Dan Andrews is predicted to secure a third term as Victoria’s Premier despite a swing against the Labor party, according to a new poll.
The Newspoll release suggests the Labor government will retain 45 to 50 of its 55 seats in the 88-seat parliament. The two party-preferred poll puts Labor at 54.5 to 45.5.
If the poll is accurate, it will mean a 2.8 per cent swing against Labor since 2018 – but it would also mean a slim majority for Mr Andrews.
Dan Andrews is predicted to secure a third term as Victoria’s Premier according to a new poll
On Friday, Mr Andrews and Liberal Leader Matthew Guy made their final pitches to undecided voters as Victorians head to the polls for the state election
Labor’s primary vote is at 38 per cent with Matthew Guy’s Coalition at 35 per cent. The Greens trail on 12 per cent, and independents are at 15 per cent, according to the poll, conducted for the Australian.
It bodes well for Mr Andrews, who has faced intense scrutiny over his time in office and handling of the Covid pandemic.
There have even been suggestions he could be driven from government by his own constituents as voters in the traditional Labor stronghold turn out in force to support his independent rival.
Independent Ian Cook was treated to royal-like status on Thursday as early voters in the Victorian Premier’s traditionally safe seat of Mulgrave arrived to vote.
Situated just across the highway from Mr Andrews’ electoral office, Daily Mail Australia attended the Mulgrave district early voting centre, southeast of Melbourne’s CBD, to conduct its own mini-poll of the masses.
The results indicated a dire outlook for the Premier’s chances of retaining his seat, with not a single person questioned by Daily Mail Australia indicating they would vote for Mr Andrews.
The Premier himself wasn’t willing to front up to his constituency voters, dropping his own ballot off early in a different electorate in the city instead – saying he was ‘busy’ on Saturday.
Mr Andrews shared a picture of him voting early in the Melbourne CBD on Thursday.
On Friday, Mr Andrews and Mr Guy made their final pitches to undecided voters as Victorians head to the polls for the state election.
The premier focused on Labor’s promises to bring back state-owned energy and make kinder free, while Mr Guy shone a spotlight on the coalition’s plans to fix the health system and ease cost-of-living pressures.
Neither could resist taking a last swipe at each other as the curtains closed on an at-times ugly campaign.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews as he appeared during Victoria’s six lockdowns
‘Let’s build projects, let’s not cancel them,’ Mr Andrews told reporters on Friday.
‘All those jobs, those skills, all that renewable energy and that downward pressure on bills will only happen if our Labor government is re-elected.’
Mr Andrews saved his final campaign visit for the seat of Northcote, held by Labor on a 1.7 per cent margin but one of several inner-Melbourne electorates under threat from the Greens.
He unveiled 11th-hour election sweeteners to invest $116m in building six tech schools and a $24 million boost for kindergartens.
In his second attempt to snatch the top job from Mr Andrews after the 2018 ‘Danslide’, Mr Guy said the state needed a change of direction.
‘My opponent he has been out all week… Apparently, I’m responsible for everything that’s occurred, that’s gone in the world in the last 20 years,’ he told reporters while making a tourism announcement at Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill.
Before the Newspoll release, latest polling indicated Labor could lose between eight and 12 seats, potentially forcing it into minority government.
Veteran election analyst Malcolm Mackerras previously predicted Labor will lose a net 12 seats at the November 26 election (electorate maps in metropolitan area pictured to reflect predictions)
Labor could also potentially lose the sea change seat of South Barwon, near Geelong, along with the Mornington Peninsula seat of Nepean as the safe Labor seat of Melton in Melbourne’s outer west goes to an independent
Needing to pick up 18 seats to form government outright, Mr Guy was upbeat about causing a boilover and proving the naysayers wrong.
‘It’s easy, with respect, for those not in politics to think that can’t be done. But I can tell you it can,’ he said.
The would-be premier wasn’t entertaining questions about staying on as Liberal leader in the event of another loss and stood by shadow treasurer David Davis.
Mr Davis did not initially supply a total estimate for the coalition’s election policy costings but Mr Guy guaranteed he would serve as treasurer if the coalition was elected.
Almost two million Victorians of 4.4 million enrolled voted early, with the Victorian Electoral Commission warning it could delay results on election night.
Those votes will be counted across 155 early centres, while the rest will be counted at 1700 election-day sites.
The commission is aiming to count 75 per cent of votes over the weekend, with absentee votes to be tallied next week.
About 600,000 postal votes have been sent out but only 270,000 returned so far ahead of Saturday’s 6pm mailing deadline.