Roy Morgan Research
May 23, 2023

Support for the Andrews Government up since the Victorian Election; Pesutto’s handling of Moira Deeming had a negative impact on his job approval as leader

Topic: Morgan Poll Review, Press Release, Public Opinion, State Poll
Finding No: 9218
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Support for the ALP Government of Daniel Andrews in Victoria increased to 61.5% (up 6.5% points since the 2022 Victorian State Election) and is now further ahead of the L-NP Coalition on 38.5% (down 6.5% points) on a two-party preferred basis, according to a Roy Morgan Snap SMS Poll conducted from May 17-22, 2023, with a Victoria-wide cross-section of 2,095 Victorian electors aged 18+.

The Roy Morgan Snap SMS Poll shows a swing of 6.5% points to the ALP on the eve of tonight’s Victorian State Budget – the first since last year’s State Election.

Primary voting intention for the ALP is up significantly at the expense of the Liberals

Primary vote support for the ALP has increased significantly since the Victorian State Election, up 5.3% points to 42%. In contrast, support for the Liberal-National Coalition is down 6% points to 28.5%.

Support for the Greens is up 1% point to 12.5% while support for other minor parties and independents attracts 17% of the vote, almost unchanged from last year’s State Election (down 0.3% points).

Among the minor parties support for Legalise Cannabis – who are now the fifth largest party in the Victorian Parliament behind the ALP, Liberals, Nationals and Greens, attract 1.5% support, up 1.3% points since the Victorian State Election equal with the Animal Justice Party on 1.5% (down 1% point).

There are 9% of Victorian electors who support Independents (including ‘Teal Independents’), up 3.4% points since the election and a further 5% who support other parties (down 4% points).

Andrews is preferred nearly 2:1 over Opposition Leader John Pesutto as ‘Better Premier’ although approval for Premier Daniel Andrews is down since November

Electors were then asked “Thinking of Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader John Pesutto. In your opinion, who would make the ‘Better Premier’?”

Premier Daniel Andrews has a large lead over Opposition Leader John Pesutto as the preferred Premier in the first head-to-head poll Roy Morgan has conducted between the two leaders.

Now 64% of electors say Premier Daniel Andrews would make the ‘Better Premier’ compared to only 36% who say John Pesutto – a margin of 28% points in favour of the Premier.

Analysis by gender shows 68% of women preferring Premier Daniel Andrews as ‘Better Premier’ compared to only 32% supporting John Pesutto while for men it is a narrower result with 60% preferring Daniel Andrews compared to 40% supporting John Pesutto.

However, despite a big lead on ‘Better Premier’ there has been a drop in the job approval for Premier Daniel Andrews. Now 52.5% (down 5% points since November) of Victorian electors approve of the way Premier Daniel Andrews is handling his job, while 47.5% (up 5% points) disapprove.

In contrast, a majority of 53.5% of Victorian electors disapprove of the job Liberal Leader John Pesutto is doing and only a minority of 46.5% approve.

IBAC Report is a driver of Premier Daniel Andrews’ rising disapproval while Liberal Leader John Pesutto’s decision to expel Liberal MP Moira Deeming has hit his approval ratings

Electors were also asked why they disapproved, or approved, of the job performance of Premier Daniel Andrews and Liberal Leader John Pesutto.

For Premier Daniel Andrews there were many respondents who raised allegations of corruption against the Premier and the content of the IBAC (Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission) Report in which his government was heavily scrutinized and many mentioned his arrogance and being a ‘bully’.

Some examples of these comments include:

“He isn’t trustworthy. So much grey corruption involving his government and all he does is spin his way out of any accountability.”

“He is managing the state’s finances poorly, and allows ministers and staffers to interfere with the bureaucracy too often. Too much "grey area" corruption. I want a Labor government, but I think Daniel Andrews should go.”

“He’s arrogant and dismissive of real concerns, like the recent corruption report.”

“He is a full-on bully and is not responding ethically to the IBAC reports.”

“Recently he has showed he is getting too close to the dodgy line regarding the red shirts and the recent IBAC report where he said ‘that was a learning’, was not good enough. It’s time to step down Dan. I am Labor but that was the last straw. New talent needed.”

Liberal Leader John Pesutto’s decision to force the expulsion of his Liberal Party colleague Moira Deeming from the Parliamentary Liberal Party due to her attendance at a ‘Let Women Speak’ rally in mid-March, and her subsequent attempts to have Pesutto release a joint statement with her clearing her name, which led to a second, and successful, motion of expulsion have negatively impacted Pesutto’s approval ratings. Although the overwhelming majority of comments on Pesutto’s handling of Moira Deeming were negative, there was some positive feedback – mainly from non-Liberal voters.

Some examples of these comments include:

“His treatment of Moira Deeming has been disgraceful. He is a bully and wants to prevent women from speaking when we want to talk about our rights.”

“He’s not effective. And his treatment of Moira Deeming proved to everyone he’s not capable of running his own party, let alone the State of Victoria.”

“He handled the Deeming saga poorly. It seemed reactionary to protect the image of the party rather than balanced and nuanced to the competing rights issues trans/feminism and people’s right to a personal opinion.”

“He’s doing a great job in moderating the party’s views and taking some positive stances on things that I think are important especially around Deeming. He feels at times more progressive and moderate than Andrews.”

“He has only been in the position for a short period and he has been faced with the difficult position of managing Moira Deeming. I feel he gave her an option which she chose to ignore so he took the only option available.”

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says the re-elected Victorian ALP Government has hit the ground running in its third term as the opposition has descended into in-fighting rather than holding Premier Daniel Andrews and his team to account:

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“Today’s special Roy Morgan SMS Poll shows Premier Daniel Andrews and his Government riding high and well ahead of Liberal-National Coalition more interested in fighting each other.

“The ALP is now on 61.5% on a two-party preferred basis, up 6.5% points since the Victorian State Election and well ahead of the Liberal-National Coalition on 38.5% (down 6.5% points). The lead is the largest the Andrews Labor Government has held for over five years.

“Premier Daniel Andrews continues to ‘dominate’ his counterpart and retains a nearly 2:1 lead over Liberal Leader John Pesutto as ‘Better Premier’: Andrews (64%) cf. Pesutto (36%) – virtually unchanged from the lead Andrews held over former Liberal Leader Matthew Guy before last year’s Victorian State Election.

“This lead has held firm despite a dip in the personal job approval for Daniel Andrews. Now 52.5% of Victorian electors (down 5% points since November) approve of the job Andrews is doing as Premier compared to 47.5% that disapprove.

“However, Opposition Leader John Pesutto is in a far worse position. A majority of 53.5% of Victorian electors disapprove of the way Pesutto is handling his job compared to only 46.5% that approve – a net negative rating of 7% points.

“It is not hard to understand why!

“When we asked Victorian electors to explain why they disapproved of Pesutto’s performance in the job there were countless mentions of the way he has handled the situation surrounding his own MP – Moira Deeming.

“Deeming was expelled from the Parliamentary Liberal Party last week following a series of events beginning with her attendance at the ‘Let Women Speak’ rally in mid-March which was gate-crashed by uninvited neo-Nazi infiltrators. Deeming had nothing to do with the neo-Nazi infiltrators and swiftly condemned their attendance at the rally.

“Despite this attempt to distance herself from these ‘gate-crashers’, Pesutto moved ahead with a motion to expel Deeming. Although unsuccessful at first, subsequent events since then have led to the expulsion motion being carried just over a week ago in mid-May.

“However, the expulsion of Deeming has done no favours to Pesutto’s popularity or job approval with many respondents highlighting the treatment of Deeming as a reason for their disapproval. Pesutto has been labelled as a ‘bully’, ‘reactionary’, ‘ineffective’ and ‘incapable of running his own party, let alone the State of Victoria’ as well as far more non-complementary commentary regarding his handling of the issue – and a lot of this disapproval is coming from Liberal Party supporters.

“If Pesutto can’t unite the Victorian Liberal Party in Parliament, as well their supporters in the community, behind the vision he wants the party to take to the next Victorian State Election he may find himself out of a job long before Victorians vote again in over three years’ time in late 2026.”

This special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Poll was conducted with a Victoria-wide cross-section of 2,095 Victorian electors aged 18+ conducted from Wednesday May 17, 2023, to Monday May 22, 2023.

Full demographic breakdowns by Gender, Age, City/Country including Voting Intention and detailed quantitative and qualitative verbatim responses to the open-ended questions relating to how Victorians view the each of the two leaders are available on a subscription basis, contact Morgan Poll Manager Julian McCrann. By Email: By Phone: 9224 5365.

Victorian two-party preferred results 2018-2023

Source: Roy Morgan Snap SMS Poll in Sept. 2020, Nov. 11, 2021, Nov. 24, 2021, July 2, 2022, Aug. 13, 2022, Nov. 10 & Nov. 23, 2022 and May 17-18, 2023. Roy Morgan multi-mode polls in Aug., Sept. & Oct. 2022. Base: Victorian electors aged 18+.

Victorian Two-Party Preferred Voting Intention – Trends.

  Victorian Electors 18+
  2018 Vic
Aug. 2022* Sept.
Nov 9-10,
Nov 23,
2022 Vic
May 17-22,
2PP % % % % % % % %
ALP 57.3 58 60 60.5 57 55 55 61.5
L-NP 42.7 42 40 39.5 43 45 45 38.5
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

Primary Voting Intention

“If a State Election for Victoria were being held today, which party would receive your first preference?"

Victorian Primary Voting Intention – Trends.

  Victorian Electors 18+
PRIMARY 2018 Vic
Aug. 2022* Sept.
Nov 9-10,
Nov 23,
2022 Vic
May 17-22,
VOTE % % % % % % % %
ALP 42.9 36.5 42 42.5 40 38 36.7 42
L-NP 35.2 29 28 27.5 29 32.5 34.5 28.5
Greens 10.7 14 14.5 14 11.5 12.5 11.5 12.5
Total Others 11.2 20.5 15.5 16 19.5 17 17.3 17
Animal Justice Party 1.8 1 1 1 n/a n/a 2.5 1.5
Legalise Cannabis Party n/a 0.5 0.5 0.5 n/a n/a 0.2 1.5
Other Parties 3.3 13.5 7 8.5 19.5# 17# 9 5
Independents 6.1 5.5 7 6 n/a n/a 5.6 9
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

*August 2022, September 2022 and October 2022 results are from Roy Morgan surveys done throughout the months via online and telephone interviewing. Results for November 2022 & May 17-22, 2023 are from Roy Morgan Snap SMS surveys. #Includes Independents.

For further comment or more information contact:
Michele Levine 0411 129 093 or Gary Morgan 0411 129 094 or Julian McCrann 0434 361 298 or email

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2
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