Resolve Strategic: Labor 37, Coalition 36, Greens 9 in Victoria

A poll finds Victorian Labor still in an election-winning position in spite of everything, despite being well down from the heights of its 2018 election result.

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.

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.

26 comments on “Resolve Strategic: Labor 37, Coalition 36, Greens 9 in Victoria”

  1. Support for “independents” highlights that down here, any of those who voted Labor last time, but are turned off Andrews this time, still aren’t going to vote for a Vic Liberal party who look like either fundamentalists or complete lunatics.

    The handful of halfway-normal ones like Pesutto were voted out last election. And (almost literally) no one has any idea what Michael O’Brien even looks like. Half the state may as well assume that Kennett or Credlin are Lib leader, or “the QAnon woman with the ill-fitting suit” that was on the news last week, or at a stretch, Tim Smith.

  2. This is an amazingly good poll for a seven year old government mid-way through its second term. Barring the unforeseen (such as a late-breaking Covid outbreak close to election day), Labor should be comfortably re-elected late next year.

  3. Hugo,

    I’m pretty sure Labor is in front of where they were at the same time last Election cycle. So, the Libs may be looking at a WA type wipe out.

  4. This is actually quite a good result for the Libs considering how totally useless they are at the state level.

    If it was a uniform swing of 4% to the Libs, then they win back almost all the seats they last time. However, the Libs will lose seats in the redistribution as they hold (or could potentially win) most of the low enrolment seats.

    If the Libs had a much better leader they may come close next time as it is becoming obvious from everyday conversation that patience is starting to run thin with the Andrews government – but at the moment there is no viable alternative, so they are quite safe.

  5. The EBC state redivision draft boundaries due out on the 30th of this month should be interesting.

    More seat for Melbourne`s west and north, fewer for the south and east (excluding the outer southeast).

    Polwarth and Ripon likely drawn closer to Geelong and Ballarat respectively.

    Euroa drawn closer to Melbourne`s north.

    Generally movements favourable to the ALP, at least versus the Coalition, and useful to them in 2022 and 2016. One of the reasons that the ALP lost in 2010 was that a redistribution had not been done since 2001, due to 2002 not being counted as a general election for the purposes of triggering a redistribution because of the Bracks Government`s constitutional reforms, likely leading to an extra seat or two for the Coalition compared to fresher electoral boundaries.

  6. Greensborough Growler says:
    Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 5:31 pm


    I’m pretty sure Labor is in front of where they were at the same time last Election cycle. So, the Libs may be looking at a WA type wipe out.

    When your trying to work out the 2 party preferred where do you put the votes for independents that don’t exist. Pissed of with the Lock-down and unwilling to vote Liberal, doesn’t strike me as a group that will vote Liberal as a second preference.

  7. Poll taken during lockdown too. Kevin reckons 54-46. You can bump this a few points post lockdown.

    Still, IND vote is just implausible. Something not right with this poll.

  8. Gorks
    The poll makes sense because there is a growing frustration with the government and the last election was always going to be difficult to repeat with traditional marginal seats now held by double digit margins that are unlikely to be repeated and the ALP winning seats they don’t usually win so a 4% swing would be about what the government would expect but as TomTF&B points out its difficult to assess this poll without the new boundaries.

  9. Implausibly high IND figures occur in Resolve’s federal polling too. It’s an occupational hazard of offering IND as a standalone option because (i) a lot of voters think micro-parties are independents (ii) a lot of voters would vote for a suitable IND but then one doesn’t run in their seat. For some reason offering an “independent or other candidate” option doesn’t seem to cause the same effect.

    Can also be a smoke signal for over-sampling of the politically engaged.

    Note also re dates: this poll is at least 2 monthly samples rolled into one; it isn’t all the current lockdown.

  10. I got these numbers (may be slightly out in some cases) on seats without any independents running at all:

    * 77/151 Reps seats 2019 had zero independents
    * 34/88 Vic seats 2018 had zero independents
    * 53/93 NSW seats 2019 had zero independents

    Offering “independent” on the readout in every seat is just asking for trouble. Newspoll uses “another party or candidate” instead.

  11. Kos Samaras used to get his knickers in a twist worrying about high PHON votes in seats where PHON would never have fielded a candidate.

    And independents aren’t usually of the calibre of Zali or Haines. They’re usually non descript people with an axe to grind, and most are lucky to get their deposits back.

  12. Things we know about Newspoll and other members of Australian Polling Council:
    Full wording of questions and response options and how they were presented to respondents
    Variables used for weighting and whether it changes from poll to poll
    How sample was selected
    Effective sample size and weighting efficiency
    Who paid for the poll
    Dates of fieldwork

    How many of these things do we know about Resolve Poll?
    None, zip, nada…

    Is that acceptable in 2021?


    Or when there is a seat that an independent might be able to win or run close in, so many of them run and split the vote that the protest vote is dissipated through some preferences from each independent going to the minor parties. That is what happened in Melton (where 4 independents got enough of the vote to get their deposit back) and (to a lesser extent) in Werribee at the 2018 election.

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