EMRS: Liberal 46, Labor 34, Greens 12 in Tasmania

Another poll finds the Liberals placed to retain majority government in Tasmania.

Tasmanian pollster EMRS has come up with a state poll that brings it into line with the weekend’s ReachTEL poll and the internal polling publicised by the Liberal Party, in showing the Liberals at an election-winning 46%, and Labor on 34%. This amounts to a 12% increase since the last EMRS poll in December, but the gain comes entirely at the expense of minor parties – the Greens are down five to 12%, and support for the Jacqui Lambie Network has halved to 4% – while Labor support is unchanged. Will Hodgman has also gained the lead as preferred premier, now ahead 48-41 after trailing 48-35 last time. The question now is whether there has indeed been that dramatic an improvement in the Liberals’ fortunes, or if the pollster is engaged in herding. The poll was conducted Saturday to Monday from a sample of 1000.

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.

41 comments on “EMRS: Liberal 46, Labor 34, Greens 12 in Tasmania”

  1. I did note the ABC report that said the EMRS successfully predicated the results of the last 2 Tas elections. I haven’t attempted to verify that, but if that’s the case, on those numbers Labor is in big trouble.

  2. Minority government in NZ could serve as a template In Tasmania….


    Across the Tasman, a precedent exists for a stable minority government supported by the Greens. Jacinda Ardern, a new Labour leader herself, has created an innovative “inside-out” cabinet, with conservative New Zealand First ministers inside cabinet and Greens ministers on the outside. This keeps the Greens at arm’s length in order to satisfy New Zealand First, who would have supported a conservative government rather than tolerate working in cabinet with the Greens. Ardern relies on a confidence-and-supply deal with the Green Party’s eight MPs. The Greens have three ministerial roles and an under-secretarial position outside cabinet, and join cabinet discussions only as needed.

    If the Tasmanian Liberals do fall short of a majority and refuse to, or can’t, govern in minority, the governor would turn to Rebecca White. She could strike a similar “inside-out” deal with the Greens, keeping them outside cabinet but still sharing the ministerial load. This would give the Greens some policy control, but keep them at sufficient distance to satisfy supporters of both parties. Otherwise Labor may strike a lesser confidence-and-supply agreement in return for policy concessions, and beyond this seek vote-by-vote support in parliament.

    If the Liberals are returned with a majority, Labor will be looking at a two-term return to government while trying to keep its anti-pokies policy alive. But a Liberal minority government would be inherently unstable and probably shortlived.

    For Rebecca White, forming minority government would be a trial by fire, but one that Jacinda Ardern has handled well in more complex circumstances. With a Greens alliance to negotiate and maintain, her pokies policy to implement, and anti–minority government sentiment to repel, White would be dancing on hot coals for years.

  3. The amount of advertising down here for the Libs is astronomical, the amount of money that must have been given to the campaign is morally corrupt. The amount of money and campaigning from Federal is huge

    Immature discussions occurring on minority government, as political scientist Richard Herr says people vote for who they want and expect them to form government – talk about treating the electorate like idiots.

  4. Labor may be in big trouble in Tas but they it has been like a David and Goliath contest here, one side has obviously had a ridiculous amount of funds for their campaign (blue) and one side has not (red)

  5. A genuinely ominous poll for everyone except the Liberals. Labor would have been hoping to have recovered rather more than this, especially with a popular new leader and an unpopular federal Coalition government, while if this poll is even vaguely accurate the Greens would have somehow gone backwards since their disappointing 2014 result. Meanwhile JLN is looking increasingly like a Palmer United remakel, complete with election fizzle.

  6. http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2018/02/tasmania-2018-emrs-has-it-little-closer.html
    Tasmania 2018: EMRS Has It A Little Closer Than ReachTEL

    I get 13-10-2 as the most likely seat result off this poll but there are possibilities either side of that for various parties. The Liberals should win outright but they might not. Feels like they will but the numbers say it’s close.

    Chris Hobson – the results of the last two elections were easy to predict as 2010 was the hungest of hung parliaments and 2014 was a massive Liberal landslide. So polling error didn’t matter much, though there was plenty of it. This one is much more sensitive to polling error.

    As for the Crowley article and similar the problem with a Labor minority government immediately after the election is that White has explicitly said Labor won’t govern in minority. So say she goes back on that and does it anyway, her government will have no legitimacy and will be beholden to the Greens which has been a death sentence every time in the past. It will also be the second time in a row Labor has said no deals and governed in minority anyway. Better to stay in Opposition as Labor did 1996-8 after which they won three majorities in a row. Another option might be to not bring the government down immediately but wait six months or so using a floor majority to make life utterly miserable for it, uncover evidence of inappropriate donations or similar and use that as a pretext to force a second poll and win it outright.

  7. The Liberals have had a truckload of $$$ but they have also run the better organised, better strategised and most motivated campaign. Late last year they were in a mess and seemed to have no idea what they were doing in government but now they’ve had a lot of energy on policy and have covered off on just about everything their opponents have run on.

  8. The Liberals have be backed heavily buy business and federal hotel $$$. But they have managed to project an image of the state going in the right direction and managed to make the message that the Pokies is the only policy difference between Liberal and Labor.

    They economy is in a better position at the moment than four years ago (we can debate how much control a state government actually has over that, but the message seems to ring true), that and the fear campaign of minority government will probably get them over the line (which is a shame).

    The only downside for them at the moment that i can see is in the last election they got in on the back of promising little, as they didn’t need to. They have promised big in this campaign and so they might get some blow back if they continue down the track of “don’t do anything and you won’t do anything wrong”.

  9. Yes Kevin they have a better organized campaign but they have a s..t load more $’s which came first the $’s or organized.

    3 federal adds / 2 Lib it adds up

    by they way I’m a local South Hobart man

  10. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-28/growing-concerns-about-the-tasmania-integrity-commission/9490854

    There are growing concerns about the Integrity Commission’s powers to investigate alleged misconduct, with the anti-corruption watchdog regularly asking government departments to investigate complaints in-house.

    Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said the revelation was appalling for public servants who may have genuine concerns.

    “The fact that our integrity body, the Integrity Commission, is having to refer complaints back to the department that the complaint is made about will send a shudder down the spine of public servants who want to blow the whistle about potential bad practices or misconduct within their department,” she said.

    “We need to understand why the Integrity Commission feels it has to send complaints back to the agency that the complaint is being made about, but at face value there’s a real problem with the process.

  11. @ Brian Walters – see polling in Britain. Pollsters survey people, then if their result is not in line with what the other pollsters and the media are saying, they change their methodology to get the result they naturally feel is right. Yougov were predicting a minority Tory government, while the media were saying Corbyn would lose in a landslide. They did a massive methodology change about a week before the election which meant they forecast a landslide.

  12. Yes this all seems vey strange to me. I don’t believe it is as dire for labor as this poll suggests and if EMRS has indeed been intimidated enough to engage “in herding” we will all know come Saturday night.
    I do think it is going to be a very long night for the Greens though, although this is dependant on a couple of things…
    1. Just what is the level of hardened on Greens vote? ie would never vote against (as with Lab and Libs), hence is there much room to fall below last election.
    2. Again, are EMRS Herding and thinking that they always seem to overstate the Greens support, hence lets knock off a couple of points to look closer to the RechTel result???
    As a greens supporter, I think they will be lucky to hold 2 seats after the election, but hey the Hare- Clarke system can deliver anything, because it is up to the true will of the people.
    As an example, the greens could poll less than last time in Lyons and pick up half a quota off the back of an increased labor vote and end up with an additional seat (or vice versa)
    There is no way IMHO that the Liberals will ever hold onto the 4th Braddon seat, that was a statistical fluke last time around and with the massive amount of Independent and JLN presence there will be far to much leakage from the right this time around.

  13. Federal elections give some idea how weak the rusted-on Greens vote is.

    Denison 2013: Reps 7.9% Senate 19.6%
    Denison 2016: Reps 10.6% Senate 18.5%

    So they had votes massively taken off them by Wilkie in the Reps and a little bit in the Senate by Lisa Singh (they were up in the rest of the state).

    This shows there are very few rusted-ons when there is an independent with a Green-like platform running. But I think the number who would cross over to Labor just because it’s running a left platform is much lower.

    EMRS is very volatile because of its small sample size and 3-month cycle (look at 2005-6). It might well be they have tried to correct their house effects as they are clearly well aware of the issue.

  14. I think (or perhaps more correctly hope) that on Saturday we get 12-10-3 or 12-11-2 result in Tassie with Rebecca White elected as the second woman (and ALP) premier of Tasmania, supported by the greens. With a left-controlled upper house, White could become a new-left star, especially if she follows WA and bans pokies outside of casinos. I imagine after a few terms as premier, White in early forties will head Federal.
    Go Becca!!

  15. So 5% off the Greens vote and 4% off the Lambie vote.

    And all straight to the Liberals.

    The Labor vote staying as it was.

    Very interesting.

    Me thinks “herding” may be the go.

    Or perhaps the Liberals may regret not running a Candidate in Batman, given Greens voters are flocking to the Liberal Party

  16. Kevin
    “So they had votes massively taken off them by Wilkie in the Reps and a little bit in the Senate by Lisa Singh (they were up in the rest of the state).
    This shows there are very few rusted-ons when there is an independent with a Green-like platform running. But I think the number who would cross over to Labor just because it’s running a left platform is much lower.”

    Agreed there with Wilkie and Singh effect! The greens have never really pursued the seat in fed house of reps like they could have. Wilkie was a former Green candidate who obviously holds the Greens values and policy ideas very closely, so I think quite a few greens supporters see having him as a Denison rep is just as good a thing. Unfortunately for labor they blew that electorate when they did absolutely bugger all for Hobart in all the time they had the outstanding Duncan Kerr as the rep.

  17. I anticipate a Liberal victory and a record low formal vote % of the enrolment across the state – that is the non participants and the informal votes will between them reach a record level, somewhere in between 11.5% to 12% of the roll. That does not include any formal but ‘expired’ votes.

    Out of interest, just how many days if any, have Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten campaigned there?

  18. I feel Labor will win 3 in Denison now, the Liberal party/gambling advertisement blitz just reinforces the close bond between the two, which I think has turned into a significant negative for the Liberal party in the switched on electorate of Denison. They did not know when enough was enough by pushing themselves in the faces of people that don’t have much love for the Liberal party in the state’s most progressive electorate. So I can only hope that leaves 12 seats for the Liberals in total , a minority parliament with Hodgman or his replacement having to deal with the consequences. I am really going to enjoy the show when the promise of “we won’t govern in minority” is abandoned.

  19. Turnbull’s been here once; I think it was one night and one day. Not sure about Shorten.

    The Greens would have been close to winning Denison in 2010 but for Wilkie getting over them and winning on their preferences. Problem for them now is when Wilkie moves on he’s got an obvious independent successor in Kristie Johnston, the extremely popular Glenorchy mayor. (Not to be confused with Kristy Johnson Liberal candidate!)

  20. I would like to see some more serious polling on pokies and its rating as an issue
    I suspect that many have a general dislike for pokies but it is not a vote decider. Those who oppose the ban may be more passionate about the issue.
    In NSW banning the dishlickers was applauded by the chattering classes in Sydney but the Nationals bore the backlash of the rural electorate to the degree that the ban was soon overthrown

  21. Yes matt 10:14am
    I just have a sense (but could all be wishful thinking) that we are in of a bit of a shock result come Saturday night….. I still think the Liberals will win the most seats but will it be a majority?
    So predictions time so all can have a good laugh at how wrong I am come Sunday morning 🙂
    There is no way the libs will retain 4 here, but other than that who knows… the most confusing seat of all!!! could JLN get one, will Labor get back to two or will Best wreck that chance with leakage from his independent vote? The Greens are interesting here with such a high profile candidate, so who knows… for simplicity i’ll go Lib 3 Lab 2
    Will the Greens keep their seat (personally I think they have more chance in Lyons), they would have to have a very disciplined vote for the no 1 candidate as Kim Booth always did. I don’t think they could afford any leakage off the ticket. I am pretty sure labour vote will increase but will this just enhance the Greens chance of holding the seat or will it be enough for their no 2 candidate to pass the greens, hence benefiting from the greens preferences?
    Again for simplicity i’ll go Lib 3 Lab 2
    Hard to poll and predict…. I think based purely on the numbers I have seen that the labor vote will pick up enough that the libs will lose their third seat wether that will benefit them enough to get the third member is another thing. I think it is a possibility they will go a tad over 2 quotas but not enough for the third candidate to out poll the first placed greens candidate, hence greens benefiting from labors increased vote?
    Libs 2 Lab 2 Grn 1
    All parties close to their quotas, would be a major shock to see anything but a status quo, unless of course the other matt 🙂 is correct!!!
    Libs 2 Lab 2 Grn 1
    I would be amazed to see anything but a return to the usual…
    Libs 2 Lab 2 Grn 1
    So overall I am predicting Lib 12, Lab 10, Grn 3 (based on a 50/50 chance in Lyons and Bass)

  22. So some context for those not to familiar with the good old Hare-Clarke system.
    So for this I am basing my comments on the Liberal vote dropping from the last election as per the recent polls (even going on the best of their polls the Liberals vote has still come off since the last election).
    Remember Hare-Clark is about Quotas! 🙂
    Using Lyons as an example:
    In Lyons the current representation is Lib3 Lab 2 is was achieved on a vote (in quotas) of Libs 3.12, Lab 1.66 and Grn 0.68. For Lab to win a third seat they would need to get to at least 2.69 quotas to go above the green vote (assuming the green vote holds). This represents an increase of just over a quota or 11,080+ votes (based on last election). Should they do a bit better than last time and pick up say 0.5 of a quota against the Libs they would go to 2.14 quotas vs Lib 2.62 and Grn 0.68 (again assuming their vote is about the same). This would easily give Labor a second seat outright but only leave them with .14 of a third quota, based on normal preference flows, the majority flowing to the greens. This would leave the Greens and Libs fighting neck and neck for the fifth seat. With a higher number of votes in the lower 3-5 placed candidates, there would be a larger number of voting leakage from the liberal ticket, hence a very tight battle for the fifth seat. in the ironic twist, under this scenario, it is conceivable that the Grn vote could fall in the electorate but still resulting in them picking up the seat. (hence my comments in the previous post)

  23. I feel the Greens will be crushed because they haven’t performed well and the media hasn’t given them much attention this time around. They don’t appear to have made much of an effort to remedy their long-held negative perceptions in the electorate. I am very surprised by this because I expected much more from the Greens leader who presents as articulate and rather smart. I give them 2 seats, maybe they could get 3 even with a lower vote as the other Matt was saying. Surely today’s news that the Liberals have a secret plan to remove the ban on some semi-automatic guns will go down badly in Denison, strengthening my idea they may win only 1 here, down from 2 . It will be Sue Hickey, who I like. Altogether I am leaning toward a 12/ 11/2 result. I will be so keen to see the back of the Hodgman who I have never rated as a strong and capable leader.

  24. Sorry, not sure if either of the above post will show a pic, but if anyone is interested, the link in each should go to a Tinypic of historical non voting and informal stats, state and federal for Tasmania.

  25. Crazy day today:

    * secret Liberal gun law policy
    * Liberal advisor rumbled for trolling on social media under fake name
    * Hodgman gaffe on national radio “”All Tasmanians are very upset about Tasmania” (he meant Port Arthur).

  26. The gun issue looks set to be quite an important factor tomorrow, making a hung parliament a bit more likely.

    If my attitude is typical of that of swinging voters, then the Libs have taken (to use Shakespeare’s term) a palpable hit. Until today, I had intended to vote in a bit of a scattergun fashion, putting my favoured candidates from all three major parties up the top.

    Now, I intend to put all the Libs right at the bottom.

    You don’t mess with the legacy of Port Arthur. Let alone in a sneaky way.

    What were you thinking Will?

  27. I tend to vote across party lines a fair bit because which major party wins is less important to me than trying to keep the more socially conservative members (of any party) out of Parliament. Last election I was annoyed at all the parties over various things and ended up putting the candidates from each party in order from best to worst then randomising which party I would take the next candidate from as I went down the list. This election I’ve found it difficult to be either appalled or enthused by anyone in my electorate much (the usual religious conservative types within each party excepted). But the gun thing that broke today does bother me a bit.

  28. Thanks William for your State election coverage(s) and thanks as always Kevin for your “on site” analyses. I have been a bit busy to follow much, and I thought over the last few days the story of Woolworths basically tracking and enticing their problem gamblers would be hard to top as an “October Surprise”.

    Until yesterday! With the “invisible” release of the Liberal guns policy. Someone intimated that maybe it had been planned for a quiet release a few weeks ago, but in the wake of the latest USA School shooting massacre they shelved that idea.

    If I ran Tasmanian Labor I would have the printers running all night tonight to print bunting for the polling booths tomorrow with something like “Remember Port Arthur – Stop the Liberals weakening our National Gun Laws!”. If any Liberals think it is crass to bring up Port Arthur maybe they should talk to some of the survivors and ask them what they think about this hitherto “hidden” Liberal policy. The Premier certainly hasn’t been trumpeting his planned firearms legislation on the hustings – scared of a backlash perhaps?

    Anyway now if the Liberals do form Government it will give Federal Labor yet another issue to bash the Coalition with at the next federal election – both in Tasmania but also more generally.

  29. I don’t think there will be a Newspoll as the stupid electoral laws here would prevent The Australian publishing it on Saturday. (They could have published it on Friday as they did last time.)

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