Newspoll: 54-46 to Liberal in South Australia

Two weeks out from polling day, Newspoll provides further evidence that the South Australian Liberals are headed for a solid win. UPDATE: And now a Galaxy poll with a 50-50 result in the marginal seat of Colton …

The Australian reports that a Newspoll survey of 1100 respondents is consistent with the tenor of other pre-election polling in giving the Liberals a decisive 54-46 lead on two-party preferred, from primary votes of 44% for the Liberals, 34% for Labor and 7% for the Greens. Personal ratings contain further ominous signs for Labor, with Steven Marshall effectively catching up with Jay Weatherill on the preferred premier measure (Weatherill leads, but only by 40-39), and Weatherill recording a negative net approval rating for the first time (43% approval and 44% disapproval). Marshall records 45% approval and 29% disapproval. The Australian also reports the poll shows most respondents saying there is no chance they will change their vote, and an overwhelming expectation that the Liberals will win.

In other news, this week also saw the closure of nominations and ballot paper draws. The Poll Bludger election guide has accordingly been updated with full candidate lists in ballot paper order. Upper house above-the-line preference tickets have also been lodged, and can be perused at the Electoral Commission website.

UPDATE: And now the Sunday Mail brings us a Galaxy automated phone poll of 495 respondents from the key western suburbs marginal of Colton which, somewhat encouragingly for Labor, has the result at 50-50. GhostWhoVotes has posted the paper’s graphic, which suggests Labor’s Paul Caica to be a popular local member:

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.

49 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46 to Liberal in South Australia”

  1. I was talking to some people this week who said they’ll be voting LNP out of fear of what Abbott will do to SA if we’re the only Labor state left. There may be something in that … Or it may just be time for a change.

  2. This is consistent with my own perceptions of what I hear people saying in Adelaide. The time for a change thing is strong, as is the perception of stiffling bureaucracy.

    I think Weatherall has campaigned OK, and Marshall has said almost nothing. But a fourth term was always going to be hard, and the leaks have not helped. Neither have stories of dodgy back room deals with developers for public land.

    If Labor loses, the failure to reform departments like health and education will have cost more votes than almost anything else.

  3. I think the ALP will pull a point or two back in the final two weeks. Won’t be enough to hold government but it might be enough to retain some key marginals

  4. The real question is whether the tsunami of hostility to the Abbott regime, which is already being strongly felt at state level in NSW, Vic and Qld, will reach SA in time to rescue Labor. I expect it won’t, although it might peg the Liberal victory back from “sweeping” to just “solid.” And given the record of the SA Libs in government, the Marshall government will be on the rocks within a year.

  5. [I was talking to some people this week who said they’ll be voting LNP out of fear of what Abbott will do to SA if we’re the only Labor state left.]

    I certainly hope that’s not happening. Has a very authoritarian vibe about it.

    Although, if you’d care to indulge a conspiracy theory for a sec, somebody suggested to me that the withdrawal of federal money on SA infrastructure projects might be reversed once Marshall is in because they want him to be the one who builds them (based on both them trusting him more and them wanting the Liberal Party to get the credit for building SA.)

    I tend to not put much stock into those theories (although Abbott is spiteful enough for it to be plausible) but your comment reminded me of it.

  6. Funny thing is if we’re going strictly off Antony Greens pendulum, 46/54 is a hung parliament. 22/22/3 … It won’t be that of course but still.

    From everything I’ve seen, I think the ALP are running a very professional and well organised campaign. It’s the final two weeks when the rubber really meets the road. My gut feeling is that even though there’s definitely a strong mood to change the government, there’s still a bit of doubt about Marshall. Incumbency is still an advantage

  7. [I’m sure Tom Koutsantonis is very happy that Family First is directing preferences to him in West Torrents]

    He was probably going to hold on anyway but it will help him. The interesting thing about the House of Assembly seats where FF will be directing their preferences (West Torrens, Ramsay, Taylor, Playford) isn’t that they are socially conservative Labor candidates (that’s a given – Family First aren’t going to direct preferences to a social progressive) but that they are more or less safe Labor seats – where Family First preferences wouldn’t make much difference.

  8. Oh and, as Antony Green pointed out on Twitter, The Libs have put the Greens ahead of Labor on the LC ticket – which is a reversal of the policy that their federal and interstate counterparts have had of putting the Greens last on everything.

  9. spur212@7

    Funny thing is if we’re going strictly off Antony Greens pendulum, 46/54 is a hung parliament. 22/22/3 … It won’t be that of course but still.

    Yes the problem with that is that the pendulum for a result of 46/54 is lopsided with many narrow Labor victories. In reality swings are not uniform but vary between seats, meaning that some of those close Labor seats wouldn’t be held. I make it more like 24 Liberal just considering that alone (and that’s without throwing them any indie seats.)

  10. Agreed the swings are going to be irregular, but if the Libs can pill a 50-50 in Colton where there is a strong well respected local member, then in some other seats with weaker local MPS (or newbies) the swing will be stronger.
    But that also means in marginals where the Libs have weaker candidates up against strong local MPs, the Lib swings will be less and maybe not enough to win, which is why I have predicted Labor will retain Light and Florey whereas they may be struggling in safer seats on paper.
    There are persistent rumours virtually unseen local MP John Rau is struggling in what should be ubersafe Enfield (10%), yet the Libs are privately conceding they are not expecting to win Mawson which is under 5%.
    Oh, and never believe anyone’s claim on internal polling.
    Marginal seat campaigns…nature’s laxative.

  11. I’d written Caica off, given the big swing against Labor in that part of Hindmarsh in the federal election.

    But the Galaxy poll gives him a fighting chance, especially as he has the donkey vote. Weatherill’s decision to drop him from the cabinet so he could concentrate on holding his seat has been vindicated.

    Out in Torrens, the Libs quite plausibly are arguing that one Wortley in parliament is more than enough. Dana got the gig only when the preferred female candidate from the ALP ‘hard left’ faction (which is allied with the ‘right’) said she did not want to go into politics. Sadly, preserving various bailiwicks for this sub-faction or that instead of simply picking one of the available outstanding candidates is crippling the ALP in government.

  12. Well covered Kevin. Anyone going strictly off the pendulum isn’t noticing the intricacies.

    I’m expecting something in the range of 26/18/3 to the Liberals

  13. [I’m expecting something in the range of 26/18/3 to the Liberals]

    That’s around what I am expecting too.

    It should also be noted that the 3 independents are all in seats that are notionally Liberal on the ALP v. Lib 2PP scale, so if the Libs ultimate number of seats seems low compared to the 2PP% remember to take into account that several of “their” seats are held by independents.

    Due to the closer margins of the seats, it’s anybody’s guess what the nominal 2PP of Mitchell and Lee would be if Hanna or Johanson get up (although, I think the latter would likely still be Labor.)

  14. Does anyone have details of what Family First preferences are doing – if there are 4 fairly safe Labor seats only affected its hard to see why Labor would be giving FF preferences in LC ahead X.

  15. I saw this Liberal election message today:
    [Under Labor, South Australia has endured the nation’s highest taxes, highest utility prices, highest ever deficit budget and is headed towards its highest level of debt in its history ($14 billion). South Australia is being crippled by rising unemployment and interest payments headed towards $1000 million per year.

    Labor has committed economic vandalism and wants to keep doing it for the next four years.]
    The first paragraph is mostly true, though 6% unemployment is hardly crippling, as it was over 12% back in the 90s recession. Also thr debt is only the highest for SA, and in % terms remains modest.

    The second paragraph is false – the cancellation of Olympic Dam and decline in manufacturing are not the State governemnt’s fault. They are almost entirely due to federal or even global issues.

    So all in all, a lot of hyperbole in this piece. Ironically it also misses the real thing Labor can be blamed for – the failure to clean out maladministration in both the health and education departments.

    Nevertheless, despite a mistargeted attack, and lack of substantive solutions, i think the Libs are headed for victory. Caica may be doing well. But if his seat on a 3.6% margin is knife edge, then Labor is gone. It has 7 of the 8 marginal seats on less than 3% margins. If this swing holds, then they are all lost, and the libs will have a 3-4 seat majority. Hardly a bloodbath, but clearly defeat.

  16. I must say that there are two things I do love about this election: It’s being fought on economic issues, not “stopping the boats” or other reactionary issues, and I’m not hearing the “baseball bats” cliché being thrown around all the time.

  17. It is hard to see Labor holding government, it makes absolutely no sense to me that they could. Their time was really up in 2010 and it was only the poor opposition that saved them then.

    I can not see how Labor can possibly hold any of Hartley, Bright and Ashford which costs them their majority.

    Mitchell has a very interesting mix of candidates, although I doubt Hanna will get close.

  18. I think the ALP’s strategy for this campaign is to hold as much of the furniture as possible.

    Even if in the unlikely event they happened to win this one, you can pretty much 100% guarantee they’d face a wipeout next time.

    If they can hold around 19-20 seats, there’s a good chance if they’re organised (and they’re much better organised here than in other states) they can reduce the time in opposition to one term as the Liberals in this state are a complete mess organisationally.

  19. Dirty tricks just aren’t what they used to be. The Libs were pinged for three corflutes on a stobie pole and Labor for sending a letter to someone’s work at a government department.

    Ring ICAC!!!

  20. TT @ 15

    Who was the lady from the Hard Left who declined the gig? I understand that Torrens had been set aside for the Plumbers & Sparkies faction in SA after they joined the Right and their members were the only ones who went for preselection. Just intrigued.

    As far as factional deals not helping bringing the best ALP candidates out…amen brother!

  21. [Dirty tricks just aren’t what they used to be. The Libs were pinged for three corflutes on a stobie pole and Labor for sending a letter to someone’s work at a government department.]

    It’s because, after the last two state elections, both sides are watching each other like hawks, looking to dob at the first opportunity. Neither side would dare do anything more than minor violations.

  22. Excellent as nearly always Kevin.

    The fairness cause looks like a clear case of trying to the impossible. Local issues are always going to cause unpredictable variations in the amount of swing from seat to seat. Issues like that are going to effect things this time. Adelaide for example is probably going to swing less or even to Labor on the basis of what happened last time. Elder might be similarly effected.
    And how are factors like independents like Hanna in Mitchell or Johanson in Lee supposed to be taken in account when it is not known if they are going to run or not.
    I guess they could try and take into account someone like Such in Fischer as being a safe independent but what happens if he had decided not to run at the last minute.

  23. I remember saying that at the time it was introduced: if the SA Parliament wants proportional representation, they should legislate for it. A system based on single-member constituencies cannot be forced to produce proportional results, no matter how you rig it. What if Labor contested only 24 of the 47 seats and won all of them with 51%? It would then have won the election with only 26% of the vote, but that would be a perfectly fair result.

  24. Psephos: that’s exactly right and that’s what is so wrong with the current system.

    I think it was a fluke it seemed to work out for the first election after it was introduced, but since then it’s been a serious clusterfuck, culminating in 2010.

    Labor never should’ve won the last election and they certainly shouldn’t win this one.

    But if this one is anything like the last then who knows? The poll in Colton leads me to believe this could be another election where the swings will be all over the place.

    What is the point in the Libs getting a 10% swing in Bragg, Waite and Schubert if they get a -1% swing in Elder or Morialta or Bright?

    I’m yet to be conviced this election still isn’t in the balance, especially after speaking with voters in Stuart and Florey.

    It is, quite literally, all over the shop

  25. Read Kevin Bonham’s blog on this then look at Sportsbet’s odds on the election – Libs at $1.12 to ALP something nearing $10.

    Science + bookmakers = Correct answer

  26. Elder is interesting to me in my limited knowledge about how elections go. Last election Pat Conlan along with a number of other high profile Labor MPs had large swings against them. It seems there could have been an anti-Conlan factor in the result. Normally I would think a incumbent gets a bonus but last time the incumbent may have cost Labor votes.
    Does this mean Labor could gain some of those votes back and make it harder for Liberals to gain the seat than the 2% margin seems to indicate?
    Also Labor are running a candidate who must have a reasonable profile give she has run in the last two federal elections which might also help Labor.
    Are these reasons Labor might hold Elder against a general trend after from them?

  27. While Labor is building a state-of-the-art hospital and electrifying the railways, the Libs are promising to restore rego discs to cars.

    Such vision!

  28. [Psephos: that’s exactly right and that’s what is so wrong with the current system…. Labor never should’ve won the last election and they certainly shouldn’t win this one.]

    But you contradict yourself. If we have a system of single-member constituencies, then what counts is winning seats, not votes. In 2010 Labor won a majority of seats, because a majority of voters in each of those seats preferred the Labor candidate. If Labor can do the same thing again, they will win again, and will deserve to do so, regardless of the statewide vote.

  29. Judging by what happened to Lomax-Smith last time I am not sure the hospital really won them to many votes and electrifying the railways probably does not effect an enormous amount of the population so perhaps the rego discs is the real vote winner. Lots of people seemed to be annoyed at the loss of the rego disc.

  30. [ALP something nearing $10.]

    Well I suppose $5.75 is closer to $10 than it is to $0.

    Nevertheless, I don’t think anybody but the blind Labor hacks think Labor have a chance now.

    They’d pretty much have to limit the seat losses to 2 as it would be very hard to see them winning in a hung parliament. Such has already declared he will support the Libs if he has BoP, Pegler would be stupid not to (especially because he is in the fight of his life to retain that seat). Brock probably would support the Libs too (although there’s a small chance he’d support Labor.)

    Johanson is playing the middle ground between the two parties but it would be very hard for him not to justify going with the Liberals. Hanna, if elected, is the only independent I see more likely supporting Labor.

    So Labor need to keep their losses to two and maybe can afford to lose Mitchell and (possibly) Lee to independents.

    Either way, it really is a case of fighting the tide, so I am with the chorus here in singing that they have no real chance of doing it.

  31. Maybe the Liberals can announce that they’ll bring back the old bus ticket validators. People (who can’t be bothered with a metrocard) seem to still have trouble with the new ones.

  32. Any chance of Adelaide going back to Labor?
    Is Sanderson seen as a good local member?

    If so then losing Hartley, Bright and Ashford and winning Adelaide gets them to 24 although it seems extremely unlikely that would happen without the Liberals making some big errors.

  33. [Any chance of Adelaide going back to Labor?]

    Not if it’s around 55/54-46/45. The tide will be on Sanderson’s side. However, if the vote gets narrower, it’s possible the seat can buck the trend. I reckon you’d have to have the state vote fall to about 53-47 to the Libs, at worst (for Labor), to start thinking like that. Until then, she should be able to hold on (I notice on her material, she’s very much smothering herself with Marshall to try and turn the Adelaide race into a Weatherill v. Marshall one, rather than a Sanderson v. O’Loughlin one.)

  34. Having said that, if O’Loughlin doesn’t get up this time, he should definitely run again next time. On a better year for Labor, Sanderson is extremely vulnerable and DO is a good candidate.

  35. Just received an information packet from ECSA including my EasyVote Card. Interesting that it says voting is compulsory yet I am in my 30s and have never voted and never been fined. There are legally recognized exceptions from voting that means voting is not compulsory, the statement voting is compulsory is not strictly accurate.

  36. Brock in Frome was effectively an Independent Labor candidate. He has pretty consistently supported Labor Govt and likely to do so in future. Pegler and Such will support Libs esp if Libs get over 50% TPP. Likely Johanson to support Libs. So Libs need to win nett 4 seats. But if they only win nett 4 seats the bargaining for Speaker would be pretty exciting.

  37. Sorry Carey about the Sportsbet quote – I had actually forgotten the real figure and seemed to recall it was higher than that. My bad.

    And I will bet anyone a Crikey subscription that the ALP vote in Adelaide (the seat) will head south with O’Loughlin as their candidate. He is not liked by locals but the ALP seemed to be oblivious to this. He sure is.

  38. [Sorry Carey about the Sportsbet quote – I had actually forgotten the real figure and seemed to recall it was higher than that. My bad.]

    Not a prob. I was just joking around. Your point still stands as valid.

    [And I will bet anyone a Crikey subscription that the ALP vote in Adelaide (the seat) will head south with O’Loughlin as their candidate. He is not liked by locals but the ALP seemed to be oblivious to this. He sure is.]

    Really? I did not know this. I haven’t really played that close of attention to the seat and am basing my analysis on secondary accounts. If true about his unpopularity, I retract my statement about running him again.

  39. Just to show how bereft of ideas this campaign has been, Marshall’s policy for the day was reintroducing car registration stickers but it isn’t compulsory to use them.

    Is this what we have come to?

  40. Don’t worry Dio, I have heard a whisper that the Libs will announce that they want to build a stadium in the city and Labor want to build a new hospital on the same site.
    Hang on…

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