New year news (week two)

A bunch of state polling, particularly from Victoria, and two items of preselection news.

Another random assortment of polling and preselection news to tide us over until the federal polling season resumes:

• Essential Research has broken the poll drought to the extent of releasing state voting intention results, compiled from the polling it conducted between October and December. The results find Labor ahead in all five states, with Tasmania not covered. This includes a breakthrough 51-49 lead in New South Wales, after they were slightly behind in each quarterly poll going back to April-June 2016; a 51-49 lead in Victoria, after they led either 52-48 or 53-47 going back to October-December 2015; a 52-48 lead in Queensland, from primary vote results well in line with the state election held during the period; and a new peak of 57-43 in Western Australia. In South Australia, Labor is credited with a lead of 51-49, from primary vote numbers which are, typically for Essential Research, less good for Nick Xenophon’s SA Best than Newspoll/Galaxy: Labor 34%, Liberal 31%, SA Best 22%.

The Age has ReachTEL polls of two Victorian state seats conducted on Friday, prompted by the current hot button issue in the state’s politics, namely “crime and anti-social behaviour”. The poll targeted two Labor-held seats at the opposite ends of outer Melbourne, one safe (Tarneit in the west, margin 14.6%), the other marginal (Cranbourne in the south-east, margin 2.3%). After excluding the higher-than-usual undecided (14.5% in Cranbourne, 15.5% in Tarneit), the primary votes in Cranbourne are Labor 40% (down from 43.4% at the last election), Liberal 40% (down from 41.3%) and Greens 7% (up from 4.2%); in Tarneit, Labor 43% (down from 46.8%), Liberal 36% (up from 26.4%), Greens 10% (up from 9.0%). Substantial majorities in both electorates consider youth crime a worsening problem, believe “the main issues with youth crime concern gangs of African origin”, and rate that they are, indeed, less likely to go out at night than they were twelve months ago. The bad news for the Liberals is that very strong majorities in both seats (74.6-25.4 in Tarneit, 66.5-33.5) feel Daniel Andrews would be more effective than Matthew Guy at dealing with the issue.

Rachel Baxendale of The Australian reports on the latest flare-up in an ongoing feud between Ian Goodenough, member for the safe Liberal seat of Moore in Perth’s northern suburbs, and party player Simon Ehrenfeld, whose preselection for the corresponding state seat of Hillarys before the last state election was overturned by the party’s state council. The report includes intimations that Goodenough may have a fight of his own in the preselection for the next election, with those ubiquitous “party sources” rating him a “waste of a safe seat“, particularly in light of Christian Porter’s dangerous position in Pearce.

• Not long after Andrew Bartlett replaced Larissa Waters as a Queensland Greens Senator following the latter’s Section 44-related disqualification, the two are set to go head-to-head for preselection at the next election. Sonia Kohlbacher of AAP reports that Ben Pennings, “anti-Adani advocate and former party employee”, has also nominated, although he’s presumably a long shot. The ballot of party members will begin on February 16, with the result to be announced on March 26.

Galaxy: 50-50 in Victoria

An improved result for the Andrews government in Victoria, despite opposition to its stance on the East West Link.

A Galaxy poll on Victorian state voting intention for the Herald-Sun finds Labor and the Coalition level on two-party preferred, a substantial improvement for Daniel Andrews’ goverment since the last such poll in June, at which the Coalition led 53-47. On the primary vote, Labor is up three to 36%, the Coalition is down three to 41%, the Greens are up two to 10% and One Nation is up one to 6%. Daniel Andrews leads Matthew Guy 41-25 as preferred premier, up from 41-29. Other findings: only 30% believe the decision to cancel the East West Link was a good one, versus 57% for bad; 58% are in favour of building it, with 20% opposed; 42% think the state headed in the right direction, versus 44% for wrong; and 48% rate the Liberal Party better to handle the economy, versus 33% for Labor. Unusually for a Galaxy poll, it looks to have had a single field work date, namely Wednesday; the sample was 828.

Northcote by-election live

Live coverage of the count for Victoria’s Northcote state by-election, where Labor is under challenge from the Greens.

Thorpe (Greens)
Lenk (AJP)
Rossiter (LDP)
Burns (Labor)
Booths reporting on primary vote (out of 14)
Booths reporting on two-party preferred (out of 14)
Votes counted as % of enrolment (48,113)

End of night. Postal votes have taken a bite out of the Greens margin; the table above shows a now-redundant booth-based projection that fails to reflect this. So it does not now appear that this will eclipse the party’s 45.6% vote in the New South Wales seat of Newtown as its strongest ever result on the primary vote. Ben Raue at The Tally Room has interactive results maps, which show the Greens did strikingly well in what had hitherto been the best parts of the electorate for Labor, suggesting an expanding domain of the Greens-favouring “latte belt”.

Continue reading “Northcote by-election live”

Northcote by-election preview

A union-commissioned poll finds the Greens falling short in their bid for the Labor-held inner Melbourne seat.

The ABC reports that a CFMEU-commissioned poll has Labor leading the Greens 54-46 in Northcote, the inner Melbourne state seat where a by-election is to be held tomorrow after the death of Labor incumbent Fiona Richardson. After excluding the 9.6% undecided, the primary votes are 41.8% for Labor’s Clare Burns, 36.9% for Greens candidate Lidia Thorpe, 6.3% for the Liberal Democrats, 4.9% for the Animal Justice Party and 10.1% combined for the eight independents. Labor is favoured by the how-to-vote cards of the Liberal Democrats, Laura Chipp, low-profile independent Phil Cooper and, curiously, the Animal Justice Party. The Greens are favoured only by independents, including former Darebin mayor Vince Fontana, anarchist activist and the lesser-known (to me at least) Brian Sanaghan, Nevena Spirovska and Russell Hayward.

Beyond that, my Northcote by-election page offers an overview of the situation. Tune in from 6pm tomorrow for live coverage of the count.

BludgerTrack: 53.9-46.1 to Labor

Labor bites and holds its poll trend gain from last week, and Essential Research unloads a set of state voting intention numbers.

The one brand new poll for the week, from Essential Research, made so little change to the BludgerTrack voting intention numbers that I had to double check the result. There was also an infusion of new state breakdown data courtesy of Newspoll’s quarterly state-level results, but the only difference this has made is to add one to the Coalition tally in New South Wales and subtract one in Queensland. There’s big movement in Malcolm Turnbull’s favour on the leadership trend rating following new numbers from Essential Research, but this measure is over-sensitive to the vagaries of particular pollsters, which I’ve long been meaning to correct for. Full results at the bottom of the post.

Essential Research has also released its quarterly state voting intention results this week, which are accumulated from all of its polling over the past three months. In New South Wales, the Coalition has a steady lead of 51-49; in Victoria, Labor’s lead narrows from 53-47 to 52-48; in Queensland, Labor holds a steady lead of 54-46, which is better than they have been doing from other pollsters lately, with One Nation’s primary vote at a relatively modest 13%; in Western Australia, Labor’s lead is down from 55-45 to 54-46; and in South Australia, Labor has a steady lead of 52-48, with the Nick Xenophon Team’s primary vote at 18%. Read all about it here.

ReachTEL Victorian state marginals polling

Polls of four seats in Melbourne’s electorally sensitive south-east provide encouraging results for Daniel Andrews, whose government’s fortunes appear to have reversed.

We’ve gone an awfully long time since the last state poll in Victoria – which, I recently argued in Crikey, was probably just as well for Labor. However, a new marginal seats poll for The Age suggests either that my prognosis for Daniel Andrews’ government was unduly gloomy, or that the Liberals have been rammed amidships by the lobster-and-red-wine scandal. The report currently online does not provide primary votes or sample sizes, but the results show Labor leading 56-44 in Bentleigh (50.8-49.2 at the 2014 election), 52-48 in Frankston (50.4-49.6), 55-45 in Mordialloc (52.1-47.9) and 51-49 in Carrum (50.7-49.2). All seats are located in Melbourne south-eastern suburbs, and all were Labor gains in 2014.