EMRS: Liberal 52, Labor 28, Greens 15 in Tasmania

After a drubbing for Labor in Tasmania at the federal election, another poll suggesting the situation is even worse for them at state level, with an election just six months away.

The latest EMRS poll of Tasmanian state voting intention, which emerges roughly quarterly, shows little change on a dismal result for the Labor-Greens government in the previous poll in May. The Liberals hold a primary vote lead of 52% (down two points) to 28% (steady), with the Greens up a point to 15%. The poll was conducted Saturday to Wednesday by phone from 1000 respondents. Since the May EMRS poll there have been two ReachTEL surveys which I neglected to publicise, owing to my preoccupation with the federal election. The results after removal of the undecided are as follows:

August 22
		Sample	ALP	LIB	GRN
Bass		514	23	62	10
Braddon		570	29	60	8
Denison		510	29	41	26
Franklin	515	25	49	21
Lyons		520	23	59	14
TOTAL		2630	26	54	16

June 14
		Sample	ALP	LIB	GRN
Bass		500	15	63	17
Braddon		483	19	62	10
Denison		468	25	42	26
Franklin	493	24	56	16
Lyons		511	22	57	15
TOTAL		2455	21	56	17

To make good my recent neglect of matters Tasmanian, I’ve put together a poll aggregate for the current term using the 13 EMRS and three ReachTEL results which have emerged over the current term. I’ve made an effort to adjust the results for bias, and in this I’ve been assisted by a significant amount of federal data from Tasmania available for ReachTEL and the opportunity to test that polling against the federal election result. That in turn has enabled me to evaluate EMRS by measuring its results against ReachTEL’s. As those who have carefully observed the numbers above may have surmised, it is calculated that both series appear quite strongly skewed to the Liberals.

If the Liberal bias of the polls is as heavy as the model is making it out to be, their path to majority government is not as clear as the published figures suggests, great as their lead on the primary vote may be. However, there are two strong reasons for caution. First, the bias calculations are off a very shallow base of data, and it might be that the adjustment being made for the dominant EMRS data is excessive. Secondly, measures based on ReachTEL’s federal polling are possibly compromised by the high “others” result, which ReachTEL had failed to pick, and which may not be such a factor at the state election. At the very least though, the chart is instructive with respect of the shape of the various parties’ trendlines, if not their actual positions.

Much more on this and the general state of play in Tasmania six months out from the state election from Kevin Bonham.

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.

8 comments on “EMRS: Liberal 52, Labor 28, Greens 15 in Tasmania”

  1. Also posting the direct link to my modelling exercise where I used all the instances where ReachTEL polled state and federal at the same time to model an aggregate based off the federal election:


    The attraction of this method is that it requires no assumption about what the size of the ReachTEL skew actually is. It just assumes it is the same at state as federal level. But what that model doesn’t take into account – and I have to think about – is the impact of the likely changes in federal voting intention between the RT poll on Aug 22 and the federal election. Could be a couple of points of difference there. The main purpose of the model was to point out that suggestions that the federal election was pointing to a hung state parliament were twaddle.

    By that method I got Liberal and Green ratings c. 3 points higher than the end point of William’s graph, ALP same, obviously less for Others.

    I haven’t seen state breakdowns from the national polls RT did in the last week. From the last set of five federal seat polls they underestimated PUP (as did everyone polling at that time) and also underestimated the very minor candidates (those other than ALP, Lib, Green, PUP, Wilkie) in most cases – especially considering the rise of PUP would have taken votes from other minor parties. I’ve noticed this underpolling of the rats and mice (even when named) before; for instance it was a major source of error in the South Brisbane by-election poll that David Briggs was giving them stick about. I’m thinking that a robocall reading out a long list of names may disadvantage names near the bottom of the list.

    However they were quite close to the actual PUP and minor Others votes in their last Bass seat poll.

  2. Another case of a Government being re-elected once too often. Both NSW and Queensland should have been voted out the election prior as should SA and now Tassie. NT were voted out at the right time. Vic at the right time I think (but the performance of Vic Liberal gives pause) and WA too early.

    It says something about the general incompetence of state Liberals that they haven’t been voted In until the ALP have plumbed the depths. Be nice if the voters accepted some responsibility too, but we know that will never happen.

  3. Kevin Bonham@3

    But what that model doesn’t take into account – and I have to think about – is the impact of the likely changes in federal voting intention between the RT poll on Aug 22 and the federal election. Could be a couple of points of difference there.

    Now if I’ve got this the right way around that should mean my model actually underestimates the Liberal vote.

  4. Edward StJohn@6

    My goodness what has upset the hobbits so ?

    High unemployment, poor economy, (justified) perceptions of incompetence, longevity of government and deals with the Greens. In whatever order.

    Oh and then there’s sundries like me who would naturally preference them over the social conservatives but who they still manage to alienate. In my case it was their spectacularly stupid and dangerous anti-discrimination amendments. Very likely my vote next state election takes a grand tour through “none of the above” (within reason) and then exhausts without reaching Labor, Liberal or Green.

  5. Re the question @1, the Greens vote also went up in the Brisbane Lord Mayoral election in April 2012 (which has over half a million voters, so not as insignificant as a local government election might seem)

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