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Galaxy: 56-44 to Liberal-Nationals in WA

The second major poll of the Western Australian election campaign, conducted between Tuesday and Thursday by Galaxy, produces very similar results to the first.

Two weeks out from the Western Australian election, the Sunday Times has published a Galaxy poll of 800 respondents conducted between Tuesday and Thursday which shows the Liberal-Nationals leading 56-44 on two-party preferred from primary votes of 35% for Labor, 43% for the Liberals, 7% for the Nationals and 9% for the Greens. The 2008 election results were Labor 35.9%, Liberal 38.4%, Nationals 4.9%, Greens 11.9% and 51.9-48.1 two-party preferred. The poll, which in all respects closely echoes the Newspoll result of a fortnight ago, nonetheless has Mark McGowan performing competitive as preferred premier, trailing Colin Barnett 49-43. Further findings:

• 54% rate the Liberals as better for managing the state economy and finances against 37% for Labor;

• 37% say Troy Buswell makes them less inclined to vote Liberal against 6% for more inclined;

• Labor leads 46% to 40% on having the best plan for public transport.

UPDATE: Further results here. Sadly for Labor, they trail 45-40 and 44-39 as the best party to handle their traditional strong suits of health and education, as well as trailing 50-33 on law and order. Labor leads 42-38 on protection of water resources and the environment.

42
  • 1
    Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Not that a statewide % for the Nationals is particularly useful, owing to the concentration of their vote in the rural electorates. Their vote is hardly present at all in the urban electorates.

  • 2
    Woeisme
    Posted Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Mmmmm not sure about this …… I think things are a lot closer over here than this poll indicates

  • 3
    Posted Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    There is a typo with the Buswell figures, it should be 6/37, not 37/37.

  • 4
    Posted Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Yep, fixed. Thanks.

  • 5
    The Unusual Moustache
    Posted Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    its narrowing…

    objectively it is though

    the end result can’t be that bad for labor, and I’m not just saying that

    it should have been a cakewalk for barnett but it will probably be your old average win

  • 6
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Antony Green ‏@AntonyGreenABC
    Plugging new Galaxy poll into ABC Election Calculator gives Barnett government big win http://bit.ly/VXPgUn #wavotes

  • 7
    Carps
    Posted Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    William, I’m a recent convert to your blog, so I apologise if you’ve written on this topic before, but I’m interested in your thoughts on the betting market for the state poll. According to the main bookmaker offering betting on the state poll, the Liberals are clear favorites in Balcatta and also favorites in Gosnells and West Swan. I’d be extremely surprised if the Libs won any of those, although Balcatta may be a chance if the Galaxy poll is to be believed.

    Are you aware of how the bookmakers set odds for seat by seat betting? Is it based solely on the major polls (Galaxy, Westpoll, Nespoll)? Or is the market so small that large individual bets can make a huge difference to the odds? Regardless, it seems there’s money to be made.

  • 8
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Response to Green’s tweet above:

    Barnaby Jones ‏@PollTroll
    @AntonyGreenABC another labor govt to go to sh*t just like NSW, QLD, VIC & NT they're falling like dominoes - Fed labor's next! :) #auspol

    Except Labor is not in office in WA! Honestly!

  • 9
    Paddy O
    Posted Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    since the Thursday poll, the nurses strike has escalated- not sure who this benefits.

  • 10
    rossmcg
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Right … I am no expert but surely just plugging these numbers into a computer is a waste of time. For instance you plug these numbers in and the Liberals claim Albany by miles from a sitting well liked Labor member, Peter watson. He will get more than 35 per cent of the primary vote I’ll wager. Sure it will be close for him like it has been every time … I am sure Antony Green et al will tell me otherwise but I reckon in State elections in small electorates the local factors are far more important.I suspect the Libs will pick up a few seats from Labor, Labor will pick up a few from the Libs and the Nats will, be able to keep control of the Royalties for Regions money jar.

  • 11
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    rossmcg:

    Liberals (both federal and state) have been spamming Albany for almost a year now, and seem to have strong support in the area.

    Interestingly the Albany CCI have implemented a ‘buy local’ campaign. Letter to the local paper during the week noted that Watson’s promotional pamphlet was printed by a local printer, whereas Cosh’s was printed in Perth.

  • 12
    Bird of paradox
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Carps (any relation?):

    According to the main bookmaker offering betting on the state poll, the Liberals are clear favorites in Balcatta and also favorites in Gosnells and West Swan. I’d be extremely surprised if the Libs won any of those, although Balcatta may be a chance if the Galaxy poll is to be believed.

    Balcatta wouldn’t surprise me at all. Labor hold it by 2.3% and they’re losing a long-term MP, so with any kind of swing to the Libs, it’s gone. West Swan and Gosnells are safer for Labor, though. Considering the Ellenbrook line issue (Labor will build it, Libs won’t), West Swan might be worth putting money on if there’s decent odds for Labor.

    Would these polls be done across WA, or just Perth? 56-44 statewide could easily be something like 65-35 in regional WA and 53-47 in Perth, considering Labor doesn’t even come second in quite a few regional seats. If it is the whole state, it’d be useful to see some kind of regional breakdown (particularly Mining and Pastoral region).

  • 13
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    A sample of 1,000 voters across WA would have 50 in Mining and Pastoral and 60 in Agricultural. Don’t expect a regional breakdown from a state wide poll.

  • 14
    rossmcg
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    confessions

    i dont know much abt Albany and i only use it as a reference because i think it highlights the flaws of opinion polling. Demographically it is probably a Liberal seat but the previous Liberal member George Prince opened the door, Watson won it and anecdotal evidence is that he does a good job. Likewise in Collie-Preston which has changed to the point it should be Liberal but Mick Murray hangs on. I read somewhere that a voter there said we look at the member first and the party second. I live in Riverton which probably should be safe Liberal but Graeme Kierath was so toxic he got turfed and circumstances conspired against Tony McRae (a dodgy CCC decision and a probably defamatory headline in The West Australian the day before the poll) and he lost by 64 votes. I bet Newspoll never predicted that.

  • 15
    Tom the first and best
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    10

    Candidates matter far more in regional seats.

    This I would suggest is for 2 main reasons.

    Firstly, the stronger local communities in rural areas where issues are more local.

    Secondly, media markets and local identities are more closely matched to the electorate sizes.

  • 16
    Bird of paradox
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Likewise in Collie-Preston which has changed to the point it should be Liberal but Mick Murray hangs on.

    I wonder what Collie-Preston will look like after the next redistribution. With continued growth in both of its suburban bits of Bunbury (Gelorup/Dalyellup and Eaton), there’s gonna have to be some drastic chopping and changing going on. It might end up as a second Liberal-leaning Bunbury seat, with Collie ending up in a mutated version of the old Collie-Wellington.

  • 17
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    I think I’ll be sitting this one out myself, but if you’re feeling bullish about Labor, take a dive at Sportsbet. Example: West Swan $1.60 Liberal, $2.25 Labor.

    http://www.sportsbet.com.au/betting/politics/wa-politics/outrights?ev_oc_grp_id=1082056

  • 18
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Carps, I think most people would say Sportsbet were being a bit too generous to the Liberals in those seats. However, Labor would have to be less than a 50% chance in Balcatta, and you need only visit West Swan and see the signage on every corner to know that it’s in play. I would be surprised, but not astonished, if Labor lost Gosnells.

    With the qualification that I was wrong last time, I’d avoid the temptation of concluding from his win that Peter Watson is invincible (he’s vincible!). He benefited from an Alan Carpenter hometown vote last time that will be gone this time. By the same token, Labor copped a big swing in Geraldton when the Geoff Gallop hometown vote disappeared in 2008.

  • 19
    Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    With respect for Antony Green’s calculator, I don’t think plugging in a uniform swing over the whole state (or even just over the metro area) is going to produce a reliable result.

    There will be some seats that’ll swing toward the Liberals and some toward Labor. Some of these swings will be wasted (on seats that are already held by the side that is gaining the swing, or held by the other side by a bigger margin than the swing) and some of them won’t be wasted. A state-wide poll can’t determine these things.

  • 20
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    If there is a 5% swing against Labor, then the number of seats that swing to Labor will be very small. Swings are uniform in the sense that they usually have a normal distribution around the statewide swing, so every swing to Labor has to be compensated by a larger swing occurring elsewhere. For instance, every Labor person admits to be at serious risk of losing both Kimberley and Pilbara, two seats above the statewide swing.

    Sometimes the swing is distorted by the swing being different in marginal seats. For instance, the last SA election saw a much much smaller swing in Labor’s most merginal seats. That doesn’t happen very often, but I still remember it being the last resort fantastical theory of people like Christopher Pearson to explain why John Howard wouldn’t win in 2007 despite what the polls reported.

  • 21
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    That should be why John Howard wouldn’t lose in 2007 in the last sentence.

  • 22
    Mod Lib
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Crikey seems to have crunched my last post but since Antony is around I will repeat:

    Using Antony’s calculator with Antony’s assessment of likely Indie outcomes gives:
    ALP 28
    Lib 25
    Nat 6
    (ie LNP Coalition win without any additional swing)

    If there is an additional 0.8% swing, we get:
    ALP 25
    Lib 28
    Nat 6

    If it reaches a 2.2% state swing, we get:
    ALP 24
    Lib 29
    Nat 6

    …and the next flip is 3.3%, which is the level needed for a Lib win in their own right.

    …and the current swing gives the Libs 32 seats (+ Nats 6 would make it 38 to 21)

  • 23
    Mod Lib
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Who knows how the current 4.1% swing to the LNP is broken up regionally, but:
    a 2.2% Perth swing with
    a 3.9% Non-Perth swing

    ….would give the Libs the 30 seats they need for majority government in their own right.

  • 24
    Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Mod Lib
    Who knows how the current 4.1% swing to the LNP is broken up regionally, but:
    a 2.2% Perth swing with
    a 3.9% Non-Perth swing

    ….would give the Libs the 30 seats they need for majority government in their own right.

    The problem here is that you’re assuming the swing will even be uniform across the metro area.

    As for the Kimberley and Pilbara seats that Antony mentioned were at serious risk of loss by Labor, there are issues aside from the general swing away from Labor at work in those seats, namely the Nationals gaining appeal in the rural electorates and the fact that Grylls himself is running for the Pilbara seat.

    I’m not kidding myself here; Labor is almost certainly going to lose, but I think the closeness of it will surprise some people, despite the polls apparently pointing to a whitewash… because I think a lot of that swing is going to be wasted on seats that the Liberals already hold, or seats that Labor holds by too much for the Liberals to take.

  • 25
    Nemspy
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    If Labor holds more than 22 seats at this election I’ll be very surprised. Their team is just so bland and devoid of talent. One of the most unremarkable state oppositions in living memory. Couple that with the general success of Barnett’s first term and you’re looking at a very comfortable re-election.

  • 26
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    If Labor holds more than 22 seats at this election I’ll be very surprised. Their team is just so bland and devoid of talent. One of the most unremarkable state oppositions in living memory. Couple that with the general success of Barnett’s first term and you’re looking at a very comfortable re-election.

    I don’t disagree with your prediction based on the polls but your other comments are hilarious, if you consider Barnett’s first term was a success in any metric other than polling you are clearly not just drinking the koolaid but making it and marketing it.

  • 27
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I meant ‘don’t necessarily disagree’, but nor do I agree. Seems almost inevitable now but it is really unfortunate for Perth that millions of perth residents are destined to miss out on metronet, but on the other hand we get more of the bell towers and Elizabeth trenchs for the few thousand they support.

    Barnett would have to be the definition of mediocre and he is by far the most talented liberal.

  • 28
    rossmcg
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    The consensus is that buswell’s by far the most talented liberal but of course there are other issues there. As for the rest of the liberal team, well this is a govenment that had Rob Johnson as police minister until just over a year ago ! And Christian Porter liked the look of the future so much that he baled out …

  • 29
    ltep
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    it should have been a cakewalk for barnett but it will probably be your old average win

    Might be a tad of a stretch to suggest a 56/44 win would be ‘your old average win’.

  • 30
    Woeisme
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    William

    I think the signs on every corner is happening in many different seats and not just west swan. Even the lib in Midland is plastering his posters etc everywhere. Then there is Belmont, Cannington etc who area also experiencing the same phenomenon. The LIbs are cashed up and have money to burn ….. In West Swan I think there are also some personalities who have an approach to campaigning on the Libs side akin to religious zealotry.

    My thinking is that West Swan, Gosnells are well and truly safe for labor with the Libs getting swings to them in the seats they already hold.

  • 31
    dovif
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Some in here seem to think that a 56-44 2pp will result in the alp with the majority of seats, south Australia is a 1 in a million event. If the result is 54-46 the liberals will be very close to governing outright. As for seats going to the alp. Apart from the 5% swing and the liberal marginals generally getting a sophomore surge. I find it hard to believe that any seats will go toward the alp

    As for potter. He is going federal because of how likely the liberals will win. He is going from one government to another

  • 32
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    True enough Woeisme, but the difference is that in West Swan there are invariably Labor signs right next to the Liberal ones. And I can tell you that the Liberals think they’re a big show in Belmont.

  • 33
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Dovif, I think it’s pretty well understood that Harry Potter’s thinking was that he was primed to assume the premiership of a declining state government that he wasn’t confident would win in 2017 (as well as the whole Abbott-is-certain-to-win thing).

  • 34
    Paddy O
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I believe West Swan is safe for Lab. The Ellenbrook train no-promise was going to hurt the Lib Alban in Swan Hills, but he lost the Ellenbrook part of his electorate.

    the issue is whether McGowan’s improved popularity is part of momentum to Labor, or just that the electorate thinks he’s ok but thinks Labor needs another term in the wilderness.

  • 35
    Paddy O
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    The ferret in the Sunday Times thinks Grylls is not a Shoo-in for the Pilbara. What are the permutations for Pilbara – William and Anthony- re who needs to come where on the ballot and preference flows?

  • 36
    Paddy O
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    One other thing- the media have really missed the strategic significance of metronet and the link with Labor must win seats -e.g. wanerroo. We really need some marginal seat polling by the west Aust or newspoll.

  • 37
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    I think the situation in Pilbara is pretty straightforward preference-wise: Labor and the Nationals will finish first and second, Liberal preferences will flow overwhelmingly to the Nationals, and Greens preferences overwhelmingly to Labor.

    Kimberley’s a lot more complex. The Liberals outpolled the Nationals in 2008 (26.0% to 18.3%), and if they do so again Labor should get a reasonable leakage of Nationals preferences. But if the Nationals get ahead – and there’s a pretty clear consensus that they will – they will get a tight flow of Liberal preferences. The Greens should get a big boost there because of James Price Point, which might cause their preferences to behave differently from usual if some of it comes off the Libs and Nats. And between JPP and the retirement of Carol Martin, the Labor primary vote may well fall precipitously. So my call on Kimberley is the Nationals will win, but I’m not exactly sure what their victory will look like.

  • 38
    Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Paddy O
    One other thing- the media have really missed the strategic significance of metronet and the link with Labor must win seats -e.g. wanerroo. We really need some marginal seat polling by the west Aust or newspoll.

    The media’s not the only one that’s missed it. Several commenters here have too. These sorts of things are the things that turn individual seats against the general swing… and it provides a path for Labor to at least minimise their net loss of seats.

    Unfortunately, nobody cares enough about a state election in backwater WA to do marginal seat polling.

  • 39
    Carps
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Surely the Libs can’t be serious about Belmont and West Swan. If they are, then Labor will obviously be in very deep trouble.

    Pilbra appears to be gone for Labor. I just hope that someone (Lab or Lib) knocks off Vince Catania in North West…a talentless hack if ever there was one (and yes, I thought exactly the same thing when he was a Labor man).

  • 40
    Compact Crank
    Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Liberals will win easily.

    Albany is gone. ALP Only won by a bee’s dick last time.

    ALP should take Morley back despite having a Western Suburbs millionaire as a candidate.

    Bob’s back! And Sutherland in Mt Lawley must be shitting bricks – one to watch.

  • 41
    Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    New thread.

  • 42
    Posted Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m interested in how many reputable opinion polls there have been in recent months. An ABC reporter claimed this morning that there have been “lots” of them. National coverage of this election has been abysmal.

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