Utting Research Perth seat polls and Liberal Party briefing wars

New seat polls suggest Labor on track for two gains in Western Australia, although the going is a lot heavier for them than when a similar exercise was conducted in March.

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”.

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.

1,343 comments on “Utting Research Perth seat polls and Liberal Party briefing wars”

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  1. Boerwar @ #1185 Sunday, May 15th, 2022 – 8:58 pm

    Other than that I have a curiosity. If Frydenberg describes him as a Jew then it would seem legitimate to call Frydenberg a Jew But GlenO might have other views. If so, I am genuinely curious about this.

    As I said, it’s not the act of referring to him as a Jew. Saying that someone is a Jew isn’t an issue. It’s the contextual details that matter – the topic of conversation and the specific role of the term within it.

    Basically, nath boiled all of Frydenberg down to being a Jew, in the context of people not voting for him, while referring to Albanese by name (well, nickname) as the one that people would vote for.

    Let me draw the parallel for a moment… suppose someone had said “The voters in Cowan are getting to choose whether to vote out a Muslim in favour of boring Vince” – what would you think of that person?

  2. Guessing competition entry

    * Seats declared on the night: 80
    * The time A. Green declares a winner: 9:45pm
    * The time the loser throws in the towel: 10:20pm
    * Final TPP: 53.7/46.3

  3. Good to see all the Bludgers are on board with ensuring there are no brown skins in NATO, ASOV would be proud.

  4. Puffy – 954pm

    The most dangerous time in any kingdom or dictatorship is when the old leader is close to karking it or being overthrown. It is rare for everyone to get out of those circumstances alive or in one piece.

    I started reading this thinking you were talking about Morrison!

  5. Turkish drones have destroyed a lot of Russian gear. While they are playing it for their own advantage they can’t be ignored, as Black Sea power and strategically located member of NATO.

    At a guess they’ll extract a price

  6. * Seats declared on the night: 78
    * The time A. Green declares a winner: 8:45pm
    * The time the loser throws in the towel: 11:00pm
    * Final TPP: 54.3/45.7

  7. “Fulvio Sammut says:
    Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    Michael, curries?”

    It was an Asian cooking class, and I seem to remember a curry or two.

  8. @Steve777 – and?

    I’m not predicting anything yet, but I don’t see any reason why it couldn’t exceed Rudd at least. An awful lot of political “rules” have been broken over the last decade.

  9. It’s been a couple of hard years and we have a government that doesn’t car about the younger or the poor. Climate change is happening HARD. Jobs are shit, the economy is ghostly and propped up by a ponzi tax system that supports our housing market and the government isn’t interested in fighting corruption.

    I hope we are all surprised by a coalition wipe out. 82+ seats to the labor party. the indies all get up and the coalition are a rump for a generation.

  10. Coorey fawning all over Morrison again in multiple articles yet it’s all so shallow, so transparent, so threadbare. As though he’s literally begging him for one more miracle in the knowledge that failure by Morrison will by definition result in failure for Coorey. So be it.

  11. Before anyone invests too much in Sportsbet odds, have a look at the TPP odds. The favoured TPP result for Labor is 54-55% at $2.50. For the LNP, it’s 46-47% at $2.75. An LNP TPP of 45-46% is $5!! Now I’m no mathematician, but me thinks that doesn’t add up!!

  12. Excellent.

    I’m a fan of Charmaine Solomon, and have several of her books. In fact, I prepared one of her recipes today – a Massaman Thai coconut beef masterpiece.

  13. Rakali @ #1229 Sunday, May 15th, 2022 – 9:36 pm


    Isn’t Norway, already a member of NATO, a country who contains the White Supremacist terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik!?!
    That is an absurd statement.

    Anders Breivik is a convicted criminal in gaol in Norway.

    It’s not an absurd statement at all. Anders Breivik is a terrorist. A Domestic Terrorist who terrorised and killed members of the political party who supported immigration. Frankly, it just shows your poor comprehension that you think he’s simply a criminal. There are plenty of terrorists in jail too.

  14. @Steve777 – and?

    Just pointing out that people here are predicting a bigger win for Albo than for Rudd, Hawke or Whitlam. That’s a big call. I hope they’re all right. In fact I hope they’ve undershot, although that seems unlikely.

    We will know if any of the above happen in 6 days. Remember to subtract about 0.5% from Labor’s end if election night 2PP.

  15. It is not anti semitic to criticize the anti Palestinian policies of the Israeli government because many Israelis and Australian Jews disagree with the anti Palestinian policies of the Israeli government.
    No Australian politician should allow themselves to be silenced in their criticism of Israeli anti Palestinian policies by the pro Israeli lobby in Australia.
    It is in Australias interest to have an even handed foreign policy in regard to the middle east where we support a two state solution supporting the right of Israel and Palestine to coexist.

  16. Re Fargo61 at 5.47 pm and Qld Senate vote

    Are you assuming the Hanson vote won’t drop compared to 10.27% in 2019, when the Hanson vote at the Oct 2020 Qld election was 7.1%? If so, why? Seems a dubious assumption.

    Dr Bonham says a drop in the Hanson vote to 7 or 8 % would enable the Lab 2 to be elected 4th, depending on the extent of the increase in the Lab primary vote. See:


    Note the Greens vote at the State election was 9.5% compared to 7.1% for Hanson.

  17. Half-watching Interstellar. Every ad break “there’s a hole in your budget…”.

    I think that ad will annoy more people than it converts.

  18. Phil Coorey must realise most thinking people see him as little more than Morrison’s media glove puppet, that gravy train of access to the PM’s office is about to dry up.

  19. Luke, betting odds are not objective. It is what people believe is probable and the amount wagered overall dictates odds — not the percentage statistics would argue the price should be. People bet emotionally, or else what they consider is good value for their stake (which can be argued as emotional as well).

  20. Let me get in on the action…

    * Seats declared on the night: 84
    * The time A. Green declares a winner: 8:35pm
    * The time the loser throws in the towel: 9:00pm
    * Final TPP: 55.4/44.6

    (yes, I really do think it’ll be that big a TPP margin)

  21. I go for ALP 51-54% at about $1.90 (when you do the arithmetic).

    Result called by a major network at about 9 pm.

    Result pretty obvious as ALP win at about 7.15 pm.

  22. Historyintime says:
    Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 9:55 pm
    “I have never understood the obsession by parts of the Left with Palestine. They hate Israel but have been happy to give Iraq, Syria, the Soviet Union, North Korea, East Germany etc a conceded pass. Anyway, unless there is a video of Albanese saying the PLO or Hamas are legitimate organisations, there is nothing there.”

    That’s strange, I’ve never understood how a peoples (Israelis) so terribly treated during WWII would then visit a similar fate upon Palestinians literally months after what the Germans attempted to do to the Jews. Perhaps you can explain.

  23. Kevin Rudd might be going to burn the midnight oil and campaign round the clock but shoot thru’ before Julia turns up later in the piece.

  24. Michael:

    Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 9:59

    “Mavis says:

    I’ve recalled Clem’s surname: Lloyd, a thorough gentleman. Do any bludgers recall him?”

    [‘Yes indeed. He and Gordon Reid (later Governor of Western Australia) wrote a good book on the first two years of the Whitlam Government: https://www.politicsbooks.com.au/ccp0-prodshow/out-of-the-wilderness-clem-llyod-gordon-redi.html.

    And I did a cooking class with him at the Canberra Tech back in the 1980s.’]

    Thanks very much for that Michael. I’ve delved into my archive. Clem was the inaugural professor of journalism at Wollongong Uni. in ’90. I came later than most to tertiary education. And the only one I really respected by Professor Lloyd. He was so kind to young students, nor unkind to older ones like me. Thanks again. I would add that Clem preferred a low profile.

  25. Luke says:
    “Before anyone invests too much in Sportsbet odds, have a look at the TPP odds. The favoured TPP result for Labor is 54-55% at $2.50. For the LNP, it’s 46-47% at $2.75. An LNP TPP of 45-46% is $5!! Now I’m no mathematician, but me thinks that doesn’t add up!!”

    Indeed, Labor 54-55% is identical to LNP 45-46%. If the former is the favourite, the latter should be too (rather than 46-47%).

    A head-scratcher.

  26. Steve777 Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 10:08 pm

    Steve, yes I know. I’m sticking my neck out here.

    My rationale for doing this is that since 2019 the world has changed dramatically and the historical precedents people tend to use to judge future election outcomes no longer hold the same predictive value they once did.

    Since 2019 we have had fire, flood, global pandemic, rising threat of China, rising cost of living. All overseen by a PM who has been too slow to react, won’t own up to his mistakes, and is continually caught lying.

    I also have a sneaking suspicion that some voters are holding back on saying that they are going to vote against Morrison but will do so on the day and that the tabloid media is mostly watering down just how bad the campaign is going for the LNP.

    To those that point out that the ALP don’t win as big as the LNP federally, see historical precedents above.

    Finally, the other major factor at play here is that we are seeing clear evidence that voters are ignoring tabloid propaganda so that Murdoch & Stokes can no longer manipulate elections the way they did in the past.

  27. Julia Gillard would be useful in Victoria, Rudd is useful in QLD and Sydney, definite advantage over the Liberals who really only have Howard to woo the oldies, Abbott who they really can’t use anywhere and Turnball who they think is really a Labor person and who equally wants to do Morrison in

  28. Will the LNP rename
    “Superannuation” to the “Raid my savings to prop up rich property investors scheme”?

  29. I asked my Mum (she’s always voted Labor but pretty disinterested – wouldn’t vote if it wasn’t compulsory) what she thought of the “hole in my budget” ad and I mentioned in asking that I thought the jingle was really bad. She replied that she thought the visuals were pretty effective and that was more important than the jingle.

  30. Interesting donation tactic form the ALP, they have been asking for specific amounts from smaller groups of people and being really transparent with the dollar figures and intent of the money, along with the time frame of when they need the cash.

    It’s a very good tactic, they’ve managed to wrangle a fair bit out of me.

  31. south @ #1293 Sunday, May 15th, 2022 – 10:43 pm

    Interesting donation tactic form the ALP, they have been asking for specific amounts from smaller groups of people and being really transparent with the dollar figures and intent of the money, along with the time frame of when they need the cash.

    It’s a very good tactic, they’ve managed to wrangle a fair bit out of me.

    Ditto. 😆

  32. The problem with the hole in the bucket ad is that its premise is based upon an assumption and absolutely not based on fact.

  33. [Kevin Rudd might be going to burn the midnight oil and campaign round the clock but shoot thru’ before Julia turns up later in the piece.]

    Kevin Rudd will be torn by today’s Liberal announcement allowing first home buyers access to superannuation

    He launched a first home buyer grant back in 2009 to save the country from the GFC. Young home buyers went into more debt to buy homes made more expensive because sellers of first home buyer opportunities knew the little kiddies had access to $10,000 more under his leadership.

    Now the kiddies will have access to $50,000 more for first home buyer opportunities and the prices will rise accordingly. I wonder how Rudd will react?

  34. There are some ridiculous odds being offered for what are pretty realistic outcomes (IMO, as someone who trusts the polls and forecasts) on Sportsbet. Without being too specific, odds of 7.5 and 25 exist for just medium-to-high tide results for Labor.

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