NSW election minus 4 days

Some reading (and viewing):

Roy Morgan has assembled one of its delightful “Reactor” measures of the effectiveness of major party advertising. At the very least this gives interstaters a succinct view of the parties’ television campaigns, on top of which can be viewed “wormed” responses which can be narrowed down according to respondents’ party support, age groupings and gender. The Liberal supporters among the sample betrayed little nuance, soaring during each Liberal ad and diving during each Labor one. Labor voters however were not impressed by their own side’s negative advertising, which they rated no higher than Liberal attack ads and lower than the Liberals’ positive ad.

Ben Smee of the Newcastle Herald reports on the strong challenge being put up by independent candidate and Newcastle councillor Shayne Connell in Wallsend, where Labor’s Sonia Hornery is defending a margin of 15.8 per cent. Antony Green is quoted in the article referring to Connell’s “strong campaign”, but it is noted that his task has been made more difficult by the candidacy of council colleague Mike Jackson, who has quit the ALP in order to run. The Liberals are directing preferences to Connell, while the Greens are directing to Jackson.

• An informed observer in comments is talking up the chances of independent Janet Mays in Blue Mountains, said to be “more connected than a millipede’s backbone” and on track for a formidable primary vote upwards of 30 per cent. Labor holds the seat on a margin of 11.1 per cent, but with the retirement of sitting member Phil Koperberg its primary vote is expected to go through the floor.

• Two independents challenging Nationals incumbents are generating chatter: Gunnedah Shire councillor Tim Duddy in Upper Hunter, and local hospital emergency department director Joe McGirr in Wagga Wagga. Conversely, the Nationals are expected to recover Dubbo and Tamworth from independent incumbents Dawn Fardell and Peter Draper. Opinion is divided as to whether Port Macquarie should be added to the list – one who think it should is Rodney Smith of The Australian.

Grahame Morris in the Sydney Morning Herald credits the Labor campaign with “an infamous record of drawing blood with punches to the face of a Liberal candidate’s spouse, slashing the car tyres of Liberal candidates, smashing Coalition campaign office windows, evil phone calls and campaign messages built on lies”.

Linda Silmalis of the Sunday Telegraph: “Some inside Labor are only prepared to claim 10 seats as wins, but others say the party is likely to win between 15 and 25 seats. Insiders say published statewide polls do not accurately reflect the extent of the potential bloodbath, with many Labor-held seats showing much worse results than the state average.”

Phillip Coorey in the Sydney Morning Herald: “Fears that it could be left with as few as 15 out of the 93 seats have been mitigated over the past week or so. Optimists now think Labor will hold about 25 seats, just over one in four.”

• Sportsbet is already paying out on a Coalition win, in what Phillip Coorey describes as “a nice little public relations exercise”.

Amanda Meade of The Australian reports on the networks’ election coverage plans. Seven will have two hours of Mark Riley, Graham Richardson and host Chris Bath; Nine an hour from 9.30pm summarising the damage, featuring Peter Overton and Laurie Oakes; Ten will have updates and save the detail for a 10.30pm news bulletin; Sky will begin live coverage from 5.30pm, starting with a steady feed of exit poll data; and ABC1 and ABC News 24 will begin its coverage at 6.30pm.

• The latest additions to the electorate guide focus on the Central Coast (Wyong, Gosford, The Entrance and Terrigal), Port Macquarie, and the two Labor-held seats I hadn’t done already (Bathurst and Monaro).

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.

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