THE Liberal Party is poised to win Bass in a landslide at the next federal election, amid signs of voter anger with Julia Gillard.
A ReachTEL opinion poll, done exclusively for The Examiner, found that the party's candidate, Andrew Nikolic, would win convincingly if the election was held now, with the real poll only about nine months away.
The poll, conducted on Wednesday night, has Mr Nikolic leading Labor incumbent Geoff Lyons 60.3 per cent to 39.7 per cent, once preferences are distributed in line with the 2010 election, and the undecided vote distributed.
The result has converted a 6.74per cent Liberal deficit at the 2010 election into a 26-point turnaround - a result that rivals the historic swing to the Liberals in the Bass byelection of 1975.
The unusually large sample of 543 voters was asked: "If a federal election were to be held today, which of the following would receive your first preference vote. If you are undecided, to which do you have a slight leaning?"
On primary vote the Greens polled only 8.7 per cent. In a poll conducted for The Examiner in September 2011, the Greens polled 14 per cent.
As well, even on primary vote, Mr Nikolic is already on a majority with 54.7 per cent, Mr Lyons on 26.7 per cent, the Greens 8.7 per cent and Bob Katter's party 1.8 per cent.
The poll is ominous news all round for Labor.
The voters were also asked who would they choose between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott for prime minister, and 63 per cent preferred Mr Abbott to only 37 preferring Ms Gillard.
Asked if the performance of the Gillard government made them more or less likely to vote labor, only 15.7 per cent said more likely, while 65.8 per cent said less likely, with 18.5 per cent saying the performance would not change their vote.
As to voter appeal, only 23.9 per cent of those surveyed had a favourable opinion of Mr Lyons while 39.2 per cent had a favourable opinion of Mr Nikolic.
Despite Mr Lyons' supposedly high-profile term as the Bass MHR, 44.3 per cent of those polled had a neutral opinion of him, 25.8 per cent had an unfavourable opinion and 6 per cent had never heard of him.
As for Mr Nikolic, 28.5 per cent had a neutral opinion of him, 14.4 per cent had an unfavourable opinion and 18 per cent had never heard of him.
An EMRS poll taken just two months after Mr Nikolic was endorsed as the Liberal candidate in September 2011, and done for The Examiner, had him leading Mr Lyons on primaries, 41 per cent to 27 per cent.
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