There are just days to go before voters make their way to the polls for the Super Saturday of by-elections, but according to the latest figures Labor look set to suffer a spectacular defeat.
A poll carried out by YouGov Galaxy for The Daily Telegraph revealed the Opposition look set to lose the seat of Longman to the coalition, by 51 to 49 per cent, which would mark a humiliating loss for Bill Shorten’s party, the likes of which has not been seen for a century.
The Opposition has not lost a seat at a by-election to the federal government in an astonishing 98-years, since the Nationalist party, under the leadership of Prime Minister Billy Hughes, took the seat of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, from Labor in 1920.
According to the figures, the Liberal National Party is expected to steal the Queensland seat of Longman from Labor on Saturday. The seat became available after Labor’s Susan Lamb resigned for failing to renounce her British citizenship.
The results also revealed that Labor’s chances would be more positive if frontbencher Anthony Albanese took charge of the party, as the poll revealed that they would easily win both marginal seats, of Braddon and Longman, if the Shadow Minister for Transport was at the helm of the party.
Albanese’s popularity would add six points to Labor’s primary vote in Longman, taking it to 43 per cent, compared to just 37 per cent under Shorten, while Albanese’s charge would add an extra four points in Braddon, to 44 per cent. On a two-party-preferred basis, Labor would decisively win Longman 53-47 under Albanese. However, the opposition is currently lagging behind the LNP, under Shorten, at 49-51.
These results back up the findings of a recent Newspoll which showed that the majority of voters would prefer to see Albanese take the party reins, as he secured 26 per cent of the vote, while Shorten and deputy leader Tanya Plibersek tied in second place on 23 per cent.
At the time Albanese brushed off his personal victory and described himself as a “team player”. He said: “I’m concerned about the team, I’m a team player. Every member of Labor’s team is playing their role and we only have one priority which is to get rid of this rotten government. This government that doesn’t have an agenda for the nation.”
Five by-elections will take place on Saturday and, while Longman looks likely to fall to the coalition, the race is still tight between the two parties in Braddon at 50-50 two-party preferred.
The South Australian seat of Mayo is predicted to go back to Centre Alliance candidate Rebekha Sharkie, whose primary vote is sitting at 47 per cent, and Labor are expected to retain the West Australian seats of Fremantle and Perth.