Essential Research: 65-35 to Coalition in NSW

No polling respite whatsoever for Labor in New South Wales, with an Essential Research survey of 900 respondents conducted over the past three weeks among the worst the government has ever suffered: the Coalition primary vote on a possibly unprecedented 54 per cent against 24 per cent for Labor, with the two-party result at 65-35. The Greens vote is 12 per cent, similar to the 11 per cent from Newspoll last week, but whereas that represented a six point fall in Newspoll the Essential result is that same as their previous poll conducted in late January and early February.

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.

209 comments on “Essential Research: 65-35 to Coalition in NSW”

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  1. Another factor I think will be the number of informal votes!

    I can imagine many ALP supporters being so fed up with Labor and not prepared to vote Liberal that they put in a blank ballot paper.

  2. Oakeshott country reporting:
    1) Is your first name Geoff or Wayne?
    2) We can all reminisce about the colourful history of the Penrith ALP but at least BIG JIM AITKENS was on the other side
    3) Update to my post on the strange poll in PMcQ – the new “paper” it appeared in will only last four editions until the election – its produced by disgraced councillor Robert Nardella, the love child of Mark Vaile whose political career in the Nats disappeared with the Glasshouse fiasco.

    This all means that the Nats are spending big time here and playing dirty. It also explains how Hadley could broadcast the results 2 days prior to their publication. Despite Bilbo and Dovif’s predictions I think the seat will be close.
    Police continue to investigate the bus sabotage

  3. Oakshott Country are you still here? I put a message to you on Morgan thread re the rallies in Port Macquarie today, Were you there? 7 reported it as about 100 pro after being organised last night and “somewhat” less according to the report against. Looked about 25 in picture. If they can’t organise against in PM not very hopeful for “against” thankfully

  4. No marky mark.

    I was in Victoria in ’92.

    NSW will be cultural in a way that Jeff ignored in ’92 (which came back big time to bite him on the bum in ’98). Also, ’92 didn’t get rid of, just by way of example, the Carlo Carli’s of this world.

    The best result in that ’93 election was watching Victoria stubbornly reject John Hewson eight months later. I still have the Herald Sun banner (pinched from outside the Werribee South store) of the first edition: HEWSON IN LANDSLIDE.

    I know all people of good conscience wept when Beazley’s grind saved WA from going the way of Tassie in ’93, but it was hanging on to the outer suburban seats in Melbourne what won it, as Murdoch’s London Sun would say. The big downside was we let Beazley (son of a Whitlam Minister – notice a pattern here?) become the Andrew Peacock of the ALP, without Liza Minelli.

    Speaking of which, notice the prominence in the Sunday Telly to the poll about Byrne winning Marrickville in a canter? Remember the Daily Tele’s banner headline on the Saturday of the very winnable (for the ALP) ’98 election? BEAZLEY SET TO WIN.

    Afterwards Col Allen (Then Telegraph editor, now with Murdoch’s Manhattan rag) said that he believed that swung that election for Howard in western Sydney. Oakeshott Country hinted towards this at the failure of Cathy O’Toole in Lindsay in ’98 (and let’s not talk about Belinda in Robertson shall we) in his supplementary post yesterday. You’d respond by saying, well, of course Col would say that, but wiser people (or so they claim) than you or I have staked as much.

    Before the 2007 (Federal) election I asked David Pemberthy, then editor of the Daily Telegraph, why he wasn’t doing a job on the Your Rights At Work campaign, knowing, as we both did, what an astroturfing exercise that was. He replied that even he couldn’t get so far ahead of his readership that he could put lipstick on the pig that was workchoices, for his readers who had no bargaining power in the workplace (and let’s not descend into an economic flame war children, my point is about how the media works, not the labour market).

    So let me conclude by saying that the poll in the Sunday Telly saw the light of day because it basically said: if you live in Marrickville it’s OK to vote Labor because the Greens are going to win anyway’. And in a contest as tight as Marrickville, that only helps the incumbent.

    They’re good. They’re very good. But they’re not that good.

    Sadly they’re too good for anyone in the federal ALP at the moment, but that’s not saying much.

    One day I will see if Billy Bowe will let me post what I wrote after the ’98 election. It once was on the intertubes, but I pulled it down, because it was too depressing. It’s called John Della Bosca’s Election Adventure. It’s a ripping read from someone who was, then, inside the tent pissing out.

    To do nothing in a struggle between the strong and the weak is to favour the strong.

  5. 49: We don’t need to prepare. We’ve already had more than a decade of ‘cutbacks to services, privatisations and land sales’. There’s not much left for O’Farrell to sell.

  6. I can’t be persuaded to vote Green, not when they’re running candidates like that dingbat Jamie Parker and Fiona O’Byrne.
    So I’ll probably do what I’ve done since the age of 18, and vote Labor, even though it’s a fruitless cause on the North Shore of Sydney.

  7. (Apologies in advance for the in-stuff guys, poor form I know, but that’s life.)


    1) I am not Geoff or Wayne, but I know them.
    2) Jim Aitken took Mark Ptolemy to court over an assault at the Glenbrook Festival prior to the 2007 federal election, everyone else was hoping it would be a fight to the death, with a tie being the most popular result. Ptolemy will probably pop up here now, watch for his posts, you will find them most entertainment.

    3) Ah yes, the “new” local rag that pops up at election time. I’ve filled a few of those with verbiage in my time. For my sins I am now working as a courier. Ignosce mihi, Pater, quia peccavi

    I think the bus sabotage at Wauchope could be a game breaker. How is it running on Prime and NBN (the only free media that people take seriously, forget Hadley, all the sane people are listening to STAR FM classic hits)?

    And, how is the poor bastard in intensive care going? This really is the lowest point in electoral campaigning I can remember since, well, it’s a new low. I hope the Jacks get the bastard(s) responsible, or may god have mercy on our souls.

    And to pedal back for mytwobobs re East Hills, Alan is advantaged by eddieward’s first theory of exhaust, namely, the incumbent benefits from the number of people that don’t preference the challenger. If he’s close or ahead on primaries, he wins, Mind you, he will be wanting to get off his backside and do something. An earlier poster on another thread put his chances down to the Chester Hill booths. Under that logic Terry Lamb would be the MP.

  8. Evan 14
    A great example of why voting should not be compulsory.
    The Labor posters in the electorate of Willoughby have a logo so small you actually need a magnifying glass to see it and are a lovely yellow colour.

  9. 59: That’s the case in most of their seats. Very small logo, usually coloured to blend into the background (instead of the usual red)

    The corfultes and flyers for Kevin Greene in Oatley don’t even have an ALP logo, or any mention of Labor at all.

  10. eddie @ 58

    [Mind you, he will be wanting to get off his backside and do something.]


    Remember the Terry Lamb experiment.

  11. Puff, don’t worry. It’s some pimply faced Young Labor hack monitoring outcomes from a Google bot. They probably don’t even have a PH security clearance. Kev is too busy fellating Ban Ki Moon and Ninos Khoshaba (to keep this on topic) to deign to observe your irreverent rantings.

    That is, unless, you have recently tweeted “I find Kevin Rudd ruggedly handsome”.

    As that great man (sic) Henry Kissinger said, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Kevin (and Ninos Khoshaba) love you, but not as your mother loves you.

  12. Re ALP logo: Virginia Judge (Strathfield, ALP) has dispensed with hers altogether!

    Apparently she represents the Teeth Party.

    Wasn’t she some kind of genius Sussex Street N40 recruit?

  13. Has anyone posted that National candidate for Myall Lakes, Steve Bromhead, is in hospital with broken/fractured? leg after accident on way back from Harrington on Wed. night.

    He won’t be doing any more campaigning so John Turner will campaign for him.

    Bromhead’s mob not very complimentary about the independent candidate running against him

  14. Broomhead will win even if he is found in a Pacific Palms rental with three hookers and half a kilo of blow. It;s the Great Lakes man, get with the program. For these people, Bob Jelly never happened.

    Here’s a psephological exercise though. I want nominations for seats that the ALP will not get a deposit back.

    My nominations are Davidson and Albury, but you’d think Myall Lakes and Northern Tablelands would run close.

    Hmmm, note to self. Must call bookie.

  15. The other question that this raises is, before this incident, did anyone outside of Mr Broomhead’s immediate family notice that he was campaigning at all?

    Reminds me of Luke Heartsucker in Lyne in 2004.

  16. [The other question that this raises is, before this incident, did anyone outside of Mr Broomhead’s immediate family notice that he was campaigning at all?]

    eddieward – I live and work in the area. Known Bromhead well before he first ran for preselection against Vaille way back in 93 or 94 – can’t remember which now. Vaille won. Bromhead moved his practice to Forster – easier to run in Great Lakes.

    The area is loaded with huge roadside signs with Bromhead’s smiling face. Can’t turn anywhere without Bromhead looking at you. Had a phone call from him this week in relation to a community project – I can’t elaborate but I was concerned at what was offered. Told him to ring me after he’s been elected and I’ll put it to my committee.

    He will win easily of course but one of the independents running against him is a good bloke and has been a fantastic worker and supporter of the northern end of the electorate for years. He would be a great member. Bromhead has not wanted to share any platform with him.

    Bromhead will always remain Bromhead. I like the Labor candidate but no matter how hard we work the State electorate here it will remain National/Lib for long time. May get lucky again federally in years to come but we’re all still mentally exhausted after the effort last August and 16 years is a loooooooooong time to be in Govt nowdays.

  17. opv….usually gives a winners bonus to a party which polls very well on first preferences.
    in this case if the opinion polls are within 5% of the 2pp this is the libs. The nats wont do
    that well if they don’t beat the rural independents in Dubbo, Tamworth or Port Mc
    fail in Cessnock & steve Whan retains Monaro then they will be only plus 1.
    If the mad greens stick to their position…. mainly exhausting after the first preference
    and their voters follow suit…. then they’ll hand seats to the libs…. see how many seats
    with a combined ALP/Green vote of 53% or better return liberal mps
    there is even a outside chance of a liberal Mp for Balmain
    How many Liberal oncers?

  18. Well, whaddya know, all that guff from back in the day that pointed to this coming catastrophe is still on the interwebs. I will let you be the judge as to whether it has stood the test of time, or if I’m a complete raving idiot.

    Ladies, gentlemen and lawyers, I give you John Della Bosca’s Election Adventure.

    No one can say that these bastards weren’t warned, this stuff is from twelve and a half years ago. If the ALP was a publicly listed company we’d be in the courts by now, and on to a good thing.

  19. MERCURYEDITOR Exclusive Mercury-Iris poll: it can’t get any closer in Keira (2pp). Labor has made some ground. #nswvotes 1 minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

  20. Micky Q, there will be a few Liberal oncers, but there will also be a lot of lucky lazy ALP members who will scrape across the line by working like a one armed bricklayer in Baghdad at the last minute, and get back in on the very argument that you have postulated above.

    To support this I cite eddieward’s first theory of optional preferential voting – if you’re leading on primaries you’re hard to roll.

  21. More in-stuff follows:
    Eddie: I can’t be bothered with 7 or 9 but the Port News is certainly following the bus incident

    I thought Big Jimmie was done for assault on Ptolemy. Big Jimmy used to be my next door neighbour and I spent 30 mins being abused by him at the polling booth when I was handing out HTVs for Faye Lo Po. A complete D***head.

  22. James J whaddya mean “ALP made some ground”? Are they trailing? Is this some kind of Mercury (my favourite NSW Tabloid) sales teaser? If it is I’m not driving into Captains Flat tomorrow to buy one. Not with petrol at $1.72 a litre.

    John Dorahy is the best outsider the Libs have. Will be a oncer, but hey, how many times do you get to vote for the Doc? Better than the beer coaster the ALP is running.

    At least the O’Farrell government will know when to spread the ball wide.

    I’d vote for “Dallas” Donnelly for the upper house if he ran, whoever he was running with. I’d pay to watch him because sooner or later he would headbutt Fred Nile, or Robert Borzak. He’d never headbutt a Green though, they do that to themselves every week.

    Are the Greens the Justin Bieber of NSW politics?

  23. Eddie @76 thanks for your post. maybe opv should go…. with a savings provision to protect voter intention. looking at the seats it is very hard to believe 65/35 2pp will happen on election day as the result is so bad. I identify may be 15 seats definitely lost
    and 15 where the result is unclear…..( maybe there is an element of my optimism for the Alp in the later list ) but I dont know….. the difference between these 2 figures is a normal result…. similar to 1988 and a Landslide to the libs. This is why the green voters needto carefully weigh up the party recommendation.

  24. Oakeshott,

    With all due respect.

    We all agree re Jim Aitken, he is putting the lose back in loser, but man, you gotta get with NBN and Prime if your going to give us reliable content on what the good burghers of the greater Port Macquarie district are being fed. Otherwise Billy Bowe’s observation last night is not without merit. Suck it up and make it your business to follow. If Besselling is getting any oxygen I think he’ll be fine. If not, I fear for the day in the not too distant future when the neighborhood watch will be around for my urine sample.

    That said, your updates are like the golden rays of the dawns bursting light after a cold winters night full of dark, clamour and wind.

    Now, find out what NBN are saying about the sabotage.

  25. Eddieward, I believe “made some ground” would be in comparison with the last poll they ran about a fortnight ago which had the Liberals 52-48 ahead. My best guess would be that the new one has it at 50-50.

  26. Mick, you can use the statewide 2pp next time you sit down in the toilet. It is meaningless and has been for a generation or two. Only the old, infirm of mind and wildly deranged still cling to it. Unfortunately these demographics are massively overrepresented in politics in general and are legion in psephological circles.

    So my advice is to forget the statewide 2pp. A lot of seats will come down to incredibly random factors such as the colour of the candidates eyes, their surname or if someone has unscrewed the plug on an oil sump. And it will vary from seat to seat. My research tonight shows that in 98 seats no one has unscrewed the oil sump plug on a candidates bus, yet it may have a massive bearing on the outcome in the other seat.

    Optional Preferential Voting, or opv as you have so managerially called it, is the best thing since sliced bread for anyone born of woman who has been luckily endowed with a brain and is not afraid to use it. As Gerry Harvey is living proof that many with a brain are reluctant to use this organ, I think it is incumbent that the option of not voting for people who are unsuitable for public office, which is nine tenths of them, is given to electors lest we be forced to preference complete no-hopers who are probably best off being put down as humanely as possible while still satiating the public’s need for justice to be seen to be done and to do what liberal democracy does bestm namely inhibiting the tyranny of the majority, going forward.

    Sorry about the use of the redundant phrase ‘going forward’, but apparently this is grammatically necessary once one has used a jargon based acronym, and helps stop ordinary people understanding what your talking about and therefore wanting to challenge what you’re saying.

    Hope that helps.

  27. Thanks William. I am very interested in the Illawarra, but not in a Joe Scimone way. I’m more interested in the unpredictable outcomes and Kiera would be, to give this a Westralian flavour, the equivalent of Freemantle falling to a right wing Stephen Michael.

  28. Eddie @83….. used opv instead of Optional Preferential Voting… as I am a slow typist
    using 1-2 fingers and was concern with opv…. is it inflates the winners bonus
    and will harm the party I support this time round. Opv….. minimises the informal vote
    in safe labor seats. I suggest a voter intention clause as a safety net.
    Of great interest to me are your views on 2pp….. obviously it is useless if a great
    number of contests are not ALP/coalition. so if it is no use except to show a Lib-nat
    Victory what does it mean? Are guesses outside the marginal ALP seats of say
    6% meaningless? OH thanks for the new word…. I will look it up & maybe make use of it

  29. Mick, I sympathise with you as I, too, am a two fingered typist. And I think all other two fingered commentators here should now out themselves here in a show of solidarity.

    And not just because my comment was a cheap and unworthy shot at someone who is, at the very least, getting off their arse and having a go which – as gusface taught me today – is at the very heart of what we want a vibrant and functioning politic to be.

    I fully apologise for any prejudged sentiment in my smartarse and vodka soaked comment above.

    That said, I think your opposition to optional preferential voting is complete rubbish.

  30. Eddie @89….. don’t worry I’m not offended. The arguements for opv are it minimises the informal vote….. and does not force someone to state a prefernce for a candidate they don’t want under any circumstances. I thought this was enough to justify such a system. But…….given this election & the role of the greens it has to be changed. What
    i’m suggesting in any case would encourage not force a preference…. as the savings
    provision of voter intention would be easy to turn into a defacto opv anyway.

  31. Mercury-Iris Poll

    Wollongong 2 Party Preferred:

    ALP Noreen Hay 46 (-29.3 from 2007 election) IND Gordon Bradbery 54

    Keira 2 Party Preferred:

    ALP Ryan Park 50 (-22 from 2007 election) LNP John Dorahy 50

  32. Alright I did it – via the internet!
    NBN – has given it a lot of space and reported the possibility of political tampering.
    Prime have reported it as a traffic accident without mentioning it was Beeseling’s bus
    More interestingly you can see my left ear on Prime attending the GetUp Carbon Tax rally. The anti tax rally had 6 (six only) attendants.

  33. Eddieward you are certainly putting some colour and life into the election. Look forward to your writings over the next week.

    The last time I saw Eddie Ward referreeing at Lang Park there was a ground announcement that a pair of glasses had been handed in at the office. Quick as a flash some goose yelled out that they must belong to Eddie Ward.

  34. Go you good thing Gordon!

    I’d love to see Hay rolled. Represents all that is mercantile about the ALP. Wouldn’t know an ideology if it chased her down Crown Street with a blood filled syringe.

    That, and I got on Bradbery whem he was paying $25.

    But I agree, this is all guesswork. Fairfax ain’t got the budget to cover this contest accurately.

    But I’ll say this about John Dorahy; it’s high enough, it’s long enough, and it’s straight between the posts!

    Props on the info. The best result would be for the ALP to be wiped out in the Illawarrra. A lot of rent-seekers would have to f^ck off and work for a living, like the rest of us do.

  35. Oakeshott: played fine, done good. That’s what I wanted to hear. That’s worth ten percent in a place like Port Mac (got an actuary mate, two sisters, a Samoan brother in law and Mum living there – all Besselling people).

    And ta Steve, but you may have the wrong eddieward. Google “John Curtin” and “ratbag” on that great brain sewer Google and you’ll be closer to the money. And yeah, it will always be Lang Park, regardless of what the dipstick sponsors call it. I remember when president of the Queensland Rugby League was the highest office that a labor person could aspire to in that state. That’s what makes Kev so weird.

  36. NBN is the kicker Oakeshott, that’s what the peeps watch. They got the best weather. Prime is run out of Canberra. True!

  37. You may have the wrong steve, eddieward. I have always used and recommended any search engine as long as it is not Google.

  38. Mick @ 92: I hear ya, but I remember scrutineering in 1991 with Shane Easson (or Eathon if you prefer) and him arguing that an X was a Macedonian one, and such showed voter intent (the old Act). After that the Act got changed. The late Jeff Shaw QC is the genius behind this, a true god amongst men. And to to think that all ended with a blood rest sample going missing. Christ, if they set up an RBT on Darling Point Road on a Saturday night you’d wipe out 80 percent of the Sydney A list, but that won’t happen, not in my lifetime anyway.

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