Voters deserting Coalition in Queensland and WA: Resolve survey
Voters have deserted the federal government in large numbers since the last election in powerful swings that could sweep the Coalition from at least 14 seats including parts of Queensland and Western Australia where it once thought it was safe.
The findings highlight the challenge for Prime Minister Scott Morrison in winning Australians back to his cause when he starts the campaign with a Coalition primary vote of 34 per cent nationwide, down from 41 per cent at the last election.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing a collapse in the Coalition’s vote in Queensland.
Voters in Queensland have cut their support for the Coalition from 44 per cent at the election to 33 per cent in the first months of this year, while those in Western Australia have slashed their support from 45 per cent to 33 per cent.
The swings are strong enough to install Labor leader Anthony Albanese in power but reflect the electorate before the start of the official campaign, as Morrison urges voters to avoid the “risk” of Labor while seeking to defend city seats and seize regional seats.
The quarterly analysis of the Resolve Political Monitor, conducted exclusively for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, is based on responses from 4578 voters from the middle of January to the days after the federal budget on March 29.
The national swing would be enough to remove the Coalition from 14 seats, but election observers have cautioned against applying a uniform swing when results vary greatly across the states.
“If you are just looking at the raw figures it’s hard to see how Labor could lose right now, but we have to remember that the vote position tends to get closer during the campaign and that swings are never uniform anyway,” said Resolve director Jim Reed.
“At risk marginal seats are able to be ‘sandbagged’ through additional resources and a focus on local incumbency, and we’ll be measuring that for the first time by naming the local candidates in our future tracks’ vote questions.”
The 14 seats in danger for the Coalition in this analysis are Bass, Chisholm, Boothby, Braddon, Reid, Swan, Longman, Higgins, Leichhardt, Robertson, Casey, Dickson, Deakin and Brisbane.
The threat to the Coalition is greater, however, when the swings in each state are applied.
The Coalition won the last election with a primary vote of 41 per cent nationwide but had support from 34 per cent in the three Resolve surveys from January to early April.
The Coalition primary vote has also suffered in South Australia, falling from 41 per cent at the last election to 34 per cent in the new quarterly analysis, in a sign the government could struggle to hold the key marginal seat of Boothby in the Adelaide suburbs.
The significant blows to the Coalition have also been seen in NSW, down from 43 per cent at the election to 36 per cent in the three surveys this year, and Victoria, down from 39 per cent to 32 per cent on the same comparison.
Morrison goes into the campaign with a $7.1 billion regional funding package in the federal budget to commit to major projects outside Sydney and Melbourne in the hope of seizing ground from Labor.
With Labor insiders confident of gaining ground in key seats around Perth, the Resolve Political Monitor quarterly analysis suggests there are good reasons for the party’s ambition in taking seats from the Liberals in the west.
Labor has lifted its national primary vote from 33 per cent at the last election to 36 per cent in the new Resolve quarterly analysis, but the changes in NSW (up from 35 to 36 per cent) and Victoria (down from 37 to 36 per cent) are within the margin of error.
While the Labor primary vote in Queensland is lower than the party’s support in other states, it has risen from 27 per cent at the election to 31 per cent in the quarterly analysis in a trend that could help the party win at least one seat if matched at the election.
Labor is targeting the northern Brisbane seat of Longman, held by the Liberal National Party by 3.3 per cent, as well as the northern Queensland seat of Leichhardt, held by the LNP by 4.2 per cent.
To win the seat northern Brisbane seat of Dickson, held by Defence Minister Peter Dutton, or the inner-city seat of Brisbane, held by Assistant Environment Minister Trevor Evans, would require swings of 4.6 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively.
The Labor primary vote in WA has soared from 30 per cent at the election to 43 per cent in the new analysis, enough to install the party’s candidates in seats including Swan (held by the Liberals by 3.2 per cent), Pearce (the seat being vacated by former attorney-general Christian Porter and held by the Liberals by 5.2 per cent) and Hasluck (held by Ken Wyatt by 5.9 per cent).
The findings for Western Australia should be treated with caution, however, because the state results were based on 347 respondents to ensure the survey reflected wider national population. There is a higher margin of error for results in states with smaller populations.
The swing to Labor in Western Australia appears to be large enough in the new quarterly survey to suggest the party could win Tangney (held by Special Minister of State Ben Morton by 9.5 per cent) and Canning (held by Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie by 11.6 per cent) and Moore (held by backbencher Ian Goodenough by 11.6 per cent).
Tangney has not had a Labor member since 1984, Canning has not had one since 2001 and Moore has not had one since 1990.
Because the sample size is larger than the monthly Resolve Political Monitor, the margin of error in the quarterly analysis is 1.4 per cent for the national primary vote. The margin of error was 2.5 per cent in the most recent monthly survey, published on April 5.
But the margin of error for the Western Australia results is 5.3 per cent and for the South Australian results is 6.2 per cent.
Jacqueline Maley cuts through the noise of the federal election campaign with news, views and expert analysis. Sign up to our Australia Votes 2022 newsletter here.
Most Viewed in Politics
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article