Another electorate polling round-up

A brace of union-commissioned marginal seat polls provide much better news for Labor, while insider accounts of the state of play feature reams of seats that could go either way.

The New South Wales Teachers Federation has produced the most intriguing set of marginal seat poll numbers of the campaign so far, showing Labor headed for victory in six crucial seats in New South Wales. The polls were conducted on Monday by ReachTEL, and target the same electorates as an earlier round of polling for the union on April 19. Five of the six results record movement to Labor since the earlier poll:

Dobell (Labor 0.2%): A poll of 616 respondents credits Labor’s Emma McBride with a lead of 53-47, up from 51-49 in April. The forced preference primary vote results are Labor 39.6%, Liberal 36.6%, Greens 7.8% and others 16.0%. On previous election preferences, Labor’s lead would be still greater, at 54.7-45.3. Karen McNamara won the Central Coast seat for the Liberals in 2013 by 0.7%, but the redistribution has left it with a notional Labor margin of 0.2%. Polls earlier in the campaign showed very little in it: a ReachTEL poll for the Fairfax papers on June 9 had it at 51-49 to Labor, and a Galaxy poll for the News Corp tabloids on May 11 had it at 50-50.

Lindsay (Liberal 3.0%): Four earlier polls, including two from ReachTEL and two from Newspoll/Galaxy, showed the Liberals leading in the outer western Sydney seat, but the NSWTF’s poll of 610 respondents has Labor’s Emma Husar with a 54-46 lead over Liberal member Fiona Scott. Primary votes are Labor 39.9%, Liberal 34.5%, Greens 3.9% and others 21.6%. On previous election preferences, Husar’s lead is 54.6-45.6. Scott led 53-47 in a Newspoll on June 14, 51-48 in a ReachTEL poll for the Australian Education Union on June 13, 54-46 in a ReachTEL for Fairfax on June 9, and 54-46 in a Galaxy poll for the News Corp tabloids on 54-46.

Macquarie (Liberal 3.3%): The poll of 636 respondents has Labor candidate Susan Templeman with a 54-46 lead over Liberal member Louise Markus in the western Sydney hinterland electorate, from primary votes of Labor 38.9%, Liberal 38.9% and Greens 12.1%. On previous election preferences, Templeman’s two-party lead is 55.0-45.0.

Eden-Monaro (Liberal 2.9%): In a poll of 636 respondents in the famous bellwether electorate in the state’s south-eastern corner, Labor’s Mike Kelly has a commanding lead of 55-45, or 54.0-46.0 on previous election preferences. Primary votes are Liberal 40.4%, Labor 37.5%, Greens 14.8% and others 7.3%. A similar poll for the Australian Education Union on June 18 produced much the same result.

Gilmore (Liberal 3.8%): A poll of 632 respondents in the southern New South Wales seat, which was last held by Labor in 1996, has Labor’s Fiona Phillips leading Liberal member Ann Sudmalis by 53-47. Primary votes are Liberal 39.3%, Labor 37.0% and Greens 12.5%. The result on previous election preferences is much the same (52.7-47.3). A poll by Galaxy for the News Corp tabloids on May 11 had the Liberals ahead 51-49.

Page (Nationals 3.1%): A poll of 647 respondents has Labor’s Janelle Saffin leading 54-46 in the seat she lost to Nationals member Kevin Hogan in 2013, from primary votes of Nationals 39.1%, Labor 36.6% and Greens 15.4%. On previous election preferences, the two-party difference is 53.3-46.7. A ReachTEL poll for the Australian Education Union on June 13 had Saffin leading 52-48.


James Massola of Fairfax offers an account of the state of play based on discussion with “more than a dozen Labor strategists, officials, MPs and campaign workers across every state of Australia on Wednesday – as well as Liberal and National party strategists”. This suggests Labor has 66 seats pencilled in, with a good deal many more not being written off, and a hung parliament being well within the range of possibilities.

The West Australian reports Labor polling “has picked up substantial swings against the coalition in Burt, Cowan, Swan and in the safe Liberal seat of Pearce, held by Cabinet minister Christian Porter”. Laurie Oakes related on the weekend that Labor had detected a 9% swing in Pearce, where Porter’s margin is 9.3%, and I gave the pot a further stir in a paywalled WA situation report in Crikey yesterday.

• According to Sharri Markson of The Australian, polling for the Nationals confirms the findings of a ReachTEL poll for GetUp! on June 13 in showing independent Rob Oakeshott on over 20% of the primary vote, leaving him “neck and neck” with Nationals member Luke Hartsuyker after preferences.

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.

2,229 comments on “Another electorate polling round-up”

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  1. Possum Comitatus ‏@Pollytics 3h3 hours ago

    Never understood why a part of progressive politics sees the EU as yardstick. The way they treated Greece, for eg, was flat out anti-human

    Possum has some good tweets

  2. That’s another very disappointing poll for Labor and pretty much destroys any hope that all those BIG swings in NSW are actually happening IMO. Bloody ReachTel.

  3. As was the case in 2013 the individual seat polling is not being matched by national polling. Still looking like minority government.

  4. My smokey for Calare. Been Independent in the past, and Cobb not standing opens things up

    “CALARE MP John Cobb will have a new face to contend with at the 2016 federal election: 2MCE personality and Charles Sturt University Bathurst lecturer Rod Bloomfield.

    Mr Bloomfield was yesterday confirmed as the Calare candidate for the new Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) when the South Australia-based party announced its first line-up of NSW representatives.

    Mr Bloomfield, whose smooth voice and radio experience is legendary at Bathurst’s community station, decided to enter politics after growing tired of the direction Calare was being taken under Mr Cobb.

    “There is a whole stack of reasons but, fundamentally, as a Calare resident my whole life, I got tired of all the people in power,” said Mr Bloomfield, who was born and raised in Molong. “

  5. Lord Stuart Rose, ex-M & S boss, the man Camreon appointed to lead the campaign to keep Britain in the EU said he had little sympathy with people who complained that jobs were being taken by workers from Bulgaria and Romania who were prepared to work for less money.

    “I’m a free-market economist; we operate in a free market,” he told Sky News. “If these people want to come here, and work the hours they are prepared to work for the wages they are prepared to work for, then so be it.”

    Yesterday, the British workers obviously took a different view.

  6. Possum seems to be rather anti-EU, which is fine – but I take exception to his retweeting of Phineas Fahrquar’s tweet, which implied that the EU forced British austerity measures.
    No, the EU did not force UK austerity – Cameron and his bunch of lunatic procyclical Tory “economists” did.

  7. Many people who consider themselves progressive on cultural and identity issues have retrograde views, or no coherent views at all, on economic questions. The UK has long been and will long continue to be a multicultural country. It isn’t necessary to be a member of a badly designed supra-national organization to demonstrate one’s cosmopolitan credentials. The only way to pressure national and EU elites to abandon economic vandalism is to withdraw consent and cooperation from their rule. The people of the UK did the right thing. In time most progressives will come to see that.

  8. implied that the EU forced British austerity measures.

    National governments are chiefly responsible for austerity economics, but the bureaucrats who run the European Commission and the European Central Bank are a big part of the group think that hinders fiscal policy in Europe. The EU suffers from a severe deficit of democracy. The European Parliament is very weak compared with the EC and the ECB. The EU’s economic philosophy is austerity / neoliberalism / monetarism all the way down the line. It’s important for people to reject this failed economic theory and pursue a different path. The UK’s decision to withdraw gives succour to others peoples in Europe, and puts massive pressure on elites to either change their policies or lose legitimacy and power.

  9. Evening all. Everyone else is spinning the UK Brexit decision for all it is worth so I will have a go.

    Regarding the decision to leave, I think it is understandable why so many Brits have decided to go. They are not all racists (though some are). There were other good reasons to go. The EU has become a costly, aloof and out of touch bureaucracy. Those countries that pay high EU taxes but get few farm subsidies are worse off. UK, Holland, Sweden and Finland are all in that category. Germany would be too but its bankers get bailed out by the ECB when they make stupid loans to bankrupt states. The EU is good for all bankers, but not necessarily for the other 95% of citizens. The EU was founded on wonderful principles, and should be good. But if after 15 years whole countries are worse off, then the reality is badly flawed.

  10. As for Australia, Brexit can be a two sided coin. It will not cause huge turmoil here, unless we allow ourselves to be talked into a panic. The UK is less than 3% of global GDP. Politically, it is a vote for change, against the ruling conservative government. It is also a vote against an economic scare campaign by a government hostage to its countries bankers, against the interests of its people. Let us hope Australian people take a leaf out of the British book and also vote for change. Nobody wants to be ruled by aloof bankers.

  11. I asked a little while ago about polling on Senate voting intentions. I was just now robopolled by Reachtel and it included a question about Senate voting. Spooky!

  12. Lord Malcolm of Wentworth to appear with Lethal Leigh to orate on Brexit and inspire us with his stentorian gravitas as to why we should stick to our own tories.
    Curious to see Lethal’s handling of this interview given her attempted monstering of Shorten last night.

  13. I have a black mark against Keating, although it wasn’t something he did on his own, nor do I believe it was intended. During the 80’s Keating, Hawke and Kelty with the combination of the Accord, the move to enterprise bargaining and the rationalisation of unions led to the ACTU being effectively neutered by the 90s. The ACTU used to be a major player in the political arena and now it is just a bit player with hardly any influence. The rot really set in during the time Keating was PM. Keating didn’t really have a union background and I think he thought he was beyond having to involve himself with unionists.

    The only major thing the ACTU has done in at least the last 20 years is to organise the Your Rights at Work campaign in 2007. I was part of the campaign group in Stirling. I did that as a Green because it was run by the ACTU, not the ALP. The fact I was a Green wasn’t an issue for the other members of the group and there was no animosity. We all worked together as a team. I had worked in industrial relations for many years and appreciated the need to stand up against WorkChoices and to protect the role of unions.

    I was disgusted and I believe so were many others that the efforts co-ordinated by the ACTU were not properly acknowledged by Rudd and Gillard. The revised legislation they introduced was in many ways just WorkChoices lite.

    Rudd and Gillard did nothing to bring the ACTU back into having a significant role in supporting the Labor govt. They were too afraid of being tainted by association with “the big bad union” image. Rudd was never a union person and Gillard only worked for the AWU as a lawyer
    I hope that when Shorten is PM he will have the courage to welcome the ACTU back into the Labor tent.

    I was a Labor supporter/voter for 40 years but am now firmly in the Green camp. I don’t hate Labor and I hope that Labor wins the election. If I say I am a New Internationalist subscriber you might get an idea where my political views stand and the current Labor party clings too much to the centre for my liking.

    It should be a matter of concern to Labor that 2 out of 3 voters are not buying what Labor is offering as their first choice. So what are they going to do about it?

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