Newspoll: 53-47 to Coalition in NSW

The Australian reports the latest bi-monthly NSW state Newspoll shows the Labor government continuing to narrow the gap after the post-mini-budget blowout to 59-41 reported in November-December. The Coalition now leads 53-47, down from 56-44 in January-February. Labor’s primary vote has struggled up to 33 per cent, up from 26 per cent in November-December and 30 per cent in January-February, while the Coalition is down two points to 40 per cent. Beyond that we’re only told that both Nathan Rees’s and Barry O’Farrell’s dissatisfaction ratings have “spiked” – Rees’s from 42 per cent to 46 per cent. More to follow.

UPDATE: Graphic here. Rees’s approval rating is down three to 34 per cent, which is where it was in November-December. However, Barry O’Farrell’s disapproval rating (37 per cent) exceeds his approval (35 per cent) for the first time. O’Farrell has nonetheless narrowed the gap as preferred premier from 34-29 to 33-31.

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.

79 comments on “Newspoll: 53-47 to Coalition in NSW”

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  1. Mind you with a strong Public Service culture in NSW, any announcemnts by the coalition of Public Service cuts will harm any chance of a Liberal win.

  2. From looking a far 53-47 is an absolute ball tearer for NSW ALP!!!! With nearly 2 years until the election I’m tempted to take the juicy odds offered for an ALP win!!! The Tories are totally hopeless politically, it must stop I’m hurting too much from laughing at the hopless jokes the conservatives are. My God only 6 points between them mid term in NSW is an indictment on the Coalition.

  3. My god. How could Labor possibly get 46% of the 2PP?

    O’Farrell has got to go. The coalition need to get back in so that NSW Labor can finally clear out the deadwood and corruption.

  4. This is a ridiculously poor result for the Coalition given what’s happened in the last few months.

    I still think that the 2pp is slightly inflated for Labor as I think they will get less Greens preferences this time than in 2007, but even so, this is way closer than I expected.

  5. Reality check guys: if these results were replicated on election day, the Coalition would win in a landslide.

    [O’Farrell has got to go.]
    Only if they’re determined to shoot themselves in the foot. What foolish opposition would make themselves the issue at a time when they hold an election winning lead?

  6. David @ 9 I bet the ALP is encouraged and the Coalition despondent at these numbers. Yes if replicated on polling day it’s a win for the Coalition the fact it is at this point of the electoral cycle and given the prevailing view of the NSW government has got to worry the opposition

  7. The point is not that the Coalition would win on these figures but that many expect Labor to be reduced to a cricket team – and many think they deserve it as well.

    Unfortunately for us, the Coalition doesn’t deserve to win any seats either.

  8. [It’s the nature of polls to move around a bit. Certainly no cause for Coalition panic or Labor celebration]

    It’s gone from 59-41 to 53-47. That’s very bad news for the coalition.

  9. [I still think that the 2pp is slightly inflated for Labor]

    Not really, considering the coalition is on a 40% primary, with 33% for Labor. Where are the coalition going to get all these prefs from?

  10. [Where are the coalition going to get all these prefs from?]

    Nowhere, but remember NSW has optional preferencing. I’m suggesting that significantly more Greens and independent votes will exhaust in 2011 than did in 2007.

  11. Yes, but of those who pref to the major parties, I suspect that the coalition couldn’t do any better on prefs than is given here.

  12. Never underestimate the capacity of the N.S.W Libs to stuff up their chances of winning an election, particularly if O’Farrell is still Opposition Leader in March 2011.
    And if the economic situation improves in 2010 and Rudd showers the state with infastructure funding, that’ll help Nathan Rees too.
    Of course the NSW Govt is inept, we all know that, but the Libs are yet to prove that they’d be any better.

  13. Barry O’Farrell is on borrowed time – you watch Pru Goward position herself to be next liberal Premier of NSW.

    If she takes the Coalition leadership, the NSW ALP is finished.

  14. On the primaries, there is 13% for the Greens and 14% for the Others.

    Who are the Others??? Surely the combined FFP and CDP vote can’t be that high???

  15. In 1988 NSW Labor lost badly but they held enough key Sydney marginal seats; Kogarah, Ashfield, Waverley etc. to be more than a cricket team in opposition (the Liberals recognised Labor’s achievement here see Ian Hancock’s history of the Liberal organisation). In 2010 it will be the same seats that will be crucial for Labor’s survivial as a viable opposition.

  16. If you guys think that Labor is going to snatch victory in 2011, you’re totaly deluding yourselves. Keep it up, though. The heartache is going to be absolutely fantastic to watch.

  17. I think the “others” vote represents a general willingness to vote for independents. There are six independents in the Legislative Assembly. It suggests that, if credible independents pop up in key Labor seats, the vote is there for them to win.

  18. I think the biker thing has boosted Rees’s prospects – receiving death threats from those nasty bikies is a real vote-winner. Among non-bikies, anyway. He’ll still loose – but I think the name of the game for NSW Labor is to contain their losses, and keep them positioned for the next go-round. The NSW Libs are truly dreadful.

  19. I agree with Geoff Robinson @ 24. The ALP needs to hang on to the key Sydney marginal seats in order to avert an election disaster, and a higher primary vote will certainly help it to do so. That is the real matter of interest arising from this Newspoll. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the (apparently) positive trend on the ALP primary vote is sustained in subsequent Newspolls and in that respect, I think David Walsh @ 11 is spot on.

  20. Assuming that there will be a decent-sized swing against Labor in the next election, Labor can forget about retaining Miranda, Menai, Wollondilly, Camden, The Entrance and Gosford (all sit on less than 5% margins). They would also be vulnerable to the Greens in Balmain (currently a 3.8% margin v Greens).

    The seats that it should try to retain are Coogee, Londonderry, Wyong, Drummoyne, Heathcote, Monaro and Penrith (all between 5 and 10%).

    That said, even if Labor lost all of the seats that are currently under a 10% margin (including those margins vs independents and Greens, like Marrickville and Newcastle), Labor would still have 33 seats in Parliament, with the Coalition on 49 seats and Ind/Greens with 12.

  21. 25 – Patrick, Labor supporters are expecting a trouncing. A close loss will be manna from heaven and a win a miracle. The only people that will really feel a loss are conservative supporters. Now that would really be worth seeing.

  22. Don’t overlook the preferred Premier figures and the respective job satisfaction figures. What people are saying there is that they view Barry in the same light as they view Nathan. For an opposition leader to be as popular or, in this case, as unpopular as the premier spells trouble IMHO.

  23. [you watch Pru Goward position herself to be next liberal Premier of NSW.]

    With a bit nudge nudge wink wink from Howie. if Janette dont get you, Pru will.


  24. How often is it that the leaders of both parties have a net dissatisfaction rating and the “unknown” is rated higher than either of them as preferred premier?

  25. If the preferences are based on the 2007 election, the ALP’s numbers are way over-inflated. Remember, in 2007 the Libs had silly Debnam. At least Barry is more likeable.

    In any event, for those ALP supporters still holding on to hope, these numbers still represent a crushing victory for the Coalition.

  26. GP,

    That’s true – however, on the primaries there has “only” been a 6% swing against Labor on primaries, with a 3% increase in the Coalition primary since the 2007 election.

    If Labor’s vote drops 6% and the Coalition only increases 3%, it will probably struggle to form government in its own right – due primarily to the likely high number of independents/Greens that will be in the new Parliament if these polling numbers hold up.

    That said, I’d rather be in NSW Coalition’s shoes than NSW Labor’s atm…

  27. GP at 35: “In any event, for those ALP supporters still holding on to hope, these numbers still represent a crushing victory for the Coalition”

    I laughed out loud at this comment, when I thought of all the drivel that Howard supporters and commentators wrote again and again in the face of polls, most of which were substantially worse than 53/47. Funny when the boot is on the other foot…

  28. [If Labor’s vote drops 6% and the Coalition only increases 3%, it will probably struggle to form government in its own right – due primarily to the likely high number of independents/Greens that will be in the new Parliament if these polling numbers hold up.]

    And would result in a WA style result – except that instead of the nats holding the balanced of power, it could well be the greens or a rogue independent.

  29. [Remember, in 2007 the Libs had silly Debnam. At least Barry is more likeable.]
    Way more likeable, even though Barrel’s disapproval rating exceeds his approval rating, and even though Nathan Rees is STILL preferred Premier, even though his party is trailing!

  30. What are the chances of enough independents and Greens getting up, joining together and saying “A pox on both your houses, we`ll for a minority government”?

  31. Carr’s popularity peaked just before the 2003 election, when the “Bob the Builder” theme was being fully embraced by all sections of the NSW media. Of course, “Bob the Builder” soon changed to “Carr Crash” after the election.

    As for a Greens/independent government – you still need to muster up 47 votes to survive a vote of confidence. As it’s extremely unlikely the Greens or Independents could pull in this amount of seats, they would still depend on at least one of the major parties supporting them in the LA. It’s also unlikely that a combined Greens/Independents ticket could get more seats in the LA than either the Coalition or Labor – even when Labor’s primary vote was 26%, it would still have won more seats than the Greens because of the huge number of safe seats in western Sydney.

  32. All the Independent and Green members would need is enough seats for a cabinet, a lack of a majority for the major parties and Labor not to join the Coalition.

    If Labor and the Coalition teemed up to force an election then the Greens and Independents would probably get a surge of support for taking the fight to the system.

  33. I think what they’d actually need to show is that they had the confidence of the House to govern.

    If they together held fewer seats than either or both major parties and refused to support one or the other for government, they would most likely be criticised for holding the State to ransom in order to gain government despite both failing to seek such a mandate during the election and failing to achieve such a mandate in the form of seats.

  34. Forget the polls. People are going to say anything to a pollster in a survey on state politics in NSW. Everyone here knows there is bugger all difference between the two major parties. Which party would you vote for? Who cares. It depends what mood your in as to what answer you give!

    However, when you are asked who you would prefer as Premier? You will exert a few more brain cells and are inclined to give a more realistic answer. So O’Farrell has gotten within 31-33 from 29-32. If he can release a few good policies, which is by no means easy for a liberal, then he can win. We have got to get rid of Tripodi and Sartor, Yuk!

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