EMRS: Liberal 54, Labor 23, Greens 20 in Tasmania

The latest quarterly EMRS poll of state voting intention in Tasmania finds essentially no change since August: the Liberals are up a point to a still commanding 54 per cent, Labor is up one to a still diabolical 23 per cent, and the Greens (who tend to do inordinately well in this series) are up two to 20 per cent. As usual, you have to go to Table 3 in the link above to get results which include leaners and exclude the undecided, which other pollsters do as a matter of course. Liberal leader Will Hodgman is down four points to 48 per cent on preferred premier but still holds a commanding lead over Premier Lara Giddings, who is steady on 19 per cent, with Greens leader Nick McKim up a point to 14 per cent. The sample on the poll is 857, producing a margin of error of about 3.3 per cent.

Two further Tasmanian matters:

• A plan by the Tasmanian ALP to hold a preselection primary for the state upper house seat of Hobart fell through after Dean Winter, 26-year-old media adviser to federal Franklin MP Julie Collins, was the only eligible candidate to nominate. ALP state secretary John Dowling was quoted in The Mercury saying the one other candidate to emerge was a non-financial member – this possibly refers to Madeleine Ogilvie, who ran as a candidate for Denison at the state election and was named as a starter. The seat will be vacated at the election with the retirement of Labor’s Doug Parkinson, who expressed reservations about the preselection primary concept. Craig Hoggett of The Mercury further reports that the party was struggling to get 100 voters in the constituency to register as party supporters in order to participate in the vote. Dowling was quoted in the report saying the party was considering using a primary process to choose its candidate to run against Andrew Wilkie in Denison at the next federal election. The Mercury also reports that recently retired lord mayor Rob Valentine will run as an independent; that Hobart aldermen Bill Harvey could possibly run for the Greens, council colleague and unsuccessful lord mayor candidate Helen Burnet having ruled herself out; and that “former Labor MP and cabinet minister Julian Amos has yet to confirm if he will run”, presumably as an independent.

• The Burnie Advocate reports former Liberal Senator Guy Barnett is considering running for state preselection for Bass or Lyons.

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.

18 comments on “EMRS: Liberal 54, Labor 23, Greens 20 in Tasmania”

  1. Coming into this knowledge a bit late obvgiously7, but I simply can’t understand why Labor is in this diabolical state in Tasmania! 23% primary? What on earth has happened? I mean, NSW and Qld at least has logic, but not the Tassies. Can anyone enlighten?

  2. Bar Bar, possibly a thirst for change. Also, they’ve had quite a few premiers in the last few years which always annoys people. Also, further on the first point, there may be that feeling that the HoA is dominated by Labor and the Greens, who will keep supporting eachother (regardless of how true that is) and they may feel voting Liberal outright is the only way to shake that up.

    As for the quality of the government itself playing a part, I cannot comment because I know very little about the state of Tasmanian politics.

  3. Scotty J – so am I to take from those links that there have been deep health cuts at the same time the Greens are still ferociou7sly6 trying to wipe out wood pulping jobs? If so, explains all why Labor vote is at bottom. Aren’t they in Green coalition?

  4. Oh… where to start.

    I think “it”, inasmuch “it” can be said to have a start, started in 2004-2006, when the Gunns pulp mill was announced, stalled in the planning stage (or as some might say, Gunns stalled it knowing they wouldn’t pass environmental requirements), and was then obscenely fast-tracked by the (then) Lennon Labor Government. It’s been alleged that Lennon did the bidding of Gunns, and robbed the process of whatever credibility it had in the eyes of many.

    Somewhere between about 2006 and 2008, there were also a couple of scandals that claimed the scalps of successive Deputy Premiers – Bryan Green awarded a rather significant contract to a former ALP state Minister’s company in circumstances that are best described as “murky” (Green was prosecuted for it, with a mistrial, and then the jury in the 2nd trial IIRC found him not guilty), and Steve Kons was caught telling porkies to Parliament in relation to the appointment of a magistrate.

    Green: http://bit.ly/rJMySg
    Kons: http://bit.ly/v1iF3P

    About this time, Lennon’s approval rating plunged to catastrophic levels and he stepped down in favour of Bartlett.

    Bartlett reigned as Premier for a couple of years with Aird as his Treasurer. Bartlett started out with nice enough promises and platitudes, but it wasn’t long before people began to be disillusioned with the lack of results. Bartlett and Aird also had to manage the fallout of the 2008 GFC on the Tasmanian economy, which was done well enough in the circumstances, but the Bartlett Government failed to show fiscal discipline afterwards – as soon as things started improving, the Government started spending again.

    Bartlett went to the 2010 state election, and the ALP fully expected to get whacked. In the campaign, they promised a bunch of things they couldn’t afford, on the expectation that they would never have to pay for it.

    As it happened, the election resulted in a hung Parliament, and after some mucking about between the 3 parties, the Greens supported Bartlett and the ALP. Then they had to make good on those election promises…

    Aird retired later that year, and Bartlett appointed Giddings as Treasurer. As I recall, it was only a couple of months before Bartlett stepped down in January 2011, citing a desire to have more family time. Giddings was elevated to Premier and Treasurer and has stayed since – however, financially the Government was pretty stuffed. Cabinet had been frittering it away, and the Tasmanian economy (and thus revenues) started to slow again, so Giddings found herself holding the hot potato.

    Giddings has held the fort since, but as you can see, scandals and a worsening Budget situation mean that Labor is facing a wipeout in 2014 unless Giddings (or someone) can turn things around. Giddings is trying to make the changes necessary to fix the Budget, but it’s made even worse by a number of factors – declining GST revenues, a stuffed health system, etc.

  5. I know nothing about Tassie politics but given the absolutely amazing consistency between ALP primary votes across the country and state by state, it seems to me the only logical conclusion that can be drawn is that it is a brand issue.

    ALP is on the nose, the state issues provide individual post-it notes to attach to that message, but the message is the primary problem.

    NSW ALP (and its cancerous metastasis to Canberra) has not been good for the brand.

    Of course things are much rosier in South Australia, but I think we need to wait till the new leader honeymoon is over to see if the ALP vote sinks back to the baseline there too.

  6. I hate to say this but….
    I have been denounced before on this issue,but one thin the recent polls in Qland .Tas. and recently the State election in NSW.. is that all Govts. in such dire straits have been led by…a Woman!…and I don’t even mention Gillard.
    There is a common tread here and before I am denounced as a sexist pig,might I throw in a few more names…Joan Kirner,Vic/Carmen Lawrence.WA/Carnel ACT…need I go on !

    Women leaders in Australia usually come to a harsh and shattering end
    The young Giddings in Charge in Hobart looks OK to me…but the polls dpn’t show that…
    Sp the Tas result will come as no surprise to me..there are other issues I am sure,but there is one that sticks out like……

    Please no abuse from the usual attack dogs…that would be very tedious(they usually are)…come up with some good arguments

  7. deblonay:

    all of those women took poisoned chalices so its not a fair assessment. There are men leading the ALP in states (NSW Vic) doing just as badly.

    The commonality is the ALP not the gender of the leader.

  8. [Coming into this knowledge a bit late obvgiously7, but I simply can’t understand why Labor is in this diabolical state in Tasmania! 23% primary? What on earth has happened? ]

    Primarily the party has been in office for a very long time and is now having to make cuts to repair damage that it caused, and is not getting many thanks for doing so, especially since it has no real excuses.

    It’s really more like 26 than 23, not that that’s much better. EMRS polls have a tendency to overstate the Green vote because EMRS has a huge “undecided” vote which they redistribute proportionally, but which in practice only goes to the majors (and perhaps independents but certainly not the Greens). So instead of the claimed 54-23-20 a more realistic reading is 54-26-15. On a seat basis, using a merged average of this one with the previous one and correcting for all known EMRS peculiarities, I get 14-5-4 with one seat unclear between all three parties in Braddon and another unclear between all three parties and a potential Independent (eg Wilkie if he loses his federal seat and wants to play in the shallow end) in Denison.

    I should also note that EMRS are still in the naughty corner for unsatisfactory polling practices following a report posted here last quarter of them asking questions in the wrong order, so any poll they release should be treated with caution.

    Re #5 at the time Lennon was on the slide there were no readings of “approval” ratings for him. What crashed was his “preferred premier” rating and it crashed partly because many Labor supporters wanted him replaced by David Bartlett and therefore didn’t answer. Probably his “approval” rating would have been poor (perhaps somewhere in the 30s) but there are no data on it.

    Re #8 Kirner and Lawrence, and also Keneally and Giddings, were all installed when their parties already showed signs of being in lost positions. So they should not be used as arguments against female leadership – rather they are examples of Labor’s tendency to go for a female leader when it’s losing for other reasons. Carnell’s term in office did end badly but so do those of many male leaders and her tenure was a reasonably long one. Clare Martin was a very successful and popular Chief Minister of the NT. Bligh should lose the next election heavily, but she did at least win the first one comfortably, which many did not expect. As for Gillard, I think the jury is still out as to her fate.

  9. [ I get 14-5-4 with one seat unclear between all three parties in Braddon and another unclear between all three parties and a potential Independent (eg Wilkie if he loses his federal seat and wants to play in the shallow end) in Denison. ]

    That’s four Green seats not including the two uncertain ones… do you reckon they have a chance of a second seat in Denison or Franklin?

  10. [That’s four Green seats not including the two uncertain ones… do you reckon they have a chance of a second seat in Denison or Franklin?]

    On the merged adjusted samples they have a theoretical chance – though they would be in the weakest of the four positions – for a second seat in Denison. The merged adjusted sample has the Libs well over 50 in Franklin making Franklin in common with Bass and Lyons a straight 3-1-1. Braddon on the merged sample can be 3-2-0, 3-1-1 or (gasp) 4-1-0. Wonder if Brett Whiteley wants his seat back?

  11. was sitting here knitting prem jacket and thinking,

    Now if abbott is unelectable, there is only labor, only see mt as elecable, so that for starters
    blows. Feenys depressing theory out the window,

    Feeney may not have noticed that Julia has streaked passed abbott in this poll let’s see what
    ess’, says next week, but honestly who cares,so why would. WEchange, that is nonsense,
    Its libs who now have this worry,

    The libs, made their decision with abbott and have tgo live with it, who can take his place is any o ex guess

  12. bar bar

    The health cuts are a big part of the story but not the whole story.

    1. The forestry peace deal is as important. If you remember the 2004 federal election, it was demonstrated that many Tasmanian labor voters would rather give john Howard a forth term than let the labor party move more ideologically towards the greens. Whereas the forestry peace process probably makes the greens more popular with their own voters it alienates labor voters.

    2. there is an its time factor alot like in NSW. There have only been 4 liberal premiers since world war 2 and they have governed for about 16 and half years out of the last 66. Sort of leaves abit of a fuzzy member how the libs govern at the state level.

    3. there have been large public sector cuts and redundancies, not just the dep of health. Thus making a left leaning demographic as unhappy campers.

    4. The idea of closing a bunch of schools that seems to come and go.

  13. Well kev, I beg to differ about our pm, she will be reflected

    OF crean and mr Lennon, where the best times, things where done, I often drive past the race track
    and think what a great facility that is the place is always occupied,
    There are other things at that time that don’t come to mind.

    I think the decision to have 3 Water boards and water meters, where there was none, is making a lot of people quite upset, me included.

    Complaliants about health systems seems to be an on going complaint with australians in general.

    Cuts in areas are always seen as, why should there be,,,,, its a case of not in my back yard,
    Around the city there is a lot of building activity,in the south that is,

    We have a wonderful life style, but airfares re now rather expensive, unless u are lucky and can travel
    When u please. Summer festivals are wonderful here and bring thousands of people,e over the summer.
    Yes it may seem like nothing happens but one really looks o e sees a thriving agriculture activity,
    Having way he’d a few items on tv lately I am amazed at the iivation of tasmanians in this area

    I would love to see our output of agriculture double, we could become aust food bowl

    WHEN I LOOK AT THE LIBERALS I see nothing new nothing inspiring at all, when u write and complain
    Re the water meters it seems they agree, so no where to go there,

    When all is said and done, just what would the liberals do I n the tight money situation we find ourselves in,

    I doubt the would think it may be nothing different,

    People forget we have a small population that for example has to pay the same wages for services of professionals, example medical. Or we would not be able to attract them here,

    So our budgets may be a lot tighter,

    I doubt in the end the libs, will get in ,the long run,ws yet to hear a policy tht is inspirational,

  14. Regarding the Terry Martin verdict and non-sentence, this is probably a more appropriate thread to comment on it. I just want to clarify my distaste at Martin walking free after conviction. I question the judge’s reasoning. The crime was serious. The Parkinson’s medication Martin was taking – dopamine agonists – do increase sex drive and can reduce inhibitions. But there is no evidence they change the personality or sexual preferences of the offender. So they don’t make you want to have sex with 12 yr olds, unless you already had that preference.

    I think the judge gave far too much weight to the loss of reputation Martin has suffered. I am not aware that that is considered in law an appropriate alternative to a criminal sentence. I think this sentence sets a terrible precedent, and should be appealed.

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