No election eve Newspoll apparently, so you will have to make do with my final poll tracker update, which finishes at Liberal 45.1%, Labor 31.6% and Greens 12.9%. Newly added here is a poll from February 14, for the Australia Institute by ReachTEL from a sample of 952. After exclusion of the 4.2% undecided, this poll had the Liberals on 43.5%, Labor on 31.8%, the Greens on 11.5% and the Jacqui Lambie Network on 4.8%.
Given its centrality to the campaign, some poll results on poker machines are worth noting. The aforementioned Australia Institute poll found 53.5% rating the impact of pokies on the community as negative, 12.9% as positive, and 22.9% no impact. On Tuesday, The Mercury published additional results from its ReachTEL poll, conducted the previous Thursday from a sample of 3179, which had Labor’s phase-out in pubs and clubs by 2023 favoured by a margin of 57.1-42.9. Electorate breakdowns ranged from 70.9-29.1 in favour of the Labor policy in Denison to 51.9-48.1 the other way in Braddon. In a question on the issue most influencing vote choice, poker machines ranked third with 14.3% behind health on 31.9% and jobs and the economy on 30.2%. Denison was an unusual here as well in having pokies on 26.1%, with health second on 24.9%.
If you’re a Crikey subscriber, you can enjoy my deep thoughts on the campaign here. My conclusion is that the Liberals are very likely to win three seats each in Bass, Braddon and Lyons, which will leave them in need of two each in Franklin and Denison. Franklin shouldn’t be a problem for them, but I note that Denison might be – a conviction that has been hardened by the fact that today’s media coverage was dominated by Liberals’ policy to water down gun control laws. This fact was unknown to the community at large until The Australian reported it this morning, since the Liberals had kept it off their website and circulated it only to “stakeholders”, which in this case would seem to mean organisations likely to support it. It’s worth noting that neither this late-breaking story, nor anything else concerning the election, will be appearing in the Tasmanian media tomorrow, owing to an archaic law banning election coverage on polling day.
The only minor party that appears in the game are the Greens, with Jacqui Lambie Network falling out of contention, unless they can pull off a surprise in Braddon. Polls suggest the Greens are breaking even at best, so there is little reason to think they can win where they failed last time, in Braddon and Lyons. They would also appear to be in trouble in Bass, but are safe in Denison and presumably also Franklin.