Newspoll state leaders and coronavirus polling

Persistent high ratings all round for state Premiers and the Prime Minister amid the coronavirus crisis, but signs the current Victorian outbreak may have cost Daniel Andrews some shine.

Courtesy of The Australian, Newspoll offers a repeat of an exercise conducted two months ago in which a large national sample is polled to produce state-level results on the popularity of premiers as well as the Prime Minister, both generally and in their dealings with the coronavirus. While the results are positive all round, they find Daniel Andrews falling from a top tier that continues to include Peter Gutwein, Mark McGowan and Steven Marshall, bringing him about level with Gladys Berejiklian but still clear of Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Andrews was down eight on approval to 67% and up ten on disapproval to 27%, while Berejiklian was down one to 68% and up three to 26%. Allowing for small sample sizes in the smaller states, Peter Gutwein took the lead (up six on approval to 90% and down three on disapproval to 8%) from Mark McGowan (down one to 88% and up three on 9%). Despite continuing to trail the pack, Palaszczuk recorded the best improvement with a four point increase in approval to 59% and a four point drop on disapproval to 35%.

However, Palaszczuk remains the only Premier with a weaker net approval rating in their state than Scott Morrison, who according to the poll has strengthened in Queensland (by five on approval to 72%, and down four on disapproval to 24%) but weakened everywhere else (approval down six to 61% and disapproval up five to 35% in New South Wales; down seven to 65% and up four to 30% in Victoria; down three to 67% and up two to 29% in South Australia; down three to 70% and up three to 26% in Western Australia; down four to 60% and up six to 37% in Tasmania).

Andrews’ deterioration on approval is more than matched on the question of handling of coronavirus, on which he now trails out of the Premiers with 72% for well (down 13 points) and 25% for badly (up 14). This pushes him behind Berejiklian (up two to 79% and down two to 16%), Palaszczuk (up four to 76% and down one to 22%) and Marshall (up five to 87% and down two to 9%). Still clear of the field are McGowan and Gutwein, who are tied at 93% well (down one for McGowan, up four for Gutwein) and 5% badly (up one and down three). Scott Morrison’s ratings on this score are little changed, and remarkably consistent from state to state — Queensland and South Australia are his best with 84% well and 14% poorly apiece, but his weakest result, in New South Wales, is still 79% well and 18% badly.

The poll was conducted from a national sample of 2949, ranging from 526 in Victoria to 309 in Tasmania.

Newspoll state leadership polling and Essential Research coronavirus latest

State-level polling finds the coronavirus tide lifting all boats — but none so far as Mark McGowan in WA, whose numbers may be without precedent.

The Australian ($) today provides Newspoll findings on state leaders’ handling of the coronavirus, from samples of around 520 for each mainland state plus 309 for Tasmania. The poll finds all concerned riding high, including three who strongly outperformed Scott Morrison’s ballyhooed 68% approval and 28% disapproval on the weekend. These are WA Labor Premier Mark McGowan, at 89% approval and 6% disapproval; Tasmanian Liberal Premier Peter Gutwein, at 84% approval and 11% disapproval after three months in the job; and Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews, at 75% approval and 17% disapproval.

Morrison was also matched on approval and bettered on net approval by NSW Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian (69% approval and 23% disapproval) and SA Liberal Premier Steven Marshall (68% approval and 21% disapproval). Only Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who faces an election in October, was below the prime ministerial par (55% approval and 39% disapproval). With due allowance for small samples, I believe McGowan’s ratings may be a record for Newspoll, or indeed for any other Australian pollster, and that Gutwein’s might have been too if not for McGowan’s.

The leaders record even stronger ratings on the specific question of handling the coronavirus outbreak: 77% rate Berejiklian as having done well, compared with 18% for badly; Andrews is at 85% and 11%; Palaszczuk is at 72% and 23%; McGowan is at 94% and 4%; Marshall is at 82% and 11%; and Gutwein is at 89% and 8%. Equivalent results are also provided for the Prime Minister, and here too Western Australians are most positive, at 73% approval and 23% disapproval, with 85% rating Morrison had handled coronavirus well compared with 14% for badly. In New South Wales, Morrison scored 67% approval and 30% disapproval, and 82% well and 16% badly for coronavirus; in Victoria, 72% approval and 26% disapproval, 83% well and 14% badly; in Queensland, 67% approval and 28% disapproval, 81% well and 17% badly; in South Australia, 70% approval and 27% disapproval, 83% well and 15% badly; and in Tasmania, 64% approval and 31% disapproval, 81% well and 18% badly.

As reported in The Guardian, the weekly Essential Research coronavirus poll provides us with a third set of small-sample findings on mainland state governments’ handling of the crisis, ranging from about 80 respondents in South Australia to 320 in New South Wales. The latest results produce combined very good and good ratings of 77% for the Victorian and South Australian governments, 76% for Western Australia, 67% for Queensland and 63% for New South Wales. The table below records the progress of this series over its three weeks, together with an averaged result which again shows Western Australia highest at 77%, followed by 74% for Victoria, 72% for South Australia, 61% for Queensland and 60% for New South Wales.

Essential Research also finds confidence in the federal government’s handling of the crisis continuing to rise, with 70% rating it good or very good, a measure that earlier progressed from 45% in late March to 65% last week. Seventy-three per cent now say they consider themselves unlikely to catch the virus, compared with 57% at the peak of concern at the end of March. In response to a list of options for budget repair, 64% supported preventing companies in offshore tax havens from receiving goverment support, but only 32% favoured removing franking credits and negative gearing, and 18% supported death duties.

On the COVIDSafe app, the weekend’s Newspoll found 21% saying they would definitely take it up, 33% that they would probably do so, 21% that they would probably not, and 18% that they would definitely not. Apart from the lower uncommitted rating, this is broadly in line with an Australia Institute poll of 1011 respondents on Thursday and Friday which had 45% saying they would and 28% that they wouldn’t. Essential Research also weighed in on the question, and found 53% saying it would limit the spread of the virus, and 46% that it would speed removal of distancing restrictions. A full set of results from Essential Research should be with us later today.

UPDATE: Full Essential Research report here.

YouGov Galaxy: 53-47 to Labor in South Australia

At the mid-point of its first term, the second South Australian opinion poll since the 2018 election produces a sobering result for Steven Marshall’s Liberal government.

The Advertiser has a YouGov Galaxy poll of state voting intention in South Australia ($), which produces the (to me at least) surprising result that Labor holds a 53-47 lead over Steven Marshall’s first-term Liberal government, compared with the 51.9-48.1 Liberal winning margin in 2018. The primary votes are Liberal 39%, Labor 38%, Greens 11% and SA Best 7%, though I imagine the latter will be contesting a limited range of seats at best. At the 2018 election, the primary votes were Liberal 38.0%, Labor 32.8%, Greens 6.7% and SA Best 14.1%. In the only previously published poll this term, conducted by YouGov Galaxy almost exactly a year ago, the Liberals led 52-48 from primary votes of Liberal 42%, Labor 37%, Greens 7% and SA Best 7%.

The new poll has Marshall with a bare 38-36 lead over Labor’s Peter Malinauskas as preferred premier, after leading 46-26 in last year’s poll. His personal ratings are 37% approval and 41% disapproval, while Malinauskas is at a remarkably strong 44% and 26% (there did not appear to be personal ratings in the poll a year ago). Twenty-five per cent of respondents felt South Australia was better off since the government came to power, compared with 33% for worse and 42% for about the same. The poll was conducted Friday to Wednesday from a sample of 856, suggesting a theoretical error margin of 3.4%.

YouGov Galaxy: 52-48 to Liberal in South Australia

The first polling test of Steven Marshall’s Liberal government in South Australia offers a mix of primary vote swings and two-party preferred roundabouts.

NOTE: The main discussion thread has fallen down the page a little, to here, below the latest New South Wales election post and Brexit update from Adrian Beaumont.

Today’s Sunday Mail (the Adelaide one) brings the first published poll of state voting intention in South Australia since the election of Steven Marshall’s Liberal government last year, courtesy of YouGov Galaxy. It produces a status quo result on two-party preferred, with the Liberals leading 52-48, compared with an election result of 51.9-48.1, but shows considerable movement on the primary vote thanks to the collapse of Nick Xenophon’s SA Best: the Liberals are on 42%, compared with 38.0% at the election; Labor is on 37%, compared with 32.8%; the Greens are on 7%, compared with 6.7%; and SA Best are on 7%, compared with 14.1%. Steven Marshall holds a 46-26 lead over Labor’s Peter Malinauskas as preferred premier. The poll was conducted Tuesday to Thursday from a sample of 844.

South Australia: Cheltenham and Enfield by-elections

By-elections today to pick successors for Jay Weatherill and John Rau, and a general opportunity to discuss South Australian matters if that takes your fancy.

Live commentary

Cheltenham live results page
Enfield live results page

10pm. Final Enfield booth now in on primary and two-party. I gather there are no declaration votes counted on the night.

9.14pm. Back online now. Still one laggard booth in Enfield, but all done in Cheltenham; no declaration votes yet (which are reported as a single lump sum by ECSA, and not broken down by pre-poll, postal and absent).

8.08pm. All booths reported in Cheltenham, but still a bit to come from Enfield. There will be a delay of half an hour or so before I next update the results pages.

7.43pm. Most booths in on the primary vote in Cheltenham, half still to come in Enfield. The situation seems to be that much of the SA Best vote has gone to Labor and the Greens rather than independents, except to an extent in Enfield where Gary Johanson is on nearly 20%.

7.32pm. Three booths in now from Enfield, where Labor’s projected primary vote swing has moderated to 3.9%.

7.24pm. Five booths in now on the primary vote from Cheltenham, still only one from Enfield.

7.19pm. Clearly not going to be much to report here. Labor are looking at primary vote swings of 5% to 10% based on five booths that are in, and have a 75-25 lead over the Liberal Democrats from three booths in Cheltenham.

7.15pm. Results pages are looking good now. There are four booths in on the primary vote in Cheltenham, and Labor’s vote is well up in all of them. One booth in from Enfield, ditto.

7.05pm. Now there are actual results in, I’ve hit a glitch where my booth results display isn’t working. Should be fixed soon enough. The rest of it is working though, and it suggests Labor is handsomely up on the primary vote in both electorates and shouldn’t be troubled in either.

6.40pm. No results yet, but my election results pages are open: Cheltenham and Enfield. ECSA is conducting two-candidate preferred counts between Labor and the Liberal Democrats in Cheltenham, and Labor and independent Gary Johanson in Enfield.

6pm. I have posted profiles for the two by-elections: Cheltenham and Enfield. Live results will be posted on the site from about 6:30pm Adelaide time, which should be good enough since these are suburban electorates with no small booths that report early. My results reporting facility will be drawing the results from the ECSA media feed and calculating booth-matched primary vote swings for Labor and the Greens, which are the only apples-for-apples comparisons that are available in the context of by-elections being forfeited by the Liberals.

Earlier

There are two state by-elections for traditionally safe Labor seats of Cheltenham and Enfield in South Australia today, following the resignations of former Premier Jay Weatherill and Deputy Premier John Rau. I haven’t been following any of this too closely, but I will have live reporting of the results this evening, and will knock up some electorate profiles later today if I can find the time. The candidates in Enfield include former Port Adelaide Enfield Mayor Gary Johanson, who has made a number of runs for seats in Adelaide’s inner north as an independent, and came within 2.9% when he ran in Port Adelaide at a by-election in February 2012. Labor’s candidates are Joe Szakacs in Chelthenham, secretary of SA Unions, and Andrea Michaels in Enfield, a commercial lawyer, who respectively won preselection with the backing of the Left and the Right.

Other than that, it’s been a long time since there was a thread on South Australia, with Steven Marshall’s government still waiting for its debut published opinion poll almost a year after it came to power at the state election last March. So feel free to use the opportunity of this post to weigh in on state political matters more generally. One point worth discussing might be the question of the looming electoral redistribution – always a matter of great sensitivity in South Australia, particularly with the Labor government’s abolition last term of the contentious “fairness clause”. Daniel Wills of The Advertiser offers an overview of the situation.

Once more with feeling: Batman, SA, Tasmania

One last look at last month’s two state elections and one federal by-election.

Now the dust has settled, a considered review of the three big electoral events of March.

Batman

Labor’s win was ultimately more comfortable than it appeared on election, which has fed into the post-election speculation as to what it all means. For what it’s worth, a ReachTEL poll commissioned by a timber industry lobby group two days out from the election came within one point of accuracy on the two-party vote, and found Adani, health and education each recording about 20% on the question of most important campaign issue.

First the basic results:

A table further below zeroes into the count’s two curiosities, the first of which is the extent of Labor’s surge on late counting. The result is broken down into polling day votes, namely ordinary election day votes, provisional votes and (in the case of the 2016 election, to derive the swing) absent votes; pre-poll, which includes both the pre-poll voting centre booths and declaration pre-polls; and postals, which is just postals.

The fact that Labor didn’t do so well on the day has led suggestions that something must have happened late in the campaign to blunt Labor’s momentum, with the most obvious culprit being Labor’s dividend imputation policy. There may certainly be something in this, but the same pattern was evident in lesser degree at the Northcote by-election, at which the Greens’ swing was 1.9% weaker on pre-polls and 4.4% weaker on postals as compared with polling day votes, with the equivalent differences in Batman being 3.6% and 5.8%.

The second notable feature of the result was the disparity between the Labor-loyal northern end of the electorate and the Greens-leaning south. The former area did actually deliver the Greens the gentle swing they needed to win the seat, while the latter swung solidly to Labor – although there remains a 15.1% differential between the two, compared with 21.5% at the 2016 election. The table separately records votes cast north and south of Bell Street, and excludes votes where this cannot be discerned (postals and such).

South Australia

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