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Victorian Politics

Jun 25, 2014

Nielsen: 56-44 to Labor in Victoria; Newspoll: 54-46

With five months left before the election, the first Victorian state opinion polls conducted since the government's recent parliamentary crisis provide grim reading for Denis Napthine.

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Five months out from the election, two new Victorian state polls:

• A Fairfax Nielsen poll of 1000 respondents, conducted from Thursday to Monday, shows a stunning headling figure of 59-41 in favour of Labor on two-party preferred. However, this is based on respondent-allocated preferences, and given that nothing particularly radical has happened to the minor party vote in Victoria, the preference flows from the 2010 election almost certainly offer a better guide. Here the lead is a more modest but still very imposing 56-44. The Fairfax graphic compares the former result with the previous Nielsen poll from late February, which was 53-47 – I’m now unsure if that result was previous-election or respondent-allocated, but the former measure would have panned out to 53-47 on my calculations based on the primary vote results (UPDATE: Nielsen’s numbers had previous election preferences in the previous poll at 51-49. The four polls it has conducted since early last year have all had Labor higher on respondent-allocation, but never previously by as much as three points). The primary vote figures in the latest poll are 42% for Labor (up five), 37% for the Coalition (down four), 14% for the Greens (steady) and 3% for Palmer United (not previously indicated). Denis Napthine nonetheless retains strong personal ratings, although he is down three on approval to 48% and up five on disapproval to 37%, while Daniel Andrews is little changed at 41% approval (steady) and 36% disapproval (down one). Andrews has all but closed the gap on preferred premier, Napthine’s 45-35 lead diminishing to 41-40.

UPDATE: The poll shows a particularly strong surge to Labor outside Melbourne, where their primary vote is at 44% compared with 32% at the election, while the Coalition is down from 50% to 44%. In Melbourne, Labor is up only slightly from 40.5% to 42%, but the Coalition has crashed from 41% to 34%, with the Greens up from 13% to 16%.

• A Newspoll bi-monthly result for May-June, encompassing a sample of 1151, has the lead at only slightly more modest 54-46, from primary votes of 38% for Labor, 37% for the Coalition and 16% for the Greens. No result was published for March-April, but compared with the January-February result these primary vote figures have both Labor and the Coalition down one and the Greens up three, with the Coalition gaining a point on two-party preferred. Denis Napthine is up one on approval to 44% and five on disapproval to 40%, while Daniel Andrews is up three to 35% and four to 37%. Contrary to Nielsen, Napthine has a strong lead as preferred premier, up from 39-28 to 42-29. “Uncommitted” ratings are down six points for Napthine, seven for Andrews, and four for preferred premier.

The Fairfax poll also indicates a weak response to a generally well-reviewed state budget, with only 4% saying it had made them more likely to vote Coalition versus 29% less likely. For the federal budget, which could well be the real source of the problem here, the numbers are 5% and 39%. A further question asked which should be given the highest priority out of the west section of the East-West link, the Melbourne Metro tunnel and upgrades to level crossings, with respective results of 20%, 30% and 45%.

A weighted and bias-adjusted trend of Newspoll, ReachTEL, Essential, Nielsen and Galaxy polling over the full term looks like this:

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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92 thoughts on “Nielsen: 56-44 to Labor in Victoria; Newspoll: 54-46

  1. Kevin Bonham

    Note also pref prem (for those who like such things) is a feeble 41-40 in Napthine’s favour.

    Maybe this result is extreme and maybe not, either way it does nothing to discount the impression in past data that the government is at least well behind. Combination of Abbott-drag and the Shaw farce; Libs have no-one to blame but themselves for Shaw as they preselected him.

    If Labor can’t win government in Vic from here there’s very little hope for them federally.

  2. Psephos

    And yet, oddly, Labor people I speak to are still pessimistic about the election.

  3. Sir Mad Cyril

    And yet, oddly, Labor people I speak to are still pessimistic about the election.

    Maybe it’s just me, but Labor people seem to always be pessimistic about upcoming elections!

  4. frednk

    To be fair to Labor people; one term governments are not common is Australia.

  5. Yesiree Bob


    And yet, oddly, Labor people I speak to are still pessimistic about the election.

    Cause Daniel Andrews is underwhelming, to say the least.

  6. Sir Mad Cyril

    To be fair to Labor people; one term governments are not common is Australia.

    Yes, a fair point.

  7. badseed

    The Libs are gone. It doesn’t ‘feel’ like a first-term government that’s made a few mis-steps. We’ve had a change of Premier, and I’m sure that T.Abbott esq. is also helping to depress the numbers.

    The Libs came in without a plan, and without a clue. Their efforts at coming up with either haven’t exactly been cutting through. Even their record infrastructure spend announcement was diminished when they ditched the preferred alignment of the Metro Rail tunnel in order to help their developer mates out at Fisherman’s Bend.

    I was polled about Vic State voting intentions over the weekend by Newspoll, so it’ll be interesting to see if that aligns with Nielsen.

  8. max

    ….would translate to something like 55 ALP-33 COAL on the new boundaries. i don’t think it will be that definitive, but there has barely been a poll in the last 2 years that hasn’t had the Libs behind, so I’m beginning to think the Libs might really be toast. As for Andrews – yeh he is underwhelming but Bracks never set the house on fire as Opposition Leader, and when he was Opposition Leader Brumby was regarded as ineffective as well. Both ended up being pretty solid Premiers.

  9. Bugler


    [And yet, oddly, Labor people I speak to are still pessimistic about the election.]

    Perhaps that’s because they’ve lost two candidates in winnable/to-be-won seats; Bayswater and, as always, Frankston.

    I don’t know, there are other seats that can be easily won, like Bentleigh, Prahran, Burwood, Forest Hill, Carrum, Mordialloc, South Barwon, and maybe Ringwood. That could offset a failure to regain Frankston and the loss of Ripon.

    (I remember you saying some time ago that Labor is shocking at selecting candidates for Dunkley, and by extension, the state seat of Frankston. How prophetic 😛 ).

  10. Psephos

    Can anyone recall a recent election in which the government was this far behind six months before the election, and still won? I suppose Howard in 2001 comes close.

  11. Kevin Bonham


    To be fair to Labor people; one term governments are not common is Australia.

    This is true but nor are governments that lose their majorities mid-term, or that roll their leader without giving him a chance to face the people.

  12. Bugler

    Yessiree Bob,

    Despite having a lot of time for Brumby and what he’s done in office, as Labor leader and as a parliamentarian and internal Party campaigner; I’m of the belief that an “over-whelming” leader is a major cause of the 2010 loss.

  13. Psephos

    It’s certainly not helpful, but I doubt many Frankston voters will remember in November that Labor changed candidates in June. They’ll vote for or against Napthine (and Abbott).

  14. Leroy Lynch

    Not sure about that 56-44 figure, note the The Age article, possibly posted too early & quickly pulled down, but if you read the URL itself, its 59-41. We’ll wait & see….


  15. William Bowe

    Labor in WA trailed 56-44 in the quarterly Newspoll of October-December 2004, and went on to win the election at the end of February with 52.3-47.7.

  16. Psephos

    I think we lost in 2010 for two reasons (apart from the inevitable “it’s time” factor). The voters didn’t like Brumby, which was unfair but unavoidably true; and they’d run out of patience over our failure to fix Melbourne public transport.

  17. William Bowe

    Leroy, the 59-41 result is respondent-allocated preferences. While I have you, many thanks for your diligent work in monitoring what’s going on in polldom. You’re usually quicker off the mark than I am.

  18. Leroy Lynch

    I’m here to help

  19. Kevin Bonham


    Can anyone recall a recent election in which the government was this far behind six months before the election, and still won? I suppose Howard in 2001 comes close.

    This is just one poll at the moment, we need to see others to see if Napthine + co really are on only 44. Before that I’d have said they were on at least 47.

    If it is 44 then Howard in 2001 is the last federal precedent. State governments are much less resilient to bad polling than federal governments; there are few if any state examples I could find in the last few decades. Weatherill was getting 45s and 46s but in his case 47 turned out to be a win.

  20. Yesiree Bob


    and they’d run out of patience over our failure to fix Melbourne public transport.

    Public Transport is still stuffed.

  21. Kevin Bonham

    William Bowe@15

    Labor in WA trailed 56-44 in the quarterly Newspoll of October-December 2004, and went on to win the election at the end of February with 52.3-47.7.

    Were there any other polling data at the same time showing that it was as bad as 56:44? In that case the Newspolls either side were 50:50 (but on a three-month cycle so it’s possible things got that bad then that much better.)

  22. Yesiree Bob

    Further to that, we know are in the situations where trains mysteriously change to express, mid journey.
    Pity for the passengers who had expected that they might have got off on a station that has suddenly been by-passed.

  23. Yesiree Bob

    know = now

  24. Bugler


    I would say I agree with you on both accounts, but it does come with the acknowledgement that I only became eligible to vote June after said election, hence was merely an observer.

    I was wondering how things were playing out here more broadly, because the state budget was basically cutting bits out of already announced Labor policy that was popular and copying a cheap or a way-off-in-the-never-never version of it. They, for a brief moment, appeared to be doing something. Then the Shaw stuff blew-up, and Labor’s own candidate was brought into question. I guess a lot of this would be the blow-out from the federal budget.

    I daresay the Newspoll state polls are due soon?

  25. Tom the first and best


    I am glad to read that you have now accepted that the voters threw the previous Victorian government partly because of PT and that you no longer hold the view that swinging voters don`t care about PT.

  26. Bugler


    Perhaps such an opinion was formed because the seats that tend to swing the most are outer suburban, which are often so poorly serviced that taking PT is impractical, therefore minimal impact in their political decision making. (For example, to get to University the quickest using PT I had to drive 20mins to the station, take the train for 35mins then take a 45min bus ride, to take me somewhere that took a 45min drive (admittedly over 90mins in peak hour).

    Nonetheless, if a service is poor enough, you’re going to lose votes. The myki debacle had not only massive taxpayer waste, but also directly inconvenienced people to impose what many people still consider to be an inferior system (people still want tram conductors as well, though). The Frankston line had somewhere to go politically. Poor service on the Burnley Group trains won’t gain the Liberals much under a Labor Government, as many along those lines are safe Liberal seats. The only Labor seat in the east (state or federal) doesn’t even have a train station.

  27. Bugler

    [(For example, to get to University the quickest using PT I had to drive 20mins to the station, take the train for 35mins then take a 45min bus ride, to take me somewhere that took a 45min drive (admittedly over 90mins in peak hour).]

    Well, I could have taken a bus to the railway station, but that would have been another 30min bus trip on top of a 30min walk to the closest bus stop for an infrequent bus service.

  28. William Bowe

    [Were there any other polling data at the same time showing that it was as bad as 56:44?]

    This poll from the December probably would have panned out to 56-44. However, Westpoll only had samples of 400 and hence tended to be all over the shop. I’d suggest that WA Labor then was travelling about as badly as the Victorian Coalition is now, but that all the polls we’re referring to at the moment overstated the case somewhat.

  29. William Bowe

    This post illustrates what appears to have been WA Labor’s polling slump towards the end of 2004:


  30. Psephos

    [I am glad to read that you have now accepted that the voters threw the previous Victorian government partly because of PT and that you no longer hold the view that swinging voters don`t care about PT.]

    I don’t recall ever saying that.

  31. Psephos

    The problem is that voters in the outer suburbs SAY they want better PT, but what they mean is that they want less traffic congestion so THEY can drive to work quicker. They will vote against anyone who tries to MAKE them use PT. But unless there is a radical reduction in private car use, Melbourne’s transport mess is unfixable. That’s Labor’s dilemma.

  32. Leadership

    GhostWhoVotes @GhostWhoVotes · 3h
    #Nielsen Poll VIC State Primary Votes: L/NP 37 (-4) ALP 42 (+5) GRN 14 (+1) #springst #auspol

  33. Psephos

    Of course over at the other thread everyone has been saying how unreliable Nielsen polls are. 🙂

  34. Bugler


    I’ve never lived closer to the CBD than 30km (used to live over 50km away) and have never thought about better PT in terms of reducing congestion on my various trips. If I could take PT to work, I honestly would. If I had a bus stop closer than 3km to me (or at least near somewhere I could park) when I lived in the Valley, I would have taken it. I prefer PT to driving for a number of economical, social and ethical/political reasons

  35. Rossmore

    Like other Victorian PBers I also frequently hear scepticism from people about the vIC LNPs chances of being booted in November. I also recall similar sentiments about the incumbent Kennett LNP in 1999 and the incumbent Brumby Gov in 2010.

    But did I also see on PB that the electoral redistribution would make it a tough ask for the VIC ALP in November?

  36. ryanmoore3

    Averaging out Newspoll, Nielsen, Essential and Galaxy from this year, it equates to a clear Labor lead of 52.6% with both parties even on 39.7% primaries.

    Given the constant instability around the Government (stories like Kennett attempting to take the leadership on tonight’s 6pm news), federal factors and the fact that nothing so far has gotten them out of a two year slump, it’s fairly difficult to see the Liberals winning.

    Victoria is not NSW or Qld – we won’t see mid-60 blowouts – but it is damn near impossible seeing the Liberals holding the requisite 45 seats.

  37. Psephos

    Rossmore, on the new boundaries Labor has to win five seats. But the swing needed to win them is actually less than the swing that Labor would have needed to win two seats on the old boundaries. On top of that, the “sophomore effect” will be reduced, because three of the seats Labor needs to win actually have sitting Labor members – Yan Yean, Monbulk and Buninyong. In a fourth, Frankston, there will no sophomore effect because Geoff Shaw will not be the Liberal candidate. So on paper the task looks very doable. It’s certainly an easier task than Bracks faced in 1999. But the Libs seem to think they can “sandbag” the key seats, especially on the Frankston line (Bentleigh, Mordialloc, Carrum and Frankston, all lost in 2010) by pretending to have fixed the Frankston line’s problems. They are also hoping that when Abbott’s Royal Commission gets around to the CFMEU, some of the dirt will splash on Andrews, who is from the Left. Maybe it will.

  38. Bugler


    A few Labor seats are notionally Liberal, but not by much. The swing required to deliver a Labor majority is actually lower (was 1.2%, now 0.9%; assuming it’s uniform).


  39. Bugler


    How much has Andrews had to do with the CFMEU? The impression I had, if you’ll pardon the crudeness, is that he was of the “soft”, rather than “industrial” Left. Or is it more a harm Labor generally because it’s an affiliated union kind of thing?

  40. outside left

    Done and dusted. Semantics, now

  41. badseed

    The Frankston line is still stuffed. At least once a week I miss my regular train at Toorak due to congestion or cancellations, or the train runs express past us to make up time. Hopefully the transport unions send out the ‘go slow’ message leading up to the election just to ice the cake.

    I suspect my local Lib, Clem Newtown-Brown will be in a bit of trouble here in Prahran. The ALP candidate seems quite energetic and personable, and the Greens will poll in the 20’s as well.

  42. Rossmore

    Pseph and Badseed Agree the Franga line is still stuffed. I like many commuters have the Met’s very useful app that alerts commuters to delays and cancellations on your nominated line. It routinely ‘goes off’ at morning and evening peak hour with multiple delays and cancellations.

    Interesting too that the Neilsen poll suggests the ALP hasnt appeared to lose any skin from the deselection of the Frankston candidate.

    I also hear on the rumour mill that there’s more bad news heading the VIC LNPs way in coming days

  43. Leadership

    Bugler CFMEU is part of Andrews group inside the ALP

  44. Leadership

    Badseed I think Pranran is 3 ways race. It’s hard to see the ALP getting over 30 in primany and the greens should poll very well in Pranran around 25.

  45. Bugler

    Thanks, Leadership. Though I’m not certain exactly what that means.

  46. Rossmore

    The Melbourne suburban train line is sizing up as an electoral battleground.

    The Ambos and Firies are frequently at my station on the Franga line leafletting against the LNP.

    Likewise the local ALP candidate

    The LNP have boards at stations all along the line spruiking that train services are vastly better

    And the private TAFe providers have every second advertising billboard spruiking their dodgy wares.

    In this battle of ideologies I suspect the. ALP have the upper hand and we are seeing that in the polls.

  47. Tom the first and best


    I remember you commenting that but I cannot be bothered searching every Victorian politics thread individually, since the last election, until I find it.


    That is exactly the sort of attitude I was talking about. It is basically a localised version on an article on the satirical news site The Onion about Americans` support for PT to get the traffic out of their way.

    PT is a significant issue for the voters, who actually use PT, not only in the inner suburbs (where there are marginal seats like Prahran) but also in the middle suburbs. See this map.


  48. Tom the first and best


    I agree. Prahran will be a 3-way race. The Greens will be fighting for several innner-city seats and if the ALP looks like letting any part of the East-West Link, will clean up in the inner-city.

  49. Bugler

    Tom @47,

    That’s a fascinating blog. Bit off topic, but I found this .gif on the blog which basically shows socio-economic disadvantage being expelled from the inner-suburbs.


  50. bemused


    The problem is that voters in the outer suburbs SAY they want better PT, but what they mean is that they want less traffic congestion so THEY can drive to work quicker. They will vote against anyone who tries to MAKE them use PT. But unless there is a radical reduction in private car use, Melbourne’s transport mess is unfixable. That’s Labor’s dilemma.

    There are 2 obvious problems with Melbourne’s rail system.

    1. It is almost completely radial so it doesn’t help much for cross suburban journeys.

    2. For long routes, it needs to have tracks quadrupled so that express services from outer areas can bypass trains servicing inner areas. Every time I cross the Dandenong line I shake my head. 2 tracks to carry the Cranbourne Line, Packenham Line, Country freight and country passenger services. It should be 4 tracks to Dandenong so that, for example, a train from Packenham can run all stations to Dandenong then express to the city stopping only at a couple of major stations on the way. You cannot do this with 2 tracks.

  51. ryanmoore3

    RE: Prahran, how will the ALP remain under 30? They only got slightly under this at the previous election, and even then, it’s a 10% swing for the Greens to overtake them. Their big chance was 2010 and mid-term outliers of high primary votes for them never come to fruition.

  52. Tom the first and best


    The Greens are likely to be targeting Prahran with with lots of resources, much more so than in 2010, likely using their campaign tactics as honed in Melbourne last year.

    The Greens are also likely to have issues like the East-West link to beat the ALP over the head with.

    The vast majority of Green vote increase would be coming from otherwise ALP votes and so the greens do have a chance (note I said chance not sure bet) to overtake the ALP vote, either on primary and/or on the 3PP and win the seat.

  53. Leroy Lynch

    [Crisis has Victorian Coalition on ropes: Newspoll
    The Australian June 26, 2014 12:00AM
    John Ferguson
    Victorian Political Editor

    THE ailing Napthine government’s election-year budget has failed to win over voters, as rolling political crises and federal spending cuts further weaken the administration’s hold on office, the latest Newspoll shows.

    The poll, taken exclusively for The Australian over the past two months, shows the government would have been comfortably defeated at the polls, with Labor holding a 54 to 46 per cent lead over the Coalition on a two party-preferred basis.

    Primary-vote support for the Greens has jumped to 16 per cent while the Liberal Party dropped three points to 33 per cent and Labor was largely unmoved on 38 per cent. The Nationals’ ­primary vote was 4 per cent, nearly three points below the ­result at the 2010 election.]


  54. lefty e

    These number reinforce my long-held qualitative assessment that the Napthine govt is fecked come November.

    The Shaw debacle has taken the wind out of their big pitch on transport, which was in any case flawed and scarcely credible.

    And thats pretty much the ball game.

  55. Leroy Lynch

    [Fix level crossings first: poll
    June 26, 2014 – 12:15AM
    Richard Willingham
    State Political Correspondent for The Age

    Fixing Victoria’s level crossings is the highest infrastructure priority for the state, ahead of the western section of the East West Link and a Melbourne metro rail tunnel, according to voters.

    In a worrying sign for the Napthine government trying to sell an infrastructure agenda that places the East West Link as a top priority, The Age/Nielsen poll of 1000 voters found that 45 per cent of voters backed upgrades of level crossings ahead of the Melbourne Metro tunnel (30 per cent) and the western section of the East West Link (20 per cent) as the highest priority for the state’s infrastructure agenda.

    While the government has completed some level crossing removals and is working on more, Labor has promised to remove 50 level crossings if it wins November’s state poll.]

  56. Leroy Lynch

    [Labor leads Napthine government 59 to 41 in Age/Nielsen poll
    June 26, 2014 – 12:34AM
    Josh Gordon
    State political editor for The Age.

    Labor has extended a crushing lead over the Napthine government as fallout from the federal budget, ongoing chaos in the Parliament and internal Liberal Party ructions continue to erode the Coalition’s re-election hopes.

    Five months from the November 29 state election, an Age/Nielsen poll reveals the state government failed to gain political traction from the May budget, despite a $27 billion major projects agenda.

    The poll of 1000 Victorians reveals the Coalition is now deeply mired, trailing Labor 41 per cent to 59 per cent in two-party preferred terms based on voters’ intended preference allocations.]


  57. Raaraa

    Was the MOE published for these polls?

    And interesting that the article in The Age stated “right-wing Liberal “jihadists”” taking over the Liberal agenda. Fancy that term being used there!

  58. Leroy Lynch

    [Andrews winning race by doing nothing
    June 26, 2014
    Josh Gordon
    State political editor for The Age.


    Denis Napthine is correct when he says the latest scandal dogging his government a sideshow.

    It is an event the political class is clambering to attend – including some tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists on his own front bench who seem all too happy to contribute to the spectacle.

    As a result, Napthine’s circus tent is all but deserted, leaving the government bereft in its efforts to sell its big spending state budget and law-and-order agenda. Five months out from a state election, this is a disaster.

    Despite being able to boast of a $27 billion major projects agenda and the strongest budget position in the nation, the government has failed to gain a political bounce. According to Napthine’s detractors in the Labor Party, it is the least effective $27 billion spent in Australia political history.]

  59. Socrates

    I find it hard to see how this can turn around. Shaw will be just as big an albatross around Napthine’s neck as Thomson was for federal Labor. Plus there is an unpleasant smell around other aspects of the Vic Libs, notably treatment of developers.

  60. Psephos

    Andrews isn’t doing nothing. He’s saving the puppies. And I mean, what could be more important than puppies?

  61. Greensborough Growler

    Andrew’s policy initiative to remove 50 railroad crossings is certainly resonating with the voters. so, he seems to be the man with the right plan atm.

    Grandiose schemes to build are always trumped by local politics.

  62. Steven Grant Haby

    The big issue according to an Age article this morning is level crossings over the (changed) Metro tunnel and the East-West link.

    I live on the Frankston line (Chelsea) and generall I find the service OK however not a week goes by without an ‘incident’ which is code for (a) level crossing car v train or (b) level crossing pedestrian v train on the line. The stupidity of motorists and pedestrians around level crossings is quite frankly frightening.

    So level crossing elimination is very much on the minds of voters. Unfortunately the geology of the area (sandy soil, etc) makes it very difficult to tunnel under without some major and very very expensive engineering works so one option would be to close one in every two crossings from Mordialloc to Frankston or completely rebuild the line as an elevated line from Mordialloc all the way down.

    There was also a rumour that there was talk about relocating the line about 2-3 km inland.

  63. Psephos

    [There was also a rumour that there was talk about relocating the line about 2-3 km inland.]

    The cost of which would be vast, but could be recouped by selling the land the line currently occupies. The bayside suburbs have always suffered from having the railway line just inland from the beach, cutting off the beach zone from the rest of the suburbs. On the other hand the lower bayside area is full of pensioners (mainly Poms) who would complain bitterly about losing their local stations.

  64. Raaraa

    If you’re going to relocate a line inland, you might as well branch it off as a new line or loop. Something like the Laverton loop vs the Altona loop on the Werribee line.

  65. Psephos

    A new line to where? There’s only one Frankston.

  66. Raaraa


    [A new line to where? There’s only one Frankston.]

    Not to where but through where? I’m just saying the cost of relocating a line would match that of putting in an actual new line, which makes it impractical. Unless Carrum Downs desperately need a train station.

    As it is the two branches of the Werribee line allows an express to Newport from Laverton and a local through Altona.

  67. Rex Douglas

    Daniel Andrews doesn’t have to have a mass agenda – in actual fact I think a stacked agenda hurt the Rudd/Gillard Govts and over-burdened them and the public.

    If Andrews simply runs on his level crossings reform and sound budget management and doesn’t overwhelm the public with a million different messages, he’ll romp it in.

  68. Tom the first and best


    Elevating the line would be the way to go there.


    The land the railway sits on is not the most saleable. It is narrow because it is between two roads, the commercial areas it runs through are not all that busy from a commerce perspective (particularly on the Nepean Highway side and removing the railway would not help this) and there would be campaigning for the line to be turned into parkland (good), car parking (bad) and/or a widened Nepean Highway.

    64, 65 & 66

    loop line would be a bad idea. If you split the line up then either frequency has to be reduced, trains split and coupled all the time or all the passengers on one of the lines interchanging. The patronage would not justify this. The Altona loop is messy operationally and not just because it is mostly single track.

  69. Raaraa


    I really wish they would duplicate it though. Read a book by Tim Fischer who suggested that track duplication can be done in stages and shouldn’t cost all that much (in comparison to other rail projects).

    Of all the rail demands in Victoria, this is probably the cheapest to do, I would think, considering all the reserve land around the single track.

    Newport is obviously the bottleneck here, but if it reduces the delays at Laverton, Westona and Newport junction. At the moment as it is, trains going in one direction are delayed, waiting for the train in the other direction to clear off the track.

  70. badseed

    Yep, Daniel Andrews should just campaign on the level crossings and returning the Metro tunnel to it’s original alignment.

    Not sure exactly what the ALP’s position will be on the East-West link – but certainly one or two inner city seats could be at risk to the Greens if they don’t strongly oppose it.

    It’d be interesting to see how the Federal GRN vote in Melbourne and Batman aligns with the State seats of Melbourne, Richmond and Brunswick.

    As previously indicated, Prahran will be interesting as it’s a strong chance of a 3-cornered contest. Preference flows will be critical.

  71. teh_drewski

    1.40 available at the bookies for anyone sure of an election win for Labor wanting a 40% tax free return in 5 months.

    Free money!

  72. Tom the first and best


    Only parts of the Altona loop have enough land for duplication. Altona and Seahold stations are places where there could be a real struggle. There are also higher duplication priorities (i.e. all other sections of single track on the suburban network except Eltham-Hurstbridge and Upper Ferntree Gully-Belgrave).

  73. Rossmore

    Lots of firies in full uniform at my suburban Met station this evening,getting signatures protesting against Napthine Gov and handing out leaflets. Struck by queues of people lining up to sign. An ‘It’s time’ kind of moment.

  74. Rossmore

    Wow, if true this is a terrible look for the LNP both State and federally. A senior Abbott staffer conspiring to undermine former VIC Premier Bailleu


    And double wow, a story about to break that will seriously undermine one of the VIC LNPs best performing Ministers …

  75. Psephos

    Tom, since I’ve frequently been dismissive of your posts on other subjects, I should acknowledge that you do evidently know what you’re talking about on PT issues. Do you have a background in this area?

    Question: The political strength of Labor’s campaign on level crossings is obvious. They’re dangerous and disruptive and everyone hates them. But what real difference to Melbourne’s transport problems would be achieved by Labor promised upgrades? And is Labor’s estimate of the cost defensible?

  76. Tom the first and best


    Thank-you for you acknowledgement, I have been interested in this area for a long time and have acquired a lot of information in the area over the years. Nothing professional though (at least yet anyway).

  77. Tom the first and best

    Level crossings negatively effect train operation mainly in 3 three circumstances:

    So many trains use a level crossing that if many more were added, the boom gates would be down for to long and so to add more trains would need their abolition.

    Where trains and tams cross on the level (Riversdale, Kooyong, Gardiner and Glenhuntly). The trains have to go very slowly over the crossing (this especially hursts the express trains at Glenhuntly) and the crossing must have a manned signal box to operate all the safeworking and electrical system crossover.

    An accident on the level crossing.

    Road based PT is also held up at level crossings (mainly buses) but separation from traffic to get them to the front of the queue would help there.

    A sustained program of level crossing abolition could and should bring costs down through both efficiency of scale and greater experience in project cost control (lost in Victoria under and since Kennet`s cuts).

  78. blackburnpseph

    [Question: The political strength of Labor’s campaign on level crossings is obvious. They’re dangerous and disruptive and everyone hates them. But what real difference to Melbourne’s transport problems would be achieved by Labor promised upgrades? And is Labor’s estimate of the cost defensible?]

    Some answers to your question. Yes, removal would be make a serious difference to both road and rail services. Labor cost estimate is $5-6 billion – for the 50 identified this is probably about right – unfortunately level crossing removal does not come cheap.

    I am not sure how feasible some of the removals would be – for example on the Upfield line – there would be substantial property acquisition costs as it is all so tight. Also, some on Daniel Andrews list are already being funded by this government.

    Two questions back:

    1. Where is the money coming from? It was the sale of something wasn’t it? Is that a realistic value?
    2. How many level crossings did Labor remove in 11 years before – two I can think of – and Peter Batchelor did not think Springvale Road was necessary – and then the Feds stumped up the cash. But then again it was in Nunawading.

  79. Psephos

    Bludgers may have noticed that William’s Bludgertrack currently shows Labor winning seven seats in Victoria. The seven weakest Coalition seats in Victoria are: Deakin, Corangamite, La Trobe (the three lost in 2013), Dunkley (last won by Labor in 1993), Casey (1983), Aston (1987) and… Higgins, never won by Labor, held successively by Harold Holt, John Gorton and Peter Costello, now on a margin of 9.9%. I don’t believe for a minute that Labor is going to win Higgins, but the fact that current polling raises even the theoretically possibility shows how the Liberal position in Victoria, including in the upper-income suburbs of Melbourne, has declined. This is a long-term trend going back to the 1980s, but it has obviously accelerated over the past year.

  80. Psephos

    Oops, wrong thread – although it is kind of relevant.

  81. Greensborough Growler


    I reckon Labor would win back Melbourne before it ever got close in Higgins.

  82. blackburnpseph

    Psephos @ 79

    Not the Massachusetts of the South for nothing.

    Also shows how lazy the Vic Libs have been for decades – dependent on the eastern and southern suburbs heartland and not trying to venture out. It is not just Melbourne however, Ballarat had two Lib seats more often than not prior to 1999. They have not held one since. The Victorian liberal Liberal tradition from Deakin down through Hamer and even Kennett has been diminished – the more conservative NSW dominance of the Liberal Party has not resonated well in Victoria at state or federal level.

  83. blackburnpseph

    The problem the Libs have in Higgins is that Liberal voting Toorak/ Armadale/ Caulfield is essentially an island and that the seat has to go outwards into ever more marginal or Labor territory to keep the enrolment numbers up. It is very similar to Wentworth in that regard – after Turnbull goes – very much the right horse forn the right course – the Libs could be in serious trouble there. Each redistribution weakens the Libs in Higgins and in a big swing they might just get a serious scare.

  84. Psephos

    Even their upper-income base is rotting as more wealthy people vote on non-economic issues. I know the state Libs are worried about Caulfield, where the sitting member is an idiot and Labor has a bright young Jewish candidate.

    (This is the flip-side of Labor’s base rotting in places like the La Trobe Valley. Ballarat and Bendigo are holding up for Labor because they are being colonised by exurbanites.)

  85. Work To Rule

    Each redistribution weakens the Libs in Higgins and in a big swing they might just get a serious scare.

    The other shift going on in Higgins, particularly in the parts that cover Glen Eira council zone, is the rapid increase in medium to high density housing. This will accelerate over the next few years. My guess would be that this shift in housing stock will tend to go against the Liberals.

    Purely guess work really – based on the observation that the attraction of these shoe-box dwellings is the proximity of public amenities. People that like the word “public” in stuff tend not to vote Liberal.

  86. Tom the first and best


    The only real high density construction in Higgins is going on in South Yarra and Prahran (the state seat of Prahran having remained at bout a quota over the 12 years between redistributions while Albert Park grew massively and the rest of South Eastern Metropolitan shrank in population). The rest is medium density.

  87. Tom the first and best


    The Liberals seem to have upset a significant part of the Latrobe Valley with the Morwell mine fire response. The seat of Morwell may well return to the ALP at the election.

  88. Leroy Lynch

    Some discussion of recent State & Federal polling in Victoria in this article, worth a read.

    [Abbott is no jewel in the Liberal crown as the Victorian election nears
    June 28, 2014 – 12:00AM
    Michael Gordon
    Political editor, The Age

    Tony Abbott’s strategy to win last year’s election involved visiting Victoria, on average, once a fortnight, claiming Melbourne as his ‘‘second home’’ and forging a working relationship with the man who led the Liberals back into power at a state level, Ted Baillieu.


    Fast-forward to this week and it is hard to comprehend how far the Liberal Party has fallen, at a state and federal level, in the state that produced its founder and most towering figure, Sir Robert Menzies.]

  89. Greensborough Growler


    The Libs have discovered their real enemy and it seems to be themselves atm.

  90. Leroy Lynch

    [Poll forecasts trouble for Victorian Premier Denis Napthine
    July 02, 2014 9:00PM
    Stephen Drill
    Herald Sun

    ROGUE MP Geoff Shaw is in for an election annihilation, with just 4 per cent of voters in Frankston wanting to return him to State Parliament, new polling shows.

    And Denis Napthine’s chances of holding power are under threat, with three key marginal seats expected to fall into Opposition hands.

    The Labor Party will comfortably win marginal seats of Frankston, Mordialloc and Bellarine, a poll of 800 people conducted on June 25 and 26 in each electorate found.

    Mr Shaw is still expected to run at the November election despite being suspended from Parliament for misusing his taxpayer-funded car.

    The MP destabilised former premier Ted Baillieu and was accused of holding the Government to ransom with his balance of power vote. But his antics appear to be failing to win over his electorate.

    The Essential poll, commissioned by the Victorian Trades Hall Council, was conducted after Labor candidate Helen Constas resigned amid a bullying scandal.]

  91. Kevin Bonham


    Victorian Liberals: Going, Going …

    My take on state election prospects. In terms of what you might not find in other such assessments, this article examines the idea that being a first-term government protects the Napthine administration from losing, and finds it to be false.

    I also have a poll in the sidebar concerning the format of federal polling (and by extension state polling other than Tas) articles on my site. There’s discussion of the options at the bottom of the current Vic article.

  92. Chris Curtis

    As someone who went on the record four years ago expecting the Coalition to win again in 2014 with an increased majority, I have been reluctant to predict a Labor victory. However, it seems that Labor is more likely to win than not given the consistent opinion poll results. The reasons are obvious – a do-nothing government under Ted Baillieu followed by chaos and last-minute panic under Denis Napthine, with none of the problems fixed and the Abbott shadow over the state. I certainly expect Labor to win Yan Yean, given the local campaign.

    People may be interested in reading some of the comments after the last state election:
    Victorian election live

    After the blast page 11

    After the blast page 20 (21 too).

    The Victorian ALP has just passed its platform for the coming election and it is now posted on the website at:
    Victorian Labor Platform. I have not read the whole platform, but the education chapter, “Skills and Knowledge”, is very good.

    I won’t make seat prediction, but I think it will be a comfortable majority for Labor, and, with a lot of luck, we may even get a Legislative Council in which Labor does not have to depend on the Greens; say, ALP 19, others (DLP/PUP/CA/?) 2, Coalition 16, Greens 3.