Freshwater Strategy: 56-44 to Labor in Victoria

Another Victorian state election poll fails to corroborate Newspoll’s finding of a narrowing gap. Also: the Poll Bludger election guide expands to cover the Legislative Council.

The Financial Review has a poll from Freshwater Strategy, which made its debut for the paper three weeks ago with a New South Wales poll, that credits Labor with a lead of 56-44, from primary votes of Labor 37%, Coalition 34%, Greens 14% and others 15%. Daniel Andrews is on 39% approval and 48% disapproval, Matthew Guy is at 32% aod 48%, and Andrews leads 40% to 28% as preferred premier. We are also told that Jacinta Allan’s rating is neutral, Tim Pallas is at minus 12, the Labor brand is at plus 10 and the Liberals are on minus six. “Close to 60 per cent of Victorians” including 39% of Labor voters, believe they were locked down too long.The highest ranked issue by far was cost of living, followed by “health and social care” and “managing the Victorian economy”. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1000.


• The Poll Bludger state election guide now comprehensively covers the Legislative Council, including an overview and the usual thorough guides to each of the eight regions. The upper house contest happens to be in the news today following Adem Somyurek’s announcement that he will seek re-election in South-Eastern Metropolitan as the candidate of the Democratic Labour Party. Somyurek’s, whose DLP colleagues include Bernie Finn in Western Metropolitan, tells the Herald-Sun he will represent the “sensible centre of Victorian politics”.

• “Prominent Melbourne art collector” Andrew King says he will pay the $350 nomination fees of the first 50 people who come forward to run against Daniel Andrews in Mulgrave. King’s theory is that this will divert voters from Andrews “by reducing his first preference vote, diverting votes away from him, and increasing the likelihood of informal votes”. On what remains of Twitter, Antony Green relates that the total number of candidates could exceed 600, compared with an already over-stuffed 507 in 2018, boosted by Family First’s determination to run candidates in all 88 seats.

• In a Twitter thread, Kos Samaras of Redbridge Group argued that the anti-lockdown parties, including Angry Victorians and the Freedom Party together with the United Australia Party, complicated Liberal ambitions in seats like Melton as they like were competing for the same demographic turf of asset-owning white voters with trade qualifications and incomes of over $100,000 a year. Labor’s voters in such areas tended to be newer arrivals with lower incomes and mortgages, many of them migrants.

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.

298 comments on “Freshwater Strategy: 56-44 to Labor in Victoria”

Comments Page 6 of 6
1 5 6
  1. Lots of seat polls being done, has anyone here seen em. Watch the betting markets. When something eases or firms this tells you a lot. Definitely a trailing indicator but extremely useful. Polls can be wrong(Trump, Brexit, 2019 Federal election), all the bookies do is set a market and then let weight of money dictate the movement of that market. Yes, good publicity for the bookies. And bookies don’t like to lose, hence why your bets might be capped. But for Mexicanbeemer to say betting markets are useless is a ridiculous statement that he/she should retract.

  2. Jeremy,
    Do you realise how tiny the markets are for betting on individual seats? Minuscule. I normally can’t lay any more than $5 on one. They’re a joke. And you’re a credulous fool.

  3. edwardo,
    Yeah, when it comes to the big picture. But as to individual seats? Useless. Even more useless than polls of individual seats.

  4. Ballot draws are posted on VEC website. Some of the more interesting ones

    South-West Coast: James Purcell (IND) top, Carol Altmann (IND) 5, ALP 8, Roma Britnell (LIB) 10th/last.
    Werribee: Tim Pallas (ALP) top spot on a ballot of 15
    Shepparton: Nats top spot, Liberals 7th, Suzanna Sheed (IND) 8th
    Sandringham: Greens top spot, ALP 3rd, Brad Rowswell (LIB) 5th, Clarke Martin (IND) 8th/last
    Richmond: AJP top spot, Greens 5th, ALP 8th/last
    Prahran: AJP top spot, Liberals 2nd, ALP 3rd, Sam Hibbins (GRN) 5th
    Polwarth: Greens top spot, ALP 4th, Richard Riordan (LIB) 7th/last
    Point Cook: Family First top spot, Liberals 5th, ALP 10th, Joe Garra (IND) 15th/last
    Pakenham: Liberals top spot, ALP 7th
    Northcote: Adrian Whitehead (IND) top spot, Greens 3rd, ALP 7th
    Nepean: Companions and Pets top spot, Liberals 5th, Chris Brayne (ALP) 10th
    Mulgrave: Dan Andrews (ALP) top spot, Ian Cook (IND) 5th, Aidan McLindon (FPV) 14th/last
    Morwell: Liberals top spot, Nats 2nd, ALP 8th
    Mornington: Kate Lardner (IND) top spot, Liberals 3rd, ALP 8th/last
    Mildura: Ali Cupper (IND) top spot, Liberals 5th, ALP 6th, Nats 7th
    Melton: Shooters top spot, Ian Birchall (IND) 2nd, Liberals 4th, Steve McGhie (ALP) 10th
    Melbourne: Liberals top spot, Ellen Sandell (GRN) 2nd, ALP 8th
    Kew: Sophie Torney (IND) top spot, ALP 4th, Liberals 6th
    Hawthorn: AJP top spot, John Kennedy (ALP) 2nd, Melissa Lowe (IND) 5th, John Pesutto (LIB) 7th
    Hastings: AJP top spot, ALP 3rd, Liberals 7th
    Glen Waverley: DLP top spot, ALP 5th, Neil Angus (LIB) 7th/last
    Footscray: Greens top spot, Katie Hall (ALP) 3rd
    Eildon: ALP top spot, Cindy McLeish (LIB) 3rd
    Croydon: DLP top spot, ALP 3rd, David Hodgett (LIB) 4th
    Caulfield: Nomi Kaltmann (IND) top spot, David Southwick (LIB) 5th, ALP 6th
    Brunswick: Anthony Helou (IND) top spot, ALP 2nd, Tim Read (GRN) 9th/last
    Brighton: Allan Timms (IND) top spot, Felicity Frederico (IND) 5th, James Newbury (LIB) 7th, ALP 8th
    Berwick: Greens top spot, Brad Battin (LIB) 4th, ALP 6th/last
    Benambra: AJP top spot, Jacqui Hawkins (IND) 4th, Bill Tilley (LIB) 6th
    Bayswater: Family First top spot, Nick Wakeling (LIB) 5th, Jackson Taylor (ALP) 7th
    Bass: Nats top spot, Jordan Crugnale (ALP) 5th, Liberals 7th
    Albert Park: Georgie Dragwidge (IND) top spot, Nina Taylor (ALP) 2nd, Greens 3rd, Liberals 6th

  5. Jeremy says:
    Friday, November 11, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    Lots of seat polls being done, has anyone here seen em. Watch the betting markets. When something eases or firms this tells you a lot. Definitely a trailing indicator but extremely useful. Polls can be wrong(Trump, Brexit, 2019 Federal election), all the bookies do is set a market and then let weight of money dictate the movement of that market. Yes, good publicity for the bookies. And bookies don’t like to lose, hence why your bets might be capped. But for Mexicanbeemer to say betting markets are useless is a ridiculous statement that he/she should retract.
    I don’t need a bookie to tell me how two thirds of the 88 seats will vote because all the betting market is telling me is what punters think and when it comes to elections that pool is shallow and the polls were not wrong on Trump Brexit and the 2019 federal election.

  6. 2016 US polls had 48-44 to Hillary and the result ended up 48-46 to Hillary, consistent with late ‘undecided voters’ breaking for Trump.

    2019 AUS polls ended up with ALP leading 52-48 and ended up 50-50 (within the margin of error), also consistent with late undecided voters breaking LIB.

    In both cases, the polls indicated a very close race within the margin of error where either side could win, but because the side who was VERY, very narrowly trailing in the polls ended up VERY, very narrowly winning, the media deemed them “polling failures”. But in reality, even a 1% deviation could have changed the outcome.

    The “polls were wrong” line often gets trotted out by those who either don’t understand the nature of polling, listen more to the media’s often inaccurate reporting or narratives they put around polling, or those for whom it simply suits their narrative to dismiss polls.

  7. Morgan’s latest poll has the ALP 57 / Liberals 43

    The ALP has retained a large election winning lead over the Liberal-National Coalition in Victoria with the ALP now on 57% (down 3.5% points since campaigning began) and well ahead of the L-NP on 43% (up 3.5% points) on a two-party preferred basis.

    The two-party preferred results of this week’s special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Poll are almost identical to the results from the 2018 Victorian Election in which the ALP on 57.3% defeated the L-NP on 42.7% – a margin of 14.6% points.

    However, comparing the primary voting results from this Roy Morgan Snap SMS Poll to the 2018 Victorian Election shows a large move to minor parties and independents – the same thing Roy Morgan saw at this year’s Federal Election.

    Primary vote support for the two major parties shows the ALP now at 40% (down 2.9% points from the 2018 Victorian Election) ahead of the L-NP on 29% (down 6.2% points).

    Support for the Greens is at 11.5% (up 0.8% points) while total support for ‘Other parties and independents’ is now at 19.5% (up 8.3% points). Among the minor parties support for so-called ‘Teal Independents’ is now at 4.5% while there is 1% support for Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, 0.5% support for Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party and 13% support other minor parties and independents.

  8. Mexican – your headline contradicts your comment.

    57/43 or 53/47.

    Either way more definitive poof that the ALP can’t win a majority for the mainstream media.

  9. Yeah I saw you fixed it so just removed my comment 🙂

    Yeah exactly that’s right. There was a noticeable trend in the polling towards the eventual outcome that would naturally have ended up at the final results that actually occurred.

    I read a great article that explained how the polls weren’t wrong, but the public’s understanding of the polls (helped along by how the media reported them) was.

    Take 2019 for example, polls that over the course of a month gradually move in the same direction from 54-46 to 53-47 to 52-48 (and some as close as 51-49), with a +/-3 margin of error, are not “wrong” when they then wind up around 50-50.

    Similarly, polls that increasingly showed undecided voters swinging to Trump are not wrong when Hillary’s popular vote remains static but Trump gains +2.

    That +2 being enough to swing 4 states by less than 1% each, and those 4 states decided the electoral college.

  10. Regarding Morgan, pffffft.
    Trending to Coalition.
    Large independents/others vote.
    4.5% Teal. They only running in four seats. They will romp home(unless poll wrong, your thoughts Trent).
    Morgan overstates ALP 2PP by about 3%, thus still looking at 54/46 like Newspoll. Late swing to Coalition of about 2% should make it minority Labor. Fascinating election.

  11. Government people have for the last 18 months been telling me the result would be around 53-47 and Victorian historically swing against government’s.

  12. Roy Morgan forces Premier’s approval and Preferred Premier responses to remove the undecided factor, and the results were the following:

    Dan Andrews’ approval
    58.5% Approve
    41.5% Disapprove

    “Better” Premier:
    65.5% Daniel Andrews
    34.5% Matthew Guy

    They say oppositions don’t win government (and that’s clearly amplified with the current state of the Vic Libs), but that governments lose it. Those numbers, combined with the 57-43 2PP result, don’t paint the picture of an electorate who have their baseball bats ready for Dan, or an appetite to change the government.

  13. RE: The “teal” support. Polls ask all respondents, whether they vote in a teal seat or not, the same question. So you’ll find that “Independent” support at elections is often around half of what it is in the polls, because people theoretically respond that they would support an independent but then on the day, they either don’t have one on the ballot, or they don’t recognise the name or know anything about them so they vote for something they recognise.

    “Independents” were polling at over 10% for the federal election and ended up getting 5.29%.

    So while that 4.5% may be concentrated more to seats with a known “teal” running, a significant portion of that would no doubt also be respondents who don’t even have a teal running in their seat.

  14. Mexican beemer says (inter alia):
    The two-party preferred results of this week’s special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Poll are almost identical to the results from the 2018 Victorian Election in which the ALP on 57.3% defeated the L-NP on 42.7% – a margin of 14.6% points.

    More polls! Give me more polls! These ones have been saying exactly the same thing for four years, now! Surely if we keep polling we will get one that says what we want it to.

    Sorry, folks, a swing may happen, but as yet there is no evidence of one.

    Frankly I think the undecideds will break in the ALP’s favour.

    On these numbers and depending where the votes fall, the ALP will lose a couple of seats to the Greens but the Libs will lose more seats to independents, the ALP and possibly to the Greens.

    The smart money will stay in people’s pockets. Gamble responsibly. If you are losing more than you can afford, please seek professional help.

  15. MABWM
    More polls! Give me more polls! These ones have been saying exactly the same thing for four years, now! Surely if we keep polling we will get one that says what we want it to.
    The polling’s low point has been around 53 and that could happen if a large number of seats held by double digit margins fell back below 10%.

  16. MABWM,
    I agree with your hunch that the undecideds will break to Labor. Especially if there’s lots of minority government talk. I think it’s what happened last time.
    My other hunches are that Labor will:
    – do relatively better in the inner city (but still lose Richmond), the eastern suburbs (lots of boomers enjoyed twitching their curtains during lockdown) and the regional centres (fewer lockdowns – they might even ‘win’ Ripon back);
    – do relatively poorly in the south-eastern suburbs and the Mornington Peninsula (losing Pakenham and ‘losing’ Bass and Hastings); and
    – lose some paint in the outer northern and western suburbs, but it’ll spray everywhere; some margins will be slashed (look out for Yan Yean, which is inflated by the Liberal candidate last time being disendorsed) but no seats will change hands.
    All in all, a quiet night at the office.

  17. Confirmed 740 candidates in the lower house, average of 8.40 candidates per district for 88 districts. Nearly matching the 8.43 for Victoria’s 39 seats at the federal election.

    Comparing from 2018

    120 independents in 70 seats (+18 candidates, +16 seats)
    88 ALP (same) GRN (same) AJP (+45) FFV (+88)
    83 LIB and 11 NAT (LIB +3 NAT +1)
    58 FPV (+58)
    32 DLP (+9)
    22 VS (+4)
    11 LDP (+7)
    10 ND (+10) DHJP (+4)
    8 RP (-2)
    6 SFF (-2)
    5 PHON (+5)
    3 AVP (+3) HAP (+3) LCV (+3)
    2 TMP (-8)
    1 Companions and Pets (+1)
    0 UAP (same) RDSDA (same) SAP (-11) Aussie Battler (-3) Liberty Alliance (-1) Country (-2)

  18. The number of published opinion polls this election has been rather refreshing. By which I mean that there have actually been some.

    The last two elections in Victoria suffered from a catastrophic polling drought, leaving prognosticators such as ourselves to make guesses based on almost no data. Something this time around seems to have reminded the pollsters that we still exist.

  19. mrmoney, cookers are a strange lot, seem to be increasing in numbers, conspiracy theorists have low IQ’s allegedly. Bet you believe in lots of conspiracy theories mrmoney.

  20. The closest polls at the federal election were Roy Morgan and Resolve Strategic. This make me think that the 2PP will be at 56-44 to Labor at a minimum. Newspoll’s last poll before the federal election wasn’t very good, it actually overestimated Labor’s primary by quite a bit.

  21. well then you’d be wrong ,just like most other things you sprout on here ,but hey keep spreading the gospel ,i’m sure you believe everything you crap on with here.

    jeremy what can i say want to bet on sure there’s good odds.

  22. Andrew King, who offered to pay for 50 independent candidates, in fact entered himself and is 2nd on the ballot paper, just below Dan Andrews who is at the top.

  23. RE: Morgan Poll
    Polling is not conclusive but an inexact guide of voting intentions.
    Despite the comments of a couple of prominent and verbose PBs, this result (57 – 43) if translated into actual seats would see the Vic. Government returned with an increased majority – collecting these seats in the process: Sandringham, Brighton, Bayswater, Bass, Glen Waverly, Croydon & Eildon.
    This is an increase of 1% on the 2018 result, if realised.

  24. Haven’t followed the Vic election much, since the US election has taken most of my time.

    Any chance Guy loses his seat?

  25. Confirmed ALP upper house tickets are finally here

    Eastern Victoria: Tom McIntosh, Harriet Shing, Amie Templar-Kanshlo, Jannette Langley, Marg D’Arcy
    NE Metro: Shaun Leane, Sonja Terpstra, Nildhara Gadani, Rana Shahid Javed, Kieran Simpson
    Northern Metro: Sheena Watt, Enver Erdogan, Susie Byers, Chloe Gaul, Ramy Aljalil
    Northern Victoria: Jaclyn Symes, James McWhinney, Gareth Mills, Rahn Krammaer, Mitch Bridges
    SE Metro: Lee Tarlamis, Michael Galea, Tien Kieu, Imran Khan, Katrina Sullivan
    Southern Metro: John Berger, Ryan Batchelor, Clive Crosby, Lynn Psaila, Muhammad Shahbaz
    Western Metro: Lizzie Blandthorn, Ingrid Stitt, Cesar Melhem, Cuc Lam, Nurul Khan
    Western Victoria: Jacinta Ermacora, Gayle Tierney, Megan Bridger-Darling, Sue Pavlovich, Heather Stokes

  26. The Morgan figures are consistent with the information I am receiving from (admittedly “Old Guard”) Liberal insiders – that their primary vote remains sub 30%

    And Kew will go Independent

  27. Mr Mysterious: Guy probably won’t lose Bulleen. If Labor couldn’t win it in 2018, I don’t see why they would this time, and Menzies (federal) didn’t have a teal candidate in May (although Labor came surprisingly close to winning it). He’ll still be there, and quite possibly remain leader due to the lack of alternatives.

  28. I’m sure many ALP/Greens voters will put Liberals last, but there are legitimately so many candidates that could go after them. Example, Bulleen. Matthew Guy, so tempting to put him last. At least 3 candidates you would be better off putting last. Freedom Party, Family First, and an independent cooker of the absolute highest order who ran federally for the Australian Federation Party.

  29. If the result ends up as 57-43 (about the same as last time), and that includes a swing against Labor in the western suburbs, it could get REALLY ugly for the Libs.If there’s no overall swing statewide, any anti-Labor swing in the west would be balanced out by a pro-Labor swing elsewhere, particularly in Lib marginals.

    Most of Labor’s seats in the west are too safe to be lost (unless independents nab a couple), but the Libs have plenty of marginal seats. A 2% swing against the Libs in those marginals loses them 10 seats out of their current 19 (notionally, everything up to Polwarth on the pendulum). Throw Benambra, SW Coast and Kew into the mix (independents), and the Libs are suddenly not certain to be the senior party in the opposition. (Hey, it happened in WA last year.)

    Something like 68 ALP, 6 Lib, 6 Nats, 3 Grn, 5 ind. It ain’t pretty.

    Even if Labor lose a seat or two to independents (Melton? Point Cook?), or to the Greens, that’s about as far from minority government as it gets.

  30. I’m with you Bird of Paradox. The ALp losing seats in the West is whacko conspiracy theory stuff.

    That talk is coming from the libs, the Hun and Costello’s Age. The libs said the same thing last vic election about seats in the outer east. (See fin review from 2018, above.) They tried the same rubbish in the May federal election. These people just make stuff up! Remember the former PM campaigning in ALP seats and losing 20 in their heart land.

    It is just LNP believers talking amongst themselves, some of whom happen to control newspapers and TV stations. The polling just does not reflect their propaganda.

    This election will be a repeat of the last. If anything, it will be even uglier for the libs. And a good thing too. They need to completely rebuild, or be replaced.

    As much as Jeremy and I would like to see a Labor/greens coalition that is still 2 election cycles away.

  31. Linked article above – Fin review. Aaron Patrick.

    Victorian state election 2018: How Matthew Guy and the Liberals lost

    “Ian Quick wouldn’t shut up. One week out from the Victorian election, the Liberal seat of Burwood was in danger of falling. Extra resources were needed, pronto.
    Party president Michael Kroger couldn’t stand Quick, who detractors had nicknamed Rain Man. Kroger casually shut down the eccentric Melbourne businessman.
    After all, the campaign looked like it was in great shape. State director Nick Demiris, in the telephone hook-up to the party’s governing committee at 7pm on Saturday, Nov 17, portrayed a party within grasp of returning to power after a single term of opposition, according to five people on the call.
    Play Video
    Bruised, triumphant, conciliatory and fired up. These are reactions federal politicians from all parties had to Victoria’s election landslide.
    A couple of Liberal seats were threatened, but they were being shorn up, the listeners were told. Using a sophisticated database to track voters’ concerns, the party was going after 17 Labor seats. Even if Labor could hold on, they were probably going to be forced into a coalition with the Greens, positioning the Liberals to win power back in 2022.
    A Young Liberals leader and a representative of the “Victory Unit” shared credit around. Opposition leader Matthew Guy participated in the celebratory tone.

    “We were told it was going to be close but we were in with a real shot,” said one person listening.
    A historic loss
    The following Saturday, the Liberal Party of Victoria suffered one of the most humbling losses in its 74-year history. A 5.8 per cent swing could leave the Liberals with just 21 seats in the 88-seat lower house.
    Guy resigned on Wednesday. Some federal Liberal MPs have sought the removal of Demiris too, fearful about their re-election prospects in his hands.
    The Victorian campaign raises a profound question for the broader Liberal Party: can a largely volunteer-run organisation keep up with the professionalism and organisational strength of a Labor Party backed by the union movement and GetUp?

    One week before the state election, Victorian Liberal Director Nick Demiris assured party leaders they had a shot at winning. Daniel Pockett
    While outside factors played a role in the Liberals’ defeat, including the removal of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister on August 24, party members and candidates were concerned months beforehand about the election preparations.
    The small clique of men overseeing the campaign from the party’s head office in Exhibition Street, in central Melbourne, carried themselves with a cocky swagger that candidates and, volunteers say, sent the message: “We’ve got this.”
    Four-hour briefing
    Head office’s confidence made the result more shocking for the Liberal hierarchy. “Never in our contemplation did we think this was going to happen,” says a member of the party’s governing committee.
    For some Liberals, the first sense that the campaign wasn’t quite right came on Friday, September 7. Demiris had insisted that every candidate attend a four-hour briefing at a hotel in central Melbourne, Citadines. Some candidates took time off from work to be there.

    Matthew Guy resigned on Wednesday. DAVID CROSLING
    In a characterless conference room on the first floor, about 100 people listened respectfully as Demiris and his deputies promised a campaign that would even outdo the party’s famed 1992 “Guilty Party” effort that swept Joan Kirner’s government from power.
    Scott Morrison, prime minister for 10 days, gave a short pep talk.
    Exclusive focus
    The shadow cabinet had set the party’s policies. The administrative wing of the party was responsible for turning them into an effective campaign.
    From the start, head office focused almost exclusively on marginal Labor seats, according to party officials. MPs in what were considered safe Liberal seats, and candidates in long-shot Labor seats, felt frozen out.

    While outside factors played a role in the Liberals’ defeat, including the removal of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister on August 24, party members and candidates were concerned months beforehand about the election preparations. Alex Ellinghausen
    Some experienced campaigners were concerned the emphasis on swinging voters, and the centralised campaign organisation, would backfire.
    “This campaign is going to crash and burn,” veteran MP Inga Peulich told a fellow candidate a few months out, according to two sources.
    An American computer program called i360 was tracking voters. Volunteers could update the database with any Victorian’s concerns they had heard through a phone call or personal visit. The information could customise messages to individual voters, including through automated texts.
    Party officials expressed confidence the system was working. The phone meeting of the party’s governing – or administrative – committee, a week before the election was told that the 50 to 55 per cent of swinging voters contacted were being converted to Liberal voters, according to a person on a call who took notes. Only 15 per cent were going Labor. The rest were undecided.

    Former prime minister John Howard campaigning in Narre Warren two weeks before election day, when Liberal leaders were being told they could force Labor into a minority government. Luis Enrique Ascui
    Precious time and resources
    Because there was no expectation that more than a small number of Liberals were at risk, MPs were urged to use their precious time and campaign funds in Labor areas.
    They included Dee Ryall, a 51-year-old nurse who held the Liberal seat of Ringwood on Melbourne’s eastern metropolitan fringe. Ryall concentrated on helping a friend, Ann-Marie Hermans, win Cranbourne, a fast-growing area in south-eastern Melbourne, according to a party source.
    A week from election day, the campaign was praised on the call with Kroger, Guy and the rest of the party leadership. “There was special mention of Cranbourne,” says one person on the call. “Cranbourne was going well.”
    Hermans picked up less than a third of the vote, a crushing loss. Ryall lost her seat by 2.7 per cent, truncating her eight-year political career.
    ‘Dear red’ seat
    On the other side of Melbourne, in the working-class seat of Sydenham, a group of small Liberal branches had cobbled together $7000 for the campaign. For a candidate, they had recruited a local insurance claims manager, Maria Kerr, who had founded a lobby group to push for a 24-hour police station in her suburb in response to high levels of crime.
    Kerr was told she wouldn’t win what party members sometimes called a “dead red” seat, but over time she might be able to gnaw away the Labor majority. An energetic local campaign would also help Coalition candidates in the upper house.
    A few weeks before voting opened on November 12, Kerr’s campaign received an email from head office. The $7000 was being requisitioned to pay for how-to-vote cards, hats, bags and corflutes, the small rigid signs used at polling booths to promote candidates.
    Campaign volunteers felt betrayed. They had wanted to buy Facebook advertising.

    Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy with his parents the day before the election. JAMES ROSS
    “We couldn’t hide the money,” says one. “They knew where it was. Why would any branches raise money if it was going to be taken from them?”
    Wrong posters
    Other problems cropped up. Posters were requested promoting the party’s tough-on-crime policies. Instead, materials arrived about plans to shut down a drug injecting room in Richmond, a suburb on the other side of the city, geographically, economically and culturally.
    Eight hundred Liberal-branded carry bags arrived too late to distribute. “We left them at home,” the volunteer says.
    Labor increased its majority in Sydenham and won an extra seat in the corresponding upper house district.
    Elsewhere, members reported niggling problems. Some struggled to navigate the party’s web-based ordering system. One field required an MP’s name to approve some requests, even in Labor seats. Head office wouldn’t accept requests by email or phone, they said.
    One MP says she was told mid-campaign that the colour used on election materials was changing from royal blue to pale blue. Some party members dubbed the new shade “Hellenic Blue”, a nod to Demiris’ Greek heritage.
    Not trusted
    Others say the party wouldn’t tell them in advance when it was going to announce specific policies for their seats, including road, school and hospital upgrades, leaving them feeling frustrated and untrusted.
    Letters to solicit postal votes from elderly and other voters – normally one of the party’s strengths – weren’t ready to go when postal voting opened October 30.

    Labor effective campaign triggered a 5.8 per cent swing against the Liberal opposition. JAMES ROSS
    “Decisions that should have been made months earlier were left to the last minute – and sometimes well past that,” Ian Quick wrote the day after the vote. “We knew the date of this election many years ago, so why was it chaos?”
    The administrative problems were frustrating. But the inaccuracy of internal polling had profound consequences. It wasn’t just the resources wasted on Labor seats. The polling had a big impact on Guy’s campaign emphasis.
    “Two weeks before the election they were telling us it was all crime,” says a member of the administrative committee.
    ‘Nothing fundamentally wrong’
    Michael Kroger, the president, has publicly blamed the party’s policies and said there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the campaign.
    The internal polling was accurate, according to Kroger. He has said privately that sentiment shifted in the last two days of the campaign after the government said on November 22 it would borrow $26 billion for three big transport projects that had already been promised. Before that announcement, Kroger has said, the party expected to win two, three or four seats, and thought it might lose a similar number.
    “This is a government that has embarked on the biggest infrastructure spend in history – schools, hospitals – and in addition to that he [Premier Daniel Andrews] is saying there is no tax increases, no levies, no tolls,” Kroger said on a pay-TV appearance that was turned into a pro-Labor video for social media.
    Among other senior party members, there is so much unease about the information used to run the campaign that wild theories are spreading. Some wonder if the Labor Party was somehow able to influence the data as it was gathered, or if someone involved in the process lied.
    “It bore no resemblance to what happened,” says another member of the administrative committee. “It’s not within the margin of error.”

    Premier Daniel Andrews on election night with his wife Cath and their children Noah, Grace and Joseph. Joe Armao
    Since the election loss, much of the public recriminations have focused on Guy and Kroger. But Guy did not directly control the party apparatus and Kroger had signalled his retirement plans at least five months earlier.
    Half a year before the anticipated date of a federal election, the Liberal Party organisation in the second-largest state is demoralised and in disarray. There are no obvious solution to its problems.
    “It’s literally like we are in an insane asylum,” says a top-five officeholder. “These people are completely delusional.”

  32. Thanks Mabwm, much appreciated. I know in recent weeks there have been ructions in the Liberal camp within their ranks and organization etc but I wonder if there is any evidence their current campaign is anything like their last state campaign. For example, an over reliance on guaging opinion of swing voters via phone.

  33. Here we go again – 839pm

    I also think the Independent will win Kew, I am less sure that the Independent will win Hawthorn.

    But these seats and the effort and expense the Liberals are putting in to them just show how far they are from getting back into government – even if they did manage to win say Melton.

    In 2019 at the Federal election I happened to run into Labor’s Kooyong candidate Jana Stewart (now a Senator). She had set up near Kew Junction, and then the Liberals had immediately set up tables up and down the road from her – with Labor and well know Green and Independent candidates running you could tell even then that the Liberals were concerned that Frydenberg’s hold on this seat was becoming tenuous, and if he dropped to the low 40s on Primary vote he could be in trouble. The rest is history!

    If Independents do win some of these formerly ‘blue ribbon’ Liberal state seats as they did at the Federal election it will then be interesting to see whether that carries over into next March’s NSW election. If it does it would surely doom the Perrottet Coalition Government also.

  34. Liberals got 18.65% primary in Melton last time. It will go lower as the candidate is a parachuted former MP, and Ian Birchall has a bigger profile since he last ran in 2018. In fact if the 2018 boundaries of Melton was the same as 2022, Ian Birchall would’ve passed the Liberal into second place last time and nearly won the seat. Birchall also benefits from being second on a very long ballot of 14 candidates, only under an irrelevant Shooters candidate. Obviously very different policy wise, but it has the same vibe of “only Ian Birchall can beat ALP” like how “only the teals could beat the Liberals” federally. The Liberal primary will be rock bottom.

  35. Re: Justin @8.03pm
    I agree that there are three more repugnant candidates nominating in the seat of Bulleen.
    However, the main opponent is Matthew Guy – the others are never going to be elected under any circumstance – and he should be preferenced last.
    Only his preferences can possibly be distributed to other candidates in a tight contest, and it would be better if they were exhausted on the RWNJs rather than flowing to The Mobster.

  36. Justin, the “how to vote’ cards for Melton will be interesting as will the SW Coast. And did the Greens do a “deal” with Liberals for their preferences in inner city seats for Greens preferencing Independents(Birchall, Dr Garra etc etc) above Labor in Labor seats under threat from Independents. Some dirty deal done or was very close to be done. Fascinating election.

  37. Re: Rocket Rocket @ 10.45pm
    There were two factors which saved Willoughby, Berejiklian’s former seat, in the March by-election from going Independent.
    1. NSW having optional preferential voting – only 1 candidate needs to be preferenced on the ballot paper,
    2. There were two very capable and worthy independent candidates as well as a high profile, in that electorate, Green candidate. Effectively, with optional preferential voting, and possibly a lack of consultation between these three candidates allowed the LNP candidate to narrowly retain this seat, due to an exhausted preference flow.
    However, I hope that this situation doesn’t occur in March 2023 and based upon the 2022 Federal Election results a number of true-blue state seats may follow their Federal counterparts – possibly: Willoughby, North Shore & Lane Cove.
    Alas, I live in one of the few safe LNP seats between Sydney & Newcastle, that of Terrigal.

Comments Page 6 of 6
1 5 6

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *