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WA Premier Colin Barnett in trouble in the West while Andrews Government still riding high in Victoria despite CFA union dispute and SA Premier Weatherill weathering electricity storm well

The SMS Morgan Poll on State voting intention and preferred Premiers was conducted between September 30 – October 2, 2016 with a cross-section of 4,972 Australian electors including 1,306 Victorian electors, 1,045 New South Wales electors, 714 Queensland electors, 665 South Australian electors, 559 Western Australian electors and 367 Tasmanian electors.

Australia’s longest running State Premier Colin Barnett (elected to the job in September 2008) is under pressure with his Government slipping further behind on a two-party preferred basis: L-NP 47.5% (down 1.5% since August) cf. ALP 52.5% (up 1.5%) while Barnett’s personal support as ‘Better Premier’ is also at a record low when compared to Opposition Leader Mark McGowan: Barnett 41% (down 2%) cf. McGowan 59% (up 2%). Western Australia is the next State to go to an election in five months time in March 2017.

The fortunes are different for the Victorian Government of Daniel Andrews with the ALP 56.5% (up 1%) cf. L-NP 43.5% (down 1%) holding the strongest two-party preferred lead of any State Government across the nation and Andrews now clearly seen as Australia’s most popular State Premier: Andrews 59% (unchanged) cf. Opposition Leader Matthew Guy 41% (unchanged).

South Australia faced an unprecedented State-wide blackout a fortnight ago raising questions about the viability of the State’s electricity infrastructure and following the blackout the Opposition L-NP are maintaining a strong two-party preferred lead in South Australia: L-NP 54% (down 1%) cf. ALP 46% (up 1%). However, despite these difficulties, Premier Jay Weatherill 53% (up 3%)has managed to regain the lead as ‘Better Premier’ over Opposition Leader Steven Marshall 47% (down 3%).

This SMS Morgan Poll on State voting intention was conducted in early October with a representative cross-section of  4,972 Australian electors.


VICTORIA: ALP would win an Election comfortably

2PP: ALP 56.5% (up 1% since August 19-22, 2016) cf. L-NP 43.5% (down 1%).

Primary vote: ALP 39% (up 2%), L-NP 36% (unchanged), Greens 13% (down 0.5%), Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party 6% (down 1%), Family First 2% (up 0.5%) and Independents/ Others 4% (down 1%).

Better Premier: Premier Daniel Andrews (ALP) v Matthew Guy (Liberal):
Mr. Andrews 59% (unchanged) cf. Mr. Guy 41% (unchanged); Lead to Mr. Andrews 18% (unchanged).

Victorian real unemployment is now 7.7% (down 2% since June - July 2016) and under-employment is 6.5% (down 1.8%). This means total Victorian unemployment & under-employment is 14.2% (down 3.8%). (Interviewed  August - September 2016).

Victorian State Election is due to be held in November 2018.


WESTERN AUSTRALIA: ALP would win close election

2PP: ALP 52.5% (up 1.5% since August 19-22, 2016) cf. L-NP 47.5% (down 1.5%).

Primary vote: Liberal 34% (down 0.5%), WA Nationals 5% (down 1.5%), ALP 36.5% (up 1%), Greens 12.5% (unchanged), One Nation 6% (up 1%), Christians 2% (unchanged) and Independents/ Others 4% (unchanged).

Better Premier: Premier Colin Barnett (Liberal) v Mark McGowan (ALP):
Mr. McGowan 59% (up 2%) cf. Mr. Barnett 41% (down 2%); Lead to Mr McGowan 18% (up 4%).

Western Australian real unemployment is now 10.8% (up 0.7% since May - July 2016) and under-employment is 8.6% (up 1.9%). This means total Western Australian unemployment & under-employment is 19.4% (up 2.6%). (Interviewed July – September 2016).

Western Australian State Election is due to be held in March 2017.


SOUTH AUSTRALIA: L-NP would win election easily

2PP: L-NP 54% (down 1% since August 19-22, 2016) cf. ALP 46% (up 1%).

Primary vote: L-NP 36.5% (down 0.5%), ALP 24.5% (unchanged), Xenophon 19.5% (down 1.5%), Greens 11% (up  1.5%), Family First 5% (down 0.5%), and Independents/ Others 3.5% (up 1%).

Better Premier: Premier Jay Weatherill (ALP) v Steven Marshall (Liberal):
Mr. Weatherill 53% (up 3%) cf. Mr. Marshall 47% (down 3%); Lead to Mr Weatherill 6% (up 6%).

South Australian real unemployment is now 13.2% (unchanged since May – July 2016) and under-employment is 10.9% (up 1.4%). This means total South Australian unemployment & under-employment is 24.1% (up 1.4%). (Interviewed July – September 2016).

South Australian State Election is due to be held in March 2018.


Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“In Victoria despite recent controversies about the ALP Government’s policies regarding the Country Fire Authority (CFA), the ALP 56.5% (up 1%) has increased its strong two-party preferred lead over the L-NP 43.5% (down 1%). In addition, Premier Daniel Andrews 59% (unchanged) has maintained a clear lead as ‘Better Premier’ over Opposition Leader Matthew Guy 41% (unchanged).

“In Western Australia which is the next State to vote in a State Election (due in March 2017), the ALP Opposition 52.5% (up 1.5%) now has increased its lead over Premier Colin Barnett’s L-NP Government 47.5% (down 1.5%) on a two-party preferred basis. A symptom of the dysfunction gripping the Barnett Government was the aborted leadership challenge against Barnett in mid-September launched by disgruntled Liberal MPs Murray Cowper and Dean Nalder. However, the motion for a spill was decisively defeated by 31 votes to 15.

“An oft repeated political mantra is that ‘disunity is death’ and this is supported when one considers Barnett’s personal support – Barnett 41% (down 2%) now trails Opposition Leader Mark McGowan 59% (up 2%) as ‘Better Premier’ by the widest margin since McGowan became Opposition Leader in January 2012.

 “In South Australia the L-NP Opposition 54% (down 1%) continues to hold a strong two-party preferred lead over the ALP 46% (up 1%) and the recent troubles surrounding the unprecedented blackout of the entire State can only be a boost for the Opposition. Perhaps surprisingly given the State’s electricity problems in recent months, Premier Jay Weatherill 53% (up 3%) has consolidated his personal support ahead of Opposition Leader Steven Marshall 47% (down 3%) as ‘Better Premier’.


For the poll-watchers:

Electors were asked: “If a State Election for Victoria/ WA/ SA were being held today — which party would receive your first preference?” Electors were then asked: “Thinking of (Premier) and (Opposition Leader). In your opinion, who would make the better Premier?”

The SMS Morgan Poll on State voting intention and preferred Premiers was conducted between September 30 – October 2, 2016 with a cross-section of 4,972 Australian electors including 1,306 Victorian electors, 1,045 New South Wales electors, 714 Queensland electors, 665 South Australian electors, 559 Western Australian electors and 367 Tasmanian electors.


For further information:

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