Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Labor reduced majority possible hung parliament

LABOR will lose at least seven seats, but is likely to hold power following Saturday's Victorian election, a new poll suggests.

The poll, conducted by JWS Research and published on the Herald Sun website, says Labor is likely to lose the Melbourne seats of Mount Waverley, Mitcham, Forest Hill, Mordialloc and Burwood to the Liberals, along with the Geelong seat of South Barwon.

The Greens are likely to win the inner suburban seat of Brunswick, and have an even chance with Labor of winning the seats of Melbourne and Richmond, held by cabinet ministers Bronwyn Pike and Richard Wynne respectively.

Labor and Liberal are lineball in the inner southeastern seat of Prahran, while the Nationals are expected to pick up East Gippsland from independent MP Craig Ingram, who has held the seat since 1999, the poll says.

But Labor is likely to hold crucial seats including Gembrook, Bentleigh and Frankston, in Melbourne's southeast, and the regional seats of Bendigo East, Ballarat East, Ballarat West and Ripon.

"If these results hold up at Saturday's election, it may still allow Labor to form majority government and for John Brumby to be elected in his own right as premier," JWS Research managing director John Scales told the Herald Sun.

"But on this polling Labor's lead has been reduced to such a small number of seats that Ted Baillieu and the Liberals could yet snatch an unlikely victory or the Greens could once again be the king-makers."

The poll says Premier John Brumby leads Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu as preferred premier by 36 per cent to 32 per cent.

Forty-six per cent of those polled expect Labor to win the election, 25 per cent back the coalition, 21 per cent say the result is too close to call, and eight per cent is undecided.

The poll sampled 9218 voters in a range of targeted seats by automated telephone survey between Saturday and Monday.

The sample size in each seat ranged between 222 and 580 voters.

Meanwhile, a poll conducted by Roy Morgan Research suggests Labor leads the coalition 52.5 to 47.5 on a two-party preferred basis, extending its lead from 52 to 48 a month ago.

But in the inner suburban seats of Melbourne, Richmond, Brunswick and Northcote, the Morgan poll found the Greens had a 54-46 lead over Labor.

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