Galaxy: 66-34 to Coalition in NSW

I don’t have comprehensive data to hand, but I believe NSW Labor has recorded the worst opinion poll result in Australian history. The Galaxy Research survey of 800 respondents (margin of error about 3.5 per cent) has Labor’s primary vote on 20 per cent (yes, 20 per cent), just five points clear of the Greens. With 51 per cent, the Coalition can make a rare claim to an absolute majority of the primary vote. On two-party preferred, the Coalition has an (I think) unprecedented lead of 66-34, pointing to a swing of over 18 per cent – which if uniform would reduce Labor to about 14 seats out of 93. Though in fact it’s actually worse than that, as optional preferential voting would further starve Labor of Greens preferences.

On top of that, Kristina Keneally’s personal ratings are not what they used to be: she has an approval rating of 30 per cent and a disapproval rating of 62 per cent, putting her in the same sort of territory as Anna Bligh (though we could maybe do with an update on that one). Barry O’Farrell on the other hand would appear to be benefiting from the comparison: he has 53 per cent approval and 33 per cent approval. O’Farrell has a 54-32 lead as preferred premier, which is about as good as it gets for an opposition leader.

Full results from GhostWhoVotes.

UPDATE: I see that Galaxy have asked Greens voters what if anything they will do with their preferences, finding 55 per cent will direct them but 44 per cent will just vote one. This appears to be hardly different from the last election, when about 40 per cent of Greens votes exhausted. However, a) the sample of Greens voters is very small (about 120), and b) the 55 per cent figure presumably includes some who will number more than one box without passing a preference on to either major party.

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.

201 comments on “Galaxy: 66-34 to Coalition in NSW”

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  1. Bartlett to resign as Tas Premier

    Not surprised given some of the rumours that I have heard about him

    “family reasons”


  2. Mexican

    The ALP will be under threat from right leaning independants in Newcastle and Wollongong. They usaully come out of local government. They polled well in Newcastle in 2007 – winning in Lake Macquarie and coming close in Newcastle, and a good second in Charlestown. There was a similar pattern in 1988 when the ALP last lost.

    The ALP seriously have a lot to be worried about.

  3. are these opinion polls right? and if yes will they be reflected in the election?
    the role of green voters is important here…. do they want to exhaust their preferences
    to elect liberals? Does a small target strategy work? it didn’t for Kim Beazley
    Do people really want a 10 year plus liberal Govt? what about the inevitable expenditure cutbacks? there is a huge difference between a normal result say 46/54 and a landslide

  4. blackburnpseph @ 52

    [The ALP seriously have a lot to be worried about.]

    For instance, if the Libs and Nats have a falling out, Labor may not even get to be the official opposition.

  5. blackburnpseph

    I was more talking about ALP vs Liberal/Nationals, I recall was it 2007 that the ALP were under pressure from indies in one or two Hunter valley seats

  6. I think there is a possibility in this election that the Libs will seats that until the last 6 months or so, they or anybody else wouldn’t dream they would win. Cabramatta is one, maybe even Balmain if the ALP comes a poor third.

    26 March will be one interesting night … interesting but not late!

  7. Thts is the beauty of landslides, seeing seats fall that no one expected.

    The scary thing for the NSW ALP is if we saw such a solid swing in Victoria against a solid Government then March the 26th is surely going to be ugly

    I suspect the Liberals would win seats like Balmain, Dunmoyne and even Granville before Cabermatta but then again there is still two months to go.

  8. what will the liberals do if they manage to govern without needing the national Party?
    will David Clarke be a minister?

  9. There is no way that the Libs will not form a government without the Nats. There are recent precedents for this in 1996 federally and 1992 in Victoria when the Libs had a majority in there own right.

  10. Mexican

    Even Antony Green will want some votes to be in before calling it! but they might be able to cross to the weather at 7:25!

    After the dismal ALP wakes at the federal and Victorian elections, what venue have they booked for this? … how small a function room can you get?

  11. blackburnpseph @ 61

    [they might be able to cross to the weather at 7:25!]

    . . . and start Midsomer Murders half an hour earlier.

  12. The seat of Newcastle may well go to the Libs. Their candidate is Tim Owen a newly retired Air Commodore whose last gig was 2IC in Iraq. He is being increasingly seen locally as a high quality person and I agree. John Tate the mayor of Newcastle is running as an independent and could win because of his long local history. John Tates’ main problem seems to be the excessive amount of time that he takes to make a decision about anything.There is also been some ongoing criticism in council about his personal relationship with a developer. Not as popular among my friends as the press likes to make out. I do not know Jodie McKay but one of my friends who does likes her immensely and has stated that she will get his vote. And that is fair enough too.
    I am in the Charlestown electorate where Mathew Morris could well be facing an uphill battle as well. Friends that I have spoken to have stated that Labor will not be receiving their vote this time. I have only on two occasions ( both about 30 yrs ago) voted other than Labor and my wife has said that she has never voted other than Labor. Neither of us will be voting Labor in March. We will most likely not vote Liberal however and will probably look for an independent.. I do not see the Greens as a viable alternative.

  13. Very few recent elections have been called on the night. Think Fed 10, SA, Vic, Tassie, WA, NT. I believe Qld was the only one in the last years to buck the trend.

    I’ve got a feeling NSW won’t last more than an hour though.

  14. NSW polling
    If you look at this poll,abiout half of the Green/Indies voters DON’T intend to give anyone their prefs….so that will be disastarous for the ALP.
    The Greens will have a better chance in Labor seats where the ALP will come in third.
    So the Greens might win seats like Balmain…
    This is the worst Labor vote since the first Labor Govt in 1911 in NSW……worse than even the huge swing after Lang in 1932…

  15. That optional voting does ad to the mix something was missing from the Victorian result. i recall without checking that the ALP used Green preferences to overcome Liberal Party leads in about six seats

  16. According to Antony Green based on the current state boundaries the following 31 seats woudl have voted for the ALP at every state/federal election since 1991

    Auburn, Balmain, Bankstown, Blacktown, Cabramatta, Campbelltown, Canterbury, Cessnock, Charlestown, Coogee, East Hills, Fairfield, Granville, Heffron, Keira, Lakemba, Liverpool, Macquarie Fields, Maitland, Maroubra, Marrickville, Mount Druitt, Newcastle, Parramatta, Rockdale, Shellharbour, Smithfield, Swansea, Toongabbie, Wallsend and Wollongong.

    I was aware as Antony points out that in the 1991 and 1995 election the Liberals won Maitland.

    I think it is safe to say that the ALP won win any seats not mentioned in this list of 31 and may lost several of them.

  17. Re Women Premiers
    All male Labor Premiers replaced by women Premiers.have ended in disaster and defeat
    Lawrence in WA
    Kirner in Vic
    Kennelly in NSW
    Bligh in Qland(though she did win an election but slumped later)
    so what about Giddings in Tas ????????????????????
    ..the coalition with the Greens might save her…………
    Perhaps when GG returns from Tassy he will have news for us….or he might have turned Green!!!!!!!!!!

  18. @68…. Maitland can have two sets of boundaries……. when extends into towns like Dungog… it tends to be a Liberal seat. The more it covers Maitland only… the more Labor it is. At the moment it is a relatively strong Labor seat…… against the Libs. Mr Blackmore did very well in 2007 to come within 2% of winning. Needless to say 1991 to 1995 was a more liberal seat

  19. @60 the Liberals hate the Nationals…… one day they’ll take them on and wipe them out……. the Nats have a problem in that they cannot act independently of the Libs….. this is the reason why people like Tony Windsor win and retain their electorates

  20. despite some peoples hopes the Libs will not win Newcastle or Balmain……. they could be lost to a green or independent though depending on Liberal preferences

  21. The thing about Joan Kirner that is often forgotten is that she actually saved the ALP from potentially a bigger lost, there were several seats that the ALP just held seats like Dandenong North for example

  22. Mick please excuse my lack of knowledge of Sydney but is Belmain more like Prahran & Albert ParK or more like Richmond / Brunswick

  23. @74…. please excuse my lack of knowledge of Melbourne… but I think the later would be the case… Richmond/Brunswick

  24. Mick Quinlivan

    inevitable expenditure cutbacks.

    Considering Nathan Reese (before he was knifed) went to the public sector unions and asked them whether he could reduce the size of the public service….. you will know that there are going to be cut backs.

    The reason NSW is such a basketcase started with Bob Carr… For example, to reduce hospital waiting lists…. Carr employed a group of bean counters… whose job is to reduce those waiting lists … not by having more occupations, but reallocating people who requires elective surgeries off the list

    Likewise it was the same with Cityrail (Shityrail) where a lawyer of beuraucrats was employ to figure out how to report more trains on time … their solution was less trains (in a growing city) and slower trains …. so even if the trains are late, they can catch up
    … So it takes 4 more minute for people to get to work compared with 20 years ago

    Instead of finding real solutions to problems …. there is layers of public service, whose job is to manage the delivery of problems …. people eventually wakes up to this

  25. mexicanbeemer

    Balmain … inner city … old industrial area now populated with Uni student, artist and young couples, including those with alternative lifestyles…. most of these are professionals …. area is full of good restaurants and bars

  26. Like the federal election …. There will be certain ethnic groups who will move en-mass to the Liberals in these election … area like Coogee, Rockdale, Oakley and the Sunderland shire will be Blue

    Being around town these last few days, I can report the ALP’s reelection material is Green and does not contain any mention of the ALP in a lot of their advertisment

  27. East Hills, Oatley?
    I’d be surprised if Labor lose those two.
    My prediction is that Labor will lose a little less badly than the polls are predicting, something equivalent to Barry Unsworth’s landslide defeat in 1988.

  28. evan 14

    the electricity power sale is the last straw that probably broke the back of rusted on ALP supporters … think of it this way NSW ALP primary is 20% and 47% of those 20% are not committed … that says a lot

    Quite simply the Electricity Privatisation looked like another rot… most of NSW think the state should sue NSW ALP for any losses after the election … this include a majority of the 20% remaining ALP supporters

    Any final claim of competence was gone with the sale and most people of NSW now wonders whether there was corruption involved … the best thing Kristina and co can do is to scrap the sale and say sorry … because it led to the destruction of Kristina’s credibility … which was the last thing left for the NSW ALP

    The NSW ALP won’t get anywhere near 25 seats and seats like Oakley will certainly go

  29. An absolute rout is the worst possible result for the people of NSW. Some semblance of opposition is necessary to keep any government honest.

    Labor’s been there too long and there have been a couple of instances of corruption. But, by and large, this is not much worse than the general run of state governments.

  30. If there is a rout, Labor will be left with a cricket team of hacks like Noreen Hay – hardly the basis to form a credible opposition.
    Things must be really dire if Keneally is having to campaign in Blacktown with John Robertson.

  31. Anything short of a rout, will be a undeserved let off for NSW Labor.
    Can any sane person vote for NSW Labor after this government?
    It would also encourage the likes of other poor Labor governments to do the same

  32. The Greens will be lucky to win Marrickville let alone Balmain this election. There are too many axes grinding for voters to swing to the Greens instead of the Liberals.

    The NSW Greens long-term strategy should be to build a supporter base across the Inner West and the Blue Mountains to sweep the council elections next year. With Part 3A on the way out (I’ll believe it when I see it), local councils will have more power than before. It’ll also give Greens further access to the community to build their profile for state elections (cf. Fiona Byrne and Jamie Parker).

    2015 will be the Greens’ biggest chance: it’ll be a lacklustre election because the Libs will not have governed well but the public won’t think that Labor deserves to win. An expanded Greens party room with 5 or 6 MLCs and 1 or 2 MLAs will give the portfolio coverage and public funding they need to truly launch a devastating attack on the two-party establishment.

    My biggest fear is that Libs+Shooters+CDP will have outright majority. That’s almost a certainty in this climate and that does not bode well for this state.

  33. @ 81 a repeat of the 1988 election gives labor 30 to 35 seats… there would not be a loss of East Hills in this case

  34. Well biasdetector @ 86

    The answer is No.

    Having said that a more pertinent question may be;

    ‘Can any sane person vote in the next NSW election’?

    The words of Billy Connoly come to mind here – ‘”Break the f***ing law – you are only encouraging them. They are all a bunch of Barrow Boys!’

  35. If voting wasn’t compulsory, I wouldn’t bother turning up to the local polling booth on March 26. I live in a safe North Shore Liberal electorate, so the result isn’t in doubt here. And I’ve got no intention to vote Labor again, but I’m not thrilled about the Liberal or Greens alternatives. So I better hope that there’s a decent local independent running in Epping. 😀

  36. Fatty O’Barrell looks to me just like to coast to victory on the collapse of Labor rather than the strength of his own leadership and policies.

    The people of NSW will discover soon enough he will be a do-nothing Premier. You have to pity the people of NSW.

  37. The finnigans at 92

    What makes you think that Barry O’Farrell will be be a do nothing premier. I think he is showing good signs with his decision to can the Parramatta to Epping railway. I also think he has some good potential with people like Baird, Smith, Skinner and Piccoli . The rest are unknown but hopeful, with a few lazy types that Barry would do well to get rid of. It is rare for an opposition front bench to look better than the government’s but I think the longer we go on the better the coalition looks.

  38. Most governments around Australia to a fair job, but they are still on the nose. Look at what happened in Victoria.

    Then cast your eyes around the world. Forget the basket cases like Afghanistan, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast etc.

    Other governments out of favour include those of Albania, Tunisia, Greece, Portugal, Algeria, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Britain (where promises have been broken and the NHS is under threat).

    KKK is not so bad after all.

  39. If anyone thinks the ills of Australias most populous state will be miraculously cured by the election of any Govt. Well they are dills.

    What happens in four years if O’Farrell is actually worse than the current mob?

  40. ruawake @ 96

    [What happens in four years if O’Farrell is actually worse than the current mob?]

    I think we can safely say the Libs won’t be laundering tax payer dollars through the TWU as Labor have done.

  41. [I think we can safely say the Libs won’t be laundering tax payer dollars through the TWU as Labor have done.]

    No, I very much doubt that the TWU will be the source of Govt largesse under an O’Farrell Govt. but I can think of others who will benefit. Of course Askin was a Saint.

  42. Finns

    The smart thing is to do nothing for O’Farrell. He just needs to point out that Labor has to go. Why do anything else?

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