SA Polls: Boothby, Sturt Contests Heat Up as Voters Back Protecting Great Australian Bight

Post-Budget surveys in the South Australian federal electorates of Boothby and Sturt have shown both seats could be in play at the upcoming election, with a mixed reaction to the Budget and a strong desire for protecting the Great Australian Bight recorded by voters.

Key results, Boothby:

  • 2PP: Labor Party 57%, Liberal Party 43%.
  • Four out of 10 voters in Boothby (43%) believe they will personally benefit because of the Budget.
    • 42% disagree.
  • Three in 10 (32%) believe the state’s economy will be better off because of the Budget.
    • 49% disagree.
  • Three out of four voters in Boothby want to see drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight banned (75%) and for the area to be given World Heritage protection (76%).
  • Eight in 10 Boothby voters (82%) would be more likely to vote for a candidate who advocates strongly for South Australia receiving its full 450 GL entitlement under the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Key results, Sturt:

  • 2pp: Labor Party 52%, Liberal Party 48%.
  • Four out of 10 voters in Sturt (42%) believe they will personally benefit because of the Budget.
    • 43% disagree.
  • Three in 10 (32%) believe the state’s economy will be better off because of the Budget.
    • 44% disagree.
  • Seven out of 10 voters in Sturt want to see drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight banned (68%) and for the area to be given World Heritage protection (72%).
  • Three in four Sturt voters (76%) would be more likely to vote for a candidate who advocates strongly for South Australia receiving its full 450 GL entitlement under the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

“If the Morrison Government had been hoping for a post-Budget poll bounce to help their chances in these key South Australian seats, they may be disappointed,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, SA Director at independent think tank The Australia Institute.

“While South Australian voters were split about the budget’s impact on their personal financial position, many thought the state’s economy was not a big winner on Budget night.

“There is strong support across the political spectrum for a greater level of protection for the Great Australian Bight. Three out of four voters in Boothby want to see drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight banned and for the area to be given World Heritage protection. The same is true for more than two thirds of voters in Sturt.

“When it comes to the Murray Darling Basin Plan, candidates that insist South Australia should receive its full environmental entitlements are also likely to gain strong support in these key electorates.

“Normally South Australia is not considered a battleground state at Federal Elections, due to a lack of marginal lower house seats. However, our research shows that there could be at least two electorates in play this time around.

“The federal election is still more than a month away and a lot can change in that time. This research does tell us, though, that the Coalition has ground to make up in South Australia.”

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