03/09/2008 - 22:00

Nationals, Greens in the mix

03/09/2008 - 22:00

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Opinion polls have always been a very rough guide to election outcomes, and this weekend's state election is likely to be no exception.

Nationals, Greens in the mix

Opinion polls have always been a very rough guide to election outcomes, and this weekend's state election is likely to be no exception.

The Sunday Times's Galaxy poll released last weekend indicated there could be a hung parliament after the election, with neither Labor nor the Liberals able to govern in their own right.

It showed Labor attracting 39 per cent of the primary vote and the Liberals attracting 41 per cent.

On a two-party preferred basis, after distributing preferences from the minor parties, the result was 51-49 in favour of Liberals.

The Galaxy poll showed the Greens attracting 9 per cent of the vote while the Nationals gained 5 per cent.

The crucial difference between these parties is that the Greens vote will be spread across the state, whereas the Nationals vote will be concentrated in rural electorates.

This could enable the Nationals to increase their representation in the next parliament, possibly giving them the balance of power.

On the preferred premier stakes, the Galaxy poll gave Mr Carpenter 46 per cent ahead of Mr Barnett's 37 per cent - a much smaller lead than Mr Carpenter enjoyed over previous Liberal leaders.

In contrast, The West Australian's Westpoll, published last Saturday, concluded that Labor would win in a landslide.

It gave Labor 42 per cent of the primary vote compared with the Liberals 35 per cent.

On a two-party preferred basis, the result was 54-46 in favour of Labor.

The third major opinion poll, The Australian's Newspoll, has not been published since mid August. At that time it showed a very tight race.

A fourth poll does not have the professional ranking of the others but is considered a useful guide.

The Miss Maud Coffee Bean Poll involves customers dropping coffee beans into beakers outside each of the chain's 17 coffee houses to express their voting intentions.

More than 25,000 customers have cast their votes and the result suggests a tight race, with Labor gaining 33 per cent and the Liberals 34 per cent.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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