Newspoll: 66-34 to Labor in Western Australia

No respite for the Liberals in the campaign’s final opinion poll, despite some suggestions in the media that their situation might not be as bad as all that.

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.

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.

66 comments on “Newspoll: 66-34 to Labor in Western Australia”

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  1. Regarding 4pm count of pre poll. If Canberra can put the press into lock down for hours prior to budget night, would think the scrutineers could be handled similarly. At present there is a lot of filling in time waffle from commentators. Suppose it gives losers hope for longer.

  2. Our final forecast for the state election:

    Labor is expected to win 60 – 71% of 2pp, snagging between 46 and 55 seats. The Liberals might be reduced to between 1 – 9 seats, and the Nationals 2 – 5. Although on a uniform swing basis National seats are harder to knock out (save Geraldton), as Nationals are only running in 16 seats, the uniform swing on primary votes is closer to 9% whereas the Liberal primary swing is -8.2%.

    Some exploration of possible outcomes:

    Biggest state election landslides:

  3. Mark Latham was elected under the right-wing nut job flag he flies in NSW Parliament. It’s not like he was elected as a Labor MLC and then all of a sudden went right-wing death beast, quit the party and joined One Nation. He resigned from his federal seat, went on his rightward journey, ran as an endorsed candidate for a RWNJ party, and was duly elected. It’s disingenuous to compare that to the Field situation, or indeed, any situation where someone quits a party while holding a seat they held for that party, be it by election or appointment.

    Anyway, looking forward to this tonight. Almost feel bad for Kirkup because at least he doesn’t seem to be captured by the Christian right, though if he does hold onto his seat he won’t have many friends. Not that I buy that he’s moderate in an absolute sense, but in a relative sense, he is. I wonder if this is the Liberal party he thought he’d be heading up when he handed that business card out 15 years ago…

  4. Danama

    Or a sweep on the first time Antony’s computer freezes?

    And I believe Kirkup won because the Christians wouldn’t have a bar of Nalder because he had called them out a few times.

  5. Edwardo:

    Yeah, Mark Latham wasn’t always a miserable, bigoted MGTOW. Back when he first took the Labor leadership, he seemed an absolute breath of fresh air – the anti-Beazley almost, an a reformer who would ruthlessly lay into John Howard without any hesitation, with an unfortunate tendency to put his foot into his mouth but a strong social conscience under the abrasive exterior. Don’t forget, this man was once Gough Whitlam’s protege.

    Obviously, it became clear that he was just not mentally cut out for the rigurs of leadership, and after some early wins he was eaten alive by Howard, but it took a while for that to become apparent, and even after he completely imploded and then spectacularly burnt all of his bridges post-leadership, he never struck me as particularly right-wing, just an unstable, bitter guy who held serious grudges. If anything, the general perceptions – helped along by Howard’s “L-plate Latham” campaign – was of a naive bleeding-heart. Certainly, there was little sign of the views he now holds on race and gender – they may well have been just as strong then, but he was clearly aware enough to realise a Labor leader cannot be heard saying that sort of stuff.

    I’m not sure whether Latham’s present-day allegiance with the alt-right was something that was always inside him, or if it was something that developed over the years, fuelled by bitterness towards his centre-left ex-colleagues and anger at the heat he copped for various boneheaded comments he made as a pundit, but, in either case, Latham the One Nation MLC is a very different entity to Latham the Labor MP and it’s incredibly disingenuous to try to tar Labor with the thing he has become – they cut all ties with him aside over a decade ago

  6. Theo,
    Thanks for the reply.
    As I said before, I do not belong to any political party and I have never been a member any Labor Party.
    I was a member of a political party during the 1980s. Mark Latham has never been a member of that party and besides they already have an ample supply of nutcases in leadership positions.

    You may recall the 2019 Federal election campaign. The Greens sent a convoy of kombi vans to Qld to spread the message that would hijack any future Labor government and shutdown all the mines.
    The LNP translated the Greens message to “Labor will take away your jobs”.

    As an outsider, it appears me that Labor will do everything possible to not be associated with the Greens in mining areas. This includes not recommending a second preference for Greens candidates in mining regions – the places where Greens are highly unlikely to ever be elected.

    In this scenario, Greens get Labor second preferences where they realistically stand a chance of getting elected and Labor retains or gains lower house seats in regional areas.
    IMHO this is a win for the Greens not a deal with Shooters.

  7. Mavis:

    Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    I think if Federal Labor follows McGowan’s lead it would see success at the next election. I reckon support for the Morrison Government is soft, the electorate looking for reasons to reject it. Yes, some of McGowan’s almost unprecedented popularity is C.19 related but it’s more than just this. It’s taking the center-ground which is where most sit. It will be grand to see WA Labor romp home – I’m sure I’m not counting my chicken… Besides, he’s both a sailor and a lawyer – I know a bit about that.

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