YouGov Galaxy: 53-47 to Labor in Victoria; ReachTEL: 54-46

The first big media poll since the start of the campaign finds Labor looking strong ahead of Saturday’s Victorian election.

At last, a statewide Victorian poll result – and it suggests the betting markets might have been on to something in their move to Labor. The YouGov Galaxy poll for the Herald Sun gives Labor a 53-47 lead on two-party preferred, which compares with a result of almost exactly 52-48 in 2014. The two parties are reportedly both on 40% of the primary vote – as Kevin Bonham observes, this would be more indicative of a result of 54-46, which raises the possibility (though by no means the certainty) the the Greens are down. More to follow. UPDATE: Actually, the Greens are a solid 11%. Daniel Andrews leads Matthew Guy as preferred premier by 47-35.

UPDATE: In a spirit of long-awaited buses arriving all at once, The Age has a uComms/ReachTEL poll, conducted yesterday evening from 1239 respondents, which concurs with YouGov Galaxy in recording something of a Labor blowout. Labor leading 39% to 36% on the primary vote, with the Greens on 10.4%, which converts into 54-46 on two-party preferred, presumably on the basis of respondent-allocated preferences. Nothing further on the primary vote yet, but Labor leads 53-47 as best party on population and 56.6-43.3 on cost of living (The Age report seems inconsistent in its approach to rounding), while the Coalition leads 52-48 on crime.

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.

266 comments on “YouGov Galaxy: 53-47 to Labor in Victoria; ReachTEL: 54-46”

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  1. @Tristo

    True enough, but if you assume that Greensborough Growler was just commenting on the opportunism of the various minor parties, then he’s not far wrong. Unpopular ethics-based policy doesn’t win you the political race, unfortunately for the Greens.

  2. The VEC told candidates on Wednesday that they will start counting pre polls from 4pm on Saturday due to the high number of voters

    This is causing lots of problems for candidates trying to find scruitineers

  3. Yes, Saturday night will be short, a speedy win for the ALP, and the Libs sent into disarray.
    I agree about the possibility of a shrinkage for the Greens vote. Unfortunately, they just don’t look stable and reliable…. no government material, not yet anyway.

  4. I’d expect that the Lower House “others” vote will be lower than the polls because of a lack of candidates – the polls are probably picking up One Nation/Family First/Australian Christians/Rise Up Australia people who won’t know those parties aren’t standing until they turn up to vote and see the ballot paper, and those votes have to go somewhere.

  5. @Captain Moonlight said
    “The VEC told candidates on Wednesday that they will start counting pre polls from 4pm on Saturday due to the high number of voters”

    Very interesting.
    How quickly will the pre polls be counted? Could this mean a very early result?

  6. BT – You’re totally correct I think.

    In 2016 I remember seeing Facebook posts by Victorians saying “The election was rigged! Why couldn’t I vote for Pauline Hanson? She wasn’t even on the ballot form!” Scary but true.

    Many people have no idea how the system works, and with such high profile micro-parties and independents now such as One Nation, Derryn Hinch, Kerryn Phelps etc there would be an increased number of people who pick “Other” in polling believing they will be able to vote for those candidates, only to find a ballot paper with Labor, Liberal, Greens, Sustainable Australia who they’ve never heard of and a couple of local independents who they’ve never heard of.

  7. The Bludger Track is showing Victoria to be the Reddest of all states Federally…
    I expect it to be Red-hot also at the State level on Saturday….

  8. BT, Trent

    Yes the lack of other ‘parties’ in lower house ballots may mean that gradual slide in the three-sided vote may plateau.

    Voters have plenty of parties to vote for in the upper house though! Kevin Bonham is right on the money when he says the (hopefully coming) sensible reform of that voting will likely make smaller ‘real’ groups consolidate to give themselves some chance. It would be nice to have smaller ballot papers!

  9. So little scomo is set for a drubbing on Saturday.
    I hope so, well done sensible Victorians if that’s the case and it’s pretty clear it will be the case.

  10. re: Trent

    This brings back horrible memories (amidst mostly good ones) of doing a temporary contract with the AEC leading up to the 2004 election. I was working in the “Level 2” Call Centre in Canberra, which was responsible for calling back people who had made enquiries that the Level 1 centre couldn’t answer. Several people saw the “sample” How to Vote card on the AEC website which had all candidates with the word “PARTY” next to them. The callers were complaining that the system was rigged against independents and against people like Pauline Hanson and why can’t they vote for Pauline Hanson, and why was the AEC hobbling Pauline Hanson’s chances? These callers were invariably from states other than Queensland. I’d have to say that it was easily the most fun I’d ever had on a temporary contract and learned so much about how voting worked, back in the day.

  11. So the Newspoll will come in the Saturday edition of The Oz and will be 53/47 in favour of the ALP. I agree with the comments regarding some regions that didn’t swing much in 2014 will come good this time around and be the difference to delivering the Andrews Government a slightly improved majority.

  12. Re: Voting

    Last state election I was working for the AEC in a booth in inner city. I had one woman who came to me wanting to know how to vote for Mike ‘Bird’. I recognised her from the last 2 or 3 times I worked on that booth. She would always show up at 5:55PM blissfully unaware that an election had been called . Always dressed to the nines, on her way out for cocktails.

    She was an absent voter I explained that she couldn’t vote for Mr Bird as he was not running in her district. After explaining parties, candidates and how voting works about three times, she still could not understand why she couldn’t vote for Mike ‘Bird’. I sent her out to a Liberal HTV volunteer and said they may be able to help.

  13. WB or KB (0r other members of the informed psephological class) – any thoughts on how the cohort of early voters might vary systematically from the voting population as a whole? For example if we’re looking at swings Statewide at 700 pm of 2% to or against the Government is that likely to be overly generous or otherwise to either side of politics relative to the cohort that votes on the day? For instance you might speculate that early voters are less likely to be in full time work – though that could include retired people who tend to be more conservative than average and students who tend to be less so, so any effects may cancel each other out. Is there any data from previous elections on how early voters compare relative to the population?

    Also given that there is data at electorate level about the numbers of early voters (eg I think Eildon had the fewest) will State wide swing projections early in the night be weighted to take account of where the largest number of outstanding votes have yet to come from (maybe rural areas for example)?

  14. In Victoria there is no distinction made between in-district and out of district pre-polling. That means there are ballot papers for multiple districts in one ballot box. Only in-district ballots are counted on the night, so from 4pm the ballot boxes will be opened and ballot papers sorted by district.

    The counting of those ballot papers won’t start until 6pm. But Scrutineers will be permitted to watch the sort process which means many will sample count what they see, and there will be early scrutineers reports after 6pm when scrutineers get their mobile phones back.

    Pre-poll arrangements mean there will be parallel counts of boxes with 5,000 votes each. The official report of pre-polls will come much later when the parallel counts are complete and a single pre-poll total is reported.

    The single report is a limitation of the way results are entered in computer systems and transmitted electronically. The amendment to the electoral act to allow the count was passed very late which limited what could be achieved in changing software.

  15. Odds are plunging for the Coalition in Victoria at Ladbrokes:
    ALP: 1.14
    Coalition: 5
    …. and look at Ladbrokes’ new slogan:

    …. Not bad, not bad…… 🙂

  16. In my experience on 4 days pre-poll, there was as you would expect a lot if elderly nd those with mobility problems voting. Also however many young people. So make of that what you will.

  17. Gareth:
    Yes, with more than 4 Mill people enrolled to vote in Victoria, I am not surprised that, from time to time, you get voters like that showing up…. However, that’s no excuse to make voting voluntary…. let alone eliminating voting altogether…. 🙂

  18. I’ve read reports that micro parties have paid $50K each to the “preference whisperer” gent, in order for their party to be included in the preference swap deals which will snowball some of them into the parliament. Does anyone know the legality of payments being for preferences to be allocated? Surely this is in some way illegal?

  19. The volume of pre-polls in each electorate will be driven by the location and ease of access of the pre-poll booths. In Greensy, the pre-poll booth is in the Main street, has heaps of parking and is very close to the local shopping centre.

    In other electorates the booths have been in industrial area, with limited parking, no disabled access and lack of toilet facilites and largely incognito.

    I believe this is because of the difficulty in finding short term rental space that is fit for purpose.

  20. Liberals are one trick phong frauds

    Of course they do well on crime, on a different fucking planet !

    It’s a Illusion that Liberals do well on crime. It’s just money making Spivs (who remembers Serco?) eh?

  21. I think the VEC needs to open more pre-poll sites. For example Bendigo West only one for the entire electorate in Bendigo itself. They could at least establish one in Castlemain .

  22. Parramatta Moderate

    My understanding is that they are running pretty close to the wind. If say party A paid part B to preference them in a seat or upper house ticket (obviously more effective as the above the line votes are controllable) they would be in breach of the Electoral Act.

    If party A and party B pay a third person to organise their upper house voting tickets which just happen to cause advantage/ disadvantage to certain groups they are not in breach.

    Of course when 14/18 groups seem to be involved in this scheme, and some seem to be getting extremely favoured status in each region, it is pretty dubious, and some of these groups must really feel they have been taken for a ride. Someone I know who was involved in this said that the internal dissension in their group over this issue, and then the payments etc created lots of arguing and fights.

  23. @Parramatta

    The prices that Druery proposed to Fiona Patten are as follows:

    The microparties each paid $5000 to Druery to be part of his club, then for any parliamentarians elected they owe him a $50,000 bonus. If ten micros get up, he makes half a mil.

    It’s unclear if this is legal, but there’s a good chance it’s not.

  24. Thanks guys. It would be good to see these grossly unethical arrangements tested in the courts. Or the process could just be changed to eliminate party allocation of preferences. Is it too cynical to think the failure to do this is because the government would rather deal with a profusion of micros than the Gs in order to get legislation through? Sure the Gs do a lot of damage to centre-left governments, but if they get the votes they should get the representation that deserves.

  25. @Leon – Zoidlord is correct, it is an illusion that the Liberals do better on crime. It’s a perception because when the Liberals are in office, the Herald Sun (whose morning paper generally dictates the TV news agenda too) never creates the narrative that there is a crime issue, but when Labor are in office every crime reported in the paper is presented as part of a crime wave spiralling out of control.

    The reality is that out of every term since 1999, the one with the largest increase in crime happened to be the only one where the Liberals were in office.

    Bracks/Brumby – Crime decreased every term (to a total of around 29%)
    Baillieu/Napthine – Crime increased by approx 14%
    Andrews – Crime increased by 3% since Labor took office, however at the rate it’s reducing again, by the end of this reporting year it could actually be lower

    It’s very much an illusion that the Liberals are better at crime, they’re just better at selling that to the public (mostly because they’re friends of the media).

  26. Parramatta Moderate,

    That’s not too cynical at all. Labor tried the same ploy last time – to weaken the Greens by denying them preferences and electing micros instead. It did indeed cost the Greens a couple of seats, but the trouble was that it resulted in Liberal + Greens having a majority while Labor + Greens didn’t. So Labor had to deal with the Greens and micros, not Greens or micros.

    But just because it was a disaster last time hasn’t stopped them trying again this time.

    I suspect Labor won’t change strategy until they lose an election and realise the Coalition just needs the help of a couple of micros who they, Labor, caused to be elected to pass legislation, while Labor needs backing from the Greens and umpteen others to block.

  27. Rocket Rocket says:
    Thursday, November 22, 2018 at 11:52 pm
    BT, Trent

    Yes the lack of other ‘parties’ in lower house ballots may mean that gradual slide in the three-sided vote may plateau.

    Voters have plenty of parties to vote for in the upper house though! Kevin Bonham is right on the money when he says the (hopefully coming) sensible reform of that voting will likely make smaller ‘real’ groups consolidate to give themselves some chance. It would be nice to have smaller ballot papers!

    For upper house vote below the line. You have to tick a minimum of 5.

  28. Trent says:
    Friday, November 23, 2018 at 8:38 am
    It’s very much an illusion that the Liberals are better at crime, they’re just better at selling that to the public (mostly because they’re friends of the media).

    You mean they are better snake oil sales people

  29. These belated polls appear to confirm the feedback from my Melbourne rellies that Andrews has scored positively for his traffic and transport initiatives,progressive government and a non- agressive approach to politics in the State. The “red-shirt” issue appears to on the back-burner, the “Sudanese gangs / people are scared to go out for dinner” issue has gone nowhere and Guy’s/ Morrison’s attempts to link the Bourke St attacks with the so-called “Labor soft approach” has failed, particularly with Morrison’s involvement. That attempt has been defused with the general acceptance that it was and is primarily a Federal responsibility.
    Morrison appears to be particularly disliked in Victoria . My bet is, come the Federal Election, he won’t be welcomed electioneering in that State.
    Guy himself appears to be seen as somewhat of a shifty character, especially after the Land rezoning revelations. That has not helped the State Libs.
    There seems to be more interest in what happens in the Upper House and it appears anyone’s guess. The following week is going to be more indicative of the state of politics. Interesting times ahead for Victorians.

  30. The Phantom had no superpowers?? He had a horse and a dog though, surely that counts for something?
    Got a little bit misty hearing Ovens Valley and Benambra VIC electorates mentioned on ABC breakfast TV this morning. If the independents have done nothing else, they have achieved this.
    Expecting those over 60 and on farms to stick with the incumbent in Benambra. Feedback is: “he’s been here a while” (like it’s a good thing) and “parties get things done” (as opposed to independents).
    Colourful ad yesterday in the local paper capitalising on this sentiment, as authorised by Senator Bridget McKenzie, whose electorate office is moving here early 2019. Bit confused about the figures used to compare the bumper investment in Nationals-held neighbouring electorates and if Indi’s lower investment might be related to cross-border anomalies in Albury-Wodonga – there are funding and bureaucratic anomalies everywhere.
    Still, hard to deny that Indi isn’t already in Federal campaign mode.

  31. @Ante Meridian

    It’s not clear it was a disaster. Labor was generally able to govern without too much apparent hassle. Perhaps there was hassle that wasn’t apparent due to absence of any media coverage of state politics. They probably got through a bunch of legislation they wouldn’t’ve been able to do if they relied on the Greens (the bad blood would have stopped the Labor party from moving far enough) and which they now take credit for (like the euthanasia laws).

    What worked once probably won’t work again, since we get random MLCs rather than reasonable ones. But if Labor had’ve said “well that wasn’t so bad after all” I wouldn’t be surprised.

    And I think it actually works in Labor’s favor to see the Greens and Liberals ganging up against them. They can present that to inner city voters as a reason to vote Labor, and to outer suburban voters to show that a vote for Labor is not a vote for the Greens. Although since no-one has been talking about that I have no idea whether it’s merely a theoretical possibility or an actually occurring event.

    The Labor party knew that this was an idiotic, dangerous and non-democratic system when they brought it in, and that it was going to make table cloths not democracy. Perhaps another generation of Labor will be able to apply decency, common sense and democratic principles, but I have no hope for those who are around at the moment.

  32. Felix,

    They couldn’t get anything through without the Greens anyway. That’s the whole point of what I was saying. They needed the Greens and at least two others (note that word, ‘and’). Even if they had all the ‘others’ on side, they still needed the Greens as well.

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