Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor in Victoria

With less than six months to go until Victoria’s state election, new results from Essential Research confirm the general picture elsewhere in showing the Labor opposition with a modest lead.

An unloading of state voting intention data from Essential Research (see below for details from Queensland and New South Wales) has Labor leading in Victoria by 53-47 on May’s figures, a result well in line with the trend of polling elsewhere. Labor is at 40% on the primary vote compared with 38% for the Coalition and 10% for the Greens, and has consistently been level with or slightly ahead of the Coalition on the monthly results going back to November. Below are poll trend charts for the current term encompassing results from Newspoll, Nielsen, ReachTEL, Galaxy and Essential Research.

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.

35 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor in Victoria”

  1. I think the Liberals would be somewhat relived that the 2pp has not blown out given the battering the Liberal brand has taken over the last month.

    I’d guess this poll is on the low side for the ALP.

  2. Can anyone work out what Ken Smith is up to by offering to vote with the ALP on Jeff Shaw?

    As far as I can figure it out, Ken hates Geoff a bit more than he hates the ALP, he also appears to be not that happy with his own party for forcing him into retirement. To me this sounds like a dangerous guy to partner up with.

    The best ALP strategy would be to make as much fuss and noise about the Libs relationship and reliance on Geoff Shaw – but stop short of kicking him out of Parliament.

  3. The Age today is reporting 54/46 to the ALP citing internal Liberal polling.

    The interesting part is that liberal polling found that this reflects a backlash against Abbott off the back of what appears to have been quite favourable for the Liberals.

  4. @Louis Davis

    I think the Libs would have been expecting on a poll bounce following the upbeat budget and announcing some major public transport project (albeit without any business case).

    On thing that is pretty easy to predict is that Abbott will feature far more prominently in the ALP’s campaign than the Liberals. For the next six months, Napthine will be careful about being in the same room as Abbott if there are camera’s about.

    I’d guess the ALP has already trawled the photo librarys looking for picture of Napthine looking goofy and gullible (not hard) and Abbott looking like Abbott – any pic will do.

  5. WTR, Correct, the Age mentions that the Libs did get a good poll bounce after the budget, but it was then washed over by Abbott’s budget.

    I think The liberals will focus on Daniel Andrews, I don’t sense Victoria is sold on him. I think the ALP would better off presenting Andrews as Premier in waiting than focussing on Abbott.

  6. These are terrific figures for Labor considering the previous election was around 54/46 on TPP.

    The Libs may have got a dead cat bounce from the Vic Budget. However, when analysed a lot of their promises were years from implementation and the funding was rather hazy. Since then the Libs have descended, once again into their internecine squabbling which is a major turn off for the voters (as Labor would know from recent Federal experiences).

    In the end the voters will be presented with a do nothing Government that has nothing on the board which is now promising to spend on major infrastructure after the next election (2018). The alternative is a moderate Labor Party which has promised a number of practical initiatives which will commence almost immediately.

    The Libs seem caught with a hasbeen for a leader up against a young and enthusiastic Labor leader. The Libs could switch to one of their younger brigade. But, none seems to want the job desperately enough to actually initiate a challenge.

  7. Needs to be higher. No seriously, 53-47 will narrow as the election comes closer and the Tories rant on about their transport infrastructure budget. There’s a great deal of “Victorian government” advertisements on the tube these days, thinly veiled LNP election ads.

    As much the Tories are running a clown show in the Victorian parliament, Labor needs a knockout blow to back their fine-tuned detail.

  8. 53-47 is plenty. We’ve already seen the effects of all of that government advertising. The polls haven’t moved for them. The media tart, Napthine, is not popular. Andrews is unknown. Unpopular versus unknown, I know which one has tthe better chance of success.

  9. 4

    I disagree. Booting Shaw out removes the possibility of the government passing votes, other than confidence and supply, that the ALP does not agree to (unless the Speaker starts voting partisanly) unless/until the Frankston gets a new Liberal MP at a by-election (and there is a good chance that it would be an ALP MP who won and gave the ALP government, unless the Liberal speaker resigned and caused a constitutional crisis). This makes locking in the East-West link before the election stoppable by the ALP, which dents the Greens biggest attack on the ALP in the inner city and thus increases the ALP`s chances of a majority government.

  10. Yep Tom.

    Massive inner city GRN vote coming down the pipe if East-West link goes ahead.

    I also assume this is not in the ALPs interests.

    Im pleased to see Victorians havent fallen for the LNPs sudden conversion to transport infrasctructure.

    Come on ALP: Light rail down the eastern freeway = no brainer.

    Sooner or later one of the majors will work out the ONLY way to improve traffic flow is now to improve public transport. Nothing else will work. New roads are just a fat guy punching another hole in his belt, rather than losing weight.

  11. The poll was taken over 4 weeks, so it wont entirely reflect the hate from the federal budget to Libs, or any bounce from the Vic budget to libs.

  12. Another way to put it is that Victorian state voting has ALP 1% above Federal voting levels.
    Essential has it at 52-48 the whole month federally.

  13. On LNP advertising, every station on the Frankston line has placards trumpeting improvements to transport under the LNP.

    Meanwhile my Metro app continues to alert me to daily cancelations and delays in peak hour on the Franga line.

    The ALP should get some screen shots of those alerts and put them in a montage for their election advertising. Would be quite devastating.

    You heard it here on PB first

  14. That article that mentions Lib internal polling Louis Davis discussed is actually in today’s Herald Sun, not The Age. The main details are as Louis described, but I couldn’t find any link. It seems to be a small hard copy article only, I think it was on page 2 or 3 (I browsed through it earlier today). Its farly common for the HS to have small articles in the hard copy which are not reproduced online.

    James Campbell of the HS discussed some of the same Vic Lib issues using Newspoll polling a week ago, see his earlier May 21 article below.

  15. [In order to be time competitive with driving, heavy rail is needed to Doncaster.]

    Competing with cars that basically dont move at early peak hour inbound, and not that great late outbound ?

  16. Vic polls

    The CFMEU had a poll conducted recently in Latrobe amd came up with a 60-40 pp vote
    I feel that that is likely given the hatred of the Budget/Abbott/Hockey etc…and this must tarnish Napthine’s unremarkable record

    Essential Info is always on the careful side in it’s predictions but I seem to recall that Neilson recently had a 61-39 PP figure in Vic for the Feds
    I doubt that anything could save Napthine,and Abbott will be a weight around his neck as he struggles to keep his head above stormy waters
    Andrews is a decent leader but most voters don’t know or care…they hate the Libs and will lash out when possible

    roll on November( or earlier if the Smith/Shaw affair blows up)

  17. 20

    Yes. Heavy rail is needed because it needs to be able to compete on the whole of the journey, into the city with no interchanging, not just the city end of the Eastern Freeway. Light rail would be too slow on the other sections.

  18. 21

    For there to be an early election, either of the following sequence of events would have to happen.

    Smith votes with ALP (successfully) to expel Shaw, a Frankston by-election is called, the ALP win the by-election, the ALP pass a vote of no confidence in the government, the speaker resigns, neither side provides a speaker and thus confidence in the new ALP government cannot be established and thus a new election has to be called for before the end of November and thus the next term of parliament is shortened to just over 3 years. (possible but no all that likely because other courses of events could happen).

    Shaw or a government MP vote against confidence in the current government, then against confidence in the ALP. (this is very unlikely).

  19. Seeing we’re not too far off from an election, could the Libs then hold off a Frankston by-election until the whole state goes to the polls?

  20. 24

    Since the report by the Privileges Committee has been released, I would think that the vote would be soon. The Legislative Assembly sits on the 10th, 11th and 12th of June and I would think the vote would be then. I suspect that the Liberals are going to try their best to persuade Smith to vote with them.

    If Shaw is expelled the week after next, I would think it a little to long to leave the seat vacant. The Liberals and ALP already have candidates, so the by-election could be held fairly quickly.

  21. hmm, i wonder if Smith is just trying to get Shaw’s goat… and if it’s all talk. i guess he might be really bitter and twisted at having had to give up the Speakership, but so far as I know he hasn’t sounded off at Napthine so far. Shaw is gone for all money in less than 6 m months anyway…

    More generally polls are looking good – looks like around 50-51 ALP seats in the Lower House based on this poll – and this seems to have been the picture for a while now.

    Not sure that the Libs have done themselves any favours with the Frankston line seats given their revamped, “no business case, back of an envelope, but at least it isn’t Brumby’s” Melbourne Rail Link. For many Frankston line commuters it would mean a longer more circuitous route into the CBD, or a change of trains at South Yarra – just the sort of stuff that commuters get narky about… Wonder if the ALP are thinking along those lines.

  22. lefty e

    I usually commute “against the flow” on the Eastern Freeway so I see the “carnage” first hand. If the contracts are signed before the election by the LNP surely what Labor has to say is “We will renegotiate the contract to include a light rail down the middle which goes to Doncaster Rd and then up Doncaster Rd to Westfield Doncaster Bus interchange.”

    I believe the Kwinana light rail in Perth has been a success, and I now think a Doncaster light rail would be worthwhile (and I didn’t always think so).

    I also spend time in the “Rowville corridor” which likewisee is very poorly served by public transport.

  23. The ALP candidate for Prahran was at Toorak station this morning handing out flyers informing commuters that under Naptime’s rail plan the Frankston line will no longer be going to either Richmond or Flinders St.

    I expect Prahran will be quite interesting on election night as the Greens usually poll well (just under 20% in 2010).

  24. Rocket, there is no such thing as the Kwinana light rail. There have been a couple of proposals for light rail in that general direction but none of them are within cooee of construction let alone being in operation.

    What has been a huge success is the Mandurah heavy rail line, which runs down the Kwinana Freeway and through Kwinana, and provided a fundamental and previously missing transport link.

    Light rail to Doncaster would be a white elephant. The area badly needs a government with the foresight to finally do what governments have been procrastinating on for more than half a century. People will thank them for it when it’s done, just as they did Geoff Gallop for not taking the cheap way out on the Mandurah line.

  25. Leroy Lynch,

    My (far from extensively infromed) opinion from that is that the Liberals are reading a lot into what was probably statistical noise. I’m quite politically aware and active and I heard virtually nothing on the actual state budget, mostly just the promises they were saying they would put in it. I highly doubt the Liberals received a strong bounce off their budget as virtually noone knew about it.


    The candidate for Prahran is Neil Pharaoh, National Co-convener for Rainbow Labor, he is a very good campaigner, and it appears very organised, aided by the fact that Prahran is a targeted seat so is getting resources poured into it, along with Ringwood, Bayswater and Glen Waverly (and Burwood?)

  26. 31

    Prahran will be an interesting fight. The Liberals will try and retain it, the ALP will try and win it with Green preferences and the Greens will try and win it with ALP preferences.

  27. 30 Rebecca – thanks for that. Interesting.

    I found this quote from Enrique Peñalosa, a Colombian politician who massively improved public transport in Bogota.

    “An advanced city is not a place where the poor move about in cars, rather it’s where even the rich use public transportation”

    And thinking of the major cities in Europe this seems very true.

    I think that all mainland Australian State Capitals have fallen well behind in public transport infrastructure. And whichever of Sydney or Melbourne really gets their act together first will have a tremendous advantage.

  28. A few days before the 2010 election most opinion polls had Labor ahead 53-47 or thereabouts. Ended up LNP 51.5-48.5. I think Labor are looking good but Victorians are notorious for making their minds up on the day of the election. Also not sure everyone is convinced about Daniel Andrews at this point. There have been no issues during the past 4 years which would result in voters arming themselves with baseball bats.

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