Newspoll, Fairfax-Ipsos and ReachTEL: 52-48 to Labor in Victoria

After all the late-campaign talk of a Labor blowout, the final polls of the campaign all have their two-party lead within the margin of error.

Final polls:

• Newspoll, which had Labor leading 54-46 at the start of the campaign, ends it with 52-48. The primary votes are 40% for the Coalition (up one), 39% for Labor (down two) and 12% for the Greens (down one). Denis Napthine’s personal ratings are 41% approval (down five from an unusually strong result last time), 45% disapproval (up four), Daniel Andrews’ are 38% approval (up two) and 43% disapproval (down two), and Napthine’s lead as preferred premier has narrowed from 47-34 to 41-37. The poll was conducted from Monday to Thursday from a sample of 1584. According to the Herald-Sun, the poll “showed the Coalition Government has gained ground in just the past few days”. Hopefully we’ll learn more soon about what that means exactly. HT: James J.

• The final Fairfax-Ipsos poll has Labor on 35% (compared with 37% at the start of the campaign and 39% half way through), the Coalition on 42% (39% in both the previous polls) and the Greens on 15% (progressing downwards from 17%, one point at a time). It’s respondent-allocated two-party preferred was at 56-44 in the first two polls and 52-48 in the third, while its previous-election two-party preferred results were respectively at 53-47 and 50-50. Denis Napthine’s personal ratings have been generally stable, and in the latest poll he sits at 49% approval and 40% disapproval. Daniel Andrews’ approval haas tracked up from 37% to 40% to 42%, but his disapproval dropped from 42% to 37% from the first poll to the second before bouncing back up to 43% in the third. Napthine’s two-party lead has gone from 45-36 to 42-39 to 44-42. The poll was conducted from Tuesday to Thursday from a sample of 1236.

• ReachTEL for the Seven Network came in at 53-47 just before the campaign again, and has ended it on 52-48. The primary votes are 38.3% for Labor (up 0.8%), 39.7% for the Coalition (up 1.1%) and 13.5% for the Greens (up 0.2%), the balance coming off “others”. Palmer United was included as a response option in the earlier poll, but not this time. Personal ratings for both party leaders have improved from the first poll to the second. On the question of party expected to win, 62.3% say Labor and 37.7% say Coalition, “don’t know” having not been an option. The sample in the latest poll was 2155 – a big one for a ReachTEL state poll – and it was conducted entirely on Thursday night.

All of which has been entered into the poll tracker featured on the sidebar for one last update, which projects Labor to win a modest majority with 48 seats out of 40 – assuming no seats are lost to the Greens. If Labor were to drop, say, Melbourne and Richmond, that majority would start to look very bare indeed. And of course, the late momentum to the Coalition could well be an ongoing process, causing them to perform better than the present reading indicates (though I would equally suggest they are likely to do less well on preferences than the model assumes, based it is on flows from the 2010 election). So one way or another, it’s going to be an interesting night.

To give you a closer look at the recent convulsions shown in the poll tracker graphs, this shows how things look if we only go back as far as the start of August:

Looking closer:

Bellarine (notional Liberal 2.5%): Over the last days of the campaign, the Herald-Sun has related that strategists on both sides believe Labor to have this one in the bag.

Bentleigh (Liberal 0.9%): Today, the Herald-Sun relates that the Liberals consider themselves the “favourites”, whereas the talk earlier in the week was of a tight race or, as John Ferguson of The Australian had it, that Labor held the lead in the sandbelt.

Buninyong (Labor 1.6%): No one’s even talking about this one anymore. Labor to hold.

Burwood (Liberal 6.3%): Earlier in the week, the Herald-Sun reported that Labor polling conducted earlier in the campaign showed them leading 52-48. As if to emphasise the point, Denis Napthine joined Graham Watt on the last Monday of the campaign to promise a $350,000 expansion of the car park at the Burwood train station. This fed into reporting that the wheels were falling off for the Liberals, but the late polls have surely provided a corrective to such talk.

Carrum (Liberal 0.3%): In the final days of the campaign, the Herald-Sun twice related that whatever else might be going wrong for them elsewhere, Liberal strategists remain “confident” about Carrum. Today, the paper tells us the Liberals consider themselves the favourites.

Cranbourne (Labor 1.1%): This one had dropped off the radar after early optimistic Liberal talk, and James Campbell of the Herald-Sun reported earlier this week that Labor strategists believed they had the seat in the bag. However, today we learn from the Herald-Sun that the Liberals rate themselves a “strong chance”.

Eltham (Labor 0.8%): Today’s Herald-Sun reports that the Liberals believe themselves a “strong chance” here, and I have also heard concerned talk from the Labor camp. Labor may yet rue its move of having its member Steve Herbert move to an upper house seat in Northern Victoria, apparently as part of a move to set up a parliamentary seat for Emma Walters without exposing her troublesome CFMEU connections to the glare of an election campaign.

Forest Hill (Liberal 3.5%): Labor was starting to get its hopes up here earlier this week, but this should be among the seats which are being firewalled by the late move to the Liberals recorded by the polls.

Frankston (Liberal 0.4%): The Herald-Sun reports that the Liberals have this in the “strong chance” category.

Ivanhoe (Labor 1.8%): According to today’s Herald-Sun, the Liberals consider themselves a “strong chance” here, largely thanks to former Labor member Craig Langdon running as an independent and directing his preferences to them.

Monbulk (notional Liberal 1.1%): Despite being made notionally Liberal by the redistribution, deputy Labor leader James Merlino’s seat hasn’t been much discussed, and the Herald-Sun has lately reported from both sides of the fence that Labor has it in the bag.

Mordialloc (Liberal 1.5%): The tenor of reporting through the campaign has been that the Liberals are particularly pessimistic about Mordialloc, while maintaining hopes for nearby Bentleigh and Carrum. In the past few days, the Herald-Sun has reported that Labor is “upbeat” and the Liberals have “all but given up”.

Prahran (Liberal 4.7%): In the final days of the campaign, James Campbell of the Herald-Sun related that the Liberals were beginning to regard the seat as “a worry”, and I early so heard bullish talk from the Labor side of the fence. However, the Liberals may be preserved by the late swing.

Ringwood (Liberal 6.3%): Another seat that Labor was beginning to get vaguely optimistic about, but the evidence of the most recent polling has presumably put an end to that.

Ripon (notional Liberal 1.6%): The Liberals reportedly consider themselves the “favourite” here, as they would need to be. I’ve never heard any suggestion to the contrary at any point of the campaign.

Wendouree (notional Liberal 0.1%): The Herald-Sun has reported from both sides of the fence that Labor is all but home here.

Yan Yean (notional Liberal 0.1%): Ditto the above.

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.

203 comments on “Newspoll, Fairfax-Ipsos and ReachTEL: 52-48 to Labor in Victoria”

Comments Page 1 of 5
1 2 5
  1. Just got robo-called by Dr Napthaline. Funny, I didn’t wait to hear what he said. A bit more of the $10 million developer-funded war chest being spent.

  2. [Spring St Sauce
    7News/ReachTEL poll, just released, says Labor 52% to Coalition’s 48%. #VicVotes
    6:13 PM – 28 Nov 2014

    #ReachTEL VIC Think Will Win: Labor 62%, LNP 38% #vicvotes
    6:16 PM – 28 Nov 2014]

  3. mexicanbeemer – I get about 52.5%, using ALP primary + 80% of Greens prefs + 40% of Others. I suspect the rounding has just fallen under the 52.5 mark. Note this comment from ReachTEL
    We’ve just published our latest @7NewsMelbourne Victorian state poll: … #springst
    6:26 PM – 28 Nov 2014

    @7NewsMelbourne The results are largely consistent with our poll from a month ago.
    6:27 PM – 28 Nov 2014]

  4. Neil Mitchell from 3AW has just been having a chat with local Liberal mouth-piece Paul Murray on 6PR and he (that is Mitchell) has a “gut reaction” that the Liberals will “just sneak back”.

    Looking 52-48 in the eye he declared that this represents an increase in Labor votes in Labor held seats, but then contradicted himself by saying Labor had been “clever” in concentrating its efforts in the Sandbelt seats where doing away with level crossings was seen as more important than the E-W link.

    In any event, he prognosticated that with so many pre-polls the “result will not be known tomorrow night”.

    So there you have it. A Liberal mouth piece in the East chatting with a Liberal mouth piece in the West.

    He did concede that “Abbott was not popular in Victoria” and both had a derisive laugh about Labor latching on to Abbott’s unpopularity for the Vic State poll.

    It did not seem to bother Murray (I can’t speak for Mitchell) in that he was quite happy to link the unpopularity of Rudd/Gillard Federally in WA at the last election. Now, however, he and Mitchell agreed that the Victorian electors can easily see the difference between State and Federal issues and Labor attacking Abbott had nothing to do with State issues.

    Amazing how these guys fashion the message to suit their predispositions.

  5. Leroy Lynch

    Which is most likely to be correct as I tend to just split the preferences 60-40 which does ignore who or where the preferences are coming from but I do find that it gives a loose idea of the TPP

  6. With a couple of polls now making it 50-50 and the momentum going Napthine’s way, maybe Morgan has nailed it again (as it did with Kennett’s demise).

  7. The bookies aren’t exactly being knocked off their stands by people wanting to back the Libs. There’s still plenty of $5.00 available.

  8. Preference flows to the Coalition were “unusually strong” in 2010. That was because the ALP government was in decline. That’s not the case this time.

  9. Has there been any analysis done on the mix of “Others” in the running for this election compared to the last, and what this might mean for preference flows? The Sex Party for example has had a fairly high profile campaign this time around and I don’t remember that being the case in 2010.

  10. Thanks William – my voting children are actually very interested in this and have been asking me which groups are

    (a) likely to win seats
    (b) possible to win seats
    (c) dangerous if they win seats!

    (a) is easiest to answer – (b) and (c) a bit subjective in our household!

  11. Never let ‘who is likely to win’ affect your vote. Let it inform your preferences, but the only way to push your party of choice into a winnable position is by putting your support behind them, and that starts with your vote.

    Just bothers me when people try to game the system – it distorts democracy.?

  12. Thanks fellas
    I’ll run with [rounded]:
    Greens -> ALP at 79%
    Others -> ALP at 42%
    and plugging them into ReachTEL I get : ALP 2PP right on the border of 52/53
    Plugging them into F-I I get: ALP 50 and a little bit.

  13. Darn@4

    I’m no psephologist but I reckon those primaries should pan out at more like 51-49 to Labor. What say you William?

    I’m not William but I say 50.3.

  14. Leroy Lynch@25

    Anyone got any idea of the seat betting odds going around for various marginals?

    As of about 1 am today Labor were favourites in all the sandbelt and all their own seats bar Ripon which the markets think is way gone, for 48 wins total. Looks like that is still the case. Nothing right on the wire either.

  15. So, it would appear the door is open for the LNP to sneak back in if everything goes there way.

    In the upper house – do they have a shot of getting a majority? Or is that genuinely beyond them.

    My guess is a modest ALP majority in the lower house and the greens with the BOP in the upper.

  16. 44.29% of Denis Napthin’s electorate have already voted, highest turnout for any electorate.

    Not sure what to draw from that, but i dont see it as bad news for the ALP.

    Im probably demonstrating my bias for being involved, but when i was on the pre-polling, it felt like we where not far behind with those voters who hinted at who they will vote for.

    Hope we can turn some heads tomorrow night, one quote i will leave you with, “It feels like 2002”

    (Back to reality on Sunday, till then i hope …)

  17. Libs down to $4-75 (and $5) – they were $4-75 the night before the 2010 election.

    Of course maybe someone is pumping in money to make them look better. I think Nate Silver came to such a conclusion regarding the “Intrade” betting market on the 2012 Presidential Election – that one rich Republican backer had spent millions of dollars propping up Romney’s odds when things dipped for him.

  18. [I’ll run with [rounded]:
    Greens -> ALP at 79%
    Others -> ALP at 42%]

    In the 2013 Federal election Vic Greens preferences were up there with ACT and Tas at about 85%. 80/20 from Greens is conservative.

    60/40 from Sex and 40/60 from others seems a pretty robust estimation. PUP were more 50-50 at the federal election but you certainly wouldn’t want to rely on PUP consistency.

  19. When the GG turns on you….

    [@vanOnselenP: In a sure sign of how bad the week was for the federal government, every piece on tomorrow’s Weekend Australian commentary page is critical.]

Comments Page 1 of 5
1 2 5

Leave a Reply

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