Newspoll: 63-37 to Coalition in NSW

UPDATE: We now also have, courtesy of the Daily Telegraph, a Galaxy survey of an undisclosed number of respondents in Marrickville which shows Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt set to be dumped by Greens candidate and local mayor Fiona Byrne. The poll has the Greens leading 44 per cent to 33 per cent on the primary vote and 57 per cent to 43 per cent after preferences. Of the 16 per cent who voted Liberal, 16 per cent planned to preference the Greens, 12 per cent Labor and 65 per cent would exhaust. The poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday.

I wouldn’t have thought opinion polling for the remainder of the NSW election campaign was likely to turn up much in the way of surprises, but the latest Newspoll offers a real curiosity: a six-point dive for the Greens, who are down from 17 per cent to 11 per cent. This has allowed both major parties to make gains, with Labor up three to 26 per cent and the Coalition up four to 50 per cent – a very rare achievement in modern politics. The two-party result is 63-37, which compares with 62-38 in the bi-monthly poll conducted over January and February. However, given the impact of optional preferential voting, the improvement in Labor’s primary vote means this is a “better” result for them than last time.

On personal ratings, there has been a substantial drop in the uncommitted response for both leaders. I am tempted to link this to the decline in support for the Greens – with a leader-centred election campaign now in full swing, the Greens are being squeezed out of the media space and wavering voters are jumping off the fence. Kristina Keneally has lifted herself off the floor with a four point increase on approval to 34 per cent, but she’s also up a point on disapproval to 58 per cent with uncommitted down five to 8 per cent. Barry O’Farrell’s approval rating is up even further than Keneally’s, by six points to 49 per cent, with disapproval up two to 37 per cent and uncommitted down eight to 14 per cent. O’Farrell’s lead as preferred premier has narrowed slightly, from 47-32 to 48-35.

A question on firmness of voting intention more or less replicates the Galaxy result of last week in finding what remains of the Labor vote softer (53 per cent say definite, 38 per cent say not definite, 8 per cent say they could go either way) than for the Coalition (70 per cent, 22 per cent and 5 per cent). A question on which party respondents expect to win shows 11 per cent getting the answer wrong and 77 per cent getting it right. Full tables courtesy of GhostWhoVotes.

I had the following to relate in a post earlier today – since this was only a few hours ago, I’ve reupholstered the existing thread with the Newspoll results rather than start again.

• The Daily Telegraph reports Labor internal polling is so bad that John Robertson appears headed for defeat in his bid to move from the upper house to the lower house seat of Blacktown, which has a margin of 22.4 per cent. To be precise, while “one union source” believes the polling shows him holding on by between 3 and 5 per cent, “other senior party sources said it was worse and he could lose the seat”. Also likely to fall are Mulgoa (margin 11.1 per cent, being vacated by the retirement of Diane Beamer), Smithfield (15.5 per cent, held by Ninos Khoshaba), Macquarie Fields (11.1 per cent, held by Andrew McDonald) and even Toongabbie (14.5 per cent, held by former Premier Nathan Rees).

• Yesterday saw the closure of nominations and the drawing of ballot paper positions. There are 498 candidates for the Legislative Assembly, down from 537 in 2007, and 311 for the Legislative Council, down from 333. The Coalition lucked out by drawing “group A” for the Legislative Council, which will put them on the far left of the ballot paper.

• Sean Nicholls of the Sydney Morning Herald reports the entry of former Leichhardt mayor Maire Sheehan into the race for Balmain has given an “unexpected boost” to Labor member Verity Firth in her bid to hold off a challenge from Jamie Parker, Greens candidate and mayor of Leichhardt. Antony Green agrees the entry of Sheehan could further split the non-Labor vote, with Sheehan declaring she will not be directing preferences. Sheehan sided with Liberal and Labor councillors in 2004 which deprived Jamie Parker of the mayoralty for four years.

• The Australian Financial Review reports the Liberals will announce today (and may have already done so) that they will not be directing preferences.

Latest additions to the election guide, focusing on Sydney’s outer west and south-west:

Wollondilly (Labor 3.3%): Labor did well to recruit local mayor Phil Costa as candidate to this newly created seat in 2007, who did much to allow them to retain the seat. He is gamely taking the field again, but faces certain defeat at the hands of local councillor Jai Rowell.

Camden (Labor 4.0%): Labor’s Geoff Corrigan has held this south-western outskirts seat since 2003, but now stands no chance of holding off local mayor and Liberal candidate Chris Patterson, who is making a second tilt after falling short in 2007.

Londonderry (Labor 6.9%): This seat has had two Labor members since it was created in 1988: Paul Gibson, who moved to Blacktown in the shake-up resulting from the reduction in the size of parliament in 1999; Jim Anderson, who died on the morning of the 2003 election; and Allan Shearan, a former Blacktown councillor who has remained on the back bench in his two terms in parliament. He stands next to no chance of winning a third, with Hawkesbury mayor Bert Bassett looking certain to win the seat for the Liberals on his second attempt after falling well short in 2007.

Penrith (Labor 9.2%/Liberal 16.5%): Until June last year, the Liberals had only hend Penrith for a single term since its creation in 1973. Then came Labor member Karyn Paluzzano’s resignation after admitting lying to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, followed by a record-shattering by-election in which Labor was dumped by an unprecedented 25.7 per cent swing. The coming election is a re-match between Liberal member Stuart Ayres and Labor candidate John Thain, who despite his profile as the local mayor has no chance of winning.

Blue Mountains (Labor 11.1%): This seat has been something of a bellwether since Labor gained it from an independent when Neville Wran’s government came to power in 1976, falling to the Liberals with the election of the Greiner government in 1988 before Labor resumed it when Bob Carr came to power in 1995. Outside of the seven-year Liberal interregnum it was held for Labor by Bob Debus from 1981 until 2007, when he moved to federal politics for a term as member for Macquarie. Former Rural Fire Services commissioner Phil Koperberg has since held it for a single troubled term, and will not seek another. Liberal candidate Roza Sage, a local dentist, is odds on to defeat Labor candidate Trish Doyle, a staffer to Koperberg.

Mulgoa (Labor 11.1%): Mulgoa existed for one term after 1988 and was re-created in 1999, having been held at all times by Labor. Diane Beamer, who crucially won Badgerys Creek for Labor in 1995 before moving to Mulgoa after it was abolished in 1999, is bowing out at the coming election, further complicating Labor’s difficult task of retaining the seat. The candidates are Prue Guillaume for Labor and Tanya Davies for Liberal, both Penrith councillors. As noted above, internal polling reportedly has Labor bracing for defeat.

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.

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

Comments Page 2 of 3
1 2 3
  1. quantize

    The private polling of the ALP and Liberals has been pretty constant and both party are getting the same information the swings are as follows
    5% in the North and East
    15% in country NSW
    20% in South East, South West, Illawarra and Newcastle
    25% in the West

    The most disheartening part for the ALP is that of the Liberal voting intension of 50%, between 80 and 90% are definites, and this amount have been constant for 3 weeks

    While the ALP vote of 25% is considered “Soft” with more then 50% happy to change the vote, and this amount have been constant for 3 week

    After the announcement of the Carbon tax, the Green/ALP votes picked up in inner city seats, but there were 5% swings away in seats 20km out of Sydney, with the Green vote being wiped out in some cases

  2. The voters of NSW should flush the sh@t out of the Labor Party and spend some time on the opposition bench , to come up with some really good for the people programs and ideas and have them ready for when the voters wake up to the conserveratives and want to kick them out as 1 termers. Fresh Labor Party , who will have to work hard or end up 1 termers too or just vote Greens.

  3. The local chinese media (TVB TV Channel, newspapers..) are marketing Ernest Wong from Labor pretty heavily. A lot of advertising centred around “Giving (Chinese) a voice”

    Who is he? I notice he’s number 8 on the ticket, he does mich of a chance?

  4. As a long term member of the Marrickville electorate I’m not paying much attention to that poll. It really depends what side of the electorate they polled.

    I think Carmel can hang on. I’m not too keen on living in the Albanese family fiefdom, but I will believe a Greens win when I see it. There’s been talk about it for at least a decade and the ALP always win.

    Basically I think the voters of the Marrickville/ Dulwich Hill end of the electorate will save Labor.

  5. Latest from Centrebet: there’s been some money for Verity Firth in the last 24 hours or so – perhaps Labor’s private polling in Balmain is showing a swing back to her?
    Rees seems to be a tad safer in Toongabbie too.
    Otherwise, grim reading for Labor in the other seats you can bet on.

  6. Just had a fiddle with Antony Greens election calculator. When 63-37 is fed in it gives about 22 seats with majorities of greater than 30% and 3 with majorities of greater than 40%.

    No doubt there will be a substantial number of seats where the coalition have majorities >30% but sooner or later there must be a wall that is hit where the Libs cannot get an extra vote. Therefore the swings in the very safe seats might be a lot less than 15% and that this vote will be transferred elsewhere. All in all very grim for the ALP.

    PS: I would assume that the ALP will come third in a lot of these uber safe Lib seats – how many will be one of the interesting aspects of this election. Can any seat come with an ALP vote <5%??

  7. What with all the potential vote-splitting and preference exhaustion among the Left in Balmain, it must be starting to look like a fairly good chance to fall to the Libs?

  8. [Gusface
    Posted Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Permalink
    just as a matter of interest

    the 63-37 is skewed by the fibs getting massive support

    in their own seats

    bring on the election]

    Gus: C’mon, you have to be kidding. Its not April 1st you know. Can you point me to any poll which has shown a swing less than double digits? In fact, nearly all of them that I have seen, including individual seat polling, have shown double that level of swing.

    I can accept: “I wish the ALP would win”
    I can accept: “I will be voting for the ALP”
    but “the ALP are going to win, bring on the election” is a bit pathetic!!!! Even your premier and organisation have given up, why don’t you?

  9. Gusface

    Yes the Liberals will get 30% swings in the North of Sydney, which means they will get 110% of the vote of those seats


    My Mail re Balmain has the Liberals on 37% Greens on 34% and ALP on 26%. The money on ALP are based on the fact the Green vote will be split amongst 4 people, which might knock Packer into the 3rd position. Still Firth is unelectable based on those primary number and Balmain might return a Liberal member in 3 weeks

  10. I don’t agree that The Greens are being queezed because they haven’t had the media coverage, because no-one is taking any notice of the media. There is no interest in this election except to get it over with as quickly as possible. And it’s never bothered them before. In fact with the new funding rules there is much less big party campaigning. It’s far more likely the unpopular carbon tax is affecting their vote.

  11. Quantize (45 & 48) Your first post was particularly unpersuasive. Its inadequacy was addressed well by MDMC (47) who regularly offers very measured and balanced opinions on this forum. He does not use ‘moronic label(s)’. Once you start using language like ‘act of desperation’, ‘praying Labor are re-electable’ it is not at all surprising others on this forum will read your posts as those of a supporter of the Australian Labor Party, even if you may ‘say’ you are not. Whatever your political leanings (which I trust are not too extreme), it is pointless to keep repeating the Kristina Keneally mantra that civilisation as we know it, will end upon an election of a Coalition government in NSW.

  12. Newspoll shows that the Coalition is preferred on every issue. Labor is given little credit even in areas where it has performed well.

    Irrationality is abroad and nothing can quell it.

    Be fearful.

  13. Why? Just because one of them calls itself “Labor” and the other calls itself “Liberal”? You place a lot of faith in a word. What do you think is the worst that can happen under the Liberals?

  14. [What do you think is the worst that can happen under the Liberals?]

    Well, I don’t know about the worst, but…

    On these figures it’s looking pretty likely that the Conservatives will control both Houses, isn’t it? I mean, even if it’s with CDP and other minors in the Council?

    I don’t know, I guess it’s just experience that shows that when that happens a radical industrial relations agenda isn’t far behind. It happened in WA, it happened federally.

    Still, maybe NSW will be the exception.

  15. @71 “irrationality”???

    More like a combination of (justifiable) extreme cynicism at any action from a decaying government, and a feeling that Labor’s been so bad in its last 3-4 years that even in areas where it performed well early on, it has fallen behind.

    That sounds pretty fair enough to me.

  16. Rewi Lyall said 73

    On these figures it’s looking pretty likely that the Conservatives will control both Houses, isn’t it?

    No, there is 0% chance that the Conservatives will control both Houses. The Coalition holds 8/21 returning upper house member, to get control they would need to win 14/21 seats up for contest. That means at least 65% of the primaries, an impossibility

    Even to get to 21 (13/21), where they can get a blocking vote. they need about 61%, which is also impossible

    So there is actually no way he Conservative can get a majority of both houses.

    In the last term the ALP had 19, and that is as much as the Conservatives will likely get

    Also in WA, the Liberals does not even have a majority in the lower house, so I am not sure where you were going with that

  17. Liyana @ 56:

    [Basically I think the voters of the Marrickville/ Dulwich Hill end of the electorate will save Labor.]

    The Greens’ campaign has primarily focused on these areas with doorknocking activities since November. These areas pay more attention to council activities than elsewhere so having the Mayor as the candidate also assists.

    I don’t think Labor can count on this base being as rock-solid as it always has been. There was a swing of 6% to the Greens in the Warren at the federal election, which is as Labor as one can get. The swing was 6.8% at Dulwich Hill Central.

  18. Ben’s Tallyroom site is very interesting, with posters “DB” and “crazedmongoose” seemingly having the low-down on Liberal and Labor internal polling respectively.

    Both seem to agree on devastating swings in western Sydney, with the likes of Oatley, Rockdale and East Hills all but gone and even seats like Campbelltown, Smithfield, and Cabramatta in the mix. OTOH Monaro still appears to be holding up well for Labor, and a couple of Hunter seats apparently aren’t as terrible for Labor as they could be.

  19. Evan

    Balmain or Port Jackson as it was back in the day is the most demanding of electorates. The same could be said for Marrickville.

    The residents have invested a lot of money in property and feel they have the right to demand whatever they want. If they don’t get those things they seek revenge.

    They were blooded on the third runway arguement back in the mid nineties. They got their curfew and learned from that experience how to apply pressure to Governments.

  20. MDMConnell

    Have you got any further info for East Hills and Oatley?

    [OTOH Monaro still appears to be holding up well for Labor, and a couple of Hunter seats apparently aren’t as terrible for Labor as they could be.]

    Steve Whan apparently has a very good reputation as being hard working and available.

  21. I’m just passing on what “DB” posts. He claims last weekend showed Libs are miles ahead in Oatley and slightly ahead in East Hills and Smithfield on Lib internal polling, albeit from small samples. Apparently 50-50 in Campbelltown, Strathfield and Blacktown. He’s posted that Swansea and Cessnock were better for Labor than he’d thought.

    The labor guy is more bullish about Toongabbie and Granville, and both sides agree Whan is doing extraordinarily well against the tide.

  22. There are also posts from insiders from both parties on campaigning. Reports O’Farrell and co have been hammering Smithfield and Labor fighting a strong rearguard action in Blacktown. Allegations of dirty tricks by/against both parties, suggesting it’s definitely on in those two seats. Labor apparently “given up” in Drummoyne and Oatley. Apparently….

  23. MDMConnell

    Thanks for the reply! Just had an email from a friend in the Hunter confirming what you said:

    [This confirms my view that it will be a repeat of the Fed election
    where we saw bad results in western Syd and not too bad outside the
    Syd basin – we are doing ok in the Hunter except for Maitland…]

  24. MDMConnell

    I live in East Hills and wouldn’t put a bet on anyone. Through friends I hear very good reports about the way Kevin Greene does his job. These two electorates are not what they used to be. Abutted by the Georges River the property values here have gone up markedly and the areas have a changed demographic.

  25. [Labor fighting a strong rearguard action in Blacktown. Allegations of dirty tricks by/against both parties, suggesting it’s definitely on in those two seats.]

    Robbo’s ambitions may well be thwarted!

  26. I can’t find DB’s post but he made some comment on regional breakdowns in the polling. It was something like 5-10% in Sydney’s north, 10-15% in rural NSW, and 20-25%+ in Western Sydney.

    That would support the idea of Labor putting up a not-too-bad show in the Hunter, although I don’t know if this factors in Independents.

  27. The regional breakdowns mentioned by MDM above make some sense. There isn’t much upside left for the Libs in Northern Sydney and to a lesser extent in rural NSW. 20 – 25% in western Sydney should scare the bejesus out of the ALP. It would be interesting to know what the regional breakdowns are in the Hunter, Illawarra and Central Coast.

  28. Where can I find Ben’s Tallyroom site?

    I know someone who belongs to the Labor branch in Strathfield, and he thinks Virginia Judge will hold on, but it’ll be tight.

  29. Thanks all, I was just over at “The Tallyroom”.

    A little shocked that Oatley is apparently now a certain Liberal gain – looks like the Southern suburbs of Sydney will be a bloodbath for Labor.

  30. No 43

    I always find it amusing that when all else fails, the Labor supporters will demand votes on the basis that a deserved Coalition victory would be “bad for democracy”.

    I mean, seriously. Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel.

  31. @89

    Both “Crazedmongoose” and “DB” agree Strathfield is better for Labor than many other seats in western Sydney.

  32. MDM Connell

    Posted February 28, 2011 at 4:13 PM
    Anthony – no I don’t think there will be a blanket swing at all. If I were to generalise a little I would say:
    – 8-10% on the north shore seats / north-west suburban
    – 12% in the eastern suburbs
    – 13-16% in the inner west
    – 20-25% in the south and south-west seats
    – 20% in the west
    – 5% in Monaro
    – 15% in the Hunter and Central Coast
    – 15-20% south of Cronulla
    – about 15% on average everywhere else.

    This is what the polling is showing.

    Lachlan – funny, but you are right.

  33. I’m not sure that the North Shore of Sydney can swing any more for the Liberals, the seats up my way are safe enough already.
    The exception perhaps is Epping, where I live – margin for Greg Smith is only 8%, but it’ll no doubt be strengthened after March 26.
    Dovif: So we agree that Steve Whan can hold on to Monaro? He might be a better choice as Opposition Leader than Robbo.
    Any intelligence about Maroubra? Is Daley in danger?

  34. [Both “Crazedmongoose” and “DB” agree Strathfield is better for Labor than many other seats in western Sydney.]

    Maybe because Virginia Judge is campaigning very hard, as I’ve been told by someone who lives in the seat?

  35. Living in Oatley, I feel the Libs have this. (Though I did actually see Greene campaigning in the train station the other day!)

    The other guy is so confident enough to mail out fridge calendars… something you expect the local member to do. 😉

    My friend is working on the Cabramatta campaign and they are actually serious about it.

  36. MDM Connell

    I through the ALP are doing very poorly in the Hunter

    Maitland, Liberal with a primary led, between ALP and Tranter for 2nd If Tranter come 2nd, ALP prefered might elect her, If ALP come 2nd Liberal wins

    Newcastle, since the announcement of Carbon tax, the ALP vote had collapsed by 5%, Tate will likely win, as ALP, Liberal and Tate all on similar vote, Tate will need to finish ahead of ALP or Liberals to win, If Tate does not win, Liberal take the seat on tate preference

    Wallsend, currently an ALP hold

  37. You always watch where the party leaders are campaigning – a good indication of what their private polling is telling them about their chances of holding or winning certain seats.
    Thus, O’Farrell was in Fairfield yesterday – you’d think it’s no chance for the Liberals, but their polling must be confounding my assumptions.
    Keneally headed to Cessnock and Newcastle today.

Comments Page 2 of 3
1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *