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. Spence, I think we’re agreeing? I’m saying people remember the last Labor government as generally pretty good.

    Let’s not forget Rann embarrassing his office and the State by being hit in the face with a rolled up magazine at a public event by a cuckolded husband, however.

  2. For what it’s worth, that saga was a bit of a beat-up and what was telling was the fact the media dropped it entirely the day after the election. That said, I wasn’t Rann’s biggest fan. There was something phoney about him. And the fact he would blindly do whatever conservative authoritarian nonsense Farrell wanted, despite him painting himself as Dunstan’s spiritual successor always left a bad taste in my mouth.

    Make no mistake, Malinauskas is no progressive either (he is the former head of the state SDA and has conservative positions on loads of issues) but he is not pretending to be that.

  3. In my view Weatherall was a good premier and did things with great long term benefits (e.g. big battery and renewable power). As time goes on his decisions look better.

    Weatherall also left office with good grace, despite having the electoral dice loaded against him.

  4. Weatherill was great. Say what you will about his government’s policies and actions (and there is some stuff to seriously criticise), he showed he genuinely cared about this state and was willing to stop at nothing to improve the state’s economic situation. There was a certain optimism under him that I hope can return one day.

  5. Amazing result for Labor in SA.

    Not a result. Yet. It is a poll with a 835 sample. And others at 15% only a week out from the election. Still enough uncertainty here for a nervous night.

    That Marshall isnt doing better in polling is, in my view, what you get when you use the emergency act to shield yourself from scrutiny. Leading from the sidelines makes you look weak, not strong. And people respond well to a strong, accountable leader in difficult times. There is also something to say about health funding and in particular the fact that the ALP actually did something in building the nRAH. They got hammered for it in the media for any and every teething issue (some of it warranted) – but there it is, a big building doing amazing things, built by a brave government to make lives better. Same for the Battery. I reckon many people are starting to realise that the romans actually did do a lot of things for us.

    I havent figured out Cregan. He is a force, that is for sure.

  6. Cregan is the type of character who wore a suit to law school. Not sure what he’s done other than muck around being a politician. Wikipedia tells me he worked at a mega-firm for a while and has been in parliament since he was 33/34 years old.

  7. On the health front in SA, on top of the deaths from ambulances not showing up, the covid numbers today aren’t good viewing either for a government struggling.

    3122 new Covid 19 cases today
    136 in hospital (up 48 in 5 days).

    Marshall only last week said we had passed the peak & hospital numbers were dropping. Instead they have gone the opposite direction.

    This plus the polling number is telling only 3 days out. Health spending is required, there is no hiding from that, unless your Marshall.

  8. The ambulance situation is very alarming. Not a good time to have a car crash/heart attack/fall off a ladder/accident with a young child.

    At one point a few months ago there was no ambulance available south of the Adelaide CBD all the way down to the south coast, which covers a huge geographic and population area. Absolutely shocking.

    For the benefit of those outside of SA on the rare occasions you do see an ambulance it is covered with anti-government chalk graffiti.

  9. Cregan is the type of character who wore a suit to law school.
    It looks as tho Cregan has secured a new hospital for his electorate. I don’t think the good people of MountBarker know or care what he wore to law school.

    But yes. Your point is fair. What do we know about him? He has has some interesting jobs and roles. He worked for a small local law firm before becoming the local member. Maybe that was careful planning. He left the Liberal Party to serve as an independent. Rolled the Liberal speaker. Has been very vocal on local matters and gets his voice heard on Adelaide media. He is an operator. No doubt. Some food for thought….

  10. Sportsbet: Labor favourites in Adelaide, Newland, King, Elder. No betting markets for Dunstan, Davenport, Hartley and Black, all seats that now come under the microscope

  11. Evan – if you look more closely, you’ll see there are odds for the other seats under “other markets”

    Labor at $6 in Hartley looks a reasonable flutter, for those that way inclined.

  12. Hi Evan Sportsbet odds have changed Labor 1.20 Liberal 4.20. Some juicy odds for Labor on the 8% swing seats if you are keen for a small bet on Labor winning the seats.

  13. The State electorate of Kavel is wholly in the Federal electorate of Mayo, which has proven (several times) it prefers a community-minded approach to politics.

    Locals are over the moon they are currently getting so much attention from North Terrace so the weekend’s polling results will be very interesting indeed.

  14. I watched the Sky News/The Advertiser People’s Forum online this afternoon.

    From my viewpoint as an ALP voter, Malinauskas put in a very good performance. He hammered Marshall on ambulance ramping & Health and not preparing for Covid before opening the borders in November. Even mentioned the disagreement between Nicola Spurrier and Grant Stephens over closing the borders when Omicron hit and the subsequent disaster for hospitality over Christmas.

    Lot of audience questions on the health system, not many on debt or economic issues. The comparison between the leaders is not helping the libs. Marshall is a good enough bloke but he has no real vision or drive and it shows.

    Labor and Mali have dominated the messaging of this election so it’s no wonder they are doing well. I reckon those ambulance union ads and the recent reports of patients dying while waiting for an ambulance have hit the liberals hard. Mali had a good point in the debate that he offered Marshall carte blanche during Covid to reform/fund the health system and they didn’t do anything.

    Sky news reports that of the 100 undecided voters in the audience, 67% thought Mali won, 22% Marshall and 11% were still undecided.

    Real shame that the ABC didn’t organise a leader’s debate during prime time. A missed opportunity to serve the public there. Wonder if it was due to an editorial decision, budget cuts or a lack of co-operation from the parties…

  15. Marshall was on the Modbury pre-poll today.

    He was trying desperately to look relaxed & super kewl but it ended up all looked very forced & uncomfortable.

    In relation to the recent poll, the key will be whether any projected ALP swings are in the right places.

    I remember when Labor just scraped back in 2010, the overall swing against it wasn’t too much, and the biggest swings were in very safe ALP seats and very safe Liberal seats.

    But vastly superior campaigning meant Labor was able to hang onto its marginals.

    2022 has a similar vibe … the biggest anti-Liberal swings may well be in safe Liberal and safe Labor seats. How it plays out in the marginals will be fascinating to watch, and I bet the result will be a lot closer than what polls are predicting.

    I can’t wait to see the counting unfold. This will be the most exciting election count in some time, in my opinion.

  16. The big difference between 2010 and 2022 is that the Liberals have a lot less fat that they can afford to burn than Labor did in 2010.

  17. The SA Electoral Commission will not offer hospital patients the opportunity to cast their ballot on Saturday due to COVID-19 safety concerns, with those admitted from today also missing the cut-off to conduct a postal vote.

    In a communique to Central Adelaide Local Health Network staff last week, seen by InDaily, SA Health said the SA Electoral Commission (ECSA) had “advised that voting will not be provided at hospital sites prior to, and/or on polling day for the election”.

    The decision, which impacts all South Australian public hospital patients, means those admitted from today and who are yet to cast their ballot will miss out, as 5pm today is the cut-off for the receipt of postal voting applications.

    “The Electoral Commission has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation and working with the Department for Health and Wellbeing (SA Health) on how they can deliver a safe and appropriate voting service,” the communique said.

  18. That hospital thing is a disgrace.

    We will be more like 4000 Covid a day by Saturday. At least 20,000 in iso because of having Covid and a similar number in quarantine as close contacts. Cases everywhere undiagnosed. Not a great time to hold an election. Superspreader event.

  19. To be fair, how could they have known that there would be an election amidst a pandemic. It’s not like state elections have fixed dates or that the pandemic has been with us for two years now. There was no way they could have prepared for such a thing in that timeframe. 😛

  20. Diogenes

    Yes, in the health sector I’ll agree the real baseball bats are out for Marshall.

    Patrick Bateman

    I really do think that the electorate separates state and federal issues. The SA Liberals low-energy campaign is a key reason why they are struggling badly. If the $660m basketball stadium is the centrepiece spending commitment of their campaign, I’m scratching my head wondering why they aren’t spruiking it hard and backing it in. Instead they’ve allowed the opposition to make the Liberals wear it like an albatross around their neck. I guess they’ve wedged themselves in campaigning no-man’s land between promoting it and the issues in the health system that Diogenes pointed out.

    My point about the plastic straw ban is that initiatives like that would be bound to drain the motivation of the conservative wing of the Liberals (and not the only reform which has done that). Which on what we’re seeing would have to be the case. It will be interesting to see if the Liberals even have enough volunteers to have a full-time presence at all booths to hand out how-to-vote cards on polling day.

  21. Just listened to an interview with Nick Xenophon on the radio.

    Apparently the Liberal Party have sent out an electorate-wide DL to voters in Newland. On one side they have a photo of Kouts and Mali urging voters not to vote Labor because they can’t be trusted with money. On the other side is a photo of Frances Bedford, urging voters not to support her because it “risks Labor’s reckless spending”.

    Xenophon is wearing his lawyer hat this time, as he’s representing Bedford in her complaint against the Liberal Party’s fairly clear breach of the Electoral Act.

    She (and he) is arguing that the brochure makes no mention of her being an independent, and it misleads voters into believing she’s the Labor Candidate or, at the very least, is somehow clearly linked to the Labor Party at this election. Bearing in mind that she’s been around the north-east since 1997, many may remember her as their MP back when she WAS a Labor member, and this may serve to confuse and mislead them.

    I initially thought the Liberals’ decision to preference Labor before Bedford on their How To Vote card was accidental (or unthinking), but now I’m beginning to wonder whether they have always been more worried about Bedford than Labor. Interesting either way.

  22. If the chips fall the right way, it looks like Labor will be in government. Then the hard part begins. Labor cannot afford to fail, for the sake of the party of course but, far more important, for the health of democracy itself.

    Democratic government is under siege everywhere. At the grassroots here, the Labor, Liberal and minor parties will struggle to find people to hand out at polling booths on Saturday. Labor is lucky to find a Peter Malinauskas at this point, but he has a huge task ahead of him to maintain and lift trust in our system of government.

    Steven Marshall is a moderate Liberal who oversaw the introduction of progressive measures like euthanasia but was unable to deal with the factions in his party. There is a danger that extremists will will take over the Liberals and the consensus model that graces South Australian democracy will be lost.

    The Advertiser is a disgrace. It backed Marshall while he was still in the game, but has now turned against him almost overnight. Murdoch likes winners. Mali will have to watch his back.

  23. It is with great trepidation that I make any predictions about an SA election outcome!

    Obviously Labor are now clear favourites, and I expect they will form majority Government, picking up Adelaide, Elder, Newland, and King from the Liberals, and Florey from Frances Bedford. Majority Government with 24 seats. I think the combination of a “change” election and a shift of seats will be enough for Labor’s Savvas to get past Bedford in Newland.

    Even though the swing may well be on, SA has a history of delivering narrow wins. You probably have to go back to 1970 to see a change of Government leading to a large majority – Labor won 27 of 47 seats, in the first post-Playmander election, on a 2pp of +53%.

    My tip is Labor will win 25 and Geoff Brock is a good chance to win Stuart – with a swing of (say) 6% or so, it’s inevitable that at lease one other safer Liberal seat will go eg, Dunstan.

    The great unknown will be how many other cross benchers get up. It’s almost impossible to tell if any of the renegade Libs can hang on (I think probably not) but there’s a real possibility that one of the other independents might snag a seat.

    I’m lousy at picking election results so no doubt this will be completely wrong, with either the Liberals hanging on by the skin of their teeth in minority Government or Labor winning a 30+ seat landslide!!

  24. If Geoff Brock does win Stuart, it would be very smart forward-planning for Labor to get him appointed as Speaker, which would reinforce his re-election prospects at the next election and give Labor an extra de facto buffer.

    Apart from that Geoff Brock is a genuinely decent bloke and would make a very effective Speaker. Even if Labor has a strong majority, an independent Speaker would provide an important check against overly exuberant parliamentary conduct!

  25. Is it possible that Davenport is in play on Saturday night ? Perusing the betting markets, it’s almost line-ball. A leafy fairly well-to-do seat in the south / southeast metro area. It would be remarkable if it turns red.

  26. If Geoff Brock does win Stuart, it would be very smart forward-planning for Labor to get him appointed as Speaker, which would reinforce his re-election prospects at the next election and give Labor an extra de facto buffer.

    The publican of the William Creek Hotel was on local radio complaining about the lack of spending on the roads and talking up Brook.

  27. @Hartley Horn

    I think Davenport is definitely in play and looking at its new boundaries alot of it is areas of middle income battlers like Darlington, O’Halloran Hill, Aberfoyle Park and Happy Valley. Given the long-standing Labor candidate who is well known and liked as the local Mayor, with the current swing this seat is definitely Labor’s for the taking.

  28. Newland will be interesting. Will we see the Liberals fall too third and elect a Labor member over an Independent like Frances Bedford? They have decided to recommend a donkey vote on there HTV cards, which essentially preferences Labor over Frances.

  29. Being an elector in Waite I am interested what happens in that seat.

    A Lib defector to “independent” (being a deep blue rather than a teal) as incumbent, a teal who is/was the local mayor, a green (who usually polls moderately) an official Lib who was a staffer for Federal Lib MP Nicole Flint and promising local Labor candidate … oh and a virtually absent AJP.

    Advance Australia (the RWNJ) have run an online campaign against the local mayor [unsure why], and they may be confused by some with Advance SA who are a moderate party only running in the upper house. Don’t think it will be a factor, but any candidate opposed by Advance Australia must be doing something right … no, I mean correct.

  30. Re: Waite

    While you’re entitled to think what you want, in my personal opinion, Duluk is a scumbag and I would prefer the endorsed Liberal candidate win that seat over him.

    I have time for most other independents (even the conservative-leaning ones) but not him. But that’s just my two cents; it’s fine if I am alone on this.

  31. PaulTu, the campaign against the former mayor of Mitcham is insane. I’m sure you’ve seen the deranged material, including that she’s supposedly opposed to Christmas! As you say, anything these lunatics campaign against is probably a good thing, and they’ve successfully shifted me to considering whether to put her first and then preference Labor.

    The Lib candidate looks like your classic “never had a real job” type, he looks about 12 years old and seems to have basically done nothing but be a Young Liberal and work in a federal electorate office. “Papa and Mumsy, I’d rather like to be an MP, could you arrange it for me at the Adelaide Club?” It’s quite depressing that this is what qualifies someone for a safe Liberal seat.

    Wat Tyler, could not agree more about Duluk. He is odious and I hope he gets smashed on Saturday.

  32. Hartley Horn, you may be right about plastic straws mattering to the right flank of the LNP. Which confirms my perception that (a) these people actively want to destroy all life on earth, and (b) that the LNP across the country has become utterly myopic in the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison era. Imagine being preoccupied with wanting to make the world a worse place when there are so many bigger issues to worry about right now.

  33. Holdenhillbilly

    Yeh the timing and direction of the unemployment stats isn’t a good sign for the Government.

    I do wonder how much stock the voters put in it though. I mean, the State Government doesn’t have many employment levers really, and SA’s performance on that front has consistently lagged the rest of the nation since…well, before I was born. And it hasn’t mattered too much who has been in office.

  34. Holdenhillbilly @ #89 Thursday, March 17th, 2022 – 12:06 pm

    Unemployment rate ROSE 0.2% to 5% in a blow to the Liberal Government whilst in most states it fell.

    There seems a lot of work in town. Many people working ridiculous hours again, for various reasons that perhaps includes cost of living pressures as well as shitty employer pressures. May I suggest that 5% unemployment is not caused by an economic problem but by political failure.

  35. Another reason for people to be annoyed at the Libs particularly those who believed the state opened up too early:

    South Australia has recorded its fourth highest daily total of new COVID infections, with 4,474 people testing positive. It is the highest daily total of cases since January 17. Three people with COVID 19 have died – two women in their 80s and a man in his 40s.

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