DESPITE overwhelming polling data showing Labor is ahead in the election race, regional Victoria seems to be siding with the Coalition.
Fairfax Media’s Ipsos poll revealed Labor had formed a strong 56 per cent majority on a two-party preferred basis.
However, the polling also showed that outside of Melbourne the race was at a 50 per cent deadlock between the two parties.
While figures are not available for Ballarat specifically, it shows just how tight the election race has become in regional areas and goes some way to explaining the attention both Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews and Premier Denis Napthine are paying on the areas.
This week alone both parties have spent large amounts of time in the Ballarat region hoping to seal up the crucial seats of Wendouree, Buninyong and Ripon, which are seen
as being keys to whoever forms government after the election.
Ipsos managing director Mark Davis said the polling had occurred over the most recent weekend.
“The way that the sample is drawn is proportionate to the population of the state on metro and non-metro grounds,” he said.
“We draw a sample that will cover the rest of Victoria and the total number of interviews are appropriate to the number of residents in that area.”
While it is expected polling results will even up closer to election, Labor appears to have succeeded in selling its education, health and jobs platforms with the party clearly ahead as the best party to manage these portfolios.
Interestingly, Dr Napthine is still the preferred premier with 47 per cent of the vote outside of Melbourne compared to 37 per cent for Mr Andrews.
There was also a lower percentage of residents outside Melbourne who were yet to decide on their preferred premier with only 13 per cent undecided compared to 15 per cent in Melbourne.