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Newspoll and ReachTEL: final South Australian polls

Newspoll suggests a tight race for the Liberals in their endeavour to gain the six seats needed for a majority in South Australia, although it's a rather different story from ReachTEL.


While Tasmania looks to be a foregone conclusion, we look to have an exciting election night in store tomorrow in South Australia – particularly if the final pre-election Newspoll proves to be on the money, as it usually does. The Australian reports the poll has the Liberals leading 52.3-47.7 on two-party preferred, which is most people’s idea of an election-winning lead. However, it represents a swing of only 0.7% swing on the result from 2010, which in uniform would deliver the Liberals only three of the six seats it needs to secure a majority. Troublingly for the Liberals, the poll has them down three points on the primary vote compared with the mid-term Newspoll result, to 41%, with Labor steady on 34% and the Greens up two to 9%. Steven Marshall’s personal ratings have also gone backwards, his approval down three points to 42% and disapproval up six to 35%, which is not what usually happens to opposition leaders enjoying the publicity of an election campaign for the first time. Jay Weatherill has steadied after a solid drop in the previous poll, his approval and disapproval not both on 42%, respectively down one and two points. The good news for the Liberals is that the swing appears to be bigger in Adelaide, which is where the entirety of Labor’s large stock of marginal seats is located. Here the Labor primary vote is down from 43.3% in 2010 to 37%, with the Liberal vote “relatively unchanged” at 38%.

The other good news for the Liberals is that a ReachTEL automated phone poll of 1231 respondents paints a considerably rosier picture for them, crediting them with a decisive lead of 55-45 on two-party preferred. No further figures are available at this stage, at least that I’m aware of.


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56 thoughts on “Newspoll and ReachTEL: final South Australian polls

  1. Independently Thinking

    Whilst most people are looking at the 2PP results, for obvious reasons, it just occurred to me that the non-Labor/Liberal/Green vote is 16%.

    If we assume that Family First are on 4% which they seem to have plateaued on now for a few years, that still leaves 12% for others when they are very, very few ‘others’ standing.

    So maybe the combined votes for Brock, Pegler, Such, Hanna, Johanson, Soester and a handful of other independents; plus D4D and some microparty candidates may be larger than anyone here has thought.

  2. Edi_Mahin

    Perhaps they got lots of people wanting to vote for Xenophon in the lower house.

  3. Arrnea Stormbringer

    In response to Diogenes’ call for last predictions at 120 in the previous thread, I’m going to submit mine here:

    23 ALP (lose Hartley, Bright, Ashford)
    22 LIB (gain Mt. Gambier, Hartley, Bright, Ashford)
    2 IND (lose Mt. Gambier)

    Labor to form minority government with independent support (Weatherill shouldn’t, but he probably will).

  4. spur212

    Bloody hell!

    Still think the Liberals will win … but bloody hell!

    If Newspoll is accurate: hung parliament. The swing against Labor all in the regions and safe seats

  5. spur212

    I seriously doubt this would happen, but on this Newspoll, given the metro result, you could be forgiven for expecting a shock result in either Dunstan or Adelaide! … It definitely won’t happen but you could be forgive for expecting it!

  6. spur212


    In the first week, I expected a surge to the Independents in the final week 😛

  7. Independently Thinking

    Spur, I don’t know about that. It seems more like an ooze than a surge.

  8. spur212


    Ooze, surge. Something like that 😛

  9. matt31

    Would not surprise me at all if some of that “others” vote could be accounted for by people thinking they are voting for PUP in the lower house, when of course this is not possible.

  10. Wakefield

    matt31 – hardly anyone will be voting Palmer in either house. c16% not for 3 main parties is probably indicative of likely Leg Council vote.

    I am wondering though on what basis the 2PP is being calculated in either Reachtel or Newspoll. The minor party spread is different to last time eg no DLP and no One Nation, no motor sports groups, no Democrats. That will help Labor swomewhat especially in the Leg Council.

  11. Everything

    Does anyone have a figure for “the swing appears to be bigger in Adelaide” please?

    I don’t know how to convert those primaries (43.3 to 37% against a state 38%) into TPP swings for a South Australian state election…….it would be about a 6% swing in Adelaide if you used National preference distributions, but who knows what happens in Sth Aus????

  12. Everything

    static rather than state

  13. Everything

    Oops….make that about a 3-4% swing.

  14. Toorak Toff

    Thunder in the eastern suburbs an hour before kick-off. Does this portend something momentous? Not much rain so far. It’s the wet days that wash away your dreams.

    Not a lot to be divined from the entrails either. Newspoll has the experience and the reputation. It looks vaguely promising for Labor (but what of the many thousands of votes already locked away?). Reachtel is the new kid on the block. It’s probably telling us something too.

    Put the two together and it looks like there will be some good holds by Labor. Excellent candidates in Dunstan and Adelaide will stem the flow without really threatening. But there will be some shocks as well.

    A few danger seats outside the main flow may be:

    REYNELL: A good local member has retired. The new girl has not followed the script. Despite the massive infrastructure spend down south, Mike Rann’s former COS Jill Bottrill hinted on TV last night that there’s movement at the station.

    GILES: Again, a popular local member has stepped down and the new Labor candidate is somewhat controversial.

    TORRENS: Another long-term member has retired (and she came in at a by-election after the newly elected Liberal member died). Her would-be replacement has experience as a senator but also has a husband who heads Labor’s Legislative Council ticket. Two heads may not better than one. Anyway, Jay has been campaigning here.

    FLOREY: I hope this is not so, but there was a report that internal polling showed it was 50-50 here and in Colton. The happy clappers are strong here. They don’t like Opus Dei types like the Liberal candidate. Let’s hope they prefer Frances.

    Wonder how the Habib slur will fly? Racist campaigns don’t seem to have harmed Howard and Abbott in recent years.

  15. sykesie

    Good feeling for labor at Henley South Colton booth this
    Morning… Massively different to the federal election. Much much shorter queues.

  16. Diogenes

    Remember last SA election?

    The take home message was to ignore the exit polls. The guy running the exit polls was unceremoniously sacked by Sky on the night as they were so bad.

  17. Geoff Robinson

    Last election swing was in safe Labor seats, could Labor’s vote bounce back here perhaps with economic anxiety now helping them among traditional Labor voters, but this recovery be outweighed by marginal swingers finding Libs electable? Distribution of swing will be interesting

  18. Psephos

    I expect the great progressive state of South Australia to follow Stephen Marshall’s wise advice: “If people in South Australia want change, if they want a better future, if they want to grow our economy, then they need to vote Labor!”

  19. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    Marshall is a wiser man than I thought.

  20. dave

    [ “If people in South Australia want change, if they want a better future, if they want to grow our economy, then they need to vote Labor!” ]

    Yep – Look what happens when a tory actually tells the truth.

  21. brendantregear

    Looks like someone has been busy overnight and removed almost all the Labor election posters in the seat of Wright; on my drive to the booth this morning it was just the Liberal posters left on the street lights.

  22. Edi_Mahin

    Yes it is an embarrassing gaffe but is it really going to affect a lot of people’s votes?

    Is it more something for the Labor voters to ridicule and Liberal voters to wish hadn’t been said but actually doesn’t change their mind at all?

  23. silentmajority

    I hope enough S. Australians have woken up in these last few days that electing a Lib govt is NOT in their best interests.
    The closure of the car industry, the attacks on wages & conditions & a hike of the GST are all on the cards if the Libs get in.

    Fancy losing you job, then voting for the guys who shafted you, the same guys who will also be shafting everyone else with cuts to penalty rates & overtime? Then topping it all off with the cream of a 15% GST.

    The whole of the rest of Australia is looking to SA today as the only voters who might who might prevent us all getting a GST increase.

  24. Compact Crank

    It’s been said before – SA is a strange place. Home of the Democrats after all – and lots of other weird stuff.

    I am predicting a Lib win.

  25. Carey Moore

    [Yes it is an embarrassing gaffe but is it really going to affect a lot of people’s votes?

    Is it more something for the Labor voters to ridicule and Liberal voters to wish hadn’t been said but actually doesn’t change their mind at all?]

    Not really. And I don’t think anybody seriously does think it will change a vote.

    What it does do is cap off an extremely inept campaign by Marshall and the Liberals, so it’s possible that it might serve as a back-breaking straw for those who’ve been concerned about the appearance of Liberal ineptitude but I suspect they had already made that conclusion by then, otherwise they won’t at all.

  26. Peter of Marino

    I was gob smacked at the Marino Hall booth for Bright.Probably 15 young libs, David Speirs and a sausage sizzle. Only one ALP , Greens and FF handing out HTV’s. Bizzare!

  27. Psephos

    Nick Xenophon on the ABC:
    “It’s too close to call,”
    “It will go down to the wire,”
    “Anything could happen.”
    The three stock cliches of the lazy psephologist.

  28. Carey Moore

    At least it’s not the standard entrail reading where commentators make predictions based on how they perceived the moods of the ALP HTV volunteers or the number of posters near the booth.

  29. Psephos

    Yes true. The fact is that there’s nothing intelligent psephologists or media commentators can say about an election on election day, so they ought to shut up.

  30. gloryconsequence

    Just voted in Napier (safe Lab) – handing out HTVs were one Lib, one Lab, two Greens, one FF and one X.

    Hardly any signs around. Very little interest from everyone. Was quite weird actually, usually a bit of a buzz at least.

  31. Leroy Lynch

    Anyone familiar with this researcher?

    [South Australia lurches towards close election
    By Graham Young – posted Saturday, 15 March 2014

    A hung parliament is the result that the fewest voters want, but it’s become the most likely in light of the lacklustre performances of the two major political parties in South Australia.

    Analysis of our polling, conducted early in the campaign shows that while this election is superficially about jobs, the economy, and government’s response to both, it is really more of a time for a change election, but this change may be smothered by doubts about the Liberal leader, and the overwhelming expectation that the Libs are going to win the election.

    The graph below shows the top six issues, as nominated without prompting by our respondents. These are employment, the economy, government financial management, health, education and the federal government. Note that while Labor has been campaigning hard on trying to link the state liberals to Tony Abbott and the federal liberals, this is very much a minority concern, and restricted to those intending to vote Labor.]

    I have seen his stuff from time to time. Some interesting info, but never seems to have easy links to the raw data. I assume its some kind of Essential or AMR style online panel. See below for various other links.

    [Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is a writer, and a former vice-president and campaign chairman of the Queensland Liberal Party.]


  32. Psephos

    My Adelaide Labor sources still think the Libs will win, but they are hedging more than they were doing last week. 🙂

  33. Diogenes

    Absolutely awful


    THE child of a Greens volunteer has died after suffering a suspected seizure at a Middleton polling station this morning.

    SA Ambulance Service had scant details but a spokeswoman confirmed that a one-year-old was taken from Middleton to Flinders Medical Centre in a critical condition earlier today.]

  34. Independently Thinking

    Have come in off some booths in various locations.

    Feel Libs doing better than polling suggests – I think they will govern in their own right. Also think swings are tiny in some booths and bigger in others, even in same electorate.

    Very subdued atmosphere, and much lower voting numbers than I have ever seen before. I know the postals and prepoll were up but not to cover this. I suspect a substantial drop in turnout.

  35. Psephos

    Dr Diogenes, what exactly is a “seizure”? It’s one of those that people use all the time without really knowing what they mean. It doesn’t appear in my trusty Collins Medical Dictionary, so I suspect it’s not an actual medical term.

  36. Compact Crank

    Psephos – I’m no a medical professional but Seizure is a medical term:


    the link is to epilepsy seizures as an example – other things can cause seizures.

  37. Diogenes

    Got to vote in one minute flat. No line at all.


    As you say, seizure isn’t a meaningful medical term.

    It would normally be used to describe a sudden loss of consciousness associated with physical movements.

    It is commonly used to describe an episode of epilepsy but it is a lay term. People who faint commonly move their limbs. I’m not sure at all what happened to the child as epileptic seizures are almost never fatal unless prolonged. A sudden death at that age in a well child is incredibly uncommon.

  38. Psephos

    A stroke? Do children have strokes?

  39. Diogenes


    A stroke is a cerebrovascular accident due to a bleed or a clot.

    Children certainly do have strokes for a number of reasons but it is very uncommon that the stroke would be fatal. I think cardiac abnormality would be the most common cause of sudden death in a one year old.

  40. Bugler

    I get “convulsive syncope” when I get hit in an area with a high concentration of nerve-endings, which, when required to, I refer to as a “fit” rather than a “seizure”, if that’s any help. I feel “seizure” makes it sound like it could happen randomly at any time, when it’s only happened five times across my lifetime.

    What a terrible thing to happen, though. Poor child and poor family

  41. Psephos

    Yes I know what a stroke is. My father and both my grandmothers died of them. I expect I will too.

  42. Everything

    I don’t have any inside info on what happened but sudden unexpected death in epilepsy is a known, albeit very, very rare event.


  43. Everything

    If the child was not known to have epilepsy then a cardiac event is a definite possibility.

    Particularly prolonged QT syndrome:

  44. Toorak Toff

    All very friendly at the blue ribbon Liberal booth in Tusmore. There was a sausage sizzle outside and a plant sale in the foyer of the Uniting Church. Shades of the temple where JC cast out the money-lenders.

    A Liberal lady had been at Kilkenny in the morning and said the Family First booth worker had been as high as a kite and had lit a fire to cast out evil spirits. He himself was cast out and a fire extinguisher was used to douse the fire.

  45. Diogenes


    Prevention of strokes is much, much better now than it used to be. You should see a physician who would organise a carotid duplex, lipid profile etc.

  46. Carey Moore

    Voted about a couple of hours ago. It was quiet. However, I believe the bad weather and the general apathy of this election will make a lot of people leave it until the last hour or so to go vote. Still, it wouldn’t surprise me if turnout is lower.

    Must say the Legislative Council ballot was much better than some from the past. 63 candidates in 25 groups made for a not-too-big sheet of paper and it was easy to number, then fold.

  47. Diogenes


    If you want to read it, these are the Guidelines for Stroke Prevention from the AHA and ASA.


  48. Diogenes

    Evidently Stephen Marshall’s wife has breast cancer which is needing chemotherapy.

  49. Diogenes

    Having shown no interest in the election so far, all four main stations are covering the count tonight.


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