Guardian Essential poll: Daniel Andrews in strong position for Labor victory in Victorian election

New poll shows 35.3% intend to give Labor their first-preference vote, while 32.2% will support Coalition

Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, looks set to secure a third term in office, despite waning support for his government and its flagship Suburban Rail Loop project, which the opposition last month vowed to scrap if elected in November.

The latest Guardian Essential poll of 536 Victorian voters found 35.3% intend to give Labor their first-preference vote, a drop of 7.56 percentage points since it won the 2018 state election with a landslide 43%.

The Coalition’s first-preference vote has also dropped to 32.2%, down from 35.2% in 2018, while the Greens remain consistent at 10.2%.

While 8% of respondents said they had already made up their mind to give their first-preference vote to an independent, about half of all respondents said they would consider doing so.

The executive director of Essential Media, Peter Lewis, said he expected Labor to absorb some of the 11.9% of undecided respondents.

“I wouldn’t characterise the poll as showing a huge drop in Labor support at this stage, when taking into account that high undecided response. It is largely consistent with other polling suggesting the Labor government will secure a third term,” he said.

Guardian Australia understands Labor’s internal party polling is forecasting an overall swing against the government of 4% to 5%, although this would not cost them the election due to the high benchmark set at the 2018 poll.

“It’s inevitable we’re going to lose some seats, particularly the ones we never expected to have picked up last time,” said one Labor MP, who asked not to be named so they could speak freely.

In the 2018 “Danslide”, Labor secured more than 57% of the two-party-preferred vote and reduced the Coalition to just 27 of the 88 seats in the lower house. To win outright, the Coalition would need a net gain of 18 seats.

Adding to its woes, the Coalition will enter the race in a worse position than it was then, thanks to an electoral redistribution that sees Labor gain two net seats.

It is also fending off challenges from “teal” independents in the inner-city Liberal seats of Brighton, Caulfield, Sandringham and Kew, and in Hawthorn, where former Liberal MP John Pesutto is running after losing the seat to Labor in 2018.

However, it appears opposition leader, Matthew Guy’s, pledge to shelve the Suburban Rail Loop project is resonating with voters.

Another poll of 550 voters shows 56% of respondents are either indifferent (31%) or opposed (25%) to construction beginning on stage one of the proposed 90km underground railway line, running between Cheltenham in the south-east and Werribee in the south-west via Melbourne airport.

Forty-four per cent of respondents either strongly support or somewhat support the work on project.

Guy last month pledged that, if elected, he would halt work on the first 26km of the project and reinvest about $9.6bn committed by the government into the state’s Covid-battered health system.

Transport and planning experts welcomed the announcement, having raised concerns over the development of the project on the eve of the previous state election, without the involvement from cabinet, the head of the Department of Transport, experts or the community.

Andrews has maintained the electorate voted for the project in 2018, where there was an above-average swing to Labor in 11 electorates set to benefit from the loop.

The Essential polling shows support for the project differs by party lines, with 60% of Labor voters supportive and 48% of Coalition voters opposing it.

Support was lowest among voters aged 18 to 34, with just 9% of respondents in the age group strongly supportive of the project, compared to 20% in the 35-54 and 55+ groups.

The polling was conducted between 31 August and 7 September, when a report detailing 33 deaths linked to delays at the state’s triple zero calling-taking service was released.


Benita Kolovos

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Daniel Andrews joins kindergarteners on eve of Victorian election, but Matthew Guy is all business
Premier spends last full day of the campaign in Northcote, where the Greens are making headway

Adeshola Ore

25, Nov, 2022 @6:50 AM

Article image
No matter who wins, both major parties have made this Victorian poll the Daniel Andrews election
Sources say the Liberal strategy of focusing the campaign around the premier is working, with Labor unsure of how to respond

Benita Kolovos

25, Nov, 2022 @2:00 PM

Article image
Victorian opposition makes $160m bus overhaul election promise as Labor flags more dog parks
Matthew Guy seeks to woo outer-metropolitan voters while Daniel Andrews campaigns in inner suburbs on day three of the Victoria election

Benita Kolovos and Adeshola Ore

04, Nov, 2022 @4:14 AM

Article image
Victorian Greens to preference Labor above Liberals as major parties make health pledges
Samantha Ratnam rules out deal with the Liberals, will direct preferences to ‘progressive’ candidates

Benita Kolovos and Adeshola Ore

09, Nov, 2022 @6:02 AM

Article image
Victorian election: with Melbourne Cup over, now comes real race for Daniel Andrews and Matthew Guy
Polls and pundits have Labor winning in a canter, but strategists from both sides expect the margin to narrow as 26 November approaches

Benita Kolovos

01, Nov, 2022 @2:00 PM

Article image
Early voting begins for the Victorian election as poll suggests a tightening race
On a wet and miserable Monday, some waited for hours to cast their ballot as Liberals were given fresh hope by a poll saying Labor’s lead had narrowed

Adeshola Ore

14, Nov, 2022 @9:43 AM

Article image
The Daniel Andrews paradox: the enduring appeal of Australia’s most divisive premier
He’s dogged, dour, the opposite of charismatic. Despite lockdowns and scandals, Daniel Andrews appears set to win another four-year term. Why are Victorians so enamoured with him?

Margaret Simons

29, Oct, 2022 @7:00 PM

Article image
Labor MPs believe Daniel Andrews has been given a mandate for bold change. What will he do with it?
The Victorian Labor and Liberal parties face challenges over the next four years after a decisive election result

Benita Kolovos

09, Dec, 2022 @2:00 PM

Article image
Daniel Andrews vindicated in Victorian election that became a referendum on his pandemic response
Labor’s win lets its state leader reshape his legacy, with his third term allowing him to become the party’s longest-serving premier

Benita Kolovos

26, Nov, 2022 @1:37 PM

Article image
Victorian Labor surpasses its 2018 ‘Danslide’ result after claiming seat of Bass
Jordan Crugnale claims Bass, seeing the party’s presence in the lower house increased by one seat

Benita Kolovos

09, Dec, 2022 @9:10 AM