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The Victorian seat of Higgins, currently held by Labor’s Michelle Ananda-Rajah, will be abolished at the next federal election. Lukas Coch/AAP

Labor slightly helped by Victorian and WA draft federal redistributions

The electoral commission today released draft boundaries from a federal redistribution of Victoria and Western Australia. In WA, the new seat of Bullwinkel was created, while in Victoria, Higgins was abolished.

The Poll Bludger said Bullwinkel will be Labor-held by a 52.9–47.1 margin. All other WA seats will be held by their previous party, with the biggest change a 4.7-point lift in Labor’s Hasluck margin to 60.7–39.3.

At the 2022 federal election, there was a 10.6% two-party swing to Labor in WA, compared with a 3.7% national swing. This made WA the best state for Labor, with a 55.0–45.0 two-party vote in their favour.

Historically, WA has been relatively weak for federal Labor, and Labor would be worried by the possibility of a significant swing back to the Coalition at the next federal election. If this occurs, Bullwinkel and Tangney (also Labor-held by 52.9–47.1) are vulnerable.

In Victoria, Labor gained Higgins at the last election, so its abolishment costs Labor. However, the Liberal-held Menzies will be notionally Labor by 50.7–49.3 after Labor gained 1.3 points, and the Liberal-held Deakin lineball at 50.0-50.0 after Labor gained 0.2 points. But Labor’s margin in Chisholm was reduced to 52.8–47.2, a 3.6% swing to the Liberals.

Seats held by teal independents (Goldstein and Kooyong) have been expanded. New areas of these seats did not have a teal running at the last election, and this is likely to make it more difficult for the teals to retain. The Poll Bludger’s three-way two candidate splits suggest Monique Ryan (Kooyong) has a more difficult task to retain than Zoe Daniel (Goldstein).

Greens leader Adam Bandt’s seat of Melbourne has also been expanded, and The Poll Bludger’s three-way two candidate vote suggests Bandt only leads Labor by 47.4–44.4 with 8.2% for the Liberals.

Overall, these redistributions slightly help Labor, since the abolishment of Higgins in Victoria is compensated by the gain of Menzies while Deakin is line-ball. And in WA, Bullwinkel is notionally Labor, although WA could swing back to the Coalition.

The Victorian and WA redistributions are drafts, and are unlikely to be finalised for months. The new boundaries cannot be used at an election until after finalisation. We are also still waiting for a New South Wales draft proposal; NSW will lose a seat.

Morgan poll: Coalition’s best position since last election

In the national Morgan poll conducted May 20–26 from a sample of 1,488, the Coalition led by 51.5–48.5, a two-point gain for the Coalition since the May 13–19 poll. This is the Coalition’s best position in this poll since the last election.

Primary votes were 37% Coalition (steady), 28.5% Labor (down two), 15% Greens (up 0.5), 6% One Nation (up 0.5), 9% independents (up 0.5) and 4.5% others (up 0.5). An estimate based on 2022 election preference flows would give Labor about a 51–49 lead, so respondent flows were weak for Labor.

Redbridge MRP poll: 52–48 to Labor

Redbridge and Accent Research jointly conducted a national poll from February to May from a sample of 4,040. Overall, Labor led by 52–48, from primary votes of 36% Coalition, 32% Labor, 13% Greens and 19% for all Others; these figures are almost identical to the 2022 election results.

If this poll were replicated at an election, few seats would change hands, and Labor would retain government in minority or majority. The four-month fieldwork period means this poll is not useful as a measure of current voting intentions.

Further Resolve questions

I covered a federal Resolve poll for Nine newspapers on May 20. In further questions, respondents were told that the “government recently released its future gas strategy, which outlines its plans for gas in Australia for the next few decades”. By 60–15, voters supported the use of gas in Australia’s energy mix. There was strong support for various uses of gas.

Tasmanian EMRS poll: major parties down since election

A Tasmanian EMRS poll, conducted May 16–23 from a sample of 1,000, gave the Liberals 35% of the vote (down two since the March 23 election), Labor 28% (down one), the Greens 15% (up one), the Jacqui Lambie Network 7% (steady), independents 12% (up two) and others 3% (down one).

Incumbent Liberal Jeremy Rockliff led new Labor leader Dean Winter by 40–32 as preferred premier (41–38 for Rockliff against former Labor leader Rebecca White in February).

Labour landslide likely at July 4 UK general election

United Kingdom national polls have Labour over 20 points ahead of the Conservatives. If this happens at the July 4 election, the first-past-the-post system will give Labour a massive landslide. I covered this for The Poll Bludger on Thursday.

Right-wing Indian PM Narendra Modi is expected to win the seven-stage Indian election, with votes to be counted next Tuesday. Far-right parties are expected to make gains at the June 6–9 European parliament election. In the US, Donald Trump narrowly leads Joe Biden nationally, though this post was written before Trump’s conviction.

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