Victorian election minus one week

Campaign chatter continues to point to a weaker result for Labor than published polling has thus far indicated, as the Victorian Electoral Commission increasingly finds itself drawn into the political fray.

Miscellaneous horse race commentary and developments from the past two days of the campaign, much of it involving the Victorian Electoral Commission:

• The Herald Sun reports Liberal sources saying Daniel Andrews’ personal ratings have “tanked” over the past fortnight, with his disapproval rating at 51%. Forty-four per cent wanted a Labor win, but 38% of Labor voters said they would favour a minority government. It should be noted that any Liberal polling would be limited to its target seats. The report also says the Greens rate themselves “a strong chance to win Northcote and Pascoe Vale”, the latter of which would be a turn-up. Conversely, Labor has “become more optimistic about its chances in Melton”, which it fears losing to independent Ian Birchall.

John Ferguson of The Australian says views within the Labor camp about the number of seats it stands to lose range from “as little as seven or eight” to “as many as nineteen”, with anything more than ten being sufficient to cost the government its majority. A “senior ALP figure” said it was “hard to see the Liberal Party winning more than nine or ten seats” and “they could also lose a few”.

• The Liberal Party has accused the Victorian Electoral Commission of “serious, deliberate and unprecedented” interference in the election after its referral of potential breaches of donation laws to the Independent Broad-based Commission Against Corruption. The issue relates to alleged attempts by Matthew Guy’s chief-of-staff, Mitch Catlin, to encourage a businessman to make donations to his private business, which prompted Catlin’s resignation in August. The VEC says it has not received satisfactory responses to its invitations to the principals to respond to questions, although Guy told journalists on Thursday he had not had “any direct contact” with the commission. Electoral commissioner Warwick Gately presumably had this statement in mind when he said yesterday that the VEC had “not received the full co-operation from those connected to its investigation … despite public statements to the contrary”.

• The Liberals have referred Labor and preference negotiator Glenn Druery to IBAC over the video published in the Herald Sun on Thursday in which Druery discussed preference deals during a video conference, with MPs David Southwick and Louise Staley accusing Labor of “vote-rigging” over its rather tenuous connections to Druery’s activities. Paul Sakkal of The Age reports that Michael Piastrino, who is running for the Liberals against Daniel Andrews in Mulgrave, conducted a press conference yesterday alongside member of the anti-lockdown Freedom Party in which he called for the election to be “postponed and for the state government to go into administration … given the election can no longer be deemed valid”.

• Teal independents have succeeded in having the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal overturn the Victorian Electoral Commission’s determination that voters were likely to be misled by how-to-vote cards showing only one box numbered, with accompanying wording advising voters to number the remaining boxes in order of preference. If voters had indeed been misled, the effect would have been the opposite of what was plainly intended.

• A Lonergan Research poll for the Victorian National Parks Association, concerned mostly with public attitudes to national parks and conservation reserves, has breakdowns of voting intention by upper house region if you stick with it until the end, although the field work period was October 28 to November 6.

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.

566 comments on “Victorian election minus one week”

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  1. michael says:
    Monday, November 21, 2022 at 10:36 pm
    I may as well provide a poll.
    Where did you see that Michael? I’ve looked at my on-line Age subscription and there’s nothing there.

  2. There’s been a lot of discussion about potential swings against Labor in the outer north and west, which raises the question of where those votes are going to go. In the federal election in those areas, a fairly common pattern was for the Labor primary to fall 10-15%, little change in the Liberal primary, and UAP and One Nation picking up around 15% between them. In the state election, UAP aren’t contesting any lower house seats and One Nation very few, so – leaving aside seats with viable independents like Melton and Point Cook – it’s not obvious where such votes will end up. Some will probably go to the likes of the Freedom Party, Family First and the DLP, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some end up with the Victorian Socialists too (which will be somewhat ironic given that they were even more gung-ho about Covid lockdowns than the government).

  3. “Emilius van der Lubben says:
    Monday, November 21, 2022 at 9:46 pm
    @ Alpo

    This is really a bad look [YOUR OPINION]. You can be a supporter of the ALP while acknowledging that GVTs are shithouse for democracy [WHY IS IT UNDEMOCRATIC IF YOU STILL CAN CHOOSE?].

    “a) How high do you think is the issue of “group voting tickets” in the priorities of the People of Victoria at this election?…. Answer: VERY, VERY low.”
    What a surprise that deeply technical, hard to understand election mumbojumbo is not the top priority of Victorians at the moment. That doesn’t mean that this is something not to be reformed. [DEMOCRACY IS TO LISTEN TO THE PRIORITIES OF THE PEOPLE, THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE]

    “b) If you are complaining about funny people being voted in in the upper house, some others seem to want even more funny people, because they want more “real Australians” to be in parliament, etc.”
    This is not an argument in favour of or against group voting tickets but rather an interesting stanza of poetry. [IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND AN ARGUMENT SAY SO, RATHER THAN SHIFTING TO AN IRRELEVANT METAPHOR]

    “c) You do know that voters can vote below the line, do you? So, why aren’t you blaming the voters for not voting below the line?”
    Less than 8% of Victorians vote below-the-line [IT’S THEIR CHOICE… YOU DO LIKE DEMOCRACY, DO YOU?], because the Senate in Victoria and every other jurisdiction in Australia has scrapped GVTs, because they fundamentally subvert democracy. No other jurisdiction in Australia uses GVTs except the Victorian upper house [IT’S UP TO THE MAJORITY OF VICTORIANS TO ASK FOR CHANGE, YOU ARE ONE, PERHAPS THERE IS SOMEBODY ELSE HERE, SORRY TO TELL YOU THAT YOU GUYS ARE STILL NOT THE MAJORITY]. Most voters do not know that GVTs send their vote into a random pinball machine of social extremes where voting for Animal Justice means you get an antivaxxer or two elected [THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW AND FEAR THAT THEIR VOTE COULD END UP IN FUNNY PLACES SHOULD INFORM THEMSELVES AND VOTE BELOW THE LINE]. Many advocates and psephologists are mounting campaigns to get the below-the-line vote up, especially Antony Green [GOOD ON THEM, I HAVE ALWAYS VOTED BELOW THE LINE].

    “d) “Whether that be through a single-member majority system”… Are you in favour of a first past the post system? If so, how “democratic” is that?”
    No. The word “majority” means >50% [NOT ALWAYS A MAJORITY IS >50%, THAT’S WHY I MENTIONED THE FPTP SYSTEM, WHERE A MAJORITY IS THE PARTY THAT GET’S THE MOST VOTES] first-past-the-post is a barbaric plurality-wins system [I AGREE, IT IS BARBARIC]. I was referring to single-member districts as in how the LC used to be comprised of single-member provinces. Obviously by far the best system would be how NSW elects its LC – in one big upper house district using non-GVT STV.

    Alpo, it’s okay if you will only do what The Party wants [ I DON’T FOLLOW ORDERS, IF THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE INSINUATING]. The parliamentary committee on electoral matters, led by the Labor government, came to the conclusion that the GVT system is broken and must be fixed. However they did nothing for the next two years about it unfortunately. Please don’t make this into a partisan thing, it doesn’t have to be. GVT is fundamentally f-ed no matter where you come from in politics [SORRY MATE, IT’S YOU WHO IS MAKING THIS INTO A PARTISAN THING, PLEASE CHECK MY ORIGINAL POST AND SEE WHERE I MENTIONED THE “ALP”… NOWHERE].

  4. Any polling as dramatic as suggested by ‘Michael’ would be all over the front page of the Age and every other Fairfax/Nine banner available.
    Nah, you’re “taking the mickey” Michael !

  5. “max says:
    Monday, November 21, 2022 at 10:04 pm
    Emilius van der Lubben says:
    Monday, November 21, 2022 at 9:46 pm
    100% agree with you on the travesty of GVT, and without negating the generally positive record of the Andrews government, their failure to remove it is deeply disappointing and a black mark against it.

    If you have spent any time at all on this site however, you will know that there are some ALP uber partisans who live in a black and white world, where everything that a Labor government does must necessarily be perfect and faultless and nothing that a Labor government does can ever be criticised- and any view to the contrary, however well informed or supported by evidence, soon attracts anger and abuse. It’s pointless and boring to engage with fanatics of any political persuasion.”

    Accusing people who disagree with you of being “ALP uber partisans” and “living in a black and white world” isn’t quite a big show of capacity to understand first and then debate. “However well informed or supported by evidence”…Evidence? What evidence? ….The rest of your rant looks more like evidence of some “inferiority complex”…. Do you feel “abused ” now? Are you “bored”?

    Oh dear, what a bunch of children….

  6. Guy needs around 40PV to have any hope of forming government, so needs 4pt lift in the last week which is pretty unlikely by this poll. Don’t know when the poll was taken as only saw the front page.

  7. The 12th of Labor’s currently 56 notional seats on the pendulum is Richmond at 5.8%.

    So (on average) a 5.8% swing against Labor TPP would leave Labor on 44 out of 88 seats and not in majority.

    Given Labor’s 2018 TPP was 57.3%, a 5.8% swing would mean a TPP of 51.5%.

    So such a poll with Labor 53-47 would likely still be a majority. Something like 46 seats.

    Could this be like the 2002 election eve poll showing the Coalition 1% behind on primaries? Labor won the subsequent election 48-38 on primaries with a TPP of 57.8%

  8. If there legitimately is a new Resolve poll, the sample would have been taken prior to these last few disastrous days for the Liberals so it’d be safe to say their vote will go down rather than up.

    Just remember too that federally, Labor won a majority with a 32% primary vote vs 37% for the Coalition, and that was with a less favourable electoral map than Labor have in Victoria.

  9. The Headline in the Age is :
    “Guy closing gap on Andrews”
    I took a screenshot but its stuffed as the page was only up for 3 seconds.

  10. Interesting that on my morning journey a property used by a “social group” and predominantly of Asian extraction has had signage for the Liberal candidate – and plenty of it

    Today all that signage is gone and “New Democrats” signage is in its place

    The signage is behind a wire fence

    It will be interesting to see if it is defaced as is the Labor, Green and Independent signage, only the Liberal signage not decimated

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