YouGov Galaxy: 50-50 in Lee, 52-48 to Liberal over SA Best in Morialta

A neck-and-neck result in a key Adelaide marginal, and a somewhat disappointing result for SA Best in one of their main Liberal-held targets.

The Advertiser has two polls of Adelaide seats conducted by YouGov Galaxy, one from Labor-held Lee, the other from Liberal-held Morialta.

In Lee, Labor front-bencher Stephen Mullighan trails the Liberal candidate by 39% to 34% on the primary vote, with everything depending on preferences from SA Best, who are a distant third on 18%. Galaxy estimates that this translates into a two-party result of 50-50, but this would seem to be highly speculative.

The Morialta poll has SA Best clearing the first hurdle, outscoring Labor by 25% to 21% on the primary vote, unless preferences from the Greens on 6% closed the gap. However, Liberal incumbent John Gardner is estimated to emerge 52-48 in front, from a primary vote of 40%. The SA Best result is consistent with a statewide vote more in line with the 24.9% it recorded for the Senate in 2016 than the 30% plus figures that were coming through in earlier Galaxy polling.

A better premier question has Jay Weatherill on 31%, Steven Marshall on 25% and Nick Xenophon on 22% in Lee; in Morialta it’s all but a three-way tie, with Xenophon 28% and Weatherill and Marshall on 27% each. The polls were conducted last Wednesday and Thursday from samples of 520 in Lee and 505 in Morialta.

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.

57 comments on “YouGov Galaxy: 50-50 in Lee, 52-48 to Liberal over SA Best in Morialta”

Comments Page 1 of 2
1 2
  1. Jack Aranda:

    I’m not expecting any of their Assembly candidates to get up of course, but I would expect that if a couple of their candidates explode messily during the campaign that should impact their statewide vote.

    More generally a small party with limited ability to vet candidates should probably be not so quick to jump on large numbers of candidates appearing out of nowhere.

  2. Those are pretty ordinary results for SAB. I’ve been attempting some statewide modelling off the back of Alex Jago and Ben Raue’s work, and if that’s what they’re polling in those seats, they are probably only looking at a handful of seats statewide all else being equal. A fair bit would then depend on what Labor did with its HTV cards.

  3. I continue to be faintly baffled by SA Best’s whole approach to this election. They still have what seems like the best shot since the war of truly upsetting the two-party system, but they’ve been going about it in such a half-hearted way. Xenophon announced the formation of SA Best almost a year ago – how have they not been spending that entire year seeking out and vetting appropriate candidates for every single seat? The fact that they entered the campaign with candidates for, what, half of them is frankly ridiculous.

  4. @ Frickeg

    Likely SA Best have been doing exactly what you have said. The problem is that running a candidate in a seat involves spending a lot of money. So, either he has to find candidates willing to bankroll their own election attempts (or pay out of his own pocket) in seats that are likely in the too-hard basket, or he focuses his efforts on seats that he actually has a chance of winning. It’s the application Pareto Principle.

  5. SA Best are wanting $20,000 ‘donation’ from each of their candidates to run. Probably limits the available pool to X’s slumlord pals and the well heeled.

  6. Xenophon requiring candidates to give him $20k non-refundable instantly limits who can run for SA Best, and there tends to be a distinct flavour of Xenophon in both NXT and SA Best of him going with people he already knows and thinks he can control.

    Personally I would also object to the characterisation that Xenophon is out to break up the two party system when he tends to just be Liberal Lite.

  7. @William: I know it looks corny but Xenophon’s whole career is corny cult of personality politics; he might know what he’s doing. I’m reminded of the wave of hilariously over the top US electoral ads we get to see every 2 years. Or Bob Katter’s advertising. We’re not the target audience, and they keep doing it because the actual audience eats it up with a spoon.

  8. I’m sure that the ad is designed to be shared and gain as much free exposure as possible for Nick, but at what cost? There will be swinging voters out there who will see this as evidence of a credibility vacuum.

    Even a buffoonish attention-whore like Palmer never purposefully made himself look this terrible just to be noticed.

  9. Of course that ad is designed to be memorable and suck all the oxygen away from any other issue today (including the controversy around Xenophon’s water-down view of Pokies.) Still, it’s a delightful distraction from day three of a 28-day-campaign. I hope that, down the road, voters put more thought into policy and less into stunts. We’ll see.

  10. SA best ad is like the train crash you know you shouldn’t watch but you can’t help yourself. Two minutes of absolute awfulness.

  11. That SAB ad is actually pretty savvy. It’s clearly aiming to be OTT cheesy, with hope of it going viral. Given that at least two people I know here in Sydney have put it on their Facebook page (and neither is an X fan, especially), it may well hit the mark.

  12. If the add can (somehow) shift some Liberal votes to SA-Best, then it’s good. Otherwise it’s truly, really bad: a sad mixture of Big Kev’s “I’m excited”, Franco Cozzo furniture…. and the Good Guys ad…. pretty revolting.

  13. Trump didn’t run as a clown. He ran as an unpolished racist (who “told it as it is”). There’s a big difference between the two. Trump’s strategy worked (note: Abbott did almost the same thing) because his opponents can’t (and shouldn’t) tolerate his rhetoric, so they have no choice but to be indignant and outraged about it, making them look like prudish, pearl-clutchers and also the establishment.

    OTOH, Xenophon’s opponents have a choice here and can choose to react to it with some simple laughter and moving on. Or they can act like it’s the worst thing in the world, giving Xenophon more appeal. I know which option I’m choosing.

  14. Clearly my mind works differently.

    That add brought a smile to my face.

    It will go over well.


    Is there a large Indian diaspora in key NXT target electorates. Seemed they were a target demographic.

    Also the 50 -70s

  15. Most Indians in Adelaide live in the inner northern and north eastern suburbs – Enfield, Clearview, Northfield & Oakden. Safe ALP seats.

  16. William – the Link to Xenophon TV ad should carry a public health warning – seriously. That is by a country mile the worst political ad I have ever seen

  17. I know it’s only week one but, right now, it’s feeling like a Weatherill v. Xenophon contest. Where the hell is Marshall and the Liberals??? Is he hoping for a Steven Bradbury-style win? Or that The Advertiser will help him over the line?

    Obviously, being seen as the de facto Opposition Leader is nothing but good news for Xenophon. For Weatherill, it’d be a mixed bag. On one hand, a divided opposition could help him over the line this time (You could have an outcome like Canada in 2011 – yes, different systems; don’t @ me) but, on the other hand, a clear alternative Premier that the public know and don’t dislike could give a strong rallying point for voters who want change.

    Either way, the Libs need to get off their arses and do something, before they’re completely written off!

  18. South Australians could go back to the polls within two years if SA Best holds the balance of power, with Nick Xenophon threatening to pull his support from any government that doesn’t achieve electricity price reductions of 20 per cent by 2020.

    And the SA Best leader said he’d personally resign if his own plan to put downward pressure on power prices didn’t stack up.

    Xenophon this morning announced his long-awaited suite of energy policies, the centrepiece of which was the establishment of a not-for-profit community electricity retailer that he insisted would unlock cheaper power for households with annual incomes of up to $75,000 and small businesses with power bills under $20,000.

  19. Annual incomes of households

    So, do all parties to the household divulge their Tax Returns to the envisaged power supply entity on an annual basis to confirm ongoing eligibility?

    And who audits the number of people in a household to ensure all incomes are captured?

    It would appear the real problem being the impact of the “Climate change is crap” Lobby impeding the orderly transition from fossil fuels to renewable resources and the damage we are all paying for their commitment to fossil fuels is ignored

    This is a far, far more important matter than cheap politics

    The issue is commitment – and education

  20. And in regards Business expense, businesses are not single entities and can consist of multiple Companies supplying, distributing, administering, remitting wages and salaries etc etc, all in the same ownership or related

    So how is this monitored?

    Does the envisaged supply entity obtain the Trading figures and then the Balance Sheets to chase down related entities thru Inter Company Loans and related Shareholdings?

    Again on an annual basis?

    The supply entity may provide employment for retrenched and retired bankers to audit eligibility

    And they could hire Joyce who knows a bit about sneaking from bedroom to bedroom so knowing who is up who and who is paying the rent

  21. Wakefield:

    My first go on 21 January was:

    Liberal 27
    ALP 17
    SA Best 2
    Independent 1

    The limited polling we’ve had since seems to indicate that none of the top three contenders is doing all that well. The Libs are lacklustre, Labor is carrying the burden of 16 years in office and X is treading water.

    Troy Bell surprised by leading in Mount Gambier, Stephen Mullighan is in grave danger in Lee and John Gardner may hang on for the Libs in Morialta.

    There’ll be a lot of unusual results but the It’s Time factor may be the decider.

  22. I wonder why our media don’t provide some accurate stats on population growth. This constant rubbish from Business SA, the Advertiser (today feature article), Liberals and SA best among others.

    Checked some ABS etc figures. Over the last 7 years SA population increase has averaged 0.7-0.8% a year. That puts SA about 1/3 from the top of 42 OECD countries. About the same as US, higher than China, EU average, Japan etc. Australia as a whole is No 3 behind only Luxembourg and Israel on latest figures.

    Places with very high rates of population growth include most of Africa and are pretty much all countries with very poor economic performance.

    Never let the facts get in the way of an agenda that suits.

  23. wendy_harmer: I too live in a house made of “weatherboard and iron” here in Colla-bloody-roy.
    Thanks Barnaby for making it even hotter under the old corry roof because of your addiction to coal.
    #cimatechange #weatherboardnine

  24. sallyrugg: NSW deputy police commissioner addresses the crowd following the #riotABC premier, about the first Mardi Gras.

    “I feel shame. I understand why some of the 1978ers wouldn’t want to talk to someone like me. What happened was absolutely awful.”

    1978ers in the crowd audibly cry

  25. ProudResister: 15 brands have now ended their relationship with the @NRA:

    1. @MetLife
    2. @symantec
    3. @BestWestern
    4. @Wyndham
    5. @Alamo
    6. @NationalPro
    7. @Enterprise
    8. @FNBOmaha
    9. @Hertz
    10. @Budget
    11. @Avis
    12. @NortonOnline
    13. @northAmericanVL
    14. @SimpliSafe
    15. @ChubbNA


  26. For what it’s worth, Ladbroke’s has Weatherill at $2.20, Xenophon at $2.70 and Marshall at $3.00 in their bid to be SA Premier. Three weeks ago Weatherill was a $3.60 underdog.

    Jay is slightly longer odds with Sportsbet ($2.25) and TAB ($2.30) but favourite with them as well.

  27. I notice a lot of buzz about the betting odds favouring Labor but I’d advise not getting too far ahead of oneself. The gap in even the most generous odds is less than $1 between all of them, which means the odds are close and nobody’s that confident about any outcome. Secondly, it’s worth pointing out that they had Marshall and the Libs as clear winners on the eve of the last election.

    But it’s definitely interesting that that’s how the markets are leaning.

  28. Conservatives want a nuclear waste dump to make us the new Saudi Arabia.

    I guess they are referring to money and not Islam.

  29. Politically it is interesting to see Labor announce they wil build the tram line to Norwood, in Marshall’s seat, as their next stage. Weatherall has a small margin and is not proposing to do anything for his electorate, other than give tax cits to the 1-2% who own “small” businesses.

    As a transport planner I am also delighted to see this. Politics aside, the Parade line was historically the highest patronage line in the old Adelaide tram network. There is enough width to put in trams while still having a traffic lane in each direction and either parking or more trees. Ripping it out was a stupid idea.

  30. Btw I libe in the eastern suburbs and catch the bus to work. It typically takes 35 to 40 minutes to travel the journey, at a glacially slow average speed of around 12 km/hr. a tram every tw; minutes with priority at traffic signals could reduce that by ten minutes, which would be a huge improvement.

  31. New ’tiser polls out:

    Heysen (LIB leading SA Best 51-49), with primaries of LIB (39%), SA Best (22%), ALP (15%), GRN (16%), others (8%); Preferred Premier (Weatherill 33%, Marshall 28%, Xenophon 20%, Uncommitted 19%)

    Giles (50-50 ALP/SA Best), with primaries of ALP (37%), SA Best (31%), LIB (23%), GRN (3%), others (6%); Preferred Premier (Weatherill 29%, Marshall 23%, Xenophon 27%, Uncommitted 21%)

    paywalled article at:

  32. Current:

    Heysen Adelaide Hills
    Very Safe Liberal 12.2%
    Retiring Liberal MP Isobel Redmond has represented this seat since 2002.

    Giles Whyalla and North-west Outback
    Safe Labor 5.2%
    MP Eddie Hughes (Labor) since 2014.

  33. To clarify, the two margins highlighted by Holden Hillbilly are vs. Labor and Liberal, respectively. They are not vs. SA Best.

  34. @Rational Leftist completely agree; we need to see some statewide poling to really get a grip on what is happening here. Individual seat poling with relatively small samples has been known to be notoriously wide of the mark. I am very surprised we have yet to see one statewide poll since the start of the official campaign.

Comments Page 1 of 2
1 2

Leave a Reply

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