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. Some deranged twitter-bot has decided AG is predicting ALP on 50 due to the fact that he or she has poor comprehension skills when it comes to the calculator.

    …50 seats would shock me.

  2. Victoria, some context to that story, i cant think of many three story building in the city, so nine stories is a skyscraper down here.

  3. Victoria I went to the actual ABC calculator and using the 52-48 split I couldn’t get to 50 seats either. They also give 3 seats to the greens on the ABC site which I would like to see how that was worked out.

  4. You get 50 if you take the Greens off. Personally I don’t think it’s likely they’ll win one, let alone three, but I guess we’ll just have to see on Monday (hopefully earlier).

  5. Antony GREEN

    [I’m fascinated to learn I’m predicting 50 seats for Labor. Thank god for the internet, otherwise I wouldn’t know what I think.]

    Don’t be too surprised. A lot of people don’t know what they think either without refering to one media or another.

  6. Julie doing a great job of campaigning in Victoria:

    Jenny Mikakos MP @JennyMikakos
    “Julie Bishop helping the Vic Libs by telling us the $7 GP tax remains Coalition policy #vicvotes #faine #auspol #thanksJulie “

  7. Faine can be a condescending bully at times and I nowadays very rarely listen to him when he acts like this. Still he is not like the eternally grumpy Neil Mitchell on AW.

  8. Steven grant Haby

    I generally find Faine to be equally condescending to both sides of politics, but today with Andrews, he went overboard

  9. I’m reminded that Faine wanted to bait Andrews into saying whether he is thankful for Abbott contributing to the Vic Coalition’s woes but he refused to play that game and attribute the success to his wife, while at the same time saying WTTE that the game is still at play and he’s not going to be complacent.

  10. Otherwise I’m generally fine with Faine. He goes on the attack on politicians from any side of politics (he’s spoken to Napthine and Barber before hand) and he does his homework in knowing the points of concern which might potentially be seen as weakness for each candidate. I.e. he does not just blindly attack with some irrelevent point.

  11. Thanks Antony for clearing that up for I was going to question a few of the predictions

    Brunswick: I don’t see the Greens winning, I think its even possible that Jane Garlett will receive a positive swing on the back of having worked the seat as an opposition MP for four years

    Bayswater: If the ALP were too win Ringwood and Forest Hill, then I would expect Bayswater to follow them as the Bayswater area demographically is slightly better for the ALP.

    Carrum: Most people think this will be close so too see it with a 6% margin is unlikely but then again most of the booths are similar so it is possible that it will see such a swing but that sort of margin would indicate we will be seeing a landslide.

    I differently think the ALP can get as many as 53 seats but that is on the bases that the Greens don’t win anything and all the marginals including the five previously held all go to the ALP, at best I can see the Liberals getting to about 46 but that would require the Liberals to hold everything plus picking up either Albert Park, Ivanhoe or Eltham and at this stage I think those three may just stage with the ALP with Albert Park being the closest

  12. badseed@44

    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.

    From Monday, I believe. I don’t understand why they can’t be counted on Saturday night. The VEC has them in its possession, so just count them either before or after the election-day votes.

    The VEC really needs to give greater consideration to people’s election night TV entertainment.

  13. 68

    The explanation is that, apparently, the VEC have voters put all the the pre-polls in each polling booth into the same ballot box, regardless of electorate, and these have to be sorted but that cannot be done on election night. Hopefully, after the long election count we are now facing, the VEC will be told to separate in electorate prepolls and out of electorate prepolls and then count the, far more numerous, in electorate prepolls on election night.

    The reasons that the in electorate prepolls should be counted on the night are that the election result should be known as quickly as possible and counting the votes ASAP reduces fraud opportunities.

  14. Why is Morgan so strage in it’s great variations within the course of a weeK ??
    Last Friday ALP was 55/ mid week it was 52/48 and now 50/50…and a great variation in Green vote too

    Last week it was 19.5 and now down to 13.0
    what gives with Morgan
    Have they had incorrect results and tried to correct them?
    what gives ?

  15. Thanks for the explanation, Tom.

    I still haven’t seen a ReachTEL poll after I was polled on Monday night. Maybe that was private polling.

  16. Tom the first and best @ 69

    apparently, the VEC have voters put all the the pre-polls in each polling booth into the same ballot box, regardless of electorate

    That was not the case at the Early Voting Centre I attended, which served two electorates. Separate upper and lower house ballot boxes for each electorate were provided.

  17. I spent some more time at the local Early Voting Centre today. At one stage, I counted 28 people handing out how-to-vote material. The ambos were there again, and they will be our in force on Saturday. There was also a CFA guy in uniform handing out Liberal material. Labor’s promise to set up a CFA board of some sort with union but no volunteer representation is a serious mistake that will not play well in a CFA area like this.

    I made a contribution to the Andrew Bolt Forum today (Tips for Friday, November 28,
    and when I went back to see if it had been published I found one of the two posts I was commenting on had been edited.

    This is the sequence:

    First version of first post:
    ‘So now that the pathetic Left are cheering the co payment is axed, i hope they do not come running here and on other blogs a few years down the track, if one of their relatives or they themselves fall ill from a life threatening, incurable disease, complaining that the Liberals had a chance find a cure, if they had started a medical research fund 
That medical research fund could have been funded, if it wasnt for whining little morons like them who did nothing but complain about the co payment 
Because if one of their relatives, them or any other one here in Australia falls ill from such a disease and all that lot did was whinge so much about the co payment, leaving Tony Abbott no option but to dump it, I hope they dont expect me to feel the slightest bit of pity, sympathy or compassion for what befalls that lot 
Infact it will be quite the opposite, i will be telling them to hurry up and do us all a favor and die
    ‘RightWingNuclearArmedDeathRabbit (Reply)
    Fri 28 Nov 14 (03:51am)’

    Second post:
    ‘Two days ago the so called comedian and lefty Ben Pobjie tweeted 
“Sean Abbott hits Phil Hughes in the head, continuing the tradition of Abbotts f@%king up Australia” 
Trust the left wing pond scum to sink to these depth of hate 
There is nothing they will do or say to try and abuse Tony Abbott 
Ofcourse Ben suddenly announced that he was the victim here , when he tweeted yesterday 
“If anyone is seeing this tweet after the tragic news, it is only because others are spreading it in order to attack me”
    ‘RightWingNuclearArmedDeathRabbit (Reply)
    Fri 28 Nov 14 (04:05am)’

    My post:


    ‘Given your wish in the post above that sick people who disagree with you “hurry up and do us all a favour and die”, how are you any different from the “left wing pond scum” that you condemn?’
    (Not published)

    Second version of first post:

    ‘So now that the pathetic Left are cheering the co payment is axed, i hope they do not come running here and on other blogs a few years down the track, if one of their relatives or they themselves fall ill from a life threatening, incurable disease, complaining that the Liberals had a chance find a cure, if they had started a medical research fund 
That medical research fund could have been funded, if it wasnt for whining little morons like them who did nothing but complain about the co payment 
Because if one of their relatives, them or any other one here in Australia falls ill from such a disease and all that lot did was whinge so much about the co payment, leaving Tony Abbott no option but to dump it, I hope they dont expect me to feel the slightest bit of pity, sympathy or compassion for what befalls that lot
    ‘RightWingNuclearArmedDeathRabbit (Reply)
    Fri 28 Nov 14 (03:51am)’

    My purpose in sharing this is to counter the oft-made complaint on the Andrew Bolt Forum about the sheer viciousness of ‘the Left”, for which there is indeed much evidence (it shows on this site too), by showing that those on ‘the Right’ can be just as nasty and vicious.

  18. Apparently Christian schools have sent letters to parents warning that Labor’s policy on anti-discrimination legislation will undermine the values of their institutions. What they object to is that Labor prefers that they have to justify that the discrimination is necessary for the position of employment in question. The letter they may have received may have implied that this will force them to employ people they don’t want to, given one man got rather aggressive with our local candidate and seemed to have a rather different understanding of the policy (“It will force the school to employ *whispers* gay people).

  19. I also read some of the letters re: the CFA and employing 350 more permanent staff. It seems they would rather all decisions are run through one individual, who I think is appointed by the Government anyway.

  20. [There was also a CFA guy in uniform handing out Liberal material]

    Might have been the Liberal candidate. Napthine told one to stop using his CFA get-up. Might have been Bellarine?

  21. [Premier Denis Napthine will ask Western Victoria Liberal MP Simon Ramsay to not wear a CFA jacket while distributing election material at voting centres, Tom Cowie reports. Mr Ramsay, a volunteer firefighter, was photographed outside a polling centre wearing a yellow CFA jacket. Paramedics are being questioned by Ambulance Victoria for handing out election material while dressed in uniform. “People should not be using government uniforms during election campaigns,” the Premier said on ABC Radio. “I’ll tell him to stop.”]

  22. Fair enough. I do suspect the CFA Board is exaggerating the negative effects and probably just don’t want more unionised members or a reduction in the influence of the Chief Officer or the Board of Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria. However, if Labor has announced this without consulting them and doing it at the request of the UFUV, then I agree it’s kind of a stupid approach, even if I can’t really see a problem with the policy itself.

  23. fredex

    Has this been noted?

    The Victorian Catholic Education Office has sent letters to parents at Catholic schools in Melbourne’s inner city, advising they should not vote for the Greens in Saturday’s election

    I worked at a Catholic school during the last elections as a contractor and they diseminated a memo to all the staff urging them WTTE they don’t want to tell us who to vote for but please stick to the major parties because only then will we get the proper funding we deserve.

  24. Chris Curtis

    [There was also a CFA guy in uniform handing out Liberal material.]

    Are they allowed to give up HTV cards in official uniform? I can’t remember but in one of the state elections (maybe not Vic), you can’t wear a uniform with a logo, but you could probably get away with a generic uniform, e.g. nurse, firey, etc.

  25. Article from 82.

    “The Greens do not distinguish between Catholic schools and other non-government schools.

    “This approach is likely to adversely affect many Catholic schools.”

    “Nevermind the other schools. What if they cut OUR funding?”

  26. “apparently, the VEC have voters put all the the pre-polls in each polling booth into the same ballot box, regardless of electorate”

    In the early voting centre I went to they had one box for each upper house region and one box per upper house region for all the lower house seats that region contained.

    So, a bit of sorting required for the lower house seats.

  27. I wouldn’t be too worried about those letters 😉 Since when has your average Catholic actually listened to those in the church hierarchy?

  28. William,

    How much do you think the large postal and early voting (now nearing 1,000,000 – if that’s to be believed) would affect the accuracy of BT? Do pollsters now ask if they’ve already voted?

  29. [Brendan Donohoe
    Latest Seven News ReachTEL poll tightens b4 tomorrow’s vote. Details #7NewsMelb
    3:51 PM – 28 Nov 2014]

    If in Melbourne, worth watching Seven News tonight at 6pm. The last ReachTEL was 53-47.

  30. If I were a right wing Catholic ALP candidate I would be worried about those letters from the Church.

    It creates a dilemma – who do I owe my allegiance – my Church, my Party or my constituents including the non- Catholics and non – Christians?

    To illustrate:
    a friend of my was a ALP candidate who was invited to join the ALP womens’ Emily’s List group.
    Her employer, a Catholic social welfare organisation, informed her that if she did join she would be ‘putting her future job at risk” [direct quote] because of Emily’s policies on abortion, divorce etc..
    She intended to return to that job, she was on leave during the campaign, after she lost the election, as she was standing in a very safe COALition seat and knew she would not win.

  31. Hayseed,

    A significant proportion of children in Catholic schools these days do not come from Catholic or even Christian families.

    They tend to come from cultures where a greater value is placed on the dollar than may have typified some Irish Catholics in the past. I recall that Pell once reminded these parents specifically of their vulnerability to measures that would reduce the schools’ resources.

    For these families, the Catholic schools represent among other things a cheaper option to get what they see as a private education. Even then, you might be surprised at what a suburban church school costs a working-class parent in fees and add-ons.

  32. O and Andrews has made a shocking gaffe, he didn’t know that Melbourne was once the second biggest city in the British empire.
    Source Sky News

    Has this been the most gaffe free election in recent years

    [Victorian election 2014: result likely to come down to the wire
    November 28, 2014 – 6:00PM
    Josh Gordon
    State political editor for The Age.

    Labor looks to be heading for a narrow win in a knife-edge state election likely to come down to a handful of seats.

    With hours of campaigning left, the latest Fairfax Ipsos poll suggests Labor’s early campaign lead has been dramatically eroded after a relentless Coalition negative advertising assault and spending splurge targeting key marginals.

    But Coalition strategists fear the large surge will not be enough, with more than one million early votes already cast.

    Labor is now leading 52 to 48 per cent in two party preferred terms based on stated preference flows. That represents a significant tightening from the last poll, which had Labor leading 56 to 44 per cent.

    Using preference flows from the 2010 election, which were unusually strong for the Coalition at the time, both sides are now neck-and-neck on 50 per cent in two-party-preferred terms.

    A hung parliament is not out of the question, although a narrow Labor win by one to eight seats is seen as a more likely scenario. This would consign the Coalition to history as the first single-term government in Victoria since 1955.

    The poll of 1236 voters taken over the past three days shows Labor’s primary vote has dropped four percentage points to 35 per cent, with the Coalition on 42 per cent (up three points) and the Greens on 15 per cent (down one point).]

  34. So the polls seem to be confirming what many who haev tried to pick seats have been noticing, that being its difficult to see a landslide without going a fair way up the pendulum.

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