Newspoll and ReachTEL: 54-46 to Labor in Western Australia

One day out, Labor maintains its election-winning lead in Western Australia, according to the final Newspoll.

Final polls:

• Courtesy of The Australian, Newspoll’s final poll has Labor maintaining the 54-46 lead it recorded at the start of the campaign, with results all but identical to those recorded a week ago in the Galaxy Research poll for the Sunday Times, which is conducted by the same organisation. The latest poll has Labor on 41%, compared with 40% from Galaxy; the Liberals on 32%, compared with 31%; the Nationals steady on 5%; One Nation on 8%, compared with 13% in the previous Newspoll, and 9% from Galaxy; and the Greens on 7%, compared with 8%. However, respondents appear to be marking Mark McGowan more harshly now, as he is down one on approval to 45% and up six on disapproval to what I believe to be a new high of 40%. Conversely, Barnett has been on an upward trend from a low base, his approval rating progressing from 28% in November to 32% in late January to 34% now, while disapproval was 61% in November and has been 57% in the last two polls. He has also narrowed the gap on preferred premier, from 47-29 to 44-32 to 45-37.

• ReachTEL in tomorrow West Australian also has it at 54-46 two-party preferred, after an out-of-step poll three weeks ago had it at 50-50. After filtering out the 3.5% undecided, the latest poll has Labor on 41.8%, Liberal on 33.9%, the Nationals on 6.0%, One Nation on 6.8%, the Greens on 6.5% and others on 4.9%. A range of further questions finds Labor modestly favoured to handle the economy, the budget, crime and infrastructure, and solidly more so in relation to social services. A question on whether the Liberals should have entered a preference deal with One Nation had 22.3% and 60.7% disagree, though a fair bit of this is presumably hostility towards preference deals generally. The poll was conducted from a sample of 2573 on Thursday night.

If you’re searching for my take on the progress of counting this evening, you can find it on ABC News Radio or local stations in Western Australia, where I’ll be calling the race with the ABC’s Geoff Hutchison and Belinda Varischetti, and a shifting line-up of Labor and Liberal politicians.

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.

121 comments on “Newspoll and ReachTEL: 54-46 to Labor in Western Australia”

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  1. My best attempt to read the poor-res copies of the Weekend Aus front page has the primaries at ALP 41 Lib-Nat 37 PHON 8 “Others” (including Greens) 14. Better Premier might be 45-37 to McGowan.

  2. Well the polling and the media says a change of govt is imminent. It may be where I live, but it sure doesn’t feel like it.

  3. Going to be a fascinating few days in the political sphere. The outcome of the election could very well trigger a leadership battle at the federal level and shape the future of right wing politics in this country with a possible chism between the Libs and Nats in WA. Throw in the emerge of ON in WA (and presumably other states soon) and the possible preference deals between the Libs and ON which may also trigger dramas between the Libs and Nats federally. Popcorn time…


  4. It will be interesting to see if there is any improvement in preference flows from Greens to Labor and any possible weakening in flows from Nats to Libs.

    I also wonder if people being polled are given the option of One Nation regardless they have a One Nation candidate or not. If that’s the case One Nation may have a fairly low lower house %.


    WA election: Barnett facing election defeat, Newspoll says
    The Australian 12:00AM March 11, 2017
    WA Chief Reporter Perth

    Voter support for Pauline ­Hanson’s One Nation in Western Australia has plummeted during the election campaign, according to the latest Newspoll, which shows Labor leader Mark McGowan firmly on track to replace Colin Barnett as premier today.

    In a shift that could have ramifications across the nation, One Nation’s primary vote across Western Australia has dived from 13 per cent to 8 per cent in just six weeks, as the party has come under scrutiny over its policies, choice of candidates and a ­preference-swap deal with the Liberals.

    The Newspoll survey — taken exclusively this week for The Weekend Australian — shows Labor leading the Liberal-­Nationals alliance by 54 per cent to 46 per cent in two-party-­preferred terms.

    Assuming the swing is uniform, Labor would win 34 of the 59 seats in the lower house at today’s election and Mr Barnett’s 8½-year reign as Premier will come to an end.

    The two-party-preferred vote is unchanged from the previous Newspoll taken before the start of the campaign in late January.

    Mr McGowan remains the state’s preferred premier over Mr Barnett by a margin of 45 per cent to 37 per cent, but the gap between the leaders has narrowed since October last year when Mr McGowan was ahead 47 per cent to 29 per cent.


    According to Newspoll, the Liberal Party’s primary vote has improved slightly from a record low, jumping from 30 per cent to 32 per cent.

    Labor’s primary vote improved from 38 per cent to 41 per cent, while support for the Greens has dwindled over the past year and is now at just 7 per cent.

    The Nationals are steady at 5 per cent, despite coming under attack over a controversial plan to slug BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto with extra mining royalties

    Mr Barnett’s personal ­approval rating has improved slightly during the campaign but remains among the lowest ever recorded by a state leader.

    Only 34 per cent of voters are satisfied with his performance and 57 per cent are dissatisfied.

    In contrast, 45 per cent of ­voters are happy with Mr McGowan and 40 per cent are dissatisfied.


    The Newspoll was based on 1124 interviews with voters across Western Australia in city and country areas.

  6. Interesting results! Was contacted by the ReachTEL robo-call tonight. Could choose between answering a survey on social media or housing market. When I answered the first question it hung up on me. Robo-phone etiquette a lot to be desired!

    The swing is on but how much is the unknown. I’ll say it wont be as high as all the polling suggests and Labor scrapes in with 31 seats. They may as well blow up the LC. At least until whomever is in charge can get rid of the archaic format

  7. Today’s Mumble:

    As he says, if the govt is returned, the Barnett-Hanson deal will be heralded as genius. But:

    This week Hanson told Channel 7 she expected One Nation to win three seats in Western Australia’s Legislative Council (fair enough) and two in the Legislative Assembly (ludicrous). High expectations are fine for sustaining campaign oxygen, but eventually, when the votes are in, there must be a reckoning.

    Recriminations flowing from a poorer-than-anticipated One Nation showing could be one of the highlights of Sunday’s post-mortem. •

  8. GhostWhoVotes‏ @GhostWhoVotes 45m45 minutes ago
    #ReachTEL Poll WA State 2 Party Preferred: LIB 46 (-2) ALP 54 (+2) #wavotes #auspol

  9. McGowan explicitly said so, but of course that was before he has access to Treasury on Sunday and realises the extent of Barnett’s debt and deficit legacy.

    He will hate to do it, but… wellll … the Liberals have sent the state bancrupt, and someone’s got to pay … or transfer their operations to Brazil or Qatar …

  10. Predictions:
    Agricultural: 2LP 2 ALP 1 NP 1 PHON
    East Metro 2 LP 3 ALP 1 Green
    Mining & Pastoral: 2LP 2ALP 1 NP 1 Green
    North Metro 3 LP 2 ALP 1 Green
    South Metro 3 LP 2 ALP 1 Green
    South West 2 LP 2 ALP 1 NP 1 Green
    TOTAL: 14 LP 13 ALP 5 Green 3 NP 1 PHON
    I have perhaps overstated the Greens on wishful thinking, but dreams can come true.

    LP 24
    ALP 28
    NP 7
    Labor & National Parties form a coalition government 😉

  11. Has any political party ever burnt through so many candidates in one election campaign as PHON? You have to wonder how she picked them in the first place. Any more Rod Culletons waiting in the wings?

  12. Morning all. Good luck to all Labor booth workers. If the swing is on people will be out in force early, so I hope you get there soon.

    After Trump I assume nothing, but Barnett would be a fortunate man to be reelected. He has bankrupted the state and offered no new ideas to fix the mess in the campaign, which has mainly consisted in him blaming others. My prediction – Labor with an 8 seat majority by the end of the night.

  13. Looks like the lesson from the Liberal – One Nation deal could well be “lie with dogs, rise with fleas”. It works both ways.

  14. I know how to votes are important but really is all that sh1t around the booth helpful?
    *leaves predawn to install said sh1t around booth*

  15. The media should be out in force at the PHONey post election parties. The comments that will be available could be priceless. Mostly a bunch of people with strong views about all sorts of topics but put them together and its chaos. The Hanson lie about GST and a whole bunch of other whacky views need to be well publicised.

  16. Labor has been leading in the polls for a long time……….whether the 54-46 translates to where Labor needs the votes is the test…………even at the most pessimistic, Labor has been on track to win at least 6 of the 10 it wants fairly easily………it was the next 4-5 which will depend on whether the “swing is on”….There seems to be no real mood/interest/excitement/concern (other than by the Libs) around the election that I have noted. I get the feeling that the decision on the election was made weeks ago by many, and apart from the ON circus this week, the election campaign seems to have been long, for the most part, tedious and with a lot of pain to follow – whether Labor or whoever. McGowan has campaigned competently and looks younger and fresher that Barnett. At one point Colin look tired and bored with it all, but he seem to perk up a bit in the last few days. Really, however, the general feeling is that 8 1/2 years is long enough and I would probably say the same thing if it were Labor facing a third term. Barnett is tired and bored with the job and the electorate is largely tired and bored with Colin.

  17. PHON has been shown for what it really is – an amateur, lightweight, pandering excuse for a political party buttressed by a deliberately provocative and underlying racism platform.
    It does not have a natural base in WA. Therefore, it will not meet expectations. It’s own test will be at its political home in Queensland. The test for every other leader, especially Turnbull, will be to reject their own Party voting deals in each election in the years ahead until this snake looses its head. Turnbull has to deal with her in the Senate as a fact. He does not have to deal with her when voters are asked for a choice. If he does, he will be no different to John Howard who initially declined to call out her racist maiden speech. He hid behind ” free speech”. Disgraceful from an Australian Prime Minister.

  18. Did some guestimating about the upper house (as an outsider) using the ABC calculator.
    It looks like to me like ALP will get close enough and the libs damaged enough to have a few paths through the upper house, NAT, LIB or Cross Benches.
    I estimate ALP 15, LIB 11, NAT 5, (GRN 1, ONE 1, OTH 3)

  19. Reasonably big booth, Libs in force, Lab represented by little old me, Micro Small Business Party thing 3 or 4 guys, Greens one absolutely beautiful young person, PHON not in attendance.

  20. Not that I can see with the PHON HTV. However if the 54:46 number is close to correct it will be a labor seat tonight, and not a close one.

  21. Very quiet at my local booth in a strong Labor electorate. About 50-50 with the bunting and only L, Lab and Greens on the ground….and about 2 souls for each………………..

  22. Not so much a prediction as an extrapolation that one probably shouldn’t do. But the stars do seem to be lining up for Mark and the team.

  23. I’m handing out HTV’s in Swan Hills and there are more Labor volunteers here than every other party combined.

    We’ve only got one PHON volunteer who only recently turned up.

  24. WWP,

    Call it what you like – prediction, extrapolation, guess, wish. I’m an optimist, so I’m sticking with prediction.

    I can’t remember which electorate nor which booth – if you’ve mentioned that detail. Later tonight, you can pick a booth that went big to Labor and claim that was your booth. I’ll be none the wiser, and I’ll praise your predictive abilities. (insert grin here)

  25. Many years ago I had my booth, and I took great and unrealistic pride in good outcomes, dawn to dust and scrutineering after that. Missed a couple of ripper parties by being the last count to ring in the number late in the night. One in particular was a cliff hanger and we pushed labor over the line, but by the time we get to the party it was buzzing (or very DRUNK or both) and we were just exhausted. Hugged the reelected member shared a quick drink and got back home.
    These days it isn’t my book I did predusk till past the early morning peak, will do the dead hours this afternoon, and will have a couple of wines just after 6 at the party …. time to leave all that energetic stuff to the young kids.

  26. Us tragic will drive ourselves mad by analysing potential results on the basis of HTV card acceptance. Between people who take none, some or all of the HTV’s, then assuming how well they’ll be followed, it’s a waste of mental effort.

  27. I was doing HTVs at Hollywood Primary. Numbers were down but I had typically a lot of Liberal-looking folks (believe me, after 30 years you can pick ’em) taking ALP HTVs with a grim expression on their faces. Felt good, hope the result follows!

  28. Are we doing booth buzz reports? Here’s one from Bicton (Palmyra Primary, admittedly one of the stronger booths for ALP and O’Malley’s local school):
    ALP volunteers clearly strongest in number, and a good showing for GRN (both Lynn Maclaren and Scott Ludlam making visits at the time). Libs look thin on the ground for a battleground seat. Maybe one volunteer for PHON and Kepert (ind) and nobody visible from AC (not even a sign) or MBP (one biggish sign). Big counter-productive signs for LIB advertising that ALP won’t build Perth Freight Link, ALP and GRN chuffed as this booth is pretty much the epicenter of anti-PFL sentiment (when it involved bulldozing lots of nearby houses). Fun day.

  29. As mentioned on the main thread, the polling station I voted at in Morley had about a dozen Labor volunteers. The only other reps there were two people for the Greens. No-one from any of the other parties was present. Whether anyone showed up or not after I left, I’ve no idea, but I found it somewhat unusual.

    I’m taking it as sign that the Libs fully expect to lose Morley.

  30. Was handing out HTVs at Lockyer primary this morning. Absolutely packed for some reason when facebook comments indicated neighbouring booths had hardly anyone. Candidates for Lib, Nat and Grn were there. Could sense an air of ‘it’s time for change’ about the people coming through, but apparently 30% of the Albany electorate has pre-polled so if it’s a close vote we won’t know the result tonight.

  31. And this made me laugh. This is the twitter feed for a reporter for WA Today, and this photo he took of Barnett serving a sausage sizzle:

    The guy behind them taking a photo on his phone is a friend of mine, the woman being served is his partner. He posted the photo he took of the back of the head of the premier and the reporter taking his shot on his facebook page. Then the photo seemed to take on a life of it’s own, appearing in WA Today:

    And tweeted by Buzzfeed:

    My friend is pretty chuffed!

  32. I’m going to do some booth work later today in Brentwood, which is in the electorate of Bateman – one of the safest Lib seats around. My suspicion is that there will be minimal if any ALP volunteers but probably a patriotic garrison of Libs. Perhaps a good place for parties who target the Upper House to be.

  33. Any update yet?

    Seems everytime Labor going to an election takes along time, but if LNP going to win the results are quick.

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