Fairfax-Ipsos: 56-44 to Labor in Victoria

The debut poll from Fairfax-Ipsos will, as a tweet from The Age’s HQ intimated earlier in the evening, rock Spring Street.

The new Ipsos poll for Fairfax has opened its account in interesting style, giving Labor a lead of 56-44 on two-party preferred. However, the primary votes aren’t quite as remarkable as that, perhaps excepting a result of 17% from the Greens – the Coalition is on 39% and Labor on 37%, which in both cases are within a point of the latest results from Galaxy, ReachTEL and Essential Research. The reason the two-party headline is so extraordinary is that it is from respondent-allocated preferences, which have had a way of leaning heavily towards Labor recently, in both federal and state polling. Ipsos’s calculated based on preference flows from the 2010 election is a much less remarkable 53-47.

Denis Napthine can also find comfort in his leads over Daniel Andrews on personal ratings. Napthine’s plus-nine net approval rating (approval 47%, disapproval 38%) compares with minus-five for Andrews (37% and 42%), and he leads 45-36 as preferred premier. The Age’s graphic has big arrows showing changes in the leaders’ personal ratings, but this is in comparison with a poll conducted three months ago by a different pollster.

Fairfax’s Peter Martin spruiks the new poll series thus:

Ipsos polls in more than 120 countries and has conducted election polls in Canada, the United States, Italy, France, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Ireland the United Kingdom, the Ukraine, Russia and Peru. It is taking over from long-term pollster Nielsen, which has withdrawn from political polling. Ipsos will be conducting national and state polls for Fairfax Media.

Ipsos’ 2008 US presidential poll was regarded as the most accurate of the 22 covering the election that brought Barack Obama to power.

Its first poll for The Age covering the Victorian election surveys 1400 voters, roughly twice the number usually surveyed in state polls, and broadly in line with the “gold standard” used for national polls.

“The margin of error for a sample of 1400 is about 2.6 per cent,” said Ipsos Australia managing director Mark Davis. “We may change the size of the state polls over time but certainly for the first one we wanted it to be a pretty robust sample.”

Ipsos also distinguishes itself from its competitors by calling mobile as well as fixed numbers.

Also out today was this effort from Essential Research, accumulating the result of its polling throughout the month of October. It shows the Labor lead at 52-48 (steady on last month) from primary votes of 38% for Labor (down one), 39% for the Coalition (steady) and 12% for the Greens (up one). Similar results from ReachTEL, Galaxy and Morgan are detailed in this earlier post.

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.

111 comments on “Fairfax-Ipsos: 56-44 to Labor in Victoria”

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  1. AS, I think saying ‘Melbourne and Brunswick…will fall on Greens primary and Coalition leakage…alone’ and that the Greens will get four if the Libs put the ALP on HTVs last is the kind of hubris that gets us Greens teased after disappointing election results.

    It’s what Kevin Bonham is referring to in his comment earlier in this thread, and it’s what got Greg Barber in trouble in 2010, referred to towards the end of this interview with Sarah Farnsworth http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-24/preferences-set-to-scupper-greens/5840796

    Any lower house seat would be a huge win for the Greens. Melbourne, Richmond and Brunswick have all been held by the ALP for over 100 years. Talking about 2 certainties and up to four is just setting ourselves up to fail.

    Melbourne is by far the most likely because of Adam Bandt’s good work and presence at federal level, and the strong campaign to elect Ellen being run by The Greens. Jennifer Kanis has almost no profile, having come in at a by-election only 2 years ago and not having doing much since, so the sitting member effect isn’t too strong there.

    Richard Wynne (and to a lesser extent Jane Garret) however, are strong local members with some reputation. They will be difficult to unseat. The Greens campaigns for all of these seats are working their arses off to win, and all will see increased Greens primary votes (I think), which is great. I think a primary vote increase statewide and any increase in representation (+1 in the upper house, or +1 in the lower house or both) should be seen as a successful result for the Greens at this election. Let’s not set the bar stupidly high.

  2. 101

    There are no certain Greens seats in the Assembly at this election. There are possibilities, even without Liberal preferences (although the number of possible seats are lower, notably Northcote is currently, almost certainly out of Green reach). Prahran, Where the Greens would rely on ALP preferences (or face a massive “A vote for the ALP is a vote for the Liberals campaign”) rather than Liberal leakage, is also a possibility.

    Richmond will be made harder for the Greens by the fact that the, otherwise generally Green leaning, Sex Party strongly oppose Kathleen Maltzahn (she is a major proponent of adopting the Nordic model, which they strongly oppose).

    Melbourne has been held by the ALP for over 100 years, except when its MLA defected to what was to be the DLP but was defeated at the election the defection caused, that is true. Richmond was held at the 1955 election by the MLA who had defected to what was to become the DLP but otherwise had been ALP since 1908. Northcote has only existed since 1927. Brunswick has not been won by anyone other than the ALP since its first creation in 1904 but has been abolished twice.

    Various former districts also occupied areas that are currently in the inner 4 seats. Brunswick East and Brunswick West were both ALP from 55-76 (when Brunswick was restored, the first time), with Coburg (which at the time included the northern half of Brunswick) being ALP held including 1992-2002. Carlton was ALP from at least 1908 but the MLA defected to the DLP in 1955 but was defeated by the ALP. Clifton Hill was ALP 1927-55. Collingwood was ALP held from 1908 to its 1958 abolition except for a couple of terms when it was held by the sitting ALP MP for a couple of terms as an Independent Labour MLA. Fitsroy was ALP held, during its existences, partially (1 of the 2 MLAs) from 1900 and entirely from 1927. Flemington was ALP from 1904 (there may or may not have been an overlap with a current inner 4 seat). Jika-Jika was ALP 1917-27.

  3. It has to be remembered that the Greens poured a massive amount of effort and money into Adam Bandt’s reelection campaign last year. The result was that he held the seat and increased the Green vote by 7%. But if you look at the surrounding federal seats that cover the so called ‘winnable’ seats for the Greens you will find a different pattern. They went backwards in Higgins and Melbourne Ports, effectively stayed still in Wills, and did go up by 2.2% in Batman. The latter probably down to the David Feeney factor.

    The Greens had a definite target last year in 2013 and achieved it. Methinks they don’t have the money or resources to spread that across 4 or 5 state seats. Winning one will be a bonus and luck will play a major part. If I was the Greens, I would concentrate on Northcote or Brunswick as the lowest hanging fruit.

  4. Tom @ 102 – correct me if I’m missing something but I think we’re in furious agreement. That there are no Green lower house seats in the bag and that some more optimistic Greens supporters should lower their eyes a little, yeah?

    I also read up on the history of these seats and I’m aware for e.g., of Brunswick at various stages becoming Brunswick East/Brunswick West/Coburg, and a couple of DLP defectors in these seats along the way, but the point is they’ve all been ALP heartland for pretty much forever, so I’m not contesting anything you’ve said there, I just didn’t include all the ins and outs for the sake of brevity. So we agree?

  5. Well just took the ABC Vote Compass … and it seems I’m aligned with 85% of Green policies and 75% of ALP policies …. I shall be voting for the ALP

  6. Frankly, I can’t see the relevance of the political history of these seats. Enormous social, demographic and political change has made the situation very fluid and political change is a real possibility.

  7. Rossmore – I think I have to redo that Vote Compass with the absolute mindset of (1) moderate Republican and (2) very non-moderate Tea-Partier!

    Just to see where they are on the Argand plane!

  8. 103

    The Greens had no reason to specifically target seats south of the Yarra and they were supporting an unpopular ALP government until very close to the election which likely cost them some small l liberal voters (which is likely the main reason why the Green preference flow to the ALP increased to 85.83%) and that would have disproportionately cost votes south of the Yarra (where there are lots of small l liberals).

    The Greens effectively stayed static in Wills on primary vote, with a 0.12% increase, that I will concede. However they did better on preferences and came second on preferences. That is an improvement on last time and a significant psychological hurdle for voters considering voting Green overcome.

    The Greens are targeting Melbourne and Prahran. Melbourne is the lowest hanging fruit. Prahran looks further away on paper because it has had less resources targeted at it in the past. Brunswick is also potentially winnable, if the Greens have a good election. Northcote is a bit beyond reach, without Liberal preferences, because of the solidly ALP voting housing commission areas in the north east of the seat. Richmond is similar to Brunswick but has lower potential preference flows, because the Sex Party have the candidate.

  9. 104

    We agree.

    If indeed you had said Labor rather than ALP and their predecessors, you would have been able to argue that you were correct because it was an independent labor MLA and 3 DLP defectors (one of whom was reelected, once) who broke the ALP continuity.

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