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Making sense of the polls

SA Galaxy: 50-50 tie. Labor, Greens gain in Essential

A South Australian Galaxy poll, conducted 28-29 June from a sample of 885, has a 50-50 tie, a three point gain for Labor since the last SA Galaxy poll, in September 2016. Primary votes are 34% Liberal (down 1), 28% Labor (up 1), 21% for Nick Xenophon’s SA Best party (down 1), 6% Greens (down 1), 6% One Nation and 3% for Cory Bernardi’s Conservatives.

At the 2014 SA election, Labor lost the popular vote by 53.0-47.0, but won 23 of the 47 lower house seats and remained in government. Boundaries have been redrawn to advantage the Liberals, so a 50-50 result could go either way at the next election, which will be held in March 2018. In 2014, Family First, which has merged with the Conservatives, won 6.2%, so this poll suggests that the Conservatives are winning half of what Family First did.

As the vote share of the two major parties is only 62%, the two party result is rubbery. It appears that Galaxy is using respondent allocated preferences.

Despite Labor’s competitiveness on voting intentions, opposition leader Steven Marshall has a 39-30 lead over Jay Weatherill as better Premier. The state bank levy is opposed 55-28, but the preamble to this question was skewed against the levy.

SA Labor has probably been helped by Federal factors. Every time something goes wrong with SA’s power, the hard right blame the SA government’s renewable energy policy. It is likely this blame game has greatly annoyed the SA people. The June quarter Newspoll analysis gave Federal Labor a 56-44 lead in SA, its best result in any mainland state.

SA Labor has been in government since 2001. It would be remarkable if they were able to win a fifth successive term.

Essential at 53-47 to Federal Labor

In this week’s Essential, Labor gains a point for a 53-47 lead. Primary votes are 38% Coalition (steady since last fortnight), 36% Labor (up 1), 11% Greens (up 2), 7% One Nation (down 2) and 3% Nick Xenophon Team (steady). The divisions over Lee Rhiannon appear to have lifted the Greens, perhaps because some left-wing voters would like a socialist leader. Voting intentions used a two-week sample of 1800, with additional questions based on this week’s sample.

43% thought Tony Abbott should resign from Parliament (up 3 since April), 18% thought he should be given a ministry (up 1), and 14% thought he should remain a backbencher (down 3).

By 63-25, voters approved of same sex marriage (60-26 in June). 59% thought a national vote should decide the issue, with 29% favouring a parliamentary vote (61-27 in June).

66% thought housing was unaffordable for someone on an average income, while only 25% thought it affordable (60-33 in June 2015). 72% thought housing had become less affordable over the last few years, with just 12% for more affordable. 89% thought home ownership is important to a person’s financial security. All proposed measures to address housing affordability had more supporting than opposed.

New Jersey’s Republican governor relaxes on beach he had closed to general public

Owing to a budget dispute between the Democrat-controlled legislature and Republican governor Chris Christie, the New Jersey (NJ) government was shut down on Saturday night. As a result of the shutdown, Christie ordered the state’s beaches to be closed to the public on Sunday. However, apparently this order did not apply to Christie himself, his family or his friends.

Christie is ineligible to seek a third term at the NJ state elections this November. The latest poll has Democrat Phil Murphy leading Republican Kim Guadagno by a crushing 55-26 margin.

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