THE Liberal Party's federal candidate for Bass, Andrew Nikolic, has a shock election-winning lead over his Labor incumbent in an EMRS poll done exclusively for The Examiner.
The poll of 300 Northern residents has Mr Nikolic, a former army brigadier and war veteran, polling 41 per cent, ahead of sitting Labor MHR Geoff Lyons on 27 per cent, with the Greens polling 14 per cent, and 12 per cent undecided.
Mr Nikolic has only been endorsed by the Liberal Party since June 17.
After distributing the undecided vote and distributing Greens preferences 70 per cent to Labor and 30 per cent to the Liberals, and splitting up the independent vote between the two contenders, Mr Nikolic comes out on top with 55.3 per cent to Mr Lyons 44.7 per cent.
Even when the Greens vote is distributed 80-20 in favour of Mr Lyons, Mr Nikolic still has a lead of 53.7 per cent to Mr Lyons 46.3 per cent.
It shows that Bass has a real contest on its hands, and is there to be won by either major party, depending on how their candidates perform between now and the election.
The survey was held between Monday, August 22, and Thursday, August 25. Key national factors included New South Wales Labor MHR Craig Thomson, and allegations about his use of union credit cards.
Asylum seekers was an issue, but the poll was taken a week before the High Court ruled against the federal government's Malaysian refugee swap, which has sparked wild leadership speculation from within Labor.
In Tasmania the Gunns permit and compensation issues were dragging on, plus more stories about budget cuts. But, EMRS had yet to deliver disastrous polling news for the state government.
While the Green vote has suffered a steady decline in EMRS state polls, it has held federally in Bass, in spite of there being no Greens candidate endorsed yet.
Mr Lyons has held Bass since last year's federal election where he won with a comfortable 6.74 per cent margin. He was chosen to replace Jodie Campbell who held the seat for one term and did not recontest.
Mr Nikolic's 55.3 to 44.7 per cent, two party preferred lead is mirrored nationally. In the Nielsen Poll the Coalition leads Labor 58 per cent to 42 per cent.
Newspoll has the Coalition leading Labor 57 per cent to 43 per cent.