I was “a pal of Barnett” I’d be encouraging you and WA Labor to keep sticking your heads in the sand, not criticising you.

    I say again: every single WA poll you’ve repeated exactly the same thing: “this poll was taken before [random event] and means nothing, it’s the next poll that will really show where we’re at”. Every single poll. For two and a half years. And nothing’s changed.

    Surely the argument is wearing thin for WA Labor by now? If not, when? Two days before the next election?

  20. [MDMConnell

    Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    @21

    I can’t help noticing you avoided the question and tried to deflect by attacking me. Which was silly, if I was “a pal of Barnett” I’d be encouraging you and WA Labor to keep sticking your heads in the sand, not criticising you.

    I say again: every single WA poll you’ve repeated exactly the same thing: “this poll was taken before [random event] and means nothing, it’s the next poll that will really show where we’re at”. Every single poll. For two and a half years. And nothing’s changed.

    Surely the argument is wearing thin for WA Labor by now? If not, when? Two days before the next election?
    ]

    Woosh.

  21. [26

    MDMConnell

    Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think Frank’s a happie chappie
    ]

    Diddums – Hiow long till the nexrt Election again ??

    I will reserve my judgeemtn on Ripper 12 months out – not 2 andf a hal years – and especially now as Barnett is now having the Blowtorch applied.

  22. Gee Frank I wish you would stop blaming 6PR a station which I dont listen to I listen to the ABC,I have been saying the same thing about Ripper and the other incompetents since the last election.
    Ripper wont even fart with out ringing Bullock to ask permission, and I would assume who ever Kelly owns does the same,for gods sake it my opinion not holy writ

  23. [John Ryan

    Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Gee Frank I wish you would stop blaming 6PR a station which I dont listen to I listen to the ABC,I have been saying the same thing about Ripper and the other incompetents since the last election.
    Ripper wont even fart with out ringing Bullock to ask permission, and I would assume who ever Kelly owns does the same,for gods sake it my opinion not holy writ
    ]

    rubbish – You regurgitate 6PR talking points all the time.

  24. Toorak Toff at 8: WA Labor arguably lost by even less than their Vic cousins did… they had a chance at minority govt supported by the Nats.

    Frank, everywhere else:

    [ I will reserve my judgeemtn on Ripper 12 months out – not 2 andf a hal years – and especially now as Barnett is now having the Blowtorch applied. ]

    The Vic and NSW Libs followed that advice for a decade – take out the opposition leader as the election’s on the horizon, and hope the new fresh face will help them win. After many years of watching the ALP govt slowly rot and still somehow being even less electable than them, they took the hint that sticking with O’Farrell / Baillieu for more than five minutes was a better idea. In case you think that’s a partisan comment, exactly the same applies to the WA ALP a few years earlier – Geoff Gallop became the fourth opposition leader in one term in 1996, didn’t win the coming election, but stayed in there long enough to win the next one in 2001. It worked for all three premiers.

    I doubt being on the wrong end of a 57-43 poll means Ripper’s “cutting through”. Numbers like that only look good if you’re NSW Labor.

    Funny thing is, I’m quite likely to change my general voting habit and put Labor ahead of the Greens in 2013. The issue is CHOGM, and it’s largely despite John Hyde’s party, not because of it. The guy’s a good local MP, and the Greens would have to put up someone pretty good to get my vote (the seat of Perth is a vague possibility for them in the future, like Coogee or Albert Park). Alternately, I’d happily vote Liberal if I lived in the bogan dust of Girrawheen, and it wouldn’t be because Paul Murray or 6PR told me to.

  25. The WA ALP is going great, this is a great result for them, just slightly worse then the Liberals in NSW and Victoria, after their surprise losses

    I expect the WA ALP will be reelected about 2030?

  26. It’s easy being Liberal. There will always be the rich and greedy and those who aspire to be or once used to be.

    There will always be those on the other side, too, but they’re more complicated. Labor is struggling around the land as it tries to establish a new political culture. The old working class has almost gone and the trade union movement is but a shadow of what it was. The socialist ideal is almost dead now that the Soviet Union, for all its defects, is no longer there pour encourager les autres (China and North Korea don’t quite cut the mustard somehow). The Greens have stolen Labor’s environmental clothes.

    There really seems nowhere to go at the moment. Over time the forces of progress and fairness will develop in some new way. Meanwhile, fortunately, we have preferential voting to point the goodies in the same direction.

  27. I don’t think, no I am certain, Ripper thought he was just a seat warmer, but now I’m not so sure – he was an excellent treasurer – represents perfectly a wise steady hand.

    I think the redistributions are in October – and pre-selections will follow. If he leads through a relatively successful pre-selection and gets good candidates that hit the ground then they could (I don’t think will) but could be competitive. Not losing ground would be a big win from 57.

    What the nats or is that gnats do too will be very interesting.

    And dovif brilliant comment at 31 you must have been up all night.

  28. Gee TT you are offering an easy out for the NSW ALP if their loss is to be ascribed to some abstract notion of political change. The NSW ALP lost because they could not deliver on most polices, hated each other, had proven rorters in their mix etc. NSW ALP and new culture remain alien concepts at the moment.

  29. [Why would Morgan bother with such polls given the number surveyed and this time of the political cycle in those states? I don’t get it.]

    Maybe because it’s one of the few occasions his own polls show the coalition giving Labor a shellacking across the country.

  30. [The WA ALP is going great, this is a great result for them, just slightly worse then the Liberals in NSW and Victoria, after their surprise losses

    I expect the WA ALP will be reelected about 2030?]

    That’ll be news for Frank, he’s already planned the Eric Ripper victory party for 2015. 😀

  31. [
    37

    evan14

    Posted Friday, April 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    The WA ALP is going great, this is a great result for them, just slightly worse then the Liberals in NSW and Victoria, after their surprise losses

    I expect the WA ALP will be reelected about 2030?

    That’ll be news for Frank, he’s already planned the Eric Ripper victory party for 2015.

    38

    John Ryan

    Posted Friday, April 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    He might be very lonely I think

    ]

    Two Words.

    Kevin Rudd 🙂

  32. [40

    James J

    Posted Friday, April 15, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    QLD Morgan: 61.5-38.5 2PP to the LNP.

    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2011/4659/
    ]

    [Finding No. 4659 – These are the main findings of a special telephone Morgan Poll on Queensland voting intention conducted with 348 Queensland electors between April 5 – 14, 2011.: April 15, 2011]

    What friggen Joke – an even smaller number than a Westpoll.

    Next

  33. When dreadful outfits like the Queensland LNP are chalking up huge polling leads, it’s a time for sackcloth and ashes.

  34. Ah the sphere of delusion is alive and well here. Seriously people, Labor is on the nose. Get a grip and deal with it rather than make excuses for palpably poor performances.

  35. [Generic Person

    Posted Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    Ah the sphere of delusion is alive and well here. Seriously people, Labor is on the nose. Get a grip and deal with it rather than make excuses for palpably poor performances.
    ]

    You mean like your Mum’s Baccala ? 🙂

  36. I stand by what I said in 31

    WA is naturally a conservative state

    Most of its wealth is coming from the Mining industry and big business. The mining tax did not help the credibility of the ALP in WA in that regard.

    I expect the next WA ALP government to appear at the same time as the end of the mining boom, so I expect it to be around 2030

  37. No of Course not I live in WA and I find the attitude to a mining tax unbelievable,these fools think that when the mining boom finishes things will go on as before a kind of cargo cult mentally.
    If and when WA reverts back to a mendicant state as it was not so long ago,they will rue the day they did not tax the wealthy miners nearly into the ground,the big miners don’t give a stuff about this state ably assisted by people such as Dovif,
    Why we are a naturally Conservative state I dont know,but then there are a lot of either very dumb,very gullible,or just plain stupid people who live here

  38. John Ryan, still living in the 1800s are we?

    Most of the people working at mines are earning over 100k each, the owner of the mines are rich because they get a share of the mining income, about 5 to 10% and a lot of it goes into our superannuation

    The government gets 30% – 40% with the mining tax of the profit, so the government benefit

    Note, no unions are in the sector and they are not wanted

    Only people who are clueless thinks that we should discourage mining by taxing it to the ground, most people are much smarter and that is why Rudd and Gillard were both destroyed by the tax.

    Swann is lucky that the ALP accept his incompetancy as they have noone better

  39. I think you may want to check your facts Dovif no unions in the mining sector I dont think so either that or you dont read the paper.
    !00,000 Gee what a whopping pay packet for 12 hrs a day 7 days a week 3 on 2 off unpaid may I add,I was earning 75000 and paying 25000 tax a year in Sydney in High rise construction and at Stadium Australian when it was being built.
    In 11 yrs wages have not risen much have they,if you stayed in Perth and worked the same hours you would get the same money,as for me living in the 1800s you should have a close look at yourself.
    I wont talk about the owners who put them selves up as champions of the workers with the mining tax,because I know what Hancocks dear old dad did to thousands and the other has his own bagage

  40. John Ryan

    LOL, maybe you should complain on behalf of all the miner and for the economy with 3% unemployment rate

    Oh the injustice LOL, keep living in the 1800s

    Most people are not complaining, they are not like dinosaurs like you

    Today, I negotiate directly with my employer and I get good salary increases. In the last 11 years, my wages has more then doubled, but I do not expect dinosaurs like you to understand

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