Tomorrow’s West Australian has a ReachTEL poll showing the two parties at level pegging on two-party preferred, after the pollster’s two previous results both had Labor leading 52-48. All we have to go on at this stage is the front page image, which says Labor and Liberal are up slightly on the primary vote, but the bigger mover is the Nationals, who are up 2.4%. The implication seems to be that some air has gone out from One Nation, who were on 10.8% in the previous poll. More to follow.
UPDATE: After exclusion of the 5.5% undecided, the primary votes are Liberal 35.4% (down 0.6%), Nationals 8.4% (up 2.3%), Labor 35.0% (up 0.1%), Greens 6.0% (down 0.6%), One Nation 11.7% (down 0.1%), others 3.4% (down 1.1%). So I was wrong about One Nation being down – what actually happened is that undecided fell from 8.5% to 5.5%, and The West Australian’s report was citing raw numbers. Based on these figures, the two-party result of 50-50, which is based on respondent-allocated preferences, seems generous to Labor – giving the Liberals 75% of Nationals, 60% of One Nation, 20% of Greens and 50% of others preferences, they have a lead of 51.7-48.3 (51.2-48.8 in the previous poll). A lot depends here on the One Nation preference flow – reducing it to 50% cuts the lead to 50.5-49.5. A related complication here is that One Nation is only running in 35 out of 59 seats, but the option was available to all respondents. Another peculiarity to be noted is the low Greens vote, which has been on a downward descent in ReachTEL’s polling over the past year – something that hasn’t been reflected in Newspoll, which has had the party on 9% in its last two polls.
Other findings: Mark McGowan’s lead as preferred premier is 53.1-46.9, down from 55.7-44.3 last time, and the lowest it’s been in the five ReachTEL poll conducted for The West Australian over the past year. The Liberal-One Nation preference deal has 30.8% approval and 54.2% disapproval, and 43.2% say it has made them less likely to vote Liberal, versus 22.5% for more likely. One Nation respondents were asked what made them tick: 27.1% said they disliked the major parties, 2.6% that they liked the candidates, 23.4% that they liked the party’s “overall vision for WA”, 29.2% that they liked “anti-Muslim policies”, 7.3% that they liked anti-privatisation policies, and 10.4% for “other reason”. The poll was conducted Wednesday night from a sample of 1652.