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Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor in Western Australia

The latest state Newspoll for WA records voters flocking back to the major parties – the Labor Party in particular.

The Australian’s latest quarterly Newspoll result on state voting intention in Western Australia, covering the period from October to December, records Labor with a 53-47 lead over Colin Barnett’s Liberal-National government, up from 52-48 in the previous poll. Beneath this modest shift is some striking movement on the primary vote, albeit that the previous result was from way back in April-June, since there was no published result for July-September. A big slump in minor party support leaves room for Labor to bounce nine points to 42%, with the Liberals also up four to 37%. The slide by all other players afflicts the Nationals (down two to 5%), the Greens (down four to 10%) and “others” (down seven to 6%). Colin Barnett is down three points on both approval and disapproval, to 33% and 54% respectively. Mark McGowan is respectively down two to 47% and one to 32%, and he holds a 41-36 lead as preferred premier, down slightly from 43-37. The poll was conducted by live interview telephone polling from a sample of 841.

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It is normal for Australians, keeping their nose to the wind, to vote Labor when economic adversity is nigh. They want the safety net. Conversely, when the prosperity graph ticks upwards, they want individual freedom to pay no tax etc. This result is a function of the ditch yawning in front of WA in the form of abandoned mine profits, and its more recent symptoms, such as a massive leap in the Perth rate of robbery, theft and violent crime against the person.


Colin Barnett has counted his chickens in August, he suggested the Liberals at the next election and suggested they would increase their lead. Voters don’t like arrogance.

“West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has predicted the Liberal Party will hold or increase its majority at the state election, as he defended his government’s record in managing the state’s economy and finances.

Addressing the Liberal Party state conference in Perth yesterday, Mr Barnett said he was confident of winning a third term when West Australians go to the polls in 18 months. “I don’t intend that we will lose a single seat,’’ he told the party faithful, adding he believed the Liberals would also win Labor-held seats in what would amount to a landslide victory.

“Getting a third term is never easy — I am confident we will be able to do that,” he said.

Mr Barnett made the comments despite the latest Newspoll, taken in June, showing the Liberal Party’s primary vote is at its lowest point since he was elected in 2008.

Labor has a 52 per cent to 48 per cent lead over the Liberal-Nationals alliance on a two-party-preferred basis and almost six in 10 voters say they are dissatisfied with Mr Barnett’s performance. Speaking later, the Premier denied he was being arrogant in predicting a strong 2017 victory.

He said the Liberals had started to amass “significant” funds to fight the poll and would campaign on the government’s record of building major projects, such as Perth’s new sports stadium.

“We have won 15 seats off Labor in the last two elections and we intend to hold them,” he said. “If you look at some of the most marginal seats, they are actually Labor-held seats at the moment.”


[WeWantPaul @11, as awful as the Libs are on public transport, Metronet was not a ‘brilliant vision’]

I think they are right on metronet and you are quite wrong.

We agree that the north eastern line should get to, or near to Morley, but I thought it did.

Most of your other conclusions seem, as far as I can work out, to be based on your assumptions about other planning policies rather than the actual rail plan.


WeWantPaul @11, as awful as the Libs are on public transport, Metronet was not a ‘brilliant vision’. It’s based primarily around building more rail lines on freeway corridors through extremely low density or semi rural areas. It looks exciting on a map but it’s terrible planning policy. A cheap solution to a problem that doesn’t exist when there are other public transport corridors that are desperately needed (the main examples being a northern line to Morley or beyond and links between inner suburbs activity centres). Metronet seems designed to discourage people from using it, and encourage the continuation of Perth’s never-ending sprawl. I know it’s not *designed* to do that and it’s partly down to the fact that no opposition has access to the public service’s expertise, but there is nothing brilliant about metronet, and hopefully the PTA will advise labor accordingly once they win in 2017.


WeWantPaul @11, as awful as the Libs are on public transport, Metronet was not a ‘brilliant vision’. It’s based primarily around building more rail lines on freeway corridors through extremely low density or semi rural areas. It looks exciting on a map but it’s terrible planning policy. Aside from the fact that it doesn’t really do anything to drive development of activity centres, a railway station in the middle of a freeway is a huge disincentive to using it. It’s a cheap solution but you’re left wondering what problem it’s trying to solve.

The biggest gap in Perth’s public transport system is the northern corridor from the city to Morley, which also happens to be a high population growth corridor. The other priorities would be to link



I think the electoral reform was to get something close to 1V 1V in the LA and save the LC for later. The ALP thought it would pretty much guarantee them the following election.

The Greens position made little sense to me and I am a member. Still it was an improvement on the National Party ALP deal that created the previous arrangement. Lost Opportunity IMHO.

I think the Greens had 3 Rural MLCs at the time and 2 urban ones.


Me, 22

I’m actually wrong nvm – though I don’t know why the Greens supported it, however it’s not a gerrymander and won’t stop the ALP from gaining government – just the LC is malapportioned


GG, 19

[Isn’t there a Greens inspired Gerry mander in the bush that makes it harder for Labor to win?]

Unless you’re talking about the WA Legislative Council which skews rural (and would therefore harm the Greens considering that the majority of their LC is city based – of the 17 LC positions the Greens have won, 7 are country-based and 10 are city-based, and three of the country-based system were in a 7-member electorate (South-West), and they haven’t won a seat after the change to a 6-member electorate), no. The WAEC is as independent as any other Electoral Council.

John Ryan

The comments column in Murdoch’s owned Sundry Slimes was in full Liberal meltdown over the poll,funny thing about it was the Libs had about 6 commenters while the opposing ones were removed I know at least 4 of mine were.
How 5 or 6 people can run 350 comments while those who disagree get moderated out,I think you will find if Labor in the Senate puts another appalling hack up like the Shoppie fella the greens vote will soar again,I hope the Party is not that stupid again.
But in Perth you never know they Labor are very slow learners,they made me vote green in the Senate but Alanna in the house.
This time I have been shifted into the Electorate of the appalling Simkins so I will vote green and preference labor depending on who they run,another Union hack I will not vote for them



10 seats I think it is at the moment. My simple observation is that there are 3-4 seats in the metro area which should be in the Labor fold, then then are the other 5+ seats to win from somewhere else, but some vulnerability in one or two country-held seats currently with Labor.

It is the Nationals who seem to me to be, again, in the harlot spot of either sleeping with the Libs or, closing their eyes and doing the same with Labor, to form government,

Thus, not so much the percentage of the vote but where the votes are. The pundits seem to think that Labor needs 40% primaries as some kind of benchmark.

At the recent Canning election (Federal) it was noted that a lot of traditional Labor voting booths returned home as it were, but there was not so much shift in those which might be swingers.

William has, in the past, summarized the state of affairs more accurately than I have done here.

Greensborough Growler
Greensborough Growler

What sort of vote do Labor need to win in WA? Isn’t there a Greens inspired Gerry mander in the bush that makes it harder for Labor to win?

shaun newman

Liberals up 4 points – crash the budget, stuff up environmental approval on Roe8 stage 1 after dumping stage 2 and the gold-standard hospital continues to have problems.
This poll looks like an outlier.


[Labor has to do better with it’s campaigning, rather than just taking office when a government exhausts itself.]

It has to value office as well, there was a third term last time for a competent premier / team, just Labor didn’t give us one.


Barnett surely also paying a political price for his arrogant and presumptuous statements of sticking around for the next election and then handing over in the election after that.
Sometime around 2035 seemingly.
That sort of arrogance pisses off the electorate.
He has to go but there does not seem to an obvious successor.
Labor has to do better with it’s campaigning, rather than just taking office when a government exhausts itself.


The Greens drop of 4% is polling only. Remember last election 2013 the Greens actual vote was:

LA: 8.39%
LC: 8.21%

and the election before 2008

LA: 11.92%
LC: 11.08%

One might expect the next election to get a result somewhere between the two. A good campaign by the greens and mess ups by the older parties might bring a vote at the higher or a bit more. 10% isn’t bad news, as such.

I suspect its a mirroring of the federal scare campaign about the greenhouse gas emmissions reduction legislation that reduced the vote in 2013. Now that its apparent that Abbot and ilk were wrong, there will probably be a bit of a bounce back from the 2013 result. 10% or 14% or 9% or 15%, we won’t know now.


11 We Want Paul

Haha, I think you might be right.
Labor has just shut up except for occasional media criticisms and let the Liberals sell the ALP to everyone.

5 Briefly
There is probably some truth to your analysis of voter behaviour. But as a Green voter, I disagree with the idea that the only way to oppose the Liberals is by voting Labor. Its a ridiculous undemocratic nonsense, but it gets pedalled out regularly for the ignorant and or gulllible. 🙂


[I think he was on the right track trying to shake up Labor and get rid of some hacks who had been around too long for anyone’s good. In that, he failed.]

Nah he wasn’t trying to get rid of hacks, on the contrary he did deals with the hacks who got largely what they wanted and in exchange gave Carpenter a go ahead to try to build a new mini faction ‘team Carpenter’.



Agree that AC wanted to put all the Labor boys and girls, working in various ministers’ offices up for candidates at the election you refer to. In my electorate a well-known Liberal face was on the streets for months before anyone knew who the Labor candidate was to be,

Put it down to inexperience in the game.

I think he was on the right track trying to shake up Labor and get rid of some hacks who had been around too long for anyone’s good. In that, he failed.

That election was one that Labor should never have lost, and the loss of a seat like Morley should never have happened. It is still on the Liberal side of the ledger.

The last election win by the Libs, as you say, was one based on the budget being in good nick and a belief this would always be so. The budget was not in good nick, has got progressively worse and will continue to do so.

I was always astounded at the muck the press threw at Federal Labor about deficits when one of their own “model” Lib leaders in Barnett had already put a considerable State deficit on the table with barely a murmur from the press demanding financial rectitude from Federal Labor at the time.

As Shane Wright mentioned in today’s West, the current (Liberal) State deficit is kind of ignored as it if does not exist.


[About time we Sangropers woke up to the local IPA fools.
Debt through the roof. A boom wasted. Hospitals in a mess.
Yet they voted for the LNP loke sheep.]

That is a bit harsh.

Carpenter ran he worst and most stupid election campaign ever and deserved an even bigger spanking than he got. He was a dangerous idiot who deserved to lose.

Labor then spent a term fluffing around with leaders and the a belief they were one failed heartbeat away from a return to government.

They also commissioned a report into the Carpenter disaster and then ignored it. They finished the term with a remarkably weak leader, but with a brilliant vision in MetroNet.

Barnett would have known about the financial problems going into the last election but they ran the last election campaign as if everything was financially hunky dory and voters didn’t really have any reason to believe otherwise.

The wheels fell off for Colin this term, but Labor has had a very low profile and one of its best operators Ken Travers stopped playing on the front bench and most of the remaining Labor front bench you wouldn’t let run a lemonade stand beside the road. Yeah they are all better than any of the Liberal front bench but there seems to be some double standard where Liberal ministers are expected to be incompetent and corrupt.

Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Puff, the Magic Dragon.

Maybe ALP should tell the voters to shove it, they can have the Liberals again. why the hell do the ALP mostly (except for South Australia) get into gov’t to clean up the Liberal National Coalition fwarkups, with an empty treasury and degraded programs, services and infrastructure. As soon as the latest mess is cleared the Lib wreckers are given the keys to the larder again.