EMRS: Liberal 52, Labor 27, Greens 18 in Tasmania

Tasmanian outfit EMRS has published one of its occasional polls of state voting intention, and it continues to show the Liberals in a commanding position: their primary vote is at 52 per cent, down two since November, with Labor up four to 27 per cent and the Greens down two to 18 per cent (EMRS have thankfully dropped their practice of burying the most useful set of results, which excludes the undecided and allocates those “leaning towards a party”, as “Table 3”). Liberal leader Will Hogdman leads Premier Lara Giddings as preferred premier by 44 per cent to 24 per cent, with Greens leader Nick McKim on 15 per cent. The sample on the poll is about 1000, and the margin of error about 3 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.

35 comments on “EMRS: Liberal 52, Labor 27, Greens 18 in Tasmania”

  1. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-15/hodgman-slumps-in-the-leadership-stakes/3831474?section=tas

    [Hodgman slumps in the leadership stakes
    Updated February 15, 2012 13:05:38

    The Opposition Leader, Will Hodgman, has suffered a four per cent drop in support as preferred Premier under a new poll released today.

    The EMRS results show Mr Hodgman is still ahead, with 44 percent support, followed by the Premier, Lara Giddings, with 24 per cent, up five per cent since November.

    The Greens leader, Nick McKim, had a one per cent increase to 15 per cent, while almost one in five respondents preferred none of the three potential premiers.

    When it comes to likely voting patterns, Labor has seen a two point increase since November.

    Ms Gidding has played down the poll.

    “What we have seen in the lead up to this poll is the Liberal party use the money from cigarette companies to run television ads in a mini election campaign in the hope of bolstering their own support.,” she said.]

  2. http://www.examiner.com.au/news/local/news/politics/poll-boost-for-giddings/2456306.aspx

    [Poll boost for Giddings
    15 Feb, 2012 02:57 PM

    Lara Giddings has received a boost in the polls with an increase in support for her as preferred premier up 5 per cent, according to an EMRS poll released this morning.
    Despite the increase, Ms Giddings (24 per cent) still trails Will Hodgman on 44 per cent (down 4 per cent), while Greens leader Nick McKim was up 1 point to 15 per cent.]
    more in the article

  3. Why would anyone with even an inclining of political knowledge write that poll up as a news story about leadership ratings. The two significant stories in that poll are (1) Liberals still headed for landslide victory and (2) Green vote slips with drift back to two-party politics.

  4. As noted previously I regard all EMRS polls as untrustworthy as there have been reports of them asking questions in the wrong order.

    The 52-27-18 figure flatters the Greens since experience indicates that undecided voters do not vote Green and that redistributing the undecides proportionally favours them. They are really on 14-15.

    Indeed the Libs would win majority government easily if an election was held now. I would argue that is obvious even without polling.

    The “Tasmanians show little faith in leaders” angle is invalid (beyond the issue that the electorate always shows little faith in politicians) because EMRS polls have long had similarly high undecided ratings in their preferred premier poll, except when taken close to an election. Such claims are worthless when taken out of the context of a pollster’s past results and probably result from poor polling methods and not genuine voter indecision.

    There *is* a story in the leadership ratings and that is simply that Giddings did not go backwards. In the dying days of Lennon’s premiership his preferred premier rating went down to 18 – a very low rating for the standing of his party at the time – and the reason for this was Labor voters preferring David Bartlett moved into the “other” column. Whether or not this poll was actually terminal to Lennon’s leadership or simply indicative of his problems, he resigned soon after.

    Giddings was the subject of a round of leadership speculation with David O’Byrne the proposed alternative yet she did not suffer a similar hit on her PP score; in fact her PP rating increased. That is quite significant in my view.

    I will write something for TT and post a link here when it’s up.

  5. Yes and mr lennon in my opinion was the best premier we have eved had, in modern times
    Things where done not just discussed
    Lara is getting more confident, she faces the similar problems being our first lady premier,
    The nonsence before christmas aboutother contenders did not help. Very pleased to see her numbers better

    But polls are just that polls , whatba small amount of people think on the day,
    There seems to be things the’pipe line hope so.
    The schools / issue is raher petty, why complain about your
    C hild traveling in a bus to a school 20 min up the road, or even one hour.
    With more numbers bigger and more facilities, and of course at the ta x payers expense ro keep small schools open is a waste of money, and the children ‘ the learning and the social oppotunities,
    Far out way anything else.
    Lets see,
    the libs so far offer nothing, and i noticed mr hodgeman, dresses in fluro jacket
    In and add just like mr abbott
    And of of course work choices would be back, with no protection.

  6. Mr green dont you think its a bit early ,
    To be making such judgement fed. Labor where 23 points behind, so the poll said
    Only some months ago.and morgan has us in a better position than news poll even now
    And of course never saw the light of day no headlines in the press
    Tasmanians all ways seem to make up their minds late about everything
    Whats the date of the election again:-) 🙂 🙂

  7. My say is right. I think there’s a lot of us who don’t want any of the three leaders to be Premier. I only hope that more independents will stand next time, and a lot of other people are saying that too.

    We have a very shallow talent pool down here, at least of people who are willing to stand for Parliament. And we also have a huge lot of senior executive public servants who are, in effect, running the state unelected and with no accountability.

  8. I think the Tasmanian opinion polls are extremely similar to those that preceded the 2011 NSW election. People kept moaning then that Barry O’Farrell wasn’t popular enough as preferred Premier, but he still led the Coalition to one of the biggest landslides in Australian political history.

    I can’t see how the Tasmanian Labor Party can improve on its 2010 result given the financial cutbacks it has had to preside over in its current term. By 2014 Labor will also have been in power for 16 years, as was NSW Labor’s problem in 2011.

    There comes a point in the political cycle when voters will not re-elect a government even if they have doubts about the opposition. The Liberal Party would have to do something extra-ordinarily dumb not to win the next Tasmanian election.

  9. The poll results certainly look good for the Liberals, but I think it’s a bit closer than they seem.

    The Liberals need to win 13 seats for a majority. If the poll was replicated exactly at the next election they would win 14. But Labor traditionally polls about 5% better than EMRS figures. If that carried through then the Liberals would only win 12 and Labor and the Greens could form a coalition government with 13 seats.

  10. Article up:


    Antony’s O’Farrell comparison is spot on – Will Hodgman is seen as a bit uninspired but he’s also seen as safe and that is exactly what an Opposition Leader wants to be in this situation.

    When I adjusted the polling for my view of EMRS’s foibles I got something almost identical to the 1992 state election here (massive Lib win) which came after the end of the last Labor-Green attempt.

    At the moment I think the question of whether this government even goes full term or not is a more open question than that of who wins the next election. David O’Byrne said Nick McKim could control the fringe green groups when he wanted to and McKim accused O’Byrne of effectively advocating “Robert Mugabe-style control of free speech”. These guys are supposed to be Cabinet colleagues!

  11. As a mostly Green voter, I would prefer David O’Byrne. I think McKim has been a disappointing politician. Not in Peg Putt’s league, and nowhere near Bob Brown.

  12. [Is that a record?]

    Not close. The Lennon downfall poll scored 86 posts; not sure if that is a record for a Tassie state poll thread or not. There have been Tassie federal poll threads with more, and Tassie state election count threads of course.

  13. I am so happy to see lara marked 8 out of

    10 in to days press by com sec.
    So nice to see another lady being told she is a good money manager,
    Mr green with respect to your academic qualifications. And i understand what your saying from a text book pointof view.

    we are an island people,
    We dont always say what we think to late in the day,
    Lets see the lbs here are no better than the mainland ones, ( feds) no policies
    Last time, there was a coupl e of’policies that did not sit well with tasmanian people

    i am not giving any clues to what i think they where.

    Lets wait, ‘whats the date of the election again
    Two weeks is a long time in politics’

  14. Rox mckim, has not been too bad from my point of view.
    Only the vit about the forests, we must still have some industry, fter all from what i have read
    There are still native forest being logged on the mainland,.
    Mckim seems to be a team player being to green would not make a lot of people happy
    I hope they stay and get even bigger love to see a co altion ,
    That could on numbers keep the liberals out for decades.

    But then i aman ordinary person with no qualifications so what would i know.

  15. Personally I liked Jim Bacon best as I’m union through and through. I thought the Bacon/Lennon/Crean combination the best we ever had, and I’m just sorry Crean hasn’t been around – I’m sure he would have managed our finances much better. Lennon was fantastic with WorkChoices and he never wanted to be Premier anyway. He was a very good Deputy Premier.

    As far as McKim goes, what disappoints me about him is that he’s turned into a politician, and not in a good way. I much prefer the fiery Kim Booth.

    Qualifications have nothing to do with it, you just need to know what you’re talking about, and you do. I admire your positiveness and loyalty.

  16. #17:

    [The Liberals need to win 13 seats for a majority. If the poll was replicated exactly at the next election they would win 14.]

    Probably 15 actually. Braddon is a 4-1-0 on that electorate sample. The Greens would not catch up on preferences/leakage since too many Labor votes would exhaust.

    [But Labor traditionally polls about 5% better than EMRS figures. If that carried through then the Liberals would only win 12 and Labor and the Greens could form a coalition government with 13 seats.]

    Only if you take that 5% away from the Liberals. But looking at the 2010 pre-election polls, it was the Greens (as always) that EMRS had way too high (in their figures with undecided redistributed), Labor too low and the Liberals about right. Even assuming Labor’s vote is being significantly understated by EMRS the breakdown in that poll still points to 13 Liberal seats. And not much can be read into a single breakdown with an error of +/- 7 points or so per electorate anyway.

  17. [Probably 15 actually. ]

    Whoops, can’t add up. It would be most likely 14 even with the 4 in Braddon, though what would happen to the last seat in Denison on those figures is not that clear – with Labor, Liberal and the Greens each with a bit over half a spare quota a lot would depend on how the votes were split between candidates as opposed to parties.

  18. Kevin,

    Thanks, once again for your insightful analysis.

    The Government has obviously taken some tough decisons early in their term so could arguably fight back once the economy improves.

  19. A question for Kevin Bonham

    These figures show that the state ALP government is fairly much on the nose. Do you think this unpopularity could rub off and affect federal Labor’s hold on seats in Tas?

  20. [These figures show that the state ALP government is fairly much on the nose. Do you think this unpopularity could rub off and affect federal Labor’s hold on seats in Tas?]

    Not necessarily. Tasmanians tend to separate state and federal politics to a large degree; it is often as if they don’t see State and Federal Labor as being the same party. In 2010 Labor suffered a double-digit swing at state level but their 2PP vote at federal level in Tas later that year was excellent (even if they did lose Denison.)

    However the federal party is also enmeshed in the forestry peace deal mess and that could do it a lot of harm (a la 2004) in the timber towns and the northern electorates. That is if the Coalition even bothers trying to win seats here next time around.

    [The Government has obviously taken some tough decisons early in their term so could arguably fight back once the economy improves.]

    They would hope so and they would hope they stay in power long enough for that to have occurred and be reflected. I just think that their real problem is that even if the economy picks up, the relationship with the Greens is unsaleable to the voters who swing between the major parties (which is about a quarter of the Tasmanian electorate). And people know the hard decisions were taken to clean up their own mess, and that the mess should not have happened in the first place.

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