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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.

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:

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92 comments

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Chris Curtis
Guest

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.

Kevin Bonham
Guest

http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/victorian-liberals-going-going.html

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.

Leroy Lynch
Guest

http://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/poll-forecasts-trouble-for-victorian-premier-denis-napthine/story-fnii5sms-1226975532088
[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.]

Greensborough Growler
Guest
Greensborough Growler

Leroy,

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

Leroy Lynch
Guest

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

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/abbott-is-no-jewel-in-the-liberal-crown-as-the-victorian-election-nears-20140627-zsoh9.html
[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.]

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

84

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.

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

85

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.

Work To Rule
Guest

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.

Psephos
Guest

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.)

blackburnpseph
Guest

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.

blackburnpseph
Guest

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.

Greensborough Growler
Guest
Greensborough Growler

Psephos,

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

Psephos
Guest

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

Psephos
Guest

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.

blackburnpseph
Guest

[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.

Tom the first and best
Guest
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).

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

75

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).

Psephos
Guest

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?

Rossmore
Guest

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

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/taxpayerfunded-adviser-investigated-over-leaked-tape-debacle/story-fni0fit3-1226968196511

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

Rossmore
Guest

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.

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