Labor in box seat for victory as Liberal vote falls, exit poll shows

On a two-party preferred basis, Labor was in front 55-45, a 3.2 percentage point move on the last election. Depending if this was spread uniformly across the state, it would deliver Labor the seats of Corangamite, Dunkley, Chisholm and possibly La Trobe. Several other seats would also be at risk.

In NSW, the poll shows a 2.5 percentage point swing to Labor in two-party preferred terms to 52-48. The Coalition’s primary vote has slipped 3.3 percentage points while Labor’s has improved by 3.1 points to 40 per cent.

The poll found little change in Queensland where the LNP and Labor are fighting over a string of marginal seats.

The Coalition’s primary vote has slipped by within the margin of error but the two-party preferred still shows the LNP leading Labor 53-47, a drop of 1.1 percentage points on the last election.

Across Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia, the poll found a 2.5 point swing against the Coalition with Labor in front 52-48.


If the swings were uniform, Labor would pick up 10 seats including 4 in NSW. Combined with the new seats of Bean and Fraser, which are notionally Labor, this would be enough to make Bill Shorten the prime minister.

Despite spending a reported $50 million on his campaign, the poll shows Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party polling 3 per cent nationally with a best of 4 points in NSW.

YouGov Galaxy noted that Green preferences are flowing to Labor at a slightly higher rate than normal at 85 per cent.

But the majority of votes for minor parties were flowing to the Coalition, with UAP at 62 per cent, One Nation and all other candidates at 55 per cent.

The company said the stronger than usual preference flow from minor candidates to the Coalition was due to the presence of the Christian Democratic Group, Australian Christians and Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party.

A separate question found voters, despite a 5 week election campaign, wanting Julie Bishop to lead the Liberal Party rather than Scott Morrison.

Thirty percent of those surveyed rated Ms Bishop, who is retiring at this election, as their preferred Liberal leader compared to 28 per cent who backed Mr Morrison. Seventeen percent still wanted Malcolm Turnbull.

Among Coalition voters, Mr Morrison was supported by 49 per cent. But among Labor voters, Ms Bishop was backed by 38 per cent compared to just 10 per cent who supported Mr Morrison.

In a sign of the key issues through the campaign, health and Medicare were rated the most important by 38 per cent of those surveyed. More than half of Labor voters rated it top compared to 25 per cent of Coalition supporters.

The cost of living was ranked the second most important issue and then climate change. Climate change was ranked highly by 47 per cent of Labor voters compared to 12 per cent of Coalition supporters.

Income tax was rated among the most important issues by a fifth of voters with franking credits listed by just a tenth.

Shane is a senior economics correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

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