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ReachTEL: 50-50 in Western Australia

A new poll defies conventional wisdom in finding the Barnett government to be in something like a winning position in Western Australia.

Tomorrow’s West Australian has a ReachTEL poll showing the two parties at level pegging on two-party preferred, after the pollster’s two previous results both had Labor leading 52-48. All we have to go on at this stage is the front page image, which says Labor and Liberal are up slightly on the primary vote, but the bigger mover is the Nationals, who are up 2.4%. The implication seems to be that some air has gone out from One Nation, who were on 10.8% in the previous poll. More to follow.

UPDATE: After exclusion of the 5.5% undecided, the primary votes are Liberal 35.4% (down 0.6%), Nationals 8.4% (up 2.3%), Labor 35.0% (up 0.1%), Greens 6.0% (down 0.6%), One Nation 11.7% (down 0.1%), others 3.4% (down 1.1%). So I was wrong about One Nation being down – what actually happened is that undecided fell from 8.5% to 5.5%, and The West Australian’s report was citing raw numbers. Based on these figures, the two-party result of 50-50, which is based on respondent-allocated preferences, seems generous to Labor – giving the Liberals 75% of Nationals, 60% of One Nation, 20% of Greens and 50% of others preferences, they have a lead of 51.7-48.3 (51.2-48.8 in the previous poll). A lot depends here on the One Nation preference flow – reducing it to 50% cuts the lead to 50.5-49.5. A related complication here is that One Nation is only running in 35 out of 59 seats, but the option was available to all respondents. Another peculiarity to be noted is the low Greens vote, which has been on a downward descent in ReachTEL’s polling over the past year – something that hasn’t been reflected in Newspoll, which has had the party on 9% in its last two polls.

Other findings: Mark McGowan’s lead as preferred premier is 53.1-46.9, down from 55.7-44.3 last time, and the lowest it’s been in the five ReachTEL poll conducted for The West Australian over the past year. The Liberal-One Nation preference deal has 30.8% approval and 54.2% disapproval, and 43.2% say it has made them less likely to vote Liberal, versus 22.5% for more likely. One Nation respondents were asked what made them tick: 27.1% said they disliked the major parties, 2.6% that they liked the candidates, 23.4% that they liked the party’s “overall vision for WA”, 29.2% that they liked “anti-Muslim policies”, 7.3% that they liked anti-privatisation policies, and 10.4% for “other reason”. The poll was conducted Wednesday night from a sample of 1652.

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30 comments

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Leroy Lynch
Guest
More info from the ReachTEL poll headlining William’s post https://thewest.com.au/politics/state-election-2017/undecided-unimpressed-by-preference-deal-ng-b88388999z Undecided unimpressed by preference deal Daniel Emerson Saturday, February 18, 2017 4:09PM Colin Barnett’s deal to swap preferences with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has gone down like a lead balloon among undecided voters and the wider community, including one in five Liberal supporters. The first snapshot of the reasons West Australians plan to vote One Nation shows its anti-Muslim policies are top of the list. An exclusive ReachTEL poll of 1652 voters taken for The Weekend West on Wednesday night found 54.2 per cent disagreed with the Liberals’ decision to… Read more »
Tricot
Guest
Grimace, hope your day goes/went well. Door knocking can be both the most dispiriting and uplifting task at the one time. I have no argument in putting resources into winnable seats or protecting vulnerable ones, but if you are unlucky enough to be a voter for Labor in a safe Liberal/National seat (or vice versa it must be said) one’s vote has little impact on the eventual outcome. As 80-90% of seats fall into this category it is easy to see why much of the electorate considers voting as not really catering for their needs. While various forms of proportional… Read more »
Gorkay King
Guest

@Grimace,

Thanks for your hard work. I wish you guys all the best in WA.

grimace
Guest

@ Tricot

Labor has to throw its resources at seats which are realistically winnable. Chasing seats where they have no hope is a waste of resources and detrimental to the overall effort to win the election.

grimace
Guest

I’ll be out door knocking again tomorrow morning for a few hours, so I’ll see the feedback I get from people I talk to.

Tricot
Guest
Grimace, I, along with others hope you are right. A lot depends on whether any kind of “it’s time” message starts to bite and there is a swing on. The northern suburbs, by and large, are where it must work for Labor – or at least, there must be some kind of move against Barnett up that corridor for Labor to get them 10 pesky seats….In my electorate, the name of the Liberal candidate is well known – The Speaker – but the Labor candidate is currently not that visible…I hope this is not a re-run of the Carpenter election… Read more »
Leroy Lynch
Guest
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/18/most-liberal-voters-unchanged-after-deal-with-one-nation-in-wa-poll-shows Most Liberal voters unchanged after deal with One Nation in WA, poll shows Survey indicates backlash against Liberal party following preference deal is highest among undecided voters Elle Hunt @mlle_elle Saturday 18 February 2017 13.50 AEDT A new poll suggests a small proportion of Liberal voters would be less likely to vote for the party because of its preference deal with One Nation in the coming Western Australia state election. The survey showed 18.6% of Liberal voters in Chisholm and 15.9% in Reid said they would be less likely to vote for the party because of its deal with… Read more »
grimace
Guest

I’m actively door knocking on the ground for Labor in Swan Hills (Ellenbrook and semi rural surrounds). The voters in this seat are waiting for Frank Alban (Lib incumbent) with cricket bats at the ready. The Liberals are going to loose this seat, and loose it badly.

As with all things, the uniformity of the swing is going to be important. Jess Shaw needs 3.7% to win Swan Hills, and will get it easily if the swing in this seat is uniform.

Rossmcg
Guest

David

Agreed

There is anecdotal evidence here and in other places that the Liberals are already trying to save the furniture, with little campaigning in some seats and intensive efforts in others.
Collie, held by Labor but notionally liberal after a redistribution if I have it right, is one place that is flavour of the month and Albany, held by Labor against the tide at the last two elections, is getting a lot of attention.

I agree with those who fear that 10 seats might be one or two too far for Labor. Will be happy to be proved wrong.

David Walsh
Guest

There is a bizarre amount of hand wringing here over Labor’s lost lead. People seem to forget you need aggregate the polls; not simply digest the latest and discard all others. I’d want to see more polls like this before I’m convinced the ALP is no longer favourite.

bug1
Guest

Nationals promise to hurt Miners;
Nationals +2.4 on previous election
Greens -2.4 on previous election
I doubt 75% of that 2.4% is going to Liberals on preferences.

Rossmcg
Guest

No wonder the Nats are filthy with Barnett
https://thewest.com.au/politics/state-election-2017/nationals-biggest-losers-from-one-nation-preference-deal-ng-b88387703z

This ties in with what more than a few people closer to the issue over the years have told me, many WA Libs regard the Nats as the real enemy, even more so than Labor.
Having to put up with Grylls in cabinet would have them grinding their teeth.

DB Cooper
Guest

A bit disappointing for Labor at this stage, but hardly definitive. Still very winnable.

Having said that, I struggle to see how they get Labor to 50% 2pp. Giving Labor 80% of Greens preferences and 50% of all others only gets them to about 48%.

Charles
Guest

Regarding ReachTel, this is bemusing:

“The dwindling number of days to the election has brought a reduction in undecided voters, from 8.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent, and twice as many who are still on the fence are leaning towards the Liberals (42 per cent) than Labor (20.4 per cent).”

Charles
Guest

Josh Jerga ‏@josh_jerga 10h10 hours ago

If ReachTEL has assumed strong flow of One Nation preferences to Libs; then that’s problematic

Kevin Bonham
‏@kevinbonham

@josh_jerga They are most likely using respondent-allocated preferences, which can be volatile from poll to poll. #ReachTEL

Charles
Guest

Josh Jerga ‏@josh_jerga 10h10 hours ago

Josh Jerga Retweeted GhostWhoVotes
Both sides internals don’t reflect this.

GhostWhoVotes @GhostWhoVotes
#ReachTEL Poll WA State 2 Party Preferred: LIB 50 (+2) ALP 50 (-2) #wapol #auspol

Charles
Guest
Charles
Guest
Is it correct to assume that the 2.4% swing to the Nationals in this ReachTel poll may not hurt Labor in terms of seats as that swing is in seats that Labor will never win anyway? Overall, I can’t see many positives in this poll. Here is a second article from The West on the ReachTel poll. I can’t find anywhere in either article where the Liberal primary vote is mentioned. “Labor’s primary vote, as recorded by ReachTEL on Wednesday, is 33.1 per cent — precisely what it was on March 9, 2013, when McGowan presided over its heaviest defeat… Read more »
Charles
Guest
From The West: Colin Barnett and the Liberals are back. An exclusive ReachTEL poll for The Weekend West has Labor and the Government back level pegging at 50-50 on a two-party preferred basis with three weeks to go to the State election. The result represents a 7.3 per cent swing to Labor compared with the 2013 election result, which would leave it two seats short of the 10 it needs to pinch from the Liberals to gain power. While Labor leader Mark McGowan leads Mr Barnett as preferred premier 53-47, this too has tightened from 56-44 a month ago and… Read more »
Charles
Guest

Kevin Bonham

I got these details from Newspoll’s site.

“Latest poll: Aug-Oct, 2016 | Sample size: 855 | Uncommitted: 5% | Refused: 1% | Error rate: 3.4%”

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/newspoll/wa

I am a little confused though – the article in The Oz about this poll dated 2/2 links to the Newspoll article stating the poll was taken from Aug-Oct, 2016. That is a pretty old poll.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/wa-election/wa-election-newspoll-libs-need-lastgasp-deal-with-pauline-hanson/news-story/52eb602ecb1485a1c463e22f7c349f22

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