Nielsen: 51-49 to Labor in Victoria

A Victorian state poll from Nielsen gives the Napthine government its best poll result in three months, suggesting a very tight race ahead of the November election.

Nielsen’s farewell polling salvo for Fairfax today brings us a state voting intention result from Victoria that is rather better than what the Napthine government has lately been used to, putting them 51-49 behind on two-party preferred compared with 56-44 in the previous poll. The primary votes are 41% for the Coalition (up four), 35% for Labor (down seven) and 16% for the Greens (up two). This is reflected in Denis Napthine’s personal ratings, which have him up six on approval to 54% and down three on disapproval to 34%. More to follow.

UPDATE: GhostWhoVotes relates in comments that the respondent-allocated two-party preferred result is quite a bit more favourable to Labor at 54-46.

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.

29 comments on “Nielsen: 51-49 to Labor in Victoria”

  1. Other polls seem to have Labor somewhere around 53% 2PP, reasonably consistent across time. I think it’s possible that the last Nielsen over-egged things a bit and this one is an exaggeration in the other direction. I’m not particularly statistically literate, so it may indeed be the CFMEU issue is biting, I’ve just never really heard much about it. In fact, at work (a factory line), people openly scoff at the HS’s articles on the matter.

  2. The only significant factor I can think of is that the Victorian government has mounted a major advertising campaign over its complete change of heart on the issue that was probably always going to lose it the election – the neglect of public transport while billions were spent on the questionable East West tunnel linking the eastern freeway and the other side of town.

    Having said that, I would assume the Abbott/Hockey factor is so poisonous down here that these latest numbers are not really plausible.

  3. How can you possibly get a 51-49 to Labor TPP from primary votes of 35 for Labor and 16 for the Greens (i.e. 51 combined) and 41 for the Coalition?

  4. About 20% of Greens preferences go to the Coalition, so allocating them pushes Labor to 47% and the Coalition to 45%. Slightly favour the Coalition in allocating the 8% of others, and you’re home.

  5. William
    About 20% of Greens preferences go to the Coalition.
    Thanks for this info. I had assumed it was around this figure. Do you know what it was in Stafford?

  6. In the current political climate, I’d be surprised if there’s a 20 percent preference flow from the Greens to the Coalition this time round.

    Hard to know what may have shifted, if anything, as I’m not in Victoria, but I wonder if voters approved of the way Napthine handeled the Geoff Shaw situation?

    Think as others have said we’ll have to wait for more polling to establish whether a shift back to the Government is really on. Would be surprised though personally!

  7. This poll increases hope that the Greens will get the balance of power. With some of the recent previous polls it has looked like the ALP would gain too many seats for the Greens to get the balance of power.

  8. The most interesting result is for the PUP

    1.9% with female voters
    6.4% with male voters

    Does Palmer have a woman problem…

  9. Are these result accurate?!!! It has the LNP leading the ALP 47.7% to 34.8% in the 18-34 year olds bracket; while the ALP is leading the LNP 50.3% to 35.7% in the 51-65 year olds bracket. Intuitively I though these numbers would be the other way around….

  10. 11

    A 51-49 2PP result in the ALP`s favour would almost certainly decrease the number of Coalition seats to bellow 44 but not bellow 40. The greens are campaigning hard to win in inner city seats. The Greens have reasonable chances in 3-5 seats (Melbourne, Richmond, Brunswick, Northcote and Prahran). This makes a Green balance of power an outcome with a serious possibility of happening.

  11. This election has to be the first in years where I *don’t* want the Greens to win the balance of power. Having a Labor sweep of the inner-city is a million times better than having Kathleen Maltzahn MP.

  12. [This poll increases hope that the Greens will get the balance of power. ]

    The Greens actually have to win a seat first – and it is easier said than done when the Libs will preference against them. Yes, they did win Melbourne at the federal election but 1: the ALP were on the nose at federal level 2: they pumped an enormous amount of money into the one seat. You list five seats there that they would need to cover to win. My view is that the demographics are slipping away from the Greens Richmond and to a lesser extent in Melbourne as they become progressively wealthier, though the redistribution has made Melbourne lower hanging fruit. The Greens are a long way off winning Prahran and the demographics are probably favouring the Libs in that seat. Brunswick is probably the best bet. The other problem the Greens have in Victoria is that Greg Barber is such a low profile leader – not heard from for months on end – and when you do hear from him, you wish you hadn’t – a sure liability when unleashed on the wider stage.

  13. My western greenish view from the other side of the Nullabor goes like so: considering the clusterfuck Bracks/Brumby, Peter Batchelor etc made of Myki (over $1 billion for what Perth did for $50 million bundled with new train lines), I’m not surprised Labor got the boot in 2010. If I lived there, that would’ve coloured my opinion. We have 8 zones in Perth (9 if you’re foolish enough to buy a direct Perth-Dawesville ticket) and the system works; meanwhile, Connex / Metro had to abolish zone 3 to make their ticketing easier. Melbourne, I love your trams, but we do some things better than you lot these days.

    Then Greg Barber made those comments about zone 1 / zone 2. I’ve lived in the Perth versions of Preston, Sunshine and Dandenong, so that would’ve altered my opinions, too. I vote fairly solidly for the Greens where I live, but if I ever did as so many Perth folk do and move over east, I’d need to be re-convinced.

  14. 17

    While more liberal voting demographics are moving into Melbourne, the Greens are holding their own.

    It was not only money that won the Greens a second term in Melbourne in 2013, it was also volunteers and effective campaign tactics. Those are likely to be redeployed in the seats I mention.

    Remember that the Greens` chance in Prahran in with ALP preferences, not Liberal preferences. The gap between the ALP and Greens at the last election was only 10% and a strong campaign could potentially close that, even with an otherwise rising ALP vote.

  15. 18

    Peter Batchelor was really the minister who lost the 2010 election. It was the under investment in urban PT when he was the minister (1999-2006) and smart meter issues (another Batchelor thing) that tipped the election over the edge.

    Zone 3 was abolished to gain votes in the outer east, not to make Myki easier. It is the same pressure that is looking like killing zone 2 next year.

  16. Tom

    The result in Melbourne last year showed that the Greens have to get 40%+ of the primary vote and the Libs in third place to win any of these seats. The inner city vote for the Greens plateaued or even fell from 2006 to 2010 so it will be a hard call for them to win anything. Brunswick definitely looks like their best bet.

  17. The MTF (Metropolitan Transport Forum) and Leader Newspapers have organised a series of town hall style forums about transport. The forums are supposed to provide an opportunity for the public to meet candidates face-to-face and ask questions about transport issues.

    According to its web site the MTF “is an advocacy group comprising members from Melbourne metropolitan local government, associate members representing transport companies, and participants from the State Government and environment groups.”

    A series of pre-election forums are being held including a “super forum” on August 14 at the Melbourne Town Hall.

    In 2010 Greens Greg Barber participated in the forum. This year he is being excluded, having been invited to speak then subsequently having his invitation rescinded.

    Consequently the forum will have Liberal and Labor transport spokespeople debating each other, with a Liberal mayor as moderator.

    Greens media release:

  18. Shaping up to be interesting!

    Even as a solid GRN voter I don’t expect them to pick up any lower house seats.

    I’m moving from Prahran over to Flemington (seat of Melbourne both State and Federal), so shall happily be out there on the campaign trail.

    It does feel like the ALP has lost a bit of momentum in recent weeks, which is where having an empty suit like Andrews as a leader might count against them. There’s no obvious character who can provide a bit of spark and colour.

    The State Gov are also spending quite a bit on advertising.

  19. What do Crikey bloggers from Victoria make of the Age doing the attack dog thing on Andrews and the ALP at the moment? Orders from Gina?

  20. 22

    What you are effectively saying is the the ALP will direct preferences to the Liberals, ahead of the Greens, in Prahran and every ALP voter will follow those preferences. The ALP is unlikely to direct preferences to the Liberals, ahead of the Greens, in Prahran and if it did many of its voters would not follow it.

    What Melbourne 2013 showed is that the Greens need a primary of over 40% to beat the ALP, when the Liberals come third and direct preferences to the ALP ahead of the Greens. In Melbourne 2010 (Commonwealth) the Greens won from a primary vote of 36% with directed Liberal preferences.

    Melbourne 2013 showed nothing about winning, or otherwise, on ALP preferences. The only example of the Greens fighting (in a winnable seat rather than a safe Liberal seat) on ALP preferences is Balmain 2011 where the Greens won, using Optional preferential voting. And if the Greens can win with ALP preferences under OPV they can with with compulsory preferences.

  21. [What do Crikey bloggers from Victoria make of the Age doing the attack dog thing on Andrews and the ALP at the moment? Orders from Gina?]

    The Age must be pretty damned pissed off with the ALP for them to be taking such a hard line. The Labor response to date has been highly unconvincing and it could be an issue that just runs and runs. It could get seriously damaging for the ALP and Andrews in particular. As for Gina, you take conspiracy theories just too far.

  22. [What you are effectively saying is the the ALP will direct preferences to the Liberals, ahead of the Greens, in Prahran and every ALP voter will follow those preferences. The ALP is unlikely to direct preferences to the Liberals, ahead of the Greens, in Prahran and if it did many of its voters would not follow it.]

    No, not at all. The most likely scenario in Prahran is that the Libs will top the primary vote even if they lose the seat. The Greens then need to bridge the a gap between them and the ALP of some 10% for the Greens to get to second place. Should the Greens come second behind the Libs, then they should win the seat unless the Lib vote is close to 50%.

    In a seat where the Libs come third (the north of the river seats), the Greens will need a vote well north of 40% to win, as I said and you have also said, as occurred in Melbourne last year.

  23. 28

    It may not have been what you meant to say meant but it is what you said meant. Your most recent comment is actually reflective of reality in Prahran.

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