An election eve Newspoll in The Australian tips that the result in tomorrow’s Western Australian state election will be, unless I’m missing something big, the most lopsided in Australian history, with Labor leading 66-34 on two-party preferred, only slightly down from 68-32 a fortnight ago (compared with 64.2-35.8 at the New South Wales election in 2011, historically the biggest two-party blowout that comes to mind). The primary votes are Labor 57%, compared with 59% a fortnight ago and 42.2% at the 2017 election; Liberal 23%, unchanged on a fortnight ago and down from 31.2% in 2017; Nationals 3%, up one and down from 5.4%; Greens 9%, up one and essentially unchanged from 8.9%; and One Nation 2%, down one and down from 4.9% (with the usual qualification that they don’t contest every seat, which likewise applies to the Nationals).
Mark McGowan’s personal ratings are exactly unchanged on 88% approval and 10% disapproval, which I would be very surprised if they weren’t the best ratings ever recorded by a leader on the eve of an Australian election. The exposure of an election campaign has reduced Zak Kirkup’s uncommitted rating from 30% to 19%, but this isn’t particularly to his advantage, which his approval rating up three to 32% but his disapproval up eight to 49%. McGowan’s lead as preferred premier nonetheless narrows a bit, from 83-10 to 79-13.
Further questions find 87% expecting Labor to win the election compared with 8% of the Liberals, with 22% of Liberal voters supremely optimistic and 2% of Labor voters correspondingly pessimistic. Given a choice between the proposition that it was “important to have a strong majority government in Western Australia to lead the state’s recovery” and that it was “important to have many opposition members in parliament so we have strong checks and balances”, 51% opted for the former and 41% for the latter, with a strong partisan effect evident.
The poll was conducted online last Friday to Thursday from a sample of 1015; if accurate it will bear out the most apocalyptic assessments of the Liberals’ prospects and cast doubt upon the conclusion to my paywalled piece from Crikey today:
Talk of an over-mighty Labor government running amok also plays on suggestions the Liberals could emerge with as few as four of the 59 seats in the lower house, encouraged by last fortnight’s Newspoll result, which had the Labor primary vote on a gobsmacking 59%. Such a result would raise the possibility of the Liberals losing official
opposition status to the Nationals, who currently hold five mostly safe seats. However, the view on both sides of the fence is that the Liberals’ plea for mercy has at least been effective enough to spare them that humiliation, if little else.
For those of you have made it all the way down here, do take note of the post below this one which promotes this site’s various WA election activities and asks you for money.