The Age has published the first of what will apparently be bi-monthly polls of Victorian voting intention that combine the results from two of the pollster’s regular monthly surveys. Since a New South Wales poll was published last month, we can presumably expect them to alternate. The poll credits Labor with 37% of the primary vote, down from the 42.9% it scored at the 2018 election, but little of the dividend has gone to the Coalition, whose 36% is barely changed from its disastrous election result of 35.2%. The Greens also fail to match their election result, polling 9% compared with 10.7%.
The real winner is “independents”, a rather nebulous category given few voters will presently know which independent candidate they have in mind, if indeed there are any on offer at all. The poll finds support for independents at 12%, compared with 6.1% at the election, but presumably many of these respondents will ultimately be compelled towards other options. Resolve Strategic does not provide two-party results, but on a typical distribution of preferences (80% of the Greens vote to Labor and the rest splitting evenly) this would produce a result of 53-47 in Labor’s favour for a swing of about 4% to the Coalition.
Leadership ratings are provided for Daniel Andrews and his stand-in James Merlino as well as Liberal leader Michael O’Brien, using a three point positive-neutral-negative scale. Andrews records a positive rating of 42%, a neutral rating of 23% and a negative rating of 32% — not bad, but less good than Gladys Berejiklian, who last month scored 51%, 26% and 17% respectively. Merlino scores 30%, 30% and 15%, while O’Brien gets 14% 30% and 22%, with fully 33% professing themselves “unfamiliar”. Andrews records a 49-23 lead over O’Brien as preferred premier. (Also in today’s Age: “Federal push for state Liberal spill”, although I’m not seeing it online).
The results come with breakdowns by gender, which are rather eye-catching with respect to voting intention: the Coalition appears to be doing dismally among women, scoring 33% to Labor’s 39% and the Greens’ 11%, but is on 40% among men compared with Labor’s 34% and the Greens’ 7%. Daniel Andrews records a 52-18 lead over Michael O’Brien as preferred premier among women, compared with 47-29 among men.
Also included are responses to statements on “the recent COVID outbreak and lockdown in Victoria”, which I’m going to assume was limited to the current month’s survey and thus derive from a sample of about 550. This finds 63% agreeing the government “should have prepared better, e.g. QR codes, support or vaccines”, with 34% disagreeing (although I tend to think the examples provided in the question might have primed an affirmative response). Forty-six per cent agreed the government had been too quick to lock down large parts of the state with 36% disagreeing, which is the least favourable response to any such question I’ve yet seen. Nonetheless, 46% rated that the government had handled the outbreak well, with 34% disagreeing.
The sample for the poll was 1103, of which about half would have come from the survey conducted Tuesday to Saturday and the other half a month prior.