UPDATE (Saturday evening): GhostWhoVotes reports the Sunday News Limited tabloids have a Galaxy poll showing the Coalition leading 55-45, compared with 54-46 in Galaxy’s previous poll. Primary votes are 32% for Labor (down two), 47% for the Coalition (up one) and 11% for the Greens (up one). Under a Kevin Rudd leadership scenario, the primary votes are 38% for Labor, 43% for the Coalition and 11% for the Greens, with two-party preferred at 50-50. Nonetheless, only 34% said Gillard should make way for Rudd with 52% opposed (32-60 among Labor and 33-51 among Coalition supporters). Full results here.
Some bonus late-week polling to keep you going over the weekend:
ReachTEL polling conducted for the Hobart Mercury points to a Labor wipeout in Tasmania and a comfortable win for Andrew Wilkie in Denison. After exclusion of the 6.8% undecided, the statewide primary votes are 48.8% for the Liberals, 28.2% for Labor and 11.3% for the Greens, suggesting a Liberal two-party lead of around 56-44 and a swing of 16% compared with the last election. The poll was conducted on Thursday night from samples of around 550 respondents per electorate for a statewide total of 2620, which probably makes it the most comprehensive Tasmanian poll ever conducted. Results by electorate (I have allocated the undecided components listed in the published primary votes in each case):
Denison: Andrew Wilkie 38.8%; Liberal 27.9%; Labor 21.3%; Greens 9.6%. The respective results at the 2010 election were 21.3%, 22.6%, 35.8% and 19.0%. Wilkie defeated Labor by 1.2% after preferences, but the published results suggest Labor would finish third behind the Liberals with their preferences securing a very easy win for Wilkie.
Franklin: Labor 38.4%; Liberal 47.1%; Greens 10.7%. The Liberals lead 51.0-49.0 after preferences, a swing of 11.8%.
Bass: Labor 25.5%; Liberal 56.9%; Greens 14.1%. The Liberals lead 61-39 after preferences, a swing of 17.7%.
Braddon: Labor 28.5%; Liberal 57.6%; Greens 7.6%. The Liberals lead 62.2-37.8 after preferences, a swing of 19.7%.
Lyons: Labor 27.5%; Liberal 54.1%; Greens 14.1%. The Liberals lead 59.0-41.0 after preferences, a swing of 22.5%.
Another ReachTEL poll, this time targeting 1600 respondents in 11 seats in western Sydney on behalf of the Seven Network, inquired about Kevin Rudd’s popularity relative to Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott. Abbott led 64-36 over Gillard and 51-48 over Rudd, with enthusiasm for Rudd appearing to have cooled a little since ReachTEL conducted the same exercise three months ago. On that occasion, 42% said the return of Rudd would make them more likely to vote Labor against 25% for less likely. This time, the results were 36% and 31%.
Roy Morgan has published a phone poll from a small sample of 475 respondents dealing mostly with party leadership, but also including voting intention results. The poll has the Coalition leading 59-41 on two-party preferred from primary votes of 26% for Labor, 50.5% for the Coalition and 12% for the Greens, remembering that the margin of error here is 4.5%. Further evidence of a Coalition-skewed sample came with a 47-35 lead for Tony Abbott over Julia Gillard as preferred prime minister, and a 27-65 approval/disapproval split for Gillard against 41-51 for Abbott. The poll also offered detailed material on preferred Labor and Liberal leader. Kevin Rudd led for Labor with 33% support against 14% for Julia Gillard, 11% for Bill Shorten and 10% for Stephen Smith. Tony Abbott did similarly poorly for preferred Liberal leader, finishing third with 18% behind Malcolm Turnbull on 47% and Joe Hockey on 19%.
Roy Morgan has also scoured through two years of its polling to provide the top 10 professions more likely to vote for each party. This shows Labor’s base remains resolutely blue-collar, with the new class professions dominating the Greens list. Defence force members topped the Liberal list with police in sixth place, managers and finance industry types also featuring prominently.
Seat of the week: Blaxland
The western Sydney seat of Blaxland has been held by Labor without interruption since its creation in 1949, and provided Paul Keating with a seat throughout a parliamentary career lasting from 1969 to 1996. The electorate currently extends from Bankstown in the south through Bass Hill and Regents Park to Guildford in the north. The area is marked by a strong Arabic presence, especially around Guildford, together with a large Turkish community around Auburn and concentrations of Chinese and Vietnamese at Fairfield East and Regents Park. The two strongest areas for the Liberals, Woodpark and Guildford West in the electorate’s north-western corner and Bass Hill and Georges Hall in the south, are middle-income and contain the highest proportion of English speakers. The abolition of a neighbouring electorate to the north caused the electorate to be substantially redrawn at the 2010 election, adding 24,000 of the abolished electorate’s voters around Auburn South together with 14,000 at Bankstown in the south (which had been removed from the electorate in the 2007 redistribution). Transferred out of the electorate were 20,000 voters around Cabramatta to the west and 18,000 around Greenacre to the south.
Blaxland’s greatest moment of electoral interest came with its inauguration at the 1949 election, when Jack Lang attempted to move to the new seat after winning Reid as a Labor renegade in 1946. He failed, and the seat has since been won for Labor by margins of never less than 8.8%. James Harrison held the seat for the 20 years before the arrival of Paul Keating, who was succeeded at a 1996 by-election by Michael Hatton. Hatton’s career proved rather less illustrious than his predecessor’s, and he was dumped by the party’s national executive ahead of the 2007 election. The ensuing preselection was won by the Right-backed Jason Clare, a Transburban executive and former advisor to NSW Premier Bob Carr, who prevailed over constitutional law expert George Williams and Bankstown mayor Tania Mihailuk. Clare suffered what by Sydney standards was a modest 4.4% swing at the 2010 election, reducing the margin to 12.2%, but the electorate’s five corresponding state seats swung by between 13.8% and 20.3% at the state election the following March, with Granville and East Hills falling to the Liberals and Bankstown, Auburn and Fairfield remaining with Labor.
Jason Clare won promotion to parliamentary secretary in 2009, and then to the outer ministry after the 2010 election in the defence materiel portfolio. He shifted to home affairs and justice in December 2011, further recovering defence materiel after Kevin Rudd’s failed leadership bid the following February. He was promoted to cabinet as cabinet secretary in the February 2013 reshuffle which followed the retirement announcements of Nicola Roxon and Chris Evans, again trading in defence materiel while maintaining home affairs and justice. His Liberal opponent is Anthony Khouri, a local businessman of Lebanese extraction who together with his brothers founded custom-made luxury car manufacturer Bufori. ReachTEL has twice conducted automated phone polls showing Khouri in the lead, by 54-46 in March and 52-48 in June.