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Victorian Labor holds comfortable lead; flawed climate change question in federal Resolve poll

  • Written by Adrian Beaumont, Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne
Victorian Labor holds comfortable lead; flawed climate change question in federal Resolve poll

A Victorian Resolve poll[1] for The Age gave Labor 37% of the primary vote (42.9% at the 2018 election), the Coalition 36% (35.2%), the Greens 9% (10.7%) and independents 12% (6.1%).

This poll was presumably conducted at the same time as Resolve’s federal May and June polls, from a sample of 1,103. As usual with Resolve polls, no two party figure was provided, but The Poll Bludger[2] estimated 53-47 to Labor, about a 4% swing to the Coalition since the election.

On the high vote for independents, it appears some voters are dissatisfied with the three main options, and are parking their vote. It’s unlikely independents would get 12% at an election, as those who say they will vote for independents may not like the actual independents in a particular seat.

Incumbent Daniel Andrews led Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien as preferred premier by 49-23. Andrews had a net +10 likeability rating (42% positive, 32% negative), and O'Brien a net -8 rating (14% positive, 22% negative). Acting Premier James Merlino had a net +15 rating (30% positive, 15% negative).

The Age is comparing the Victorian ratings with the ratings for NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian in May’s NSW Resolve poll. Berejiklian was at a net +33 (51% positive, 17% negative).

In questions on the recent COVID crisis that were presumably asked in just the June sample, by 46-36 voters agreed that the government was too quick to lockdown large parts of the state. However, voters agreed 46-34 that the government has handled this outbreak well so far.

There is other evidence of a backlash against the Victorian government over its handling of COVID. In last week’s Essential federal[3] poll, 48% gave the Victorian government a good rating on COVID, down from 63% in the late May Essential before the current crisis.

It’s likely that the 2018 election landslide was a high water mark for Labor in Victoria, and that they would fall from that position even with better perception of handling of COVID. However, Labor is still comfortably ahead and the clear favourites for the November 2022 election.

Read more: Morrison slumps in Newspoll but Coalition gains, as lockdown shows vaccination is essential[4]

Federal Resolve poll: flawed question on carbon price

In a federal Resolve poll[5] for Nine newspapers, conducted June 8-12 from a sample of 1,600, the Coalition had 40% of the primary vote (up one since May), Labor 36% (up one), the Greens 10% (down two) and One Nation 3% (up one).

No two party vote was provided, but The Poll Bludger[6] estimated a 50.5-49.5 lead for Labor from these primaries, a 0.5% gain for the Coalition.

55% supported the government[7] adopting a net zero emissions target by 2050, with just 12% opposed. However, when offered a choice between new technologies and putting a cost on emissions to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions, 61% supported new technology and just 13% the cost on emissions.

The problem with the second question is that voters were given a choice between something that sounds free (new tech), and something that has a cost (carbon price). It is completely unsurprising, given this framing, that voters massively prefer new tech. A better framing would be to ask whether the government should invest money in new tech, or put a price on carbon.

However, voters are reluctant to spend money on emissions reduction. In a February 2020 Newspoll[8], 50% said they were prepared to pay nothing more on electricity to meet emissions targets, and a further 23% just $100 more a year. This poll was taken after the 2019-20 summer bushfires, and before COVID. Voters are unlikely to be so concerned about climate change now.

In other Resolve questions, Scott Morrison had a 48% good, 41% poor rating for his performance in recent weeks, with his +7 net rating down eight points[9] since May. Anthony Albanese had an unchanged -13 net rating, and Morrison led Albanese by 46-23 as preferred PM (48-25 in May).

The Coalition and Morrison continued to hold large leads over Labor and Albanese on the economy and COVID. They led by 43-20 on the economy (46-20 in May) and by 40-20 on COVID (46-20).

Read more: Has a backlash against political correctness made sexual misbehaviour more acceptable?[10]

Essential and Morgan polls

In last week’s Essential poll, Morrison had a net approval of +21, down five points since May, and Albanese a net approval of +3, down one point. Morrison led Albanese by 48-28 as better PM (50-24 in May).

53% gave the federal government a good rating on COVID and 24% a poor one, well down from the 58-18 rating in late May. In all states, the state government was ahead of the federal government, with the largest gap in WA (75% good for state government, just 49% for federal government).

In a Morgan poll[11], conducted May 29-30 and June 5-6 from a sample of over 2,800, Labor led the Coalition by 51-49, a 0.5% gain for Labor since March. Primary votes were 40% Coalition (down one), 35.5% Labor (up one), 11.5% Greens (down one) and 3% One Nation (up 0.5%).

Netanyahu ousted in Israel, and other international politics

I wrote for The Poll Bludger[12] on Monday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been ousted in a confidence vote, ending his 12 successive years as PM. Also covered: a German state election and federal polls ahead of the September 26 election; two UK byelections that occur in the next fortnight; and the far-left’s narrow win over the far-right in Peru.


  1. ^ Resolve poll (
  2. ^ The Poll Bludger (
  3. ^ Essential federal (
  4. ^ Morrison slumps in Newspoll but Coalition gains, as lockdown shows vaccination is essential (
  5. ^ Resolve poll (
  6. ^ The Poll Bludger (
  7. ^ supported the government (
  8. ^ February 2020 Newspoll (
  9. ^ eight points (
  10. ^ Has a backlash against political correctness made sexual misbehaviour more acceptable? (
  11. ^ Morgan poll (
  12. ^ The Poll Bludger (

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