YouGov Galaxy: 53-47 to Labor in South Australia

At the mid-point of its first term, the second South Australian opinion poll since the 2018 election produces a sobering result for Steven Marshall’s Liberal government.

The Advertiser has a YouGov Galaxy poll of state voting intention in South Australia ($), which produces the (to me at least) surprising result that Labor holds a 53-47 lead over Steven Marshall’s first-term Liberal government, compared with the 51.9-48.1 Liberal winning margin in 2018. The primary votes are Liberal 39%, Labor 38%, Greens 11% and SA Best 7%, though I imagine the latter will be contesting a limited range of seats at best. At the 2018 election, the primary votes were Liberal 38.0%, Labor 32.8%, Greens 6.7% and SA Best 14.1%. In the only previously published poll this term, conducted by YouGov Galaxy almost exactly a year ago, the Liberals led 52-48 from primary votes of Liberal 42%, Labor 37%, Greens 7% and SA Best 7%.

The new poll has Marshall with a bare 38-36 lead over Labor’s Peter Malinauskas as preferred premier, after leading 46-26 in last year’s poll. His personal ratings are 37% approval and 41% disapproval, while Malinauskas is at a remarkably strong 44% and 26% (there did not appear to be personal ratings in the poll a year ago). Twenty-five per cent of respondents felt South Australia was better off since the government came to power, compared with 33% for worse and 42% for about the same. The poll was conducted Friday to Wednesday from a sample of 856, suggesting a theoretical error margin of 3.4%.

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.

14 comments on “YouGov Galaxy: 53-47 to Labor in South Australia”

  1. Peter Malinauskas is performing well. Sticks to his strong issues, doesn’t get distracted by side issues. Seems to be able to appeal to business as well as core ALP voters.

    Marshall is basically Dennis Naphtine/Ted Baillieu in a different state.

  2. Malinauskas is really out there performing- Labor had 16 years in power, and their team reflects that experience and confidence.
    Marshall said before the election NO privatisation of transport- and guess what, we are in the middle of a tram and train sell off. It is a black and white issue that I think will cost him the election.

  3. If you’re roasting your turkey you need to know where to stick the thermometer. Is there any indication that polling accuracy has improved?

  4. Centre Alliance is a federally registered party that can field candidates in any state or territory of Australia. SA-BEST is a SA registered party than can field candidates in SA state elections only. Whilst both parties have a common heritage (Nick Xenophon) they are separately incorporated bodies and have different management structures. The SA elected members of Centre Alliance are strong advocates for their state and work closely with the SA-BEST elected members.

  5. An uplifting poll for Labor, sure. Of course, one should be cautious and remember there’s still another two years before the election. However, if accurate, it’s not totally unsurprising. Two things: The economy is still struggling and there’s still no sign that things have really changed, undercutting Marshall’s pitch that he was a savvy business leader who was going to work hard to turn around the state’s malaise. The other thing is the Liberal Party proving correct their opponents from the last election who said they would go on a privatisation spree (and were labelled hysterical and desperate for saying so.)

    Marshall probably was hoping that he’d be governing with a Shorten Labor federal Government that he can rally against and shift blame to if necessary (much like state Labor did with federal Coalition governments.)

    And on Malinauskas: He hasn’t really been the most powerful of Opposition Leaders (he’s dull, conservative and visionless) but he is very good at retail politics and meeting with people. I don’t know how well that would translate into votes in 2022 but, if these numbers are anything to go by, he seems to be doing fine enough (if the Liberals aren’t just doing all the work for him that is.)

  6. Malinauskas is able and very likeable; Marshall so humdrum. Add to that the government’s broken promises and land tax shemozzle, and this poll, while a pleasant surprise, seems quite explicable.

  7. the problem with the libs is privatisation , bloody mindeness when it comes to the public thoughts and stephan knoll who is an arrogant upstart young bloke who comes frommoney and has never done a hard days work in his life. he doesn’t care how hard south aussies are doing it because he’s never had to struggle. if I were marshall I would put him on the back burner

  8. Kevin Bonhamsays:
    Friday, March 13, 2020 at 11:44 pm
    “I’m struggling to get 53 for Labor from those primaries, even with generous rounding assumptions. YouGov may be infusing federal preference flows”.

    Pardon my ignorance, but do polls ever ask the question “which of the Labor or Liberals do you prefer (or hate least)?” (or similar question) to get a direct barometer on 2PP?

  9. >Pardon my ignorance, but do polls ever ask the question “which of the Labor or Liberals do you prefer (or hate least)?” (or similar question) to get a direct barometer on 2PP?

    Yes – they will usually ask minor party supporters who they would give their preference to after their first preference. Unfortunately the responses to that question tend to be a less accurate predictor than simply using last election preferences.

  10. YouGov asks voters for a respondent preference but normally doesn’t use that information. Instead its preference flows tend to be based on an undisclosed formula drawn from recent state and federal elections, and in some cases (eg UAP 2019) from their own judgement.

    I think this one is also about 51.5 to Labor by 2018 SA preferences.

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