YouGov: 56-44 to Labor in South Australia

Labor set to be swept to power in South Australia on Saturday if the second major poll of the campaign is any guide.

Tomorrow’s Advertiser is running a YouGov poll for Saturday’s South Australian state election, and while none of the polling news has been good for the Liberals, this result is something else: Labor leads 56-44, compared with 53-47 in the Newspoll (likewise conducted by YouGov) published in The Australian two-and-a-half weeks ago, for a swing of 8% compared with the 2018 result. The primary votes are Labor 41% (up two on Newspoll, and compared with 32.8% in 2018), Liberal 33% (down four and compared with 38%), Greens 11% (up one and compared with 6.7%) and others 15% (up one).

The poll gauges personal ratings for the two leaders “since COVID”, which put Steven Marshall on 46% approval and 48% disapproval and Labor’s Peter Malinauskas on 51% and 32%, with Malinauskas leading as preferred premier by 45-40. Crucially, health and hospitals has been rated the most salient issue of the campaign, with 39% rating it most important and 26% second most important, ahead of cost of living on 28% and 26%. Labor, which has built its campaign largely around the issue of ambulance ramping, a promise to divert money from other projects to the health system and overall theme of offering the “right priorities”, holds a 42-26 lead as best party to handle health and hospitals.

The poll was conducted last Monday to Sunday from a sample of 835.

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.

108 comments on “YouGov: 56-44 to Labor in South Australia”

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  1. With a swing like that, Steven Meh would become the first sitting South Australian premier in history to lose his own seat.

  2. Looking forward to Saturday. Not sure why Labor htv for leg council doesn’t give a preference to sa best after greens and ajp. Hopefully voters do. Way better than potential phon, ldp or family first twin resurrections who may be in hunt for a last spot.

  3. The recent pic of Malinauskas bear-chested would not have done him any harm. And that PV for Labor mirrors the federal one.

  4. Pretty hard to stop that kind of momentum, I wonder if Howard will lob, there is potential for more! I doubt we’ll see Morrison back again. It does look like yet another 1 term Liberal Government will be turfed aside and the Natural Order of things in South Australia will be restored. But it is not over till it’s over, of course, crossing everything!

  5. If that is correct, OUCH! If that is reflected federally and later in NSW, Albo needs to give ScoMo a medal and make him an honorary life member of the ALP. What happened in WA was an unbelievable landslide, without discounting state issues it would appear as though the Oz electorate is very over HMAS LNP.

  6. It is hard to believe those polling numbers unless Federal government issues are affecting the State result.

    SA PBers can correct if I am wrong but none of the Federal government Ministers including Morrison and Joyce campaigned in SA for this election.

    Correct me if I am wrong It is hard to believe those numbers because Yougov is not that reliable pollster.

  7. @Ven

    Yes Scott Morrison has been in Adelaide at least once with some announcements with Steven Marshall. I’m sure some other Federal Ministers from interstate have been here. Simon Birmingham of course has been featuring heavily in the Libs campaign.

    Interestingly Barnaby Joyce as well as David Littleproud and David Gillespie have been in SA trying to spur on the fledging SA Nationals who are running in several rural seats and the Legislative Council.

  8. I have reported here for a couple of years how impressive Malinauskus has been on social media… And elsewhere.. He is mightily impressive and could lead a long Labor Dynasty here

  9. Nope you aren’t wrong Ven. That is getting up to the “Rannslide” territory of 2006. That election was clear from a mile out how easily Labor were going to win.

    This election feels much closer. I would want to have a closer look at the MoE, how they allocated preferences and where that sizeable chunk of other votes are going.

  10. Rod harradine

    Morrison is in WA for three more days.
    He would probably rather not even fly over SA on his way back to Sydney.
    And the SA libs might like that too.

  11. I had heard a whisper that the Libs own private polling a week or so back was similarly dire. A 9% swing to Labor could see a whole raft of seats changing hands. As a 41 year old Premier, there’s plenty of time for Malinauskas to shift to the Federal arena in his second term, with the backing of his mentor, The Godfather, Don Farrell. Keep an eye on Lucy Hood as a future Labor leader.

    Still there’s an election and seats to be won on Saturday first. But very good signs.

  12. Sensational! I’ve been sceptical about the pre election Federal #libspill narrative but a result like this might just trigger it!

  13. And Corey Wingard’s (Sports Minister and ex TV Sports commentator) seat of Gibson comes into play on these polling numbers, too. Definite wow factor with this poll, how can it be so, but that is what we saw in W.A. not so long ago. But, hey, the only poll that counts, etc. etc. (and, yes, Rossmcg, indeed!)

  14. Living in Sydney, and not knowing a lot about the politics of SA, I would have thought Marshall would be comfortably re-elected. From a distance, he comes across as a moderate and a smooth media performer, SA’s handling of Covid seemed to be pretty good, and he replaced a long-term ALP government which was very lucky to survive so long on less than 50% of the 2PP. I know he’s had some problems losing ministers for one reason or another, plus some defections from hard right conservatives, but I’m just stunned to see he’s behind 56-44, if this poll is to be believed.

    So what’s going on here? Are we seeing the LNP losing ground everywhere in Australia? Recent polls have shown both the Tasmanian and NSW LNP governments, which formerly had massive polling leads, now being back to pretty much 50/50. And of course the LNP is down 55/45 federally. Is it Scomo which has tainted the LNP brand right across the country? Or is it an anti-government mood across the country? It would be really interesting to see some state polling from Vic and Qld to answer that.

  15. Modbury Mansays:
    Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    Yes Scott Morrison has been in Adelaide at least once with some announcements with Steven Marshall. I’m sure some other Federal Ministers from interstate have been here. Simon Birmingham of course has been featuring heavily in the Libs campaign.

    Interestingly Barnaby Joyce as well as David Littleproud and David Gillespie have been in SA trying to spur on the fledging SA Nationals who are running in several rural seats and the Legislative Council.

    Thanks for the information and correcting me. 🙂
    BTW, If this poll result is replicated on election night then Federal government Ministers seriously have to think of their federal strategy like keeping Morrison and Joyce as PM and Deputy PM. 🙂

  16. Also from Sydney, agree the evidence is mounting that the entire LNP brand is toxic to a large and decisive cohort of un-rusted-on punters. Marshall will just be just more collateral damage.

    Took a little time to study preference distribution from the four NSW state by elections four weeks ago. Minor party and independent voters of all stripes who bothered to allocate preferences (only around 50-60% on average) tip toed around the LNP candidates like turds on the footpath. Compulsory preferences would have delivered even bigger swings on that evidence.

    Assuming this poll allocates preferences on past performance, my guess is the 2pp if anything understates what will happen on Saturday. Let’s see…

  17. Parra,
    I’ve had similar thoughts recently. Scrote has certainly devalued the LNP brand, but I think it’s also cyclical. If SA and the Feds change govts in coming days/weeks, that leaves NSW and Tasi as the only 2 conservative govts out of 9 in Oz – and NSW isn’t exactly in rude health for next year’s election with their L-plate premier.

  18. Things happened under a Labor Government, Paramatta Moderate, Social Inclusion (Labor built a new Hospital in the City AND a World class Adelaide Oval) and action on Renewables tech. and infrastucture, roads basically. Since Labor, nothing. I supported the Marshall Government’s handling of the Covid situation, up until it was thrown open, and this in itself has changed things. Then there is the Morrison factor, speaks for itself. And the Electoral boundaries have shifted back, marginally, to Labor, in pursuit of that almost mythical 50% 2PP giving you half of the seats. A very dull, under-achieving government, the Marshall Libs. and let’s not even get into the internal turmoil and infighting which is Lib. DNA in S.A.

  19. Amazing result for Labor in SA.

    Wasn’t Morrison’s one visit to SA the one where he walked in front of Marshall and ignored him all day? Hardly much help to Marshall’s campaign.

    On these numbers would Marshall lose his seat? If so they may not be a rogue, but consistent with the Norwood seat polling.

  20. Parramatta Moderate, you have to understand SA politics it’s nothing to do with federal politics, Health is a massive issue in SA the current government the Meh government has let it get so bad and did nothing about it in the first 2 years and let it become worse, also the opening of the border too early was wrong as SA health advised against it and marshmellow didn’t listen and now the public paid the price at Christmas and NYE

  21. @Parramatta Moderate

    Like @Rod Harradine said as well, I think the SA public realise not much has really happened in SA under the Liberals…its been a business as usual steady as she goes set up.

    People in SA are looking for Infrastructure upgrades of any kind (with alot of focus on health). With record low interest rates and coming out of a period of perceived austerity measures during Covid, I think the general mood of people in SA is that they want the Government to actual spend money at this point in time. Also Labor has come out with some innovative education policies and what some other states may think as quite random but hit home with South Australians…e.g. get the Adelaide 500 V8 car race back up and running and simple low cost initiatives like offering 3 chemists in Adelaide subsidies to open 24/7.

  22. >I wonder if Howard will lob<

    @ Rod Harradine

    He was scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Busy day for me, no idea if he was here today or not.

  23. @Paramatta Moderate, I think it’s just an anti-Liberal sentiment.
    Polling in QLD shows Labor leading 52-48 in the TPP and 39-38 in the primary votes, despite the whole ‘integrity scandal’, and polling in Victoria shows that Daniel Andrews is on track to increase his already large majority like with McGowan. I think that people are just starting to seethe the LNP in general and look up to Labor. So basically a repeat of 200s where Labor was really popular (with the difference being that LNP gets kicked out faster federally.).

  24. From the time of their election I’ve wondered why the liberals didn’t just throw money at the health system. They would’ve gotten away with it & would’ve neutralised a great Labor strength. But they didn’t.
    My favourite Marshall government failure is the tram turn at King William & North Terrace.

  25. @BSA Bob – good comments!

    Marshall went into the 2018 election with 4 major promises.

    1) Deregulate shopping hours
    2) Cap Council rates
    3) Tram right turn onto North Terrace
    4) The Globe link rail, road and airport project

    Bizarrely none of the above have occurred and astute voters are well aware that these 4 key promises weren’t delivered

  26. Rod Harradine says:
    Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 10:58 pm
    Things happened under a Labor Government, Paramatta Moderate, Social Inclusion (Labor built a new Hospital in the City AND a World class Adelaide Oval) and action on Renewables tech. and infrastucture, roads basically. Since Labor, nothing.
    A bit like the one term Baillieu/Napthine government in Victoria: headed by a reasonably personable and middle of the road Premier (for a Liberal); perceived as a do nothing regime after a long period of activist ALP government; also riven by division as right wing mavericks headed to the cross benches.

    Hubris alert, but it feels a bit like an era where the ALP has become the natural party of State government. Now to bottle that sentiment and release it in the Federal sphere!

  27. SA voters don’t seem to be waiting with baseball bats, but rather foam-covered novelty bats to tonk the Marshall Government. It’s a silent but strong drift to Labor I sense. Not for Federal reasons that’s for sure, but not for any easily nominated reason in particular. There’s a widely held view that the Marshall Government is passably competent, but boy this has been one low-energy campaign by the SA Liberals characterised by many Campaigning 101 errors and missteps. For example, it is frankly bizarre that both sides are only talking about Malinauskas – it already characterises him as the Premier-in-waiting.

    I think ultimately it will come down to the SA Liberals going on unnecessary wars with itself, fighting too many battles over otherwise very friendly territory, indulging in left-wing vanity projects to the chagrin of their rank and file base (like plastic straw bans for example), and devolving too much decision-making to bureaucrats during Covid response when people were rather looking for political leadership as they got in Victoria and WA.

    As I say, it isn’t a rage against the government but rather a silent but very strong drift away from it.

  28. Wow! What a night to decide to have an early one to sleep off some booster shot drowsiness!

    Of course, small sample size etc. but it seems to confirm the “vibe” more than contradict it.

    The high “others” vote has me a little concerned. Who exactly is getting that support?

    Instead of calculating a House of Assembly result from those numbers, I decided to look at what the Legislative Council would look like with such primary votes and I have most likely as 5 Labor, 4 Liberal, 1 Green and 1 other (I can’t tell from the info. It could be anything from Family First to SA Best.)

    Of course, the poll that counts is the one on the weekend but, if this is at all reflective of reality, not only will Labor have a majority government, they should have a reasonably receptive Legislative Council to work with on legislation.

  29. It’s interesting – as an East Coaster, unlike many here, this kind of result wouldn’t surprise me?

    Marshall seems a decent guy and reasonable Lib – but a bit of a non-entity and Malinauskas really seems like a genuine political star, add in the increasing failures on the health front and toxicity of the Liberal brand nationally … the tepid polling before this seemed more confusing to me than this one.

    Maybe just me?

  30. “So what’s going on here? Are we seeing the LNP losing ground everywhere in Australia? Recent polls have shown both the Tasmanian and NSW LNP governments, which formerly had massive polling leads, now being back to pretty much 50/50. ”

    Could be a general shift agin the LNP across Oz. 🙂 The SA result will be a significant one as its coming soooooo close to a Federal election the result, whatever it is, just cant be detached from that. Its now way too late for the Federal Libs to replace Morriscum regardless of the SA result. But, i am not going to rule out him wanting to spend more time with his family anf Josh FrythePlanet getting the job of fronting for them. 🙂

  31. HH
    I work in health and the baseball bats are well and truly out for Marshall.
    Add to that the teachers and hospitality industries and I’m not surprised he is polling badly.
    And for the eastern staters it is SA Health that has killed Marshall, just as they killed Weatherill four years ago, with the help of hopeless Health ministers in each case, Wade and Snelling.
    Yet another death in someone waiting 2 hours for an ambulance last night.
    And the Tiser knows it’s all over and is blatantly running basically only proLabor articles now.

  32. SA really has the least implications of all the states federally because of the very few marginals. Then again if these polls hold up on Saturday, Libs might all of a sudden become nervous about Sturt.

  33. John Hill was the last decent Health Minister in SA and he finished in that role in 2013.
    Snelling and Wade were (and have been) totally out of their depth. Snelling was a right piece of work and difficult to get on with. I think Wade is probably a nice enough fellow, but doesn’t have the strength of personality or intellectual grunt to turn around the Titanic that is SA Health.

    I should add that if Labor wins the election, Chris Picton, former Chief of Staff to John Hill, will be the Health Minister.

  34. One thing you can be sure of, if Labor win Morrison will claim the victory has no relevance in the federal sphere, if Libs win he’ll claim he’s totally back in the game federally.

  35. As usual Murdoch wants to be associated with the winning side – Advertiser headlines:

    Why Pete wants to remake SA to take on the world
    The overwhelming favourite to become Premier this weekend says his drive to help the state has its origins in a love story from the ashes of World War II. (with a nice family photo)

    Bombshell poll: Labor poised for shock election victory
    Labor is on the brink of seizing government in SA after just one term in the wilderness, according to an exclusive poll that delivered a hammer blow to the Liberal campaign.

    Analysis: Why Marshall is facing a hammering
    Paul Starick

    New poll shock exposes same old drama for SA Liberals
    Michael McGuire

  36. @Parramatta Moderate

    I think there are a couple of things.

    1. Morrison. He’s toxic. People hate him. I think even those who are fairly disengaged have been disgusted by his efforts with natural disasters and women (he probably regards the latter as a natural disaster too). Labor has been using him in the SA state campaign.

    2. Happy clappers. Although it’s not mentioned much lately, there has been a civil war going on in the Libs with the far right trying to load up branches with happy clappers from evangelical churches. While SA does have pockets containing a decent number of these people, most people here are very moderate and I do not think the LNP have thought about whether the average voter here is interested in being governed by people who speak in tongues, think homosexuality is a sin, etc. For all that the state has become a bit more conservative, this is still the home of the Fringe, Don Dunstan, 100% renewable energy generation etc.

    3. Probably the biggest factor, the way in which the re-opening happened at the end of last year. SA had enjoyed a fantastic run of people behaving well with moderate restrictions/lockdowns in place, very low case numbers. For a long time it felt like covid wasn’t here. Then, very obviously, Scummo told Marshall that he had to open the border so that the federal government could crow about getting “back to normal”. Well, JUST before that happened Omicron hit, and the government should have hit pause for a few weeks. Instead they blindly ignored Omicron and we immediately started experiencing very high case numbers. The SA government bureaucracy immediately, and I mean immediately, collapsed under the increased workload. From memory at one point we were up into the many hundreds of cases a day and SA Health managed to list about 10 exposure sites in a whole week! And on top of that it was taking a week for them to list known sites, so people like me were hearing on the grapevine that particular places (including State government offices/buildings) were covid exposure sites, yet SA Health was failing to identify or list them.

    So basically I think Marshall has taken a winning hand and thrown it away by (a) not holding firm on putting SA first in relation to covid, (b) not differentiating himself enough from Scummo and his corrupt federal mates, and (c) not having the authority within his own party to shut down the happy clapper nonsense.

    People also generally remember Labor as reasonably competent in its last reign, Mike Rann and Kevin Foley notwithstanding.

  37. It’s probably also worth mentioning the multiple LNP scandals to do with allegations of expense rorting and bad behaviour towards female colleagues, which people have not forgotten. The Libs are having to contend with people like Duluk running again in the seat he currently holds having been expelled from the party over his behaviour.

  38. Patrick B. Rann and Foley not in SA Parliament since 2011, early 2012. Not sure much relevance to your last point. Could have done without Foley antics but Rann was well regarded for most of his time, and pretty popular.

  39. @Hartley Horn

    You think federal issues aren’t biting but banning plastic straws (a perfectly moderate and entirely necessary policy) is a real factor. Wild stuff.

    Look at the federal polling – as far as I can see every state Liberal government is feeling the effects of it.

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