Newspoll indicating a 54–46 two-party-preferred lead for Labor less than four weeks before the Victorian election is obviously bad news for the Liberal–National opposition. Other recent polling has told a similar story of steady or increased support for Labor since the last election, suggesting that opposition leader Matthew Guy lacks the momentum needed to win office on 24 November.
Indeed, given that Labor secured a 52 per cent two-party vote in 2014, the movement appears to be in the opposite direction. The respected election-watcher William Bowe has averaged Labor’s current two-party-preferred vote at 53.3 per cent, though that swing, if uniform, would secure the party only one additional seat.
So is this election likely to be less competitive than the close state contests of 2010 and 2014? Some caution is necessary, for three reasons.