A rise last week in Labor’s vote in Queensland would be enough to deliver victory to Kevin Rudd, the latest breakdown of Essential Research’s polling data shows.
A state-based breakdown of Essential’s data over the last four weeks, including the first three weeks of the election campaign, shows Labor headed for a narrow win on a two-party preferred outcome of 50%. The sample size of the combined data is just under 3700.
Compared to last week’s breakdown, there has been no shift in NSW (sample size: 1241), where a 1.8% swing would hand the Coalition four seats, in addition to their picking up New England and Lyne. In Victoria (sample 939), Labor has edged ahead of the Coalition 51-49%, but that is still a hefty 4.3% swing against Labor from the last election, which would see the loss of three seats. The Greens are on 11% in Victoria, the sort of vote that should see them pick up an extra spot in the Senate — and who knows, Adam Bandt might yet hang on in Melbourne.
In Queensland, critically, Labor has moved back up to 50-50% compared to 49-51% last week. This produces a swing of 5.1%, enough to deliver up to 10 seats to the government, including Peter Slipper’s seat of Fisher, which LNP candidate Mal Brough was expected to win.
However, in South Australia and Western Australia, the big swings to Labor we noted last week have reduced markedly — a reflection of how the numbers can bounce around with small sample sizes (both are 300-400). In SA, Labor would pick up a swing of only 1.8%, yielding one seat (Boothby). In WA, the swing is now 6.4%, down from an improbable 8.4% last week, which would yield five seats to Labor. The Greens vote has lifted to 12% in South Australia, suggesting Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s prospects of re-election are improving, but the Greens remain stuck on 7% in the West — a danger signal for Senator Scott Ludlam.
On that basis the Coalition would be left on 66 seats, with the Greens (maybe), Andrew Wilkie and Bob Katter holding one each and Labor holding 81. From that, however, you have to adjust for Tasmania, where Labor is expected to lose at least two seats, making it 79-68-3. And the WA figures, suggesting a swing to Labor of over 6%, still look problematic, albeit more realistic than last week’s. Five seats is unlikely, and if they fail to materialise, we’re back in hung Parliament territory.
Next week we’ll have the last of the state-based breakdowns, covering the first four weeks of the election campaign.
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*Essential Research is a part of Essential Media Communications. EM Advertising, a business wholly owned by EMC, is contracted by the ALP to provide advertising for the federal election campaign. Directors, staff and contractors working on the EM Advertising business have no involvement in the production of the Essential Report. Your Source manages Essential’s online research panel. Essential Research and Your Source are ISO accredited market research companies.