In its first Morgan Poll, the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) has outpolled Labor in South Australia, according to the latest figures released on Monday.
Having recently announced it would be standing candidates in eight of the 11 South Australian lower house seats, NXT polled 22.5 per cent of votes, putting it ahead of Labor (21.5 per cent) by one per cent.
However, both still trail the Liberal-National Party by a significant margin (31.5 per cent).
It is the second time that NXT has beaten Labor; in the 2013 federal election Senator Nick Xenophon received 24.9 per cent of the vote compared to the ALP’s 22.7 per cent in the South Australia Senate election.
Executive chairman of Roy Morgan, Gary Morgan, said Labor should be concerned about the poll.
“Today’s Morgan Poll shows the biggest victim of the new party – the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) could well be the ALP,” Mr Morgan said.
“In South Australia NXT is outpolling the ALP – repeating its performance at the 2013 federal election when Senator Xenophon received more Senate votes in South Australia than the ALP.
“The ALP currently holds five of the 11 lower house seats in South Australia, while the Liberal Party holds the other six South Australian seats.”
Earlier in January, the NXT candidate for the NSW seat of Warringah told The New Daily about her party’s ambition for the 2016 election.
Marie Rowland faces a mammoth task against former Prime Minister Tony Abbott – who announced on Sunday night that he would recontest the seat – however this has not dented the NXT’s spirit.
“Yes the Liberals feel like a dominating force, but I do think if we look at Australia as a whole, the current member for Warringah (Mr Abbott) lost the faith of the people,” Ms Rowland said.
“That can definitely be reflected as far as Warringah is concerned … I wouldn’t be in it if I wasn’t trying to win it.”
This optimism is indicative of the motivation that led Mr Xenophon to contest the House of Representatives in South Australia so fiercely.
Overall, the Coalition’s support fell 1 per cent to 55 per cent on the two-party-preferred vote while Labor’s increased by the same margin to 45 per cent.
Primary support for the Coalition also fell by 3.5 per cent (43.5) while Labor was down 1 per cent (28 per cent).
The poll was conducted on the weekends beginning January 16 and 23, with a sample of 3247 Australian electors.
Political debate in Australia over the period focused on the government’s tax reform plans, including the GST and also Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull’s visit to the United States and Iraq.
Clive Palmer on the way out?
Embattled mining-magnate-turned-MP Clive Palmer has been delivered a massive blow ahead of re-contesting his Queensland seat at the 2016 election.
Mr Palmer’s primary vote support in his Sunshine Coast electorate has fallen to 2 per cent, a 24.5 per cent drop from the vote that saw him win the seat in 2013.
“There’s no reason why I wouldn’t run. There are a lot of people in the electorate that have given me a lot of support,” he told ABC radio on Monday.
“You don’t just run because you think you have to be guaranteed to win. Democracy is about choice.”
The Galaxy poll of 506 Fairfax voters showed 83 per cent were dissatisfied with him.
The poll was taken in the days after Mr Palmer’s Queensland Nickel laid off 237 workers at a plant near Townsville.
His company had donated more that $20 million to the Palmer United Party, however Queensland Nickel is now in administration.