Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor in Victoria (and introducing the PB state election guide)

With the election less than a month away, a new Victorian poll suggests the Coalition’s troubles weigh heavier in the balance than Labor’s.

With the official campaign period set to begin tomorrow evening, Newspoll has a freshly minted state poll from Victoria, conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1092. It shows a blowout in Labor’s hitherto narrow lead, from 51-49 at the previous poll in April to 54-46. Labor is up three points on the primary vote to 41%, with the Coalition down two to 39% and the Greens steady on 11%. On personal ratings, Daniel Andrews is up two on approval to 45% and down seven on disapproval to 40%, While Matthew Guy is down one to 31% and up one to 46%. Andrews holds a 45-29 lead as preferred premier, out from 41-34. A question on the impact of Malcolm Turnbull’s dumping found 16% saying it made them more likely to vote Liberal, 30% less likely and 45% no difference.

The results are consistent with other evidence recently, namely a 53-47 result from YouGov Galaxy in a privately conducted poll and reports of internal polling from both major parties in The Australian. There also a ReachTEL poll for Bike Australian of Prahran, which shows Labor set to win the seat from the Greens.

I am also proud to unveil, just in time for this evening’s issue of the writs to officially launch campaign proceedings, the comprehensive Poll Bludger state election guide. Its features:

• A poll tracker facility that currently credits Labor with a two-party lead of 53.3-46.7, or a 1.8% swing in their favour (NB: the two-party numbers in the table at the bottom aren’t exactly the ones I want there, but it will do for now).

• A meticulous overview of the general electoral and political situation.

• Painstakingly detailed and consumer friendly guides to all eighty-eight lower house seats.

• Ditto for the eight regions that constitute the Legislative Council.

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.

111 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor in Victoria (and introducing the PB state election guide)”

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  1. Just before I saw this result on the Australian web page I had read about Matthew Guy vowing to restore religious classes in state schools.

    We always opted out of these when various children were at state schools.. They were being taught by happy-clapper types and I used to look around the kids’ school and wonder what would the families from non-Christan backgrounds in India, Asia , and Middle East think of all this.

    Separation of the state from religion is a basic tenet of our society. I am always amused to find that some people rant against Islamic Sharia Law yet at the same time want to make their own religion the law of the land.

  2. Not all over Red Rover, by any means,if you ask me, but encouraging news for Andrews. The electoral map is very tight. As I recall a 2% swing would theoretically yield one extra seat for the ALP – and being a regional seat that’s far from certain. On the other hand there are several ALP seats on tight margins where local factors could tip the result. As KB put it in his analysis, the ALP is exposed to a higher relative risk of random variations causing it a loss of seats. On the other hand, as he also noted, cases of first term State governments losing where the opposition party is in power in Canberra are very rare. Nonetheless it may not be a clear win early on election night. If Andrews wins this time, the government is likely to face a much more friendly electoral map in 2022, post redistribution.

  3. To see what is gong on look no further than this:

    The Liberals have got themselves in a happy clapper bubble. This is not the USA. It goes a lot deeper than the mess they are making of things in Canberra.

    What is their slogan: “back in control”? Happy clappers in control, you have got to be kidding.

    And the trains.
    Labor: Time to build an outer rail ring.
    Liberals: The sprinters are not fast enough, we will make them go faster. Wankers! If you want to improve the regional rail, duel track and upgrade the signaling, oh but that is what Labor is doing; not promising but doing.

    Another sad truth Southern Cross has reached capacity, why because the rail services have been improved by Labor and people are using it.

    And what else have they got; denigrating Victorians that have dark skin. That is going to work well, hanging shit on one set of voters to get the votes of anther set. Wankers.

  4. To see what is gong on look no further than this:

    The Liberals have got themselves in a happy clapper bubble. This is not the USA. It goes a lot deeper than the mess they are making of things in Canberra.

    What is their slogan: “back in control”? Happy clappers in control, you have got to be kidding.

    And the trains.
    Labor: Time to build an outer rail ring.
    Liberals: The sprinters are not fast enough, we will make them go faster. Wankers! If you want to improve the regional rail, duel track and upgrade the signaling, oh but that is what Labor is doing; not promising but doing.

    Another sad truth Southern Cross has reached capacity, why because the rail services have been improved by Labor and people are using it.

    And what else have they got; denigrating Victorians that have dark skin. That is going to work well, hanging shit on one set of voters to get the votes of anther set. Wankers.

  5. Ferguson canvasses Guy’s election strategy options:

    ‘…When Scott Morrison stood on the timber deck high above the limestone stacks known as the Twelve Apostles yesterday, the Victorian Liberal leader was 160km to the northwest in Ballarat.

    There, Matthew Guy had put on his tie and was doing the rounds of Findlay Engineering, somewhere in or near the marginal state Liberal seat of Ripon.

    When Guy reads the latest Newspoll numbers, he will be wanting to turn back time and gently push the Prime Minister over the cliff by the Great Ocean Road.
    Read Next

    ‘Pauline, this is just wrong’

    Indeed, Guy and others might like to do the same to Peter Dutton and anyone else involved in the Turnbull leadership change.

    The Newspoll provides clear evidence many voters do not like the necking of Malcolm Turnbull and the federal leadership virus has state implications. Morrison will understand better than most the concept of brand damage.

    Given that Newspoll shows that 30 per cent of people are less likely to vote Liberal at the Nov­ember 24 Victorian election because of federal turmoil, Guy must now contemplate whether he can keep the show together in Victoria.

    If these numbers are replicated on polling day, Labor will increase its small majority.

    The question for Guy is how to manage the politics.

    He was insistent yesterday he would campaign with Morrison during the election.

    There will be thought given to this. In many ways, he might be better off completely blowing up the feds, but there are dangers in this, too.

    Given that voters seem to be ­associating Lib-on-Lib Canberra violence with the party’s broader brand, running down the reputation even further may not seem a handsome option.

  6. I am hoping that Victorians want to re elect Andrews and Co due to the progress they have facilitated.
    Of course there is still much to do but they have made a great start

  7. And the trains.
    Labor: Time to build an outer rail ring.
    Liberals: The sprinters are not fast enough, we will make them go faster. Wankers! If you want to improve the regional rail, duel track and upgrade the signaling, oh but that is what Labor is doing; not promising but doing.


    Mostly agree with that. But let’s not forget that it was the Bracks Labor government which acted against expert advice and reduced the majority of the Bendigo line from double to single track during the regional rail upgrade. It was a dumb move IMO.

  8. Thanks William, another excellent and clear summary of the state of play. If Guy is campaigning in Liberal marginals like Rippon then it is clear he believes the Newspoll and is more afraid of losing Liberal marginals than gaining Labor ones. Maybe the state school religious infiltration policy is his way of appealing to what he is told is the Liberal right wing base he needs to hanf onto. If so he is doomed. I would have thought the Morrison/Abbott script will be even less popular in Victoria than in Melbourne.

    Guy has not had much go right lately but it is hard to feel sorry for him. His behaviour in office as Victorian planning minister was highly questionable, as were dinners with maffia figures. Andrews has brought out some great long term planning visions recently. I only wish he had done so earlier, and as part of a more transparent long term process. Still, he is way ahead of Guy.

    I suppose now we will hear five weeks of Liberal boosters explaining why LOTO approval ratings do not mean anything.

  9. Guy has NO moral compass

    I say that because I resigned from an organisation due to that organisations associations with Guy and Guy’s presentations and manner

    Guy will do anything and say anything for a result which feeds his
    considerable ego – he has no substance and can not be trusted is my observation

    The now reported meeting with the Australian Christian Lobby – who opposed same sex marriage – is not surprising to me. Note also the views of the ACL on other matters such as abortion noting the current restriction zone around the East Melbourne Clinic where every day a gaggle of up to half a dozen old men stood with their material, so this exclusion zone at least will be removed

    The last straw for me with Guy was when he addressed over 700 school children at an Anzac Day Memorial Service, speaking to the victory in Vietnam stopping a regressive regime from invading Australia

    We lost that war – at cost of the lives of over 200 Conscripts – and the Invictus Games shines the spotlight on the residual damage including mental

    Apart from the misrepresentation such commentary spoke to Guy’s own background and his generational bias

    Then there is his engraciations with property developers who are also Liberal Party donors including a donor which family has influence in the seat he was parachuted into – and other associations with lobster and Grange (also no surprise)

    Then Vetnor and the pay out (to Liberal Party donors) to save his career (and the maintenance of secret dossiers on anyone opposing the then government including the so called East/West Link)

    These are the consistent threads

    And that is only what has come to light in the public domain


    The polling shows that only the rusted on Liberals have any regard for Guy – thankfully the rest of the population have worked Guy out, from what is on the public record

  10. And in terms of the ACL, look at William’s map of Melbourne and environs

    The blue representation is exclusively to the East of Melbourne – from the well heeled inner East suburbs to the mid and outer Eastern “Bible Belt” suburbs where the religions embraced by Morrison (and Family First) flourish with their facilities

    Hence the undertakings to the ACL – they are Liberal heartland

  11. It seems the Liberals are planning on not running in the four inner city seats of Melbourne, Richmond, Brunswick and Northcote. This is to give the Greens a clear shot at them and then they are warning about a hung parliament.

  12. It isn’t actually religion that has swung all of the East of Melbourne blue. It’s people voting with their car keys in hand. People out here envisage no other way to travel other than by car. It’s an addiction and a mind-set that has really become a major disease. The shift started with tolls being placed on the Scoresby Freeway (Eastlink), now being the area that reaps all of the benefit of the East West Link (without any of the pain), that’s what they will continue to vote for. Meanwhile, the obesity levels out here sky-rocket and congestion gets worse.

  13. If there’s a state in Australia where the introduction of religious education would be a vote winner, it’s not Victoria. Just where the hell does that Guy bloke think he is?

  14. In fact, I think the car keys in hand applied to people in the 4 key Sandbelt seats who didn’t like waiting for the Packenham/Cranbourne trains to pass by.

  15. Alpha Zero.

    Delusional Liberal Party clap trap.

    No doubt you still have your “No Tolls” sticker on your vehicles?

    Along with all of your other protest stickers.

    Eastlink is the facility it is, completed as it was ultimately completed from previously stages to Thompsons Road at Bulleen then to Doncaster Road then to Springvale Road (so bit by tiny bit) then initially a further proposed section to (was it?) Burwood Highway, that further proposed extension then amended to what we have today.

    I note no reference to Tolls on the Tullamarine, including on what was previously a public road (to Bell Street?)

    You also have access to the Lilydale and Belgrave train lines, and the benefit of Level Crossing removals on those train lines – plus other announced enhancements such as the orbital rail network and the works currently underway which will allow for increased train services.

  16. Alpha Zero – those four sandbelt seats are all on the Frankston line. I don’t think too many Pakenham or Cranbourne services run on that line. Since the last election, a number of level crossings in these seats have been removed, and the Government is promising to remove more if it gets returned, including the Glenhuntly Rd tram crossing which forces trains to slow down to not much more than a walking pace.

  17. Gut seems to be getting desperate….looking for a ‘black swan’ moment. I thinks he’s a goner, and trying to bring religious education back into State Schools during class hours won’t work in my opinion. certainly not in Vic.

  18. Observer,

    You obviously didn’t read my post correctly. I don’t vote for the boys in blue (hope you appreciate the double meaning there).

  19. I made a cut and paste error in my earlier post and meant to say “I would have thought the Morrison/Abbott script will be even less popular in Melbourne than in Sydney.”

    I agree with others. The right wing religious scare-mongering will not go down well in Melbourne. It is also really gutter politics. Of all Australian cities I think Melbourne has demonstrated better than any that you can construct a successful multi-racial, multi-ethnic community that is cosmopolitan and thriving. Victorians don’t need Matthew Guy or anyone else creating social divisions to further their political careers. If he keeps it up I will start referring to Guy as “The Matthew”.

  20. Alpha Zero

    I didn’t misinterpret your post. At work here in the Federal seat of Deakin (actually not sure which state seat I am sitting in right now!). I remember some article I think in The Age where they talked about a train-less part of Melbourne’s outer South-East and said that something like 77% of all daily commutes were done by car (can’t remember exact figures). Someone else pointed out that in the neighbouring ‘trained’ suburb (on Cranbourne or Pakenham line) that the figure was 74%, not that different.

    I do think though that Labor has got a chance of winning some of these electorates under 5% margins on the way from Box Hill to the outer East. I think Matthew Guy’s stance on religious (ie Christian) education in government schools is not going to be a vote-gainer even out here.

    I do look forward to any intervention by Deakin member Michael Sukkar in this election – he seems to have been keeping a very low profile so far. Marcus Bastiaan and his wife have apparently withdrawn from any role in this election due to an illness in the family.

  21. Rocket Rocket,

    Sukkar is on witness protection. He isn’t even mailing us his pamphlets to demonstrate the 500 BBQs he had his photo taken at.

    I honestly think labor will be a better chance at the next state election out here, after the North-East Link will mean you can go on a motorway all the way to the airport. Though Labor’s best chances this state election will be in Forest Hill and Box Hill. Guy’s religious education stance will be interesting to see what happens – I reckon it will polarize views even more. I can’t see it winning him any votes.

    Federally, Chisholm, Deakin and Latrobe should be in team reds win column.

  22. Tipping a big swing to Labor in the 2PP, but for them to still not actually have a net gain of any seats.

    Brunswick will go ALP to Green, Prahran will go Green to ALP.

    Ripon maybe to go Lib to ALP, ditto South Barwon, but not sure.

    Richmond might go ALP to Green, but if enough Greens feel the same about Maltzahn as they did about Bhatal I wouldn’t count on it.

    William – any thoughts on the independent Darryn Lyons’ chances in Geelong? I’m not a fan of the guy, but apparently a significant minority in Geelong are. Any chance this could derail the seat for Labor? Any seat polling ben undertaken?

    Bring on the 2020 redistribution…

  23. I have high hopes for a Labor win in Bass, Morwell and SouthBarwon.

    Generally government is right where it wants to be at this point in electoral cycle. They have a good story to tell and they have been winning the campaign over the last couple months, even taking away Federal shambles.

    Only wild card remaining is police arresting MPs over so called red shirts probe. However it is not something people are talking about apart from Herald Sun comments section.

  24. If the polls are getting things right and there is a small swing to Labor and a federal Liberal negative factor combined with the lack lustre fear mongering state Liberal campaign effort….one could expect to see some marginally held Liberal seats won by Labor. As for Labor replacing the Greens in Prahran, I think that is just too close to call. State wide random phone polling is at best a general guide. There are always variable factors across electorates. In the case of Prahran, the current Greens member, will have established a public profile over the last 4 years and in a close contest between Labor and the Greens, such a public profile or “incumbency” factor may cancel out any general swing to Labor in Prahran and allow the Greens to outpoll Labor and then go on to defeat the Liberal candidate. So far, not much publicity has been given to the interesting scenario unfolding in the usually safe Labor held seat of Pascoe Vale. The present member was parachuted into the seat at the 2014 because of her links with the Shoppies Union (of a long time socially conservative Catholic outlook). Her endorsement did not go down too well with some of the local Labor people – and Blandthorn suffered a swing of several per cent against her at the 2014 state election. Fast forward to 2018, and we have two candidates – both with a high public profile and service as councillors and Mayors of Moreland City Council. One of the two, Ex-Labor party independent Oscar Yilditz is running a very expensive election campaign and making much of being a “Local” person. The second independent, Cr John Kavanagh, with a strong base in the north west of the Pascoe Vale electorate, and decades of community service, may well poll well – and more so if, the Liberals opt not to run a candidate in a seat in which they have no chance of winning. The Greens vote (about 17%) in 2014 will also be a factor in what happens in Pascoe Vale electorate. Blandthorn has to be favoured to scramble over the line on 24 November. However, if the two independents make serious inroads into the ALP vote, the Greens vote rise to around 20%, we may have an unexpected outcome in Pascoe Vale. If the Liberals do trot out a candidate in Pascoe Vale (where they usually poll around 25%), and one of the other 3 main candidates via preferences gets ahead of any Liberal candidate then the outcome could see Labor losing another of their erstwhile heartland inner Melbourne suburban seats.

  25. The problem with Libs not running candidates is that they will be losing a lot of money in public funding. Public funding for parties have been hugely boosted with donations reform of Andrews government.

  26. The other problem of not running candidates is that it must also depress your Upper House vote in that seat. And if you do it in a few adjacent seats as the Liberals are rumoured to be considering in inner Melbourne, it may end up saving resources but costing you (or your side of politics at least) one seat in the Upper House.

  27. I find it interesting that there was no press release from the Libs prior to announcing that they would have special RI brought back in. I also find their choice of venue – Crossway amusing.This is the church that Neil Angus attends. Perhaps a bit more focus on the SaltShakers wingnuts who are part of that congregation (and received funding for full time “research” from them) could be highlighted. They are a dossier of disgusting!


    Imagine you were to cast your vote in the Victorian state election based on a party’s policies alone.

    Forget personalities and party loyalties. Who would get your vote?

    Our simple policy analysis tool cuts through party spin so you can see clearly what each party will do about the things that matter to you.

    Simply choose your own policy priorities and allow our interactive tool to filter out the noise and show you who is offering the best bang for your vote.

  29. The polling is looking good for Andrews and Co – despite the Herald Scum throwing daily smears their way.

    I’m largely sitting this one out – usually I help canvass and hand-out HTVs for the Greens, but their repeated endorsement of Kathleen Maltzahn in Richmond has just been a bridge too far. Also sick of their perpetual ‘BREAKING’ social media posts and fundraising emails.

    I’ll still vote #1 for them in my seat (Essendon) and preference the ALP (of course, despite Danny Pearson being an abject party hack), but currently toying with going #1 for the Victorian Socialists if they’re going to field a candidate in Western Metro. Ideally we’d get rid of Rachel Carling-Jenkins, the former DLP-turned Bernadi Conservatives-turned Independent whackjob. If we can get rid of her and smash the Libs State-wide it’ll be a good night.

    All-in-all I’m fairly happy with the State ALP. They do stuff, not rushed, but methodically. But still, can’t vote for the ALP anywhere until they quit the offshore detention business and actually stand for something.

  30. The Age wasted a lot of resources to produce that – which is pretty silly if you have any inkling of party policy.

    I got ALP 644, LIB 0, GRN 0.

    If they were going to do this properly they needed to separate out everything – bundled together makes it too obvious who is who.

  31. That would be the best outcome, at the very least they need to randomise the order of the parties, rather than always putting ALP, then Lib, then Greens.

  32. Initially I thought Guy promising to reinstate religious instruction in public schools was a joke. But he is for real. He does realise that he is vying for position of leader of State of Victoria!!


    Why Matthew Guy wanted to keep his religion in state schools plan quiet
    By Henrietta Cook
    30 October 2018 — 3:16pm

    It was telling that there was no press conference or media release about the Coalition’s plans to reintroduce special religious instruction into Victorian state schools.

    This was a pitch aimed at religious conservatives, who are having a growing influence on Victorian Liberal Party politics, so it made perfect sense to unveil it at an Australian Christian Lobby event.


    You see, the 30-minute classes in Victorian state primary schools have been controversial for the most part of a decade.

    So controversial, that in 2011 the then-Coalition state government changed the rules so that parents had to opt in to the classes instead of being obliged to opt out.

    This followed a long-running campaign by parents, the Humanist Society of Victoria and education experts, who argued that religious instruction had no place in a secular state education system.

  34. I am still predicting a hung parliament. I Just Cannot see labor holding off the greens in richmond and brunswick.

    Also, libs are prob running dead in pascoe vale aswell in order to give the independent the best chance of defeating labor.

    more importantly, I just cannot see labor realisticaly gaining anything off the coalition.

    Last week the australian reported that the internal polling of both major parties had the 2PP statewide as 51/52-48/49 in favour of Labor. That is far more beleivable than this newspoll i reckon.

    The greens are more likely to hold prahran than labor winning it, i think. Any swing against the greens would likely just go to the libs – and vice versa. We must also remember the reachtel poll in wentworth which heavily overstated the labor vote (at 23%, when they only won about 11% in the end) – so i call bogus on that poll which suggested labor would pick it up.

    Even if labor was to hold every marginal seat against the liberals in eastern melbourne (another big IF), they still look like falling short of 45.

    I dont think people have started engaging in this state election campaign for the most part yet. Federal factors have heavily weighed in on what people perceive regarding politics since august, and this will not be as much the case going into the november. Ultimately, people are not voting for a change of federal government here and most of the electorate at least will come to this realisation.

  35. I was disappointed to find that the Victorian Upper House voting system has not followed the NSW Upper House and the Senate which enable voters to preference the groups above the line.

    So instead we have still got the “1” above the line or at least 5 selections below (which very few choose to do), meaning the group voting tickets basically decide the flow of preferences. The minor groups all get together and make sure they preference the majors last so that one of them will have the best chance of making it “over the wall”.

    Labor and the Liberals need to fix this in the next term. The ‘above the line’ preferences is a good method which is readily understandable by most voters, and clearly a better indication of their preferences without the need to fill out all the boxes below the line.

    The only “good” thing about the current system is that it enables you to punch numbers into Antony Green’s calculators which he should have up for each Upper House region by election day – they are uncannily accurate in the order of people being both elected and eliminated. I think running the numbers for the last election on his calculators there was one difference in a change of order of elimination in the middle of one regional count, but it didn’t affect the final result.

  36. William – any thoughts on the independent Darryn Lyons’ chances in Geelong?

    Zero, if the people of Geelong have the faintest whit of good sense. Wasn’t actually aware of his running though.

  37. I had a glance at Murdoch’s Herald Sun to see how Murdoch’s Australian poll was reported

    No mention

    Instead their Editorial talks up whatever Borrison promised funding for Geelong and the Great Ocean Road

  38. I think that the Greens chances in Brunswick will be harmed by Catherine Deveny running for the Reason Party. Normally I would not give the Reason Party much of a chance of affecting a lower house seat but She will be a very high profile candidate. So I think she will take significant chunck off the Greens primary vote and then it will be a matter of where the preferences flow.

  39. The independent who came second in Mildura last time is running again (Ali Cupper). She is like to come second again but in the current environment of rural independents a win cannot be ruled out.

  40. The Liberals are throwing away any chance at a second seat in the Legislative Council in Northern Metro, so there is less chance of a Coalition majority there. The local Liberal voters, members and donors will be upset as well.

    In Melbourne they had a chance, with decent campaigning, to push the ALP in to third place as they were only about 1,800 votes behind the ALP at the 3CP stage with the ALP being the incumbent party (which they no longer are).

  41. If Deveney wins in Brunswick, a split from Patten cannot be anywhere near ruled out. Two people who appear independently minded in a small parliamentary party is likely not the most stable set up. I think them being in different houses would also not help stability in their party.

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