The Mercury today brings us a second Tasmanian state poll in a week (compare this with Western Australia’s election last year, for which only three polls were published from the start of the year to polling day on March 9), this one a ReachTEL automated phone poll conducted on Thursday night from 2912 respondents. The poll has the Liberals on 47.2%, Labor on 24.6% and the Greens on 17.2%, and while this amounts to a six-point drop for the Liberals since the last such poll in November, the slack is taken up by the Palmer United Party on 7.5%, with Labor steady and the Greens only up one point. The results are similar to a Liberal internal poll ReachTEL conducted last month, which was reported as having the Liberals on 48.8%, Labor on 25.8% and the Greens on 15.3%. The latest poll was conducted on Thursday from a sample of 2912.
Electorate breakdowns suggest the Liberals are on track to win three seats in Braddon (56.7%), Bass (49.6%) and Lyons (47.3%), which would secure them a parliamentary majority, as well as being in the hunt in Franklin (44.8%). The Palmer United Party, whose highest hopes are for Braddon, finds its support spread too thin to be in contention in any given electorate, although it will be hoping a well-oiled advertising blitz might change that. The Greens look a shot on these numbers to win seats in all five electorates, although they have a history of falling short of opinion poll projections at Tasmanian state elections. Kevin Bonham goes so far as to say the numbers suggest the Greens could possibly emerging with more seats than Labor, and while that hardly seems in serious prospect, they do look to have pulled out of their slump:
The poll also has Will Hodgman with a commanding 54.1-26.3 lead over Lara Giddings as preferred premier, with 37.3% rating his performance very good or good compared with 33.5% for very poor or poor. Giddings’ ratings are 23.2% for very good or good against 48.7% for very poor or poor.