Newspoll: 54-46 to Coalition in NSW

The latest bi-monthly Newspoll survey of state voting intention in New South Wales (sample size 1266) is a status quo result in every particular, although the Coalition’s two-party lead is down from 55-45 to 54-46. On the primary vote, Labor is up one to 32 per cent, Liberal up one to 37 per cent, Nationals down one to 4 per cent and the Greens steady on 14 per cent. Nathan Rees is up on both approval (three points to 33 per cent) and disapproval (two points to 51 per cent), as is Barry O’Farrell (approval and disapproval both up two from 34 per cent to 36 per cent). The preferred premier rating has nudged from 33-32 in Rees’s favour to 33-32 in O’Farrell’s favour.

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.

75 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46 to Coalition in NSW”

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  1. [J-D, I did not say I vote against the incumbent because there’s no difference between the parties. I am voting against the incumbent because they are not very good, and I don’t have to justify this on ideological grounds because they both seem the same to me, so I can concentrate only on NSW Labor’s gross failures and, as they say, give the other mob a go.]
    If you did not say ‘there’s no difference’, then what do you mean by ‘they both seem the same’? If they’re the same, there’s no difference! If you mean that they seem the same but they’re not really, doesn’t that mean that there is a difference but you’re choosing to ignore it?

  2. [J-D,

    Normally these would be good points.

    NSW at present is a special case. It is the pits.]
    So, rationality makes sense except when you don’t want to listen to it?

  3. J-D,

    Well, actually, it is the NSWelsh politicos who haven’t been doing much listening to rationality lately. A big part of the problem.

    Even if the “parties are the same”, they still regard themselves as warring tribes, and they are still comprised of people who want very much to be in Govt for as long as possible. Time in Opposition is a stick to beat them with, even if it is not the surgeon’s knife.

    I’m not one of the hard-core PB ALPers. But even I discount the possibility of any other party than the two majors gaining power in NSW for many years. “Self-fulfilling prophecy”, you say. Well, there is always the future, and that no-one can predict.

    The bottom line is that the culture and personnel of both major parties need to completely replaced. At the moment I believe that NSW Labor needs Opposition to do this. Which means there is only one place to put the Coalition…

  4. 37

    If you had read my comment at 35 properly then you would have noticed that I said that the 754 votes was separating the Greens from second place. Your margin calculation would be about correct.

  5. [J-D, you’re being deliberately thick and I’m not going to bother explaining this.]

    You’re not going to explain because you can’t. You have no explanation. I have one. That’s why you can’t keep up the argument, and that’s why you’re resorting to abuse instead.

  6. Kersebleptes, when a party goes into Opposition it is changed by the experience, but not necessarily in the way you would like. The Coalition has been in Opposition for fourteen years now, and this has obviously not turned it into the sort of parties you would like it to be. There is no reason to think that putting Labor into Opposition would change it in the specific way you would like. It could just as easily make things worse.

    Right now you obviously think that changing Labor is more important than changing the Coalition. But the only reason for that is that Labor is now in Government. As soon as the Coalition is in Government it will appear more important to change the Coalition, but by then it will be too late.

  7. Boundry Man

    You must not catch any trains, 2 days last week, I was delayed for 30 minute each day, and there was quite a few vocal people on the train … and their anger over Labor has not dissipated

    That is why the Labor Primary vote is at 31%

    NSW Labor is famous for 1 thing … stuff ups … it might be the trains, or the hospitals, or education, or trains, or privatisation, or salination plant …. but you can always count on them to stuff it up

  8. Greensborough Growler

    The GFC has hurt NSW most badly, because the NSW ALP had done nothing since the Sydney Olympics. But have manage to stufed the budget even before the GFC.

    See North- West Rail link, promised for over 10 years. Recently Kevin Rudd had a go at the NSW ALP saying the costing had not even been done!!! … That is incompetency

    Rees is now listening, but most of his plans are to do something in 2013-14, when hopefully for him, Labor will not be in power.

  9. dovif,

    What you say may be the case. However, Rees Premiership has pretty much co incided with the major impact of the GFC.

    Despite all the Labor negatives which rusted ons talk about endlessly, Labor’s position is not hopeless atm. Further, O”Farrell’s lack of impact must be a worry.

    An improving economic climate and a lack of credibility of the alternative may be the ingredients for a Labor resurgence.

  10. 60# Agree, Labors base vote can’t be below 25%, which was their lowest ebb last year. They need to differenciate themselves from the Libs with new ideas and wedge the Libs with social initiatives. They could, as an example, put forward the bill to decriminalise abortion, as happened in VIC, and watch the Libs argue and divide between themselves over that.

    This is an old Government but there is a lot to divide in the opposition and, I would argue, that the NSW Libs are considerably further to the right than the NSW population. The Government need to put forward social initiatives to highlight this.

  11. I know of a lot of people who have made up their mind to vote Liberals for the first time in their life.

    One of the ethnic groups in my area will also be supporting the Liberals for the first time. I cannot believe their coverage went from Anti-Howard to Anti NSW ALP so quickly, reading the change in their editorial was facinating.

    The fact that this government had done nothing since the Olympic, and some would say most of the planning for the Olympic was set up by the Liberals, They went to the last election promising to be better…. and has done nothing since.

    Really unless the NSW Liberal is a Carr Wreck (pun intended) over the next year …. most people have learned from their mistakes and are not listening to the NSW ALP anymore.

    Really the best thing for the NSW ALP is to lose really badly, so that the deadwoods all leave parliament. A new generation is needed in the NSW ALP for them to be a competant government again.

    NSW went from the premier state in the late 1990s, with the lowest unemployment, highest growth, to a basket case today, highest unemployment (except for Tas), and lowest growth. Most people I know are angry

  12. I could easily see the Greens being the main left-of-centre alternative to the Liberals on the north shore, but as others have said, that doesn’t mean we will win seats there, the Liberals are very strong. It’s just that the ALP is incredibly weak there, so it’s easier to beat them.

    The Liberals have plenty of reasons to preference the Greens in Balmain, Marrickville and Heffron, mainly tactical and strategic rather than ideological. It benefits the Liberals to have a thorn in Labor’s left side. Also, Labor will be lacking in decent talent in opposition when O’Farrell wins. If Firth and Tebbutt are defeated, that helps the Liberals. I also think Kristina Keneally is a strong candidate to lead the ALP into 2015, so if Heffron becomes a Labor-Green marginal in 2015 that will also hurt the ALP. In 2003 and 2007 the Liberals put ideology first, and exhausted, but I tend to think O’Farrell is thinking more strategically.

    But how did we get to talking about the Greens again? The Greens got exactly the same number in this poll as in the last. Indeed all but one poll since the beginning of 2009 has had the Greens in the 13-15% range. In other words, we haven’t moved. We jumped up after the 2007 state and federal elections, then have been locked in at about 1/7 of the vote ever since.

  13. Dovif – I agree. There is a lot of anger for some in the community with this government.

    For others, less engaged in politics, there is a sense that this governemnt is bad, has had its go anyway and is well due to be consigned to the dustbin of history at the next election.

    Indeed, I think this government’s electoral position will worsen, not improve, in the lead-up to the March 2011 election, but particularly under the present leadership. Rees’ predecessor (Morrie Iemma) was incompetent yet likeable…a decent fellow but as premier, at a level well above his own competence. This current premier continues the great tradition of incompetence, and now adds a further (adverse) dimension: he is very unlikeable.

    ALP partisans and others are, of course, welcome to content themselves with discussions about right-wing dominance and (the lack of) ability and talent in the O’Farrell-led Opposition, but this time the very negative perceptions in the community about the incumbent government is what will guide and inform the voters when they turn up at polling booths in March 2011.

  14. I remember several years back prior to the Sydney limpings in 2000 that an observer said that each city tha t hosts the games ends up in financial strife about a decade later – i think they quoted Toronto and the one in the US which I can’t remember. If someone looked at Athens, Sydney and Beejingo it would be interesting to know how they are floundering after their big event. Would there be any observers that can tell us if there is change of government because of any unhappyness after their big event.

  15. [this time the very negative perceptions in the community about the incumbent government is what will guide and inform the voters when they turn up at polling booths in March 2011.]

    As it did in November 2007. Oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them. I still think that WorkChoices would have given Beazley enough impetus to win.

  16. Tom the first and best @ 55 – yes I did read your comment, I was pointing out that it was a meaningless comment. Even if the Greens came second, it is not really a marginal seat. It may become so – and the redistribution due after the 2011 election may help this transformation.

    Dovif @ 58 – no I haven’t caught a train for a while – but I was basing my comment on media stuff. Also if the primary is 31% and this is a sign of anger – then surely an increase from 25% to 31% must then show a reduction in the anger.

  17. 67

    A seat with a 10% margin is more relevant than a seat with a 73% margin. Especially if there is demographic and political change involved in the change of margin.

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