EMRS: Labor 27, Liberal 55, Greens 15 in Tasmania

More bad news for the Greens courtesy of Tasmanian pollsters EMRS, who have recorded a seven-point drop in their support at state level since last quarter. The Liberals meanwhile have further widened their already commanding lead.

The latest quarterly EMRS survey of Tasmanian state voting intention shows a six-point hike in the already very healthy Liberal vote to 55%, matching a previous peak of August last year, and a seven-point slump to 15% for the Greens, who ordinarily do rather too well out of EMRS. Labor’s vote is steady at 27%. Lara Giddings has gained three points as preferred premier to 25%, but still badly trails Will Hodgman who is up two to 47%. Nick McKim of the Greens matches his party’s fortunes in dropping four to 11%. EMRS has also helpfully published a chart showing the progress of its polling over the current term.

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: Labor 27, Liberal 55, Greens 15 in Tasmania”

  1. Also in Tassie: Mercury fined, Green candidate ordered to pay court costs and be of good behaviour over Electoral Act breach (published ad for LegCo on polling day)


    HT: Dean Parry.

    Nick McKim (state Greens leader) has issued a rather panicked response to the poll – see http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/article/nick-mckim-the-volatility-of-political-opinion-polls/

    My provisional view is that the response is wibble but I may revise this to a harsher assessment later!

  2. Kevin:

    What would be the federal implications if voters in Tasmania voted federally in the same way that they are reporting they intend to vote at the State election?

    (In other words: two seats or more?)

  3. [What would be the federal implications if voters in Tasmania voted federally in the same way that they are reporting they intend to vote at the State election?

    (In other words: two seats or more?)]

    My, back of the envelope calculation of the situation says there would be a swing of just over 20% to the Libs in 2PP preferred terms in such a scenario. That is more than enough to wipe out all of the Labor seats on the island. Bit tricky to work out Denison in such a scenario but, regardless of Wilkie’s result, he’d be facing off against the Liberal candidate in the 2CP race, if these numbers transferred federally.

  4. Mod Lib@3


    What would be the federal implications if voters in Tasmania voted federally in the same way that they are reporting they intend to vote at the State election?

    (In other words: two seats or more?)

    They’d probably win the lot including Denison. But while we may see very big swings in Tas federally (double-digit in some seats quite possible) I don’t believe we will see 20+s. The state swing to the Libs is amplified by the very strong desire for majority government at state level. Tasmanians can vote very differently at state and federal levels.

  5. Updates to link from #1 added, commenting on responses from politicians to the poll. In particular I’ve pointed out how Greens Leader Nick McKim loves polls despite pretending not to care that much about them, and has often found explanations for his party’s good results and other parties’ bad results in the past, but writes this one off as “volatility”.

  6. These results aren’t the least bit surprising. I don’t think they reflect a desire for majority government as they do a widespread dismay at the economic malaise gripping the island and a feeling of “time to give the other mob a go, it’s impossible for them to do any worse.”

    The looming tragedy for Tasmania is that the “other mob” seems to me to be light years away from being ready to govern. Going back to the last election, they have expressed almost no other policy positions other than:

    1control use that they will tear up any forestry peace deal that emerges and then somehow magically restore the iforestry industry to its former glory. As everyone knows that the worldwide negative publicity arising from tearing up the peace deal, combined with the high Aussie dollar, will leave our wood export markets even more in the doldrums than now, we can only assume that they intend ti do this by pumping even more taxpayer dollars into an industry that has declined to employ fewer than 1000 people. But, due to declining GST revenures, there aren’t any spare government funds available.

    2. Build a cable car on Mt Wellington. Hard to see how this would pay for itself, so those non-existent taxpayer dollars would come into play again.

    3. Pass a law to ensure that Tassie businesses get preference in government tenders, even when they are more expensive. This is something that has always happened informally to some extent in Tassie and other states, but doing it formally will upset the Federal Govt due to various international obligations. Anyway, what sort of signal does it send when the Government’s finances are in such a paroles condition and when the imperative is to attract external investment onto the island.

    And that’s it. Three dud policies and nothing else. Still it’s better than last election, when the Libs had only one “policy”: Vote for Will, it’s his turn and his dad’s a great bloke.

    Don’t get me wrong. Bartlett/Lara and the Greens have hardly been a raging success story. Labor has been in for a long, long time and has forged too close a relationship
    with industry cronies and worse So a change of government would be good for the health of the body politic.

    But you’d hope in such circumstances thatbthe Opposition might be a bit closer to being ready to govern than this lot appear to be. What has happened to the Liberal Party across our nation? Why has it allowed itself to become captured by the happy clappers and (bizarrely, when you consider its masonic and sectarian past) the descendants of the rockchoppers? (No offence intended, my say: I thought about writing “leftfooters”, but I suspected that this would have been more offensive).

    Because the Libs down here have so little to offer, I’m still a bit sceptical as to whether their big lead in thr polls will translate into an electoral victory. Yes, they will get six seats in Bass-Braddon. But can they win 3 seats in one of the three other seats against a demographic current that is continually flowing against them? Or could they get to four in one of the northern seats (say, Bass)? (And what a geographically-divided parliament we would see then, with at least one of the Lyons Lib members coming from the Latrobe end of thr electorate!)

    Intersting times ahead whatever happens!!

  7. The Liberals are likely to win 2 seats off the ALP in Tasmania and has a good chance of a 3rd in Tasmania Federally. Which is bad news for Julia, because New England and Lynn are going to go back to the Liberals, and the NSW ALP is going to cost the ALP 4-5 outer sydney seat, where the ALP is really on the nose (with help from Obeid, MacDonald and co)

    This means even if the ALP does not lose seats in SA, they will need to win 6-8 seats elsewhere (WA, Qld and Vic) to get back to minority government

  8. meher baba

    Oh yeah I have heard that in Qld, NSW and NT already and When Howard was elected, that was the end of the world too.

    Guess what the world not only did not end when the Liberals got in. In NSW, things are getting done. Unless you call Bob Carr announcing the NW Railroad for the 5th time as getting something done. PS in NSW Obeid, MacDonald, Tripoli are getting into the same mess as Thompson

  9. I don’t have any major criticism of the Lib Govts in WA, NSW or Victoria (the latter being a bit unfairly maligned IMO). The Newman Govt in Queensland has been absurdly inept: maybe it will improve over time. I don’t know how the NT Government is going.

    However, all of the above Governments, and the Federal Libs and particularly the Tasmanian Libs, are amazingly light on in terms of policy. Their main claim to the right to govern is an assertion that they will do a better job than the Labor Party. The Liberal Party used to stand for some things, but now it generally stands for absolutely nothing whatsoever.

    And the Tassie Libs are at the apogee (or perhaps the correct word is nadir) of this sort of policy vacuousness. It’s called trying to get elected by default. Because Australians are always likely at some point to want to give the opposition a go, it is working quite well for the Libs at the moment, possibly even at the Federal level (although that remains to be seen).

    That doesn’t mean I have to admire it.

    And down here in Tassie, it is difficult to see how a Liberal Government, bent on turning back the clock to the “dam it and chop it down” era, can hope to achieve anything other than to take us further into the Slough of Despond.

  10. I agree with Meher Baba’s assessment of the Tasmanian Liberals policy-wise. I actually think they have some pretty good operators in their crew these days but we are getting very little by way of policy vibe about what they are actually going to do. And some of what we are getting is not good – eg the Mt Wellington cable car proposal, highly likely to become a taxpayer-funded white elephant in the interests of “supporting business”.

    Also concerns me that the religious right will be extremely powerful in a future Liberal government.

  11. Kevin and Meher Baba

    When Kevin Rudd was elected, he did not release any policies until 3 months before the election, and most of those were “me too” I am a fiscal conservative like the Howard government.

    The only difference I could spot was the meaningless “Sorry” and Populist Workchoice

    If it worked for Kevin and the ALP, I do not understand why there is a call for the Liberals to release policies much earlier then the election.

  12. Kevin, do you seriously stand by your statement that the Tassie Libs “have some pretty good operators in their crew these days”? Let’s assess them one by one

    Will Hodgman: his father was a terrific guy and an effective politician in his own eccentric way. Hodgman jnr is bland, uncharismatic and comes across as not believing much of what he has to say (especially about the forests)

    Jacquie Petrusma: god botherer/happy clapper

    Matthew Groom: came into Parliament with big wraps, but is quite unimpressive both in the media and one on one

    Elise Archer: the best thing I think I can say about her is that her husband is a very important person in the Tasmanian Liberal Party. To be fair, she has performed a bit better in Parliament that just about anyone expected (perhaps even her)

    Rene Hidding: gives the impression that he is winding down towards retirement (which, in the Tasmanian context, means he is likely to remain in Parliament for another 3 terms at least)

    Mark Shelton – as the saying goes, has risen without trace

    Michael Ferguson – a failed Federal pollie and another god-botherer. Was vaunted as a future leader after being elected in 2010. Has been almost invisible since then

    Peter Gutwein – easily the Libs’ most impressive performer at the moment, almost exclusively in an attack dog role

    Jeremy Rockliff – urbane (despite being a farmer), charming, moderate, rational, but has kept a very low profile

    Adam Brooks – a sort of miniature Clive Palmer: a guy with a lot of money (by northern Tasmanian standards) and a big enthusiasm for politics, but little ability to engage with the public in the way that the public expects to be engaged with by pollies (but he’s had a very low profile, so I might be underestimating him a bit)

    So, in my view Kevin, there’s nothing very special about this bunch.

    I’d be interested in your views.

  13. Where I would diverge from the above assessment:

    * The god-botherer aspect of Ferguson and Petrusma bothers me greatly; unfortunately, I see no evidence at all that it bothers the electorate at the moment (beyond those who would not vote Liberal anyway) so I must discount it in assessing their performance.

    * Yes Ferguson is a “failed” federal pollie but the loss of that seat was inevitable and it was surprising in the end that he came so close to holding it. The “future leader” thing has fizzled largely because the Libs have absolutely no reason to change leader. Hodgman is indeed a stodge and a plodder and apparently not very bright but the party rides so high by default it does not matter.

    * Archer seems to me to be an effective media headkicker; quite prominent in TV news for instance. It’s a wonder that she even got elected at all but I think she is making the most of it.

    * Brooks – I am not sure whether the public sees him as out of touch; I think he has a bit of a cult following even.

    Of course, there tends to be nothing very special about any bunch of Tasmanian politicians.

  14. I’ll spam this thread as well since it’s a Tassie thread.

    I have just released:


    Analysis of the Tasmanian Legislative Council vote against state same-sex marriage a few months ago. Mainly focuses on categorising (and in some cases lambasting) the arguments advanced against the bill. Also takes to task some MLCs who said silly things about the measurement of public opinion.

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