– Denis Napthine remains preferred Premier –

The inaugural Fairfax Ipsos Victorian State Poll shows the ALP increasing its lead over the Coalition.

The poll of 1,401 Victorians, conducted between 22-26 October 2014, shows the primary vote for Labor at 37% (up 2 points since July) and the Liberal-National parties on 39% (down 2).  The Greens continue to lead the minor parties with a 17% share of the vote (up 1), Palmer United is on 2% (down 1) and other parties are on 7% (up 1).

“On a two-party preferred basis, Labor leads the Liberal-National parties by 56%, up 2, to 44%, down 2, based on respondent preferences, that is, how respondents said they would allocate preferences.  This shows a small increase in the Labor share of the vote since the last Fairfax poll in July,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.

“Both the Victorian Premier and Opposition leader’s approval ratings fell, down seven and three points respectively.”

When preferences were distributed based on overall share of preferences in 2010[1], the result is ALP 53% ahead of the Coalition 47%.


Key findings                                                                                                                               

  • Two-party vote:  ALP 56% (up 2) lead the Liberal-National parties 44%  (down 2)
  • First preferences:  Labor 37% (up 2) , Liberal-National parties 39% (down 2)
  • Dr Napthine’s approval at 47% (down 7), disapproval at 38% (up 4), net approval at+9% (down 11)
  • Mr Andrews’ approval at 37% (down 3) , disapproval at 42% (up 6), net approval -5% (down 9)
  • Dr Napthine leads Mr Andrews as preferred Premier by 45% (down 1)  to 36%  (down 2)


Party leaders                                                                                                                             

Dr Napthine’s approval rating is 47% (down 7), and his disapproval rating is 38% (up 4).  This gives a net approval rating of +9; a fall of 11 points since July this year.

Mr Andrew’s approval rating is 37% (down 3), and his disapproval rating is 42% (up 6).  This gives a net approval rating of -5; a fall of 9 points since July this year.

Dr Napthine remains the preferred Premier for Victoria, with 45% (down 1), rather than Mr Andrews, 36% (down 2).

[Dr Napthine’s nine point lead as preferred Premier is statistically significant at the 95% confidence level.]


Best party on issues         

The top three issues considered important by voters when deciding how to vote are ‘Health & hospitals’ (24%), ‘Education’ (19%) and ‘Jobs and employment’ (18%).  ‘Managing the state’s finances’ (11%), ‘Public transport (10%), ‘Law and order’ (7%), ‘the Environment’ (6%) and ‘Roads’ (5%) are considered less important.

Issues most important to you personally in deciding who you will vote for Nov 2013 Feb 2014 July 2014 October 2014
Health & hospitals 32 26 26 24
Education 21 16 19 19
Jobs and employment NA 22 15 18
Managing the State’s finances 12 11 12 11
Public transport 12 10 8 10
Law & order 6 6 6 7
The environment 6 4 7 6
Roads 7 4 6 5


The ALP is seen as the party that is best at managing five of the eight policy areas examined – including all three of those considered most important when deciding how to vote.

Victorian voters perceive Labor as the party best able to manage; ‘Education’ (56%), ‘Health and hospitals’ (53%), ‘Jobs and employment’ (48%), ‘the Environment’ (56%) and ‘Public Transport’ (49%).

Voters perceive the Coalition as the party best able to ‘Manage the State’s finances’ (56%), ‘Roads’ (50%), and ‘Law and order’ (50%).

Issue Rank Best party for managing… % saying this issue is most important Best party to manage issue %*
1 Health & hospitals 24 53 33
2 Education 19 56 32
3 Jobs and employment 18 48 38
4 Managing the State’s finances 11 29 56
5 Public transport 10 49 37
6 Law & order 7 34 50
7 The environment 6 56 28
8 Roads 5 36 50

* Best party figures in bold indicate that the party has a statistically significant lead over the alternate party



Q.1a    If a Victorian State Election were held today, which party would receive your first preference vote?

Q.1b    [IF UNDECIDED] Which party do you have a leaning towards at present?

Q.1c     [IF MINOR PARTY SUPPORT] At the State Election you will be required to vote for all candidates in your electorate in order of preference. Given this, will you give a higher preference to the Labor Party candidate or the Liberal/National Party candidate?

Q.2      How strongly do you approve or disapprove of the performance of Dr Napthine as Premier? Do you strongly approve, approve, disapprove or strongly disapprove of his performance?

Q.3      How strongly do you approve or disapprove of the performance of Mr Andrews as Opposition Leader? Do you strongly approve, approve, disapprove or strongly disapprove of his performance? 

Q.4      Who is your preferred Premier – Dr Napthine or Mr Andrews?


Q.5      I am now going to read out a list of issues. Please tell me which of these issues is most important to you personally in deciding who you will vote for at the next Victorian election?

            Health & hospitals


            Law & order

            Public transport


            Managing the State’s finances

            Jobs and employment

            The environment

Q.6      And now for each of these issues, can you please tell me which party do you think would be best for managing that issue, the Labor or the LiberalNational Coalition?

Poll Profile


Fieldwork dates:            23-26 October 2014

Sample size:                  1,401 respondents

Sample:                         Victoria, aged 18+.  22% of sample comprised mobile phone numbers.

Method:                         Telephone, using random digit dialling.

Statistical reliability:     ±2.6% is the maximum margin of sampling error that might apply to this sample

Analysis:                       The data has been weighted by age, gender and location (metro/non-metro) to reflect the population distribution


[1] ‘Overall’ share means that preferences are distributed based on the total share of preferences attained by the major parties in 2010.  Differences between minor parties flows are not take into account (e.g. Green preferences tend to favour Labor more than other parties and candidates, so theoretically an increased Green vote should give Labor an increased share of preferences, all other things being equal).