Sky News’ NSW Votes 2007 program reports tomorrow’s Newspoll will have Labor ahead 54-46 (UPDATE: Actually, it’s 56.5-43.5 see update below), with Labor leading 42 per cent to 35 per cent on the primary vote). The program consisted of an extended interview with Anne Davies of the Sydney Morning Herald and Simon Benson of the Daily Telegraph. Asked for predictions, both agreed Menai was "a problem" for Labor, but Benson said he expected them to hold Miranda. Both agreed that Labor would lose Tweed to the Nationals and Newcastle to independent John Tate. Benson said the Liberals would recover Pittwater, but Davies disagreed. Davies described Manly as "touch and go".
Two more Campaign Updates to wrap up the election eve festivities:
South Coast (Liberal 1.6%): Has Labor really been silly enough to launch a late-campaign attack on the husband of Liberal member Shelley Hancock over alleged appearances in pornographic films? Such appears to have been the case after the Nine and WIN TV news showed an excerpt from one of the films on Thursday night, reportedly at the prompting of Labor "sources". However, Morris Iemma has denied all knowledge of the accusations. It should be stressed that the Hancocks say the scenes were "spliced into the movies without Mr Hancock’s knowledge or permission", and that he was "fully clothed in all the scenes from the movies, as were the actors". This matter first emerged during the 2003 campaign, when the Daily Telegraph reported that two 1990 newspaper clippings were anonymously sent to the media calling attention to "the production of pornographic films on the south coast, including the holiday resort once owned by Mrs Hancock and her husband Oswald. The Hancocks’ H-Ranch Motel, near Milton, featured in movies including Aussie Vice, Bushwhacker, Dick Tracer and True Blue". Shelley Hancock said at the time that she and her husband "vigorously denied any knowledge of the pornos and said the producer had said he was making a documentary". Nothing was said at the time of her husband’s appearance in the films.
Newcastle (Labor 15.4%): Allan Morris, the former Labor member for the federal seat of Newcastle, says Labor has "effectively given up" on candidate Jodi McKay in deciding to direct preferences to John Tate, lord mayor and independent candidate. The race had previously looked to be a three-way contest between McKay, Tate and the sitting member, Labor-turned-independent Bryce Gaudry, whose dumping as Labor candidate was loudly criticised by Morris. The field has most likely been narrowed to two after Gaudry was frozen out on preferences not only by Labor, but also by Tate. The significance of this has not been lost on punters: Tate’s odds have gone from $5 to $2.40 in the course of the campaign, while Gaudry has blown out from $2.25 to $3.10. In spite of everything, McKay is a slight favourite on $2.35.
UPDATE: I swear the display on the Sky News screen said Newspoll gave Labor an 8 per cent lead on two-party preferred, but as The Australian reveals, it’s actually 56.5-43.5. The primary vote figures are 42 per cent Labor and 35 per cent Coalition; interestingly, it is reported that "independent and minor-party candidates (excluding the Greens) enjoy 26 per cent of support in electorates outside Sydney, compared with 17.5 per cent at the 2003 election".