Galaxy: 52-48 to Labor in Victoria

Galaxy’s final poll of the Victorian state election campaign is very much like those that preceded it, showing Labor still on course for a modest victory. Also featured: pre-poll booth exit polling, a surprise SMS poll result from Morgan, and sundry scuttlebutt about seat-level prospects.

Opinion polling for the Victorian election campaign has been nothing if not stable, and Galaxy has emphasised the point by ending the show with a poll putting Labor’s lead at 52-48, just as it was in its last two statewide polls. The poll of 1090 respondents, published in the Herald-Sun, finds the primary vote identical in every respect to the last such poll conducted a week ago, with the Coalition on 40%, Labor on 39% and the Greens on 13%. There is even better news for Labor from the preferred premier rating, which has Daniel Andrews vaulting eight points to 38%, and Denis Napthine down one to 41%. Further questions find 60% supporting the building of the East West Link, with only 29% opposed, and 46% considering Labor too close to the CFMEU, against 33% who say otherwise.

UPDATE (Morgan SMS poll): Now we’ve got a Morgan SMS poll, conducted Wednesday and Thursday night from a sample of 1163, which maintains its late trend to the Coalition – to the extent of having two-party preferred at 50-50. The Greens vote, which this series had long had at an implausibly high level, is down no less than four points to 13.5%, which causes me to suspect that there may have been some methodological tinkering going on. Both major parties are well up on the primary vote, Labor by 2.5% to 36%, and the Coalition by 4.5% to 44%. I’d take a Galaxy phone poll over this one any time, but it’s at least made me interested to see what the other late polls might come up with.

UPDATE 2: I’ve updated BludgerTrack on the sidebar, and as you can see, there’s quite a sharp move to the Coalition – although I wouldn’t get too excited about it until I’ve seen a few more polls. In any case, the seat projection has finally budged from 50-38.

Other news:

• The Seven Network this evening reported that an exit-poll conducted by Galaxy at pre-poll booths in the sandbelt marginals of Frankston, Mordialloc, Carrum and Bentleigh showed Labor with a collective lead of 52-48, suggesting a swing to Labor of about 5% when compared with the equivalent results from the 2010 election. The poll captured a sample of 602, and was conducted for Victorian Trades Hall.

• As of last night (Wednesday), 578,628 pre-poll votes had been cast and 187,835 postal votes received, compared with final totals of 543,763 and 247,642 in 2010, with may more yet to come. Antony Green has a post on the impact of the ongoing upsurge in pre-poll voting and its implications for election night. At federal elections, pre-poll voters voting within their division cast ordinary votes by placing them in a ballot box, while those casting “absent” pre-poll votes must fill out declaration envelopes. This means the former kind of vote can be counted on election night (although the task at the larger centres is such that they’ve been struggling to get through it on the night), while the latter require closer scrutiny to see if they are eligible to be admitted to the count. But in Victorian elections, all pre-poll votes go straight into the ballot box regardless of what electorate they are for. This means they must be sorted into different bundles for each electorate before they can be count, which can’t be accomplished on the night. As such, only about two-thirds of the votes stand to be counted by the end of Saturday night.

• On a related note, James Campbell of Herald-Sun reports the upsurge in pre-poll voting is gravely alarming Liberal strategists, who see a late swing in their favour as their last remaining hope.

The Australian reports Liberal sources are now reduced to talking up a best-case scenario of minority government, although it’s far from clear who is envisioned as holding the balance of power. A “slight narrowing of the polls in key marginal seats several weeks ago has ‘evaporated’”, and a “much-vaunted regional seats strategy” looks set to deliver only the low-hanging fruit of Ripon. Contrary to earlier optimistic talk from party sources, the Liberals are now said to be “trailing Labor in the so-called sandbelt seats”. The motif in Labor television advertising of “constructing a merged image of Tony Abbott and Victorian Premier Denis Napthine” is apparently hitting the mark harder than Liberal assaults on union power and the record of the last Labor government.

• According to James Campbell of the Herald-Sun, “Labor folk are exuding a quiet confidence”, while “Liberals just seem to want it to end”. Labor reportedly has Bellarine, Monbulk, Wendouree, Yan Yean and Cranbourne in the bag, and is “upbeat” about the Mordialloc. The Liberals are now said to regard Prahran, which I hadn’t previously heard mentioned, as “a worry”. Frankston and Bentleigh are “tight”, but the Liberals remain “confident” about Carrum, and hopeful that Craig Langdon’s spoiler role will deliver them Ivanhoe. Campbell also notes that Denis Napthine has been campaigning in Burwood and Eildon, which would be locked down by now if the Liberals were even remotely competitive.

• Shout out to two online endeavours doing fine work in election modelling. One is Alizarin Indigo’s Venom at Daily Kos, which uses polling aggregation to model the lower house outcome in much the same way that Kevin Bonham and myself have been doing. The other is Geeklections’ simulations for the upper house, for which the individual region pages can be accessed here. The projections concur with my recently expressed view that the Country Alliance and Shooters and Fishers are extremely well placed in Northern Victoria and Eastern Victoria (but not that Vote 1 Local Jobs is likewise for Western Victoria, as it goes off a base vote of 0.2%). However, a series of boilovers are also projected for the metropolitan regions. I suspect that this is based on excessive assumptions about the vote for micro-parties and especially for Palmer United, but who knows.

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.

106 comments on “Galaxy: 52-48 to Labor in Victoria”

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  1. [Mr Andrews is preferred by 38 per cent of voters, up eight points in the past week, even though the Coalition has spent millions of dollars in advertising attacking him.]

    Even though?

    At this point all these LNP ads say to the voter: “only THIS MAN can stop us ramming a billion more ads up your arse.”

    It just goes to show: all the ad time in Mammon wont polish a turd.

  2. On this long day I am just grateful for another poll to take my mind off the awful news from this afternoon.

    For some reason Alizarin Daily Kos link not working for me, but has given me a chance to see Geeklections – excellent work.

  3. Prahran will be one of the last, if not the last seat to be decided. It has an already high non-polling day/outside electorate vote and the only certainty about where the Greens, ALP and Liberals will come in the top three positions is that the Liberals will not come third. That means that third place may well not be know until it is time for the final exclusion.

  4. Forgive my ignorance, but what will happen with the pre-poll results? Is the count continuous until a result is known? Or are the pre-polls counted the next day and only the ordinary votes counted on the night?

  5. The upper house numbers and all the possibilities in each of the regions makes me wonder if this is how we’d look if we had some sort of MMP like NZ? Or whether little bits of the LNP and ALP would break off, as sort of happened there.

  6. I ask because I’m not certain whether you mean it can’t be completely accomplished on the night, but is still attempted, or not attempted at all until the next morning, where it is sorted first, then counted.

  7. Interesting write up, I don’t see the Liberals getting close in Ivanhoe, and if a seat like Elidon with a Liberal candidate from a long time local family needs campaigning from the leader then this result is looking like a landslide.

  8. Just looking at the Victorian Bludgertrack graphs – the Liberals and Nationals might soon be wondering where it all went wrong. Napthine got a little bounce initially but it’s been all downhill since. I suppose the traditional view is Bob Hawke’s “If you can’t govern yourselves you can’t govern the country” line. But from a historical point of view it does seem disturbing to see leaders take their party into government and then not even last one term. And nearly all of them conservatives!

    Brown – SA – won 1993, out 1996
    Rudd – federal – won 2007, out 2010
    Mills – NT – won 2012, out 2013
    O’Farrell – NSW – won 2011, out 2014
    Baillieu – Vic – won 2010, out 2014

  9. Morgan is hard to believe – 4.5% primary to Dennis in the last week?!? And all coming from the Sex Party and the Greens – yeah right

  10. My immediate reaction to the Geekelections simulations is “you’re very funny”.

    I don’t think even the Greens think they’re in with a shot at seven upper house seats. No one’s that confident of the Greens in Western Victoria, it misses that the Greens seat is in play at all in West Metro, etc…

  11. 14

    The swings needed in Northern and Eastern Victoria and Southeastern Metro would have to be a bit bigger than those that happened last time, for the Greens to get more than 5. The Greens chances in Eastern Metro have been improved by the redistribution.

  12. Without having gone through it with a fine tooth comb, I’m pretty sure the problem with Geeklections is simply that he’s got Palmer United way too high, which in a few cases is feeding into the Greens.


    Victorian Poll Roundup: Endless 52-48 Edition

    After including the Morgan my model’s 2PP has crashed to 51.8 2PP by 2010 election preferences but I’m backing preferences to be slightly more pro-ALP than that and on that basis have it at 52.6. That gives the ALP 48 seats but normal-ish results in the polls still to report (at least two of them) would push it to 49. And yes I think that has a fatter tail in the upwards direction than downwards.

    I’ll be in the field tomorrow so offline.

  14. I’ve rerun VENOM with Galaxy and Morgan included. Very slight Coalition shift but not really an interesting change in seat by seat numbers. Labor still at a 97.4% chance of (or with the Greens) winning Government.

  15. I think the problem with Geeklections is that it takes the raw swings and apply it everywhere equally.

    So for example if Palmer has 2% and the swing against them is 2 percentage points, the PUP is left with 0%. It should be more of a reduced bell curve effect (ok I’m not sure how to explain this well).

    Also while the Greens will probably keep their 3 seats, and might be lucky to pick up a couple more, getting 7 is really pushing it.

    Other than that I’m fine with the way the pie charts and graphs are made.

  16. RR @ 21, I would have thought so especially as the Age has just established this poll relationship.

    Interestingly the Age Editorial today goes for the Libs.

  17. Listening to AM just now, denis napthine sounded like the old duffer uncle and daniel andrews sounded calm and confident. It was quite a contrast.

  18. Jon Faine is interviewing Dan Andrews, who will take questions after the news. Faine is giving Andrews a hard time and is being quite condescending

  19. Victoria yes Faine is almost acting like a wanna be Alan Jones. Not letting Andrews finish his answers, talking over the top all the time. Hopefully in the cool light of day Faine will review that interview and reflect on his behavior.

  20. If Labor wins, does anyone think there is a possibility that a Rural Independent could win Gippsland South if there was a by-election next year? Just remembering Labor’s shock win in Benalla by-election after the 1999 election.

  21. At least Peter Ryan was able to make light of the Feds’ ABC cuts saying he was glad they hadn’t cut the coffee at the studios on election night. Though Jon Faine reminded him it was a cash bar! In an alternate “LNP Party” world I wonder how Ryan would have gone as premier, say when Baillieu was dumped?

  22. SMS – accessibility to polling methods.

    All polls have been steady and pretty consistent except Morgan SMS,
    Morgan has LNP primary on 45, Last friday it had LNP on 35% (35% increase in LNP primary). Also GRN was was unbelievably high and inconsistent with other pollsters early, and has come back.

    There has been no political reason to justify such radical changes, perhaps there are social reasons…

    There are a lot of people who arent confident with phones, particularly older people. Which people choose to respond to the SMS could have an influence on the vote.

    Young people are good with phones, its little effort them to respond, they are strong for the Greens. Old people are bad with phones, it takes them more effort, they are strong for LNP.

    Perhaps this voting deviation (driven by barrier to entry) is really measuring the desperation of the parties supporters. They are more willing to make the effort to be counted because they really want to make the result look good for their cause.

    Not sure that would explain the going from 35% to 45%, but if Morgan are trying to compensate for demographic skew already, this might magnify such errors.

  23. I think I can appreciate that Faine goes equally hard on Napthine and Andrews, but I can say Andrews definitely handled the show better.

    The questions coming from the callers though are quite harsh. I wonder if there’s a high number of calls that are coming through from party plants.

  24. Morgan’s SMS polls have indeed been volatile. What is consistent though is that they have had the ALP primary lower than anybody else. On the 2PP front this has been compensated for by their high Greens vote. However the last poll doesn’t have the high Greens vote. Which makes me suspect they have fixed one of their house effects without fixing the other one.

  25. The conservatives’ alleged developer-funded $10 million war chest is still very much in evidence.

    I can’t click on any online news page without seeing Daniel Andrews with some balaclava-clad bloke waving a fist behind him.

  26. My prediction is ALP 48, COALITION 38, GRN 2.

    Anyone know when the pre-polls will be counted? I’m assuming it won’t be Saturday night.

  27. Victorian Government funding is set to upgrade a Warrnambool street where a wealthy connection of Premier Denis Napthine is proposing a $20 million apartment complex.

    On November 14, Dr Napthine announced $300,000 funding for the upgrade of Gilles Street, in Warrnambool, in the Premier’s electorate on the south-west coast of Victoria.

    In October, Baybern Developments applied to construct a nine-storey, $20 million apartment complex on Gilles Street, which would become the largest residential building in the city’s CBD.

  28. Bill Shorten and Steve Bracks are apparently campaigning in Bentleigh, a friend just texted me.


    Apparently they’re sorted Saturday night into their districts and counted on Monday. So a long wait for Prahran and other inner-city seats. I can’t imagine Euroa or Eildon having a particularly high pre-poll though.

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