Newspoll: 50-50 in Western Australia

The latest quarterly Newspoll result from WA finds no change on the previous result, with the two parties at level pegging on two-party preferred, and a slight worsening of Colin Barnett’s already poor personal ratings.

The long-awaited quarterly Newspoll from Western Australia puts the two parties at level-pegging on two-party preferred, representing no change on the result for April-June, although Labor has gained four points on its previously dismal primary vote to reach 31%. The Liberal and National parties are up a point to 41%, with the Greens down two off a high result last time (no doubt reflecting static from the Senate election) to 15%, and everyone else down three points to 13%. Colin Barnett’s already poor personal ratings have worsened slightly, his approval down two to 32% and disapproval steady at 56%, while Mark McGowan is down two points on both approval and disapproval, to 47% and 29% respectively. McGowan’s lead as preferred premier has narrowed, from 43-36 to 41-38.

The recent Morgan SMS poll encompassing state voting intention across the country provided another rare data point for Western Australia recently, this one showing the Liberals and Nationals with a 52.5-47.5 lead. The primary votes were 42.5% for the Liberals and 3% for the Nationals, 31.5% for Labor, 14% for the Greens and 4.5% for Palmer United. A preferred premier question with no uncommitted option favoured McGowan 59.5-40.5. This poll was conducted from September 26-29 from a sample of 496.

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.

12 comments on “Newspoll: 50-50 in Western Australia”

    [Colin Barnett at a record low but WA poll victory within reach
    The Australian October 13, 2014 12:00AM
    Andrew Burrell WA Chief Reporter Perth

    AFTER six years in the job, West Australian Premier Colin Barnett’s popularity has fallen to another record low but he remains a contender to lead the Liberal Party to a third victory at the next ­election.

    The latest Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian, shows Mr Barnett is jostling with Queensland’s Campbell Newman for the title of Australia’s most ­unpopular political leader.

    The poll — taken between July and September — also shows that WA Labor’s primary vote has jumped from a disastrous 27 per cent to 31 per cent, about the same level it recorded at the state election 18 months ago.]
    Full results
    [Voters feel gypped by spendthrift ‘Emperor’
    The Australian October 13, 2014 12:00AM
    Andrew Burrell WA Chief Reporter Perth

    COLIN Barnett said last week he was “frustrated, bordering on angry” about having to announce another round of spending cuts and redundancies to tackle the crisis that has hit Western Aus­tralia’s finances.

    The description could just as easily apply to the way voters in the west feel about Barnett’s performance as Premier since his decisive victory over Labor at last year’s election.

    Barnett was a largely successful and popular premier in his first term between September 2008 and March last year, but that was an era of high commodity prices that delivered the government a revenue windfall unprecedented in the state’s history.]

  2. Barnett would probably not be happy (and someone else will take the Libs to the next election), but the party would be happy with this current position this far out from the next election.

  3. It was reported that a three year old child was bitten by a snake in rural WA today. Perhaps Colin could reverse his slide in popularity by placing a bounty on the heads of venomous reptiles. Cheaper than killing sharks anyway.

  4. Amusing that the very invisible WA Greens are polling so well.

    I mean, even Greens voters here probably couldn’t name the state leader (or either of the MLCs, for that matter).

    Ask the people of WA to name a Green from WA and they’ll name Ludlam.

  5. [Perhaps Colin could reverse his slide in popularity by placing a bounty on the heads of venomous reptiles]

    I support that idea!

    (Yes, that was a joke)

    As for this poll, it looks like the shine has certainly worn off from the Barnett Government, as well as Labor has stopped being a dirty word in WA.

    Fortunately for Barnett, they can afford to lose a few seats (I am assuming the Nats will likely back a Lib Government), so sandbagging is an option but one can’t rule out Labor winning.

    Labor was also very smart not to lose its nerve and dump McGowan – making him a known alternative. This will be beneficial if opinion turns against Barnett further – especially as there appears to be no clear successor, lest the Liberals lose their nerves.

    To summarise: the Libs shouldn’t panic. 50-50 is still an okay position to be in, mid-term and they (combined with the Nats) have a decent number of seats to play with. However, to go from seemingly invincible to potentially defeatable in just a year or so is a little worrying.

    (Cliche alert) there’s still two and a half years to go. Anything could happen in that time.

  6. Given how badly the Shark stuff went down I’m suprised the Libs are doing so well.

    The critics harp on about the debt levels and credit ratings – yet any cuts or redirections to spending are immediately also criticised.

    None of the critics of the financial position acknowledge that the population is growing rapidly and massive spending is required to support that growth.

    None of the critics acknowledge tht the ALP went to the last election with almost identical spending plans.

    HOw would the critics of the Libs fiscal policies fix the problem?

  7. @ Compact Crank, 8

    It’s worth noting that where Labor’s spending plans prior to the last election differed from the Liberal Party’s is that, in general, Labor’s plans were fully costed and savings had been pledged elsewhere to offset the costs – entirely within the realm of state funding.

    Meanwhile, the Liberal Party’s big fat “me too” on public transport (after they realised that WA voters actually /liked/ Labor’s Metronet plan) was “costed” by a single-page document produced by the Treasurer and anyway dependent on the Federal Government footing half the bill.

    If the Liberals win the next state election here, it really will demonstrate the short memory span of the WA voter. Barnett has broken his promises after not just one, but TWO elections (especially those poor folk in Ellenbrook, to whom he quipped that if they wished to have the promises made to them honoured, they should have voted Liberal).

  8. a) The SHark stuff went down well with the vast silent majority of Western Australians who think our kids lives have at least the same value as those from the east.

    b) West Australians know that Barnett is the only current state leader who will protect us from Canberra club and fight to retain our meagre share of GST. The ALP guy wasn’t born here, didn’t grow up here, and will continue to sign away our local sovereignty to the Canberra club.

    c) The sneering in relation to the recent bust is unwarranted and unfair. The entire nation was banking on our economy not just our PM. Our real issue is the poor share of GST we receive and the expectation that we will continue to subsidise the Canberra CLub after they had us on a subsistence diet for a century.

  9. Daryl, if WA kiddies lives were given the same value as in the eastern states, then Barnett would have netted the beaches, just like they do in the east. He would also have tried to preserve a top predator of the sea, ensuring a healthy marine Eco system. Barnett is a typical LNPer, if he has a chance to help the environment or fuck it, he will chose fuck it every time. He thinks he is a know all, but he is an ignorant know nothing.

  10. IMO, whenever you go into the ocean, you take the risk of being attacked by sea life. It should not be the place of the Government to interfere with the natural environment just to coddle some folks who want to go into the natural domain of another set of living beings.

    If you want to swim somewhere risk-free, go do it in a swimming pool.

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