YouGov Galaxy SA seat polls: Hartley, Taylor, Mawson, Dunstan

Four seat polls bring bad news for all: Nick Xenophon struggling in Hartley, Liberal struggling in Mawson, Labor in danger in the heartland seat of Taylor. But Steven Marshall looks okay in Dunstan …

The Advertiser has another four seat polls by YouGov Galaxy for Saturday’s South Australian election, conducted on Saturday:

• Nick Xenophon trails Liberal incumbent Vincent Tarzia by 51-49 in his bid for Hartley, from primary votes of 38% for Tarzia, 30% for Xenophon, 22% for Labor and 5% for the Greens – although that preference flow seems a little favourable to the Liberals. Sample: 590.

• Better news for SA Best from the normally safe Labor seat of Taylor in Adelaide’s north, which is being vacated by Leesa Vlahos. SA Best is credited with a 51-49 lead (UPDATE: Other way round, sorry) from primary votes of Labor 39%, SA Best 29%, Liberal 23% and Greens 6%. Sample: 505.

• Bad news for the Liberals from the must-win seat of Mawson on Adelaide’s southern fringe, where Labor incumbent Leon Bignell is tied with Liberal candidate Andy Gilfillan, which, taking the redistribution into account, amounts to a 3% swing to Labor. The primary votes are Liberal 37%, Labor 30%, SA Best 20% and Greens 7%. Sample: 538.

• Steven Marshall is credited with a 53-47 lead in his seat of Dunstan, which he holds with a margin of 3.9%. The primary votes are Liberal 44%, Labor 30%, SA Best 15% and Greens 8%. Sample: 576.

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.

50 comments on “YouGov Galaxy SA seat polls: Hartley, Taylor, Mawson, Dunstan”

  1. TT

    This is of course true, but what is going to be very interesting is just how strictly voters, particularly Greens voters, will follow their HTV. Of course as you say Labor is running an open ticket in that particular seat, so it will be extremely interesting to see how many Labor voters are prepared to preference the Liberals ahead of Xenophon. So many unknowns in that seat just like many others and will go down to the wire on those numbers.

  2. given that sample size and pollsters bad track record on seat level polling you wouldn’t want to pub too much money on the results

  3. Interesting, as everyone in here was writing off Leon Bignell yesterday………if Labor’s winning Mawson, Stephen Marshall won’t be Premier

  4. I don’t think it is fair to say Xenophon is struggling in Hartley. While he would rather be ahead, 51-49 behind is nothing especially given there is no history to base decision on how preferences will flow. 51-49 is closer than what I would have expected given the word about seems to be that Xenophon was not going to win the seat.

    Mawson being 50-50 and Taylor being only 49-51 behind in Taylor are a bit surprising. Even if accurate it still just tells us the seats are very close and could be won by either side and just adds to the uncertainty of the election.

    Marshall being ahead in Dunstan is hardly surprising and but if Labor have made up a little bit of ground in this seat they might have made up more in other seats and might mean there is not really a swing to the Liberals.

    I disagree very strongly though with the claim that Mawson is a must win seat for the Liberals. The Liberals are favoured 26 seats by the redistribution, they only need 24 seats to form a government. So they can afford to lose Mawson and one other seat and still have 24 seats. So, while losing Mawson would not be great news for them, it is far from fatal to their chances of forming government.

    So as far as I can tell the seats definitely to watch as being really good prospects of changing parties
    Lib – Lab contests
    Hurtle Vale

    Perhaps also

    Possible SA Best wins
    vs Labor

    vs Liberal

    Chaffey and several other safe Liberal seats

    I am also interested in whether something interesting might happen in Davenport.

  5. If Taylor is really a close thing could Elizabeth be similar. I know they are very different seats in many ways but could they both be seats that have caught Labor by surprise. Enfeild might be interesting as well.

    I am starting to think SA Best will have a lot of seats where then get 45%+ 2CP but will not win any of them. Possibly Hartley, Heysen, Giles, Taylor, Chaffey, Black, Davenport, Kavel, Finniss, Morialta and a few others could fit into this range.

  6. StS – you can add Gibson to the list of potential SA Best wins. Hanna has top spot and gets preferences from all except Greens who have not issued any official preference.

  7. I disagree Mawson is some sort of nail in the coffin if the Libs don’t win it. Certainly it gives Labor plenty to be buoyant about, but the individual swings per seat are nothing you can make a uniform prediction with. If they are struggling to fend off SA Best in seats like Taylor, and one of their highest performers, Stephen Mullighan, is only polling 50-50 in Lee then Marshall still has a definite chance.

  8. Good point Wakefield, Hanna is going to do fairly well.

    Note in the following post I had a brain fade and thought Hanna was running in Black not Gibson.

  9. Enfield sticks out a bit because Rau is not getting Greens (or Liberal) preferences, they are going to SA Best’s Carol Martin. Apparently the Greens hate him. If there is a bit of a lesser expected move towards SA Best in the northern suburbs Labor seats as was mentioned in something I read that Labor were worried about then this could prove critical.

  10. I am not surprised about the polling in Mawson. The seat includes areas the ALP did not bother to campaign in at previous elections. Bignell has put a massive effort into building his profile in the peninsula and KI. He has wisely leveraged his position as Tourism Minister. He also achieved positive swings at the last two elections. I would never underestimate his ability to win over swinging voters.

  11. I think the big takeaway from this set of polls is the result in Taylor. I assumed that SAB will be most competitive in Liberal seats like Heysen, Kavel & Finniss, but this result indicates they could also be a threat right through the ALP Northern Suburbs heartland.
    I’d treat the 2PP figure in Mawson cautiously. Given its mixed urban/rural nature it could be quite easy to get the sampling wrong… even more easy than usual with seat polls!

  12. Sportsbet odds:
    Labor 1.68
    Liberals 2.70
    SA Best 8.80

    That was yesterday. Today, it’s moved to Labor @ $1.78, Libs @ $2.10 and SAB @ $16.00

  13. How will either side pay for their promises?
    The system means they have to promise to do things, but the chances of them all being done is zero. It is just about trying to impress the voters and a lot of it is bullshit.

  14. So the Conservative party are preferencing Labor ahead of the Liberals in Lee because there was no preference deal. Surely deciding who should get preferences should be based on which candidate is prefered not because of school yard idiocy, you didn’t give me a deal so you are not getting my preferences. What a joke, it just shows that the system is totally broken.

    I long for something much better than the broken systems of governing we have now, something that does not Labor or Liberal or SA Best or Greens or Conservatives or Dignity or Danzig or Independents, but has justice and morals and will not disgust me in the same way as current politics.

  15. I wonder what methodology Yougov used for these “seat polls”?
    How do they guarantee a representive sample?
    Was it based on telephone calls, face to face, internet etc..
    I can only imagine that getting a representative 500-600 sample, when you probably can’t “normalise” because of the entrance of SA-BEST, would be difficult.
    With falling numbers of fixed lines, different online participation rates and specific and limited geographies, to name just a few factors, making an accurate sample is very challenging.
    I guess we will find out at the weekend (or perhaps not that quickly?)

  16. I think if we find out a result this weekend then it will prove these close polls wrong. No way we will know if Mawson, Hartley and Taylor are as close as the polls suggest. Dunstan might even have some doubt as well.

  17. Hot prediction:

    Xenophon and Patrick to engineer Putin/Medvodev style swap in the event that Xenophon fails in Hartley.

    You heard it hear first. Unless you heard it somewhere else first.

  18. The Fibs are blitzing marginal seats with scurrilous robo-calls that claim Weatherill will introduce a 15 % GST.

    Sadly, negative advertising work.

  19. Scott the Stupid: it doesn’t necessarily mean that the polls are “wrong”, just that they are likely to have huge margins of error, which the pollsters and media fail to report. And these polls are likely to be even more variable than most because of the X factor as Dewnans suggest. I wish they had polled simpler Labor vs Liberal seats like Adelaide or Torrens – much more likely to get something meaningful out of these more homogeneous seats than Mawson for example which would be a nightmare to poll.

  20. In what could yet lead to a difficult final week for the Liberals, they have been ordered to apologise by the Electoral Commission for falsely claiming “The implementation of the plan (Liberal electricity plan) would save householders $302 more than if the plan were not implemented”. This was due to a complaint raised by the ALP State Secretary Reggie Martin.

    The commissioner has concluded that the plan “includes measures that are already in place and that a significant part of the savings referred to would result from these measures”.

  21. My fiancé, who lives in Elder, received one of the robocalls mentioned above re the GST. Extremely desperate stuff from the Liberals, not the stuff of a party heading for 27 seats and a comfortable majority.

  22. Evan

    I suspect he’ll be doing a lot of this in the next couple of days. The polls have him several points behind on the primary vote. He needs a strong flow of Labor and Green preferences, particularly Labor preferences, to get across the line. I still think he may get a stronger flow than polls tend to show. A seat that will go down to the wire.

  23. Handing out at prepoll in Adelaide. Long lines to vote. Near equal takers for each party. Lots if talk and friendliness with volunteers.
    All candidates have htv volunteers.
    I am on the Modbury booth.

  24. Is it true that SA is on track to hit 75% renewables even without Labor’s target? Could the Libs impede that in any significant way?

  25. Bonza
    I do not know, off the top of my head, but a liberal gov’t will always impede renewables. It is not called the COALition for nothing.

  26. Ekigozan,

    You are correct, I was wrong. But they are creating an impression of things being very close with their headline figures.

  27. Robocalls are not necessarily a sign of desperation. They can also be a sign that a campaign has that much money, they can throw everything and the kitchen sink. The first robocall I ever received was the Howard one from the Liberals in 2004 and that was a big win for them, so I wouldn’t write off the Libs just for that.

    What, however, is a bit desperate is the message itself. The last minute “Labor will raise your taxes” is a little bit like if federal Labor drop in a “The Coalition will bring back Workchoices” at the last minute. It reeks of looking for something to stick. At worst, it’s them desperately trying to find a winning message and, at best, it’s them executing one poorly – especially considering a lot of their opposition activism over the last few years and, indeed, their platform has been anti-taxation. Labor being pro-higher taxes should’ve been a central message to their entire campaign, rather than a last minute smear.

  28. Have to say, being declared to have given inaccurate info is not a good look for the Liberals though and Labor know this and haven’t wasted any time making the most of it.

    On the other side of the spectrum (including Liberal torch-carriers at the Advertiser) they’re trying to play up the Gallacher misleading ruling and a tu quoque “Nobody is without sin” narrative. SA Best obviously are going for the “Lab-Lib: as bad as each other!” message.

  29. I think that there are lots of swing voter types that are not happy with Labor, but are scared the Liberals will be worse and have jumped behind Xenophon but now drifting away because they see him as just more of the same a robocall claiming Labor will raise taxes will be seen as just more political bullshit and dismissed by most. However if the election is very close then it might only need to work on a few to have a real chance of effecting who forms government after the election.

  30. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone like Newspoll attempt one more statewide for release on Friday evening.

    Maybe Advertiser might do a big poll of seats for digital release on Friday, to be printed on Election Day morning. I dunno.

    It has been an interesting election not having polls guide us. Although not every election is certain by now, the polls usually tell us it’s close. Whereas we don’t know if it’s close or if one side has sewn it up. Which is why we’re second-guessing every single nuance.

  31. @Rational Leftist

    Completely agree re robocalling. I certainly wasn’t suggesting that the act of robocalling itself was a sign of desperation, robocalling has become part of campaigning. It was the messaging that seemed to me to be a sign that maybe things weren’t going so well.

  32. A robocall claiming the state Labor government is going to impose a 15% GST seems completely over the top, considering it’s primarily a federal matter and it was the Liberals who brought in the GST originally. It would seem likely to backfire. Am I missing something?

  33. A robocall claiming the state Labor government is going to impose a 15% GST seems completely over the top, considering it’s primarily a federal matter and it was the Liberals who brought in the GST originally. It would seem likely to backfire. Am I missing something?

    There are enough people who don’t understand the GST is a federal issue and the Federal Government and all the states have to agree before there is a change in the rate.

    Even if 1% are scared enough to change their vote that could mean 4 extra seats in a tight election.

  34. So many 51-49 or 50-50 results! I suppose the “only poll that matters” could produce a huge number of newly-marginal seats, but at first glance it seems to me that the pollsters have invented a new form of random sampling – one where they manage to sample equal numbers on both sides.

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