Western Australian election minus three-and-a-half weeks

A rare whiff of voting intention polling from Western Australia, plus a deep dive into the group voting tickets for the upper house.

UPDATE: The West Australian now reports on a further poll, this one conducted by uComms for the Conservation Council of Western Australia, giving Labor a 61-39 lead on two-party preferred statewide poll. The primary votes are Labor 46.8%, Liberal 27.5% and Nationals 5.1%, Greens 8.3% and One Nation 6.9%, after inclusion of a forced response follow-up for the 5.3% who were initially undecided. There was also apparently a separate poll targeting the northern suburbs marginals of Joondalup, Hillarys and Scarborough, which showed “Labor’s primary vote at 46.1 per cent and the Liberals at 31.9 per cent, followed by The Greens (8.8 per cent) and One Nation (3.8 per cent)”.

The West Australian has details of a poll conducted by something called the Online Research Unit for an unspecified political party, encompassing all of the state except for the Agricultural and Mining and Pastoral upper house regions, which is to say all but the nine most far-flung of the state’s 59 seats. Labor is credited with 49% of the primary vote, up 6.8% on the 2017 election, with the Liberals down 7.2% to 24%, The Greens little changed on 9%, the Nationals down from 5.4% to 3% and One Nation down from 5.4% to 3%. The poll was conducted from a sample of 1546 “in the week before the five-day lockdown”.

Numbers are also provided for upper house voting intention, though respondents do not traditionally do a good job of answering this question accurately: Labor 45%, Liberal 25%, Greens 11% and One Nation 2%, the latter comparing with 8.2% in 2017. On the subject of the upper house, yesterday saw the publication of group voting tickets, which are neatly laid out by Antony Green on the ABC site. We await his calculators to help us determine where the chips are most likely to land, but I offer impressionistic summaries of each party’s approach over the fold.

To start with what I will refer to as the established parties:

Labor. Labor has the Greens second in four of of the six regions, but quite a bit down the order in Agricultural and Mining and Pastoral, where their deal with Shooters Fishers and Farmers places that party second. The Liberals and Nationals are strikingly high on Labor’s preference tickets — around the middle somewhere — ahead of various right-of-centre minor concerns, which curiously includes Shooters Fishers and Farmers in South Metropolitan.

Liberal. The Liberals have the Nationals second in the non-metropolitan regions, which wasn’t the case in 2017 thanks to their deal with One Nation. Their tickets otherwise tend to favour the more established right-wing minor parties, together with the Liberal Democrats and the Western Australia Party. The Greens are ahead of Labor, and have been particularly favoured in North Metropolitan, where Alison Xamon is also ahead of One Nation.

Nationals. The Nationals have the Liberals second followed by Shooters Fishers and Farmers. Then comes a whole bunch of micro-parties, which the bottom end order running Labor, One Nation, Greens, No Mandatory Vaccination, Legalise Cannabis and, in last place, Animal Justice.

Greens. The Greens have more-or-less ordered the parties from left to right, although they have drawn a sharp distinction between the Health Australia Party, which denies being anti-vaccination but isn’t wholeheartedly in favour either, and No Mandatory Vaccination, which is less delicate. Health Australia Party, Animal Justice and Legalise Cannabis are ahead of Labor; No Mandatory Vaccination, WAXit, Great Australian Party, Shooters Fishers and Parties, Australian Christians and One Nation are behind the Liberals and the Nationals.

And now what I will refer to as the right-wing minor parties, as distinct from the less established micro-parties:

Shooters Fishers and Farmers. Shooters are apparently directing preferences to Labor in the lower house, but they have the Liberals and Nationals higher in the upper. However, all three are well down the order, with the Australian Christians consistently in second place. The Greens followed by Animal Justice are consistently last.

One Nation. The upper end of One Nation’s tickets includes the right-wing minors, WAxit and No Mandatory Vaccination, with the Liberals and Nationals right behind. At the bottom end are Animal Justice, Legalise Cannabis, Labor and the Greens.

Australian Christians. Tickets mostly favour the other right-wing minors ahead of Liberal and National, with the micro-parties generally further down, and the order at the bottom running Labor, Legalise Cannabis and the Greens.

The other parties all bear the stamp of Glenn Druery to greater or lesser extents, heavily favouring each other with a few exceptions:

Western Australia Party. Tickets mostly favour the micro-parties, and to a lesser extent the established right-wing minors. The established parties are right down the end, in variable order.

Daylight Saving Party. The general pattern is micro-parties first, right-wing minors second and established parties at the end, with the Liberals and Nationals higher than Labor and the Greens.

No Mandatory Vaccination. The tickets consistently end in the order Nationals, Liberal, Greens, Labor, but are otherwise variable and hard to figure.

WAxit. The established parties are at the bottom in variable order; the top end tends to favour One Nation, Australian Christians and No Mandatory Vaccinations.

Legalise Cannabis. Micro-parties are mostly favoured, but the Greens are also up there.

Great Australian Party. Tickets mostly favour micro-parties, but the right-wing minors do fairly well too, as do the Nationals. Liberal are low, but Labor are lower; last of all are Animal Justice, Legalise Cannabis and the Greens.

Health Australia Party. Micro-parties heavily favoured, mostly followed by right-wing minors, with the established parties mostly down the end in variable order.

Animal Justice. Micro-parties dominate the top of the tickets, with the exception of the Liberal Democrats and the Great Australian Party, followed by the Greens, Labor, the Liberals and Nationals, and right-wing minors.

Liberal Democrats. Micro-parties dominate, with right-wing minor parties tending to come next, followed by the established parties, with the Greens and Labor last.

Liberals for Climate. The impression that this party’s name was chosen opportunistically is strengthened by their preference tickets, which are very similar to the Liberal Democrats’.

Sustainable Australia. Micro-parties dominate, although an exception is made for No Mandatory Vaccination. The established parties are at the end in variable order.

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.

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