Newspoll: 57-43 to Coalition in NSW

The latest bi-monthy New South Wales state Newspoll has Labor recovering its equilibrium after the leadership trauma of late last year: they are up four points on the November-December survey to 30 per cent, back where they were in September-October. Much of this comes from the disappearance of a surge to the Greens at the expense of Labor in the previous poll – they are back to the 12 per cent they recorded in September-October, down five points on last time. There is good news for Kristina Keneally personally: her debut approval rating is 41 per cent against 26 per cent disapproval, slightly better than the 41 per cent and 30 per cent for Barry O’Farrell, whom she leads 40-31 as preferred premier. However, the primary vote gap (very important under optional preferential voting) of 30 per cent to 44 per cent points to the same drubbing foreseen for Labor at every other poll of the past few years. The Coalition’s two-party preferred lead of 57-43 is down from 59-41 last time, but still up on 55-45 the time before due to a two point primary vote gain.

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.

240 comments on “Newspoll: 57-43 to Coalition in NSW”

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  1. #100

    [ That might explain the “bitter hate” of the Labor Party.

    That was badly expressed. It would have been better to have been written as:-
    That might help explain the “bitter hate” the Labor Party holds towards the successful political operators in the area

  2. Openness and transparency in government is NOT one of K239’s strong points.

    [ CRITICAL infrastructure supplying Sydney’s drinking water is likely to be damaged by vast new coalmines planned for the city’s south-western outskirts, government agencies have told the Planning Assessment Commission.
    But government staff who raised serious concerns about the environmental impact were told by senior bureaucrats not to present their objections at a public hearing, according to memos obtained by the Herald.
    They show senior public servants were allowed to present to the Planning Assessment Commission’s panel of mining and environment experts in private, rather than at a public Planning Assessment Commission hearing in February.
    ”Public confidence takes a knock when government agencies that are critical of the project are heard behind closed doors,” said the NSW Greens MP, Lee Rhiannon.]

    Perhaps not surprisingly, given the way she came to the Premiership, K239 does not appear to have the “fire in the belly” necessary to push through election donation reform, which Nathan Rees promised just shortly before he was sacked.

  3. Despite all her shortcomings and deficiences K239 is Australia’s most popular Premier. One has to wonder why ?
    [ KRISTINA Keneally, of NSW, has overtaken Victoria’s John Brumby as the nation’s most popular premier even though she leads, by far, the least popular government in the nation.
    Mr Brumby, in charge of the most consistently popular Labor government of the past decade, has seen his net satisfaction rating fall from plus 13 per cent at the end of last year to plus 4 per cent, according to Newspoll. Ms Keneally has a net rating of plus 15 per cent.]

  4. [Despite all her shortcomings and deficiences K239 is Australia’s most popular Premier. One has to wonder why ?]

    1) Does this include WA?
    2) She is the newest.

  5. A few of our Liberal brethren may be about to start breathing heavier as Gordon Brown in the UK stages a comeback after being 10% plus behind only a matter of months ago.

    Telling bit of analysis is:

    “Labour strategists believe that the narrowing of the Tory poll lead is the result of voters “taking a long hard look” at Mr Cameron and his policies”.

    Is it too late to dump the Barrel?

  6. GG – it’s not too late to dump the barrel, although I doubt that the NSW state Libs will be shocked and dismayed over British polling. That the ALP can come back is a given, but coming back well enough to rob a win? Very unlikely without major stuff ups from the Libs.

    Also, no one actually wants to roll Barry. The fashion parade has included Turnbull, Hockey, Mike Baird, and no doubt others. No one wants it – it’s going to be a crap job. Firstly, great expectations of an overwhelming victory are rarely met. Secondly, once they win office, they have to actually do something. I read somewhere that as much as 98% of the NSW budget is already allotted to fixed expenditure, which is the current reason given as to why nothing can be done about transport. If 98% of the budget is already accounted for, if you want to do anything you have to either find some new sources of revenue or make some real changes.

    This undoubtedly means taking on the unions at some point – such as the ETU, almost certainly in transport, possibly in health and probably in education as well. You can bet that they will take on the Senior Executive Service as well (or whatever they are called nowadays), who in many (most?) cases hold ALP membership or at least a family relationship or close friendship with someone who does. Of course, ALP membership is not incompatible with good governance and public service, but shake ups are far more likely on the basis of (real or perceived) political uniform than individual competence.

    This is going to get uncomfortable for the Libs, because they are still having nightmares about 2007. They have also been out of office for a long time, and to be blunt, long term state oppositions do not attract great political talent. They are going to need to put in place very necessary reforms against strong opposition whilst finding new blood to take on many important roles throughout the public service and hope that they have enough goodwill to resist the inevitable loud and public opposition to such measures.

  7. rogan – #106

    [ You can bet that they will take on the Senior Executive Service as well (or whatever they are called nowadays), who in many (most?) cases hold ALP membership or at least a family relationship or close friendship with someone who does. ]

    That will be O’Farrell’s biggest challenge.
    The PS in NSW is a disgrace. I doubt it will ever attract quality people who can give frank and fearless advice…because it has been so comprehensively f….d over by Labor. Anything O’Farrell can do to move it in the right direction will be a victory for him.

  8. Rogan,

    Fair points, but the example that seems to be emerging in Britain is that the voters may, on reflection, decide not to put themselves through the bother. The Libs still need to make a convicncing case for change and carping criticism of the incumbant will only take them so far.

    If the the Liberal intention is to take on the PS unions, then that will legitimately be played up by Labor in the run up to the election. Do voters want an all out industrial war? Have no idea. But, if the economy is improving and jobs abound, then I’d say people will pass on that in preference to a focus on the delivery of public services.

    The Libs may be in front and the conventional wisdom is that Special K is only there to staunch the blood letting. However, with twelve months to go, a turnaround for Labor in the UK is enough to send a few shivers down the Liberals’ spines.

  9. GG –

    It’s not the “workers” that O’Farrell will be taking on, it’s the Labor stooges as heads of departments. The workers I suspect will be protesting – in support of O’Farrell.

  10. PY,

    It will the workers that lose their jobs. How many nurses, teachers and police do you think the Libs are going to purge?

  11. 110 – GG

    [ It will the workers that lose their jobs. How many nurses, teachers and police do you think the Libs are going to purge?]

    Where do you get that information from?

    How many do you think they are going to purge?

    Do you think that Debra Picone is an “outstanding head of Health”?

  12. GG – I don’t see the link with the UK. I don’t see Gordon Brown as any more relevant than say Kim Campbell, as to what can happen to unpopular long term governments that try a new face…

  13. rogan – #113

    [ unpopular long term governments that try a new face… ]

    But you have got to admit K239 is a very pretty face.

    However, it is unfair to suggest that Labor chose her because she is pretty.

    Clearly, focus groups picked Frank Sartor, as the best replacement, because the General Secretary was batting for him, not rooting for Keneally. Despite this, Eddie and Joe stepped in and Keneally got the job.

    The General Secretary has since been given a DCM notice. Says a lot when the evidence based opinion of the General Secretary is trashed.

  14. Yeah Labor is right on top of the game !

    [ The state Minster for the Hunter, Jodi McKay, was unaware the zone had been placed into receivership 10 days ago. ]
    Jodi McKay is a former newsreader. She was hand picked by Iemma to represent Newcastle in 2007 – over the objections of local rank and file. She is very pretty. Newcastle should be a safe seat, but because of local unrest over the way Labor treated locals, Labor now holds the seat on a 1.1% margin from Independent Newcastle Mayor John Tate, taking a 17% drop in primary votes and a 14% drop in the 2CP at the 2007 election.

  15. Geez – K239 has a serious problem with dates. She is clearly chronologically challenged. Maybe it’s because her heart really lies over the International Date Line.

    Remember her media release dated 1 January 2009 congratulating Sydneysiders for their behaviour at the New Years Eve celebrations, culminating in the fireworks display on the harbour which went off between 12.01am and 12.15am on 1st January 2010 .

    K239 followed that up with a media alert on Sunday 28 February 2010. K239 got the year right this time – but –

    “Government media advisory — Line up for Monday, 29 February 2010.”

    K239 says she is heading in a New Direction. Must be going to a place that doesn’t exist. A bit Wizard of Oz *ish*.

    Seriously, if K239 can’t get the small things right, what chance has she of managing the big things.

  16. GG

    The voter and PS employee are not stupid, at the last election, Iemma campaigned on the Liberal will cut PS service staffs, after the election Iemma cut the PS himself, those who had been working in PS for 3 years or more(80%?) will remember this well.

    Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

    The ALP already tried to cut the PS late last year and was rebuffed by the union, if the ALP tries to campaign agains PS cuts, the Liberals can turn the table and ask the ALP to promise they would not cut PS and remind everyone what happened at the last election.

    Both party will be forced to cut the PS after the election. It had just grown too fat and inefficient under the ALP, there are too many layer of middle management, who are there to manage spin, and ensure reports say everything is going well. The spin management team are preventing the ALP from delivering on real service

    Spin can only carry you so far, at the end of the day, State government is judged on delivery of service and building of infrastructure. Both of these NSW ALP had been attrocious at for about 10 years

    Last time they lied to get back in office … split bridge, transport blueprint no 11, Renewed Labor …. that is going to hurt the ALP in the long run

  17. dovif,

    My post earlier in the thread demonstrates that a long term Government allegedly on the nose can come back through sheer graft and a change in the economic climate. The article cited, specifically points out that the comeback is being attributed to closer public scrutiny of the Oppositions policies. This may also be analagous to what will happen to the Libs in NSW.

    You’ve said that mass sackings are on the cards. I’m sure Labor will use that threat of creating employment uncertainty for families as an opportunity to improve its stocks.

    This mantra you go on with about poor services in NSW would lead a dispassionate observer to think there are no schools, police or public transport.

    The other interesting connection with the UK is that Labour’s fortunes rose when Murdoch switched sides to the Conservatives and declared a Jihad against the Government. Perhaps Rupert is losing his touch.

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