New South Wales election minus three days

Some dispatches from the late stages of a campaign that looks to be going the Baird government’s way.

Morgan had one of its SMS polls yesterday, and it had the Coalition with a two-party lead of 56-44, up from 55.5-44.5 in the previous week’s poll. Both parties were down a point on the primary vote, the Coalition to 45.5% and Labor to 32.5%, while the Greens were up half a point to 12%. The poll was conducted from Saturday to Monday with a sample of 1211. Adding that to the poll tracker featured on the sidebar contributes to what’s now an observable uptick for the Coalition, although it hasn’t made any difference to the seat projection.

Some further campaign factoids:

James Robertson of the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Labor “believes it will win” in Ballina. Some account of the feel of the local campaign is offered by Ean Higgins of The Australian:

On the front page of Thursday’s edition of the Byron Shire News, the Greens candidate for Ballina, Tamara Smith, had an advertisement with just one message: “Only the Greens will ban coal-seam gas mining across all of NSW.” On page seven, Labor had a full-page, one-message advertisement: “Labor’s policy is to BAN coal-seam gas mining from our region … the National Party’s gas plan is about expanding harmful CSG mining, not stopping it.” On page nine, Ballina Nationals candidate Kris Beavis – chosen by his party to replace MP Don Page, who is retiring after 27 years in the seat – had his one-message advertisement, under the headline “Actions, not words, on CSG.” Mr Beavis’s ad had two maps of the electorate, one showing Ballina almost completely covered with CSG exploration licences issued by the previous Labor government, and one showing the electorate almost totally free of them under a Coalition government today. The Beavis advertisement goes to the issue driving Nationals strategists spare: it was Labor that welcomed in CSG exploration, and it was the Coalition that has mostly bought back or suspended the licences over its four years in government. But the message is just not getting through to voters …

• The Australian’s report further relates that “after Ballina, the seat thought most likely to change hands is Lismore, where Labor and the Greens are mounting spirited campaigns against incumbent Nationals MP Thomas George. Private polling suggests Greens candidate Adam Guise may have a slightly better chance of taking the seat than Labor’s Isaac Smith.” It presumably follows that the Nationals are better placed in Tweed, the region’s other swing seat.

• Today’s Daily Telegraph front page lead runs “Kamikaze Kelly” to match a Photoshop job on former federal Liberal MP Jackie Kelly, who is directing preferences to Labor in her independent bid for Penrith. Kelly’s concern in running is her opposition to the proposed new airport at Badgerys Creek, to which Labor at least proposes to attach more strings than the Baird government, with a requirement that the developer build two train connections to the airport and keeping open the possibility that a curfew might operate. By way of spelling out where Kelly has gone wrong, the Telegraph’s editorial states: “Loyalty is a great and rare quality in politics. Prime Minister Tony Abbott sets a brilliant example, standing by colleagues and constituents through all types of conflicts.” In other Penrith news, Mike Baird targeted Penrith and the Blue Mountains as first cab off the rank for the policy to roll out the National Disability Insurance Scheme a year ahead of schedule, which was unveiled at Sunday’s campaign launch.

• Reporting on Galaxy’s Coogee poll on Monday, Andrew Clennell of the Daily Telegraph related there was “talk, too, the Libs can hold onto Granville and Oatley, despite their margins being 3.8 per cent each”.

UPDATE (Essential Research): As in Queensland, Essential Research has bundled together state voting intention results from the regular polling it conducted during the campaign period. The result is slightly more useful than its Queensland counterpart in that the bigger samples from the state allow it to limit it to the last two weeks, but that still leaves it with a sample of 659. In any case, the results offer no surprises, with the Coalition on 44% of the primary vote, Labor on 36% and the Greens on 9%, with the Coalition leading 53-47 on two-party preferred.

UPDATE 2 (Lonergan): The Guardian has a second Lonergan automated phone poll for the campaign, this one with a heavy-duty sample of 3215, and the news here for the Coalition is even better: a 57-43 lead on two-party preferred, from primary votes of 47% for the Coalition, 31% for Labor and 11% for the Greens. Mike Baird holds a 52-25 lead as preferred premier, and there are numerous further questions on electricity privatisation and other campaign issues.

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.

74 comments on “New South Wales election minus three days”

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  1. I’ve posted an update on Essential and Lonergan at

    At the moment I am including these Lonergans in my aggregate with a very low weighting because so little is known about them, but I suspect a pro-Coalition house effect based on the two to date. Anyway there has been so much polling (far more than Queensland) that including or excluding any one example has very little impact.

  2. My fervent Liberal supporting Trade suppliers are supporting the Christian Democrats; Strathfield and Homebush are a sea of Jodi posters [mark it down as gorn], Jackie is preferencing Labor[ you know the routine]. Oh, and Tony Abbott is still PM.

  3. Socrates
    Posted Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 7:35 am | PERMALINK
    From an economic viewpoint, if Baird sticks to his promises on how the privatisation is done, it should work quite well. If States are serious about reducing fossil fuel energy, not owning such assets makes sense. If abaird uses the money on needed infrastructure as promised, he will win the next election too.—–

    —-nope. baird is about the waste all the money on the expressway and trash sydney’s public transport needs. trash tafe. undermine hospitals. i believe him as little as abbott – yet he is getting away with his church welcoming grin. baird is spending money he is not entitled to – he loves selling assets and there will be a firesale. he hangs around with a war criminal, murdoch, a potential criminal against humanity, the christian right, federal incompetents and warlords, but hey that’s cool, he loves children

    if he was spending billions on full layout of light rail and the rest i might have just a little time

    and labor is letting him pass

  4. The question that puzzles me is who is bankrolling Peter Jones – i worry that something really nasty is going on there.

  5. From my understanding, in the likely event of Jones being elected, Jones will give the Libs a free ride. But I am surprised if any Lib would want to be in the same room as him. No Land Tax has run a very expensive campaign. Jones work history suggests he doesn’t have a large amount of money. O’Toole (who is fourth on the ticket) is a lawyer but not a particularly successful one. So “the party” is putting up a large amount and will no doubt expect Jones to do its bidding.

  6. ESJ
    Interesting you ask. I was thinking about the poor bastard today. Last I heard he went back to being a Firie, which was a great pity because as a right winger he was actually a great guy and certainly didn’t deserve the treatment he got from Jones, O’Toole and their masters.

    The pre-selection of O’Toole, and for that matter Belinda Neal at the same election shows one of the problems with the NSW Right – its all about connection and subservience rather than talent. While I favour rank and file votes, potential candidates should undergo some aptitude tests to see if they are suitable for election – you know can they show empathy? Are they williing to work for their constituents etc. Qualities other than being willing to pull the wings off fly if Sussex St commands it. Labor could have got over the line in 98 with the right candidates but instead potential gains lime Lindsay and Robertson were thrown away by having unelectable candidates.

  7. what 5 messages in as many hours?

    so labor has lost one % point for each week of campaign – i predict a worse than predicted result, 56/44 or something.

    foley is overconfident – linking libs fed and state wrong, bashing privatisation issue too much wrong, smearing baird wrong – there are enough other issues to ride on – susex street patronises voters – i know state libs just as bad but they should not be riding high at present – they are dangerous govt spending state assets …. atrocious policy —- with no commitment to services fundamentally –

    three long years. i hope upper house proves interesting this time


    exactly – elizabeth farrelly writes the article for the moment – begins to articulate what is going on or not going on in nsw – baird is a goose stuffed with assets – he should be debated and challenged by an educated dynamic opposition leader

    Mike Baird supports statewide coal-seam gas, massive new motorways and the flogging off of one tranche of filthy rust-bucket infrastructure that no-one really wants to fund another that no-one really needs.

    It’s all part of his fight for the fossil economy, spewing carbon, compromising health and destroying food-producing land. For anyone with a view past this weekend, it’s no answer. Baird might win Saturday’s clash, but history cannot make his the dominant ocean.

    Yet is Labor really an alternative? Luke Foley opposes the poles-and-wires sale and claims to support a statewide moratorium on “all coal-seam gas activity” until safety is assured. But he supports the grubby Westconnex/Northconnex motorways and was in the government that strewed coal-seam gas licences around like chook feed.

    The real stoush is less Liberal v Labor than gover-business v the people, with planet playing co-defendant. This is far more sinister.

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