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”

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  1. Fredex re exit polls
    My understanding is that they are purely random…many voters refuse to give their voting actions anyway… so you take what is available

  2. I was handing out HTV at Parkdale Secondary in Mordialloc electorate. I’d say this is one of the larger booths in the electorate. Mood of each tribe was: ALP – quite chipper, confident, cocky when Lorraine Wreford was there handing out cards. Greens – hopeful. Liberal – subdued, looking and sounding defeated. This was particularlty so of the voters who *only* took a Liberal HTV – they were by far the angriest and most aggressive.


  3. The fact a given polling booth is”quiet” at a time of day also means nothing at all

    My experience is that the last hour is always busy with late voters who forgot earlier…so that tells us nothing either

  4. Most polling day specultion here and at the booths is just that….idle chatter to fill in time
    You might as well read the leaders Horoscopes in the Sun

  5. Just a quick drive by.

    The Libs did not turn up at my booth until 9.30. Even the local Libs weren’t impressed.

    Have heard an ambulance backed in to Steve Briffa’s nicely painted and decked out car at a booth in Eltham.

    Have heard the Yallambie booth did not open for business till after 9 am. Not sure of why.

    We’ll win my booth easily. (But we always do). I’m in Bundoora.

    I”m hoping the swing is consistent and not lumpy. But Bundoora seems safe for the good guys.

    Off to do the final stint and scrutineer.

    Cheers All.

  6. DRDR

    That’s the Lib voter for you. Don’t you know they are the natural Party of government? Anything else and they feel unfairly robbed. 😉
    (I think this has increased since the Oakeshott-Windsor election. They can’t admit that Abbott isn’t up to it.).

  7. deblonay

    I’m right into idle chatter today. It’s too hot to stay in the garden for too long, and I’m impatient for the day to end.

    Saw Napthine on 24 a couple of hours ago, very strong and emphatic that Victoria must not vote in the CFMEU-rules Labor. Can’t trust Labor – all that stuff. And the online Age is full of Lib adverts in red and black, foretelling doooom.

  8. deblonay – on cue

    Napthine –

    Your December Monthly Forecast: We all love a good drama series on TV. We get right into it. We identify with the characters and imagine that their problems are our problems – even to the point where we can’t quite relax until we know what is happening to them next. We are never quite so pleased to be starring in a soap opera of our own. Someone you are close to, though, is going through a difficult experience. You don’t have to help but you want to. That involves getting caught up in a drama. But it is one that will yet have a very fine outcome this December.

    Andrews –

    Your December Monthly Forecast: If you want your life to be full of fortuitous coincidence, see yourself as an angler dangling a baited hook in the stream of serendipity. In this river every catch is a prize catch. Even an old boot is a treasure to be gratefully reeled in. It will turn out to belong to someone who needs it back badly. Or it will prove to be a magic boot. Or somehow, it will turn out to have diamonds hidden in the soles. How do you distinguish the stream of serendipity from the ordinary river of life this month? Just project into it your most positive expectation!

    Amazing how two twelths of the world’s people will have one of the above experiences!

  9. If the voters are aggressive at a booth then I would image that they are not going to vote for the government or maybe they are but first want to let off a bit of steam about something the government that they don’t like.

    They might be Liberal voters who are upset with the federal government and this was their opportunity too let it be known.

    I’ve only ever been aggressive at a booth once but I had a personal issue with the local MP for his lack of action on an issue which I considered he should have done better on.

  10. Herald-Sun 2:58 pm

    Exit polls of early votes cast in the lead up to today’s state election are believed to have delivered a 52.5 per cent share of the two-party preferred vote to Labor.

    Seems to imply new data

  11. William

    Although I remain extremely irritated by perpetual bullying and bias on PB (and therefore will rarely post) I would like to thank you for you excellent information on the Victorian polls. It is better that the famous A Green.

    Thankyou and very well done.

  12. MTBW,

    [ Hi Scorps where have you been? ]

    Over the road mostly. Have an odd comment but mostly just lurk and follow other peoples comments.

    I get into far less trouble that way! 😉

  13. scorpio@141

    Kevin Bonham,

    The manner in which the Greens have decided their preference allocation leads me to think that they have decided on a strategy which gives them the best chance of a “holding the balance of power” position in the coming Parliament.

    If they wind up with a similar position in the Upper House, then they could potentially make it difficult to impossible to govern effectively for both Liberal & Labor which ever of the two gets over the line ahead of the other.

    Could turn out to be a much more interesting election than was first imagined with those 52/48 polls.

    And a very good day to everyone who remembers me on this blog!

    That is probably part of it. The other part is strategic payback to Labor for not dealing with them on Upper House votes. Labor can’t be too surprised since they already decided to take a what-may-come approach to how the Greens directed their preferences, given that it makes so little difference anyway.

    On the exit poll:

    “Exit polls of early votes cast in the lead up to today’s state election are believed to have delivered a 52.5 per cent share of the two-party preferred vote to Labor.”

    No data source for this is stated – party? pollster? TV? who knows. This appears in The Australian.

  14. At the Mickleham booth in Yuroke they had no ballot papers when voting opened. Someone had delivered ballot papers for the wrong electorate by mistake – resulting in 45 minute delays when the correct ballot papers finally arrived, Doing Green HTVs in Greenvale – there is an Australian Christians candidate in the seat whose HTV person was loudly declaring her hope for immediate abolition of all foreign aid [i’m not sure she realised it was a State election]. The ALP guy on the booth just looked at her incredulously – ahem, did you say you were representing Australian Christians??? She then started up about the ALP and Greens killing babies via their abortion policies….Otherwise a pretty uneventful stint at the booth with lost of local ALP luminaries out in force.

  15. There are photos of Liberal open-ticket HTVs from the seat of Melbourne going around on Twitter.

    So much for that Green-Liberal deal being a furphy.

  16. Hmmmm. Inside information or what. Not sure which Liberal Branch she belongs to? 😉

    Samantha Maiden

    Victorian Libs say watch Prahran for an upset. Libs could lose. Hard to poll. Traditionally strong centre-left vote…

  17. Rebecca@166

    There are photos of Liberal open-ticket HTVs from the seat of Melbourne going around on Twitter.

    So much for that Green-Liberal deal being a furphy.

    There is a pic tweeted by SpringStSauce of the Liberal preregistered open card but I have not yet seen a photo of a physical copy handed out at a booth (and early in the day I saw a photo of one with full prefs.)

    If anyone sees a photo of the actual physical card (held in someone’s hand, obviously folded, sitting on a table etc) let me know.

    Of course they could do a sneaky switch very late in the day!

  18. Kevin Bonham,

    [ On the exit poll:

    “Exit polls of early votes cast in the lead up to today’s state election are believed to have delivered a 52.5 per cent share of the two-party preferred vote to Labor.”

    No data source for this is stated – party? pollster? TV? who knows. This appears in The Australian. ]

    This was mentioned earlier in the Herald Live coverage. Appears it was commissioned by the CFMEU??? (not sure) but was a Union sponsored exit poll of about 800 I think.

  19. You DO know the Tories want the ALP and GRNs to be at each other, right?

    Its in their interests.

    Meanwhile, Ive ben saying for 6 months that Napthine is toast. Not too long to go to see if I was right, or if Ive got egg all over my face.

    Franky: highly confident about the former.

  20. I gave some sunscreen to David Hodgett, the Lib candidate but apparently didn’t use enough on myself and some guy accosted me about East-West Link, but that’s about as exciting as it got. Met a nice Kelpie, though.

  21. GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 2m2 minutes ago
    #Galaxy Exit Poll 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 49 ALP 51 #vicvotes #auspol

    GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 52s52 seconds ago
    #Galaxy Exit Poll Primary Votes: L/NP 43 ALP 38 GRN 12 #vicvotes #auspol

  22. Full preferences in Melbourne is surprising to no one, since they don’t want Green voters assuming they have OPV and voting informally in a seat they’re trying to win…

  23. If they are doing an open ticket, I wouldn’t say it outright confirms a Green-Liberal deal. After all the Coalition would much rather deal with a minority Labor government relying on the Greens than a majority Labor government.

  24. I am going to post this prediction (not very exciting) for the upper house

    Liberal/NP -16
    Labor 17
    Green 3
    Other (DLP/FF/Shooters) -4

    Whoever wins they need to be nice to the minors

  25. 186

    No real inside knowledge, but in the outer eastern seats expect some interesting results. Seats like Ringwood, Forest Hill, Bayswater could all change hands. The libs until a few days ago didn’t put any time into those seats, they only concentrated on the Frankston line seats and their ill-fated regional campaign.

    If any of those eastern seats with 6-10% margins go, which I suspect they could than the Libs are gone.

  26. Rocket Rocket,

    [ Coalition out to $7-00 on Sportsbet, Labor in to $1-08

    Someone with some inside knowledge? ]

    Blimey! Less than an hour ago t6he on-line bookies were offering $6.80 and $1.10.

    What’s the chances of it tightening even further once the 6.00pm exit polls come in?

  27. If the exit poll results indicate an ALP win than I would be very confident it will be comfortable for Labor.

    Early in the piece when Pre-Poll opened the polls were stronger in favour to Labor.

  28. lizzie@193

    Surely the high proportion of pre-poll will distort the exit poll results? We can’t count our chickens.

    Not if they do them properly, and probably not that much if they don’t.

  29. i wonder how it works with the pre-polls though

    if people vote earlier, at a time when polls are showing a better result for the ALP say, does it necessarily mean that batch of votes will be better for the ALP on election day?

    Maybe it’s more that the polls reflect what people think when they actually start focussing on the decision before them- so maybe the “narrowing” also happens, invisibly, in pre-polling…

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