• Courtesy of The Australian, Newspoll’s final poll has Labor maintaining the 54-46 lead it recorded at the start of the campaign, with results all but identical to those recorded a week ago in the Galaxy Research poll for the Sunday Times, which is conducted by the same organisation. The latest poll has Labor on 41%, compared with 40% from Galaxy; the Liberals on 32%, compared with 31%; the Nationals steady on 5%; One Nation on 8%, compared with 13% in the previous Newspoll, and 9% from Galaxy; and the Greens on 7%, compared with 8%. However, respondents appear to be marking Mark McGowan more harshly now, as he is down one on approval to 45% and up six on disapproval to what I believe to be a new high of 40%. Conversely, Barnett has been on an upward trend from a low base, his approval rating progressing from 28% in November to 32% in late January to 34% now, while disapproval was 61% in November and has been 57% in the last two polls. He has also narrowed the gap on preferred premier, from 47-29 to 44-32 to 45-37.
• ReachTEL in tomorrow West Australian also has it at 54-46 two-party preferred, after an out-of-step poll three weeks ago had it at 50-50. After filtering out the 3.5% undecided, the latest poll has Labor on 41.8%, Liberal on 33.9%, the Nationals on 6.0%, One Nation on 6.8%, the Greens on 6.5% and others on 4.9%. A range of further questions finds Labor modestly favoured to handle the economy, the budget, crime and infrastructure, and solidly more so in relation to social services. A question on whether the Liberals should have entered a preference deal with One Nation had 22.3% and 60.7% disagree, though a fair bit of this is presumably hostility towards preference deals generally. The poll was conducted from a sample of 2573 on Thursday night.
If you’re searching for my take on the progress of counting this evening, you can find it on ABC News Radio or local stations in Western Australia, where I’ll be calling the race with the ABC’s Geoff Hutchison and Belinda Varischetti, and a shifting line-up of Labor and Liberal politicians.