GhostWhoVotes reports Newspoll has published its first poll of state voting intention in South Australia since Labor’s lucky escape at last year’s election. After limping to a majority at the election despite with 48.4 per cent of the two-party vote, the poll finds Labor trailing 56-44 and joining its New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australian (and very nearly federal) counterparts in falling below 30 per cent of the primary vote. The Labor primary vote of 29 per cent compares with 37.5 per cent at the election, but the Liberals are only up from 41.7 per cent to 42 per cent. The balance has mostly been soaked up by the Greens, who have soared from 8.1 per cent to 14 per cent.

Liberal leader Isobel Redmond has also opened up a commanding 50-32 lead over Mike Rann, whose long overdue departure must be awaited in Labor circles with growing impatience. Rann’s approval rating has crashed to 30 per cent, compared with 43 per cent in the pre-election Newspoll, while his disapproval has gone from 48 per cent to 59 per cent. Redmond has also gone backwards slightly, albeit off a very good base: her approval rating of 52 per cent compares with 59 per cent pre-election, while her disapproval has gone from 23 per cent to 25 per cent.

Oddly, the poll has been conducted entirely over the past week, in contrast to Newspoll’s usual practice of saving up responses from their federal polling and publishing them as quarterly results. The sample is 1028, with Newspoll’s usual 3 per cent margin of error. The graphic from The Australian helpfully charts the long-term decline in Rann’s net approval rating since he became Premier in 2002. The only other South Australian polls published since the state election have been two small sample efforts conducted in house by The Advertiser, both of which had the Liberals ahead 54-46, with Labor on 31 per cent and 30 per cent. The more recent poll, published on February 13, gave Redmond an ever bigger lead than Rann as preferred premier: 58 per cent to 31 per cent. Both polls had samples of slightly over 500.