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Victorian Newspoll gives Labor big lead three months before election

The Victorian election will be held in three months, on November 26. A Victorian state Newspoll, conducted August 22-25 from a sample of 1,027, gave Labor a 56-44 lead (57.3-42.7 at the 2018 election). Primary votes were 41% Labor (42.9% at election), 36% Coalition (35.2%), 13% Greens (10.7%) and 10% for all Others (11.2%).

Labor Premier Daniel Andrews had a 54% satisfied and 41% dissatisfied rating, for a net approval of +13, while Liberal leader Matthew Guy was at 49% dissatisfied, 32% satisfied (net -17). Andrews led Guy as better premier by 51-34. Newspoll figures are from The Poll Bludger.

Labor has a large poll lead, and would easily retain its majority in the Victorian lower house if this poll were replicated at the election. There are still three months to go, and Coalition parties in the states should do better with a federal Labor government.

At the federal election, independents won ten of the 151 House of Representatives seats, an increase of seven from the 2019 election, and six of those seven new independents were “teals”. It will be interesting to see whether the teals succeed at the state election; a teal candidate has nominated for the normally safe Liberal seat of Kew.

A Victorian state Resolve poll for The Age, conducted with the federal Resolve poll last week that gave Labor a massive lead, had Labor leading the Coalition by 42-21 on best party to govern with integrity and honesty.

By 53-18, voters expected Labor to win the election. As this poll was a subsample of the national poll, the sample was only “more than 500” – not enough for a voting intentions poll.

Before the federal election campaign, Resolve was giving voting intentions from Victoria and NSW every two months based on state subsamples from their national monthly polls that averaged two months’ data. If Resolve does a national poll in September, I expect Victorian voting intentions from an average of that poll and this one.

Federal Essential: leaders’ favourability ratings

A federal Essential poll asked respondents to rate several party leaders on a scale from 0 to 10. Scores of 0-3 were counted as negative, 4-6 as neutral and 7-10 as positive. As well as neutral, there were “unsure” and “never heard of” categories. Ratings for Albanese and Dutton should not be compared with standard approve or disapprove questions.

Albanese was at 43% positive and 23% negative, Dutton was at 34% negative and 26% positive and Nationals leader David Littleproud was at 27% negative, 21% positive. Greens leader Adam Bandt was at 37% negative, 23% positive, Jacqui Lambie was at 27% positive, 27% negative and Pauline Hanson was at 48% negative, 22% positive.

80% thought the government should have an active role in shaping the economy, while 20% thought the government should stay out and leave it up to the market. 58% thought Australia’s economic system is broken and the government needs to make fundamental changes, while 42% thought our economic system is basically sound and only minor changes are required.

By 57-9, respondents thought small business views of the economy aligned with their best interests. Community organisations were at 51-9, unions at 36-28 and big business at 31-29 against alignment. This Essential poll was taken in the days before August 23 from a sample of 1,065.

There has not been a federal Newspoll since August 1. After a long break following the 2019 federal election, Newspoll usually appeared once every three weeks until it was ramped up early this year prior to the election. During the election campaign there was a Newspoll every week. It’s plausible the long gap between Newspolls now is to offset the intense campaign period.

Federal parliament resumes for two weeks on September 5. Labor will aim to pass their climate legislation through the Senate. The Greens supported it in the House of Representatives after Labor made changes. Labor has 26 of the 76 senators and the Greens 12, so Labor needs one more vote, most likely from either David Pocock or the Jacqui Lambie Network.

Read more: Final Senate results: Labor, the Greens and David Pocock will have a majority of senators

Australia Institute survey on China

Dynata conducted surveys about China in both Taiwan and Australia for the left-wing Australia Institute, from samples of just over 1,000 in both countries. The Poll Bludger reported that 47% of Australians expected a Chinese attack on Australia soon (9%) or sometime (38%), with just 19% opting for never and 33% uncommitted.

By 60-21, respondents did not think Australia would be able to defend itself from such an attack without international assistance. 57% thought support would come from the US, 11% thought not and 19% said “it depends”. 35% thought the US and Australia would defeat China, 9% that China would win and 24% a draw of some sort.

The surveys were conducted August 13-16, after US Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan on August 2, and China responded with military exercises from August 4 to 7.

Tasmanian EMRS poll: Liberals regain ground

A Tasmanian state EMRS poll, conducted August 8-11 from a sample of 1,000, gave the Liberals 41% of the vote (up two since June), Labor 31% (up one), the Greens 13% (steady) and oll Others 15% (down three). Liberal incumbent Jeremy Rockliff led Labor’s Rebecca White as preferred premier by 47-35 (47-34 in June).

A Tasmanian upper house byelection will occur in the Labor-held Pembroke on September 10. According to analyst Kevin Bonham, the upper house currently has an 8-7 left majority, so a Liberal win would see the right gain control.

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