Dire polls for Labor in Tasmania and Queensland with elections upcoming

  • Written by Adrian Beaumont, Election Analyst (Psephologist) at The Conversation; and Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne

The Tasmanian state election is on March 23. A uComms poll[1] for The Australia Institute, conducted March 4–5 from a sample of 1,174, gave the Liberals 37.1% of the vote, Labor 23.0%, the Greens 13.7%, the Jacqui Lambie Network 8.5%, independents 12.8% and others 5.0%.

The Liberals have governed since winning the 2014 election. If this poll’s Labor vote of 23% is accurate, that would be a dreadful result for Labor ten years after losing power.

By 46–36, respondents thought Tasmania was headed in the wrong, rather than right, direction. A breakdown by voting intentions shows large majorities of all non-Liberal voters thought Tasmania was headed in the wrong direction.

Tasmania uses the proportional Hare Clark system, with five electorates each returning seven members for a total of 35 lower house seats, up from 25 total seats at previous elections. A quota for election is one-eighth of the vote, or 12.5%.

Analyst Kevin Bonham[2] said the Liberals would be expected to win 14 of the 35 seats if this poll is accurate, Labor ten, the Greens four, the JLN 2–3 and independents 4–5. The Liberals would be well short of the 18 needed for a majority, but much better placed to form government than Labor.

Bonham said that during the 2021 Tasmanian election campaign, uComms released a poll that greatly understated the Liberals. They have changed their methods since to include SMS as well as voice robopolling. They were accurate at the federal Dunkley byelection[3]. Other recent Tasmanian polls also have the Liberals best placed to form a minority government.

Queensland Newspoll: 54–46 to LNP

The Queensland state election will be held in October. A Newspoll[4], conducted March 7–13 from a sample of 1,037, gave the Liberal National Party a 54–46 lead over Labor, representing a seven-point swing to the LNP since the October 2020 election. Primary votes were 42% LNP, 30% Labor, 13% Greens, 8% One Nation and 7% for all Others.

Labor Premier Steven Miles had a 49% dissatisfied, 38% satisfied rating (net -11), while LNP leader David Crisafulli was at net +14. Crisafulli led Miles as better premier by 43–37. Just 26% thought Labor deserved to be re-elected, while 58% thought it was time to give someone else a go. This is the first Queensland Newspoll since before the 2020 election.

Two men in white shirts sit at a desk and discuss
Queensland Liberal leader David Crisafulli (L) is ahead in the polls as preferred premier over the Labor incumbent Steven Miles (R). David Clark/AAP

After Miles replaced Annastacia Palaszczuk as Labor leader and premier in December, there were two relatively good uComms polls for Labor, with the one in mid-February[5] having a 50–50 tie. But this poll is a reversion to bad polling for a government headed for defeat in October.

Labor has governed in Queensland since 2015, and it was easily the worst state for Labor at the 2022 federal election[6], so a defeat for Labor is the expected outcome.

On Saturday, there will be Queensland state byelections in Labor-held Inala and Ipswich West, and Queensland local government elections, including for the high-profile Brisbane City Council[7]. Labor won Inala[8] by 78.2–21.8 and Ipswich West[9] by 64.3–35.7 against the LNP in 2020.

The Poll Bludger[10] reported Friday that a DemosAU poll of the Brisbane City Council, conducted March 8–14 from a sample of 1,034, had the incumbent LNP Brisbane mayor leading Labor by 58–42, and the LNP also likely to retain their majority on the council.

Federal Freshwater poll steady at 51–49 to Labor

A national Freshwater poll[11] for The Australian Financial Review, conducted March 8–10 from a sample of 1,051, gave Labor a 51–49 lead, unchanged since the February Freshwater poll. Primary votes were 39% Coalition (up one), 31% Labor (steady), 14% Greens (steady) and 16% for all Others (down one).

Albanese’s net approval was steady[12] at -7, with 45% unfavourable and 37% favourable. Dutton’s net approval fell four points to -13. Albanese’s lead as preferred PM increased to 47–38 from 42–38 in February.

The Coalition’s lead over Labor on best to manage cost of living dropped to three points from six points in February, but they still led Labor by ten points on managing the economy. Cost of living was rated an important issue[13] by 72%, up three since February, with housing second on 42%.

A man stands and talks in front of a green background Labor is up or steady in the national polls. Morgan Hancock/AAP

Essential poll: Labor regains slight lead

A national Essential poll[14], conducted March 6–10 from a sample of 1,126, gave Labor a 48–47 lead including undecided, a reversal of a 48–47 lead for the Coalition last fortnight. Primary votes were 35% Coalition (steady), 32% Labor (up two), 11% Greens (down two), 8% One Nation (up one), 2% UAP (steady), 8% for all Others (steady) and 5% undecided (up one).

Respondents were told that Australia spends $55.6 billion on defence[15], making it the fourth highest expense in the budget. On this spending, 51% thought it about the right amount, 29% too much and 20% not enough.

On Israel’s military action in Gaza, 37% thought Israel should permanently withdraw from Gaza, 20% agree to a temporary ceasefire and 18% thought Israel was justified in continuing its actions.

On Australia’s relationship with China, 67% thought it a complex relationship to be managed, 20% that China is a threat to be confronted and 13% that China is a positive opportunity to be realised. There was no change in these responses since March 2023.

On Australia’s role in global affairs, 38% thought we should be an independent middle power with influence in the Asia-Pacific region, 20% primarily an ally of the United States and 25% said we should do our best not to engage in world affairs.

Morgan poll and Cook byelection

A national Morgan poll[16], conducted March 4–10 from a sample of 1,714, gave Labor a 51.5–48.5 lead, a two-point gain for the Coalition since the previous week. Primary votes were 38% Coalition (up 1.5), 32% Labor (down two), 13% Greens (down 0.5), 4% One Nation (up 0.5), 9% independents (up 0.5) and 4% others (steady).

The byelection in former Liberal prime minister Scott Morrison’s seat of Cook[17] will be held on April 13. At the 2022 election, Morrison defeated Labor by a 62.4–37.6 margin. Candidate nominations close next Thursday, with Labor not expected to contest.


  1. ^ uComms poll (australiainstitute.org.au)
  2. ^ Kevin Bonham (kevinbonham.blogspot.com)
  3. ^ federal Dunkley byelection (theconversation.com)
  4. ^ Newspoll (www.theaustralian.com.au)
  5. ^ one in mid-February (theconversation.com)
  6. ^ 2022 federal election (results.aec.gov.au)
  7. ^ Brisbane City Council (www.abc.net.au)
  8. ^ Inala (www.abc.net.au)
  9. ^ Ipswich West (www.abc.net.au)
  10. ^ Poll Bludger (www.pollbludger.net)
  11. ^ Freshwater poll (www.afr.com)
  12. ^ was steady (theconversation.com)
  13. ^ rated an important issue (www.afr.com)
  14. ^ Essential poll (essentialreport.com.au)
  15. ^ on defence (essentialreport.com.au)
  16. ^ national Morgan poll (www.roymorgan.com)
  17. ^ seat of Cook (www.abc.net.au)

Authors: Adrian Beaumont, Election Analyst (Psephologist) at The Conversation; and Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne

Read more https://theconversation.com/dire-polls-for-labor-in-tasmania-and-queensland-with-elections-upcoming-225455