Two Victorian state polls have come down the pipe over the past few days, from Roy Morgan and Essential Research. The latter also came through with a New South Wales result, which I’ll cover when I do a big post on pre-election developments in that state in a day or two. The Victorian results ran as follows:
• The Roy Morgan poll has Labor leading 58-42, with both major parties notably low on the primary vote — Labor on 36.5%, the Coalition on 29% and the Greens on 14%, with 20.5% scattered among a wide array of response options. Respondents were also asked to explain why they had chosen the way they did, with the accompanying release offering a wide selection of highlights. However, the poll is not as fresh as it might be, having been conducted from a sample of 1407 in “mid-August”. Like Morgan’s federal polling, it was conducted online and by telephone, whereas its earlier Victorian state polling — the most recent of which was conducted from August 11 to 13, seemingly only a few days before this one, and had Labor leading 60.5-39.5 — was conducted by SMS.
• An Essential Research online poll for The Guardian had Labor on 35.3%, the Coalition on 32.2% and the Greens on 10.2%, without distributing an undecided component of 11.9%. I would make that out to be a Labor lead of around 56-44. This poll was conducted online from August 31 to September 7 from a modest sample of 536. The poll also found 44% supportive and 25% opposed to construction of stage one of the Suburban Rail Loop, on which the Liberals will halt production to redirect funding to health.
Further state election news:
• John Ferguson of The Australian reported on September 3 that Liberal research showed more than a quarter of Victorian voters were “’hard’ undecideds”; that Daniel Andrews has a negative 15 per cent approval rating in “key seats”; and that the Liberals had gained traction with its message that it will prioritise fixing problems in the health system.
• The Herald Sun reports the United Firefighters Union will spend $1 million campaigning on behalf of candidates “who support firefighters” and against Labor candidates who it deems not to represent the party’s values. It is unclear who the former might be, but the inclusion of Richmond and Northcote on the list of likely seats suggests Greens, while Melton and Werribee suggests independents. However, it’s less clear how anyone other than the Liberals might benefit in Ashwood, Box Hill, Ringwood and Jacinta Allan’s seat of Bendigo East, or what might be accomplished in Thomastown or Tarneit. Also on the agenda are the upper house regions of Western Metropolitan, Northern Metropolitan and Northern Victoria.
Independent candidates latest:
• Melissa Lowe, manager of student equity at Swinburne University, was formally announced on September 1 as a candidate for Hawthorn, where former Liberal member John Pesutto will attempt to recover the seat he lost to Labor’s John Kennedy in 2018. The launch was attended by Climate 200 convenor Simon Holmes a Court, and her campaign will be managed by Brett Hodgson, who performed the same role for Monique Ryan in Kooyong.
• Sophie Torney, described in The Age as a “project manager with a background in computer science”, will run in Kew with the support of Kew Independents, an “offshoot of the Voices of Kooyong movement” that provided support for Monique Ryan.
• Carol Altmann, a former journalist for The Australian, will run against Liberal member Roma Britnell in South-West Coast. The Age reports Altmann has “built a following after raising integrity issues in Warrnambool institutions through her website The Terrier”, and “many local observers” believe she was instrumental in all seven Warrnambool councillors being voted out in 2020, including her Labor opponent Kylie Gaston.
• South Melbourne Market stallholder Georgie Dragwidge will run in Albert Park, which is being vacated by the retirement of Labor’s Martin Foley, and Daniel Andrews will face independent competition in Mulgrave from Ian Cook, who is pursuing legal action over the forced closure of his catering business due to what he claims was a slug being planted by a council health inspector.