Sunday Mail: 58-42 to Liberal in SA

The Sunday Mail/Adelaide Advertiser has published results from one of its occasional in-house polls conducted from fairly small samples, in this case of 572 respondents. The result is quite a lot worse for the government than the 54-46 Liberal lead from last week’s Newspoll, which can variously be put down to a slightly flattering result for Labor in the earlier poll, a high margin of error in the present one (over 4 per cent) and The Advertiser’s relative lack of expertise. Labor’s primary vote is just 25 per cent, against 49 per cent for the Liberals and 9 per cent for the Greens.

Nonetheless, the poll is interesting for its findings on preferred Labor leader: 40 per cent nominate Education Minister Jay Weatherill against 27 per cent for Mike Rann, whose continuing presence in the job is to my mind the most inexplicable mystery in Australian politics today (and I’m fully mindful of the stiffness of the competition). Deputy Premier John Rau, the favourite of the Right to succeed Rann, only manages 11 per cent, with Treasurer Jack Snelling on 8 per cent. The poll also chimes with Newspoll in finding a softening in support for Liberal leader Isobel Redmond, whose lead as preferred premier is at 48-35 compared with 56-28 at the previous poll in April. The full results feature further detail on the response to the budget (negative) and the preferred timing of Rann’s departure (soon).

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.

22 comments on “Sunday Mail: 58-42 to Liberal in SA”

  1. Woo hoo, first poster on a thread!

    Yes, William, I too cannot work out why the ALP kingmakers are hanging onto Rann. Yes, they told him before the last election he could hang on until he became the longest serving ALP Premier in SA, but his continuing existence is sabotaging the ALP’s chances to turn the ship around.

    Maybe the Don and company believe they need to be seen to stick by their word?

    Anyway, the Sunday Mail is sticking by their man and have backed up the results of the poll with an Editorial (I know from my earlier career, read by bugger all people) backing Weatherill to take over now.

    The Murdoch papers are really keen on him to take over but as everyone knows, they will then tear him down. Almost everyone knows that will happen, but those close to JW say he doesn’t think it will happen to him. Ahem.

    Weatherill also faces personal antagonism within the ALP that Rann never faced until fairly recently.

    It has been said to me that the powerbrokers have decided that Weatherill will be handed the poison chalice and if he makes a go of it, then well and good. If he fails, then he will be dumped after the election and the ALP will go back to Rau or Snelling as leader.

    The other interesting feature from this poll is the non-major party vote. Whereas the ALP and Libs combined are 74% of the decided voters, Greens have 9%, Family First 5% (they are doing an annual letterbox drop to keep their profile up, and their MPs are very busy in the media), Democrats 3% (I would suggest come election time that vote would go to other minors) and Independent and others 9%.

    With 3 Indy MPs in the lower house, that may make some sense, but adding up the Indies’ and micro parties votes from the last election in total still only adds up to less than 5% overall, so there has been a movement in this direction.

    Another prominent Independent or two would see this figure increase I’d say.

  2. [
    I gather the reason Rann’s still there is that he wants to surpass Dunstan and Bannon, and dislodging him before he does so is not worth the trauma.

    How very Francis Urquhart of him

  3. madcyril: 😀

    I watched that series again just the other day. Years ago when it first came out, I remember having a conversation with a group of girlfriends about whether it was realistic that a bloke like Urquart (well, I suppose the Ian Richardson incarnation, to be precise) could be really that much of a chick magnet. At the time, we all agreed it was the one part of the show that wasn’t so believable, but as the years have passed, I must say I have come to appreciate Richardson’s “patrician sexiness”.

    To put it less subtlely, I wouldn’t kick him out of bed if he farted 🙂

  4. Unlike ‘Independent Thinking’ ? think the Democrats vote will go to the Democrats.

    ?t’s encouraging to see the Democrats, at last, getting recognition in this poll. Congrats to the Sunday Mail/ Advertiser for being the only group to acknowledge the Democrats.

    With 3% (to the Greens 9%) the Democrats vote may be crucial in SA; at least in the Senate, with Xenaphon and possibly Natasha S-D seeking re-election.

  5. Sorry, Paul, but I don’t believe the Democrats will get 3%, they will get much the same as last time – around 1%. And NSD won’t be running again. Life for her now is good and she won’t jeopardise her family.

    Comparing Francis Urquhart to Mike Rann…you’ve got to be joking.

  6. [
    My wife and I just chatting over the show and we both agree probably the best TV show ever. Ever.

    Independently Thinking

    As FU would say. You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment. 😀

  7. Oops, Libs are fighting again…backbencher Michael “the Phantom” Pengilly have criticised two of his front bench colleagues for having a go at the AFL and SACA.

    Come on Phantom, none of your other colleagues spouted off publicly.

    It seems that the Libs get upset when the SA ALP start infighting and have to prove that they are better at it…which they probably are, but fellas, party infighting is not meant to be a spectator sport.

    But thanks.

  8. Natasha S-D is considering standing for the Senate in alliance with Nick Xenaphon, according to this article in The Australian.

    Whether it’s on the formal Democrats ticket is another question and she did seem less keen when questioned on TV recently. With his preferences, any candidate would have a great chance; without them Sarah H-Y may struggle this time.

    Yes, life for Natasha S-D is good and she adores her chidren – but she’s also thoroughly dedicated to society. She’s inspired by what can be achieved through public office for peace and international development, women, the environment, Aborigines, people with disabilities and for every person who’s treated unjustly.

    She is a rare MP (or rather, an even rarer former MP) who isn’t focased just on her own backyard. ?MO with the current low standards of politics in Australia, she’s badly needed !…/natasha-stott-despoja…xenophon…/story- fn59niix-1225897746700

  9. 14

    Technically this should be on the main tread but I shall reply here.

    Senator X caused the election of SHY not by preferencing the Greens but by taking half a quota off the ALP (an also the Libs) which allowed the Greens to overtake the 3rd ALP and win on their preferences. Since then the ALP has lost votes to the Greens and beat the 3rd ALP for a seat without Sentaor X taking half a quota of votes off them. I am pretty sure SHY will be re-elected.

    I also doubt that Senator X and NSD could get near enough the 1.5 quotas of primary needed to take 2 seats especially with the Greens running so strongly. Even if they did take a significant proportion of votes off the Greens they would still not have a Good chance of taking a third of the Senate. NSD`s chance was in 2010/will be 2013.

    Are Senator X`s 2 MLCs getting enough profile/popularity to win 1 or both of their seats back in 2014?

  10. [Are Senator X`s 2 MLCs getting enough profile/popularity to win 1 or both of their seats back in 2014?]

    Nope. They’re coattail hangers. One of those seats will definitely go to the Libs, the other – unless a strong independent/third party appears (like D4D) will go either Labor or Liberal, depending on who does better (my guess would be the latter)

  11. Just reading this thread and I can only agree with William’s lead-in:
    [against 27 per cent for Mike Rann, whose continuing presence in the job is to my mind the most inexplicable mystery in Australian politics today (and I’m fully mindful of the stiffness of the competition). ]
    I have heard several people in Adelaide say to me that Rann is just hanging on till he passes Dunstan and Bannon. A man who has run out of ideas clings on to power for personal “glory”. What an egotistical way to end a career. Does he really think this will improve his legacy? Meanwhile the amount of time remaining for Labor to establish a credible new leader before the next election shrinks. Regrettable.

  12. I hear that Michael Browne has quit as ALP state secretary to manage a law firm. Very strange. It was not so lone ago he was being touted as a possible Labor national secretary.

  13. TSOP

    Regarding March 2012, fair enough, but there will need to be more than just a change in leader IMO. Labor was a competent government in SA till six months before the last election. Then they seemed to go into panic mode and have had no momentum ever since. Any new leader needs a signature idea to start a new direction with.

  14. Socrates, I agree with you completely. If they think it’s just the matter of toppling Rann but keeping things the same, it will be token and maybe gain them a couple of points but still will have them in the terminal position. Only by completely refreshing the team, its attitudes and policies will the SA ALP (under whoever) have a hope in 2014.

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