Newspoll: 51-49 to Liberal-Nationals in WA

The first WA state poll since the March election goes a long way towards explaining recent murmurings about Colin Barnett’s security of tenure.

The long-awaited first Newspoll of state voting intention in Western Australia since the March election finds the Liberal-Nationals government clinging to a 51-49 lead from two-party preferred, compared with 57.3-42.7 at the election. However, the headline-grabber here is the personal ratings, which find Colin Barnett’s approval plummeting 17 points since the pre-election poll to 34%, while his disapproval is up 18 points to 54%. Mark McGowan on the other hand has improved from his already strong election campaign result, his approval up two to 51% and disapproval down seven to 22%, and he has seized a 43-37 lead as preferred premier after trailing 52-31 pre-election.

The Australian also informs us that the quarterly aggregated federal result for the state has it at 50-50, which compares with 58.3-41.7 at the election and is well in line with the present reading from BludgerTrack. Primary votes are 41% for the Coalition and 36% for Labor, compared with 51.2% and 28.8% at the election. Hopefully this is a harbinger of a full set of state breakdowns from Newspoll’s post-election polling.

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.

28 comments on “Newspoll: 51-49 to Liberal-Nationals in WA”

  1. What the hell happened in WA, is it federal issues influencing the state result, or are their state issues that dont get much coverage over in the east ?

  2. Stating the bleeding obvious of course, but the election is a long way off. In fact, a Federal one is due before the next State WA one.

    The West newspaper has been pretty heavy with its criticism of Barnett and there have been one or two puff pieces about “who else is there?” for the Liberals over the last few weeks within its pages.

    I suppose the breathtaking way in which so many of the Barnett promises were broken so quickly (for sound reasons and other)and the fact there is no Federal Labor to blame have had some impact.

    The problem for Barnett is that he probably knows he will not be there to lead the conservatives to the next election and I sense he is losing the taste for it all.

    One wonders if there are any Federal implications as far as the WA Senate re-run is concerned or whether so much ground has been lost just at the State level?

    It is certain however, if the economy falters, locally, the mood will not be good for the party in power, as the natives like to think WA keeps the rest of Oz afloat.

  3. Barnett spent the first three years promising he was going to deliver big resource and infrastructure projects that were reliant on private funding. Having failed to deliver almost any of these he then prior to the last election went on a public funding spending spree as part of the big picture spendathon. This was carried through to the last election. He has failed to cut spending or expense growth and has jacked up the cost of living.The big last achievement was losing the triple A credit rating

    I could go on but basically they are not a good government and never really have been. They have been propped up by a compliant media and a salivating business community who hated Canberra and all things labor

  4. Woeisme.

    Yep, pretty much the case.

    Most of the big ticket items were ones Labor had started or Barnett managed to get money out of Rudd for. The sinking of the rail line being one.

    Once Abbott came in this was a double whammy for Barnett. He suddenly had no-one to blame, as did not the West newspaper, and the money dried up.

    The West was still trying its best a day or two ago stating that Labor “ran the risk of being a city-based party only” or wtte. The fact that the Nationals are a “country party only” seems to have escaped them, not to mention that about 90% of Sandgropers actually live in a city – and most of these actually in Perth.

  5. I’ve just spent a couple of days in the wheatbelt, and heard a fair few opinions from old family friends. I had to bite my tongue a few times hearing about “Labor waste”, “pink batts”, refugees being economic migrants, etc, but some of these same people then turned around and mentioned how much they hated Barnett / Buswell. Even my very apolitical mum (who sometimes rings me up asking for advice on how to vote) doesn’t like Barnett – reckons he’s arrogant. Another old bloke I had a few beers with went on about “Labor waste” going back to the Whitlam years and the BLF, but “can’t stand that Barnett prick” due to Elizabeth Quay. (Plenty of things the money could be better spent on.) He reckoned Buswell was a sharp guy, but does impulsive and stupid things. I guess that’s the reasoning behind people saying he’s the next premier, despite everything he’s done.

    Another thing which probably hasn’t registered on Perth media, but might one day: there’s a huge proposed rubbish tip west of York to handle Perth rubbish (once places like Tamala Park fill up), which has helped make the shire council extremely unpopular in town. Somebody spraypainted “SACK HOOPER” all over the front of the council buildings on Christmas Day (he’s the shire CEO). Mum thinks local government should be local, but can understand why the long-proposed Avon supercouncil might happen if the shire keeps on behaving as it has. (A few years ago, it was dismissed and run by an administrator from Perth for a while. Small towns, eh.)

  6. Bird of Paradox….such is the oddity of WA politics that Wogan acquaintance of mine was bagging “Julia” for all it was worth about 7 months ago, but at the same time had no time for Barnett. As you say, country politics.

    However, big wheat season has probably made him happy.

  7. Never understand the Country people who Vote for the Nationals,the nats sold them out years ago,the leader who just left had the slush fund since handed on I assume.
    I don’t read the West as it has always been a Liberal Paper now owned by Stokes a mining man.
    If labour win I assume also the slush fund will return to Treasury,that needs at least a judicial inquiry at least,McGowan if he premier will use the cash where its needed.
    Hospitals,rail,light rail maybe to Ellenbrooke and beyond and those monuments to Barnett incompetence The Stadium(another Judicial inquiry over the deal with Packer)and the ever growing cost so fans of the 2 wealthiest clubs can sit in comfort if its not to far gone stop it.
    Barnett promised whatever Labour did and then some and cant complete any now Abbott wont give money for rail only roads,if Buswell gets the job if I were the Libs I would start filling in Job applications now.
    With a bit of luck there will be a few federal ones joining them as well Irons for one

  8. Tricot

    Posted Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Bird of Paradox….such is the oddity of WA politics that Wogan acquaintance

    Where is Wogan?

  9. Barnett’s -20 is the worst netsat for a WA Premier in Newspoll history.

    State premiers to have polled worst netsats are:

    Field (Tas, -23) lost next election
    Groom (Tas, -22) lost majority and resigned after next election
    Bjelke-Petersen (Qld, -26) rolled by party
    Cooper (Qld, -40) lost election
    Bligh (Qld, -43) lost election
    Bannon (SA, -41) rolled by party
    Arnold (SA, -22) lost election
    Olsen (SA,-37) lost election
    Rann (SA,-29) lost election
    Greiner (NSW,-33) rolled by party under pressure from crossbench
    [b]Carr (NSW,-24) re-elected[/b]
    Iemma (NSW,-37) rolled by party
    Rees(NSW,-22) rolled by party
    Keneally (NSW,-28) lost election
    Cain (Vic, -43) resigned
    Kirner (Vic,-31) lost election
    Baillieu (Vic,-22) rolled by party under pressure from crossbench

    Premiers who have polled netsats of -20 or worse are batting 1 from 17. Ouch.

  10. Stuffed up the formatting for Carr, sorry about that. On other sites I post on tags use square brackets. So it should have read:

    Carr(NSW,-24) re-elected

  11. Interesting numbers. It isn’t so easy to stay popular once you stop having more spare cash than almost any other government in the western world. Barnett is not at fault for the money running out, but he promised too much. He really should blame Abbott on the rail funding, which is pure ideology but he won’t.

  12. Socrates

    Barnett’s Problem is not that the money is running out. the West Australian published some figures last week that show the treasury expects revenue to increase, just not fast enough to deal the Barnett and buswell’s uncontrolled spending.

  13. KB @ 18

    John Olsen did not lose election – he also resigned as Premier of SA in October 2001 when Rob Kerin took over – Kerin “lost” the next election in Feb 2002 when former Liberal MP turned microparty kingmaker Peter Lewis had the balance of power and chose a very surprised Labor leader Mike Rann over Kerin’s Liberals.

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