Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor in Victoria

A final Essential Research poll lands right on the poll trend target, although its field work period extends back to three weeks ago.

Crikey has published a Victorian state voting intention result collated from Essential Research’s last three weeks of polling, encompassing 794 respondents. It shows Labor with a lead of 53-47, compared with 52-48 from its October result (UPDATE: Peter Lewis of Essential Research is apparently out correcting the two-party result to 52-48) (UPDATE 2: Scratch that – Essential Research has been in touch to say 53-47 is correct). Labor, the Coalition and the Greens are all up a point on the primary vote, to 39%, 40% and 13% respectively. There’s also further attitudinal polling, which I’ll also cover shortly.

Also along shortly: an upper house guide at last, some campaign updates, and a revised poll tracker including the Morgan SMS poll and this one.

UPDATE: Here is a full release from Essential Research featuring party most trusted to handle various issues, and the finding that 38% of respondents felt they would be better off under a Labor government versus 30% for Liberal.

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.

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

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  1. gg – yes, having delcard that the Victorian election is a referendum on East-West Tunnel, can Abbott the accept the result if it is not the one he wants? He will look like (more of) an idiot if he says “Victorians, you are wrong, I am right!”

  2. gg – this will become obvious the more his colleauges tie all the budget crap to him alone. If they thrwo him overboard they want to get rid of all the jetsum they can.

    I had to look that one up to check!

    “Jetsam is part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo that is purposely cast overboard or jettisoned to lighten the load in time of distress and is washed ashore”

  3. [having delcard that the Victorian election is a referendum on East-West Tunnel, can Abbott the accept the result if it is not the one he wants? He will look like (more of) an idiot if he says “Victorians, you are wrong, I am right!”]

    I hope this pronouncement is thrown back in Abbott’s face.

    I really hope the ALP hold their nerve and release the business cases.

  4. SB @39

    I think realistically, they don’t see any other winning candidates in Western metro, while in the north and south, there’s a potential to get a second candidate in, albeit a bit of a steep climb

  5. Napthine must be realising that his attack ads are not quite working has decided to emulate Andrews by airing a more personal ad probably filmed in his own home on the last night of TV advertising.

  6. Lerpy L Post 21 re Langdon
    Langdon was former ALP memner for Ivanhoe who ran his own little machine/empire there for several terms until he lost his endorsement after local criticism of him and the seatwas held by the new Labor candidate last time around
    Langdon was a bitter loser,and later won a seaton the local council

    He is now Mayor of Banyule and wants to see all Labor candidates in his area defeated ….this takes in Ivanhoe/Bundoors and the marginal seat of Eltham,which the Libs hope to recapture…being held by a mere 500 votes by Labor last time ….a very bitter man indeed is Langdon who has already sent a circular leter to all in Banyule Council area(I received one such),and quite venemous stuff

  7. My seat model is at 48 seats ALP, though another 52-48 might push it to 47 (despite the feel-on-ground being apparently that it’s all over and not that close). William and I have the major party primaries virtually identical but I have Others higher (I’m going to review this) and Greens lower.

    [Libs’ path to victory all but disappears
    Herald Sun
    November 26, 2014 9:00PM

    WITH two days to go until polling day it’s still looking like Dan will be the man on Saturday night. Why?

    Firstly, and most importantly, because all the published polls point that way.

    Secondly, the betting markets also all have Labor an odds-on favourite.

    Thirdly, the demeanour of the people in both camps.

    Labor folk are exuding a quiet confidence, Liberals just seem to want it to end. When politicos start talking about there “still being a path to victory”, you know they’re in real trouble. Lastly, if you want to know how an election is going in the last week, have a look at where they send the leaders.]
    [Victorian state election 2014: They still want me, says MP Geoff Shaw
    Annika Smethurst
    Herald Sun
    November 26, 2014 11:18PM

    MAVERICK MP Geoff Shaw claims his former party offered him staff to man polling booths and hand out how-to-vote cards on election day. ]

  9. Kevin

    I know, its strange how on one hand this election looks all over yet when I sit down and look though the seats, I am finding it difficult to give the ALP any more than mid 40s unless I start adding every marginal then start adding seats that on paper look kinda safe in terms of margin.

  10. Tom

    I wanted to check anyway for it was possible that it had been a purposed map, during the 1950s there had been a debate about using the federal seats to base the state seats on

  11. In 1952 John Cain Snr won a sweeping Labor victory on reform of the Leg Assembly on”two for one” based on creating two seats inside each Federal seat
    This ended the long Gerrymander which gave the Country Party almost a third of the seats on a vote of little more then 15-16% over a long period when they were quite strong in the rural areas
    The Libs supported this reform as they had much to gain from cutting back the Country Party…which they did in the years ahead capturing many of their seats in regional Vic

  12. 70

    Gerrymandering is creating contorted boundary shapes. Malapportionment is having electorates of unequal numbers of voters.

    Victoria having Country Party governments (not a a coalition partner, by its self, including at one point with only 11 Assembly seats), of which it had a few, was ridiculous.

  13. My guess is that the old Federal seat of Yarra. once held by Scullin and later by Jim Cairns ..based largely on Richmond… also had a big element of Hawthorn in it’s boundaries in the 1950ies
    I think Cairns lived in the Hathorn segment

    Cairns won the seat in the year of the great Split 1955… whch created the DLP ,and captured the seat from Keon one of the
    most virulent of the DLPers and a close ally of Santamaria, He had held the seat for several terms before 1955
    It was also the heartland of the old quasi-criminal machime of John Wren,exposed by Hardy in “Power without Glory”…Wren later merged his empire with the DLP as the book shows

  14. mexicanbeemer@64


    I know, its strange how on one hand this election looks all over yet when I sit down and look though the seats, I am finding it difficult to give the ALP any more than mid 40s unless I start adding every marginal then start adding seats that on paper look kinda safe in terms of margin.

    I think that if one is cautious about, say, the sandbelt seats, and splits them 2-2, then the corollary of that for the current 2PP is that Labor are bagging the odd target on a much bigger swing. Might not be easy to pick where though.

    From the sound of the Herald Sun article Libs are now sandbagging seats that for the current polled swing they should be 80-95% chances of holding. So that sounds something like one of these: 1. they think the 2PP is actually worse than it is 2. their polling suggests unusual unevenness in the swing 3. they’ve secretly conceded all the close stuff further down.

  15. deblonay @ 73

    The Libs supported this reform [ending the rural gerrymander] as they had much to gain from cutting back the Country Party…which they did in the years ahead capturing many of their seats in regional Vic

    More importantly, when, only a few years later, the Liberal Party became the government, they ruled on their own for 27 long years, without ever having to form a coalition with the Country Party.

  16. On the issue of support for the EW link being in the majority, I remembered there was a poll back then asking which project the government should give priority to, and the Metro Melbourne came up on tops, more than the EW link. I wonder if there is anymore recent poll on this.

    Obviously if given the choice of no infrastructure and the EW link, people will choose the latter.

  17. On 78, I can’t find the poll, but I found other polls that gives slightly different priorities. (26/06/2014)

    In a worrying sign for the Napthine government trying to sell an infrastructure agenda that places the East West Link as a top priority, The Age/Nielsen poll of 1000 voters found that 45 per cent of voters backed upgrades of level crossings ahead of the Melbourne Metro tunnel (30 per cent) and the western section of the East West Link (20 per cent) as the highest priority for the state’s infrastructure agenda. (02/03/2014)

    Building a city-airport rail link: 34%

    Removing Victoria’s worst 50 level crossings: 30%

    Building the East West Link between Sunshine and the Eastern Freeway: 15%

    Building a Melbourne Metro rail tunnel: 15%

    Uncommitted: 6%

  18. I swear Melbourne traffic is the worst Ive ever seen it this week. Trains are all running late. Curious scheduling of roadworks.

    I wouldnt put it past that nest of low vipers in the VIC govt to try this desperate last ploy.

    And by the way – we need a royal commission into the relationship of the Bailieu/ Napthine govt with developers. Some scandalous tales to be told about Docklands/ Fishermans bend.

  19. In particular, the Coalition’s decision to re-route the Melbourne Metro rail line through Docklands, thereby completely negating it’s original purpose.

  20. I think level crossing removal would be about 80%+. In fact I cannot find a single person (driver) who wouldn’t want this. How TF do you run more trains without keeping boom gates down longer. After waiting 15mins for x3 trains to pass you are nearly suicidal.
    My only fear is it won’t happen..even 5 will do!!

  21. Melbourne traffic entering the city was really terrible on Tuesday.

    The fire in the apartment block in Docklands caused the closing of the La Trobe St, which caused traffic to build up all along Wurundjeri Way and Montague St. Coming from the west, this alone caused the Westgate to build up across the bridge.

  22. The poll I quoted earlier from the Herald Sun, I couldn’t quite work out why people would put the Airport Rail link over the other fixes, but I suppose if you cut down the number of vehicles traveling to the airport, you would greatly improve the Tullamarine-Citylink congestion.

  23. I was at a meeting addressed by David Anderson, who was shortly to retire as head of VicRoads. He stated that congestion was a very much underrated method of traffic control, although he noted that couldn’t have said that publicly if he wasn’t about to retire.

  24. One of my favourite quotes is by then Deputy Mayor of Paris Yves Contassot: “Nous allons faire vivre l’enfer aux automobilistes!” (It’s only by making life hell for motorists that we will force them to give up their cars)

  25. 70 & 77

    It was not actually the Liberals who supported the replacement of severe malapportionment with the 2 for 1 scheme, but break away Liberals in the Electoral Reform league.

  26. Corio – 86 – It’s like when they compare travel times from Dandenong to the City using the Monash vs Dandenong Rd. People seem amazed that the times are much the same, but it is an equilibrium problem.

    If the Monash took 30 minutes, and other roads took 90 minutes, people would favour the Monash until basically congestion on the Monash made the the two times much the same.

    This is why Citylink in morning peak-hour does not quite resemble the beautifully animated “run-throughs” presented before it was built. (and of course the recent lovely animation for the Cemetery Tunnel)

  27. My favorite quotes from Enrique Peñalosa, a Colombian politician who shook up public transport as mayor of 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”

    “We cannot continue to deceive ourselves thinking that to paint a little line on a road is a bike way. A bicycle way that is not safe for an 8-year old is not a bicycle way.”

  28. Hawthorn interesting because Labor came close in 1980s but never since. Demonstrates rise of 1% in Lib heartlands. On overall picture theoretically possible for Labor to lose from 52% 2PP but they would have to waste a lot of votes in safe seats and this is more of a problem for the Coalition see South Australia last year.

  29. 91

    The abolition of Balwyn (at the 1992 election) is likely to have been a contributing factor in the reduction of the competitivity of the ALP in Hawthorn, by adding strongly Liberal areas.

  30. Not that close. According to Wikipedia, the best 2PP result for Labor in Hawthorn was 47.4% in 1982. After that, it was downhill all the way.

  31. 93

    The Cain Government was elected in 1982 and its 2PP declined across the state as time when on (2002 was the first gain in 2PP by an incumbent Victorian Government since 1973). The abolition of Balwyn would then have added further to that.

  32. So everyone is holding back their polls under tomorrow? What’s the point?

    Might as well wait until Saturday. I believe the VEC is running a large sample state wide poll that should be fairly definitive.


    [Labor says it will pay for its election promises with cost cutting that includes more efficient use of government cars, reducing travel expenses and abolishing “taxpayer funded political advertising”. That apparently means only health and safety ads would be allowed. They also say they would sack 52 public service fat cats, and will stop printing government reports on paper.]

    Abolishing “taxpayer funded political advertising” will resonate with a number of voters.

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