Essential Research: 59-41 to Coalition in NSW

Essential Research has produced Labor’s least bad poll of state voting intention in NSW for some time, based on responses in that state from Essential’s last four weeks of regular polling. The poll has Labor’s primary vote on 27 per cent, compared with 22 per cent and 20 per cent in the most recent Nielsen and Galaxy polls, with the Coalition on 51 per cent and the Greens on 12 per cent. The Coalition’s lead on two-party preferred is 59-41, compared with 66-34 from both Nielsen and Galaxy. The gap between Essential and Nielsen is notable given the very different results they produced on federal voting intention at the start of the week, as half the New South Wales sample from the federal poll also participated in the state poll.

The poll also provides demographic breakdowns: the Coalition leads 61-39 in Sydney and 56-44 in the rest of the state, 58-42 among men and 60-40 among women, and 56-44 among the 18-34 age bracket, 57-43 among 35-54s and 68-32 among those aged over 55. Nielsen had it at 66-34 in Sydney and 67-33 in the rest of NSW, so the disparity is particularly pronounced for “rest of NSW”. By my calculation, Labor’s two-party vote in 2007 was 54.5 per cent in Sydney and 46.8 per cent in the rest of NSW, so the swings recorded for Sydney are 21 per cent in Nielsen and 16 per cent in Essential, while for the rest of NSW it’s 14 per cent from Nielsen and 3 per cent from Essential. So the most likely explanation is that Essential has undercooked the Coalition vote in NSW. Furthermore, Antony Green writes on Twitter: “I can’t see how Essential Research get 59% 2PP out of their poll. Has to be at least 61%.”

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.

78 comments on “Essential Research: 59-41 to Coalition in NSW”

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  1. Voters are in the mood to chuck out governments who are doing nothing for them. Nothing about housing, nothing about jobs, transport, health and education and Labor is instead worried about deficits. Look at Victoria the floods linger on the people are getting angry because our governments are doing absolutely nothing.
    I bet they would rushing to these areas if an election was being held next week.
    The labor party also needs to scrap donations from business, developers and unfortunately unions and put in place total public advertising with set maximums to spend based on votes and total members with some addtional funding.

  2. Gusface @ 53

    [wait till labor start the whispers about morrison the grand wizard and barry the batty racist]

    That’d be worth another four points, on top, to the Libs.

  3. Thank Gough for Antony Green and his merry bloggers seeing through ER’s lame error.

    Now, back to the real world, it is apparent that the ALP will still get slaughtered, but there is a large indy vote especially in regional areas. As Antony says, if around half of all voters exhaust their votes the it is difficult to see more than the odd Green in Sydney (Balmain) be elected, and in fact the swing to the Coalition may well wipe off some Indys in the regions. This same result has occurred in other states where governments have been chucked out and pefectly innocent indys of all shades have been drowned in the wave.

    The Labor cheer squad here are still missing the point…this poll is not Gough sent. It is the NSW political equivalent of the 300 Spartans. Nice defence, still a massacre.

    What is the NSW ALP doing about it? If the posts here are anything to go by, typical self denial of their failings. It would be nice to see some self-effacing mea culpas (on behalf of their political darlings) and accept the inevitable or at least be interesting and supply ideas on how to reverse the inevitable.

    “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” – The Boxer, Simon & Garfunkel.

  4. I would be careful about calling on using Scott Morrison’s comments to attack the Liberals for Western Sydney will jsut become more preeved than they already are and boat people is not a negatitve for the Liberals at state level when compared to the weakness faced by the NSW Government

  5. Marky Candidates from Union backgrounds are not the problem as we saw in Victoria when Union leader Tim Pallas was regarded as one of the best performing Ministers in the Brumby Government.

    The ALP’s problem is generally how to attract people to politics. polly types tend to believe their views are right therefore it is hard for some to adopt an alternative which is why we get pollies that are narrow focussed and whilst talented just lack the delivery.

  6. Fair comment Gusface.

    It has never occurred to me that voting in my state electorate was ever going to be relevant, except in purely micro-symbolic terms. There has never been any prospect of a change in the party affiliation of the representative, even had I thought the major parties were different in some important way, which I don’t.

    Then again, that’s been true of the vast majority of electorates (state and federal) for as long as I can recall. And of course until quite recently, the Federal parliament has been in the firm control of one party or the other, so even those handful of electorates that are at serious risk of changing haven’t been relevant. In the 1998 Federal election, the fact that the ALP won the 2PP wasn’t enough to stop Howard romping home, so in a very real sense votes for the ALP were entirely wasted. So too were all votes for the Democrats since they didn’t stop Howard from doing what the people who voted Democrat or ALP (and in many cases even National and Liberal) hoped they’d stop him doing — privatising Telstra and bringing in the G&ST.

    One of the funnier things about the election cycle is the focus on the polling when, in the end, it doesn’t really matter because one bunch of RWDBs or the other is going to win. Sure, if Abbott had got across the line public finances would have been about $39bn worse off over the next 10 years than with the ALP winning, all else being roughly equal, but in the grand scheme of things with both parties indifferent to the state of ecosystem services or the wellbeing of working people or the parts of humanity outside of the electorate of Lindsay more generally, does this really matter?

    It’s hard to say.

  7. For those still trying to argue that NSW Labor shouldn’t be turfed, here is a charming story about the $8.5 million Woolwich harbour-front mansion that Eddie Obeid will be living in:

    Eddie clearly has some savy investment skills if he could afford this after 19 years on a backbencher’s salary (now ($130,000 pa). That is on top of his $6M house in Hunters Hill, a $1M apartment in Port Macquarie, and a $3M farm. If only the NSW State finances had been run this well 🙁

  8. @61……..I understand Mr O’beid was independently wealthy before he entered parliament. I presume if one is wealthy they tend to stay that way. not the proceeds of corruption

  9. Mick

    Actually Obeid seems to have made most of his money while in parliament, though the position is unclear. After all, he has been notorious for failing to declare his pecuniary interests while there. HE started out as a taxi driver though, so he has done well. Here is an extract from Wikipedia on Eddie’s business interests:
    [Initially working as a taxi driver and then property developer, the source of Obeid’s initial wealth and business is not clear. However, it is known that Obeid, together with his two brothers, inherited their father’s estate that comprised land and houses in Lebanon. In 1973, Obeid together with business partners, purchased an interest in the recently established Arabic press, El-Telegraph Newspaper, with Obeid later buying out his business partners. Obeid has since sold his personal interest and is no longer publisher.

    In September 2002, The Sydney Morning Herald alleged that Obeid was of NSW richest members of parliament. Media reports claimed that Obeid had purchased a property in Clovelly for $875,000 in 1991 and the following day sold the property to the New South Wales Department of Housing for $1.1 million. The Herald also claimed that two companies associated with Obeid have had debts of $5 million written off by various banks. It was also alleged that the Obeid family trust secured a loan from the Colonial State Bank for $18 million. The Herald also sourced an internal document from Macquarie Bank, claiming:

    “(Mr Obeid’s) financial position is complex, with investments in his various companies and projects being difficult to analyse due to the cross ownership with third parties.”

    These allegations arose at the same time as The Herald alleged that Obeid had attempted to solicit a $1 million payment in return for promising NSW Government support for the Canterbury Bulldogs Leagues Club’s $800 million Oasis housing development in south-western Sydney. As a result of these allegations, the Independent Commission Against Corruption conducted an inquiry and found that there was no evidence that any donation was made to the Labor Party in relation to the project. The Commission made a finding that Obeid had never solicited a donation and cleared him of any wrongdoing. In the meantime, The Herald reports for a series of articles concerning Canterbury Bulldogs salary cap breaches and the above (false) allegations had won a Gold Walkley. Obeid commenced defamation action against Fairfax Media and in 2006 the Supreme Court found that Obeid had been defamed and that the media article had contributed to Obeid losing his job as a NSW minister. Obeid was awarded $162,173 in damages, plus costs believed to have been more than $1 million.

    Obeid and his family also invested in Offset Alpine printing press with the late disgraced stockbroker Rene Rivkin; where investors yielded a small fortune when the overinsured printing premises were destroyed by fire in 1993 via an insurance payout. In a remarkable co-incidence, Obeid has also had two of his premises and two houses have gone up in flames. Obeid’s family have property interests in Lebanon, Port Macquarie, Terrigal, Bylong Valley, and Concord (since sold); and business interests in live sheep exporting to Syria and Iraq, and Streetscape Projects, a company that sells multipurpose street poles with street lights, banners and security cameras, including those in the City of Sydney municipal area.]
    So he has been lucky in purchasing government property, getting banks to forgive his debts(??!!), insurance, and unlucky with fires.

    I would also observe that Obeid’s record of conflicts of interest and non-disclosure wouldn’t have cleared the very low bar that John Howard set for his members.

  10. I see a lot of comment from ALP supporter that they “ALP supporters” thinks the Liberal team might be horrible, and people would not vote for them. The problem is in NSW, we know the ALP team IS horrible, and could not do anything right without at least 3 or 4 disasters. ie Electricity privatisation, blackouts, hospital, trains, Xicty Tunnel, Light rail etc, Even if the Liberals are horrible, the NSW ALP has left such a stench that a horrible Liberal government will get at least 2 terms

    As for those, who claimed this was a good government for the first 10 years, they completely ignore the fact that most of the problems NSW faces today is caused by the bad decisions and inaction nade by the Carr government. examples include

    – Not delivering on the NW rail line
    – not building the M5 with the ability to increasing capacity to 3 lanes each way
    – The stuff up of Dubbo and Orange hospital was during the time of planning under Carr
    – Not privatising Electricity earlier or investing in new supplier means we now have to pay other states to supply our electricity (inefficient, bad for environment)
    – Not investing in new infrastructure to ease congestion on paramatta rd
    – Somehow stuffing up the budget without doing any of the above

    The Carr government did very little for the state and spend a lot of money on public sector middle management to manage the “Spin” to the electorate. For example to reach the waiting list reduction, they removed alll “elective surgeries” from the list and changing the definition of a “late train”. Maybe the state opposition was incompetant during those years, or the public was stupid. But the Carr government was not a good government for NSW

  11. That it was called “the car government” told us that we were headed no place good on public transport (or other public policy for that matter) 😉

    Sure enough, we got a lot more cars on a lot more roads purchased at a price much higher than was needed. Carr was really the NSW version of John Howard.

  12. Fran Barlow: I’m in Epping too!
    I’m going to vote for the young woman who’s standing for Labor – she might be a good prospect for the future, if they find her a safer seat next time.
    Greg Smith of course will win easily, in spite of his association with the David Clarke faction of the Coalition.

  13. O’Farrell’s policy launch: very uninspiring & light on policy, but he can get away with running a very small target strategy & the media are going to give him & his team the easiest ride possible up to polling day.

  14. Evan

    The problem for ALP supporters is simple. Will you keep ‘enabling’ the ALP leadership to ignore your wishes or will you finally, like a spousal abuse victim who has finally realised that the relationship is a fraud and a dead end, say enough.

    The ALP’s most loyal supporters are not mrely setting themselves up for disappointment — their unwavering support is aiding those who have been hollowing out the party — turning it into an affront to the aspirations of those who look to it still to assist working people to secure justice. When you ask yourselves — who is responsible for this impending debacle? — if you are honest, you will admit that in the end, it is you. You hoped the party would mend its ways, but in your heart of hearts, you knew that it would continue going out on the town to party with people who were not so loyal and who, unlike you, had other options. So now, ask not for whom the bell tolls — it tolls for thee.

    You should not vote for the Liberals of course. That would be as wrong as it would be irrelevant. You need do no more than stand aside because there are more than enough ignorant and stupid people to elect the Liberals and even if yu were to vote ALP again, there simply aren’t enough of you to hold back the tide. Your vote will be purely symbolic. The question you need to ask yourselves is — symbolic of what?

    I would argue that it needs to be symbolic of the values you hold dear. You have it within your power to send the ALP a message about the kinds of policies and the kind of accountability in NSW you’d like. You can tell them whether you like the idea of s3c of the planning act, which allows the Minister to simply declare that any old project is “of state significance” and can ignore local approval processes. You can decalre whether you like public infrastructure assets to be privatised, or whether coal companies can destroy the fragile environments with fracking for coal seam gas and whether big coal companies should get a public subsidy for burning coal from folks like Roozendale or his successor. You can declare that you want the party to be an expression of the values of its members. You can do that only one way — by voting Green. Today, the authentic party of Labor values like fairness and justice, not to speak of the environment, is The Greens.

  15. Dovif (67) A very good post but I suspect that the many ALP barrackers on this forum will continue to run the line that the O’Farrell team is ‘horrible’. There is too much of the born to rule among NSW ALP members and their supporters.

  16. But, the O’Farrell team is “terrible” – Chris Hartcher, Duncan Gay, that irritating Gladys whatever her surname is, Andrew Stoner, Jillian Skinner, Prue Goward etc.
    If this government wasn’t so on the nose, O’Farrell wouldn’t win.

  17. The Keneally team is as “terrible” – Roozendaal, Daley, Hatzisgeros, Costa. I’d argue Verity and Carmel have been pretty ineffective too.

    The NSW Labor has fallen so low in the last two terms that, for this inner city latte-sipping lefty, a fresh Liberal team is now as attractive as this worn-out Labor team.

  18. [The NSW Labor has fallen so low in the last two terms that, for this inner city latte-sipping lefty, a “fresh” Liberal team is now no more unattractive than this worn-out Labor team.]

    There … I fixed your text.

  19. Agree with Fran’s comments on Bob Carr -to me the rott started right back with him, when the State’s revenues were mismanaged when things were going well in 2002-2004.

    For those who wonder why I criticise NSW Labor so often, here are a few more good reasons why: IA documents released under FOI show NSW funding submissions for transport projects have been repeatedly refused because of their poor quality and failure to address issues:

    I can assure you that working on transport projects in Sydney can be a very frustrating experience.

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