Wentworth by-election minus one week

Reported internal polling from Wentworth suggest the Liberals have a nervous week ahead of them.

With one week to go, two polling snippets to launch a dedicated Wentworth post and discussion thread:

Andrew Clennell of The Australian reports Liberal internal polling shows Kerryn Phelps is “likely” to finish ahead of Labor’s Tim Murray, and that Phelps emerges “a fraction of a percentage point ahead” of Liberal candidate Dave Sharma after preferences.

• Both Kerryn Phelps and Tim Murray are credited with two-party leads of around 55-45 over Dave Sharma in an online poll conducted for Voter Choice, a research project by James Cook University doctoral candidate Kathryn Crosby. While the poll has a respectable sample of 736 and appears to use judicious weighting, the self-selecting nature of the sample warrants a degree of caution. UPDATE: Kevin Bonham has looked at this more carefully, and advises still more caution.

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.

115 comments on “Wentworth by-election minus one week”

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  1. Some posts are suggesting that Wentworth may be a baseline marginal seat, with the LNP benefitting from a MT personal vote – which has now gone.

    I am more of the opinion that Wentworth is a safe “non Labor” seat, but that a third party or independent might squeak it – a little like Mayo.

    If Phelps gets and stays ahead of Labor, I think she has a possibility (but not a probability) of a win. If Labor are ahead of Phelps, they will surely lose on her preferences – even if they do get most (which I doubt).

  2. Outside Left@8:31am
    I only ever heard of 2 Jews( but I never met them), who are left wing. They are George Newhouse and Lowenstien (both from Wentworth) I heard Rahael Epstien (ABC reporter ) but do not know what his political views are.
    Karen Phelps, although supports SSM (for obvious reasons) and Climate Change action, is presumed to be right wing.
    In the article I posted at 8:06 am, a gay woman called herself conservative but voting for Phelps because she does not like Abbott.
    My point is Jews do not give much weightage to whether the candidate is jewish or not. They mostly care whether the candidate represents their interests. For example, George Newhouse was defeated from Wentworth in 2007 federal election (even after substantial courting by Rudd) because MT and Libs represented their interest.
    Wentworth has substantial portion of jewish voters and they support Sharma.

  3. I really think some here are ignoring a pretty obvious mathematical reality:
    If ALP finish above Phelps then the combo of Lib primary votes and Phelps’ preferences pretty much guarantee that Libs will retain.
    The only way Libs lose the seat is for Phelps to finish above them and their preference flow gets her over the line.
    Its a pity because Murray looks like a great candidate but it is what it is.
    Shorten gets this and is therefore choosing to run dead.
    Why would ALP supporters be advocating a sure-fire lose strategy when there is a viable strategy to have the Libs lose this seat (which is what they want most)?

  4. Expat Follower:
    Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 10:53 am
    All we have is educated guesses where Phelps preferences will go. Still, if Labor decide to run dead, that’s defensible on resource conservation grounds IMO.

  5. Tim Murray certainly is a quality candidate. Assuming he only comes 3rd, here’s hoping the ALP in future consider him for another seat that’s a good deal more winnable, state or federal.
    I have my reservations about Phelps, but she’s preferable any day of the week to Dave Sharma, who seems to be the usual stage managed liberal from central casting.

  6. Michael – Phelps has herself indicated a Lib over Lab preference HTV instruction!

    Yes i agree that some may ignore, but the idea that 65% of her primary voters will preference the ALP to get them over the Libs… thats not fanciful, its nonsense.

    There is no way the ALP can win this seat.

    Shorten seems to have accepted this, why would an ALP supporter not trust his judgement at least?

  7. Indeed – why would Shorten inject himself into this when Labor needs a borderline miracle to make this happen. This is lose lose for the Libs and rather than a Morrison v Shorten proxy … put it all on Morrison

  8. “If ALP finish above Phelps then the combo of Lib primary votes and Phelps’ preferences pretty much guarantee that Libs will retain.”

    Interesting you know her preference flow, that is pretty impressive.

  9. “This is lose lose for the Libs and rather than a Morrison v Shorten proxy … put it all on Morrison”

    Yup. 🙂 Have seen Shorten speaking today, mainly on the rail link stuff in Victoria. My take is that the ALP actually DO infrastructure, while the Libs talk about it they do sweet FA. Shorten comes across as relaxed, comfortable, and communicating rationally and well on a direct and no bullshit basis.

    ALP are well placed to spin what they can politically out of whatever the result in Wentworth, while the Libs have real cause for concern about “unity” post Wentworth.

  10. Wentworth has substantial portion of jewish voters and they support Sharma.

    Wentworth has substantial portion of wealthy voters (some of whom are Jewish) and they support Sharma.

    I don’t think there’s any evidence that Jewish people are more inclined left or right than their economic/class interests would indicate.

    And I might need to re-read Expat’s posts to see if I can find a point of disagreement. Haven’t got one so far. Labor winning Wentworth is just not a realistic idea. Shorten is very wisely avoiding Trumble’s folly of making too big a deal of this. The Libs winning Longman was always cloud cuckoo land stuff, but Lucien declared it a ‘Test of Leadership!’. Labor winning Wentworth is waaaaaay longer odds than that was.

    So Shorten isn’t making any bold predictions and is indeed running dead. If Phelps gets up then Morrison is in a world of hurt and so Labor will do what little it can by not trying too hard, but still showing up. But if as should be likely Sharma scrapes home it’s still a problem for Morrison because Bill hasn’t staked anything on the outcome.

    Don’t make the same mistake Trumble did and start believing because a bunch of seat polls say the near impossible is going to happen that it’s actually going to happen. Be like Bill.

  11. As others have stated, Labor has no realistic chance of winning Wentworth. Even if they did they would struggle to hold it for more than one term. If Phelps wins she has a chance of holding it for some time. Labor is better of running a moderate campaign and saving their money for the general election.

  12. “If ALP finish above Phelps then the combo of Lib primary votes and Phelps’ preferences pretty much guarantee that Libs will retain.”

    I didn’t realise the seat polls came with detailed demographic information. Very cool.

  13. the top end Vaucluse Darling point Point piper etc will vote liberal at worst 65% but the rest of the electorate is not normally 60% liberal…….. it was marginal labor till 2010….; this was during Turnbull’s time as mp… at the state election The seat of Coogee was 52 to 53 % liberal at a relatively good election for the libs 55/44 % 2pp …………… I suspect there is a 10 to 12% personal vote for Turnbull which is gone….. will this mean the margin is now 5 to 7% for the libs. if there is a 60% vote non liberal and a 40% vote for the liberals if the 60% largely preference themselves then this is a lib party loss….. what is the compositio of the 60% by party or candidate… no one knows………… and will they largely preference themselves…. I suspect labour, Heath and the Greens will…. what of Phelps?

  14. The Australian reporting another Liberal internal supposedly has the Liberals losing 45-55.

    Also reporting claims against Phelps’ social media use as supposedly failing to meet authorisation requirements. I’m not sure this is true as based on https://www.aec.gov.au/About_AEC/Publications/Backgrounders/authorisation.htm it seems that name and city in a profile is sufficient, there doesn’t seem to be a precise word form like “authorised by” that is required.

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