The Sunday Times in Perth has published results of automated phone polls from Utting Research targeting the same four seats as a previous exercise in March. While suggesting Labor are set to pick up two seats, the results are quite a bit stronger for the Liberals than last time, although the sample sizes of 400 per seat imply large margins of error of nearly 5%:
• Labor is credited with a lead of 53-47 in Swan, in from 59-41 last time. The primary votes are 39% for Liberal candidate Kristy McSweeney on 39% (up seven from the previous poll), Labor candidate Zaneta Mascarenhas on 38% (down eight), 10% for the Greens (up three), 4% for One Nation (up one) and 3% for the United Australia Party (down two).
• Labor’s lead in Pearce is in from 55-45 in March to 52-48, from primary votes of 32% for Liberal candidate Linda Aitken (up two), 30% for Labor candidate Tracey Roberts (down fourteen), 12% for the Greens (up seven), 7% for One Nation (down two) and 6% for the United Australia Party (up one).
• Liberal member Ken Wyatt now leads Labor candidate Tania Lawrence 55-45 in Hasluck after trailing 52-48 in March. The primary votes are 39% for Wyatt (up two) and 31% for Lawrence (down eight), with the Greens on 10% (down three), the United Australia Party on 9% (up six) and One Nation on 6% (down two).
• Liberal member Ben Morton is credited with a 54-46 lead in Tangney after a 50-50 result last time. The primary votes are 47% for Morton (up six), 35% for Labor candidate Sam Lim (down six), 8% for the Greens (up one) and 2% each for One Nation and the United Australia Party (both unchanged).
Elsewhere, the Age/Herald notes a “briefing war” is under way among Liberals, with those aligned with Scott Morrison and Alex Hawke’s centre right faction presenting press gallery reporters with hopeful assessments at odds with those being traded by factional conservatives and moderates, who are respectively angry with the centre right over the New South Wales Liberal Party preselection logjam and a campaign strategy that has seemingly cut loose members under threat from the teal independents.
The optimistic view is that the Coalition might fall only a few seats short of a majority and succeed in holding on to power with the support of a small number of cross-benchers, thanks in part to live possibilities of gaining McEwen and Greenway from Labor. However, both sides agree Labor-held Parramatta and Corangamite are “in play”. Conversely, the view of Liberal pessimists that Reid, Bennelong, Chisholm and Boothby will fall is shared by Labor, who further believe North Sydney, Brisbane, Swan and Pearce are “line ball” (although the last two assessments may not sound like particularly good news for Labor’s perspective).
Talk of a briefing war presumably helps explain the report on Friday from Peter van Onselen of Ten News, in which he revealed internal polling had Josh Frydenberg’s primary vote in Kooyong down from a redistribution-adjusted 49.2% in 2019 to 43%, Tim Wilson down in Goldstein from 52.7% to 37% and Katie Allen down in Higgins from 46.5% to 44%. Such numbers would almost certainly doom Wilson to defeat at the hands of independent Zoe Daniel, and put Labor in contention in Higgins and Frydenberg at risk from independent Monique Ryan. However, the assessment of a moderate Liberal source in the previously discussed Age/Herald report was that Frydenberg’s position was strengthening, prompting the conclusion that “we could lose but save Josh”.