New poll result could spill over into Braddon byelection: Bonham

Political analyst Kevin Bonham
Political analyst Kevin Bonham

It is “possible” that an apparent drop in support for state Labor in new polling could spill over into the Braddon byelection, political analyst Kevin Bonham says.

The byelection was triggered by the resignation of Labor MHR Justine Keay, who quit due to citizenship issues.

Ms Keay will be contending with Liberal candidate and former state and federal MP Brett Whiteley.

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The latest EMRS State Voting Intentions Poll – the first since the state election - shows support for Labor has dropped to 30 per cent, down four percentage points.

The Liberals’ support has increased by 1 per cent, now up to 47 per cent.

Support for the Greens increased marginally, up two percentage points to 14 per cent.

The poll surveyed 1000 Tasmanian voters.

Dr Bonham said there was a relationship, albeit “quite a weak one”, between parties doing well at a federal level and at a state level.

“So it’s possible that there’ll be spill-over into the Braddon byelection,” he said.

Tasmanians tended to vote differently in state elections compared to federal elections, Dr Bonham said.

He said the chief flaw of EMRS’ polling was its history of overstating the Greens’ support.

“But, overall, they have a track record of not being too far out,” he said.

Of the remaining decided voters, 8 per cent stated they would vote for a party other than the Liberals, Labor and the Greens.

According to the poll, both Premier Will Hodgman and Opposition Leader Rebecca White’s personal popularity ratings have essentially remained unchanged.

Mr Hodgman is still Tasmania’s preferred Premier, albeit down one percentage point to 47 per cent since the February poll.

Ms White, on the other hand, has remained at 41 per cent in terms of the preferred Premier rating.

Of those surveyed, 11 per cent of voters either remained unsure of who they would prefer to be Premier or would rather neither Mr Hodgman or Ms White led the state.