Newspoll: 57-43 to Coalition in Victoria

GhostWhoVotes relates that the first Victorian state Newspoll since the November state election has the Baillieu government enjoying a fairly typical honeymoon bounce, up from 51.6-48.4 at the election to 57-43. Labor’s primary vote of 28 per cent (36.2 per cent at the election) offers the party new cause for woe: they have now had results in the twenties federally and in all five states covered by Newspoll. The Coalition is on 48 per cent, compared with 44.8 per cent at the election. Ted Baillieu’s personal ratings (52 per cent approval and 29 per cent disapproval) and lead as preferred premier 57-16) are about what you expect from a new Premier facing a new Opposition Leader. However, Daniel Andrews has recorded a below-par debut of 27 per cent approval and 34 per cent disapproval. The polling was conducted throughout July and August from a sample of 1137, with a margin of error of about 3 per cent.

UPDATE: I’ve reviewed the Newspoll archives to compare Ted Baillieu’s Newspoll debut with other first performances following election victories (no pedantry about Rob Borbidge please). In this context, Baillieu’s numbers don’t look so flash. He sits at the bottom of an fairly even spread from plus 54 at the top to Baillieu’s plus 23. Beneath that are the outliers of Jeff Kennett in 1992 and Richard Court in 1993: two conspicuous examples of elections being lost by the government rather than won by the opposition. Queensland Labor seems to dominate the top of the list, if you want to make something of that. Results are shown as approval-disapproval-don’t know (net approval).

Wayne Goss: 74-20-6 (+54)
Kevin Rudd: 59-11-30 (+48)
Peter Beattie: 64-18-18 (+46)
Mike Rann: 60-15-25 (+45)
Nick Greiner: 56-18-26 (+38)
Colin Barnett: 56-23-21 (+33)
Rob Borbidge: 46-13-41 (+33)
John Howard: 45-12-43 (+33)
Bob Carr: 57-28-15 (+29)
Geoff Gallop: 51-23-26 (+28)
Dean Brown: 47-21-32 (+26)
Ted Baillieu: 52-29-19 (+23)
Jeff Kennett: 41-44-15 (-3)
Richard Court: 32-45-23 (-13)

I’ve also located results for Opposition Leaders who have taken over after election defeats (not immediately after necessarily, but in the early part of the term), which has Andrews performing slightly worse:

Kim Beazley: 39-15-46 (+24)
Ian Taylor: 35-16-49 (+19)
Denis Napthine: 31-14-55 (+17)
Brendan Nelson: 36-19-45 (+17)
Mike Rann: 36-19-45 (+17)
Bob Carr: 29-20-51 (+9)
Colin Barnett: 35-28-37 (+7)
Eric Ripper: 35-34-31 (+1)
Daniel Andrews: 27-34-39 (-7)
Jim Kennan: 26-39-35 (-13)

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.

31 comments on “Newspoll: 57-43 to Coalition in Victoria”

  1. Does this mean that Daniel Andrews is proving to be an ineffectual opposition leader, or that the Bailieu Government gets an easy time from the Melbourne media, or it’s a bit of both?

  2. I personally don’t think Ted is being given a particularly easy time from the media here. He ‘s hardly being savaged by them but by the standards of honeymoon Premiers it’s not all smooth sailing.

    Andrews is pretty much invisible. From the average voter’s POV he’d be indistinguishable from a number of other Opposition frontbenchers and probably has a lower profile than some of the more senior Bracks/Brumby Ministers.

    He’s got a long time left though and he strikes me as being a bit more long-term focused than most senior ALP types.

  3. Andrews has done okay with what he has; a new uber-cautious government doesn’t leave first term oppositions much to shoot at. He’s as good as anyone, notwithstanding that the Libs should get a sizeable swing to them in 2014 unless they utterly stuff it up.

    Ted tends to get taken to task for the media for what he hasn’t done than for what he has. A bit like Bracks in 1999, he never really expected to win so didn’t exactly come charging into office ready with roar with a broad agenda. Having the election just before the Christmas shutdown probably didn’t help either. So there’s been a push from the media to get a move on and start actually governing.

    Still, the “if we don’t do anything, we can’t do anything wrong” worked a treat for Bracksy for nearly a decade.

  4. Wayne and Kev at the top, sounds like a vb ad, g’day kev, h’ya going wayne.

    Didn’t Goss only last one term and Rudd even less and the top four opposition leaders never got the prize.

    looks like Howies ratings was before port arthur.

  5. I note that of all the Opposition Leaders who went on to become Premier, Mike Rann has the best ratings both as Premier and Opposition Leader.

    Despite where he is right now, I think it is nice to pause for a moment and remember the glory days when he could do no wrong in the eyes of the Rupert’s Adelaide Media Mafia.

  6. Mr Bailleau should certainly be asked about this story: teachers being forced to lease their work computers, which are already out of date Mac notebooks?? Surely there is a general principle that an employer provides the necessary tools to do a job?

    At a time when the world computer market is over-supplied and awash with cheap notebooks, this deserves investigating. Does someone have shares in an Apple dealership?

  7. On the poll, it isn’t just Goss and Beatty. The high ratings even for the very vanilla Rob Borbidge show that Queensland voters really are a love/hate crowd.

  8. Adam Clarke

    Wow! did they ask whether you are a Liberal supporter prior to the poll? Under those figures the Gillard government would have lots to worry about in Tasmania, as well as Qld, as well as WA, as well as NSW, as well as SA, as well as Victoria

    On the other hand the ACT looks ok for the ALP

  9. dovif

    The figures certainly do speak for themselves, but just to clarify one should look to Table 3 rather than Table 1 – EMRS have an annoying habit of publishing raw figures which are then reported on by the media and compared to previous state election results and national and interstate polling which reports headline results which exclude the undecided. As far as I know EMRS are the only organisation to do this.

    However the other problem with their polling is that they ask a series of issues and attitudinal questions prior to asking voting intentions… everything from opinions on a carbon tax, immigration detention and economic confidence, cost of living etc… it’s just wrong to do this.

  10. MDM

    The Baillieu goverment has been cautious for sure and there is the strong impression that they were surpised by victory – similar to Bracks in 99.

    Daniel Andrews is largely invisible and every other Labor frontbencher totally invisible. Andrews cause is not helped by being the whingey, whiney type of Opp Leader.

    Ted has done OK and not rocked the boat since. Peter Ryan (Nat Leader) has been the stand out performer so far. Terry Mulder (Transport Minister) probably the biggest disappointment – high profile in opposition, low profile in government.

  11. Actually Ted has done a lot so far:

    1. Let cattle back into the high country
    2. Extended duck season
    3. Started to extinguish the green wedges

    He also has mooted plans to log old growth forest, as well as forests untouched by the 2009 fires around Tolangi – refuge of the threatened leadbeater possum.

    He has shown an intention of allowing private development into national parks.

    On the energy front, he intends to keep producing electricity from brown coal and has virtually eliminated any more wind power development by giving people who live within 2 km of a site a vito to stop it proceeding. The 2020 Victorian target for carbon dioxide reduction is also under review.

    All in all, Big Ted has been a big dissaster for the Victoria environment.

  12. MDMConnell,

    The statement that ‘the “if we don’t do anything, we can’t do anything wrong” worked a treat for Bracksy for nearly a decade’ is nonsense. The achievements of the Bracks government were solid. I have listed them many times. Whenever I list them, the critics are simply unable to contradict a single point I make.

    The Liberals’ being in front now is no surprise to me, though it may be to other Labor supporters who misread the results of the last state election. It’s called the doubters’ relief effect. Before a change of government, there are a few voters unhappy with the mob in power but uncertain of the alternative. Once the alternative gets in, many of those doubters are relieved that things aren’t too bad after all and switch their support to the new mob. Of course, as time goes by, some of them switch back as do a few others. But the Victorian people will give Ted Baillieu a chance. He won’t fix things, but as I said last year he won’t be indulging in the high drama of the previous Coalition government either, so it will take time for his support to ebb away

    Here are some links to save me typing the same stuff again and again:

    Newspoll: 57-43 to Labor in Victoria

    >Don’t Give Up – the Eternal Battle</

    After the blast

    Victorian election live

  13. I didn’t mean literally ‘do nothing’ but there’s no denying Bracks was a very cautious leader, who benefited from good economic times to run a steady-as-she-goes government. What potentially-controversial policies he did have (e.g. safe injecting rooms) were quietly dropped early on and never raised again.

    In any case, it always seemed that the real drive came from the likes of Brumby, Thwaites, Hulls, etc…..There were always reports in The Age and from left-leaning commentators about Bracks’ senior colleagues being very frustrated by his conservatism and caution.

  14. Re Bracks
    Chris Curtis is right re Bracks and his policies
    One of the best and most enduring legacies is the revival of the state country rail services.
    In a state of near collapse under Kennett,Bracks spent many billions on new tracks/signals and a fleet of New” Velocity” trains .
    There are now more than a hundred carriages in this new fleet of fast comfortable trains serving all major provincial cities.
    One can get to Geelong in comfort in under an hour,and Ballarat.Bendigo.Traralgon,Echuca too
    Long distance service tom places like Warnambool and Swan Hill are excellent with refurbished carriages and buffets,and to cap it off Bracks built a brand new city terminal..Southern Cross well as reopening lines to Ararat and Bairnsdale

    I know because I often use them and they are a joy to travel on

  15. MDMConnell,

    Now that you put it that way, it is fair enough. I’d say Ted Baillieu does not want the high drama of the previous Liberal government, and so far it is working.

  16. The New Victorian Poll
    In the last election the ALP held about a score of marginal seats narrowly(e.g Eltham/Ivanhoe/and several country seats like Maryborough and the Bendigo seats.
    All this was done only with the help of Green Prefs which went about 85% to Labor
    Eltham is a prime example with a Labor win by a few hundred votes after prefs.

    However the size of this swing to the Libs would see all these marginals fall
    …though the Greens prefs would still be vital in a some marginals

    The rabib anti-Greens on the ALP Right(the Taliban/DLP Right )who hate the Greens social policies,better hush their mouths for the time being
    Every state poll now reveals huge swings to the Libs.
    Why why why ????????????????????

  17. From a psephological point of view, there are a few interesting aspects going forward mainly due to the fact that there needs to be a redistribution before the next election. There hasn’t been one since before the 2002 election i.e 3 elections on the same boundaries – therefore there are now a substantial number of seats that are either well under (15 or 20%) or well over quota. This redistribution is likely to shake up a lot of seats and members for that reason. It is possible that this redistribution might see the Baillieu government go into the election with a minority of seats. Even so, the Libs will have a double advantage of incumbency – one as government and the second as it is likely that a lot of Labor members (especially the 1999 and 2002 vintage) will want to retire – especially if the polls don’t look good much closer to the election. Such a massive redistribution will be interesting as Norrthern Vic will probably lose a Nat seat and Geelong is half a seat short. The Western and Northern suburbs will also gain extra seats. One would probably have to go in the Eastern Suburbs. It will be a case of watch this space!!

  18. Opps

    My apologies…

    I forgot where I was when I clicked refresh 🙁

    But yes high drama and a more likeable leader (Baillieu over Kennett) as well as incumbency should see them at least get a comfortable majority next election around.

    But yes these redistributions are going to shake things up…

    Daniel Andrews is in the unfortunate position of having the 10sec spot on the news once a week to complain about the Govt…it doesnt help at all really.

  19. deblonay
    [One of the best and most enduring legacies is the revival of the state country rail services.
    In a state of near collapse under Kennett,Bracks spent many billions on new tracks/signals and a fleet of New” Velocity” trains .
    There are now more than a hundred carriages in this new fleet of fast comfortable trains serving all major provincial cities.
    One can get to Geelong in comfort in under an hour,and Ballarat.Bendigo.Traralgon,Echuca too
    Long distance service tom places like Warnambool and Swan Hill are excellent with refurbished carriages and buffets,and to cap it off Bracks built a brand new city terminal..Southern Cross well as reopening lines to Ararat and Bairnsdale

    I know because I often use them and they are a joy to travel on]

    I certainly agree that the emphasis on regional rail was a great thing by the former Government but things are always a bit more rosy in hindsight. Dont forget they also promised to return passenger rail to Mildura (to pacify Russell Savage) that never happened but we did get tains back to Marybourogh which was quite unexpected.

    The RFR was a classic example of a policy promise that the Government never anticipated to be implimented. The outcome was that it was rushed, not very well thought out and cost a great more than expected and ended up not delivering the what was promised. Remember this was going to be a PPP costing minimal $$ ($800 million?) and ended up much more than that!

    For instance, the so called high speed services are more a ‘service’ as you only get one train each way, the flagship that acheives anything like the promised savings. This is good for say Bendigo and Castlemaine no good for anyone in between. In fact the actual time savings have been negative for everyone else and the singling of the line north of Kyneton causes alot of problems if you get any delays.

    However, new rolling stock was delivered, fares were cut 25%, infrastructure upgraded (some better than others e.g. Ballarat vs Bendigo lines for example) and regional transport was given a revival after years of stagnation.

    IMHO the Government only really got Transport Planning and policy quite late in the piece, the true legacy will be the Regional Rail Link that will cut alot of time off everyones journey from northen regional Vic as you wont be stuck behind suburban trains like we are now. Other successes will be the Sunbury electrifcation, Epping line extension and the standarisation of the NW. The double shame will be that these big picture policy decision will be delivered by the Liberals who will get the benefits in terms of regional votes, that should by rights go to both State labor (for the policy) and Federal Labor (for the GFC financing/stimulus).

    Anyway I know too because I often use them every day!

  20. I think you’ll find a big uptick in State government initatives over the next two years as the current infrastructure backlog runs down which emphasis the North and West of Melbourne. The Liberals are looking at the south and east of the city for grade separation (Mitcham Road and the Caulfield to Dandenong projects), extra train stations (Southland) and Road upgrades such as the Dingley by-pass. There was minimal focus by the Bracks/Brumby gvmt, especially on the Frankston line, as a result the liberals have no existing planning or consultations process to kick start their projects but have to commence the projects for stratch with the aim of having the projects under way by the next state election, thereby highlighting the ALP’s neglect on the south side of town (whose only contribution to the southern suburbs was high density living and housing commission).

    No one will be mentioning ‘do nothing’ in two years time.

  21. 23

    It raises the question of whether or not the ALP would have lost if there had been a redistribution before last years election. The lack of a redistribution was due to the Bracks Government`s Constitutional Reforms introducing the definition of a General Election being an election where all seats were up for election and this meant that the 2002 election was not a general election for the purpose of determining when a redistribution was held. Nobody contesting in Court that decision may have been another factor.

  22. Whilst Daniel Andrews leads Labor in Victoria, the Victorian Labor Party will not go anywhere. He may be intelligent but is not photogenic which unfortunately matters. Victorian Labor cannot go with Tim Holding he has been tainted by the Desalination plant and the Pipeline so who else is their?

  23. marky marky @29

    Justin Madden is a candidate. Everybody loves Justin. Leaving aside his handling of the Windsor Hotel consultation process, which last year implicated his ministry in deceit, lies and Machiavellian manipulation of community opinion, he has a distinguished record as a footballer.

    And don’t rule out Tim Holding. Everybody loves Tim. Leaving aside his handling of Plug the Pipe’s lawful agitation against the north-south pipeline, which implicated his office – via Melbourne Water – in bullying, lies and Machiavellian state-sanctioned espionage, he has a distinguished record as a bushwalker.

  24. Further to my comment @16, Ted has again shown his green credentials:

    1. Stopped the permit system for firewood collection on public land.
    2. Reduced the feed-in tariff on solar PVs from 60 cents per kWh to 25.

    What next? Abolition of marine parks – re-introduction of scallop dredging in Port Phillip Bay?

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