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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

I covered the May 2 United Kingdom local government elections for The Poll Bludger. The Blackpool South parliamentary byelection was also held, at which Labour overturned an 11-point Conservative margin at the 2019 general election to win by 41 points.

These local elections will be the last before the next UK general election that must be held by January 2025. Labour has about a 20-point lead in national polls, but won the local elections by a somewhat disappointing 34–25 margin over the Conservatives with 17% for the Liberal Democrats.

In 2021, the Conservatives had won the local elections by 36–29 over Labour, and most seats up were last contested in 2021. As a result, the Conservatives lost 474 councillors. Labour also won ten of the 11 mayors contested, including the London mayoralty.

The local elections and Blackpool South byelection results and national polls imply Labour should win a landslide at the general election. The current Electoral Calculus forecast is for Labour to win 472 of the 650 House of Commons seats, to just 85 Conservatives.

The Poll Bludger article also covered recent turmoil in Scotland that has led to the resignation of the first minister, and United States polls that have Donald Trump narrowly leading Joe Biden nationally, and also ahead in the swing states that will decide the Electoral College.

Australian national Redbridge and Morgan polls

A national Redbridge poll, conducted April 12–21 from a sample of 1,529, gave Labor a 52–48 lead, a 0.8-point gain for Labor since the last Redbridge poll in early February. Primary votes were 37% Coalition (down one), 33% Labor (steady), 12% Greens (down one), 7% One Nation (not previously listed) and 11% for all Others.

By 50–34, voters thought Labor was not focused on the right priorities (53–33 the last time this question was asked in December). By 45–36, voters thought Dutton and the Coalition was not ready for government (47–33 in December).

Labor led the Coalition on best to manage cost of living relief (27–23) and energy policy (28–23), but the Coalition led by 31–25 on economic management and by 32–22 on immigration.

By 68–22, voters rated the Albanese government poor on relieving cost of living pressures. By 57–26, they rated it poor on improving the healthcare system.

In the national Morgan poll conducted April 22–28 from a sample of 1,719, Labor led by 52–48, unchanged from the April 15–21 poll. Primary votes were 36.5% Coalition (up one), 31.5% Labor (up one), 14% Greens (down two), 5.5% One Nation (steady), 8% independents (up 0.5) and 4.5% others (down 0.5).

Queensland federal YouGov poll: Dutton leads as better PM

I covered a Queensland YouGov state poll on April 26 that gave the Liberal National Party a 56–44 lead. The federal part of this poll had Dutton leading Albanese as better PM by 45–37.

Note that this poll is only of Queensland. The previous national polls that asked for preferred PM had Albanese leading Dutton by 13 points in Newspoll and nine in Resolve. At the 2022 federal election, Queensland voted for the Coalition by 54.1–45.9 (and was the only state won by the Coalition).

In the state poll, voters thought the LNP would be better at handling cost of living by 35–19 over Labor.

Further Resolve questions

I previously reported on a late April federal Resolve poll for Nine newspapers. In further questions on Labor’s Future Made in Australia policy, 38% thought the government is right to offer financial assistance to start up and retain new industries, while 34% thought the government should not subsidise industries that cannot survive on their own, and should instead spend the money elsewhere.

By 42–23, voters supported providing A$1 billion to support manufacturers in Australia who can make solar panels. By 75–25, voters were not aware of the Future Made in Australia policy.

NSW Resolve poll: Labor narrowly ahead

A New South Wales state Resolve poll for The Sydney Morning Herald, conducted with the federal Resolve polls in late March and late April from a sample of over 1,000, gave the Coalition 36% of the primary vote (down two since February), Labor 33% (down one), the Greens 12% (steady), independents 14% (up two) and others 5% (steady).

Resolve usually doesn’t give a two party estimate, but The Poll Bludger estimated a Labor lead by 52–48, a 0.5-point gain for Labor since February. Incumbent Chris Minns led the Liberals’ Mark Speakman as preferred premier by 37–16 (35–16 in February). Oddly, this poll was never reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, but appears on the Resolve tracker.

Tasmanian upper house elections

Every May two or three of Tasmania’s 15 upper house seats are up for election for six-year terms. On Saturday there were two regular elections (Hobart and Prosser) and a byelection in Elwick. There are no two-candidate counts yet, with the electoral commission likely to wait until all votes are in before starting the distribution of preferences.

In Hobart, which was previously held by a retiring left-wing independent, the Greens won 36.7%, an independent 22.5%, Labor 18.7% and another independent 13.5%. Analyst Kevin Bonham has called for the Greens, and they will win their first ever upper house seat.

In Liberal-held Prosser, the Liberals led Labor by 38.6–28.5 with 12.7% for the Shooters, and I expect them to win easily. In Labor-held Elwick, independent Glenorchy mayor Bec Thomas led Labor by 33.9–28.4 with 18.9% for the Greens and 18.7% for a left-wing independent. Labor will hope preferences enable them to win.

With Hobart going to another left-winger and the Liberal almost certain to retain Prosser, the only result that could alter the upper house balance of power is in Elwick.

In the lower house, the Liberals reached an agreement with two independents on April 24 after also making a deal with the three Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN) MPs two weeks earlier. These agreements will give the Liberals an overall 19 of 35 votes from MPs on confidence and supply.

At the March 23 lower house election, the Liberals had won 14 of the 35 seats, four short of a majority. Labor had won 10 seats, the Greens five, the JLN three and independents three. But Labor conceded the day after the election and did not attempt to form a government.

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. UK Tories perform badly at local elections; Labor still narrowly ahead in Australian polls –