Victorian election minus one week

The Liberals continue to talk up their chances ahead of next week’s Victorian election, but betting markets appear unimpressed.

The Victorian election has been remarkably light on for opinion polls: the Herald Sun has had only the four YouGov Galaxy seat polls it has published over the past week; The Australian appears to be content with top-and-tailing the campaign with Newspoll results; and The Age has had precisely nothing. We do, however, have a uComms/ReachTEL poll conducted privately for the Victorian National Parks Association, although one might well look askance at the result, which credits Labor with a two-party lead of 56-44. After allocated results from a forced response follow-up for the 6.7% who were initially undecided, the primary votes are Labor 40.4% (38.1% in 2014), Coalition 36.8% (42.0%) and Greens 10.3% (11.5%). The poll was conducted on Tuesday from a sample of 1527.

Oddly enough, there has also been movement to Labor on the betting markets, with Ladbrokes now offering $1.18 on Labor to form government after the election, in from $1.25 a week ago, and the Coalition out from $3.50 to $4.33. Notable movements on Ladbrokes’ seat markets include “independent” – of which there are two, Jenny O’Connor and Jacqui Hawkins – being slashed from $13 to $4 in Benambra. This presumably has something to do with a report by Gay Alcorn in The Guardian relating that polling conducted for O’Connor showed Liberal member Bill Tilley’s primary vote falling below 40%.

Ladbrokes also has “independent” as favourite in the crowded field in Morwell, where Russell Northe is seeking re-election after quitting the Nationals, although it has little separating independent, Coalition (which could mean either the Nationals or the Liberals, both of whom are running) and Labor. It would seem there has also been money coming in on Labor to recover Northcote from the Greens – the latter are still favourites at $1.20, but this is out from $1.14 a week ago, and Labor has been cut from $5 to $3.75. Odds for each electorate are displayed on the bottom-right of each page of my election guide; if you would like your gambling losses to go to a good cause, you are encouraged to sign up to Ladbrokes using the links there or on the sidebar.

John Ferguson of The Australian offers the following assessment:

The word increasingly out of the Liberal camp is that it can win. Labor believes this is a deliberate attempt by the Coalition to inject some life into the Liberal campaign team and the media, and that the optimism is not backed by reality. Guy was campaigning yesterday morning in the seat of Wendouree, part of Ballarat, about an hour’s drive west of Melbourne, which until late this week was not much on people’s radar. Despite a pro-Labor margin of 5.7 per cent, the Liberals think it is a possible gain, something Labor is not prepared to concede. The Liberals remain optimistic they can pick up four seats in Melbourne’s sandbelt, starting at Frankston in the southeast, which has a margin of just 0.48 per cent. It is a crime seat. The other three seats the Liberal Party is talking up are Carrum, Bentleigh and Mordialloc, all with margins of 2.1 per cent or under. But even on this scenario, the Coalition needs to pick up four more seats and so far the evidence of this happening has been lacking …

There are also at least three outlier seats that could cause the Liberal Party heartburn as independents try to unseat Guy’s candidates. The first is Benambra in the state’s northeast, which the Liberals hold with a margin of less than 10 per cent; the second is Ovens Valley, held by the Coalition partner with a margin of 16.6 per cent; and the third is South-West Coast, with a margin of 11 per cent.

While Noel Towell of The Age has the following:

The Coalition is losing this state election … Liberal Party elders Jeff Kennett and Michael Kroger are in denial, the first stage of political grief, while some of the people around Guy have moved onto anger and even the leader himself has been getting a little tetchy in recent days. But this is not over. Kennett has had a lot to say these past couple of days and even managed to be right about one thing; Victorian elections can confound the pollsters.

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.

195 comments on “Victorian election minus one week”

  1. The idea that the Greens are going to get a ministry in an Andrews government is delusional. There is no threat of them supporting the Liberals. If they did, half of their voters would disappear overnight, never to return.

    So the Greens have no leverage to demand anything. And nothing is what they will get.

    This also undermines the myth of Greens pressure, considering their only threat is voting with the Liberals to block Labor policy – and teaming up is not something the Greens or the Liberals want to be seen to be doing very often.

  2. The core electoral problem is that the Greens are too internally chaotic. This is partly a flip-side effect of having a highly engaged activist core to their membership – members stand up for their principles even if it means going against the party.

    They regularly preselect bad candidates (specifically looking at Bhatal and Maltzahn here), and persist with them election after election even though the rank and file members simply won’t support them and park their vote with Labor instead. As opposed to Labor and Liberal members, who seem much more reliable in voting for the party even if they don’t particularly like the local member.

    Andrews’ trump card is the simple fact that it’s a (fairly) safe bet no matter how much they piss the Greens off, Greens will almost still prefer Andrews in charge to Matt Guy. I’m fairly good friends with a LGBTI activist who hates Dan Andrews due to (among other things) him announcing millions of $ in funding supporting greyhound racing – for a reasonable chunk of voters in seats like Brunswick and Richmond, this is quite a hot button issue. However, like many in the LGBTI community, she also can’t stand Maltzahn – hollowing out what should be a core constituency for the Greens. Instead, they will be heading across to parties like Reason and the AJP.

    But no matter how much the Greens and Labor piss them off, once the flows finish up, these voters will always end up preferring Andrews to Guy.

  3. The latter, gamble responsibly.

    So if I sign up on Ladbrokes via the link on your site you get a cut of every bet I make.

    I’m happy to do this if correct as seriously pissed off with service from current provider, tab, and would like to see some of my inept betting go to a good cause.

  4. Boris @ #55 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 6:15 pm

    The latter, gamble responsibly.

    So if I sign up on Ladbrokes via the link on your site you get a cut of every bet I make.

    I’m happy to do this if correct as seriously pissed off with service from current provider, tab, and would like to see some of my inept betting go to a good cause.

    I’d say WB gets a spotters fee only.

  5. Usually direct to Labor except for when they have leaders like Latham, Rudd 2013 and Unsworth.

    Generally greens first especially with a dud labor candidate but the greens have gone off the reservation with their comments re support for a possible Labor minority government.

    It smacks of do what we want or we will wreck the joint, ala the rejection of Malaysia and the ETS.

    They work sensibly with Labor in the act so it appears but this latest idea may see them lose some primary votes.

    I hope so, then we may see RDN kicked as leader and more sensible green policies and strategies.

  6. Peg

    Not shitting on the greens but they release so many so called left policies that it is bound to be that one or more of them will coincide with a Labor policy that has undergone serious modelling and discussion before it is released.

    It is akin to the monkeys and best seller parable.

  7. Someone above used the term ” manifest destiny” in reference to the hopes and dreams of The Greens to become the Third Party in Australian politics. I have followed with interest the journey of Die Grunen (can’t find an umlaut to superimpose over the “u”) in Germany and while they have had success and failures electorally there, they are a well established political force.
    It is obvious the Greens here have much to learn and certainly lack the structure and maturity of their German counterpart, so while I support their environmental policies, I can’t see them holding the balance of power in Victoria (or Federally) in the short or even medium term. Until Australian voters are dragged screaming to the realization that environmental matters are going to absolutely impact their and their childrens’ lives, The Greens can only hope that their “manifest destiny” dream can be sustained. A pragmatic and realistic force for good is sorely needed.

  8. Ben Raue on the Victorian upper house group voting tickets:

    http://www.tallyroom.com.au/36327

    Of these eighteen parties, it appears that fourteen are participating in some way in a preference arrangement to deny close races to the major parties or the Greens.
    :::
    Nick Casmirri has helpfully done some research today identifying which parties appear to be best-placed to benefit from these preferences in each region:

    East Metro – Rod Barton of the Transport Matters Party
    East Vic – Vern Hughes of the Aussie Battler Party
    North Metro – Multiple strong minors, but Carmel Dagiandis of Derryn Hinch’s Justice
    Party
    North Vic – Tim Quilty of the Liberal Democrats
    South East Metro – Ali Khan of the Transport Matters Party
    South Metro – Clifford Hayes of Sustainable Australia
    West Metro – Stuart O’Nell of the Aussie Battler Party
    West Vic – Stuart Grimley of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

    Of course, this doesn’t mean these eight people will get elected. They will need to reach a certain threshold where they can start benefiting from preferences, but this can be quite low. Antony Green found that his upper house calculator could elect Transport Matters in East Metro off 0.31%.
    :::
    Labor is preferencing the Greens quite highly, but in every region they are preferencing the candidate listed above ahead of the Greens, which means if they end up in a head-to-head race with the Greens at the end of the count, Labor’s preferences would help elect the little-known micro-party candidate.

  9. Pegasus @ #62 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 6:49 pm

    Ben Raue on the Victorian upper house group voting tickets:

    http://www.tallyroom.com.au/36327

    Of these eighteen parties, it appears that fourteen are participating in some way in a preference arrangement to deny close races to the major parties or the Greens.
    :::
    Nick Casmirri has helpfully done some research today identifying which parties appear to be best-placed to benefit from these preferences in each region:

    East Metro – Rod Barton of the Transport Matters Party
    East Vic – Vern Hughes of the Aussie Battler Party
    North Metro – Multiple strong minors, but Carmel Dagiandis of Derryn Hinch’s Justice
    Party
    North Vic – Tim Quilty of the Liberal Democrats
    South East Metro – Ali Khan of the Transport Matters Party
    South Metro – Clifford Hayes of Sustainable Australia
    West Metro – Stuart O’Nell of the Aussie Battler Party
    West Vic – Stuart Grimley of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

    Of course, this doesn’t mean these eight people will get elected. They will need to reach a certain threshold where they can start benefiting from preferences, but this can be quite low. Antony Green found that his upper house calculator could elect Transport Matters in East Metro off 0.31%.
    :::
    Labor is preferencing the Greens quite highly, but in every region they are preferencing the candidate listed above ahead of the Greens, which means if they end up in a head-to-head race with the Greens at the end of the count, Labor’s preferences would help elect the little-known micro-party candidate.

    The Greens are slowly working out that they’ve been stitched in this election and will come out of it with a lot less than they went in with.

    This is a good thing!

  10. Well we will find out in a week’s time.

    Maybe the green votes decline do much they replace RDN before the Fed election.

    It’s good the age and others talk up the lib chances.

    There are likely lib voters who may be swayed by the thought that Guy could get in that they will keep their vote with Labor.

    Businesses do not want Guy.

  11. @onebobsworth

    In German, if you can’t type ä/ö/ü on your keyboard, it’s acceptable to add an ‘e’ after the vowel. Hence “die Gruenen” is the alternative spelling of “die Grünen”.

    Fun fact, police in Germany used to wear green uniforms, so back before the green party was formed, “die Grünen” was a slang name for the cops.

  12. Am I imagining it or is Matthew Guy colour blind?
    If so the most likely thing as a male is red-green color blindness.
    So Labor and the Greens would look the same to him!

    On a serious note I did some incredibly complex color test online, where you had to move whole series of tiles until you thought they looked to have a smooth transition. It then gave you various scores. Quite interesting.

  13. Just saw big posters all over Footscray attacking Labor for preferencing SFF in Western Metro with an authorisation I don’t recognise. Anyone know who these are from?

  14. @Rocket Rocket

    I was surprised there was nothing out this weekend.

    Given around 40% of the voters will go early it would be rather helpful to have some data tracking voting intentions.

    My head says that the ALP will gain a modest swing, the greens will disappoint and Andrews will end up with around 48 seats and the cast of Fraggle Rock in the upper house.

    My pessimistic side worries the ALP won’t make any gains and will lose a couple of seats along the Frankston line combined with the greens making in-roads leading to a minority govt (and the cast of Fraggle Rock in the upper house).

  15. @Expat: In fairness to The Age, every Australian daily newspaper editorialized for Truffles at the last election. Bar none, without exception*. Despite him knifing an “elected Prime Minister” (as the Australian used as an excuse to hammer Gillard nonstop). Despite him not actually doing anything to help anyone.

    And people wonder why I’ve given up on the Australian MSM as hopelessly right-wing – it’s because they are!

    * Obviously, online-only papers like The Guardian don’t count.

  16. Leroy

    They may release them the next day . But then again they did this during the Liberal challenge giving various info about popularity of different Liberals but not the actual party votes – I had to use a spreadsheet to try and infer them.

  17. Leroy

    Just skimmed through that Morgan article. Sounds more like focus group qualitative stuff. So I doubt they will give party votes – and a sample of 600 gives a margin of error for the TPP of something like 5% if I remember my statistics.

  18. @ Expat 718pmsunday
    Thanks Expat. While my grasp of European languages isn’t good, I’ve always liked their idea of superimposed symbols that show changes in vowel sounds, plurals and accents. If we had followed those ideas we wouldn’t have somewhat confusing grammatical rules like “i before e,except after c”, to mention just one. Add that highly abused ‘ and we have issues with possession, pluralization and abbreviation. Mind you, we got rid of gender issues by using only one non-gender ” the “, which is a big plus.
    Still fun learning another language and the experts say it rewires your brain.
    Tschu(e)ss!

  19. If you’re on MacOS it’s pretty easy, you can find all the extended symbols (äöüß for German, but also øéê etc) by holding down the alt-option key and pressing basically any other key to find diacritics. On Windows it’s a little fiddlier, so I would usually toggle between English and German keyboard layouts.

    My business requires being able to switch languages pretty regularly, you work out the shortcuts pretty quickly if you need them on a daily basis.

  20. More money on Labor at Sportsbet:
    Labor 1.20
    Coalition 4.20

    Ladbrokes for past few days:
    Labor 1.18
    Coalition 4.33

    Murdoch’s Hun just now:

    Guy’s embarrassing Frankston beach cafe gaffe
    CAMPAIGN FAIL In an embarrassing election campaign gaffe, the owner of a cafe visited by Opposition Leader Matthew Guy this morning, has been convicted of cultivating illicit drugs.

  21. What exactly does “cultivating illicit drugs” mean? If it means he had a cannabis plant in his backyard at some point, I for one couldn’t care less. Although it does leave a politician with a zero-tolerance tough on crime platform open to accusations of hypocrisy.

  22. “Cultivating illicit drugs” generally means weed. If they were running a lab or something they’d say “production” or “manufacturing”.

    Embarrassing gaffe? Or just reconnecting with some friends of friends (who like lobster) who enjoy gardening? Or just trying to show the folks of Frankston that he’s actually pretty chill?

    Whatever the story, it’s not a great look doing that when your candidate for Frankston is a copper.

  23. https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/tough-on-crime-guy-stops-for-coffee-with-convicted-drug-cultivator-20181119-p50gxg.html

    The Age have highlighted that exact hypocrisy in their headline. It’s probably even more embarrassing for the Frankston candidate:

    “Parliamentary hopeful Mr Lamb is also senior sergeant at Frankston police station and by his own account is in charge of every drug investigation in the area, in a further embarrassment to the opposition.”

    “Earlier this year Mr Lamb told the Liberal state council he was “in charge of every drug investigation in Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula”.

    I too couldn’t care less somebody’s minor conviction either, but it’s pretty funny in the context of Guy’s irritating law & order campaign that’s gone as far as to suggest traffic offenders should be jailed while waiting for their hearing.

  24. @citzen

    $6.40 on offer on betfair. Quite generous for a two horse race where there’s a dearth of polling.
    I’d expect they’ll be a least one poll in the next few days that tightens that up.

  25. There you go:

    “A restaurant owner in Frankston who stood alongside Matthew Guy and Liberal candidate Michael Lamb to discuss her struggles with rising energy costs on Monday is a convicted cannabis cultivator whom police sought to deny a liquor licence.”

    If you’re growing enough weed for the cops to care, such as having a grow house full of hydro and growlights etc, then that does indeed chew through a lot of electricity. (I’ve heard).

  26. I am getting absolutely sick of the Libs robo messaging and polling here. I don’t see Sunbury as a marginal but they are hammering us and have been for weeks.
    We have already voted as hubby is going into hospital for surgery

  27. They’ve had the most in-your-face but least face-to-face campaigning and I don’t think voters appreciate being relentlessly bombarded with (mostly negative) automated messages on their phones and social media platforms.

  28. “I don’t think voters appreciate being relentlessly bombarded with (mostly negative) automated messages on their phones and social media platforms.”

    Correct, negative social media messaging tends to only appeal to those who were already going to vote for them. Everyone else just clicks “hide this” and “don’t show me anything else from the Vic Libs”.

  29. Expat,

    It’s certainly a different way to engage voters compared to the Libs droning Leaders talking about Law and Order, African Gangs and Muslim Extremism.

    These are distractions that get a message over in a non confronting way.

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