Newspoll: 61-39 to Coalition in NSW

Newspoll has given NSW Labor another thing to think about with its latest bi-monthly poll of state voting intention. The figures on voting intention are almost entirely identical to last time, it being impossible for Labor to go any lower: 25 per cent on the primary vote to 46 per cent for the Coalition and 14 per cent for the Greens (down two), translating into a two-party Coalition lead of 61-39. However, Kristina Keneally’s approval ratings are headed south: down eight points on approval to 39 per cent, and up seven on disapproval to 44 per cent. Barry O’Farrell’s approval is down a point to 43 per cent and his disapproval is steady on 33 per cent, but he has achieved parity with Keneally as preferred premier on 39 per cent.

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.

122 comments on “Newspoll: 61-39 to Coalition in NSW”

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  1. […but apparently it was Kevin Rudd’s fault.]

    Beat the dead horse in the thread that’s not about NSW state politics.

  2. Seriously, by the looks of it, nothing is gonna get them into a stable position anymore. I honestly think O’Farrell could be caught in a compromising situation and he’d still be on track for a big win (so much so, that his biggest threat is internal from those who may want the top job – considering the ease of its acquisition.) The state government are best to just keep their heads low, call the election as soon as they can, defend themselves to the best of their ability and accept their medicine.

    It will have been 16 years anyway, it’s not like it will be untimely.

  3. The introductory remarks state it being impossible for Labor to go any lower: 25 per cent on the primary vote .

    That surely is the real question (one that I raised a few months ago). What is the low point to which Keneally can take the PV ?

    Only time will tell what the answer to that is. I have previously suggested the welded on vote is between 15-20%.

  4. [Beat the dead horse in the thread that’s not about NSW state politics.]
    Blaming a 2 1/2 year PM for problems backing up since the 70’s that 27 years of Labor and 7 years of Liberal govt did nothing to address is a bit much. KK was playing politics with that spray but all it did was make her look deluded.

    [That surely is the real question (one that I raised a few months ago). What is the low point to which Keneally can take the PV ?]
    Kenneally is the only thing stopping it from drifting south.

    [The state government are best to just keep their heads low, call the election as soon as they can, defend themselves to the best of their ability and accept their medicine.]
    I thought that the election dates were set and the only issue was when parliament would rise. If that is the case they just have to prolong the ‘magic’ as long as legally allowed in order to decrease the time for a campaign.

    This will be an eight year term minimum for O’Farrell. Twelve probably.
    Kenneally’s future won’t be in NSW parliament. It will probably be a tilt at the 2013 federal election. She’s popular and is getting better at connecting with the media and public all the time.

  5. Slackboy, the Liberal government in its 7 years did more infrastructure than the ALP in its 20, it build a train line, started a freeway, build a lot of sporting complex for the olympics, it is the ALP neglate over the last 16 yer that is the issue, not the Liberal and ALP before them

  6. [To Speak of Pebbles
    Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 1:34 am | Permalink
    Wow! That’d be about 25 seats lost!]

    I think it would be more. Remember that its optional preferential voting so a 25%PV could theoretically not win any seats.

    If the Greens pref the Libs or simply exhaust the vote then its hard to see the ALP pushing above 50% 2PP in any seat.

    The Greens would win about 3 lower house seats on this basis. At least Carmel Tebbutt, Verity Firth and probably Kristina’s too.

  7. tsop
    [Beat the dead horse in the thread that’s not about NSW state politics.]
    Sorry that is just rubbish. Kennealy tried to use this excuse heself when her state’s half baked funding submissions were rejected by Infrastructure Australia, not Rudd. NSW Labor is desperate to deflect blame to anyone else for their pathetic mismanagement and corruption. They deserve to be swept out and the voters know it.

  8. I won’t vote Labor in March 2011, but nor will I vote Liberal – I’ll go with the Greens.
    Keneally is a joke, and her attempt the other day to blame Rudd for the loss of a few seats in Western Sydney turned me right off.

  9. [This will be an eight year term minimum for O’Farrell. Twelve probably.]

    Garbage. People said exactly the same at the last NSW election about the Libs. And Labor after Latham. Or Labor after the 1996 election where they were reduced to less than a third of the seats (and came back to win the primary vote just two years later).

    Surely if the last twelve months has shown us anything it’s that anything can change in twelve months (from opposition at least)?

    Nonetheless, this is a truly terrible poll result for NSW Labor.

    On a side point, Dovif, the train line the Libs built is a curse. I pay 6 dollars to go one stop because of that Lib 30 year lease train line.

  10. [What are the seats that Labor are certain to win out of interest?]

    itep, good question! 😆
    At a guess, I’d say: Illawarra seats, Fairfield, safe Western suburbs seats like Blacktown, Newcastle/Hunter valley.
    If the anti-Labor swing is huge, Coogee and even Maroubra might go to the Libs.

  11. [What are the seats that Labor are certain to win out of interest?]

    I wonder if there are any…

    From memory, the previous two safest Labor seats where Lakemba and Cabramatta, both of which have had bi-elections since the last election. There where big swings against Labor at those bi-elections and big swings on Saturday in the federal seats that cover those two areas Fowler -14% (Cabramatta) and Watson/Reid -10% (Lakemba).

    Also worth pointing out the Libs employed similar tactics in Fowler/Cabramatta runinng a Vietnamese candidate in both.

  12. There are a handful that can be parked as sure things.

    Auburn, Canterbury, Liverpool, Bankstown, Mount Druitt, Wollongong (unless a good indi runs), Heffron (unless a very good Green runs and is lucky, but even then I consider it a Labor hold), Blacktown, Keira, Shellharbour, Lakemba, Fairfield, Cabramatta, Campbelltown, Maroubra.

    They are all the seats over 16% except for Kogarah, which I put as a likely hold (Cabramatta is lower, but that was a by-election result, they’ll increase that margin from the by-election).

    So 15 certainties. I can’t see Wallsend (West Newcastle), Smithfield or Toongabbie switching, nor Bathurst, nor Macquarie Fields, so that’s 20 total that I’m 80-90% confident to pencil in. Then there’s a big swag of another dozen held by 10-15% that are probably considered the proverbial ‘furniture.’ If Labor can hold all of these, which they won’t, but if they hold most and hold a couple of more marginal ones and hold a total of 30 seats, that will be only slightly below than the LibNats got in ’07 (they got 34), which may be consider acceptable.

    After the ‘furniture’ seats there’s 18 seats under 10% that are in big trouble.

    Evan, Coogee is only at 7% and the Libs have fielded a strong candidate, so don’t be too surprised if they flips. Maroubra is far more solid Labor ground.

  13. Hamish

    Yes I agree it is too expensive to catch the train 1 stop

    But then I went to Japan and Hong Kong and used their airport service and they were rip offs too.

  14. Labor has no hope of staying in sole control of power next election. The only thing Labor can do is run a “Stop the Tories” campaign as March 26 approaches. The alternative is do a ‘1 Labor/2 ‘ in marginal seats but where disgust with both sides will see a huge Greens vote, and hope that Labor’s preferences gets the Greens/Independent member over the line. It’s unlikely any such preferencing would be reciprocated as any association with Labor is toxic to any candidate at the moment.

    Labor would much prefer a hung parliament than the Liberals getting control outright. It would also be highly unlikely for the NSW Greens to enter a joint governing agreement with the Liberals, especially the fundamentalist streak that persists in the Lib Right.

    The Liberals haven’t successfully sold themselves to the public yet…

  15. The best thing for the Labor party as a whole is a big, comprehensive, loss in NSW in March.

    Thankfully that’s exactly what will happen.

    No clinging on. No hung parliaments. Gone.

  16. The Greens wouldn’t deal with Labor. Far too toxic and would be suicide for them to keep the NSW Labor government in power. O’Farrell is fairly moderate anyway.

    But a hung parliament isn’t likely. I don’t understand what this continued doubt about o’farrell is. Liberals will win in their own right. Labor will be swept away.

  17. Note – above I meant running ‘1 Labor, 2 Independent/Green’ campaign in marginal seats.

    Hamish, there’s a lot of discussion about asking Sylvia Hale to run in Heffron. I know your sentiments toward her but I think it’s the sort of race that suits her: both high profile candidates, she can attack the Premier with abandon as a puppet of the NSW Right and as a poor former planning minister, and the media clearly wants her to run somewhere given how they played up her not winning the Marrickville preselection.

    Sylvia Hale also has stronger support among the working poor, Indigenous Australians and older Australians than many other Greens candidates, which makes a broad cross-section of the Heffron area. She has strong links with the Tempe/St Peters area as well. It’s not clear though that Sylvia will want to run.

  18. Can the losers from the NSW Right explain why you aren’t knifing KK given that her numbers are much worse than Rudd’s?

    And yes she did blame Rudd.

  19. Here is Antony Green’s NSW electoral pendulum

    I am with blue_green – with optional preferential in NSW, I think it will be a bloodbath for Labor. My guess would be that the 12 Labor seats with margins of 22% and more are pretty safe. Any seat below that, is an open question (next is 20.4% margin Fairfield, an archetypal safe Labor seat – except its member is Joe Tripodi).

    Whether Labor will be able to field more than a cricket team will be interesting

    Whether Labor gets more seats than Greens+independents will also be interesting (currently 6). I haven’t looked at this for a while, but I think there are seats more likely than Heffron (Keneally) to go Green – Coogee for one, maybe Blue Mountains as well as the inner west.

    The Legislative Council is likely to contine to be very fragmented too – Greens, Shooters, Christians, the whole menagerie

  20. Sartor would have been a much better choice than Rees or KK, but they missed the chance and it’s too late now. I’d look to him and Carmel to rebuild after the defeat except sadly I think she is likely to lose Marrickville to the Greens

  21. DC, Hale would probably get solid support in the Marrickville Council area and possibly Erko/Redfern, but, and I say this as objectively as possible, I think she’d be a turn off for the Zetland/Alex/Rosebery/Mascot/Eastlakes/Kensington areas.

    I’ve heard whispers about Irene Doutney considering a run, but nothing I could substantiate. I would argue that she would do better in Redfern/Waterloo and areas outside Marrickville Council boundaries, but even so I can’t see anyone knocking Keneally off. She’s a popular local member with a strong local following among both Labor voters and generally apathetic voters. I’ve seen her a few times around the traps and she’s treated like a rock star by people just walking by on the street.

    To me, Heffron just doesn’t have the activist/Green backbone of Marrickville, Sydney or Balmain and when push comes to shove, I reckon Keneally’s local presence and good repuatation should get her home easily.

  22. When Labour Loses in NSW badly from the looks of it will it prompt some one any one to clean out the party,Sussex st must be done away with local members must be allowed to elect their own candidates without interference.
    I think the unions have shot them selves in the foot if we end up with all Liberal Govts except Tas and SA,maybe it will break the power of various union bosses as well,after the disaster of the Federal Election there should be a lot of Labour Member in Fed Parliament who should resign,as they are incompetent.
    The problems in WA are much the same, the party needs to be cleaned out all ministers who screwed up so badly and gave us Col the pompous should go,none of em is worth feeding(sorry Frank)

  23. It’s hard to predict, Fairfield everyone notes is one of the safest seat in the nation but it’s member is Joe Tropodi, the face and one of the power brokers of the current NSW Right that spawned Bitar and co.

    That’ll be trophy kill if possible.

  24. It’s a wonder why the Coalition’s primary vote is not well over 50%, there is a lot of left wing support leaking to the Greens and Other’s

  25. Coogee will be an interesting competition. The Coogee Bay Hotel redevelopment is a major issue at hand. The local Labor member is popular, on the ALP’s left and “off the leash” in his recent criticisms of the government. The Liberal candidate is a former Randwick Mayor and a “wet” Turnbullite. The Green candidate is well known, well qualified and has been heavily involved in local community activism. It will likely be the most interesting seat this election.

  26. [The Green candidate is well known, well qualified and has been heavily involved in local community activism]


    From what I understand Labor is trying to convince some of its older MPs in safe seats (Blacktown, Mt Druitt, Bankstown, Fairfield, Wollongong) to step down and let new blood in. At least a couple will, though Paul Gibson has said that if he loses preselection he’d run as an independent.

  27. [The Legislative Council is likely to contine to be very fragmented too – Greens, Shooters, Christians, the whole menagerie]

    That will be interesting. Shooters did well in the Federal election just gone but with the Fred Nile mob and Family First likely to split the ‘Christian vote’, it’s quite possible that without the preference deal system of the Senate that neither will get it.

  28. [Can the losers from the NSW Right explain why you aren’t knifing KK given that her numbers are much worse than Rudd’s?]

    There’s no point. Someone has to be captain of the sinking ship.

  29. Blue Mountains is also a strong chance for the Greens given in that same by-election, the Greens passed Labor in all foothills booths. That will be as interesting as Coogee.

    Hey, does anyone know where one can get results by polling place? The NSWEC website doesn’t seem to offer it, and I’d like to confirm above.

  30. While a bit of a loophole, and I tend not to like loopholes, I may have a solution to the early dissolution issue. (For those who think NSW should bite the bullet now). Could the following scenario be legit?

    If the govt and the opposition (and the independents) would all unanimously agree to simultaneously resign from parliament. Even if the indies didn’t want to, just the gov and opposition is where the contest is. That way it would be an effective emergency, ad hoc “assembly only” election of a batch of by-elections. And it could not be exploited by a future government looking for a way to increase their majority midterm, because the opposition would not agree to it then.

    What do posters think? Could they do it? Is it a good idea?

  31. In the Blue Mounatains, there was a big swing against Labor and a small swing against the Liberals. About 3/4 of that combined swing went to the Greens. Also keep in mind that there was a progessive Independent who recieved 2% of the vote.

    We may well see a 3 way race between Labor Liberals and Greens for the seat of the Blue Mountains.

  32. Kristina has had a ‘real Kristina’ moment and has promised to kick the attention to focus groups and articulate her real vision for government.

    [ In a frank assessment of her government’s performance and future, Ms Keneally said ill-discipline was “destroying people’s confidence and trust” in state Labor.

    She said that by being honest about the government’s chances next March, she was ignoring advice that she blame the poor Newspoll result on a disastrous federal campaign for Labor.]

    She has also publicly admitted that they will lose the next election.

  33. And yet federally Labor only lost 2 of its own “real” seats – Bennelong and Macquarie – in New South Wales.
    Which proves that people of my state can differentiate between state and federal issues, most of the time anyway.

  34. Pebbles, the problem with your suggestion is it wouldn’t change the election date set for March next year. This would mean you’d have a mass changeover of MPs and the government, only for another election to be held in 6 months time.

  35. [40: Or the government could just support a motion of no confidence in itself.]

    Again, for the zillionth time, that could set up a precedent to be exploited by a future government doing it for less noble purposes. If the Governor doesn’t just outright reject the move.

    ltep, I know that. But if they want an ad hoc solution to clean the house asap, it’s there.

    I personally think the best option is just to wait it out. The government have delivered their final budget, haven’t they?

  36. TSoP

    Yeah, looks like an ugly loophole to me.

    This fixed term stuff just reinforces my view that tampering with our version of the Westminster system by adding something vaguely popular from the US system, needs to be done very cautiously so ensure no unsatisfactory, or non-considered consequeneces (California style citizen initiated referendum, recalls e.g.)

  37. The Government was democratically elected to a four year term. They should serve four years as they were elected to do. The whinging and lame media speculation about this is boring and pathetic.

    The idea that MPs who are doing their job in Government would agree to all quit or vote against themselves is fantasy. To set some kind of precedent that unpopular Government’s could be turfed out because people change their minds mid-term is stupid and dangerous in equal measure.

    There’s only 7 months to the election for goodness sake.

  38. even14 at 44

    Not really, the swing against the ALP was 8% in NSW, which 4% went to the liberals, the 2PP swing was about 5%, I think what it mean is that the labor margin seat campaign worked really well

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