Tasmanian poll: Greens outpoll Labor


Another EMRS poll has been released over the weekend in Tasmania, which reinforces the trend seen in a February poll towards record levels of support for the Tasmanian Greens.

While it appears that the full breakdown of results has not been published online (only appearing in the Examiner), the topline figures are:

  • 29 – Liberal
  • 22 – Greens
  • 21 – Labor
  • 2 – Others
  • 26 – Undecided

All EMRS polls are published with high levels of undecided voters, meaning that these numbers would be much higher once those are taken into account, and undecided voters usually favour the major parties over the Greens, particularly that major party with the best shot of majority government, although on the current numbers that doesn’t seem likely at all.

The poll also broke down votes according to each electorate. Samples are usually too small to take them seriously, although much has been made of the Denison poll predicting that Scott Bacon, son of the former premier, would possibly take the only ALP seat, beating out Premier David Bartlett and ministers Lisa Singh and Graeme Sturges, showing the importance of name recognition in Tasmanian politics.

Since the last two polls were very similar, Tasmanian psephologist Kevin Bonham has combined the electorate breakdowns to produce a more solid sample. These figures suggest that the Greens are solidly on track to win 6 seats (one in every district and two in Denison) and even outpolling the ALP in Franklin, which could suggest Adam Burling would have an outside chance of winning a second Greens seat in Franklin, although he doesn’t have a high profile.

In other news, four former premiers (two Labor, two Liberal) have come out to warn Tasmanians against a minority government, although at this point it doesn’t seem clear how Tasmanians could vote to avoid a hung parliament. Peter Tucker has commented on this panic-stricken move at his Tasmanian Politics blog.

Update: William Bowe has managed to track down more information about this elusive poll over at Poll Bludger. After including “leaners” the figures come out as:

  • 30 – Liberal
  • 23 – Labor
  • 22 – Greens
  • “almost a quarter” undecided

Which he interprets as 39 Liberal, 30 Labor, 29 Greens. Compared to the February poll, this has the undecided vote up a large amount (from 13% to 23-4%), with Liberals down four, Labor down four, and the Greens down two.

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  1. Sorry to be pedanctic but support for Labor is actually 23%. The Greens are 1% behind, not ahead of the Labor primary vote.

  2. The material William appears to be working with is from the Examiner story. Kevin Bonham appears to have the full breakdown so I assume it was in the paper version (or he got an inside look!). Bonham also comes up with an 8% undecided, which while high is not 23%! This story was also reported on the ABC last night, so its getting a run.

  3. No that’s not true. The original figures before undecided voters were pushed had the ALP on 21%. It’s hard to find a reference to that, but it is included in Kevin Bonham’s article. I accidentally linked to the February poll at the top of the blog post.

  4. Sorry, I was saying Hamish’s point was not true. Stewart, I think the 8% undecided is a reference to a poll conducted before the 2006 election.

  5. Greens voters in Tasmania are desperate for a reason to preference the Liberals. After a decade of governance scandals and an extremely low priority for environmental issues, the natural inclination of Greens voters to (despite that) still preference Labor has been sorely tested. This poll showed that a majority of Greens voters would prefer a minority Liberal to Labor government – which is a pretty exceptional outcome for the Greens in Australia.

    If the Liberals would just give the Greens a reason I suspect that the preference flow could shift significantly. It doesn’t need to be anything as far as ‘end old growth logging’; it could be a more constructive pledge for how Hodgman will work constructively with them after the election, or a Tarkine National Park, or a roll-back of Poker machines etc.

    The Greens are likely to have 0.3 of a quota in a few seats looking for a home, and that would be decisive in deciding the last seat; especially where there are a number of electorates where 4 non-sitting MPs are fighting for a vacant seat.

    On the Greens side, this and the recent result in the ACT highlight the fact that they will need to move away from the idea that the Libs are, by definition, anathema.

  6. Simon, I’m not sure what your last sentence means. Here in the A.C.T. the Greens have entered into a formal agreement with the ALP covering most of their key policies, rather than any single or headline issue. This is, I think, the expected trend and something which the Liberals need to understand. Most importantly, and worrying for them, is that the combined non-conservative vote means long term difficulty for the Tories.

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