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Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Adrian Beaumont, Election Analyst (Psephologist) at The Conversation; and Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne

Tasmanian Liberal Premier Jeremy Rockliff today announced the Tasmanian election would be held on March 23, more than a year early. The election was called early owing to disagreements between the Liberals and former Liberal MPs Lara Alexander and John Tucker. The Liberals had lost their parliamentary majority when these two MPs defected in May 2023.

Tasmania uses the proportional Hare Clark system for its lower house elections. At this election there will be 35 members elected, up from 25 previously. Tasmania uses the same five electorates for state and federal elections, with seven members to be elected per electorate, up from five previously. The quota for election will be one-eighth of the vote or 12.5%, down from one-sixth or 16.7%.

Tasmania’s upper house has elections every May for two or three of its 15 seats, with members serving six-year terms. The upper house will not be contested at this election.

The two most recent polls were an early January YouGov poll and a late November EMRS poll. The YouGov poll gave the Liberals 31%, Labor 27%, the Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN) 20%, the Greens 15% and independents 7%. If this poll were repeated at an election, the JLN would hold the balance of power.

The EMRS poll was far better for the Liberals, suggesting they had recovered from a slump in May. The Liberals had 39%, Labor 29%, the Greens 12% and all Others 19%. This poll did not ask for the JLN. The Liberals would still fall short of a majority if this poll were repeated at the election.

Tasmania is the only Australian jurisdiction that is currently governed by the conservative parties. However, the Liberal National Party is likely to win the October Queensland election, so even if Labor takes power in Tasmania, unified Labor government probably won’t last long.

Federal YouGov poll: 69% support tax changes but Albanese’s ratings drop

A national YouGov poll, conducted February 2–7 from a sample of 1,502, gave Labor a 52–48 lead, unchanged from the mid-January YouGov poll. Primary votes were 36% Coalition (down one), 32% Labor (steady), 14% Greens (up one), 8% One Nation (up one) and 10% for all Others (down one).

Albanese’s net approval was down three points to -16, while Dutton’s net approval was up three points to -8. Albanese led Dutton by 45–38 as preferred PM, a narrowing from 45–35 in January.

On the changes to the stage three tax cuts, 69% supported the changes while 31% supported the original stage three proposal. Supporters of all parties favoured the changes, including 55% of Coalition voters.

Labor gains in Essential poll

In a national Essential poll, conducted February 7–11 from a sample of 1,148, Labor led by 50–46 including undecided (48–46 two weeks ago). This is Labor’s largest lead in Essential since early October.

Primary votes were 34% Coalition (steady), 31% Labor (down one), 14% Greens (up one), 7% One Nation (steady), 1% UAP (down one), 9% for all Others (up two) and 5% undecided (steady). Preference flows favoured Labor more than last fortnight.

Respondents were asked to rate Albanese and Dutton from 0 to 10. Scores of 0–3 were counted as negative, 4–6 as neutral and 7–10 as positive. Albanese was at 35–33 negative (37–32 in December), while Dutton was at 33–32 negative (37–28 in December).

By 56–16, voters supported the revised stage three tax cuts when told there would be more benefits for lower and middle-income earners, and less to higher-income earners. However, by 53–47, they thought it is never acceptable to break an election promise over it being acceptable if circumstances change.

By 59–15, voters supported employees’ “right to disconnect”. On Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras Tour in Sydney and Melbourne, 76% said they weren’t interested in seeing her, 21% wished they were going to see her, 3% were seeing her and 3% didn’t know who she was.

Labor down in a Redbridge poll

A national Redbridge poll, conducted January 30 to February 7 from a sample of 2,040, gave Labor a 51.2–48.8 lead, a 1.6-point gain for the Coalition since the last Redbridge poll in December. Primary votes were 38% Coalition (up three), 33% Labor (steady), 13% Greens (steady) and 16% for all Others (down three).

Despite the narrow Labor lead on voting intentions, Labor held a 32–28 lead on economic management, which is usually a relative strength for the Coalition.

On negative gearing, 39% said it should be left alone and 39% said it should be phased out or scrapped immediately. By 60–22, voters supported the changes to the stage three tax cuts, but by 51–33 voters agreed that if Labor breaks the promise to deliver the original cuts, I can’t trust them in the future.

Morgan and Dunkley byelection polls

I previously covered a national Morgan poll that gave Labor a 50.5–49.5 lead. Labor’s lead increased to 53–47 in last week’s Morgan poll that was conducted January 29 to February 4.

In this week’s Morgan poll, conducted February 5–11 from a sample of 1,699, Labor led by 52–48. Primary votes were 37% Coalition (steady since last week), 34.5% Labor (up 1.5), 12% Greens (steady), 4.5% One Nation (down 0.5) and 12% for all Others (down one).

The federal byelection to replace the deceased Labor MP Peta Murphy will be held on March 2. A uComms poll of Dunkley for The Australia Institute, conducted February 5–6 from a sample of 626, gave Labor a 52–48 lead from primary votes of 40.1% Labor, 39.3% Liberal, 8.2% Greens, 1.6% Libertarian and 10.8% for all Others.

Preferences were respondent-allocated, and Labor would be higher if the previous election preferences were used. Labor won Dunkley by 56.3–46.7 at the 2022 election, so this poll suggests a 4% swing to the Liberals. Seat polls are unreliable. Eight candidates will contest the Dunkley byelection.

In other byelection news, the South Australian state byelection in Dunstan to replace former Liberal premier Steven Marshall will be held March 23. Marshall won Dunstan at the 2022 election by 50.5–49.5 against Labor.

The Poll Bludger reported Monday that uComms polls for The Australia Institute in the teal independent held seats of Kooyong, Mackellar and Wentworth, conducted February 5 from samples of 602 to 647. In Kooyong, teal MP Monique Ryan led the Liberals by 56–44, in Mackellar teal MP Sophie Scamps led by 54–46 and in Wentworth teal MP Allegra Spender led by 57–43.

US Democrats gain federal House seat at byelection

I covered the United States federal byelection for New York’s third congressional district for The Poll Bludger. Democrats easily gained from the Republicans. I also covered the latest presidential primaries that show both Donald Trump and Joe Biden cruising to their parties’ nominations.

The Conversation

Adrian Beaumont does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

ref. Jacqui Lambie Network could win balance of power at Tasmanian election; Labor lead steady in federal polls –