The latest bi-monthly Newspoll survey of NSW state voting intention finds Labor plumbing lows previously undreamt of, as graphically illustrated by The Australian. The Coalition’s two-party lead is equal to that recorded by federal Labor in the poll of February 29-March 2, but otherwise unprecedented in Newspoll history – remembering that NSW’s optional preferential voting system is likely to make matters even worse for Labor by starving them of Greens preferences.
Labor’s primary vote has fallen two points on the previous two surveys to 23 per cent, for which The Australian’s Imre Salusinszky can only identify one precedent: the 22 per cent recorded by the Queensland Nationals in 1989, which hardly seems applicable as it coexisted with a 25 per cent vote for the Liberals. More instructive is that Labor’s vote is below the nadirs of John Bannon and Joan Kirner, who on various occasions recorded 25 per cent. The Coalition meanwhile is steady on 46 per cent, while the Greens tide continues with a three point gain to 17 per cent – just six points shy of Labor.
Barry O’Farrell has also leapt to a 42-35 lead as preferred premier, after drawing level on 39 per cent in the previous poll. His approval rating has spiked five points to 48 per cent, with disapproval steady on 32 per cent. Kristina Keneally on the other hand is up six points on disapproval to 50 per cent, with her approval rating steady on 39 per cent.