Newspoll: 54-46 to Coalition in NSW

Two new polls strengthen the view that Mike Baird’s government will enjoy a fairly comfortable victory next month – provided assumptions about preferences prove correct.

James J in comments relates that tomorrow’s Weekend Australian carries a New South Wales state Newspoll showing the Coalition leading 54-46, with primary votes of 43% for the Coalition, 36% for Labor and 11% for the Greens. Mike Baird has personal ratings of 59% satisfied and 26% dissatisfied, while Luke Foley’s are 36% and 31%. Baird leads as preferred premier by 55-25. The poll was conducted from Monday to Thursday from a sample of 1119, in keeping with Newspoll’s regular practice of conducting polls at the start and end of state election campaigns.

Also out today was a Roy Morgan phone poll conducted from Friday to Sunday, and while the sample was a very modest 418, the results were remarkably similar to Newspoll’s: 43% for the Coalition, 36% for Labor and 10.5% for the Greens. However, Morgan has come up with a rather different headline two-party figure of 52.5-47.5. As I noted in relation to further similar results from Galaxy last week, a lot depends on the veracity of the pollsters’ assumption that preferences will behave as they did in 2011, notwithstanding that things played out very differently in Queensland.

UPDATE (ReachTEL): A ReachTEL automated phone poll conducted for the Seven Network is slightly stronger for the Coalition than Newspoll on the primary vote, crediting them with a lead of 44.6% to 35.0%, with the Greens on 10.0%. However, ReachTEL calculates a narrower two-party preferred lead of 53-47. Further questions confirm that Mike Baird is rated a good deal more highly than Luke Foley, but that the Coalition is heavily weighed down by hostility towards the Abbott government. The poll was conducted on Thursday night from a sample of 1496.

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.

53 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46 to Coalition in NSW”

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  1. That still represents a 10% swing to Labor, maybe more depending on preference flow analysis. Certainly no joy for Abbott, who needs to go into “witness protection” again for this campaign.

  2. Foley leads as preferred premier by 55-25.

    I assume you mean Baird, not Foley – Foley behind ahead by 30 points on Preferred Premier would be remarkable indeed with those approval ratings and primary votes.

  3. Yeah, I’d concur that this result represents a probable 52-48 after real preference flows.

    It’s still winnable for Labor, but they need to make up ground very soon.

    [Mike Baird set for win despite PM woes: Newspoll
    The Australian
    February 28, 2015 12:00AM
    Mark Coultan State Political Correspondent Sydney

    THE Baird government is on track to be re-elected in NSW, althoug­h the race is narrowing as the leadership problems of Tony Abbott spill into the state arena.

    A Newspoll, taken exclusively for The Weekend Australian, finds that the Baird Coalition government is leading Labor 54 per cent to 46 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis. This would suggest a loss of 17 seats if there is a uniform swing at the March 28 poll, but the government being returned with a solid majority of 11. That is a two-point swing from the last NSW Newspoll. Although this is within the poll’s margin of error, the latest result­ suggests a gradual swing away from the government.

    Although this poll suggests that federal factors are having only a marginal effect in NSW, Liberal Party MPs report that the leadership issue in Canberra is proving a distraction from the NSW campaign.

    Yesterday, in the first debate between Mr Baird and Opposition Leader Luke Foley, the Premier avoided discussing federal Liberal problems, merely acknowledging that it was a difficult time for the federal government.]

  5. Considering the impact Abbott has had on other states, Baird is doing reasonably here.

    There is a clear message for the Liberals in the link between having sane party leaders and the chance of victory in elections.

  6. 43 (LNP) + 36 (ALP) = 21 (GRN+OTH)

    For ALP to get there with preferences we would need 14/21 = 66.6% of preferences. Which from memory is less than QLD and Vic got.

    (but its not uncommon for me to see number i like)

  7. QLD ALP had 37.5% primary and got to 51.1% 2PP, 13.6 from pref.
    Vic ALP had 38.1% primary and got to 51.99% 2PP, 13.8 from pref.
    NSW ALP has 36% primary and need 14% from pref.

    Its much closer than people think IMO.

  8. Then again, in S.A.
    ALP had 35.8% primary and got to 47% 2PP, (11.2% pref)
    LNP had 44.8% primaries and got to 53% 2PP

    ALP got 57.7% of pref, using that number on NSW would give ALP 48.1% 2PP

    I would say Morgan’s 2PP is much closer to reality than Newspoll, any pre Abbott preference flows any meaningless IMO.

  9. Baird’s “We have no Plan B” regarding where he’ll get the money for his promises if he can’t privatise electricity poles and wires is a huge clanger to start the campaign.

    People hate the idea of electricity privatisation. They know (or at least perceive) that it’s been a failure elsewhere, and even in the safe National seat I live in (Oxley) consider making funding for promises conditional on the sale of the grid as bribery to get votes for an unpopular asset sale.

    Baird’s claim that everything depends on it makes electricity privatisation central to the campaign. That’s Round 1 to the ALP right there.

  10. bug1@9

    43 (LNP) + 36 (ALP) = 21 (GRN+OTH)

    For ALP to get there with preferences we would need 14/21 = 66.6% of preferences. Which from memory is less than QLD and Vic got.

    (but its not uncommon for me to see number i like)

    For NSW and Qld it is actually more complex than that because of OPV. Some of the preferences exhaust, but this also means those votes not exhausting carry more weight. These things can distort the calculations.

    If the primaries are 43-36 and the preference flow is the same as Queensland then Labor should end up just below 50:50. However this would require an even bigger change in preference flow in NSW to Queensland since Labor’s flow in NSW in 2011 was slightly worse than Qld 2012.

  11. According to Antony Greens calculator, LNP need 51.2% to government in their own right, and predicts 2 IND (and 2 GRN).

    The 2 Independents might become important.

  12. Win,lose or draw , the blood will flow on the Liberal party floor after this election.64% tpp down to this in 4 short years. The longer this goes, the more we see the flake that is Mike Baird. Plan freakin’ B, Mike, where is it ?

  13. AJ Canberra@16

    With sophomore surge, Labor may need a bit more than 50% TPP to win. I’m not sure even 52-53% will do it.

    To win outright they’d probably need substantially more, but the four notionally crossbench seats are two Green seats and two left independents. I think the Coalition needs a majority.

    On the required 2PP the distribution of the double sophomore seats on the pendulum is very uneven. There are no double sophomore seats between 8.6 (Kiama) and Drummoyne (17.1) but there are another five above Drummoyne. In that band from 8.7 to 17 there are eight seats of which five are single sophomore (which is only worth 1 point) and the rest have no net personal vote effect. Haven’t done my seat model yet but I think it is going to say that the average target 2PP this time is more or less what the pendulum requires – Coalition needs 49.4% for a 50-50 chance.

  14. Labor needs to impress the Greens, as Queensland Labor did, to claw as much preference support as possible over to their side. If Labor works with the Greens they can get several extra points of 2PP from better preference flows, plus easy access to the 2 Green seats if they end up in minority. Green bashing could actually lose them this election.

  15. As a Queenslander I think I can say it’s not just that Labor impressed the Greens but that Camby and the LNP went out of their way to alienate them. The news about 45000 hectares of open-cut coal in the Hunter might do the same – but is Labor going to disavow it or does the CFMEU see jobs in it?

  16. Come on Abbott work your magic in NSW – foul the nest for baird.

    Just enough so that baird doesn’t control the upper house.

    Just do your normal best mates trick with baird 🙂

  17. I’m in a new electorate since last election but Baird is not seen as “popular” either in the old one nor here. But O’Farrell was OK in both. National in old electorate (Monaro) was always on TV with Abbott and Howard and I wish him luck. Here the Lib is “retiring” ie had no chance of returning, and things are in down turn. No sure thing Baird, much closer than 52/48 IMHO. I’ll be happy if the shooters/fishers are still a force as these are the ones who have resulted in a moderated Libs regime IMHO(go for it greens/assorted ideologues….)

  18. This may have been answered previously but why is the Nationals vote so clearly underestimated? Is it because there are a lot of people who have a Lib federal member and State National,so they respond with Liberal and vote National? Or is it a demographic issue?

  19. Keyman@23

    I’m in a new electorate since last election but Baird is not seen as “popular” either in the old one nor here. But O’Farrell was OK in both.

    A lot of truth in what you are saying.

  20. Keep a close eye on Ballina, Tweed and Lismore.

    All are seats with over 20% margins to the Nats but Abbott is toxic up there.

    Ballina is the interesting one, it is a genuine 3 cornered contest between the Nats, ALP and the Greens, the Nats are scared stiff that the Greens could win the seat and with a local retiring member they are not going to be helped.

  21. Win lose or draw there will be a large swing to the ALP compared to the last NSW election, simply because of the margin last time, this will be blamed on “the Abbott factor”by the losing L-NP members.

    Baird is unlikely to control the upper house if he wins thus no asset sales, no funds for his $20 billion worth of promises and no plan b.

    Pass the popcorn. 🙂

  22. ruawake @27:

    Don’t forget the high probability that the NSW LC will be largely a right-wing body after the election (Coalition or other RW), and thus existentially dedicated to stripping public assets down and flogging them off to mates for a song.

  23. Matt 28

    That’s a pretty silly statement. There’s nothing in the voting record of the “Guns ‘n’ Moses” coalition of Fred Nile and the Shooter’s party that suggests they are existentially dedicated to stripping public assets. It is far more likely that they would extract their pound of flesh to pass legislation.

    ruawake 27

    Of course if Labor wins, they will almost certainly face a hostile upper house. If Labor needs Green support to form a minority Government in the lower house, and Shooter’s and Fisher’s and Christian Democrat Party in the upper house, things could get difficult for all concerned.

  24. @ lefty e, 30

    Yep, that’s definitely the right strategy to make this election as competitive as possible.

    If they manage to not cock something up, the Liberals run an uninspired campaign and federal leadershit keeps rumbling on until the election, Labor’s got a decent shot at actually winning this (though I don’t envy a Premier Foley’s job of wrangling the upper house).

    The fact that we’re even saying that just one term after the thumping of 2011 is a testament itself to the complete ineptitude of the Liberal Party (both federal and state) in the intervening years.

  25. Oh and there’s always the possibility that the impending Four Corners report on the submarines will fly into the middle of political discourse like a bomb and turn everything upside down.

  26. How do you estimate the Nat’s contribution to the LNP vote?

    Presently the Nats hold 18 or 19 seats all of which, except for one, are on 20% plus margins.

    If the average seat TPP from 2011 is 60%:40% for a nat across about 20% of the seats should they not have a statewide tpp of 12% from 2011?

  27. GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes now5 seconds ago
    #ReachTEL Poll NSW State 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 53 ALP 47
    #nswvotes #auspol

  28. Shellbell 33

    Sure, the Nationals got 12.6% at the last election, but the Newspoll has the Nationals vote at 5%, and the ReachTEL at 8.6%. Why are they so different?

  29. Polls always seem to underestimate the National vote (perhaps the country folk are all out there working the land and not answering phones?).

    Fortunately, you can just ignore the differential vote (Lib vs Nat) and combine them. The combined Coalition vote appears to be as robust as any other primary votes in the actual elections.

  30. The 16.5% approval for Foley isn’t good, but given the disapproval rate is only 27.1% the rest must have no clue who he is!

  31. Oh, moddy appears. You have no idea what’s happening in NSW, but I will give you a subtle hint. The flakey Baird and his insipid team are getting their tooshes spanked [ I know, you tories like that, ooooh]. Game on, sister

  32. William Hill has ALP into $9 from $13 today. LNP out from $1.02 to $1.05

    Paid for Baird ads clogging up my twitter feed

  33. Part 2 of the NSW Newspoll
    [Labor faces uphill battle against ‘likeable’ Mike Baird
    The Australian March 02, 2015 12:00AM
    Mark Coultan State Political Correspondent Sydney

    NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley launched Labor’s election campaign yesterday as polling reveal­ed the challenge he faces pegging back the popular Premier, Mike Baird, over the next four weeks.

    A Newspoll conducted exclusively for The Australian found Mr Baird out-scores his opponent on every personality trait, with up to 80 per cent of people believing he is decisive, visionary and likable.

    The poll also revealed that only one in four voters believe events in federal politics are a “very important” factor at the ballot box, far below issues such as health, education and the economy.

    A separate survey, also conducted by Newspoll and published on Saturday, had Mr Baird’s government on track for a solid victory on March 28, with the Coalition leading Labor by 54 per cent to 46 per cent.

    But former Queensland Labor senator John Black, who runs the demographic profiling company Australian Development Strategies, believes Labor can win, if Queensland is any guide. Writing in The Australian today, Mr Black says demographic analysis suggests Labor could win power in a minority government, with the support of two seats held by the Greens and independent MP Alex Greenwich.]
    full table

    [28 February 2015
    7 News – New South Wales Poll – 26 February 2015

    ReachTEL conducted a survey of 1,496 residents across New South Wales during the evening of 26th February 2015.]
    TPP: L/NP 53 ALP ALP 47
    Primaries: Liberal 36.0%, The Nationals 8.6%, Labor 35.0%, The Greens 10.0%, Other 10.4%

    Fairax has a NSW seat profiler, scroll down to the end of this article and have a look. You can select different electorates.

  35. The Nats are under represented because in their coastal seats a significant number of voters don’t differentiate between Nats and Libs. In Port Macquarie many will tell you they vote Lib even though there has not been a Liberal candidate in state or federal for several decades.

    I have always thought the demographics favour Labor in NSW becayse a significant proportion of the conservative vote is wasted in the country and North Shore. Labor could win from 48 or 49%

  36. At least that is my theory but Antony Green’s calculator says the opposite with Labor requiring 53% 2PP to gain a majority. Recent election results suggest to me that Labor’s votes are no longer wasted in its heartland but I may be wrong.


    Baird’s getting desperate – trying out the “think of the children” argument to have himself re-elected!

    I don’t disagree with the policy, but I can’t help but see the opportunism behind it – this isn’t a politically-difficult area, so why haven’t they done it already? I’m pretty sure there’d be bipartisan support for it.

  38. Bairds ‘performance’ at the ACL was pathetic. Hyocrite. Your lowlife government closed down, or severley cut back funding, to 82 refuges in NSW.

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