ReachTEL: Liberal 47, Labor 24, Greens 18 in Tasmania

The latest ReachTEL survey suggests the die is well and truly cast for next Saturday’s Tasmanian state election.

A ReachTEL automated phone poll of 2600 respondents conducted last night for The Mercury shows the Tasmanian state election situation much as it’s been for a very long time now, with the Liberals on a commanding 47.4% (up 0.2% from the last poll on February 13) and Labor on a dismal 23.6% (down 1.0%). The Greens are on 18.2%, up 1.0% on last time, while the Palmer United Party is down 0.8% to 6.7%. Electorate breakdowns and other detail presumably to follow in tomorrow’s paper.

UPDATE: Kevin Bonham has detailed results and better-informed analysis than I would be able to manage.

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.

67 comments on “ReachTEL: Liberal 47, Labor 24, Greens 18 in Tasmania”

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  1. Interested in the comments on the collective failure of Labor, Green and Liberal economic policy in Tassie. Certainly a lot of blame to go around.

    A few comments:
    1 The Tassie government and bureaucracy both need a cleanout. Clearly nobody is giving good advice to the idiots in charge. A bit like SA education and health 🙁
    2 You can forget Tassie being economic for any large scale manufacturing production or smelting or pulp mill. Pie in the sky. Too remote, too expensive, too few economies of scale.
    3 There is nothing wrong with sustainable forestry or fishing, but that means quotas and transparent tracking of the resource stock to make sure yields are realistic. Turning high value native hardwoods into wood pulp is nuts. Also, permits to log public forests should be auctioned, to reduce corruption and not give a financial free kick to timber millionaires.
    4 Education is critical, but it is not just a pork barrel to the teachers union. Teacher quality needs to be improved, not just teacher pay. Also consider motivation for education. So should competition for local public sector jobs based on merit. Why do a lot of bright people leave Tassie? Obviously they see little prospect of a good career there, with the incumbents firmly entrenched in the cosier positions. They need to be less cosy.
    5 Tassie should focus on education exports, high value add products like premium food and niche wine, and perhaps scientific research, though that would take a huge effort from where Tassie is now. Tourism will flow organically from these things being done well, but it does not provide many high wage jobs and there is no point promoting tourism unless there is something to see. Also tourism to Tassie is shockingly expensive, and it is not just the travel cost.

    Yes it is a basket case, I resent subsidising it, and it will stay a basket case unless it changes a lot.

  2. I feel Tasmania of late is being used as a punching bag by mainland economic rationalists and desperate conservative politicians looking to cling on to a story to promote their own agendas.

    Any reading of economic indices of late shows Tasmania in a strong position and one of recovery. We also not too long ago came out of a decade long run of economic “prosperity” which included budget surpluses and a period of economic growth which bettered the national average with the lowest unemployment rate in the country plus the highest rates of investment and property price rises, amongst other economically advantageous categories. I mean, it wasn’t so long ago – the collective forgetfulness of all this is ridiculous.

    The widely talked about social indicator of adult illiteracy just released has been debunked as a sensationalist piece of garbage which in fact showed that the gap between Tasmania and other states on that measure wasn’t great at all. Yet commentators focused on Tasmania as the centerpiece of the story, because it topped the table (narrowly!).

    We are certainly not a basket case, this is just a silly story that is currently in vogue.

  3. I notice William Bowe’s montage of ‘Tasmania state election’ contains no photo of the Greens leader, despite the Greens representing a quarter of the seats in parliament and being a recognised political party in parliament in terms of seat representation for 12 years now?

    If the election result determines the Greens as the second largest party will your 2018 montage reflect that by excluding the Labor leader?

    This election to me will go down in history as the one where media organisations have not too subtlety tried to whitewash the Greens from existence or importance, especially via mischievous reporting and crafty writing style.

  4. Socrates @51
    A few comments on your comments.
    1. I agree with Meher’s comments @ 20; I don’t think the quality of our politicians and bureaucrats is unusually bad. We have never had a government as viciously stupid as certain Queensland governments, or as openly corrupt as various NSW administrations. Our governments are simply faced with difficult problems, some of them, such as lack of economies of scale and the transport problems of being an island, unique to Tasmania. The present Premier, Lara Giddings, is a good example. She strikes me as both intelligent and dedicated. She speaks well and passionately, she flogged the worthy but dull Hodgman in debate, and her government has I think performed fairly well given the unhelpful economic circumstances. She is about to suffer a record defeat at the polls for reasons entirely beyond her control.

    2. and 3. Agreed.

    4. “Education is critical” I can certainly agree with, but I have not noticed that the teachers union here has contributed to any shortcoming. They have not been militant, and disputes they have had with government seem to have been more about education issues than their pay and conditions. My own kids went through the public education system here and I was impressed with the quality and dedication of the teachers I encountered. Why do a lot of bright people leave Tassie? A bright young person is aware that they come from a place that is small and culturally on the edge of things. They want to get out and see the world, and measure themselves against it. I think this would still be true even if Tasmania were as prosperous as Switzerland. It is also true that people who want to pursue a career to the top, and have the ability to do it, will find they have to leave the state at some point. This is not because of entrenched incumbents, it is because we have a national economy. For example, a person engaged in a banking career could rise to be the head of their Tasmanian branch, but that is not the top of their profession. To go higher, they will want a promotion to head a larger branch, or to a head office position. Really, the same applies to the State public service. An ambitious person who is pursuing a career in public administration will probably want to move on from Tasmania to a larger jurisdiction.

    5. Mostly agree. Tourism does not provide high wage jobs, but it has the advantage of providing jobs in regional areas. Tourism here can be very expensive, but it can also be very cheap (outside travel costs). It depends a lot what you want to do. Heavily promoted attractions are usually expensive. If you want to walk through the iconic Overland Track they sting you a bit these days, but there are plenty of walks just as good which still cost nothing.

  5. Coast, Magic Pudding

    I travelled to Tassie for work a few years ago (starting over ten years ago) and in the time from Bacon as premier to mid last decade I would agree good things were happening in the Tassie economy and policy. But I think things have gone downhill since then. The whole Gunns debacle casts Labor and the bureaucracy in a poor light. Gay wasn’t even jailed for blatant insider traading.

    You have to appreciate that back then Tassie was propped up by Federal tax dollars a lot, now even more so. Virtually no major project was built with state funds. The focus seems to be on building things to keep people busy, rather than things that might improve productivity in the long term.

    Regarding education, if I am wrong my apology, but on most indicators I understood it is lagging. It is not the only state going backwards in skill tests. Admittedly, this may be tied to misguided federal funding formulas.

  6. 56

    While all criminal trials in Australia happen in criminal courts, insider trading is a Commonwealth offence that is prosecuted by Commonwealth authorities (the Commonwealth DPP/ASIC) and so it is not a wholly Tasmanian issue.

  7. Tom

    Fair enough re Gay. But the way Labor obsessively pursued the pulp mill like it was some jobs savior, which it never was, throwing good process out the window, was aweful.

  8. It seems Kevin Bonham has not only been analyzing polls very well but he has analyzing chess positions very well, well enough to be the 2014 Tasmanian Chess Champion. Congratulations Kevin.

  9. Edi_Mahin@59

    It seems Kevin Bonham has not only been analyzing polls very well but he has analyzing chess positions very well, well enough to be the 2014 Tasmanian Chess Champion. Congratulations Kevin.

    Thankyou! I’m quite amazed to find a mention of that here.

    Braddon in election-sign terms is a sea of blue with a few notable enclaves of yellow. Not a lot of red and green in sight.

  10. Blaming teachers unions for the state of education is bollocks. The single biggest factor in a child’s educational outcome is their home situation. That’s not the fault of the AEU. Most teachers teach regardless of whatever nonsense is peddled by politicians, parents, bureaucrats or unions.

  11. William Bowe@54

    The two photos I use in 2018 will, as always, be of the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition.

    We could even get plural leaders of the opposition after this election! (I personally think it’s unlikely).

  12. I wonder if the education imperative happens where there is greater income disparity. When I think of many country towns, NT and Tasmania, many communities don’t have the competitive drive that you would see in many communities in Sydney and Melbourne.

  13. There now seems to be a drift away from the Coalition in every state, at state and federal level, as a result (one must assume) of Abbott’s unpopularity, EXCEPT in Tasmania. I assume this is because Labor has been in for SO long and their record has been SO mediocre for so long that nothing will persuade the voters to give them another gallop.

    I blame Bartlett for this. He swore before the last election he would not go into coalition with the Greens, then after the election he immediately did just that. Now no-one believes anything Labor says. He should have stuck to his pledge and gone into opposition then, leaving Hodgman to form a minority government.

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