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. Hey, if the narrowing keeps up, Kristina could save some of these seats for NSW Labor.
    I’m going to vote for the Labor candidate in Epping, not that this will make any difference LOL

  2. Its the narrowing!

    Is Mark Arbib moonlighting for the Libs? 😀

    Seriously htis is a very large difference from the Newspoll. What is the sample size and MOE? Labor are still dead, but this will affect the upper house and seats lost.

  3. To answer my own question, I jsut saw the ER sample is 1247, which should give an MOE under 3%. In that case the difference between the polls is difficult to reconcile.

  4. The slipping back could be due to O’Farrell and a couple of his ministers back tracking on their implied promises to fix things in NSW. They are now putting in provisos, making preemptive excuses and throwing in a few other ifs and buts, which after years of pure negatives giving the implication they would make things right again, stuck out like the proverbials.

    I note though this must have been picked up by someone in the NSW Liberals as they have gone back to being negative for negativities sake and stopped making grand promises.

    Just as has turned out for Barnett and Baillieu, both who have back tacked on several key promises made during elections and in bashing the Labor governments before that, O’Farrell will be no different and I suspect worse.

    Watch the excuses fly, mostly blaming Labor, the moment they start breaking promises and NSW is slightly or no better off under the Coalition.

    The long term State Labor governments didn’t come about because the previous Liberal governments were good governments.

  5. The Essential poll has a stronger Coalition primary vote (by one point) in Sydney than the Nielsen poll does.

    Does a 2PP really apply if there is widespread preference-exhausting? I think that’s the Antony Green argument.

  6. “Killer” Kenneally rolling “The Barrel” would be the best “rope a dope” victory since Ali v Foreman in Zaire.

  7. If this was the actual election result, according to Antony Green’s calculator, Labor would lose 23 seats – down to 27 seats from a present 50.

  8. By my calculation, Essential only has a 3 per cent swing against Labor outside of Sydney, which seems hard to believe. Taken together with what Antony says about the 2PP, this poll might not be as good (a highly relative term in present circumstances) for Labor as it looks.

  9. That eleven point gap in 2PP outside Sydney between Nielsen and Essential is really weird. How’d that happen? Are their methodologies that different?

  10. Id guess the difference is down to a sampling error, but remember each time a population is divided you can no longer use the 1300 people, 2.75ish margin of error. It’s now a much smaller population, which thus has a higher chance of getting it rather wrong.

    That said if Essential have screwed up simple preference calculations, doesn’t give much faith in the tricky part of polling – getting the sampling right across the population.

  11. What is the definition of Sydney? This gap may be explainable if Labor’s vote is holding up on the Central Coast, Hunter and Illawarra. If so Wallsend might yet be saved.

  12. When you apply these figures to Antony Greens election calculator, it is interesting to note how much stronger the ALP is in the Illawarra compared to the Hunter.

    I believe very strongly that the effort on the ground on election day can make a big difference to the final result. So, if there is to be a gargantuan swing to the Libs on election day – will they be able to put troops on the ground in the real outliers to harness that momentum? If not, that might save seats like Wallsend.

    In this respect, the ALP task is easier – and in their ‘safe’ seats they will have more resources to start with. Do the ALP just give up on certain seats?

  13. I’m hoping the ALP is reduced to no more than around a dozen at most. Most of these people are simply lead in the public policy saddle bags. They need to introspect in the understanding that there is nothing they can do to prejudice their position.

    So a worst case scenario is the best case for public policy.

    Disclosure: I will vote Green and then exhaust.

  14. I am of the view that the Greens might win in Blue Mountains by pushing the ALP into third.

    Does anybody have a view that there may be similar seats where the Greens might get up by pushing the ALP into third? Coogee possibly?

    Safe Lib seats don’t count as the Libs will win handsomely anyway.

  15. @26 the greens will not win any seats such as coogee & Blue Mountains
    should they out poll Labor…… they won’t get enough preference votes to beat the Libs

  16. [Tom Hawkins
    Posted Friday, February 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink
    We’re Comin’ Back!

    We’re Comin’ Back!]

    Onya Tom. Keep up the good spirits!

    [Antony GREEN
    Posted Friday, February 18, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink
    Here’s my calculations

    Antony / William:

    Looks to me like they have taken the primary votes for Coalition and ALP and then distributed the other votes according to the 2010 Federal election. That gives about 59:41 although it would be completely incorrect to assume (I reckon 2/3 voters’ prefs will exhaust this time)

    [Greensborough Growler
    Posted Friday, February 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink
    “Killer” Kenneally rolling “The Barrel” would be the best “rope a dope” victory since Ali v Foreman in Zaire.]

    Howdy GG. So what are your predictions for March? This poll hits my predictions out of the ballpark so probably safe for you to have a punt if you trust them!

  17. @26

    Greens won’t win any of those seats….under OPV all it will do is split the Left vote and make a 99% chance of Liberal victory into a 100%.

    Heathcote might be another seat where Labor crash to third in 2011. The Greens racked up 30% in parts of the northern Illawarra last time.

    Plus most of the North Shore seats will finish as Lib vs Green….

  18. MDM and others.

    Verity Firth has indicated that in Balmain, the ALP will be preferencing the Greens. So why not in Blue Mountains or Coogee.

    MDM , presumably those booths in Heathcote (Stanwell Park or somewhere like that I assume) would be very small and would be outweighed by the much bigger booths north and south where the Greens would come a distant third.

  19. Regardless of the polls i think the result whilst it will be an ugly result on an historical scale but the ALP should be able to hold at least 25 seats with another 10 maybe being held.

    regardless this will not be pretty.

  20. In BM and Coogee the Libs primary will be too high and Labor’s primary too low (if they’re finishing lower than the Greens) for Labor preferences to matter.

    Antony’s done some posts on OPV which suggests even when major parties direct, the flow of prefs is only around 50%, with the rest exhausting.

  21. blackburnpseph@26: I don’t think the Greens can win Blue Mountains and Coogee. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they beat the ALP into second, but I would expect the Liberal vote to be so high that – especially under OPV – there’s no way they could catch up.

  22. @33 If Labor were to come 3rd than I think you are correct
    The Green approach elsewhere (vote 1 green then exhaust) doesn’t help
    OPV….. is exactly that . It accentuates the winners margin… where one party polls well.
    the challenge to all who don’t want a liberal mp in the upper or lower houses is to extend their preferences putting the libs last. Even these landslide polls are showing 45 to 47 % not voting liberal. Remember it is the voters who decide their preferences .

  23. I love scott morrison

    he single handedly has polarised the most vulnerable elctors in NSW

    your great service will not go unrewarded, Grand Wizard

    barry is your boy and every single voter will soon learn that fact

    veni vidi vomitti

  24. In the last post at #57 Mick Quinlivan said:

    [ ….I urge all green voters to preference the ALP ]

    Is it fair to say that all Labor voters should preference the Greens (irrespective of the Sussex Street determined HTV card)

  25. how our contry is colonised….

    Both the ABC and SBS decided that the recommenndations of the ALP study were recommennding that we adopt a USA “primaries” ….

    apart from the fact that they were NOT recmmending that

    and the fact that their recommendations are stupid, why did both ABC and SBS both say that they were the same as USA primaries? .. weird

  26. Gusface @ 36

    [barry is your boy and every single voter will soon learn that fact]

    Yes, it should be worth a couple of extra points to the Libs.

  27. [Yes, it should be worth a couple of extra points to the Libs.]

    i prefer dot pints

    as in the powerpoint presentation of scott and barry at the local rally of the WSB

    more than points my friend

    daggers at the least

  28. It will be a landslide win to the Libs. And what for Labor another review?
    Quite simply the party does not need reviews it needs policies that help working people and this it has not got the guts to implement.
    Presidental style runoffs, what next? This has to be a crazy idea. It will not end the factional game play. In fact the stackers will bring in their friends not in the party and and mates from work. It is a stupid idea by stupid people. The party needs to go back to the policies of yesterday that is what members want not policies which help the rich. What are doing about competition in this country? The banks, supermarkets, the oil industry? The party has walked away from real reform and instead gone after the small players, whoopee do?
    i do think reducing the hegemony of unions decidiing candidates is a good idea but it needs to scrap the role head office has in choosing candidates totally.
    Let members decide. And members need to have bona fida proof that they are party members and this needs to be enforced, not a system of presidential style candidates why rip up the old ways if you not exactly put an effort into them.

  29. In the previous post I said I had had discussions with my Bookie – after all we only need to get about 36% primary – on these figures that is only 12% away!

  30. Whenever I ask Dovif what he has against the government he says that the number of trains stopping at St Peters has been cut from 4x/hr to 3x/hr. I would hope for his sake that BO’F has made fixing this scandal his no.1 priority

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