Thursday, December 9, 2021

EMRS: Voting Intention Pretty Stable In Tasmania

EMRS Tasmania (state) August: Liberal 49 Labor 26 (-2) Green 13 Others 12 (+2)
Results very similar to 2021 election (seat result 13 Liberal 9 Labor 2 Green 1 IND)

A new EMRS poll of Tasmanian state voting intention is out and it shows very little change since the previous poll or for that matter the 2021 snap State Election result.  The only change in voting intention since the last poll is a shift of two points from Labor to Others.  In all the Liberals are up 0.3% compared to the state election, Labor down 2.2%, the Greens up 0.6% (though EMRS has form for overstating the Green vote) and Others up 1.3%.

The only close seat at party level this year was the final seat in Clark, in which Madeleine Ogilvie (Liberal, formerly ALP and then Independent) defeated Sue Hickey (Independent, formerly Liberal) by 2.2%.  A 1.1% swing from Liberals to Others would in theory elect a second Independent.  However in this poll the swing on primary votes is 0.5%, and the swing after preferences would be slightly smaller because of the swing against Labor.  The circumstances of the 2021 election with two fairly evenly matched high-profile independents running will probably not be repeated.  The two-point move to others might be seen as reflecting success for Johnston in making an impact since her election, but it could be random sample noise or anything, and EMRS has seen larger surges for Others in the past without anything coming from them,

At the time of the previous poll there had been a lot of chaos affecting Labor between the poll being taken and its release.  Had the departures of David O'Byrne and Bastian Seidel from the party hurt it?  This poll suggests either not by that much or if so it was temporary.  Nonetheless Labor's primary vote of 26% remains inadequate.  The party has only recorded four lower primary votes during what is now nearly eight years in opposition - two polls back in 2014-5 and two at the height of the government's pandemic bounce last year. 

It is a very long way til the next election and perhaps if the federal party manages to sort the state party out it will start to poll better.  In the meantime, members are free to keep freelancing and branches continue to rumble about it - as seen with preselection threats against Josh Willie over the recent poker machines bill.  Since there's nobody really in charge of the mess, whether these threats represent a handful of members or a more serious number, who can say. 

The poll's leadership ratings continue to show Peter Gutwein with a large lead over Rebecca White, up one point to 31 points (59-28) though such indicators skew to incumbents.  Something has changed since the days when White used to compete remarkably strongly with Will Hodgman and an early Gutwein on this measure, even when her party's primary vote was not that strong. However we don't have ratings for the leaders individually, so it's not clear if this is about White being less personally popular personally than she used to be (which was at one point very popular), or about Gutwein being personally very popular. I suspect that it's a lot of both.  Think that's all I have to say about this poll.

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