Victorian state polls: Morgan and Essential Research

Two more polls suggesting Victorian Labor is headed towards another comfortable-to-emphatic victory in November, plus further news of pre-election developments.

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.

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.

77 comments on “Victorian state polls: Morgan and Essential Research”

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  1. somethinglikethat,
    Here is some information on the new Cobblebank railway station that hasn’t happened.

    Dan has hacked google maps to show the non existent station.

    There are even realistic mockups of the non-existent station on youtube.
    Maybe this one was created with cgi.

    Goran Kesic is the quoted expert source for the two articles in The Age.

  2. In regards to the RedBridge polling for Mornington, this is replicated in other “blue ribbon” Liberal seats being contested by “Teal” candidates on the issues of integrity, climate change and health

    The winning chances for the “Teal” candidates are in the 45% to 55% range – and improving off campaigning and recognition

    The door knocking seeking the placing of signage is encouraging also identifying Labor voters who have never been represented by other than the Liberal Party candidate voting “Teal” to get rid of the Liberals

    It will be interesting to see how many seats the Party led by “King Arthur” retain in November

    There is mirth re “King Arthur” citing integrity – noting the resignation of his Chief of Staff

    The desperation of the Liberal Party is confirmed by their campaigning in the Western suburbs in lieu of the Eastern and South Eastern suburbs

    They have their “Bible belt” as you head to Mt Dandenong but that is it

    The Greens may see themselves as competitive in inner suburban seats but the performance of Greens controlled Councils and the personality dominated delays in any project mooted in those local Council areas is telling

    These projects, of which there are many across Councils, just never actually see the light of day due to personalities

    There is a much needed community supported project in Richmond where nothing other than argument has maintained for the last 18 months – and there is no prospect of resolution

    The Greens are individuals all with an agenda based on “being green” and who is the most “green”

    And Matt Guy, or whatever his name is, is Ukrainian

    Perhaps his close mate, the retiring MP for Kew knows

  3. Victoria at 11.52 am

    Why is Guy so dumb? Some roads in NSW must be worse than Ukrainian roads but would be easier than Ukrainian ones to pass off in photos as Vic roads.

    The serious problem in Victoria re roads is the lack of effective signage in the country. Guy is beyond a joke, but if his blokes wanted to get some publicity they could employ John Cleese to have a laugh re Vic signage. It can be as useless as those many magazines that Cleese ridiculed.

  4. Watson Watch:
    ‘Here is some information on the new Cobblebank railway station that hasn’t happened. Dan has hacked google maps to show the non existent station.”

    Strange. My train to Ballarat stopped at Cobblebank station on the way back from the rugby last night.

  5. The Age article referenced in the other Poll Bludger post today indicating that 57% of Victorians are optimistic about the future and feel their state is headed in the right direction (highest of any state) are not numbers that demonstrate a willingness to change government regardless of who the opposition is, let alone a very unpopular one.

    Couple that with “almost half” of respondents trusting Dan to lead the state through the pandemic challenges (health care clearly being the key issue here) compared with only 16% for Matthew “Matt” Guy and clearly the Liberals’ attacks on healthcare aren’t landing.

    There still hasn’t really been a single poll pointing to anything other than another wipeout.

    And these “right direction” questions are usually pretty indicative of the appetite for change.

  6. Interestingly that poll still shows Labor finishing well ahead of an independent.

    Even in the second section where it specifies a Monique Ryan calibre independent, ALP and IND are about the same but Labor would still likely finish higher after Greens preferences.

    So I disagree with Kos’ assertion that a drop in primary vote for both parties would impact the 2PP Labor are polling at because whatever they lose in the primary vote to a progressive IND would probably come back as a preference anyway. And on that same note, as long as Labor remain ahead of the IND (which Greens preferences will help) then why would a loss of primary votes to IND result in a seat loss?

    * I know most Greens preferences went to teals over Labor in May but there’s no reason that will be repeated in November. In May the Greens directed preferences to the teals for 2 reasons: strategically to make it a LIB v IND 2CP because it has more chance of unseating the Lib, and based on a 60% vs 43% climate target. In the state election, the Greens have no reason to direct preferences to a Liberal-lite teal over Australia’s most progressive Labor government, in seats where Labor have just as much chance of winning a 2PP vs LIB as an independent.

  7. Trent. Methinks logging in water catchments, duck shooting, Vic Labor having a wage cap of 2.25% for public servants, no real solution to public housing, Dan Andrews arrogance, failure of ambulances and health system along with lack of funding for public education and the list goes on is enough reason for Greens to preference nearly anybody over Labor. Plus rumour has it Liberals are preferencing Greens thus deals need to be repaid. Trent, get the Labor bifocals off and understand that we are heading towards a minority Labor government which will give the Greens huge power.

  8. This is for the Victorians mainly. I put it on the Open thread as well.

    This morning we went down to an ‘Open Day’ for the level crossing removal here in Sunbury.
    Road under rail and the overpass for the rail has Indigenous designs all over it.

    Best thing is (take note Taylor Made) it will be open next week according to the workers and this is a month AHEAD of schedule. Very happy atm.

  9. Jeremy says:
    Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 8:48 pm
    ….. Trent, get the Labor bifocals off and understand that we are heading towards a minority Labor government which will give the Greens huge power.

    Jeremy, I am a greens voter. I am also a follower of psephology. As much as I want a Greens / Labor government it just isn’t going to happen in 2022. 57% 2pp with a lame opposition does not result in minority governments. The polling says (way outside the margin of error for the 2019 fans) while the ALP will lose seats as the tide is just too far in, the LNP will lose more and Labor will still have a very comfortable majority, no matter how much some may wish otherwise.

  10. @MABWM, I totally agree with you.

    @Jeremy, I totally disagree with you. The point of my comment was that the Labor 2PP vs Lib will not be impacted by a loss of primary votes to Independents (or Greens) as long as long as those preferences come back to Labor over the Liberals. For you to suggest that Greens voters have plenty of reasons to preference the Libs over Labor is just crazy because all those things you list as Labor flaws, the Liberals are worse.

    Also, I’m offended you refer to me having “Labor bifocals” on because I think I’ve made it crystal clear on previous comments here that I’m a Greens voter, and will be voting Greens again in November too. I live in a Greens held seat so probably won’t have my preferences distributed anyway, but I can tell you now as a Greens voter I will not be putting Labor below the Liberals, and if a Liberal-lite “teal” independent ran they would go below Labor (but above the Libs) too.

    I would love nothing more than to see a minority Labor & Greens government with the Greens holding more power. That’s my entire objective in voting Greens.

    But I’m a realist looking at this from a psephological viewpoint and Labor currently have a notional 58 seats. They need to lose 14 of those seats to be plunged into a minority and there has just been no signs pointing to that happening.

    Greens can win 2 off Labor. There’s only 1 Labor seat a “teal” might be a threat in (Hawthorn). There may be about 2 other Labor outer suburban seats at risk to non-teal Independents (eg. Melton & Werribee). Can’t see the Libs swiping the other 9 seats off Labor required to trigger a minority…

  11. I’ll just note too that the main point of my previous comment about the Redbridge polling wasn’t even about whether it would be a minority or majority government, even though as per my above comment I think a majority is far more likely, and those “teal” target seats are mostly Liberal held anyway so wouldn’t make much difference to Labor’s seat count.

    My main point was that I disagree with Kos Samaras’ conclusion that the increased independent vote in his Redbridge polling is inconsistent with the 56% 2PP Labor are polling at, because the two things are totally unrelated.

    The only thing that impacts Labor’s 2PP is an ALP to LIB swing (whether that be before or after preferences). His polling doesn’t indicate any more movement towards the Liberals than any other polling does. Which is to say, little to none.

    So my point was that a handful of seat polls showing an increased independent vote in mostly Liberal held seats has nothing to do with Labor polling at a 56% 2PP.

    Especially since the polls showing a high Labor 2PP have also been consistent with also showing an increased IND and GRN vote too. So clearly the respondents swinging from Labor to minors are not indicating an intention to preference the Libs above Labor.

  12. A uniform swing of 3.2% against Labor would deliver 11 seats Trent. Then it’s pretty plausible Labor lose Richmond, Melton and Werribee. That’s minority. Labor are facing a swing of 4-5% according to Labor “insiders”. That’s before the narrowing, if we get one. Redbridge polling was pretty accurate during Federal election and l don’t see any reason for not believing Kos when he states Labor losing majority is a real possibility.

  13. You’ve clearly missed the point of my comment entirely again.

    Let me quote myself to reiterate what my point was:

    “So I disagree with Kos’ assertion that a drop in primary vote for both parties would impact the 2PP Labor are polling at because whatever they lose in the primary vote to a progressive IND would probably come back as a preference anyway.”

    I’m not talking about majority vs minority government here, and I’m not even talking about what sort of 2PP swing against Labor I may or may not actually expect.

    I’m saying that in broad terms, regardless of who the parties are or what the figures are, that very specific left-to-left primary vote swing does not automatically equate to an increased Liberal 2PP which is what Kos is implying.

    Especially at a time when Liberal support is at rock bottom. His poll may show an increase in IND support (consistent with every other poll too), but it also doesn’t show any more of an increase in LIB support than any other poll does.

    Do you disagree with that?

  14. For those who haven’t followed the link to the Redbridge Poll for Mornington that my comment was in reference to, here are the results of the poll (after undecideds are redistributed based on the “lean” question) and the swing compared to 2018:

    Liberal – 40% (-10.6%)
    Labor – 27% (- 7.3%)
    Greens – 8% (-1.8%)
    Independent – 13% (+13%)

    Firstly, based on those numbers, there is no way the independent makes the 2PP count.

    Secondly, most of the independent support has come from the Liberals (more than Labor + Greens combined), so that doesn’t indicate any movement towards the Liberals since 2018.

    There is then a second section, which is more like a push-polling question that says how great Monique Ryan is, and asks if someone of Monique Ryan’s calibre was running, how would you vote?

    There is then an additional 8% swing from Labor to the Independent, Liberal vote remains solid.

    This demonstrates that if the teal/independent was not of Monique Ryan’s calibre, that extra 8% would have voted Labor; so it’s also reasonable to assume they would preference Labor above Liberal if they did vote Independent, and therefore the impact on 2PP would be nil.

    The point? It is clear from this poll that:
    – The Liberals have lost more support than Labor & Greens combined
    – The IND would still not make the 2PP count based on this poll’s results
    – An additional chunk of Labor voters would consider voting IND based on calibre of candidate;
    – But those voters would clearly still preference ALP over LIB

    Now, the issue I had which my comments were in reference to, was to this conclusion made by Kos Samaras:

    “There is no evidence, in any of our work, to suggest the most recent statewide public poll, which placed Labor at 56% TPP is holding up for the incumbent government.”

    Again, I’m not disputing that perhaps for other reasons Labor won’t get a 56% TPP. There’s still a long way to go in the campaign. Anything can happen.

    But what I was arguing against, was that this particular Mornington poll and the other teal polls like it are somehow evidence of the Labor TPP not holding up, because if anything they actually show:
    a) A larger collapse in Liberal support than Labor support;
    b) The “soft” IND voters would vote Labor over Liberal with a lower calibre IND candidate, and therefore would likely preference Labor over Liberal too

    It’s interesting too that these polls don’t include a 2PP question. I think that’s deliberate because Kos Samaras has an invested interest in the “Voices Of” campaign so these polls are intended to drum up IND support as much as they are to gauge current support, and a 2PP question would probably have shown little to no change in 2PP terms, consistent with other polling.

    Also regarding seat count, it’s important to remember these IND/Teal polls are mostly being conducted in LIB held seats.

  15. Trent, what’s your thoughts on Footscray? Losing Braybrook and parts of Sunshine and gaining Kingsville, Seddon and Yarraville. Bad Greens candidate last time probably knocked 5 to 10 percent off their vote. Gentrifying. Let’s say Liberals preference Greens and a swing to Greens of 5 percent Victorian wide. Methinks the biggest margin seat Labor holds will definitely become marginal and a huge chance of Green gain. Albert Park a huge chance also. Then we have Pascoe Vale and Preston. Independents good chance to knock off a few Labor members. And it matters squat if Independents/Teals knock off Libs/Nats if we talking Lab minority. My point being it’s Labors seats lost that matters, not coalition unless it’s to Labor. Sportsbet offering 5.50 for Labor minority. Get on it. 2PP, pffft.

  16. I think the Greens will make big inroads into both Footscray and Preston. Pascoe Vale to a lesser extent but the redistribution has made a huge difference there. However, I think the margins in all 3 are probably just too big for this election. If the Liberals preference the Greens above Labor though, it will definitely make them tighter races.

    Same goes with Albert Park (which I live about 100m from the boundary of), but again I think the current gap – Labor 43% and Greens 16% – is a little too large to overcome in one election, but I expect a big swing. I’d be predicting Labor under 35% and Greens over 25% while the Liberals dip under 30% there.

    Prahran I expect the Greens to leap from third to first on primary votes. The threat to the Greens there though is that the Prahran area has probably had the most hostile swing away from the Liberals in the entire country over recent years (around -20%), so there’s a real chance they will drop to third resulting in a GRN v ALP count which would be much closer than a GRN v LIB count; but I still think the Greens would retain it. It actually wouldn’t surprise me to see the Greens get close to a 40% primary vote in Prahran.

    My predictions for the Greens contests are:
    – Retain Melbourne with increased margin
    – Retain Brunswick with increased margin
    – Retain Prahran, either with an increased margin v LIB or in a close GRN v ALP count
    – Gain Northcote
    – Gain Richmond
    – ALP to retain Preston, Footscray & Pascoe Vale but all on reduced margins v GRN
    – ALP to retain Albert Park with an increased margin v LIB, but reduced 3PP margin v GRN

    I think Caulfield could be an interesting 4 way contest because the ex-ALP IND will probably swipe a chunk of the ALP & LIB vote but I think the Greens vote will hold up or even improve. So you could have primary votes that look something like 35% LIB and then ALP, IND & GRN each hovering around 20% making for fascinating 4CP and 3CP counts, and the Libs in real trouble vs whichever one makes the 2CP count.

    On a side note, I agree with the “2PP, pfft” sentiment. This election will be a series of individual contests and any notion of a uniform swing of the classic ALP v LIB variety deciding this election is completely unrealistic. The same way I also think that the primary vote determining minority or majority government is rubbish. In the current climate there’s as much chance of a minority government with a 38% primary vote as there is of a majority government with a 32% primary vote (like in May) because it all depends on the “where”, and the individual contests.

  17. Fairfax reporting a new poll and touting a danslide 2.0. And that during a fortnight of saturation coverage, La Niña style, of Betty’s demise. Will greens and teals win more seats than the LNP?!? Ratnam as LOTO?

  18. Primary votes:

    Labor – 42% (-1% from 2018)
    Coalition – 28% (-7%)
    Greens – 12% (+1%)
    Independents – 12% (+6%)

    Dan leads 46-28 as preferred premier.

    Yet another poll pointing to a Liberal wipeout, with an expanded crossbench (mostly at the Libs’ expense). Not one poll has been inconsistent with that yet.

    The Age article characterises Liberal support in Victoria as being more akin to a minority party than an alternative party of government.

  19. The Liberal primary vote has been languishing under 30% for a considerable period of time

    The interesting thing is that the Company Chaired by Costello is now reporting it

    Maybe they have changed tactic putting that they need voters so there is an Opposition

    We don’t want WA in Victoria type stuff

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