Victorian election minus one week

Press reports continue to indicate that both sides believe it to be very tight in the crucial sandbelt seats, but statewide published polls still show Labor on course for a comfortable victory.

First up, the arrival of two new poll results – one from Galaxy and one from Morgan, both of which are detailed here – has enabled my first update in some time to the Victorian election poll tracker on the sidebar. I’ve tinkered a bit with my methodology, which is the reason the Greens are off a little despite more than holding up in the latest polls. Other than that, the poll tracker has never failed to show Labor on 50 seats since it opened for business at the start of the campaign.

The charts get a bit messy with the flurry of polling to hit during the election campaign, so to allow you a closer look (and to illustrate the point that you’re not really missing much), here they are with the x-axis limited to the start of August (click to enlarge):


John Ferguson of The Australian offered yet another review of the seat-level state of play as seen by his sources in the major parties on Wednesday. Both sides are said to have detected a “small but significant” swing back to the Liberals in Frankston, with the Liberals apparently hopeful that a double-figures result for Geoff Shaw will send a strong flow of preferences their way. Furthermore, the Liberals are reported to be hopeful or better about the other sandbelt seats of Bentleigh, Carrum and Mordialloc, which I list in what I take to be descending order of confidence. However, Labor is doing “better than expected” in Ripon, although it is still expected to fall to the Liberals (not, be it noted, the Nationals).

• One place where early Liberal hopes appear to have faded is Ballarat, particularly the seat of Buninyong, formerly Ballarat East. Further complicating their task is Nationals candidate Sonia Smith, who has criticised Liberal candidate Ben Taylor over comments he made at an Australian Christian Lobby forum concerning late-term abortions, saying he “should be running for Family First”. While the Nationals’ official how-to-vote card for the electorate directs the second preference to Taylor, Smith has registered her own card instructing voters to determine the matter for themselves. Smith illustrated her rejection of her party’s how-to-vote card through a dramatic photo opportunity for Fairfax.

• Inform your upper house speculation with Antony Green’s preference calculators. Part of me would be sad to see reform to our broken upper house electoral systems purely because it would put an end to these delightful contributions to Australian psephology.

UPDATE: Another Morgan SMS poll, a very current one conducted from Friday to today from a sample of 1173. While one might be tempted to take this series with a grain of salt, the results are interesting: the Coalition is up no less than 4.5% on the last poll to 39.5%, with both Labor and the Greens down two points to 33.5% and 17.5%. However, Labor maintains a 52-48 lead on two-party preferred, down from 55-45. Denis Napthine has gained the lead as preferred premier, now 51.5-48.5 ahead after Daniel Andrews led 52.5-47.5 last time. The previous poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, so I guess Morgan will be doing this polling every down from now on.

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.

192 comments on “Victorian election minus one week”

Comments Page 2 of 4
1 2 3 4
  1. I advocated previously that the ALP should also cover its bases by registering a number of different HTV cards and then decide which ones they print and distribute.

    Once a card is registered there is nothing that prevents anyone from printing and handing out the registered ticket.

    They are not subject to copyright.

    The Greens can not be trusted. Simple as that.

  2. Post 51
    Absolutely nonsense The Greens have never ever vioated the Electrol Act ,and have no intention of doing so

    Why this visceral hatred of them by some like D@W sheer folly
    The Green prefs are vital to Labor…there will be no Labior Govts anywhere with the Green Prefs get used to it

  3. Kevin Bonham@41

    Just ran a fake-poll Monte Carlo (runs=40,000) to test the hypothesis that the recent Victorian election polls are herded or otherwise suspiciously underdispersed.

    Thanks Kevin, now that you mention it, the polls do seem a little clustered together. Nice to know you’re on the case there’s no conclusive evidence of shenanigans. Psephs can sleep easy tonight 🙂

  4. GVTs cause preferences to be allocated – and candidates elected – in a manner that we know for stone-cold certain would never happen if actually recorded by actual voters.

  5. Lets go Roy Morgan poll crazy in the LC!

    ALP 35.5 Coal 35.0 & Greens 19.5 changes since last election of:
    ALP +2.1 Coal -10.6 & Grns +11.0 results in MLCs on AG’s calculator of:
    ALP 19 Coalition 14 Greens 8

    Well unlikely, but its hard to imagine this election in Victoria not leaving Greens in balance of power. Possibly up to a few other (rural) MLCs could share BoP.

  6. A lot of the talk about this being a close election seems like party spin to me.

    The Liberals want to keep their base going so they don’t cave in. Labor don’t want to take anything for granted

    From some of the twitter activity I’m seeing, Labor seems more focused on holding seats off the Greens than where they’re going to win off the Liberals which I reckon they probably think are already in the bag. We’ll see next week.

  7. Well, we’ve all seen upset election results but the public polling has been remarkably consistent for many, many months, and the political ‘narrative’ has been just as consistently negative for the government for at least the second half of the term. It’s hard to see them suddenly turning it around in less than a week.

  8. Leroy Lynch@48

    ALP supporters are accussing the Greens & Libs of doing a deal. It does look very suspect. But see thezse tweets below…

    The Liberals have registered open how-to – vote cards in Richmond, Albert Park, Melbourne &. Brunswick but not handing them out. #vicvotes
    9:25 PM – 22 Nov 2014

    Tim Christodoulou ‏@tim_chr 40m40 minutes ago
    @J_C_Campbell Why register them if you don’t intend to distribute them? Genuine question.
    11:24 PM – 22 Nov 2014

    James Campbell ‏@J_C_Campbell 31m31 minutes ago
    @tim_chr To make sure others keep their side of the bargain would be a guess..
    0 replies 1 retweet 0 favorites
    11:33 PM – 22 Nov 2014

    Which, if true, could only mean the ALP since Liberal preferences are only effective to the ALP in these seats. So that would imply that there is some kind of ALP-Liberal deal concerning the Upper House. Yet in all the upper house seats the ALP have put the Liberals ahead of only the Australian Christians and Rise Up Australia.

  9. 60

    Well it does not appear to be about Prahran because the ALP have preferenced the Greens above the Liberals on all their various how to vote cards in Prahran (that all look the same).

  10. Kevin 59, Tom 60
    What that indicates to me is that the Lib and Green organisations are keeping open the option of a swap: Libs don’t direct in, say, Melbourne in return for Green non direct in Lib nominated marginal seat or marginals. They’re talking but whether a deal is finalised remains to be seen.

  11. It looks to me that this is a Greens-Liberal deal not a Labor-Liberal deal.

    Or at least it is setting up the ground work for the possibility of a Greens-Liberal deal in the coming week.

    Libs hand out open prefs in inner city helping Greens, Greens hand out open prefs in outer city marginals helping Libs.

    I can not see that anything else makes sense.

  12. I like this disingenuousness from a Greens supporter.

    “Stephanie Philbrick @Steph_Philbrick · 1h 1 hour ago
    The very notion of an “open ticket” deal is not a preference deal anyway. It is consciously opting out of preference deals.”

    So a non-preference deal is morally superior to a preference deal, of course.

    Green principles.

  13. I said it in 2010 and I’ll say it again. The Greens leadership can do what they like – they are a separate party trying to maximize their chances of winning seats in both houses. On average about 20% of Greens voters give their preferences to the Coalition ahead of Labor. In 2010 this helped the Coalition form government, just as those voters would have wanted.

  14. Official Vic Greens twitter is claiming its “Normal for us to put in all unpreference htv options as well as preferenced” and “Despite Labor not wanting to work with us, there is no deal with the Liberals. Maybe Liberals are playing mind-games with Labor”

  15. Tom 68
    Greens have lodged open tickets as an option for all seats. Libs have been more selective, but there are fewer seats where their (non direction of) preferences would help the Greens. Maybe you have more info on the specifics of the Lib -Green discussions.

  16. Not sure how many here remember Possum’s 10 rules of election campaigns but here they are:

    – Rule 1: consume all the news you want, then file it under “curiosity.” Watch commercial nightly news and drive time radio newsbreaks

    – Rule 2: newspapers aren’t nearly as important to shaping public views as newspapers and their owners like to think they are (wish more on here understood this one)

    -Rule 3: no one has ever discovered a person who has changed their political mind from something they read in the op-ed pages (wish more on here understood this one)

    -Rule 4: TV panels are only ever watched by rusted on tragics and people who decide their politics independently. When one is on, go for a walk

    -Rule 5: whenever you hear or read commentary saying “voters are thinking …” it’s almost certainly complete and utter bullshit

    -Rule 6: internal and sophisticated polling: those who know don’t usually say, those who say don’t usually know

    -Rule 7: if you’re reading this, most of the things that make you angry, won’t actually matter outside of the political bubble

    -Rule 8: journos are people too. If they write or say something you don’t like, that doesn’t make them arseholes. That happens independently

    -Rule 9: judge stuff not based on whether you like or want to believe it or not, but on the basis of it’s accuracy and intelligence

    -Rule 10: IMPORTANT: politics is filled with weirdos, media, more so. Remember to laugh if for no other reason than because it is so serious!

  17. Tom

    Here is the officially registered open Greens HTV for Bellarine (a very marginal
    ALP/Lib contest).

    You can find the link to it on

    (Registered on 22nd Nov by the Greens).

    If such an HTV is ever handed out to voters, this makes a significant increased likelihood of a return to LNP government in Victoria.

    On the other hand, all that the Greens get out of a such a deal is increased likelihood of a seat being handed from ALP to Greens, which does not help brig about a change of government.

    So I can see the narrow party political benefits for such a deal to the Greens but a blow to the chances of a change of government and a blow to possibility of stopping the EW link, and many other important efforts for the sake of the people and the environment.

  18. 72 – Antony Green has shown before that Greens HTV cards have very little effect on the rate at which Greens voters preference Labor ahead of the Coalition – it is always in the 75-80% region no matter what.

    The Greens are just another political party, and like all parties they act in self-interest rather than putting ideology ahead of pragmatism. For instance, in their Upper House preferencing (and with most people including Greens voters voting above the line this does have an impact).

    They have preferred PUP, which voted to repeal the Mining Tax and the Carbon Pricing which the Greens had helped get through Parliament, over Labor with whom they had introduced these two measures an=midst much self-congratulating.

    That’s fine – they can preference whoever they like. And Greens voters can again help install a Coalition Government in Victoria like they did in 2010. That’s called democracy.

  19. I recall a federal election where the Greens preferenced Labor ahead of Liberal in several South Australian seats – but ran an open ticket in Sturt, where Labor had a terrific candidate, Rick Sarre, in opposition to the egregious Christopher Pyne.

    Hard to believe really.

  20. If the ALP feels The Greens need to show its worth doing preference deals with them, I suppose it becomes necessary to demonstrate that The Greens can damage ALP chances. Much as I am great advocate of civility, still true that if you ask for it, you shouldn’t be surprised to get it.

    Calling “bite me” and whinging about the bite… :-\
    Not the path to sympathy.

  21. I don’t blame the Greens hierarchy – they are taking out insurance so that if the Coalition get up they can rightly say that Greens voters helped and now can we discuss these various policies (except East-West Tunnel which of course is a Coalition sacred cow).

  22. Have the Greens plans with the Liberals helped change the odds?

    Coalition down from $5.35 yesterday to $5.00.

    Actually it will be fascinating to see whether the Greens lower house votes preference to Labor in the same ratio as normal especially in those seats that will directly affected by the East-West Tunnel which the Coalition will build if they win.

  23. RE 56 RR 78

    Must have fat fingured that!
    My calcs were ALP 18, Coal 14, Greens 8

    I’ll dare make an LC call:
    Going to be ALP 18, and a harder call on 5 Greens 2 others and Coalition of 15

  24. Rocket Rocket@79

    Have the Greens plans with the Liberals helped change the odds?

    Coalition down from $5.35 yesterday to $5.00.

    Actually it will be fascinating to see whether the Greens lower house votes preference to Labor in the same ratio as normal especially in those seats that will directly affected by the East-West Tunnel which the Coalition will build if they win.

    Sportsbet currently has ALP @ $1.18 and Fibs @ $6.00

    Which is pretty much where the market has been all week. I don’t think the betting markets are offering any great insight into what’s happening, other than that there’s no strong evidence that Napthine’s position has improved over the last week.

    Sounds, like there will be a cluster of polls early in the week which should give a clearer picture. Good chance there will be at least one rouge that gives Napthine a sniff. So maybe backing the Fibs at $6 with a view to layoff midweek would be a good trade.

  25. db – interesting. If Labor wins lower house it is best to have several different paths to pass stuff in upper house.

    i think after the 2006 election it looked like it would be
    ALP 19 Grn 2 DLP 2 Nat 2 Lib 15 – which theoretically would give 4 different routes. In the end the Grns got 3 and DLP 1 so there were 3 different routes.

    By the way, does anyone yet know when pre-poll votes are included in the VEC count? Is it on election night, or the Monday after? I left a question on Antony Green’s site but no answer yet.

  26. wtr – do you have any indication as to when various polls come out? I need to plan the week! Here are my estimates

    Ipsos – monday
    Newspoll – late monday night, possible “last minute” one friday
    Morgan – friday
    Galaxy – friday
    Reachtel? – friday

  27. 75

    That statement is not true. The Coalition got a total of 975 votes when the ALP candidate was distributed in Gippsland East in 2010, contributing to the Nationals victory over Craig Ingram, and that number was greater that the number of preferences received by the ALP at the previous distributions so it is indisputable that ALP voters helped elect a Coalition MLA ahead of an Independent who had previously supported the ALP being in power.

    At this election in Prahran there a a reasonable chance that the ALP may be distributed in Prahran and then some ALP voters` preferences will go to the Liberal and that may elect him.

  28. 79

    In most of the seats effected by the East-West Link, the Greens preferences will not be distributed, as has been the case in the previous 3 elections, and so who the Greens preference has no difference in those seats.

  29. My guess on the LC would be:

    ALP :18
    LNP :16
    Green :5
    Random NJ :1

    Left to my own, I probably would have had the ALP on 19 with no randoms – but reading PB posts suggests there’s a good chance of one popping up. I guess there may be a lot of grumpy LNP voters lurking about who would never votes ALP or greens.

  30. Labor should have done the preference deal with the Greens if they wanted a preference deal with the Greens. The Greens *Did* offer it, you know. Labor refused, god knows why. They’re lucky the Greens recommend *any* preferences their way after their ridiculous tantrums. Labor will win and the Greens will grow, but it could have been so much cleaner had they worked constructively for progressive government by accepting the Greens offer and swapping preferences.

  31. RR @ 83

    Sorry, no intel. But I would have thought that more than just Ipsos and Newspoll would be out in the next few days.

    Anyone records from the 2010 election on the frequency of polling in the last couple of weeks?

  32. Just makes me facepalm so hard when they knock the Greens preference offer back, and then complain about not getting Green preferences… even though they actually are!

    If there’s one thing Labor can do it is politics.

  33. 85 – they can still be estimated as the VEC do a two-candidate count even if one candidate gets >50% primary votes.

    75 – I stand by my statement. Those ALP votes did not help the Nationals win the seat. They would have won it even if they had receieved zero ALP prefs. So Labor votes did not make a difference in helping elect a Coalition member.

  34. Preference deals are not about saying who your best friends are.

    Parties have their own aims: changing government or growing or whatever.

    I am just disappointed that the Greens have ended up being on the verge of doing a deal that may be good for their aim (growing), but bad for the state and the environment (making an LN government more likely).

  35. “but it could have been so much cleaner had they worked constructively for progressive government”

    Actually if the Greens “above the line” preferences help get PUP into the Upper House it may be a blessing in disguise for Labor. PUP members may be easier to deal with than Greens.

  36. I reckon it’s pretty simple Rocket, Labor flatly refused the Greens offer to work together, so they had to go elsewhere to win seats.

    The politics I mean is when Labor takes the fact of their rejection of the Greens preferences, twists the story to make it seem like this was somehow the Greens’ fault, and suddenly the focus is on the Greens doing their own thing and not dealing with Labor.

    I mean if we go back to reality for a second: Labor rejected the Greens preferences. If they wanted a preference deal with the Greens, they should have accepted the preference deal with the Greens. Isn’t it as simple as that?

  37. andrewjmckenzie@63

    Kevin 59, Tom 60
    What that indicates to me is that the Lib and Green organisations are keeping open the option of a swap: Libs don’t direct in, say, Melbourne in return for Green non direct in Lib nominated marginal seat or marginals. They’re talking but whether a deal is finalised remains to be seen.

    This is what I think it is too, in spite of Napthine’s previous claim that they were putting the Greens last.

    Of course having registered multiple options they can now pussyfoot all week and make the decision on the day. The deal is obviously advantageous to both, potentially saving a Liberal seat or two somewhere and gifting the Greens a few Labor seats.

  38. Or in fairness to the Greens since there is nothing intrinsically suss about them lodging open HTVs (they haven’t implied otherwise) it may be that the Liberals just unilaterally want to keep open their right to try to gift the inner-city seats.

    A Liberal open ticket as opposed to a Liberal ticket preferencing the Greens might not change the flow that much. 10-15% maybe.

  39. 90

    It is not the 2 candidate preferred but the 2 party preferred that shows where the Greens preferenced because the Greens are in the top two candidates in those seats. You have missed my point anyway. In the seats where the Greens are in the top 2, which do not include any seats where the Greens get over 50% primary unfortunately, the Greens vote is not distributed and so their preferences do not go anywhere because they stay with the Greens.

    The reason that, apart from not-marginal enough for them to count Gippsland East, the ALP had no preferences helping defeat an non-Coalition candidate is that they were not distributed in contests the Coalition could loose. Had the Greens done sufficiently better in Prahran but the Liberals done the same, then it would have been rouge ALP preferences not rouge Green preferences electing the Liberal there.

  40. 94

    I doubt PUP will get elected. I have not noticed the swarms of advertising that they have often run with previously, the quota is higher, Green preferences are likely to be fairly rare on the ground outside Southern and Northern Metro (where the Greens will have surpluses from early elected candidates) and there are other micro parties with better preference deals.

Comments Page 2 of 4
1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *