NSW late polling: Newspoll 55-45, ReachTEL 54-46, Morgan 57.5-42.5 to Coalition

Newspoll, ReachTEL and Morgan close their NSW election campaign accounts with polls showing a substantial victory for the Coalition.

Final polls in the reverse order of their publication:

• Thanks to James J in comments, I can report that Newspoll’s final result for The Australian has come in at 55-45 – but that there’s encouragement for Labor in a further result on respondent-allocated preferences, something we haven’t seen from Newspoll since 2004, which has the lead at only 52-48. The previous Newspoll at the start of the campaign had a Coalition lead of 54-46 on previous election preferences. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up a point to 44%, Labor is down two to 34%, and the Greens are steady on 11%. Personal ratings tell a somewhat better story for Labor than we’ve seen in other places, with Mike Baird down two on approval to 57% and up three on disapproval to 29%, while Luke Foley is respectively up two to 38% and six to 37%. Baird’s lead as preferred premier has narrowed slightly, from 55-25 to 54-27.

We also get a Sydney/non-Sydney breakdown which is in line with other pollsters in recording a big disparity between the swings. With my own calculations of swings in brackets (no doubt we’ll see Newspoll’s own soon enough), the results for Sydney are Coalition 48% (-2%), Labor 34% (+6%) and Greens 11% (+1.5%), while elsewhere it’s Coalition 38% (-12.5%), Labor 35% (+10.5%) and Greens 11% (+3.5%). The swing to the Greens is interesting, given talk of the gains they stand to make on the north coast, perhaps to the extent of snaring the seat of Lismore. The poll was conducted Tuesday through Thursday from a sample of 1596.

• The final ReachTEL poll of the New South Wales campaign for the Seven Network is a bit at the low end of the Coalition’s recent form, crediting them with a lead of 54-46 on respondent-allocated preferences, up from 53-47 in their last poll three weeks ago. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up 1.5% to 45.5%, with Labor down 1% to 33.8% and the Greens up 0.3% to 10.5%. I don’t normally dwell on ReachTEL’s personal ratings because I don’t care for their five-point scale, but there’s a big ouch there for Luke Foley, whose disapproval rating (meaning very poor plus poor) has spiked 11.4% to 35.2%, with approval down 0.4% to 23.2%. Mike Baird is up 7.0% on approval to 48.8% and 4.4% on disapproval to 23.3%. The poll was conducted last night from a sample of 1549. Full results, including their very helpful state breakdowns, here.

• We have also had the last Morgan SMS poll of the campaign, and it’s a forceful participant in the end-of-campaign Coalition surge, having their lead out from 56-44 earlier in the week to 57.5-42.5. Primary votes are 49% for the Coalition (up 3.5%), 29% Labor (down 3.5%) and 12.5% Greens (up 0.5%). The poll was conducted last night from a sample of 1086.

UPDATE (28/3/2015)

There is now a guide to the Legislative Council. I have also updated the poll tracker on the sidebar, which has made essentially no difference to the primary vote and previous election preferences, but Labor has clawed back 0.6% and one seat on respondent-allocated preferences. Preferences are very much the thing at this election – I’ll be surprised if the poll tracker is more than a point out on the primary vote, but we’ve now got two pollsters, Newspoll and Ipsos, with respondent-allocated results that suggest Labor will yield as much of a dividend from changed preference flows as they did in Queensland. However, my own respondent-allocated measure is based entirely on the more moderate results from ReachTEL, simply because ReachTEL was the only pollster that provided detailed breakdowns of preference flows. Last night’s ReachTEL poll means I’ve now got two of their polls to work with instead of one, and a better preference flow for Labor in the more recent result is behind the limited shift in the latest update. If you’d prefer to take Newspoll’s word for it you can factor in a bonus 1% to Labor on the respondent-allocated result, but that would only deliver them a further seat or two.

• Andrew Clennell in the Daily Telegraph:

The Greens are set to snatch a shock win in the seat of Lismore based on anti-coal seam gas sentiment, internal party polling from both major parties shows. A win to Greens candidate Adam Guise against veteran Nationals MP Thomas George comes with a loss in Ballina also likely for the Nationals, this time to Labor. The Nationals could lose as many as four seats statewide, with Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson under threat to independent Peter Draper and Monaro, held by small business minister John Barilaro, said to be lineball yesterday … Seats expected to fall from the Coalition to Labor, other than Ballina, were Swansea, Prospect, Londonderry, Granville, Wyong, Maitland, Blue Mountains, Rockdale and Strathfield … Both major parties expect Liberal MP Mark Coure to hang on in Oatley, despite just a 3.8 per cent margin. Labor also hopes to win Monaro and The Entrance and is expected to win Balmain and Newtown from the Greens.

Mark Coultan of The Australian likewise says Labor is “expected to win Ballina” and has “high hopes in neighbouring Lismore, although Labor is in a battle with the Greens to finish ahead on primary votes”. However, the Liberals are “hopeful of retaining Oatley”.

• The Sydney Morning Herald‘s seats-to-watch list rates Wollongong as “one of the few seats Labor could lose, due to the South Coast Labor Council’s Arthur Rorris running as an independent, backed by the Wollongong mayor” – a prospect I’ve not previously seen discussed.

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.

148 comments on “NSW late polling: Newspoll 55-45, ReachTEL 54-46, Morgan 57.5-42.5 to Coalition”

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  1. “Question 2:
    How do you rate the performance of Mike Baird as New South Wales Premier?”

    Very good / Good / Satisfactory = 75%
    Very poor / Poor = 23%

    Thems good numbers….

  2. It’s interesting to see, at the end of the last comments thread, that I’m not the only one who thinks they’d have been a lot better to go with Burney or McDonald. Either of those two would have come across as far more human, and with that, far more distant from the Obeid era, than Foley or Robertson ever could. I actually think even Robertson had more going for him than Foley in the end.

  3. As Andrew McDonald announced his impending retirement in September last year he was hardly a candidate when Robinson was rolled.
    He was always more interested in paediatrics than politics.

  4. I thought Daley represented everything that was Labor. Worked as a customs officer and did law at night. Was in local politics and made it to Mayor. With his law degree he had a private practice and then worked for the NRMA. Instead the party chose Foley who went to uni during the day, went into the student union and then to positions working with ministers before being parachuted into an upper house casual vacancy. His only job was in his early years at uni when he was a telephone canvaser for Guide Dogs.

  5. Foley will get the heartland back , and after a suitable interval will be dispatched for someone deemed capable of winning in 2019!

  6. NSW Newspoll

    55-45 2PP to Coalition (2011 pref flow)
    (Respondent allocated pref 2PP: 52-48 to Coalition)

    Primaries: Coalition 44, ALP 34, Greens 11

    Baird: Satisfied 57, Dissatisfied 29
    Foley: Satisfied 38, Dissatisfied 37

    Better Premier: Baird 54, Foley 27

    Sydney: ALP 34, Liberal 48, Greens 11, Other 7
    Rest of NSW: ALP 35, Liberal 14, Nat 24 (Coalition 38), Greens 11, Other 16

    1596 sample, 23-26 March

  7. ifonly@6

    I thought Daley represented everything that was Labor. Worked as a customs officer and did law at night. Was in local politics and made it to Mayor. With his law degree he had a private practice and then worked for the NRMA. Instead the party chose Foley who went to uni during the day, went into the student union and then to positions working with ministers before being parachuted into an upper house casual vacancy. His only job was in his early years at uni when he was a telephone canvaser for Guide Dogs.

    But less electable ? I thought so.

    Foley was probably a better choice.

    Time will tell.

  8. The 2011 figures so you can compare:

    Sydney: ALP 28.4, Liberal 50.5, Greens 11.3, Other 9.8
    Rest of NSW: ALP 21.4, Liberal 19, Nat 32.8 (Coalition 51.8), Greens 8.7, Other 18.1

  9. dave @13

    Perhaps, but I don’t believe the numbers are good for those NSWers who don’t want to be gouged for the next several generations for their electricity.

    It’ll only take a fairly small improvement off the 2007 result (that being the half of the chamber up for re-election) for Coalition + Fred Nile to equal a majority.

    And Nile (CDP?) has already said he’s willing to dicker over electricity privatisation.

  10. I suspect Baird may have to do something drastic to get Nile’s support, though…perhaps passing a law requiring preferential employment of straight people?

  11. http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/new-south-wales-final-week.html

    Think I’m done with my attempts for forecasting this one. I’ve put a lot more work into it than either Queensland or Victoria so looking forward to seeing what I got wrong!

    Coalition 45.4
    ALP 34
    Green 10.7
    Other 9.9

    2PP by 2011 preferences: 55.8
    Expected 2PP 54.0 (the difference between 2011 and expected is extremely rubbery – could be 0.6 points, could be 3, who knows)

    Seat distribution on the cusp between 53-36-4 and 54-35-4. Rounds to the former (just).

  12. The city/country split will give us something interesting to analyze on the night. But i think bludgertrack respondent allocated predictions are looking good and it will be called on the night.

  13. Sharp-eyed observers may notice the gap between 2011 prefs and expected 2PP on my projection has increased – that’s because I’ve taken into account the preference flow in the current ReachTEL and weighted it more strongly than the previous one. That made about 0.4 points difference.

    As my piece notes at least one other poll didn’t have the city/country split so large as the Newspoll.

  14. my partner just asked (she is no close to elections being a busy worker)
    (after exporting me earlier in day to vote labor because they need it)

    ‘foley wont win’

    then ‘what labor campaign’

    i agree . didn’t labor have any money? or ideas?

  15. *exhorting
    *not close

    i am dismayed by this labor campaign in nsw
    how much stupidity do we have to cope with from this state branch?

  16. Seems to be less interest in this election than QLD. I’m sure there was more folk posting on here for it. Also, working for one of the betting firms, we’ve probably held a similar number of bets when we would have expected a lot more. All the money at this stage is just punters trying to steal money at short prices on easy to predict seats. As always some will get burned (Kogarah, Granville, Oatley seeing some strong late money for outsiders)

    Personally think the incumbent lead is only blowing out from here, perhaps to 56% or even 57%. Reinvested a lovely collect on Labor at $7 in QLD, at the very short $1.07 Coalition here.

  17. Lack of seat polling hasn’t helped. A handful of them, all in line with expectation.

    Hardly any gaffes. No candidates in a fluster, saying stupid things to journos. Bring back the QLD crazies

  18. the alp is divided on privatisation – how on earth can they run an oppositional campaign when they are divided within – easily wedged and they were

    this has been a stupid campaign – no public transport, no new issues, no promises, and esp no transparent reform of party

    libs are worse but were hardly opposed.

    if can’t come unstuck during a campaign if asking to govern …

  19. William Bowe@23

    This campaign’s been dead as fried chicken. No spike in traffic or comments activity whatsoever this week.

    I’ve had 15% less relevant traffic in the last month than for Queensland even though I was away and hence pretty quiet in the last few days for Qld. However, I’ve had slightly more than for Victoria.

    Also my traffic for this one peaked on Monday, probably because I was linked by Mumble but even so I don’t sense vast interest in the last few days.

  20. [For those seeing a move in rural NSW, is there a chance of a repeat of the 1999 Victorian election ]

    There’s a chance.

    VIC 1999 Primary Votes: LNP: 47% ALP+Greens: 47%
    NSW 2015 Primary Votes: LNP: 44% ALP+Greens: 45% (Newspoll)

  21. The other thing that could help the ALP is that Baird’s popularity could be artificially boosting the LNP voting intention.

  22. Appears Sydney siders have fallen for the “we’ll fix transport using the electricity sale cash” ruse. Never mind it will take decades and far more money than the sale will reap to come close to fixing the problems that are fixable. Won’t happen. And we will lose almost $2 per annum income that will have to come from somewhere else. Australia is now reaping the benefits of abandoning forward planning in favour of short term political fortune. IMHO Sydney siders may see some short lived gains for Sydney then what?
    I hope the upper house vote goes very much against Baird and we will likely know in 12 hours or so,

  23. Forgot to say we have had few tradies around here in the last few weeks and none of them are voting for Baird. They are very vocal about telling the younger workers not to vote Liberal. They don’t like him much because he is sleazy it appears.

  24. It has been 4 wasted years for Labor.
    For 3.75 they were lead by Eddie’s boy whose prime responsibilities have been: a. Ensure no reform in the party b. Protect the featherbedded jobs of his union members. No thought has gone into policy. I like Foley but he really has been handed the poison chalice and will take the fall with Jamie Clements

  25. The decision will be known before 7.30pm. Foley has handled the position better than his predecessor, but the campaign second half has not been impressive. No new ideas. Just a scare campaign from an opposition attacking a policy they had advocated in power. Only now with more safeguards. Not very scary. The labor dog-whistle attacks on Chinese investment were also a cheap shot, and something of an own goal, as here in SA the Labor government is seeking Chinese investment.

    Meanwhile Baird has been competent as a manager, not too egotistical, and dealt with corruption in his ranks when found. Any fair judge would have to say he deserves re-election. He has wisely sidelined Abbott. In fact, the focus on his competent Liberal government has probably helped Abbott, and deflected attention from Abbott and Hockey’s budget woes.

  26. William
    The graphics on your LC Guide are very telling. At the first popular election of the council Labor got 55% of the primary and a majority. At the last election it got 25% and a quarter of the seats.
    What has happened in 4 years. The lack of a leader like Wran is certainly part of the problem but it is mostly that the party has had no policy development or undertaken any reflection on its purpose. Its as if the party leardership feels that the last chaotic years of government are the standard that the people of NSW should accept.

  27. Tonight will be very much a personal triumph for Baird. He’s been incredibly lucky: he has been leader just long enough to enjoy the benefits of incumbency, but not long enough to have done anything to upset the voters. He is a good-looking, but seems straight-laced rather than sleazy, and exudes reasonableness and moderation. He is a stark contrast to Abbott, and that helps him too.

    There have been relatively few major State-level issues that would have caught the attention of unengaged Sydney voters in the past four years, other than the ICAC stuff, which tarnished both sides a bit, but mainly Labor.

    Foley was a mistake from the start: bumping an ethnic woman out of her seat to get him into the LA was a terrible look. Cognoscenti know that he is from the Left faction, but to the uninformed majority he looks and feels like a Sussex St bother boy. Was he seriously the best they’ve got. Perhaps so: oh dear.

    Outside Sydney is different: there are real State issues out there, and guys like Baird with great teeth and sharp suits don’t go down quite so well.

    But I remain to be convinced that the swing will be all that huge.

    As for electricity privatization: perhaps we can devise a concept called “issue fatigue”. My sense is that many voters are sick of hearing about it and have stopped caring what happens. It hapoened with the GST. Maybe it has even happened to some extent with global warming.

  28. Even that idiot Bob Ellis is struggling to make a case for Labor winning although it seems Chinese spies are hacking the results but they are presumably voting Liberal.

  29. Dio: Labor has no case for winning. The Libs, apart from Baird’s good looks, also don’t have much to offer. I’m expecting the Greens to do quite well.

  30. [ the South Coast Labor Council’s Arthur Rorris running as an independent, backed by the Wollongong mayor” – a prospect I’ve not previously seen discussed. ]

    You owe Ben Raue a beer if he wins that seat – you got scooped. 😛

    The Wollongong mayor is Gordon Bradbery, who nearly won the seat in 2011. He hasn’t run this time because of the rules that kicked Clover Moore out of parliament, but he seems to be staying involved.

  31. The fact that there has been so many bad politicians from both sides in NSW probably makes Bairds personal rating much more significant.
    Voters probably want someone they can trust more than they want someone from a particular party.

  32. I will stick with the WB’s collation of what the respondent allocated polls are predicting, but still hoping the ALP will do better.

    I think it’s mainly about the economy, for which Baird can thank the Sydney housing boom. Once the boom ends, and stamp duty receipts start shrinking, it will be interesting to see how his personal ratings fair.

  33. When NSW labor is strong Federal Labor is strong and vice versa.

    The real question is whether the new pretty boys of the right Minns and Park are viable leaders. Might be wiser to bring somebody viable from outside of parliament mid-term ala Wran in 76.

  34. [The fact that no one on PB is willing to put a positive case for Foley is informative.]

    I think he has done perfectly well and it looks like the result will be quite solid after 2011. The result in QLD was particularly miraculous, and few on PB have suggested it would be repeated here. Hence WB’s comment @23.

  35. Sydney electorates have for many years voted on transport issues. Labor used to promise a new solution before an election, change leaders and then go to the next election with the new leader’s different solution. The North-West rail link is a vote winner because so many commuters can see the work is being done.

    I suspect that the Greens will win votes in Nationals seats but that the preferences won’t flow as much as they hope. I can imagine a willingness to select a party for trees and no CSG but putting the unionist second a bridge too far. A single 1 for Greens will return National candidates in many seats.

    The anti poles and wires campaign will boost Greens in the upper house rather than Labor. Final outcome 9, 7, 3 + Christian and Shooters. This gives the Coalition 20 and Christians 2. Fred Nile is given the presidency leaving the Coalition with the numbers to pass anything with the support of one any of the other parties and Christians supporting the poles and wires.

  36. shellbell@44

    The fact that no one on PB is willing to put a positive case for Foley is informative.

    As is the fact that very few are willing to put a positive case for bairds policies.

    I be happy is the tories fail to control the upper house and fred nile doesn’t have the balance of power there.

  37. TrueBlueAussie@49

    Foleys Gone. Shortens Gone.

    Marshalls Gone in SA – He couldn’t beat a 4 th term Labour Govt.

    Napthines Gone in Vic – a first term Govt rolled.

    Campbells Gone in Qld – a first term Govt rolled.

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