Newspoll: 57-43 to Liberal-National in WA

The few poll results to have emerged from Western Australia since Mark McGowan became Opposition Leader have provided Labor with a measure of encouragement – but not the latest Newspoll, which suggests the Liberals are well in contention to win a majority in their own right.

GhostWhoVotes reports the long, long, long-awaited Newspoll result for state voting intention for the July-September quarter has the Liberal-National alliance with a resounding 57-43 lead on two-party preferred, compared with a 53-47 when the last such poll was published for the January-March quarter. On the primary vote, the Liberals are up four to 43%, the Nationals down one to 5%, Labor down five to 30%, and the Greens up one to 12%. Despite that, Mark McGowan, who took over the Labor leadership from Eric Ripper in January, continues to be well received: his approval rating is up five to 48%, with disapproval up six to 23%. Colin Barnett’s numbers also maintain their long-term deterioriating, his approval down three to 48% and disapproval up four to 37%. That being so, the increase in Barnett’s lead as preferred premier from 42-30 to 45-29 is counter-intuitive.

Liberal preselection news:

• The local party ballot to choose Christian Porter’s successor in Bateman has been won by Matthew Taylor, a sustainability consultant who has paid his dues as federal candidate for Fremantle and state candidate for Willagee. Beatrice Thomas of The West Australian reports the field also included Phil Edman, upper house member for South Metropolitan region; Matt Brown, head of member advocacy at RAC and twice-thwarted federal preselection nominee for Tangney; Simon Creek, a family lawyer (clients include Rose Porteous) said to be very close to Porter; Jane Timmermanis, a lawyer for not-for-profit group Sussex Street Community Law Services; and Cam Tinley, a high school teacher. Non-starters who had previously been mentioned included another South Metropolitan MLC, Nick Goiran, said by Gareth Parker of The West Australian to have had the support of the electorate’s one and only party branch (although “others say his social conservatism is a mark against him in the eyes of some influential colleagues”); and Russell Aubrey, long-serving mayor of Melville.

• Linda Aitken, a nurse at Hollywood Private Hospital, is the new Liberal candidate for the outer northern suburbs seat of Butler (the new post-redistribution name for Mindarie), held for Labor by John Quigley. This follows the withdrawal of Simon Morgan after his preselection met with a blizzard of adverse publicity surrounding his past indiscretions in Victoria, namely running an anti-Ted Baillieu blog while serving as his campaign director and making offensive comments about former federal Liberal MP Fran Bailey.

• Dean Nalder, a former ANZ and Australia Post executive, has been preselected to run against independent incumbent Janet Woollard in the naturally conservative seat of Alfred Cove.

• Local café owner and Chamber of Commerce president Trevor Cosh has won preselection for Albany, held for Labor on a razor-thin margin by Peter Watson.

• Jaimee Motion, Collie native and until recently media adviser to Troy Buswell, has been preselected unopposed for Collie-Preston, where the redistribution has increased Labor member Mick Murray’s buffer from 1.0% to 3.8%.

• Badgingarra agronomist Chris Wilkins will run in Moore, to be vacated at the election by Nationals member Grant Woodhams, after winning a July preselection vote ahead of Perenjori shire president Chris King.

• Natasha Cheung, who represents Ellenbrook ward on Swan City Council, will run in West Swan against Labor’s Rita Saffioti, whose margin is 4.1%.

• David Goode, owner of a small business in the “banking and finance industry”, will run in Gosnells against Labor’s Chris Tallentire, whose margin is 4.8%.

• The candidate for Kalgoorlie is Melissa Price, a lawyer who has worked in the mining and agriculture sectors. The presumed front-runner had been local branch president Matt Eggleston, who withdrew citing “a potentially life-threatening health scare” along with business commitments, although had also been fined after being caught driving nearly three times over the legal limit.

• Taking on tasks with various degrees of thanklessness against Labor are Bayswater councillor Sylvan Albert in Maylands (held by Lisa Baker with a margin of 8.8%), physiotherapist Daniel Parasiliti in Midland (Michelle Roberts, 8.3%), Jesse Jacobs in Cannington (Bill Johnston, 9.0%), Joel Marks in Warnbro (Paul Papalia, 10.1%), Katherine Webster in Armadale (Tony Buti, 14.8%) and Matthew Hanssen in Fremantle (Adele Carles, margin indeterminate). Tony Solin, public relations director at Peel Health Campus, will run in Mandurah (David Templeman, 10.5%).

• And taking on tasks with various degrees of thanklessness against the Nationals are George Levissianos, owner of Karratha Retravision, who joins the race in Pilbara; Stephen Strange, who also ran in 2008, in Central Wheatbelt; Tami Maitre in North West Central; Jenny Bloom in Kimberley. Augusta Margaret River shire president Ray Colyer will run against Nationals member Terry Redman in Warren-Blackwood, having failed in a bid for upper house preselection.

Labor preselection news:

• Cockburn councillor Lee-Anne Smith has withdrawn as Labor’s candidate to run in Jandakot, which Joe Francis holds for the Liberals on a margin of 1.8%, as she wishes to focus on her not-for-profit group providing assistance to Aboriginal youth. She has been succeeded by her campaign manager, Klara Andric.

• Susy Thomas, former chief executive of drug and alcohol counselling service DrugARM, will run in Southern River, held for the Liberals by Peter Abetz on a margin of 1.8%.

• Labor’s candidate for the fading prospect of Kalgoorlie is Terrence Winnner, 27-year-old chief executive of the Eastern Goldfields YMCA. The Kalgoorlie Miner reports Labor had approached local businessman Rod Botica, who “withdrew due to work commitments”, and Daniel and Sam Bowler, the sons of the seat’s Labor-turned-independent member John Bowler. Bowler Sr expressed his displeasure at the approach, saying he would “campaign vigorously against either of them because I hate nepotism”.

• Jennifer Shelton, a 29-year-old public servant who grew up in Carnarvon, will run against Labor-turned-Nationals member Vince Catania in North West Central. Catania won the seat of North West for Labor by 3.1% in 2008, which he owed to the Nationals’ narrow failure to edge out the Liberals into second place. He has since defected to the Nationals and enjoyed a good turn in the redistribution, which produced a 3.3% margin in his favour.


• After announcing in March that she would not contest the next election as the Liberals’ determination to run a candidate left her with no chance of victory, Adele Carles has told Joe Spagnolo of the Sunday Times that she might consider running again in Fremantle as a “wild card”.

• Former Liberal member Bernie Masters has announced he will run as an independent against Troy Buswell in Vasse. Masters also ran as an independent in 2005 after Buswell defeated him for preselection, and fell 0.9% short of victory.

• Local councillor and businessman Shane van Styn will run for the Nationals against Liberal member Ian Blayney in Geraldton. Labor’s candidate is school teacher Kathryn Mannion.

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.

17 comments on “Newspoll: 57-43 to Liberal-National in WA”

  1. ..although usually in the long-term trend the head of the government’s approval moves in sync with the government’s TPP vote (as per Poliquant’s elegant analysis the other day).

  2. I’ll confess to being a little surprised at this poll. As WA state polls are so infrequent only the party pollsters and leadership groups will know if it is an outlier or not.

    McGowan has run hard with publicising cost of living increases. No obvious wins / losses / gotchas by either side that would explain a 4% swing to the Liberals.

    There is certainly no great diversity of old media in WA and WA Labor’s struggles with getting decent OM/MSM coverage are especially difficult here.

    Also pretty clear that those who own the mining companies and dominate boardrooms across Perth want to see ALP out federally. There is a meme being put out by many employers that the carbon ‘tax’ is threatening jobs. I hear it constantly. Maybe that is translating in some part to the state 2PP.

    Compared to the last election results there must be big swings on towards the government in some areas and demographics. It would be interesting to know where.

  3. You bewdy – a WA thread!

    Firstly, I live in Northbridge, around the corner from John Hyde’s office (seriously, is there a better light show in your local MP’s window?), and I walk past a couple of dozen posters for the Liberal candidate very day, on every other Asian business on the way to the city – she’s got that part of William St covered. Weird thing is, that candidate is Natasha Cheung (running in West Swan, not really round these parts). I get that there’s an Chinese community connection, but it’s still strange to see. Only one shop has a poster for the actual candidate, Eleni Evangel (a Perth councillor, which might be a bit less relevant north of Newcastle St).

    Personal opinion time: I’d love to see Michael Sutherland get the boot in Mt Lawley, and Peter Abetz in Southern River. Also Buswell in Vasse, although I’m not sure how I’d think about a very conservative old man like Bernie Masters being in there instead. Also, it’d encourage Labor to play dead to help the non-Liberal in what’s now the City of Busselton (that electorate is about one redistribution away from being renamed Busselton). I hate it when they do that.

    I’d be surprised if Bunbury didn’t swing back to Labor a bit – it got the biggest swing in WA last time, and I’ve got no idea why. John Castrilli is now the local govt minister in charge of merging councils (so far managed to merge Geraldton with Mullewa, leave his boss’ western suburbs pocket boroughs alone, and bugger-all else). The #1 place mergers make sense is his own area, where a Greater Bunbury council would make a lot more sense than the current mess they’ve got (Dardanup is too small to be in the UBD, but its shire has 13,000 people). I don’t know if that’ll help him or not, but it’s a good idea.

    Both SOR independents are gonna get pwned hard. Janet Woollard’s son hasn’t done her any favours, and the few Labor voters who live round there (obviously some rather contrary bastards) have just been reminded how rich she is. (Jeez, I wish I coulda hooned around in a boat when I was living with my mum.) I voted for her ahead of Labor back in 2005, mainly to keep Graham Kierath from coming back, also because Labor did the old “run a 20 yr old uni student” trick – I don’t think I would again though if I still lived there. As for Adele Carles, she’s starting to remind me of that ex-One Nation MP in Gympie a few years back. Even with a Liberal candidate in the mix, she’d’ve had an OK chance of winning Andrew Wilkie-style, but I reckon she’s blown that now. (What does the Freo Herald have to say about it all?)

    And while I’m going on about independents, Carol Adams is running again in Kwinana (she’s the local mayor, Roger Cook is probably wishing he’d chosen a different safe Labor seat for his brilliant career). The West had an EXCLUSIVE!!1! front page article about it a coupla weeks ago, which they totally lifted from one of those Community papers. They also managed to bugger up the margin – it was very marginal last time, but 0.08% 2cp could only happen with a few iffy ballot papers and a pair of scissors.

    Hillarys could also be interesting if Rob Johnson decides to really shaft his party. It’s not like Labor are gonna win there, but the Libs weren’t gonna win Morley either.

    I’ve probably got more to meander on about, but my bed is calling me. Maybe tomorrow. 🙂

  4. PS: is there a ‘preview’ function on the new blog software, or did it go down the memory hole? I coulda used that for the last post.

  5. Natasha Cheung is running very hard in west swan – we will know party polling is tight if Rita promieses / runs on the train. Both sides promised last time

  6. [How bad does the WA govt have to get before these poll numbers come off?]

    Labor voters / members seem to be largely silent, but I think it has been sometime since we were a majority!

  7. “Jaimee Motion, Collie native and media adviser to Troy Buswell, has been preselected unopposed for Collie-Preston”

    Jaimee Motion left Buswell’s office over a month ago 🙂

  8. Disappointing downturn as many believed the re-energised LOTO in WA had put Labor back on track.

    This polls suggests an uplift but then a fall back.

    I would like to know where the support is coming from.

    There are 3-4 seats which were very close last time around and with an ounce of common sense should never have been lost. Thank you Alan Capenter.

    The problem is that local Libs are not doing so bad as to warrant throwing out and Labor is not doing so well as to be considered as an obvious replacement.

    The Emperor is getting plenty of shellacking – even in the West – but this does not seem to translate to a general feeling about replacement.

    On the other hand, there is an election campaign to come and Labor felt pretty secure last time around with much the same kind of lead.

    What I do have to compliment the Libs for is that for absolute months the bus shelters and backs of seats have pictures and names of the local Liberal candidate on them. Not one that I can see from Labor.

    Last election, the guy who won Mt Lawley had his picture on a mobile trailer on the busiest road in the electorate for days before the election.

    Meanwhile the backroom girl from Labor – name unknown then and forgotten now – who Carpenter thought he could just drop in to the electorate, failed dismally.

    Whether Bob K can win the seat back remains to be seen.

    It is interesting the government pulled out every stop to ensure Mt Lawley PS, badly damaged by fire, had an alternative venue ready within two weeks (small miracle I thought) for the kids to attend as an integral school.

    I suspect the reward will be the retention by the Libs of this seat although it was quite a good Labor seat once.

  9. This is the same Newspoll sample which at the federal level had Labor in WA going backwards from 55-45 to 58-42 in July-September – their worst result in over a year – while the rest of the country was headed in the opposite direction. The most likely explanation is that Newspoll hit a bad sample, and Labor aren’t doing as badly as this poll suggests.

  10. Talk about trains… Labor construction…. People die, houses burn, useless llibraries, two lane freeways ahhh and you still have hope and faith in the NBN

  11. Those llibraries must’ve been useless if they couldn’t teach you how to spell.


    Another thing about the WA election I haven’t heard a lot of is the fact that two party leaders are swapping electorates… just not the important two and not in the one important city. If there’s a decent sized swing to the Libs in the Perth metro area (which realistically is all that any polling company is covering), then it doesn’t matter how Brendon Grylls goes, but if Barnett doesn’t manage to get a big swing in Perth, the last thing Labor needs is to lose two or three seats up north. Kimberley is probably the biggest wild card… the James Price Point protests are gonna have some kind of effect, but there’s four different parties up there all playing their own game. We need some people from Broome on this blog to explain that weirdness.

    Meanwhile, the Greens must have some guts churning looking at some recent results over east. They couldn’t win a seat in South West last time (the Nats got it for a 4-2 win to the tories); now they’re running Giz Watson there, and somebody else in North Metro who I can’t name offhand despite living there and most likely voting for them in 2013. Hey Greens, advertise in the Perth Voice! Donna Faragher does, whoever she is.

  12. Ah well, later today there’ll be a live thread for the Sydney by-election and this is gonna get kicked off the front page. See yez in three (or six?) months. 😛

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