Seat of the week: Hindmarsh
UPDATE (9/7): The latest weekly Essential Research poll has the two-party vote steady at 56-44, from primary votes of 31% for Labor (down a point for the second week in a row), 49% for the Coalition (steady) and 11% for the Greens (up one). There are further questions in asylum seekers, of which the most illuminating is the findings that 60% believe the government is too soft, the carbon tax (31% say they have noticed an increase in costs, 54% say they haven’t) and the European economic crisis.
UPDATE 2: Roy Morgan has published poll results from its last two weekends of regular face-to-face surveying. This has both parties down on the previous fortnight, Labor by 3% to 29.5% and the Coalition 2.5% to 45.5%, with the Greens up 4.5% to 14.5%, their best result since February and equal best result ever. The Coalition’s two-party lead is down from 54.5-45.5 to 54-46 on previous election preferences, but up from 56.5-43.5 to 57.5-42.5 on respondent-allocated preferences.
Before we proceed, two automated polls from ReachTEL which were published earlier in the week:
• A poll of 646 voters in Dobell points to a crushing victory for the Liberals, regardless of whether Craig Thomson remains as Labor candidate (which would not appear likely, as the party is proceeding with the preselection process while Thomson’s membership is suspended). Without Thomson, the primary votes after exclusion of the undecided are Liberal 61%, Labor 30% and Greens 6%. With Thomson, the results are 64%, 21% and 13%. The former set of figures suggests a two-party split of about 64-36 and a swing against Labor of around 20%, which seems a bit much. Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports Labor sources have “confirmed the party hoped to finalise its candidate by the end of the year, which would make it impossible for Mr Thomson to clear the legal issues surrounding him in time to resume his party membership and nominate”.
• A 1051-sample poll of state voting intention in Queensland had the primary vote at 56.5% for the LNP, 21.8% for Labor, 9.4% for the Greens and 7.4% for Katter’s Australian Party. This compares with election results of 49.6%, 26.7%, 7.5% and 11.5%.
Created when South Australia was first divided into electorates in 1903, Hindmarsh was traditionally a safe Labor seat covering Adelaide’s working class north-western suburbs. The creation of Port Adelaide as a separate electorate in 1949 made it somewhat less secure, pushing it southwards into more conservative Henley Beach, but only in 1966 was long-term Labor member Clyde Cameron seriously threatened. The watershed moment in its progress from safe Labor to marginal came in 1993, when the abolition of Hawker drew the election further south into Liberal-voting Glenelg. It currently extends along the coast from Glenelg South north to Semaphore Park, from which it extends inland to mostly Labor-voting suburbs south of Grange Road, from Kidman Park to Torrensville south to Morphettville and Ascot Park. The redistribution to take effect at the next election has effected two minor gains, both to Labor’s slight advantage: 3300 voters at Seaton in the north from Port Adelaide, and 1500 voters at Edwardstown in the south from Boothby. Labor’s notional margin is now 6.1%, compared with 5.7% at the election.
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