Victorian election minus two days

Media reports suggest Labor will be pushed to the precipice of minority government, or perhaps over the edge, although a Morgan SMS poll suggests otherwise.

Relevant news coverage of the past few days:

• Today’s Herald Sun reports pollster Redbridge Group believes “Labor will be reduced to minority government with 43 seats out of 88”, though this is based on “extensive polling and hundreds of focus groups in key seats across the state over the past two years” rather than anything specific. A “best-case scenario” is nonetheless conceded in which Labor wins 48 seats. Labor is predicted to lose Bayswater, Bass, Nepean and Pakenham to the Liberals, with Ashwood, Box Hill and Ringwood “under serious threat” and Eltham, Monbulk, Cranbourne and Eureka “considered to be in play”. Richmond and Northcote are rated as Greens gains, possibly to be joined by Albert Park, Footscray and “even” Pascoe Vale, the latter being the view of “party insiders”. Melton, Point Cook and Werribee “could” be won by independents, Ian Birchall in Melton seemingly being the best chance. Labor is “not expected to retain” Hawthorn, which I take to imply uncertainty as to whether it will be lost to Liberal John Pesutto or independent Melissa Lowe.

• Similarly, The Australian reports strategists from both parties consider seven to eight losses an “optimistic Labor prediction”, although the contention there are “up to ten in the party’s doubtful column” still suggests a bare Labor majority. The Liberals are still hopeful of a “train wreck” scenario for Labor in which the undecided break their way, but concede it to be unlikely. It is “understood the Liberal Party’s poll track has the two-party preferred vote locked at 50 per cent” across 20 target seats, implying it is likely to win a good many of them.

Roy Morgan has an SMS poll showing Labor leading 55-45, in from 57-43 in a similar poll a fortnight ago, from primary votes of Labor 38% (down two), Coalition 32.5% (up three-and-a-half), Greens 12.5% (up one), “teal independents” 4.5% (steady), and 12.5% scattered among the remainder. There were also forced response questions for Daniel Andrews’ personal approval, breaking 57.5-42.5 his way, and preferred premier, breaking 65-35 in favour of Andrews over Matthew Guy.

• An audience of 100 ostensibly undecided voters recruited by Q&A Market Research for Tuesday night’s leaders debate in Box Hill came down 38 for Daniel Andrews, 34 for Matthew Guy and 28 undecided.

The Age had further results from the Resolve Strategic poll on Tuesday, including issue salience responses that closely tracked a similar recent question from RedBridge Group in having the cost of living well in front on 27%, followed by health and environment on 12% each. Respondents were also asked how they viewed twelve election policies announced during the campaign and found net positive responses for all of them, with little separating the Coalition’s promise of $2 public transport fares (65% for, 10% against) and Labor’s investment in renewable energy under the State Energy Commission (64% for, 14% against). The least popular policies were banning gas exploration (34% for, 24% against) and raising the age of criminal responsibility from twelve to fourteen (37% for, 28% against). I am advised that the voting intention results to one decimal place shown on Wikipedia are sourced from the company itself. For what such distinctions may be worth to you, the 53-47 headline was rounded from 52.7-47.3.

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.

224 comments on “Victorian election minus two days”

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  1. So the Herald-Sun admits their polls are kinda made up.

    Morgan says 55/45 on actual polling….. As do all the reputable polls.


    The MSM are creating their own narrative. It is truly bizarre, if not blatantly dishonest.

    On Saturday we will see. Antony Green will call it at about 7.45pm. Labor majority – and probably a big one. I’ve been on the booths – for the Greens for the last two weeks. The cookers are loud and angry. The libs are arrogant. Labor is nervous!

    And as for slugman, goodness gracious me!

  2. In regards to Dan Andrews during the worst of the pandemic, it probably didn’t help that every single day the “journalists” in the pool were people like Rachel Baxendale, or even Natasha Fatale herself, Peta Credlin basically “asking questions” to the effect of “Why is your government just a rotten failure?” or “When did you decide to punish everyone in Victoria?” or “Why do you enjoy hurting Victorians so much?” and etc., forcing Dan onto the defensive and all their media teams working as hard as possible to make him out to be dodgy and pretty much completely responsible for all the hardships.

  3. clem, what I think is happening, is that a number of people were lonely during lockdown and spent more time on the internet than they probably should have. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and it takes some effort to manage that, even by people who purport to be ‘sophisticated’. Suddenly everyone was saturated with it, and had nothing else to do.

    As lockdowns ended, most people just moved on. They’d prefer to forget about it. Some people established themselves a ‘community’. Now they see themselves through that lens of a zeitgeist that has ended. Switching off that tap of misinformation, is like switching off their community.

  4. Kirsdarke: ‘… every single day the “journalists” in the pool were people like Rachel Baxendale, or even Natasha Fatale herself, Peta Credlin basically “asking questions” …’

    And, lest we forget, a cameo drop-in from Leigh Sales.

  5. So Niki Savva has launched her first shot at Morrison in The Age in her extract from ‘Bulldozed’.

    Timed for tomorrow’s release of findings of inquiry into his multiple ministries.

    The Victorian Liberals must be happy at the exquisite timing.

    And not forgetting the irony of The Australian losing Niki Savva when they instead took on Peta Credlin.

  6. Oliver Sutton says:
    Thursday, November 24, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    And, lest we forget, a cameo drop-in from Leigh Sales.

    How could we every forget that. Particularly when as a Sydney local, she didn’t once turn up similarly to a Gladys press briefing.

  7. Rocket Rocket: “… the irony of The Australian losing Niki Savva when they instead took on Peta Credlin.“

    … and the sweet revenge of Savva publishing a book subtitled ‘How Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin destroyed their own government’.

  8. I read Nikki Savva’s book on Cedlin and Abbott just recently.

    It has not aged well! It is chock-a-block full of praise for Morrison, Turnbull, Porter and all the other LNP ‘leaders’. I won’t bother reading the new one until someone assures me she has dropped the LNP good / Labor bad trope. Some of it was laugh out loud funny. I do love unintentional comedy.

    It was all just that Tony was a dreadful PM, not that the LNP has been hollowed out and is a husk of what it may have once been. I’m only 53 – so they’ve been corrupt and rank my entire adult life.

  9. @Clem Atlee

    Well it is an opinion, which is what this forum is for? But I think the Federal election results were very indicative of this and I suspect will be replicated this week, eg big swings against Dan/ALP in working class areas, swings to ALP
    in inner city seats.

  10. There are a couple of points I think often get overlooked in the talk about Victoria’s lockdowns.

    The first is that a lockdown was required to trigger a lot of the financial support available, such as JobKeeper which kept employees attached to their employer.

    It’s reasonable to assume – as the 2021/22 holiday period with high case numbers but no lockdown demonstrated – that whether there was a lockdown or not, businesses would still have struggled due to high levels of self isolation, and had forced closures due to staff shortages.

    But if there was no lockdown, they would not have had the business support packages or triggered JobKeeper to keep paying their rent and keep staff on the books.

    So while a lot of people most impacted by lockdowns might blame Dan, there’s a strong case that the lockdowns actually saved businesses and jobs that would otherwise have been lost if the government support wasn’t triggered by them.

    Secondly, people forget that not only was NSW’s 2021 lockdown 108 days compared to Victoria’s 77 days, but Victoria actually ended lockdown at a lower vaccination rate with higher case numbers. Yet somehow the media narrative was that NSW was leading the way to open up while Victoria dragged its heels, that simply wasn’t true.

    Victoria was just more fatigued because we had the 2020 lockdown too, but every state would have done exactly the same if it had the same outbreak. And any state could have; there were multiple HQ leaks in every single state, most more than Victoria. We were unlucky that 1 leak happened to turn into a superspreader event, and being the first to experience it, had to learn on the run.

    People also forget that after that lockdown crushed cases back to zero, we were open for 10 months, including during a time when cases were imported from NSW around New Years but it was crushed without a lockdown (while NSW did have on & off lockdowns including at Christmas).

    On the topic of the media, I agree with Kirksdarke that so much of the anxiety the public suffered, the negativity, and the perceived lack of empathy, wasn’t so much what Dan himself said, but how the media reported it, presented him, the types of combative questions they asked, and the fact that only in Victoria were lockdowns and days in lockdown counted by the media.

    They really had an agenda to stir up anger and it succeeded.

  11. @Cat Momma

    Yikes, passive aggressive much?

    If you read my comment I stated for right or wrong this was the case, which I believe the election results show. And if you’d read my earlier thread you’d know that it wasn’t the lockdown measures that I personally had issues with, although I think for others this would be the case.

    Anyway, just an opinion, hopefully that is still allowed. Also quite easy for people with good coin and steady housing to tell people to suck it up.

  12. I totally understand that when people are personally affected by something, it’s natural to react emotively and want someone to blame.

    I just wish more people would consider those facts about it a bit more, and direct the frustration where it’s more deserved which are the forces that sought to deliberately politicise it, stir up anger and divide the community. Those forces primarily being the media and the federal government playing favourites and preying on Victorians’ anxiety.

  13. Well I hope that people make specific predictions tomorrow evening after Newspoll. Time for accountability!

    It’s pretty complex for someone without local knowledge, so I can only focus on simple metrics.

    Draft prediction is ALP gets 47 seats ie modest but workable majority. 52.5/47.5 two p.p.

  14. Andrews did a solid job during the pandemic and was let down by the federal government but the Andrews government gets marked down by some of his social policies that might be well intended but has benefited the privileged over the disadvantaged.

  15. Which social policies in particular?

    Genuinely curious just because I think the Andrews government’s social agenda has been its biggest positive (along with infrastructure).

    Their record of social reform was one of the reasons I voted Labor in 2018, between having voted Greens federally in 2016 and 2019.

  16. Trent says:
    Thursday, November 24, 2022 at 11:36 pm

    Which social policies in particular?

    Genuinely curious just because I think the Andrews government’s social agenda has been its biggest positive (along with infrastructure).
    The government has been putting some groups ahead of others.

  17. Trent at 10.51 pm

    Yes, it was a complicated picture but the winter/spring 2020 lockdown in Victoria was not just bad luck. Compare the amount of testing in NSW and Victoria in early June 2020. It was much lower in Victoria, although the WHO had been stressing the need for extensive testing for months. The consequence of inadequate testing in Melbourne then was that the virus got a head start and this meant months more of lockdown were needed to contain it, before vaccination was available.

    Andrews was a real leader at that time. Most Victorians would understand that. The deeper problem was the lack of preparation for such a pandemic in Victoria compared to other states. Staffing in public health expertise in Victoria was about half that of Qld on a relative basis, with NSW in between. That was inexcusable. The resources needed to have the Qld level of staffing in Victoria in early 2020 were clearly affordable but this need had not been seen as a vital health priority.

    The per capita death rate from Covid in Victoria is now 897 per million, well above Norway at 785, the best continental European country, which has a colder climate. Only one other, isolated European country (Iceland) is better than Victoria, but the real comparison is not with the woes of Europe. It is with East Asia. The first country outside China affected by Covid was South Korea. Testing there was very widespread and effective, as was isolation. The per capita death rate there is 589.


    The Kennett Government made a mess of the heath bureaucracy (as with much of the rest of the bureaucracy) and there had bad been an insufficiency of reversal thereof in the decades since he was voted out.

    Our contact tracing a mess (it was the only thing NSW did better, which caused them to be overconfident in contact tracing).

    The wrong hotels were chosen for hotel quarantine, motels would have been better (more open air, less transmission).

    The border to the state of Ruby Princess-land should have been closed in March.

    Retail should have been closed in the first lockdown and from the start of the second lockdown.

    Victoria was months too slow with masks.

    Had the above been done better, the second lockdown would have been significantly shorter.

  19. TTF&B
    Most of those problems were thanks to Morrison’s mismanagement and the Andrews government was popular through the first two lockdowns and that’s why had this election been held in 2020 the result could have been similar to the WA election. Andrews started losing support during the later lockdowns and the disconnect between Spring St and Canberra fed by the media started to cause frustration.


    The Morrison Government`s mismanagement* was certainly a major contributor that extended the length of the lockdowns, however, the above issues were state issues (or in the case of hotel quarantine, a Commonwealth issue that was handed to the states). And I was not discussing popularity, I was discussing actual policy effectiveness.

    *Closing the borders to slowly, not having an effective quarantine policy (i.e. large purpose-built quarantine stations near airports and seaports, although multiple decades of previous Commonwealth Governments share the blame there), etc., etc, etc,.

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