Newspoll: 55-45 to Labor in Victoria

It was well understood that Ted Baillieu’s government was sitting a lot less pretty than conservative counterparts in other states. Nonetheless, the results of the latest bi-monthly Newspoll will come as a shock to it.

GhostWhoVotes relates a shock Newspoll result of Victorian state voting intention for September-October, with the Labor opposition opening up a 55-45 lead after drawing even last time. Labor is up six points on the primary vote to 41% against 37% for the Coalition, who are down four, with the Greens steady on 13%. Ted Baillieu now has a minus 22 net approval rating, his approval down one to 31% and disapproval up three to 53%. However, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews’ ratings remain mediocre, his approval up one to 29% and disapproval steady on 36%. Baillieu’s lead as preferred premier has narrowed from 40-26 to to 39-30.

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.

52 comments on “Newspoll: 55-45 to Labor in Victoria”

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  1. Very good news for Labor. However, two years from the election. So, hard to get too excited.

    Ted might be in the gun on these numbers.

    Andrews has kept a very low profile. It might be time for him to become more visible.

  2. From main blog ….3661
    Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 10:13 pm | PERMALINK
    Newspoll Vic – undoubtedly an element of the speech in these numbers. Plus the Geoff Shaw thing, Tafe, teachers and a general sense that the Vic LNP have lost the plot…..

  3. [Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews’ ratings remain mediocre, his approval up one to 29% and disapproval steady on 36%]

    I reckon most Victorians couldn’t even name the LOTO. Over recent weeks his (Andrews) voice is being heard more frequently on electronic media as he seeks the scalp of Geoff Shaw. He (Andrews) comes across as intelligent, hard working and firm but fair. As people see more of him over the next year I think is stocks will rise not fall. Quite the reverse of Abbott for example where the more people see of him the more people feel uncomfortable.

  4. If anything, this poll will probably shock the Victorian Liberals into action. What they’ll do to turn these results around, I don’t know.

    Getting more proactive with legislation as well as rethinking its media strategy is the minimum case scenario, replacing Baillieu is the maximum. This is not a poll they’ll be pleased to see with a Frankston by-election on the cards, although I don’t believe it’ll happen, since they’ll do all they can to delay the fulmination of Geoff Shaw’s troubles until after November 2014.

  5. The speech would have made very little contribution, as this would have been collected over two months, mostly before the speech. Which might be a bit of a worry for the Libs – it’s possible it could get worse from here (although I suspect this poll is a bit of an outlier).

  6. This doesnt surprise me in the least. The Bailieu government are an incompetent bunch of nakedly elitist wankers, who manage to combine insufferable inegalitarainism with ignorant ideological prejudice at every turn. The worst of both traditions of the Victorian liberal party: the patricians and new right.

    They lack the grace of the former, and the electoral nous of the latter.

    And thats being complimentary.

    Mark my words: they are a one term government, they WILL lose the next election.

  7. It’s a bit paradoxical to criticise Andrews for not being active enough when Labor is polling 55%. Apart from Katy Gallagher he is the only Labor leader in the country who is in a winning position right now.

  8. Yeah. Whatshisname isn’t the highest profile, but neither was Bracks. I’m confident it will make no difference come 2014.

    This is all you need to know about the Victorian state Liberal party, right here:

  9. Hmm… An opposition leading in the polls by a significant margin, despite having an unpopular leader… Where have I seen that before?

  10. Andrews is not “unpopular”, just unknown. He has no negatives at all. Which this far out from the election is just fine. Baillieu’s failings have the public’s full attention.

  11. Andrews is playing the game exactly right at present.

    He isn’t out there leaping on every bandwagon and thus unrealistically raising expectations in the way that Ted did.

    He isn’t making promises in a policy vacuum – which prevents him taking contradictory stances, or making commitments he then can’t deliver.

    He IS doing his best to hold the government to account and – from what I’ve seen on branch emails – getting out and about to not only fly the flag in regional areas but to bouy up members’ spirits.

  12. This must be one of the largest and most rapid falls in popularity in recent history. Are there any parallels? In my field Bailleau is stuffing around with a badly needed rail project in central Melbourne while promoting a road tunnel that has previously been found not to be econoically viable. What is it with Libs and road tunnels?

    Speaking of which, it will be interesting to see what Campbell Newman’s numbers are like in another 18 months. Worse? Airport Link will be bankrupt by then.

  13. One of Ted’s biggest problems has been breaking his no-spin, transparency promises, e.g., the very late and very toothless anti-corruption commission after promising a proper one.

    I don’t understand why a new government is so reluctant to have the greater transparency it promised, since when it first comes in it hasn’t done anything that would embarrass it if made public, and if it just acts properly all the time such embarrassments will be minimal. Is it that hard to do?

  14. [Brendan Donohoe ‏@BrendanDonohoe7
    I have seen Geoff Shaw footage. He is shown performing a tugging motion and heard yelling out “wanker”. #7NewsMelb
    Retweeted by josietaylor]

  15. [Brendan Donohoe ‏@BrendanDonohoe7
    The Geoff Shaw tugging motion is closed fist and chest high. Right handed. Not like a pointing motion.
    Retweeted by josietaylor]

    I just find it hilarious that political debate in Victoria has descended to a detailed analysis of a hand gesture.

  16. Faine now doing an interview discussing minutiae of hand gesture (“Was it a closed fist?” etc.). It’s been going for several minutes.

  17. Baillieu will go for sure. Many voters saw him as a moderate and even to the left of Brumby on some issues. Once in office, he has revealed his true colours – his ministers doing deals for mates from day one, and funding cut to any NGO to the left of Genghis. In the environmental field he has been appalling, from allowing grazing in national parks (his brother-in-law is a cattleman), to gutting greenhouse and energy efficiency legislation and programs, to killing the wind industry, to slashing feed-in tariffs to kill the solar industry, to rewriting flora and fauna protection act to allow forestry and other development of endangered habitats, to moving to allow mining and development in national parks. He has gutted popular legislation to which he gave bi-partisan support to when in opposition – a bigger ‘lie’ than the PMs “Carbon Price, but no Carbon tax” surely. From being warm and friendly in opposition, he now comes across as an arrogant, born-to-rule, not very bright, nasty upper class twit. Victorians are smart, with a sense of social justice, and he’ll go in a landslide. I think federal politics is probably also having an impact – we love our Julia down here, and hate abbott – the PMs speech on misogyny would have played very well down here. check the next state-by-state breakdown of newspoll – even lib voters down here hate abbott with a passion.

  18. The problems that the Baillieu Libs have is that they are wallowing around and flapping their arms but not achieving anything. How difficult is it to get an Anti Corruption Commission up and going? NSW, WA, and Qld all did it and in NSW definitely I don’t recall much fuss.

    It is very evident that the Libs were shocked by winning and un or underprepared to govern. If Ted were to get pushed, who would replace him? Matthew Guy would seem pretty obvious but he is in the wrong house.

    At the very least, Ted needs a reshuffle – he brought in the opposition front bench in entirety. Few ministers are breaking through and some are such dead wood that they have been cut down, pulped, made into paper and then recycled a few times. Kim Wells, Louise Asher, Terry Mulder all come to mind.

  19. 17

    The road tunnel is complete lunacy.

    The rail tunnel plan has significant flaws.

    Significant further capacity for the Northern group could be achieved more cheaply by a short section of track extra track between the flyover and Southern Cross allowing suburban trains to terminate at platform 8 of Southern Cross with passengers switching from there to underused capacity on existing trains that have already deposited people in the Loop or at Flinders St.

    The Arden St area could be provided with extra PT with trams and/or buses far more cheaply.

    Tram congestion in Swanston St and St Kilda Rd could be dealt with by increased use of the William St-Kingsway route (the purpose for which it was built) as well as more trams to an upgraded South Yarra station and a 401-style bus from Richmond to the Domain interchange. Also far cheaper.

    The main capacity issues on the Dandenong line are beyond Caulfield (level crossings and lack separate tracks for express and stopping trains where they have different stopping patterns).

  20. Tom

    How can the road tunnel be any more lunatic than the situation now? The Eastern Freeway dumps into Hoddle Street or Alexandra Parade, and the latter gradually narrows into Princess Street and when you go around the cemetary.

    No doubt also that more PT is required, put the train line out to Doncaster and build the Metro.

    The problem is Melbourne – both road and PT – is that (except for City Link) – there are no proper connection between east and west of the city. You can’t catch a train to Richmond from the west without changing at Flinders Street, it can 30 minutes or more on a train from Spencer Street to Richmond if you are going against the loop flow.

    Melbourne has its own invisible Berlin Wall between East and West – you might not get shot but still not easy to cross over.

  21. BBS,

    Bringing in weeds to replace dead wood is hardly a solution.

    As you would know, the Lib problem with bringing in new faces is that guys like Shaw are actually the cream of the crop.

  22. 24

    I agree except about Terry Mulder. The issues the Liberals have with Transport are that they are not spending enough money on PT (particularly buses) and their ideological bias towards roads and against the West and North of Melbourne. A change of minister will not fix this, only a change of government will. The Liberals have actually made a few good changes. The PTV is a more together management that the previous set-ups and it has been tasked with coordinating timetables of different modes of PT which is long overdue. The Liberals have also gone for ramps for DDA compliance rather than lifts over reliability issues (an issue around the time of the previous election).

  23. BBS,

    Agree the tunnel needs to go under the cemetary and link up with the Western Ring Road.

    I reckon an express shuttle bus from Doncaster Shopping Town to Victoria park Staion would be a cheaper and just as effective solution to building a rail link on the Eastren Freeway.

    Nothing good ever came of going to Richmond.

  24. Terry Mulder is infamous for constrructing railway crossing upgrades at Brighton and two in Terang (his own electorate).

    All were in the 300’s in terms of priority lists compiled by the bureaucrats. Sure, the State is bit pressed for cash atm. However, these sort of funding decisoins make them look unprofessional and pre occupied with only their own interests rather than the whole community.

  25. 26

    Most of that traffic is headed towards the CBD or vicinity with some headed south as well leaving only a relatively small proportion of the traffic that could avoid the congestion until the new tunnel induced new congestion. The current road tunnel proposal would maily shift cars from Hoddle St to north-south streets further west. It is about moving congestion for Collingwood to Carlton and North Melbourne. It is about shifting people from PT to cars.

    The Doncaster line and tolling existing freeways and roads are the answer to Hoddle St conjestion.

    There are pleantly of links road linksd from east to west.

    It is now possible to catch a train from Frankston to Werribee or Williamstown without changing as Flinders St (on weekdays). Getting from Southern Cross to Richmond by train should take 6-10 minutes depending on whether or not you are going via the loop. About half of the trains through Richmond, on a weekday, (all on the weekends) go via the loop (which includes Southern Cross) either before or after Flinders St so there is no need to avoid the loop when going between those 2. The confusing nature of the loop does make this a little hard to understand though.

    The Yarra is more or a social barrier than an infrastructure one. However this is breaking down with the gentrification of the inner-northern and Western suburbs.

  26. GG
    [Terry Mulder is infamous for constrructing railway crossing upgrades at Brighton…]

    Because Asher promised it, wasn’t it? Why she needed to promise anything to retain that seat is beyond me.

  27. 30

    To be fare to Terry Mulder, the New St level crossing was more from Asher and influential locals. It does increase the view that this government is more interested in its friends than ordinary people.

    New St was 223 on the priority list but that was before it was closed to cars and this significantly reducing its risk. The current plan to re-open it with boom gates would actually increase the risk.

  28. It is early days for the state election, but the Tories have pretty much made a hash of it, not helped by characters as dodgy as Mr. Shaw in Frankston.

    Daniel Andrews is playing a cautious role, which is in tune to his personality which is both smart and pessimistic. He’s always got on eye on what could go wrong.

    So just as Andrews has two years to become known as the brain that he is, Ballieu – in theory – has two years to recover.

    However, I’ve heard on the grapevine that Ted might not have that long – not due to any internal party conniving, or even lack of popularity. Let’s just say that the “pained expression” on the premier isn’t a put-on.

    The problem for the Tories, who on earth would they pick as an alternative?

  29. V-line has gone downhill since the Libs got in. On my line they have changed timetables with the loss of services and longer trips, and have just announced changes that will add a further 10+ minutes to trips – pretty much back to the times we had before the upgrade to Velocity trains. I suspect this is the liberal party solution to demand management – instead of buying more carriages as they promised, they’ll run down the service to reduce patronage. How long before they try to sell V-line do you think?

  30. Just as the Federal LIberals are full of crap trying to get rid of Thompson and Slipper, so are Labor in Victoria trying to get rid of Geoff Shaw. Everyone Knows it’s about numbers, and the false outrage is first degree rubbish.

  31. @frednk – true enough. But does this not speak of the shallow nature of Geoff Shaw that he would behave in this way knowing that he has become the poster child for the Government’s credibility.

  32. A scenario to ponder …

    A Lib or Nat falls under a bus and seat lost at by -election, numbers are 44 all. The ALP support the member for Frankston to be Speaker so that the numbers on the floor are ALP 44 – Lib 43.

    Speaker then causes scandal by making obscene gesture using mace ….

  33. If the Libs did not have a majority of 1 and if Frankston was not such a marginal seat, Geoff Shaw might have been jettisoned by now.

    If the ALP, had a majority of one, and same Geoff Shaw was ALP member for Frankston, how would they be playing this??

  34. [The problem for the Tories, who on earth would they pick as an alternative?]

    Lev, it is slim pickings for the State Libs. Matthew Guy presents well. If your scenario re Ted did come to pass, he could be parachuted into Ted’s seat of Hawthorn without much risk of loss.

  35. 42

    Not much risk of loss but Matthew Guy is an MLC for Northern Metro and so he does not live in the seat which would cause some complaint.

  36. Tom @ 43

    True but as long as the local party is on side probably not a problem. Also there is cachet in having the premier as your member.

    Of course, Barry Unsworth only survived by 52 votes in 1986 when parachuted into Rockdale.

  37. [Work To Rule
    Posted Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    @frednk – true enough. But does this not speak of the shallow nature of Geoff Shaw that he would behave in this way knowing that he has become the poster child for the Government’s credibility.]

    Geoff Shaw is a first class idiot. There are times to shutup, and this is one of them.

  38. An obvious change is Guy to replace Baillieu in Hawthorn. However, Guy has only been in Parliament for a term and a bit. He has spent nearly all that time in Planning. Not sure of his economic background or vision for the future.

  39. Is there any substance to the rumors that ted is ill?

    The dude looks fine to me (still a dill – but the hospitals would be over run if that was medical condition).

    A lot of people of that age have shaky hands. Where are the rumors coming from?

  40. Footy Wolf ‏@FootyWolf
    If Geoff Shaw can recover from this crisis I will make a movie about it called “The Shaw-wank Redemption”.

  41. WTR @47

    Ted himself tackled this himself last year and came out and said that the Bailiieus have a genetic tremor. He always looks healthy enough.


    Planning is actually a good place for the ‘vision’ thing. Only problem with the Planning portfolio is that has become the lightning rod for political discontent – as seen with Justin Madden or Frank Sartor.

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