Newspoll: 63-37 to Coalition in NSW

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.

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.

147 comments on “Newspoll: 63-37 to Coalition in NSW”

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  1. 100

    Lang at least tried to improve the lives of the ordinary people of NSW.

    Had Red Ted Theodore`s stimulus policies been implemented then the Scullin Government would have had a fighting chance. This would of course have meant a DD in 1930.

  2. Tom #102
    I think that’s Lang spin. I prefer his biography by Bede Nairn which claims that Lang decided to hate everyone and acted on this emotion after his mistress died in childbirth in 1911.

  3. Scullin was too weak to go for the DD and for good reason, Theodore was very smelly (see Askin above) by the middle of 1930.

  4. Coogee will be interesting, as will Blue Mountains. My bet is Labor will finish third, presumably giving the Greens a chance as long as they finish within a few points of the Liberals (I’m assuming the order would be Lib-Grn-ALP), but that’s stepping so far into the unknown it’s not even worth making predictions. Just wait and see.

    Here’s my worst case scenario for Labor: apply this 15.3% swing to the pendulum. Most of those go to Lib/Nats, although two would go Green, and a couple of the Hunter seats are just as likely to go to independents (Maitland and Charlestown, from last time). What’s left is everything from Smithfield (15.5%) downwards.

    Possibly put Macquarie Fields back on that list; half the massive swing already happened there in 2007, where the swing pretty much replicated the previous by-election. Then remove Kogarah, which was only 0.7% Labor heading into the 1999 election (redistributed). This will be worse than 1995, and they will not hold it.

    Roy Orbison back at 48: you mentioned Maroubra? I can’t believe a former premier’s seat could be lost, but if you say so – I’ll trust your local knowledge, and Carr ain’t there no more. Who do you reckon would win, Greens or Libs? Heffron could go Green too, I guess.

    Also take out Newcastle, where John Tate will probably win (he’s running again).

    That leaves you with…

    Macquarie Fields ALP 11.1%
    Smithfield ALP 15.5%
    Wallsend ALP 15.8%
    Campbelltown ALP 18.5%
    Fairfield ALP 20.4%

    Keira ALP 22.0%
    Blacktown ALP 22.4%
    Wollongong ALP 25.3%
    Bankstown ALP 25.4%
    Mount Druitt ALP 25.4%

    Shellharbour ALP 26.8%
    Liverpool ALP 26.9%
    Canterbury ALP 27.1%
    Auburn ALP 28.7%
    Cabramatta ALP 29.0%

    Lakemba ALP 34.0%

    Seats which may also be vulnerable: Wollongong was held by the Libs for the first two terms of the Askin govt and by an independent mayor in the 80’s – it and Shellharbour could be vulnerable to the right independent. Wollongong in particular may have a strong challenger: Gordon Bradbery, a local church minister. Keira got mentioned as a faint hope for the Greens last time for some reason… I can’t see why, but anything’s possible (David Campbell is retiring there). I’ll throw Campbelltown into the mix, as it was held by the Libs for a term of the Askin govt and its MP is another who’s resigning. Lastly, Fairfield is held by Joe Tripodi. The other dozen or so are probably unloseable.

  5. 106

    The newly elected Conservative Government (that only lasted a single term) couldn`t make anything stick. He came back after he was cleared.

  6. Bird of Paradox

    Campbelltown’s demographics have changed a lot since Askin’s time. Although, also, I expect a lot of unhappy commuters and apparently some unfortunate local issues around Minto shopping centre might add to general unhappiness that may rub off on the government

    Still, to be even contemplating the merest possibility of Labor losing Campbelltown…

  7. It’s fun to act as if the 2PP be uniform, but if course if that were so the ALP would be reduced to zero seats in the house. O’Farrell would get them all. Of course the reverse would have been true in 2007.

    Even the uniform swing model is not much less silly. Clearly, there are going to be many seats in which narrow ALP margins are overturned in favour of distributionally inefficient coalition majorities. So assuming that a 15% swing will take out everyone on less than 15% is silly.

    In practice, one suspects that a good many ALP seats on 8-10% will hold and some on 12-13% may well fall. Those by-elections which produced 24% aren’t a good benchmark because the voters weren’t turning out the government as a whole. They were being given a free swing.

    Since hardly anyone thinks the government will be returned or even go close in March, one suspects that tribally ALP voters in ALP seats will simply assume that the ALP will get the kicking it deserves without their help, giving them the freedom to do much as they have always done, perhaps voting 1 Green 2 ALP to indicate what they had in mind. Given Howard’s warnings about the dangers of voting Green, some Liberals may preference the ALP ahead of the Greens in some closer seats, fancying that it will no difference to the overall result.

    And here and there some Greens may well get over the line against the ALP with the help of defecting left-liberal ALP voters.

    It’s worth noting that the self-termination of a whole swathe of the Carr-era hacks will mean that at least some ALPs will be able to plead innocent and this may give some ALP-leaning voters the space they need not to vote Liberal.

    So overall even if the 2PP winds up pretty ugly — 57-43(?) I suspect the non-coalition MLAs will probably be a lot closer to 30 than 20 and that there will be a couple of Greens amongst them.

    I agree with those who say that O’Farrell ought to be called on what he thinks of major policy questions — particularly infrastructure and the funding base, where he sees the NSW budget four years from now and how he means to achieve it. Spending the next 160 days or whatever it is saying “I’m not the ALP” is not something he should be permitted to do.

  8. @Oakshott 105

    I had understood that the origin of Lang’s bitterness was that when he was a young paperboy, he had been hit by a Handsom (not Hanson) cabbie with a whip to get him to move out of the cab’s way.

  9. Aparently Keira has a very high proportion of students who will all be automatically enrolled this time around. I think that’s why it’s mentioned now as a dark-horse for The Greens.

  10. That was one of Lang’s stories. One of the others was that his father was a well respected jeweler who became ill with “rheumatics” and his business partner took off with the capital. His family was then reduced to living in Wexford St, Surry Hills but “they emerged from there with their integrity intact”. In the words of Nairn “it is not easy to piece together Lang’s life before 1896 – there are scraps of information in papers, his own memoirs and a ‘biography’ written by Sleeman in 1933 – a most unreliable source”.

  11. I want this Labor govt out, but I don’t want a Conservative govt in its place. I’ll be voting Greens, and/or giving a lot of thought to Independents. I’m not in the seat that Gordon Bradbury could be standing in, so I obviously can’t vote for him. The current member of Shellharbour is rarely seen or heard from(since both Wollongong and shellharbour Councils were sacked?) – just sitting all this out it would seem. I’m waiting to see if John Hatton’s been able to talk someone into standing in Shellharbour, or a Union Leader? Voting for O’Farell will be like going from the fying pan into the fire! Not for me, thanks! People have such short memories don’t they?

    Tell me one positive policy he’s put out there, apart from helping the Clubs via their new you beaut proposed pokie tax? Oh yes, I forgot, the Clubs will have to promise to hand out more money to community sporting bodies! Right! And who’s going to police that I wonder? Gee, he must think we’re all stupid or suffering severe memory loss? The current Labor govt has handed out millions to AFL, NRL and the Racing Industry, to the tune of about $200 million! What’s different in the attitude of O’Farrell? Nothing! Just handing out NSW taxpayers money to buy votes – just like the ALP? Sickening! Pox on both their houses I say!

  12. I know it is late in the day but I think it should be asked why the government is so hated.For what it is worth these are my thoughts on the key points:
    1. Tired and, due to the faction nomenklatura, talentless
    2. Lack of infrastructure but this is related to a number of factors.
    a. between 1993 and 2000 there was a massive infrastructure spending that went entirely to sport
    b. Carr’s abandoning of the sale of the electricity industry in 1996 – at that time it was worth something I think ~20-40B but the power of the electricity union and public sentiment stopped Carr. Iemma’s efforts were already too late but met the same fate. Whoever wins will now need to find a massive amount of capital to replace an ageing, obsolete and worthless system
    c. The new normal that says government’s must always be in budget and save the AAA rating. I guess that saved us in the GFC but if it had applied in the days of Lang we would still be crossing the harbour in ferries or paying an enormous toll on a PPP bridge.
    3. Developing image of corruption – this is understandable after 16 years in government but I think the bar is now very high. e.g. ministers dismissed after being found to have affairs, going to bath houses – are these really anything to do with their ministerial duties?
    Despite this:
    I really think the reality of NSW is not as bad as the image. Employment is high, industry still works, for a city the size of Sydney the infrastructure is OK. It all depends on who becomes Loto but I suspect Fatty’s lot don’t have much to offer and will be there as short a time as Greiner.

  13. I suspect that there are a range of matters conspring to make this government unpopular.

    Putting my own predisposition as a Green to one side (since I suspect that on March 27 we are most unlikely to exceed 20% of the primary vote, which must mean that 80% aren’t unhappy with the ALP for the same reasons I am) …

    1. People to get a bit bored with the “same old same old”. Now that the Playford-Peterson malapportionment days are gone very few governments in practice string together more than 3 or four election wins in a row. When they do, it is generally because the opposition falls about themselves squabbling or puts someone totally daffy in charge. Sometimes other factors conspire. One suspects if Howard hadn’t been as unpopular as he was in 2007 and if the Libs hadn’t looked as disorganised as they were then Iemma would not have won that year. Indeed, absent 4-year fixed elections, they might have been gone in 2005.

    There is a consensus within the mainstream that having a viable opposition is important to good government and that after a couple of terms getting their act together in opposition, if they succeed, they ought to be given a go.

    Which brings me to:

    2. The 4-year election cycle. At the time, many thought it a good idea but it has definitely been a factor in the degree of angst over this government. Once Howard was gone buyers’ remorse set in almost immediately and by 2008 it was toxic. The fact that the government was guaranteed until 2011 meant that this irrirtation was magnified. One suspects that the government itself spent a long time knowing it was done for in dead man walking mode. People figured that all discipline would break down because they were no longer persuaded they had a chance of winning and saw ever scandal real or hyped by the press in that light. That character partying hard on the couch in his undies really summed it up for many. Since that time there ministries have been changing almost on a weekly basis, there have been all manner of corruption scandals on the theme of links with property development and one suspect the names involved have tapped into at least some latent ethnic animus to people of non-Anglo background.

    Thus the revolving door at the top simply looked like a government that was rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

    3. Electricity privatisation. You can only blink your eyes in wonderment at this one. Polls showed that about 60-70% of the public hated the idea and that even most Liberal voters weren’t keen on it. Even now I can’t imagine why Iemma thought this would be a good idea or something they could get away with. It seemed as if they were absolutely determined to upset as many people as possible, to out-Howard Howard. They succeeded. I recall being really happy when he was dumped, and really hoped that Rees would return the party to something like sanity, making the obvious points. I even wrote to him on that basis but of course, with hindsight, it was a waste of time. I was forced to the conclusion that the party was simply incapable of acting coherently on anything, even its self-preservation.

    One of the more bizarre sidebarss to this was Queensland. They had the opportunity to see the mess that happened over privatisation in NSW, camapigned against it in QLD and on that basis Bligh fell over the line, and then she flipped over and did the same thing as Iemma, with the same result. With hindsight, this was even more unbelievable than it was in NSW. These two states then turned the Federal election toxic for the ALP and probably predisposed the sacking of Rudd and a whole new burst of life for the egregious opposition.

    Gosh these spin doctors were clever.

    One might add that organisationally neither party is anything much more than a hollow shell these days — a kind of marketing front for one wing or the other of local business. Lacking significant roots in the populace, this makes them very dependent on good media coverage to position their messages and the whole business of second-guessing how stuff will play in the news cycle is not only cynical — but once people get it into their heads that you are undeserving of being in government, it also looks cynical too.

    I’m not looking forward to 8 years of Liberal rule but on the other hand it’s hard to feel a tear for this depraved lot of crooks oozing from the slime at Sussex St. It’s just a pity that I can’t realistically hope for a Green-led government (or even opposition).

  14. re oakeshott @113

    Jack lang had an unusual talent for a politican of making enemies esp on his own side
    I suspect it was personality related……. I suspect he didn’t really care about anyone
    besides himself. there is a certain mystique about him though…… both Turnbull and Keating used to visit him for chats/guidance why?
    probably you are correct about the confusing information about him though

  15. Interesting Fran – how do you think the electricity problems can be fixed? Remembering these parameters:
    1. The state government has rust bucket generators which have less than 10 years life span
    2. The public wants cheap electricity and does not want to pay increased fees, government loans, or increased taxes
    3. Changing to renewable sources is vital but will cost a motza which, at present, the government monopoly must now find despite the strictures of 2. When the Libs sell the thing this will be factored into the price.
    4. Many in the public don’t believe in Climate change and many of the rest only believe in it if it doesn’t cost them anything
    5. NSW’s chief export is cheap and high quality coal
    I am in the left but REALLY! When Carr proposed selling the industry the hospitals, schools and other areas where Government activity is vital could have been boosted by the $20-40B. Instead we had old trots come out with arguments in favour of state capitalism (and my particular favorite having lotteries for the hospitals). In effect all they did was ensure that members of the electricity union got another 15 years of feather bedded jobs and left a situation where the Libs will sell the lot for about 20% of what it was once worth because anyone stupid enough to buy it knows what the future costs are going to be.

  16. @ 116 assuming that all you have said is correct
    I don’t think that is a reason for condemning NSW to 2 or 3 terms of Liberal Govt
    also I repeat the green vote exhausting, the presence of credible independents contesting seats and a probable low ALP vote….. suggest some unusual results
    eg….. Green vs Libs for Coogee. A decision whether to allocate preferences is almost as important decision as to whom they allocate to

  17. Yes Mick, I grew up in a house where he was worshiped. Later I read about how destructive he was within the NSW and federal parties and how his supporters were either knifed by him or were forced to gradually leave his side. Even when he was dumped he spent the last 30 years of his life creating divisions in the party. His nature came apparent to me when he was trotted out for the 1974 election and attacked Grassby for ending the last remnants of White Australia.

  18. Laocoon,

    Way back at 57.

    No, I don’t think Daley will lose Maroubra. But he will lose some bark. He is actually a very good local member, which could and should save him. But if he loses, he can thank the deadwood next to him in Heffron and surrounding him in Kingsford-Smith.

    A lot has been said about how bad the incoming Coalition government will be. As is their wont, the press won’t be asking a single question of O’Farrell and I can’t think of a single reason why anyone here would think otherwise. The so called political press has long since cast their lot with the Libs – as a bloc – and that won’t be changing in the forseeable future, ie as long as Murdoch and Packer have any say and their arses point to the ground. But having dealt with five rather hopeless NSW ALP Housing ministers over a certain issue, the five pathetic answers I got from them were so far in front of what I got from O’Farrell (in todays terms, think the straight six at Flemington) it is a sad joke.

    If anyone seriously thinks their will be an improvement with this ponderous plodder, who appears to want to get the word “union” into every single press grab, then they are having themselves on. He is hopeless and that string of hangers on like Gillian Skinner and the shadow transport minister whose name escapes me are no better. They have literally grown old in their shadow potfolios, whining about every late train and playing ambulance chaser to every public health tragedy. Anyone would think that sixteen years of their being on the sidelines, coupled with some sage Parrot Jones cajoling from the peanut gallery, is going to turn them into our saviours.

  19. [Interesting Fran – how do you think the electricity problems can be fixed? Remembering these parameters: 1. The state government has rust bucket generators which have less than 10 years life span 2. The public wants cheap electricity and does not want to pay increased fees, government loans, or increased taxes}

    Plainly they have to do the unthinkable and borrow some money, or perhaps tender for replacements — least worst — CCGT … I don’t see the argy bartgy over government debt as something people will object to if it is properly sold. People borrow to buy houses and cars and the government can borrow a lot more cheaply than we can.

    [Changing to renewable sources is vital but will cost a motza]

    Forget the renewables for the moment. They’d got to build gas as dollar for dollar it’s the cheapest of the lower CO2 options and it can be tweaked to work with wind. Personally I’m pro-nuclear, but realistically, that isn’t on the political agenda so gas is probably the best short term fix.

    [Many in the public don’t believe in Climate change and many of the rest only believe in it if it doesn’t cost them anything]

    The reality is that if they keep running their existing plant it will cost them more and sooner or later there will be a price on CO2 … And if we are shipping that coal instead of burning it …

  20. I agree with most of what you say BUT:
    1. At the last Federal election STOP THE DEBT Tony’s near success indicates to me that public debt is now electoral poison – the logical argument that Australia’s public debt is only 6% of GNP made no inroads. People are happy to have personal debt for flat screens but not public debt for roads schools etc.
    2. Yes the longer decreasing carbon emissions is put off the more it costs but once again this is a logical argument that has no effect if you are living from pay day to payday to pay off the mortgage, car, flat screen etc.

    Given NSW’s resources the best hope would be clean coal or sequestration but I don’t believe in either.

    So NSW energy is stuffed when 15 years ago it could have been turned into someone else’s problem except for the 60-70% of the population who apparently believed in state capitalism (or more likely felt they could manipulate the government into keeping prices artificially low and getting someone else to pay for their power – which is what has happened) and the electrical union workers who liked doing very little for a large amount of money

  21. Re NSW energy situation. How does this expenditure of $1.975bn rate in terms of efficiency?
    [HOUSEHOLDS will pay an extra $600 on their electricity bill over six years to cover the $2 billion cost of the failure of the state government’s overly generous solar power scheme….From midnight last Wednesday, the government slashed from 60¢ to 20¢ per kilowatt hour the tariff paid to households installing solar panel systems because the surging number of applications has blown out the scheme’s cost.

    In reports tabled in Parliament last week, the government disclosed that it had been advised that even after slashing the tariff for solar panels, it anticipated 777 megawatts of solar panels would be installed by the time the scheme closed.

    Already, 200 megawatts of capacity has either been installed or ordered.

    The reports detailed the total cost to households is forecast to reach $1975 million by 2017, placing a burden on homes at a time when power prices are rising sharply already.

    The government refused to indicate when it first became aware that the initial 50-megawatt target had been breached, which triggered an automatic review of the scheme. The government began that review in August.

    However, Country Energy, one of the largest distributors in NSW, was informing solar industry officials as early as May that the target had already been reached.

    Even so, the government ”dithered until August” before holding its review, with the report only completed last week, opposition climate change spokeswoman Catherine Cusack said yesterday.

    ”Labor’s billion-dollar blowout will be passed on to families who will pay at least an extra $100 per year on their electricity bills every year until 2017,” she said.

    The total cost to families in some regional areas could be $1000.]

  22. Aside from all the infrastructure upgrades, carbon price measures, and paying for sundry management incompetence, the electricity generators’ coal supply contracts start coming up for renewal – this will lead to a major increase in coal prices.

    There has been talk that the NSW government may start mining again (it sold off its mines a few years back), in some ludicrous Canute attempt to stop price adjustment occuring

  23. Re NSW Debt

    One of the state’s issues is it unfunded superannuation liabilities for its old defined benefit schemes for public servants (now substantially closed, but impact of the old schemes is still coming through).

    I read recently that this is in the order of $34bn

    Unlike the Commonwealth with its Future Fund, there is no obvious asset to transfer to retired public servants; so presume it is tax revenue.

  24. Oakeshott Country said:

    [At the last Federal election STOP THE DEBT Tony’s near success indicates to me that public debt is now electoral poison – the logical argument that Australia’s public debt is only 6% of GNP made no inroads.]

    That’s a misreading of the numbers. While the slogan didn’t harm the opposition, the fact remains that more than 50% of the public who voted ALP + Greens + Wilkie, Oakeshott and Windsor ignored the slogan. I did a rough count from VTRAEC and as nearly as I can work it out the ALP-aligned candidates outpolled the colation ones by about 500,000.

    Nor is it clear that all who voted coalition really oppose public debt or think it is currently a serious problem. Most of the coalition’s strength was concentrated in NSW and QLD where the unpopularity of the state governments’ attempts to reduce public debt by sell offs of public assets was an issue. So too has been the relative sluggishness of those two economies. Then there was the very badly sold RSPT, which in part would have addressed public debt but was poison in QLD & WA.

    We need to stop being intimidated by these rightwing Murdochracy-driven tropes. yes there are many people whose moronic rightwing tribalism makes them impervious to all but physical simulii, but that is not the crowd we are pitching at.

  25. No doubt about it, NSW Labor are headed for an electoral trainwreck in March 2011.
    I guess the only unknown is whether Keneally can save some of the furniture?
    Verity Firth is probably gone already(supposedly they’ll try and find an upper house vacancy for her after March), and I don’t like Carmel Tebutt’s chances of holding Marrickville. The Greens also could snag Coogee.
    I suppose they’ll desperately try and get John Robertson into a lower house seat – he’s probably their best hope of putting up any sort of opposition to O’Farrell after the election.

  26. evan14

    This speculation on John Robertson has been around before; has another airing in today’s fairfax press:
    [The Sun-Herald can reveal that the latest name added to the list is the long-serving Blacktown MP Paul Gibson, 66, who is understood to be on his way out.

    Mr Gibson maintains he has not discussed resigning with Sussex Street and intends to run as an independent if pushed.

    However, party sources said Mr Gibson was not expected to nominate when the preselection process for the Blacktown electorate is called within a fortnight.

    Speculation is also growing about another ALP veteran Richard Amery, in the safe seat of Mount Druitt.

    The ALP has Mount Druitt earmarked as a potential electorate for the Transport Minister, John Robertson, who is expected to switch from the Legislative Council to the lower house as a potential leader of Labor in opposition.

    Mr Amery said he had not made up his mind but would probably do so by the middle of next month.]

  27. You don’t need a poll to find out that Labour will receive a belting in 5 moths time.

    They are probably glad that they will be put to the sword because it will put them out of their misery.

    Lets hope the other mob will be a bit better.

  28. To those that worry about higher electricity prices there is a simple solution, use less
    or invest in solar panels.

    To those who worry about govt debt, cut back on your own debt because it is probably higher than the government percentage.

    To those who think NSW Labour will be re-elected, check into a psychiatric clinic because you are probably insane.

  29. [THE Liberal Party is banking on a rugby league legend known as “Joe Cool” to steal a heartland seat from the Labor Party at the upcoming State election.

    Former Australian and NSW representative John Dorahy has been confirmed as the Liberal candidate in the ALP stronghold of Keira in Wollongong, the seat currently held by former transport minister David Campbell, who is retiring from politics.]

  30. its a long WA from WA especially via the MSM. what does this mean for the NSW LC? off memory there are 2e MLCs elected each time so would this polling imply something like 11 Lib 5 ALP R Grn 3 Other? how will that leave the total numbers for a likely Lin govt? Will the LC have a quite different vote to the LA do people think?

  31. It’s 21 each time, so the quota is 1/22 = 4.55%. The votes in that PDF are: Coalition 46, ALP 23, Green 17, Others 14. That would give the following seat numbers: Coalition 10, ALP 5, Green 3, Others 3. ‘Others’ would include CDP, Shooters, Family First (Gordon Moyes), etc.

    2007 gave ALP 9, Coalition 8, Green 2, CDP 1, Shooters 1, so if that happened the total numbers would be: Coalition 18, ALP 14, Green 5, CDP 1, Shooters 1, Others 3.

    Obviously it’s very rough. One thing to note: the CDP or FF can win a seat, but not both, and they may even spoil each other’s chances if they put each other well down their tickets. Meanwhile, the Greens aren’t that far off getting a fourth seat (particularly with ALP surplus), or somebody else like the LDP might come along. My guess: the coalition are probably a seat short of a majority with just the Shooters and CDP, which would be a deeply scary situation.

  32. Other news from NSW:
    [THE NSW opposition has launched a fresh attack on the government’s proposed political donation and election spending laws with legal advice that says separate spending caps for Labor and Labor-affiliated unions may be unconstitutional.

    The Opposition Leader, Barry O’Farrell, says he will try to use the advice to persuade the NSW Greens, who are supporting the reforms introduced last week by the Premier, Kristina Keneally.

    The government’s bill proposes caps on political donations and campaign expenditure by individuals, political parties and so-called ”third parties”, such as unions, business and other interest groups.

    The Coalition agrees with much of the proposal, but strongly opposes trade unions being allowed to spend up to $1.05 million each during an election campaign.

    Mr O’Farrell has described the proposal as ”a racket” and the 22 unions affiliated with the Labor party as ”cousins to the mob”]

  33. As far as I can tell (and it is difficult because of the number of resignations and replacements) The terms of the following Labor MLCs are finishing:
    Tony Catanzariti
    Greg Donnelly
    Kayee Griffith
    Tony Kelly X
    Peter Primrose X
    Eric Roozendaal X
    John Robertson X
    Christina Robertson
    Penny Sharpe
    Ian West
    X marks the cabinet members and at this stage there are only likely to be 5 MLC seats.
    It will be a very interesting pre-selection to see who gets the 5th spot – to be frank I have never heard of most of these people

  34. I believe that I read that Christine Robertson is retiring at the election. The papers, for what it’s worth, are also reporting that John Robertson will contest a lower house seat.

    Penny Sharpe is a good person and very hard working MLC.

  35. Hmmm this just in:

    NSW’s long-term relationship with coal


    The NSW government has locked in a future with coal-fired electricity, flying in the face of its own policies.

    CHEAP COAL WILL BE guaranteed to electricity generators after the New South Wales Government’s decision to own and run a new coal mine in the state’s central west.


    The NSW government’s decision to go back into coal mining comes eight years after operating its last coal mine. According to the Treasurer, the NSW government’s involvement “secures significant long-term fuel supplies at a price that is less distorted by external price pressures”.

    But Greenpeace says the low coal prices can only be achieved if taxpayers subsidise the supply of dirty energy to the state.

    Climate campaigner John Hepburn says the move will see taxpayers underwrite cheap coal, lock in greenhouse gas emissions and subside the same companies that want to buy state electricity retailers. “[The NSW government doesn’t] seem to be embarrassed by that fact. It is possibly the most outrageous public policy decision in a generation.”


    The Climate Institute says the decision to run a mine to keep coal cheap is the opposite of a carbon price, and reduces the penalty on carbon emitters. “The government is making it hard for investors in renewable energy to come into the market by depressing the price of coal fired electricity,” says Deputy Chief Executive Officer Erwin Jackson.

    The Greens Upper House member John Kaye calculates that the subsidy of Cobbora coal against the market price would be in the range of $30 to $80 a tonne.

    “That means the New South Wales taxpayer would be spending as much as 2.4 billion dollars annually, to subsidise private coal fired electricity generation.”

    More reasons to look forward to them being annihilated.

  36. Fran Barlow
    [According to the Treasurer, the NSW government’s involvement “secures significant long-term fuel supplies at a price that is less distorted by external price pressures”.]
    ROFL – except I live in this benighted state 🙁

    Eric Roozendaal achieves what I thought was an impossibility – he makes Hockey look like he has a grip on modern economics

    “external price pressures” what do you mean – do you mean the M A R K E T price? Rather than a price Commissar Roozendaal would like to see??

    What a joke

    Roll on 26 March…

  37. @ 137
    thanks BoP. So if the 3 others split CDP, Shooters and Green a Lib govt would require both CDP & Shooters, Green or ALP support for each Bill. I expect that LC might flow a bit less in favour of the Libs. Still where that weaker “protest” goes will be interesting. Since the CDP seems to be centre-left on IR nothing too extreme may happen in that area. i’m sure there could be a curious legislative program in those circumstances, though! i should do some of my own legwork to compare voting differences between the houses historically.

  38. The CDP have an absolute position on ‘moral’ and ‘social’ issues and on other issues, such as IR, believe that the Government of the day should be supported. It’s just that Labor has been in for the past 16 years that the CDP seems reasonable on IR.

  39. Oakeshott Country

    It is not the debt that is poison, it is the mismanagement of the Debt that is poison

    The waste on the BER, the waste on the Green loan, the waste on the Insulation, most Australian just believe if the government was better, there would be significantly less debt

  40. Oakeshott Country, I agree 100% with all you said Re NSW energy situation, particularly to points you made in your first post on the subject. Point is (and this is not mentioned by the greens) is that electricity distribution (pole and wires monopoly) were not up for sale under the proposal in NSW. They will be after O’Farrell is elected though and any opposition to the sale of distribution assets will be dismissed with a ‘but the ALP was going to privatise the system’ when it was never proposed.

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