ReachTEL: 52-48 to Labor in Victoria

With seven weeks to go, a new poll finds Daniel Andrews’ Labor government keeping its nose in front in Victoria.

The Age has a Victorian state poll from ReachTEL showing Labor with a lead of 52-48, with primary votes of Labor 37.7%, Coalition 39.4% and Greens 10.9%, after allocation of a forced response question for the 3.0% who were initially undecided. The report helpfully features full breakdowns by gender and age cohort. Daniel Andrews leads Matthew Guy 51.3-48.7 as preferred premier, and a series of head to head questions on policy areas has Andrews favoured 54-46 to handle Melbourne’s congestion and 52.9-47.1 on the cost of living, with Guy was favoured 53.9-46.1 on law and order and 50.4-49.6 on population growth. The poll was conducted from a sample of 1239 on Wednesday.

Below the fold is a poll aggregation chart that combines five results from ReachTEL, four apiece from Newspoll and Galaxy and twelve from Roy Morgan. ReachTEL, Morgan and Essential are bias-adjusted to make them more like Newspoll and Galaxy. On the current reading of the trend, Labor leads 51.2-48.8, from primary votes of Labor 38.6%, Coalition 42.2% and Greens 10.1%. As you can see from the data points, this latest result from ReachTEL is somewhat better for Labor than that.

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.

22 comments on “ReachTEL: 52-48 to Labor in Victoria”

  1. Last 2 relevant polls are 53 47 and 52 48. The rest are too old.

    I am increasingly optimistic for Labors chances in Victoria.

    Labor and unions campaigning in marginals plus sophomore surge and targeted investments in key seats should see Labor through barring an unexpected development or high profile incident.

  2. GRN vote was 13.3% and 13.5% in the months prior to 2014.
    It doesnt look like they will match the vote they got last election with Andrews pushing progressive issues that should sit well with Greens, such as Right to Die, Medicinal Marijuana, Puppy farms etc.
    Labor might have a chance to win back some of the the 3 GRN seats.

  3. Strange

    The Guardian, referring to the Fairfax poll say 51-49 and close

    Fairfax, with its apparent anti Labor bias at, at least, State level, make excuses in reporting the polling saying it could be worse for the Liberals

    Bear in mind there is an anti Labor bias in Murdoch and at the Stokes 7 and the Costello 9

    I move among a wide range of people including some influential in the Liberal Party

    The opinions of Guy are only marginally better than the opinions of the lurking Bastiaan and Kroger, Kroger especially

    And the demographic I move in is essentially the age demographic where the Liberals enjoy their margin according to polling

  4. I scratch my head at polls that show the Vic Libs/Nats in as competitive a position as 52-48. Their last turn in government, just four years ago, was a shambles. People must have short memories.

    Mind you, the Andrews government hasn’t covered itself with glory when it comes to personality-led careerist in-fighting; voters hate that crap, especially from a governing party. Personally I hope the Greens keep their three seats and snag Brunswick and Richmond too.

  5. I can’t see much movement in this election – I am hopeful Labor can pick up some seats in the mid-outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Hard to see the Coalition getting a majority, but Labor also may still end up as a minority government.

    Interesting article yesterday about various independents running in rural seats in northern Victoria.

    Of course Russell Savage won in Mildura in the past and Carl Ditterich went close in the old seat of Swan Hill if I recall.

  6. Strange that ReachTel gave a read out of specific parties (Shooters & Fishers, Reason) even though it’s only the majors that will contest all 88 seats. Still, an interesting poll given it’s the first to emerge since One Nation announced they won’t be contesting – and really, it’s just good to see any data given the lack of constitency from the Herald Sun & The Australian in publishing Victorian state polling.

  7. Rocket Rocket @ 10:20 am

    Susan Davies (1997), Craig Ingram (1999 & Suzanna Sheed (2014) have all won rural seats as independents.

  8. Galaxy is a trustworthy polling organisation, but its record as a guide to Victoria is weakened by the fact that the Herald Sun tends to commission it to poll at times when its editor thinks Labor is doing badly. He hasn’t found the right time lately. The last Galaxy was commissioned by the bus industry, and it was 53/47 to Labor.
    The Age is not anti-Labor. Only a rusted-on Labor loyalist could argue that.

  9. Galaxy is a trustworthy polling organisation, but its record as a guide to Victoria is weakened by the fact that the Herald Sun tends to commission it to poll at times when its editor thinks Labor is doing badly. He hasn’t found the right time lately. The last Galaxy was commissioned by the bus industry, and it was 53/47 to Labor.
    The Age is not anti-Labor. Only a rusted-on Labor loyalist could argue that.

  10. A propos of nothing much – I ran into Ricky Muir at a community meeting about a year ago. I’d never actually met him, but we grew up in the same region, are roughly the same age, and had a few school friends in common.

    He told me then that he was going to be the Shooters etc candidate for Morwell, and they reckoned they were a shot in that seat and may even end up holding balance of power. At the time, I was pretty sure he was being well and truly overly optimistic.

    However, Morwell now looks like it might be an interesting seat. It’s currently a marginal Nationals seat, but the Nats member (who among other things has a major gambling problem) went independent during this term, and hasn’t yet ruled out recontesting as an independent a la Geoff Shaw in 2014. Then the Nats are running their own candidate, and Tracie Lund is also running as an independent again (she got about 10% first pref last time), then Ricky Muir will get a reasonable handful of first prefs on the basis of name recognition and no One Nation option for the bogans, then the rest will split fairly evenly with Traralgon most voting for community brass bandsman Harriman for the Libs and Morwell/Moe voting for the ALP.

    Prob Libs vs ALP in the final 2PP, but there’ll be preferences flying all over the place. Could be a complete mess numbers-wise.

  11. Also – fun fact, the Labor candidate is an ex-Hazelwood power station worker. Probably a smart move, could help negate some of the anger at the closure if the affected families are voting for one of their own. Although Tracie Lund also tried to get preselected as the ALP candidate and she’s relatively high-profile, so might split the vote a bit.

  12. @bugs1:

    The Greens in Victoria are generally flat across the board, mainly because they are being squeezed by smaller progressive parties the areas of the state where they generally poll strongest. They are also struggling to find candidates in a number of seats. My observations here –

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Greens hit single digits and get defeated in as many as three upper house seats on November 24. They are particularly vulnerable in the Western, Eastern and South Eastern Metro regions.

    The lower house seat of Prahran is also in serious danger of falling back to the Liberals due to their preselection of a candidate who has the credentials to appeal to that layer of blue-green voters, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that does fall. Melbourne is the Greens to lose and I’d be very surprised if that falls, the same for Northcote. The Greens will probably miss out on Richmond again and the preselection of Catherine Deveny by Reason throws a spanner in the works in Brunswick.

    In terms of minor parties, it will be interesting to see the following observations: how well Reason do now that they aren’t the Sex Party; and how well the Victorian Socialists do in the Northern Metro region (given they are running the biggest campaign of any party in that particular area) and if their support on the ground will translate into votes.

  13. From a seat getting perspective, in a compulsory preferential system such as operates in Victoria, smaller parties peeling off votes only hurts if they don`t return on preferences. This could potentially be a motive for the ALP not scrapping group ticket voting for the Legislative Council, along with setting up outcomes that make an ALP+Greens majority in the Legislative Council unlikely and thus weakening the Greens bargaining power but also the ALP`s bargaining power against against its non-Green opponents.

    Reason preferences, other than their likely preferences in Richmond, are not yet known and so we don`t know how this will effect the outcomes. Profile-wise Reason seem to have chosen well in Brunswick and have made the seat more psephologically interesting. If, hypothetically, Deveney wins Brunswick (which I think unlikely), it will be interesting to see if her personality is too independent for appears to be very much the Fiona Patten Party, which is a significant issue in parties smaller than the Greens (see One Nation, PUP, the Democrats).

    The Victorian Socialist Party may well preference the Greens ahead of the ALP, given the policies and records of various issues, including privatisation.

    Prahran is the most marginal seat and its outcome is hard to predict. The Liberals have lost incumbency and the Greens gained it. I know little to nothing about the Liberal candidate but I doubt that Matthew Guy and his hardly Green-friendly yapping are particularly appealing to Green leaning Liberal voters, he is no Ted Baillieu. The Greens incumbency should be particularly helpful against the ALP, as it seemed almost only the Greens and the people who voted for them rated them as actual contenders in Prahran and as incumbents they look credible contenders to all.

    It is no secret that Northern and Southern Metro are the less marginal two-Greens seats in the Legislative Council. The Greens have always had to fight to win/retain Western Metro and only narrowly won the other two for the first time at the last election.

  14. The ALP preference strategy to weaken the Greens is an idiotic shot into their own foot. What it means – assuming it succeeds – is that Labor will need the co-operation of the Greens and others, instead of just the Greens. If you think drafting legislation to get the Greens onside is a pain, try coming up with something that satisfies both them and, say, the Shooters And Fishers.

    If it were a case of needing either the Greens or someone else it would make sense, but the fact there’s no realistic hope of that should be faced up to.

  15. The way Greens are voting in Victorian upper house, it makes little difference if Labor has to deal with Greens or other independents.

    Victorian Greens have been quite hostile in the upper house.

    “Indeed, a government tally of how the parties have voted since Andrews came to office reveals that Greens have sided with the Coalition on 38 out of 78 substantive motions and votes in the upper house – almost half. In contrast, Green MPs have voted with Labor on 26 out of 78 occasions – or a third of the time.”

  16. The Greens have a practically unique problem in Prahran, which is that a tiny swing from Labor to Liberal or vice-versa will cost them the seat if their vote is the same level as last time. So, they have to increase their vote by a significant margin just to hang on. The second-term surge will probably get them over the line, but nobody with any brains will be banking on it.

  17. Gorks,

    I think you missed my point.

    No matter how hostile another party might be, if you know for a fact you will have to deal with them, it’s still better to deal with only them and not a combination of them plus others.

    What you really want, of course, is to be able to deal with them or others, but that hope is not realistic in this case.

    (And what you really, really want is to not have to deal with anybody, but well…)

  18. Expat

    Interesting about Ricky Muir. I have never met him but I met someone from Warburton or somewhere east of Melbourne who did, just before he took his seat in the Senate who assured me Ricky would do his best job and consider everything on its merits. I now think he was better than most cross benchers who got elected in the DD in 2016.

    I thought he would run for Upper House in Eastern Victoria where he would have had a good chance. But he may well win in Morwell if he runs there.

  19. Hi Rocket,

    Ricky’s a nice enough bloke. I don’t really agree with him on many topics, and whilst I gave him one of my senate numbers at the DD, I’m not likely to vote for the gunwavers at any point. But talking to him you do get a feeling that he’s genuine.

    I don’t think he’ll win Morwell – but as said, it’s going to be an interesting preference-go-round. His prefs will probably go Lib or Nat, but not entirely, and it could take a while to count.

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