NSW election minus zero (no limit)

The final polls are in, and they say the same thing as all the others. Nielsen has the Coalition on 50 per cent, Labor on 22 per cent and the Greens on 13 per cent, with the two-party preferred at 64-36. Newspoll has also conducted another evening of polling to turn yesterday’s 1147 sample poll of March 21-23 into today’s 1488 sample poll of March 21-24. The voting figures however are unchanged: 50 per cent for the Coalition, 23 per cent for Labor, 12 per cent for the Greens, 64.1-35.9 two-party preferred (the decimal point being a contentious practice Newspoll has adopted for final pre-election polls).

Nielsen and Newspoll both offer metropolitan/non-metropolitan breakdowns, although Newspoll stingily limits it to two-party figures. Here we are told Labor faces an “approximate swing” of 20 per cent in Sydney and 11 per cent in the rest of the state, translating into respective two-party splits of 65-35 and 63-37. Nielsen has similar results but reverses the order: 63-37 in Sydney, 66-34 in the rest of New South Wales. Both tell a very different story from Essential Research, which had 71-29 in Sydney and 58-42 in the rest of NSW – which ended up producing a similar statewide figure because the differences cancelled out.

Hot off the press:

Imre Salusinszky of The Australian tips Labor to lose everything on a margin of 10 per cent or less with the “possible exceptions” of Swansea and Monaro; everything from 10 to 20 per cent except Lakemba, Fairfield, Campbelltown and Wallsend, and possibly Oatley, Toongabbie, Maroubra and Cessnock; perhaps also Cabramatta, Wollongong, Keira and very likely Newcastle; and set to lose Balmain and Marrickville to the Greens. As bad as this sounds, Salusinszky is actually making a “bullish” prediction of about 23 seats for Labor, owing to “some drift back by ‘true believers’ when they confront what Paul Keating called ‘the loneliness of the polling booth’”.

• My own very different view was published in Crikey yesterday. Please pretend that I included Granville in the list of possible Labor retains and Lake Macquarie as a second independent retain.

• A review of the contested seats by Andrew Clennell in the Daily Telegraph includes a few unorthodox calls, with Granville, Toongabbie and Monaro “set to fall”. John Robertson on the other hand is “expected to just hang on” in Blacktown.

Yesterday’s news:

Alexandra Smith of the Sydney Morning Herald reported that while Kristina Keneally had been “trying to save Labor seats in Wollongong, Cabramatta, Fairfield and Bankstown”, Barry O’Farrell’s schedule was taking in Drummoyne, Strathfield, Kogarah, Rockdale and “other points in Sydney’s west”.

• Andrew Clennell in the Daily Telegraph: “Pessimistic senior Labor sources appeared to back the (Galaxy) poll yesterday, saying they were regarding only eight to nine seats as “safe” and a further 14 as ‘winnable’.”

• Drew Warne-Smith of The Australian sounded pretty confident that Labor would lose Balmain and Marrickville, but there are alternative viewpoints around if you’re in the market.

Michelle Harris of The Newcastle Herald reported “leaked Labor polling” of 400 respondents in Newcastle showed support for independent candidate and Lord Mayor John Tate had “collapsed”, and that Liberal challenger Tim Owen led Labor incumbent Jodi McKay 52-48. The primary vote figures were said to be 30 per cent for Owen and 25 per cent for McKay, with the Greens relegating Tate to fourth place with 18 per cent against 16 per cent for Tate. The Herald’s Labor source said Greens voters could be “handing the seat to the Liberals” if they didn’t preference Labor, which might well inspire you view the figures with suspicion.

Tomorrow’s fish and chip paper:

• In Tamworth, where independent incumbent Peter Draper is thought to be fighting a losing battle against the Nationals’ Kevin Anderson, David Humphries of the Sydney Morning Herald tells of “the anti-Draper campaign’s relentless efforts to portray him as being in the government’s pocket”. “Anecdotal evidence” suggests the message is getting through.

Andrew West of the Sydney Morning Herald foresees Nathan Rees retaining Toongabbie.

Trouble at the mill:

• Fresh from carrying on like a pork chop before the news cameras last week, Labor’s Cabramatta MP Nick Lalich has had the Liberals crying foul over efforts to link their candidate Dai Le with Pauline Hanson. The Liberals have been circulating a photo of Lalich taking a hands-on approach to disseminating the message among the Vietnamese community, and there have reportedly also been letterdrops. Josephine Tovey and Damien Murphy of the Sydney Morning Herald reckon “straw polls” in the seat run 60-40 in favour of Le.

Kogarah MP Cherie Burton has admitted she was fined for reversing into a car and failing to exchange personal details with the owner, after first threatening legal action against the Sunday Telegraph if it pursued the story. While Barry O’Farrell is calling on Labor to disendorse her, Burton is unconvincingly complaining of “dirty tricks”. I understand Burton to have been a target of much ire on talk radio over the past week.


Fred Nile declares “a Christian agenda will be easier to achieve under a Coalition government”. Meanwhile, Labor has been heard pleading for mercy from Greens voters, only a few of whom will be directed to preference Labor by their party’s how-to-vote cards.

• Pleading the dangers of conservative control, Labor will direct second preferences to the Greens in the upper house despite the lack of a quid pro quo.

• The Newcastle Herald reports “the Liberal Party has decided not to direct its preferences to independent candidate Shayne Connell in Wallsend after he refused to return the favour”.

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.

233 comments on “NSW election minus zero (no limit)”

Comments Page 1 of 5
1 2 5
  1. [NSW election minus zero (no limit)]

    Hey Bilbo, i am impressed:

    In the dim twit and blog sites
    People talk of situations
    Write posts repeat quotations
    Some speak of the future
    Draw conclusions on the wall
    My love she speaks softly
    She knows there’s no success like failure
    And that failure’s no success at all

  2. [
    NSW election minus zero (no limit)

    Nice one William

    Salusinsky also makes some predictions

    Kristina Keneally will announce tonight she is resigning the Labor leadership, which will pass to former union heavy John Robertson, the architect of many of Labor’s woes.

    Labor will not win the 2015 election, but it will be an election they can look forward to. They will win back 15 to 20 seats and be able to bring in plenty of talent, including the next Labor premier.


  3. Nice work Finns. I’ll have a go.

    How many times must the premier be changed,
    yet the power brokers still stay the same?

    How many times must the state’s assetts be sold,
    before the people see its just a game?

    Yes and how many times must the polls look bad,
    before the right see their own shame?

    The answer my friend,
    is blowing in the wind,
    the answer is blowing in the wind.

    Windy in Sydney today?

    Nice opening title bilbo 🙂

  4. [NSW Labor can take comfort from this other miracle that happened last night]
    An upset but not a miracle. Springboks are known chokers.

    Is anyone running a book on when Antony will declare the result?

  5. Good question t’s Time. I’ll say 7.10pm for a call.

    There could be some funny outcomes from today, and this one will be interesting to watch, as Mike Carlton points out:
    [And two, that Adrian Bartels and Bruce Notley-Smith should win the seats of Sydney and Coogee for the Libs. I very much like the idea of two openly gay MPs sharing the party room with the po-faced moralists of the Liberals’ religious hard right.]

  6. Kinda funny that I’ve just been watching Pulp Fiction, and got reminded of NSW Labor by the scene where Marsellus Wallace gets his arse handed to him (well… kinda). If I lived over there, I would extremely passionately vote for the Liberals for the first (and hopefully last) time in in my life. If I don’t see an unseated premier sobbing into the microphone later tonight, I’ll be very disappointed in you Sydneysiders. HURT THEM.

    Zed’s dead, baby!

  7. [I would extremely passionately vote for the Liberals for the first (and hopefully last) time in in my life.]

    BoP, if you lived over here you may rather be voting passionately against Labor rather than passionately for the Libs.

  8. I for one can’t get my head around how bad NSW Labor is. I am really starting to miss Victorian State Labor. The Liberals have no direction whatsoever here in Victoria.

  9. [I for one can’t get my head around how bad NSW Labor is. I am really starting to miss Victorian State Labor. The Liberals have no direction whatsoever here in Victoria.]

    Victoria, one way to get you head around how bad NSW Labor is is that the Liberals here have no direction either and they are about to be elected in a landslide.

  10. victoria:

    I think people will be watching tonight just to see a train wreck unfolding.

    Personally I hope Keneally stays on as leader for another year or two, but can understand why she wouldn’t want to.

  11. confessions

    I posted tweet on other thread from the Maiden. Apparently ALP polling overnight suggests 14 seats for Labor. Ouch!

  12. Yemen inching closer to joining the list.

    [Pro- and antigovernment demonstrators swept through the Yemeni capital, Sana, on Friday as President Ali Abdullah Saleh said he may conditionally step aside and hand the nation to “safe hands” to avert further bloodshed after weeks of protests.

    The timing of a possible resignation was unclear, but Saleh’s conciliatory comments were an indication that the embattled president was seeking a graceful exit after the defections of key tribal leaders and his top generals.

    Saleh is known for his political cunning, however, and it was uncertain whether he was merely maneuvering or was actually planning to step down.]


  13. [So is this the end of the Labors hard right faction?]
    They are not very good at admitting they are wrong. It is really only the end of them in NSW. I suspect many more will migrate to Canberra, weakening the Gillard government with their “strategic ability”.

    IMO the end of them will only come from structural reform of the Labor Party, so that you have to get a majority of votes in a non-stacked branch to get pre-selected. As long as the rules are rortable, they will keep rorting them. They have no more shame than brains.

  14. Remember folks that the ole “secret internal polling” is never released without a reason.

    If Labor’s publicly claiming 14 seats, it means they expect to win 20-odd, which they will then spin as “better than expected” and “proof” of……something or other.

  15. At central Hamilton booth in Newcastle. Good showing for labor lib and green. Tate has almost zero appeal. Difficult to say who might win but it won’t be Tate as owen will clearly outpoll him.

  16. MDM

    And the reverse is true .. Scott Morrison on Lateline last night saying that Labor might win up to 30 seats – not wanting to be presumptious and/or deflating in advance the ‘we did better than expected’.

  17. AL@ 27

    It appears that non Labor (Libs + various indies) may cannibalise themselves in the Hunter and let Labor through the middle.

    A reverse of Balmain and possibly Sydney where the Libs might come through the middle

  18. Just been to vote at my local polling booth in the seat of Epping(I live in Thornleigh).
    A very low voter turnout, much quieter than it has been in previous elections.
    I wonder if a lot of people are staying home and not bothering to vote because the result is a foregone conclusion? If so, the electoral commission will be making a lot of extra money out of fines.
    I gave my first preference to Labor and 2nd preference to the Greens in both houses – won’t make any difference in blue ribbon Liberal land, but there you go.

  19. Anthony: I’m sure I read yesterday that John Tate’s vote was collapsing in Newcastle.

    For the sake of NSW Labor’s future, I hope Rees, Borger and Whan can all somehow win, otherwise they’ll be left with a rump of very untalented lower house MPs.

  20. News to me that Draper was fighting a losing battle in Tamworth. My mail is that there has been no fight at all. Draper’s campaign has been as flat as a pre-op Demi Moore.

    Trackwork on the Newcastle line today and a truck losing its load on the F3 will cheer electors on the Central Coast and lower Hunter. Why wasn’t a 42 tonne girder being carried by rail? Christ, I’m a truck driver, but even I can see that is a no brainer.

    Laz on the previous thread. None. I must have been drunk! The whole measure of this election is not so much that Barry won or what sort of government he runs (although that will be telling), it will be the response of the ALP. If people keep on with business in Usual the ALP will lose five or six Federal seats in 2013, and probably government. You’d think that would focus the mind. But, your insinuation is probably correct, I doubt there will be much. Another report from some clapped out ex-Premiers and a token yuppie leftie spewing out a report with more ignorance and platitudes than a bogan christening invitation. Governance is simply beyond the Australian political class in this age of corporate feudalism.

    Socrates is on the money as usual. These cretins will probably provide enhanced perspectives going forward to the Gillard government. Stock up on tinned food and bury any valuables in a good strong box.

    Keneally couldn’t even vote in her own seat today -0 she had to vote for Pearce in Coogee. Too funny. MDMC gets it. The teen numbers are burley for the post-election spin. And is the Jodi Mackay who would make the 2ic for Tebbut the same Jodi Mackay who spent three eyars trying to build the Orkopou…sorry…Tillegra Dam at a cost of half a billion to the ratepayers of the lower Hunter in the one region in NSW that has never been afflicted by drought in living memory? Oh yeah. That’s quality governance that.

    Yup. Zed’s dead.

    Go the Kiwis.

  21. Evan 14 .. quiet in Epping too at Epping Heights … very large pre-poll I suspect as the Epping PP centre has been rolling them in for weeks.

    Deed done .. 1-6 numbered in Epping, though piked out at 32 in LC; but a very targeted 32!! wink, wink, say no more (Clarke and Roozendal)

    Sausage overcooked (smoke alarm in voting hall set off), but onion just right, and on a roll (alas unbuttered) to boot!

  22. Very very quiet here at Oatley today…

    The highlight was buying a waffle maker from the garage sale nearby.

    Gave mine to Labor -> Greens -> Lib -> CDP. Staying till the ship falls..

    Voted Hatton in the upper house since no one was appealing.

  23. I also met the Labor candidate for Epping, Amy Smith, handing out how to votes this morning, with a few other young people – nice girl!
    As was said last night, Labor’s got to engage more with young people, as part of the process of rebuilding the party after the blitzkreig tonight.

  24. [don’t think the ALP have much direction in Victoria either! Daniel Andrews is invisible.]

    Yep……..why didn’t they make leader instead the bloke who got lost in the mountains? Forgotten his name, but he looks more like leadership material than Andrews.

  25. The Victorian election was similar – no queues, very quiet at the booth. In contrast to the Federal election at the same booth and roughly the same time where I queued for close to an hour. It points to a high prepoll.

  26. Lots of chatter about Hatton today at Cooma Public and Bredbo. Both booths very quiet. Have a detailed Blue Mountains report coming in after five. A mate is doing the rounds of the booths. reports say lots of Greens handing out in Marrickville.

  27. Hi guys just a quick question about todays election. If a voter is dumb and stupid enough to put their Legislative Assembly paper in the Legislative Council ballot box by mistake will that render the ballot paper invalid? Or will the polling officials put the paper in the correct pile after polling closes?

  28. On the other hand, all of the prepolling is not good for those groups who are trying to fundraise with a sausage sizzle.

    BTW, that sausage sizzle link was a classic!

  29. Maybe the ALP could become dance party promoters? That’s a good way to engage with young people. Or maybe they could just do the catering.

  30. Voted at Hunters Hill PS (Lane Cove). Not a Labor volunteer to be seen, just Libs and Greens. Highlight was Joe Hockey and Andrew Upton (Mr Blanchett to you) working the P&C sausage sizzle. Everyone whispering in the queue about “Our Cate” buying a cake at the cake stall.

    I number all boxes on the LA ticket (only 4 or 5). Voted above the line in LC but preferenced down to 5 or 6 and made sure to put Gordon Moyes above Fred Nile.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 1 of 5
1 2 5