Newspoll: 50-50 in NSW

Newspoll has released its first New South Wales state poll since the March 2007 election. The poll was half conducted before the Wollongong City Council scandal broke, and half after. It shows the two parties locked together at 50-50 on two-party preferred, with the Coalition on 39 per cent of the primary vote and Labor on a dismal 34 per cent. The two-party figure might be subject to the Labor bias which Peter Brent at Mumble noted in respect to last week’s ACNielsen poll. Newspoll has Morris Iemma’s approval rating down to 32 per cent from 47 per cent at the time of the election, which is very close to ACNielsen’s 52 per cent to 34 per cent. The Australian’s article hints intriguingly at a five-point turnaround on preferred premier after the Wollongong story broke, but says nothing about voting intention. The Australian’s graphic possibly has more, but my browser crashes when I try to open it (UPDATE: No, I wasn’t really missing anything).

Also from Newspoll today are comprehensive figures on perceptions of the two party leaders, which show Kevin Rudd wiping the floor with Brendan Nelson on every measure.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

121 comments on “Newspoll: 50-50 in NSW”

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  1. Isn’t it amazing that Rudd is so far ahead in the ‘economy’ category. Reading what the Liberal supporters on this blog have been saying, this is a huge rejection of their wishful thinking.

  2. Extraordinary result for Labor on the economy and National Security. As Labor pretty much owns every other conceivable issue, Health, Education, Environment, I.R, What possible reason do people have for voting for the Coalition? There was only 2, now Labor owns them aswell

  3. Do you know what the Greens primary was? With the majors only polling 73% between them I’d expect it to be at the top of the range.

  4. Was the Liberal good for the economy, we have had the lowest unemployement rate in 50 years, and inflation is only 3%, this is not match by anywhere in the world except sweden. And the majority of the inflation is cause by India, China and US’s consumption of Petrol, which drive up prices of all other good.

    Have the Liberal done a good job, definitely, and why does the public think Labor is superior now, because Costello is no longer there

    Will inflation reduce under Labor, definitely the RBA has make sure of it, and making it harder for employer to sack employee will led to more unemployment and less pressure on inflation.

    If you have a primary vote of 32%, under a optional voting system, the 2 parties prefer is meaningless. A 32% vote will probably mean the greens pick up 2 seats too

  5. The Australian always underestimate the Green Vote, there seems to be a real attempt to not even mention them. When you consider that every State Labor Governemnt as well as the Rudd Government have been elected on Greens Preferences, and that the Green vote in has steadily increased in every election for the last ten years, where is the credibility of this type of poll.
    The bias we saw in the last election was a disgrace, they and their neo-con friends need to get out more. They spend to much time bunkered down in Mens Clubs and seem stunned that they are in opposition literally everywhere.

  6. 8 Glen – LOL, very good. It’s great you can maintain a sense of humour with these figures glaring at you.
    As far as NSW is concerned, they’re 3 years from an election. Plenty of time to swing things around. Plenty of time for the Liberal opposition to mess up.

  7. The incredible thing about this polling is that 41% were not even aware of the Wollongong allegations and of those 59% who were aware 33% said it would make no difference as to who they’d vote for. Once all of this dies down, as it will, the focus will change and my tip is that the government will be leading in the polls again by the end of this year.

  8. Hey Glen, good news in The Australian – “THE Reserve Bank believes inflation may almost be under control and that yesterday’s interest rate rise could be the final blow in a series of 12 consecutive increases that have pushed rates to their highest level in 12 years.”
    Come on Glen you must be happy about this or are you?

  9. I think its pretty hard to argue the case why either party deserves to govern NSW so I’d say 50-50 is pretty fair. If there was the possibility of a huge renewal of the ALP it’d make things a lot easier but they’re certainly looking stale. It’s simply impossible to think of the Libs as anything more than a joke in New South Wales. I don’t even know who any of them are apart from Mr O’Farrell.

    On the Federal side, the poll results are to be expected. The Liberal Party are languishing, without any real direction and the ALP are so far making all the right noises (which is all they can be expected to have done).

    Picking up on a somewhat unrelated thread, in regard to Mr Pyne’s suggestion of a ‘grass roots’ membership vote for Liberal Party leadership votes. I have to say I think this is a useless suggestion for a number of reasons:

    1) It will not allow fast transitions between leaders, a vote for leadership would take a while, because it would require a length of time for the vote to be announced and to give all members the chance to vote. This would leave the leadership speculation going for far too long.

    2) The leader of the party ought to be supported by the majority (and preferably vast majority) of the parliamentary members, as they are the ones who need to stand up and support the leadership decisions made. For this reason, the parliamentary membership should decide the leadership.

    3) I don’t think there’s any less likelihood for ‘grass roots’ membership votes to be any less dominated by party factions and internal bickering, furthermore offering the vote to regular members may leave a portion of members feeling disenfranchised.

    To finish of a huge post (sorry Mr Bowe) I believe the Labor party candidates were finalised for the ACT election yesterday. It may be of interest to some people to have a look at that.

  10. The good news for the ALP in NSW is that things can’t possibly get any worse. There is plenty of time for the Opposition to slip up and for the electorate to conclude that Iemma & Co are the lesser of two evils.

    Federally though, the Liberals need to get ownership of an issue, stat. It doesn’t matter what issue, they just need to get something, anything, to beat Labor over the head with. I don’t see it happening anytime soon though.

  11. Glen

    If its a rogue Newspoll, why don’t you convince all the reluctant backbenchers to retire, call the by elections, and test the mood of the electorate in the one trully reliable way? Mark Vaille and Lord D would rather be playing golf anyway. I’m sure Labor could rustle up some candidates.

    Seriously, the collapse in the rating by policy area is exactly what I was suspecting – there has been a dramatic collapse of confidence in the coalition, even in their previous “core” areas of economy and defence. On the economy, only 17% of voters now have confidence in them, including only a minority (40%) of coalition voters!


    I’m not sure if you are joking, but inflation is now closer to 4% than 3% (3.75%) and is in the highest quarter of rates in the OECD. Howard did not do well fighting inflation. Growth and unemployment maybe, but not inflation.

  12. 14 Craig, they have picked their issue. Liberals don’t believe in working Friday mornings and they are prepared to die in the trenches for the cause.

  13. Glen – add the issues up, not pick them apart- I’m going to keep saying it until you get it.
    Rudd was working on the Friday on the aboriginal housing problem by getting a local perspective in QLD. Regardless, neither he, not any of the MP’s who attempted to impersonate penis’ in the chamber were required to be there.
    Stop bringing half the argument to the table and acting so proud of yourself.
    Whe you keep dealing with the issues so simplistically, it really only leads the rest of your fellow poster to one conclusion.
    Grow up and think for yourself.

  14. Rudd was on a scripted (by his PR team) media good news story visit, hypocritical considering he’s going to drop our successful NT intervention policy.

  15. Further to the member for Dubai’s work outside Canberra, if Vaille did pull the pin, how safe is his seat, and is there any prospect of a Tony Windsor/Peter Andren style independant candidate?

  16. What are you jealous of Glen – the substance or the style?
    What is your reasoned alternative position with enough political capital so as to be capable of being implemented?
    We know politicians are hypocrits – we had this discussion last night – do you need me to quote it? You getting upset about it isn’t going to change anything.
    Again – it’s politics Glen – not chequers.
    Bring a thought with you, and we’ll have a starting point.

  17. 17 glen, frontbenchers for the Opposition don’t have to be there on Friday mornings either. Put the dummy back in your mouth and try to encourage your representatives to behave a bit better at the next Friday sittings. I actually don’t mind if they want to behave like fools but expect further losses in the polling if they want to carry on in this manner. The Australian voter is a lot less tolerant of political disunity than I am.

  18. 19 [he’s going to drop our successful NT intervention policy.]

    I’d encourage Rudd to drop every coalition policy and he probably will. The policies were so good the Tories lost the last election, totally rejected by the Australian voters.

  19. “he’s going to drop our successful NT intervention policy.” Your arguments Glen are not enhanced by exaggeration. onimod is so on the money here re your debating skills.

  20. Some perspective for our ALP diehards / Rudd worshipers:

    In NSW, the past year has seen Labor’s primary vote fall 5% and the Coalition’s rise 2%. That’s a 7% turnaround since the March 2007 election.

    While state governments are generally hard to dislodge (Labor has been in power since 1995 in NSW) a 5% fall in the government’s vote over 1 year is very significant. That, coupled with the fact that by 2011 they will have been in power for 15 years means it’s safe to say that they will most likely not regain any support from a disenchanted and tired electorate.

    I’d put money on a NSW-ALP electoral collapse by 2011.

  21. This in The Australian re the Seasprite helicopter project:
    “Opposition defence spokesman Nick Minchin took the unusual step today of revealing then defence minister Brendan Nelson was “particularly concerned’’ about the project and recommended to the National Security Committee of Cabinet last year that it be axed.
    He said the opposition accepted the government’s decision to axe the project but said key questions remained. He said the ill-fated project had been the initiative of the Keating Government, a project the Howard government had inherited.”
    Just one question if they inherited this project from Keating and they had reservations about it why in 11 1/2 years in government didn’t they cancel it. Something’s smelly here.

    As for A-C – I’m still not convinced. What goes down can come up again. In that year you speak of everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. There is still plenty of time to get it right and still plenty of time for the Libs to get it wrong. You’re making one mistake A-C, you’re judging the result of the next election on what is happening now, not what is happening then (understandably).

  22. I sense the emergence of a cunning and comprehensive coalition policy for reelection, just wait 10 plus years and the voters will put them back in. Visionary.

  23. 30 FTP
    I can’t remember exactly the Micalef line from last week re: the “cunning 1960’s CIA plan to defeat Castro by forcing him to retire when he becomes old and frail…”
    (delivered much better than I can here)
    It might just work…..and it saves having to work for it in the meantime.

  24. #7
    Follow the Preferences,
    Don’t mention the Greens, the “2PP Club” will get very nervous, and try to change the subject or start spitting untruths about the commi/terrorists lurking under the bed.
    By all indications (Labour down 5%, Coalition up 2%),
    the Greens are up 3% on their primary vote, or an increase of approximately 30% in their vote.
    Now there’s a story, you would think a half decent reporter would be allowed to report on—apparantly not.
    The “2PP Club” and neo-con cheer squad are so busy looking under the bed, they can’t see the elephant in the room.

  25. #20

    The current independent state MP for Port Macquarie Rob Oakeshott immediately comes to mind if there was to be a high profile indepedent candidate in Vailes seat, should he retire. Rob is very well liked (going by the last state election results) and he would surely give the Nationals candidate a good run for his money.

  26. I think it’s funny how being elected PM has magically transformed Rudd’s ability to handle the economy as far as the polls are concerned. Suddenly, they change positions in the House, and it’s almost as if Rudd is now infinitely superior to anyone in the Coalition.

    Maybe the analysis here is as shallow as: “Hey! He must know what he’s doing – he’s Prime Minister!”

    Personally, I don’t think anyone really knows how to handle the economy. Not even the economists. The reason they call it “the dismal science” is because it’s not even a science at all.

  27. When will the Green Wallies realise that we have a preference system. Oh gee Labor was elected on Green preferences.

    Labor would have been elected no matter what system we have. The Greens only exist because we have preferences.

    How long before one of the bored ex ministers starts an avalance and decides to quit? It will only take one – the rest will follow. Maybe the same day Fran has to go to the polls again.

    Liberal wallies don’t get too excited about NSW there will be a Federal election before a NSW one.

  28. #35 is tight on the money. I reckon the seat is Oakeshott’s if he wants it and there’s a byelection, especially now that Vaile has damaged the brand in such an incredibly thoughtless way. I know the State seat is a lot smaller than the Federal, but Oakeshott is astoundingly popular in Port. I’m sure (Federal) Labor would love to see that happen too, so they would do anything they could to help Oakeshott. Trouble is, I’m sure the Nats know all this, so there will be quite some pressure on Vaile not to go. In that case, will money trump party loyalty? Knowing the Nats, I guess Vaile goes for the cash.

  29. Wayne Swan at it again- oh please, please Banks show some restraint on rates… yep stop it or i will spank you. What next.
    Words mean nothing Wayne.
    We are slowly heading to a recession and both parties have caused it.

  30. Wayne Swan has emerged, predictably, as an economic imbecile. The only policy of his I actually like is his proposal to ease the barriers to changing banks.

    Otherwise, his tomfoolery on inflation is stupid.

  31. GP,

    Please don’t go back in to your old abusive assertion method of contribution. Give us some reasoned arguments for your unfashionable views.

  32. Generic it is called spin and currently the Labor Party is full of it, what spin will they give when more people will be living in caravans or on the streets because of interest rates, what spin we head into a recession,
    as i said yesterday how many of our politicians have investments in the housing market meaning how many are playing the negative gearing game?
    Wayne Swan is trying to show compassion but doing nothing and spinning a few words has nothing to do with compassion.
    Our politicians care little for battling people today, instead it is all about the markets and the wealthy- simple.

  33. No 43

    Just yesterday Swan claimed that Turnbull’s assertion that there is currently a two-speed economy was “silly”. The reality is that QLD and WA are resource rich and hence are fuelling inflation at a higher rate than SA, NSW and VIC. This is a matter of fact, not a “silly” delusion as Mr Swan would have it be.

  34. I live in Victoria and can assure you that petrol prices, food prices and interest rates are going up here. I don’t imagine it is any faster/slower than anywhere else.

  35. No 46

    That wasn’t my point. Economic growth is disparate around Australia, focussed mainly in QLD and WA. Petrol prices and groceries aren’t the only determinants of inflation.

  36. GP we may have a situation of recessed economies in South Eastern Australia and booming economies in Queensland and Western Australia, nonetheless after the olympics such boom may ease as China may not need our raw materials as much.
    May be we could do something with them ourselves or are we stupid- i guessed it yep we are better letting other countries use our goods to make things so we can buy them.
    How crazy.

  37. No 49

    Oh dear Gary. What did you expect? That the Coalition magically discover rich deposits of resources in the South East?

    Honestly Gaz, try a different customer.

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