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.

52 comments on “NSW election minus 4 days”

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  1. Sorry for doing a Jeremy Birmingham on you stanny, but small matter of a big flood at home. River went up seven metres. That tends to focus the mind somewhat.


    Over 150 people rolled out to an anti gas meeting in Gloucester (Upper Hunter) tonight. Not sure if Gorgeous George Souris was there, but Tim Duddy certainly was. The CEC was also there, which is a surprise; I thought they’d be taking their alfoil hats to Canberra tonight.

    A few people working train stations (for both majors) reporting that O’Farrell’s cheaper ticket message is cutting through. Will this be the equivalent of Bob Carr’s abolish tolls message in ’95?

    I’d suggest Linda Simalis’ source is persons close to Eddie Obied or Sam Dastyari. It’s Labor’s best message – the tory’s will win big so your vote won’t make a difference and you may as well vote for us.

    Jones is irrelevant. His audience has too few swinging voters. They’re all tuned to WS-FM and Kyle Sandilands.

    Byrne has imploded in Marrickville and agree that the Currawong story will run like Cliff Young. But selling Currawong paid for the Your Rights At Work campaign, so maybe instead Unions NSW could ask Essential Media for their money back? Or maybe a bucket drive amongst low income earners again, except this time don’t give the money to the carpetbaggers. Wonderful to see this has come back to bite these losers on the bum.

    Wonderfully ahistorical comment from Candace Sutton in Crikey today regarding the first John Robertson, who was ‘Prime Minister (that was the title), not Premier, of the colony of New South Wales five times in the nineteenth century. Robertson was A liberal, not a member of the Liberal Party which simply did not exist at the time. Parties emerge a generation later in response to the tarriff question. The lack of organised parties explains the high rotation of governments as well. He was a good ma n the first John Ropbertson. His land reforms (they were imitated across the eastern states) was one of the factors that stopped Australia from becoming an Englisg speaking Argentina.

    Sorry to be pedantic, but this sort of sloppiness leads to people like Eddie Obied being taken seriously, and look where that has got the ordinary folk of NSW. Crazy as it sounds, the decisions citizens and governments make affect history. And there was David Pemberthy thinking it was actually about selling newspapers.

  2. I’ve gotta go, but will post tomorrow and am waiting for updates on the situation on the ground in Blue Mountains and Monaro.

    Until then, remember, LANG IS RIGHT!

  3. gus,

    You should either give up Americanisms or get off the grog! I can’t figure out which, but if it is the latter, I am impressed.

  4. You’ve been drunk for three days gus???!! Wiow,that’s an effort!

    Now I’ve really gotta go and deal with flood type things. At least I don’t have to wash the truck


  5. For the Liberals, I have good news and bad news.

    First the good news: Barrie O’ Farrell will win on saturday. 🙂

    Now the bad news: It’s worth at least 1% of the vote in NSW to Julia in 2013. 😛

  6. Sheehan’s main role and only role in the election is to ensure Packer does not win, she hates Packer and sided with the Liberal and ALP to ensure the Greens did not control the Balmain council a few years ago. She is there to split the left wing vote further and ensure Packer does not get the votes needed to be reelected

    It seems with the Left vote split 3 ways and the Liberals at almost 40%, the odds of the Liberal at $6 2 weeks ago looks great

    I am hoping Carmel also wins… lets see the Green spins this one

  7. the future of who wins Balmain…… lies in the hands of potential green voters
    more and more it is looking like the libs could win by accident.
    so would be green voters need to look at their first & 2nd preferences
    as much as they dislike it to stop the libs their best course of action is to vote or
    preference labor

  8. 15

    It is a good idea for Greens voters in Balmain to preference the ALP but the ALP has a serious chance a third place so the ALP voters should preference the Greens if they do not want a Liberal MLA.

  9. Jamie Parker & Fiona O’Bryne have turned out to be major liabilities for the Greens, that’s why Balmain could go anywhere & Tebutt is now a good chance to hold Marrickville. 🙂

  10. Balmain is looking like being a re-run of Albert Park or Prahran where the Greens throught they were serious contenders only to see the Liberals easily lead both seats on primaries winnign Prahran and in the case of Albert Park only just falling short after TPP.

  11. evan14@17: While Jamie Parker does seem to have some issues in his past that should have been picked up before preselection, Fiona Byrne is an utter victim of a News Ltd. smear campaign (although she should have seen that one coming). She was one of a whole host of perfectly mainstream people and organisations to come out in support of a boycott of Israeli products until the hardline policies adopted under the current Israeli government are eased. This shouldn’t even be a controversial position but for the power of the Israeli political lobby to silence criticism of the Israeli government – calling it a “gaffe” as the News Ltd papers have been doing today is crap.

    mexicanbeemer@18: Usual ALP bollocks. The only way the Greens ever had a hope in Albert Park or Prahran was in the freak event they won something like eight seats in the lower house, which is why, y’know, they weren’t in the four seats the Greens did actually pour resources into. Even the Victorian Greens know that any Lib-Green seat is one hell of a challenge. Not even on the topic of this thread, but I always feel obliged to correct people who spout utter tripe.

  12. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/state-election-2011/dirt-flies-amid-petty-politics-20110322-1c59t.html

    Looks like the ALP are really struggling in Cabramatta, C’mon Dai Le supporting one nation …. really that is funny

    “The Coalition candidate for Cabramatta, Dai Le, has been accused of supporting One Nation in a leaflet being distributed by the sitting Labor member, Nick Lalich.

    Written in Chinese and Vietnamese, the flyer shows grainy photographs of Ms Le alongside Pauline Hanson, Barry O’Farrell and Chris Spence, a Liberal candidate who twice stood for One Nation. A translation reads: ”Dai Le supports Mr Chris Spence, a former leader of Pauline Hanson One Nation.”

    Mr Lalich was photographed handing out the flyer, authorised and printed by the Labor Party, outside the pre-poll booth in Cabramatta.

    With straw polls running 60-40 in her favour, Ms Le is firming to win what was once Labor’s second safest seat.”

  13. Rebecca

    That would make sense if Ms Byrne never tried to have about 4 positions on the issue

    Is Ms Byrne really the best the Greens could do


    Ms Byrne issued a statement last week saying she has never said that she will bring the Israel boycott to State Parliament, and she has no intention of doing so.

    But comments made by the Greens candidate on February 15 appear to contradict that.

    “I would suggest that the New South Wales Greens would be looking to bring that forward at State Parliament if we were elected,” Ms Byrne said then about an Israel boycott.

    Labor’s campaign spokesman, Upper House MP Luke Foley, says Ms Byrne has been caught out.

  14. Re:20

    Can confirm the ALP is going overdrive on the Asian votes… every 2nd ad on chinese tv is about the ALP, including that Hanson/Spence one.

    The chinese tv ads feature Ernest Wong very heavily, the 8th follow on the LC ticket so it’s almost impossible to get elected but you wouldn’t know that, they way they’ve been pushing him as the ALP defender for the voice of all asians and crusader against racism…

  15. Rebecca.

    For my part, Marrickville Council, can pass whatever resolutions it wants. If it did spend ratepayers money though on its anti-Israel campaign, it should not have. Councils are for houses/units, parks, playing fields, local community services and garbage collection.

    If the Prime Minister said she intended to spend commonwealth money on a review of garbage collection practices in Marrickville Council, everyone would be aghast.

    But FB being caught saying diametrically opposite things about the policy is what her supporters should also answer. Is there an answer?

  16. Shellbell, the answer is easy: it was a simple ‘gotcha’ on a throwaway remark. It’s as relevant really as Tony Abbott’s ‘climate change is crap’, or Julia Gillard’s ‘there will be no carbon tax’. The media and wonks like us like to drum this stuff up as – well – some sort of stuff up, but this stuff can be easily ridden through.

    Verity Firth’s bizarre press conference? Forgotten. What the voters really remember is stuff like the useless Iron Cove bridge duplication, the failed CBD metro, the White Bay terminal development, etc. etc.

    Same thing with Fiona Byrne: voters are more likely to be swung by things like the Enmore pool, the water play park in Steel Park, and the Newtown Station free water fillup point.

    Carmel too has her fair share of items that the voters want to chuck her out for: the selloff of Enmore Boys school, the Coal Seam Gas, Marrickville Metro development, etc.

    The echo chamber has never been louder than during this election. The voters made their mind up years ago: Labor must be tossed out.

  17. Dovif – let me guess, Barry O’Farrell will do what Kevin Rudd couldn’t, and patch over the factionalism inherent in modern party politics?

    They will all play along nicely for the first six months, but then there’ll be something between Alex Hawke and David Clarke which will flare up and cause it to escalate out of control.

    Barry won’t be able to last a single term: he doesn’t have a massive factional base behind him, just like Kevin didn’t. He’s a useful fool.

  18. mexicanbeemer, again you show how much you don’t know about politics around St Kilda. I’m talking about Albert Park and Prahran.

    They were both long shots. A chance but still a long shot. Had the Liberals not preferenced Labor over the Greens or issues a split ticket, Greens would probably have won two seats.

    your bias is showing.

  19. deconst

    I am going to suggest that Barry is very different then Kevin, they could not be more different for 2 persons you will find in politics

    Kevin is a loner, Barry consults people
    Kevin is a salesman, Barry is a doer
    Kevin replaced a successful government who set the standard high, Barry could roll over the bar set by the NSW ALP
    Kevin was ran by Bitar and Arbib’s NSW ALP method of replacing leaders every year, The Liberals stays with their leaders too long – John Howard

    and apart

  20. Dovif – I like how you neatly glossed over Liberal factions. There’s a clear precedent for Barry to be rolled in the first term: the SA election of 1993, where a moderate leader, Dean Brown, was rolled by the conservative John Olsen.

    The Labor government was similarly detested (and perhaps similarly deservingly so), and the Liberals pursued a successful small target campaign with a nice friendly face, only to show their true colours within the first term.

    One bright spot of this: within a couple of elections, the conservative Liberal government was gone.

    History is doomed to be repeated, but the bright light for NSW is the Greens, who with a foothold in the lower house can start to make real inroads in the media and people’s minds.

  21. dovif@21: That would make sense if Ms Byrne never tried to have about 4 positions on the issue. Is Ms Byrne really the best the Greens could do

    She didn’t have “about four positions”. She apparently supported introducing it statewide earlier in the year, then dumped it when it was clear it might be politically unpalatable. This, of course, makes her highly unique among politicians. You might notice the dripping sarcasm there.

    shellbell@26: For my part, Marrickville Council, can pass whatever resolutions it wants. If it did spend ratepayers money though on its anti-Israel campaign, it should not have. Councils are for houses

    Claiming that taxpayers money was spent on an anti-Israel campaign in Marrickville is bollocks. All the council decided to do is pass a boycott of Israeli products until such time as the human rights situation there has improved. The only thing you might actually need to spend money on there is a quick audit to work out what you’re actually using that comes from Israel, which doesn’t seem terribly unreasonable.

    deconst@27: Kudos on an actually sensible perspective on this issue. 🙂

  22. Damian

    The Libs came a very clear first on primaries in both Albert Park and Prahran. When you say the Greens winning ‘two seats’ – do you mean ‘THE two seats’ of Albert Park and Prahran or two seats anywhere in Victoria. I was of the opinion before the Vic election that Prahran might be a Lib – Green contest (but I was wrong).

    As far as Vic comparisons go, Marrickville is like Brunswick, Balmain more like Albert Park.

  23. Rebecca

    If you look at the Greens website press releases regarding the Israel boycott, they are terribly pleased with themselves that they passed it as party policy – Lee Rhiannon in particular is quite ‘cock a hoop’. Lets face it, the Greens and Fiona Byrne have made total arses of themselves over the issue. If Fiona Byrne does not agree with it as public policy – Whay else does she – or Jamie Parker for that matter – not agree with?

  24. If the Greens learn one thing from their increasingly shambolic campaign then it should be that they need to dump this silly ‘no leader’ business at state level (my comments are also pertinent to Victoria). There is no clear focus, no clear responsibility, and no one to pull anybody into line. It also seems to allow strings to be pulled from beyond the parliamentary party.

    Just as a matter of interest – is it possible to find on a Greens website the makeup of the party machine, members of state council, executive etc? The ALP, Libs and Nats are easy to find but I have never ever been able to find the equivalents in the Greens? Why is there a seeming lack of transparency?

  25. BBS – re transperancy – it is called do as I say not as I do.

    Rebecca – where do I find the source of the statement that there was no spend by the Council on the Israeli boycott?

  26. Talk about over-reacting which in tern leads to misunderstanding my actual comment.

    Damien – St Kilda is currently split between two seats Albert Park and Prahran. It is well known that if there was a seat based on the old City of St Kilda boundaries that it would be a ALP V Green contest.

    Rebecca To a point i agree with you but Albert Park and Prahran are socially progressive liberal areas that are not unfriendly to the Greens therefore there was no reason not to expect the Greens would do better than they did and some Green supporters were open about it as they should.

    Considering the Greens very strong performance across the inner city in the Federal election held only a few months before then that was too be expected. In St Kilda the sorts of issues that were of most important are the sorts of issues i would have expected the Greens to be strong on.

    The point being in seats that i and many expected the swing from the ALP to be towards the ALP instead went stright to the Liberals and this is where we come to the NSW Election. I suspect we will see a similar situation where the Liberals will receive similar swings to them that the Greens receive just like what happened in Melbourne and Richmond. again two very friendly Green seats.

    I think the only difference being and this is nazel gazing but I question if the NSW Liberal would be seen doing as well in the inner city, whilst in the Victorian Election Ted was seen as an Inner City Latte Sipping MP. I think the Greens would fancy their chances in Marrickville but i suspect Balmain could do an Albert Park or even a Melbourne where the Libs and Greens swings were both about 5% bascially cancelling each other out.

    The Greens appear to be having problems with their campaigns in Balmain and Marrickville but compared to the problems facing KK then it is all ready for an interesting final few days

  27. Greens have a strong base in Marrickville and Balmain as shown by their council votes. Both seats would have many Labor voters receptive to Greens’ appeal. Overall this campaign looks like yet another missed Green opportunity but they should win these seats. The boycott issue is irrelevant to voters particularity those choosing between Labor and Green. With Green vote in Sydney area being half of the Labor vote Greens will have to finish ahead of Labor somewhere.

  28. The point being in seats that i and many expected the swing from the ALP to be towards the ALP instead went stright to the Liberals

    Should read swing to the Greens instead went to the Liberals

  29. With no particular place to put it, here’s a comment on Campbell Newmans upcoming ascendency to LNP Parlimentary Leadership here in gods own State:

    Tactical Genius. Why? Because Newman, like Bligh, has been praised by pretty much everyone for his handling of the floods. Putting Newman in as the alternative to Bligh immediately nullifies much of the high standing Bligh has acquired in the wake of the floods, putting a large amount of the focus back on the failings of Bligh, such as her almost-universally hated Asset Sales. If the LNP can handle the onslaught of jibes headed its way due to the Parlimentary leader not actually having a seat in parliament, and if Newman can handle accusations of quitting when the going got tough (reconstruction of Brisbane), it stands a good chance of winning (despite our loathing of Bligh and Fraser, it seems that not enough QLDers are willing to take a punt on a Langbrook/Springbord-led LNP to take Government).

    On a Federal level, things are much more complex. Newman is not afraid to spend money, especially on infrastructure (although many argue the money has been poorly spent, and I agree). He runs one of the biggest public transport ‘companies’ in Australia. As an Engineer and former Army Major, he can be expected to find solutions to problems (although, again, many disagree with his conclusions). I have no idea if he’s on-board with AGCC, but I wouldn’t be surprised. The Reactionary Right in Canberra can’t expect Can-Do to tow their line.

  30. deconst

    Name a price and I am happy to bet with you, I believe there is 100% chance that Barry OF will led the Liberals to the next NSW election in 2015.

  31. Hmmm, now that I think about it, the Reactionary Right would probably consider Newman to be “bat-shit crazy Left”, considering his expansion of PT, ‘green’ schemes like bike pathways, and the like. He’s a multiculturalist.

    To get elected aginst QLD ALP last time around, all the LNP had to do was stay quiet. They couldn’t even manage that. Both Langbroek and The Borg are completely unelectable, and there’s no LNP MP that has the experience (and personality) to stand up to Bligh. Campbell probably can’t do any worse.

    The anti-Newman campaign for the next 12 months should be fairly easy for the ALP. All they have to do is point at him ‘jumping ship’ the moment things got tough.

  32. Anyone care to revise their predictions in the light of the final Essential Poll? and I quote:

    NSW Labor has continued to slip further behind the Coalition in the final Essential Research poll before Saturday’s State election.

    On Essential’s three-week average, Labor has lost roughly one point a week on its primary vote through the campaign and has continued that form into the last week. It has now fallen to a primary vote of just 23%, with the Coalition on 55%. With the Greens on 11%, this means a Coalition two-party preferred lead of 66-34%, based on a sample of 971. …

    The only faintly positive outcome for Labor is that it continues to fare much better outside Sydney. It’s on 29% regionally, and “only” trails 42-58% on a 2PP basis, giving some faint hope to regional MPs like Monaro’s Steve Whan, who have been running campaigns devoid of all reference to Labor. …

    But the corollary of the stronger regional polling is Labor’s truly shocking performance in Sydney, where it is on just 20% primary vote.

    A statewide 66-34% result would, based on Antony Green’s election calculator, leave Labor on 14 seats, but a 71-29% result in Sydney electorates would turn the party into a cricket team, prevent putative post-election leader John Robertson from moving from the Legislative Council to the seat of Blacktown (in net terms, a good outcome for Labor) and leave Keneally teetering on the brink of defeat in Heffron.

    Labor is particularly struggling among 18-34 year olds, with a stronger Green vote of 14% leaving it on 21%. It shapes as a perhaps unique election: Labor could perform better among over 55s and in regional areas than it does elsewhere.

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