Labor plummets in marginals

Peter Beattie is facing a tougher fight in Forde than many anticipated. AAP/Bradley Kanaris

A poll of eight marginal seats in NSW, Queensland and Victoria has found Labor facing the prospect of a rout, including the failure of former Queensland premier Peter Beattie’s attempt to enter federal parliament.

Of the four Labor marginals polled, the ALP is looking at likely or certain losses on these figures in three and one is too close to call.

And the Liberals are likely to hold all four of their marginals polled.

Three Labor seats were polled in Sydney’s west - Banks, Lindsay and Greenway - as well as Corangamite in Victoria.

The Liberal marginals included two in Queensland (Forde and Brisbane), one in NSW (Macquarie) and one in Victoria (Aston).

Beattie, who has re-entered politics to try to win Forde, could be quickly exiting. He has said he faces a hard fight and on these figures, he is right.

The JWS Research automated poll found Beattie trailing sitting Liberal Bert van Manen 40-60% on a two-party basis. Labor’s primary vote in Forde is 33%, compared with the Liberals 54 %. The two-party vote represents a 8.4% swing on the 2010 election.

The swing came despite the question using the candidates’ names, so people were aware that Beattie was running.

Beattie tweeted after the results: “I am facing the toughest fight of my political life with an AFR poll showing a thrashing in Forde,” he wrote.

“I am a fighter and will never give up.”

According to the poll, done on Thursday and published in the Australian Financial Review, Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury would lose his Sydney western suburbs seat of Lindsay with a swing of nearly 12% on a two-party basis

His opponent Fiona Scott- described by Tony Abbott this week as having sex appeal – is on a huge two-party vote of 60.7%.

Banks is a likely Labor loss on this survey, with the ALP on 47.2% two-party support, and a 4.3% swing against sitting member Daryl Melham.

But in the Labor seat of Greenway held by Michelle Rowland - where the Liberal candidate received unfavourable publicity for not knowing the points of Abbott’s asylum seeker policy - the result is too close to call. Rowland is on 51% two-party vote, with a 0.1% swing in her direction, and the seat is on a margin of under 1%.

Corangamite is a likely Labor loss, with the ALP on 46.7% of the two-party vote, a 3.6% swing against it.

The Liberals are set to hold easily their Victorian marginal seat of Aston (where there is a 12.7% swing to them) and their NSW seat of Macquarie (3.8% swing to them). They are likely to hold Brisbane (3% swing to them).

Labor has been working on the strategy of trying to make significant gains in Queensland to offset losses elsewhere. But on these figures, that is not working.

The survey covered 4739 voters, with more than 540 voters per seat.

Found this article useful? A tax-deductible gift of $30/month helps deliver knowledge-based, ethical journalism.