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”

  1. Labor in NSW needs a Yeltsin style reformer, yet it keeps throwing up Gosplan machinists OC. Tammany never voluntarily gave up power and neither will Sussex st.

  2. I tend to agree with ESJ – i doubt if Labor underwent any serious reform, despite the trashing of its brand, in the 3.75 years Robbo was in charge. After all he was eddie’s boy chosen in a deal prior to the last election
    Foley strikes me as being honest and not a machne man. Murohy sounds as if he would also be a driver of reform – a good reason for Sussex St not wanting him there.

  3. I think this is one time when I agree with ESJ. There is no willingness to sweep the decks in NSW the same way that occurred in Queensland, and the new guard looks remarkably like the old guard. Sussex St will start winning elections again when they remember they’re not in government any longer and need to focus on more than their own party power.

    I hope the Murphy campaign does get addressed, but it’s not the first time a criminal lawyer candidate has been taken down by shit-sheeting them about representing pedophiles. The late Brenton Banfield met the same fate in Labor preselection when he went up against the later equally ill-fated Steven Chaytor in the mess that resulted in Chris Hayes entering federal parliament.

  4. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-state-election-2015/nsw-state-election-2015-east-hills-candidate-the-victim-of-worst-dirty-tricks-campaign-in-nsw-history-says-labor-20150328-1m9tcd.html

    This is absolutely disgusting, and if it ends up being linked to the campaign of any candidate for any party, the result in East Hills should be thrown out (assuming Labor doesn’t win).

    As OC said, this is the kind of thing that destroys democracy.

    Whoever did this should go to prison.

  5. Yeltsin put the stake through soviet communism Dave and the world is a better place for it. Somebody needs to put the stake through the NSW labor machine too for genuine political reform to happen in this country.

    Obviously your WA missos isn’t going to support democracy.

  6. OC, what about Foley makes you see him as not being a machine man? You’re someone whose comments I generally enjoy and I’m surprised to read that.

    I thought Robertson was hapless as leader, but at least had a narrative to tell about the working-class tradie done good. I think if he hadn’t made the mistake of parachuting into the leadership straight after being a union boss before doing a solid stint as a local electorate MP he might have actually been an effective politician.

    To me, Foley just screams party hack and Sussex St’s man in every possible way. I’m ardently left and yet even I can say Baird is far more likable, and Foley is off-putting in a way that Andrews and Palasczuk never were. I didn’t predict it at the time, but I think he’s actually gone backwards compared to how Robertson would have done because of this.

    I actually kind of hope Foley loses Auburn because it might thwack some damn sense into Sussex St about their need for a leadership who comes across as human rather than all-hack.

  7. Agree all that Rebecca. Foley is totally a creature of the machine. labor should be looking for a charismatic figure outside of parliament , a barrister of talent, a community organisation leader or a business ceo would be good choices with someone in the machine prepared to back them to the hilt in tearing down the Sussex st soviet.

  8. Edwina StJohn@110

    Yeltsin put the stake through soviet communism Dave and the world is a better place for it.

    Gorbachev deserves credit for much of the dismantling of the Soviet Union, without having handpicked Putin who regularly throws around nuclear threats to his neighbours like confetti.

    Also on Yeltsin’s watch much of Russia natural and other resources were ripped off into the hands of a few gangsters – plus it basically delivered a gangster government and economy.

    Putin could even end up starting WW3 – he has already said he is prepared to use nuclear weapons in a first strike.

  9. I am a big Whan fan, but I’m not sure he had it in him to be leader. I think it could have gone either way: he may have left Foley’s performance in the dust if he could catch on, or not been able to cut it, lost Monaro, and wound up with Labor in an even more embarrassing situation. He’s definitely a much more likable MP though.

  10. ESJ: Exactly. Queensland Labor were smart enough to preselect a bunch of these people who had potential to reinvigorate the party and give them some depth, especially in a few years when they’ve had the benefit of experience. I see a handful of people in NSW (the likes of Jihad Dib) but they’re doing a piss-poor job compared to what Qld did.

    It’s not the place for it here, but I think WA’s going to be the next NSW if our Labor doesn’t learn their lesson from this election.

  11. With less than two hours to go I have not seen a single sign of any poll, exit poll or market that shows worse than 54:46 to the Liberals. The result does not appear in doubt, at risk country Nationals not withstanding. Does anyone know what the betting markets say now? Various sages here in the past speak well of their reliability. How short are Baird’s odds?

    I do not really accept the claim that Baird has been “lucky” economically. The housing market shift up has only been recent. Before that Baird faced declining mining royalties and paying for a large backlog of infrastructure that Labor had failed to build, despite Sydney having grown by one million people under their rule. Baird has done things that were put off for too long. That in itself gave some momentum back to the Sydney economy. The economy pickup then fed into tax revenue.

    I do not blame Foley alone, but Labor’s campaign has lacked smarts. Scare campaign over the power sell off, but no real alternative. What would they do different? How would they pay for stuff? No real answer.

  12. Nothing says a Labor machine man more than a candidate for premier who has never faced an election (except as a union official). He was parachuted into a casual vacancy in the upper house and then before he even had to face election he was parachuted into Auburn.

  13. There seems to be a view there is a right wing machine in nsw labor, that’s wrong there is a combined right / left machine in nsw of which foley is intimately a part. He was after all assistant sec of the nsw alp.

  14. Edwina StJohn@118

    Gorbachev wanted to save the user, it was Yeltsin who destroyed it. The facts are beyond challenge.

    Gorbachev knowingly put him out of a job when the Soviet Union ceased to exist and the Russian Federation replaced it with Yeltsin heading that Federation. Those are the facts.

    Yeltsin delivered much of the wealth of Russia into the hands of gangsters and handpicked Putin as chief gangster.

    Gorbachev has far greater standing in having got the change going – those are the facts.

    I’ve just finished recently finished reading “The Last Days of the Soviet Union” by Conor O’Clery.

  15. When I was the endorsed candidate Foley supported me when the right derailed my campaign (not that I was ever going to win) through a branch stack to maintain the monopoly of power for their local machine man. Despite the belief of many in the town, this man was not a paedophile – the case was dismissed when the developmentally delayed boy was unable to give coherent evidence (if I gave my real name you could read the details of the stack through google – its all still on the net)
    Foley went out of his way to help me, at one stage we had Roosendahl red with anger shouting obscenities at us
    To me Robbo’s narrative was the continuing saga of the sparkies union which began with the town hall plotting that led to Unsworth into the premiership – wasn’t that a success. The sparkies have always defended the featherbedding of their government jobs and this was Robbo’s main reason for opposing privatisation and as we can see virtually Labor’s only significant policy.

    On this theme:
    I have never understood why electricity must be absolutely government controlled while it is fine for gas to have always been in private but regulated control. The greatest tragedy was that Carr did not have the balls to piush through the first privatisation in 1996 when the system was worth 40B. Now we are just arguing about the dregs.

  16. 114

    Russia would be a better and probably much more democratic place if Gorbachev had not been undermined by Yeltsin and could have reformed more slowly and not have the chaotic mess in the 1990s. Or possibly if Yeltsin had lost the 1996 election.

  17. 4.42 pm

    I vote, and hear word that Labor is looking good in the West and the Central Coast. It was agreed that the Newspoll score, 48, bodes well. Some younger voters, unpolled because they have no landlines, should put that over 49. Carr won outright with 48.8.

    Be still, my heart.

    Fifteen more minutes — is it? — to the Skynews exit poll.


    ellis never disappoints — life is constant rerun of 1969

    there’s noone like him on PB or anywhere

    why not?

    (problem: a local indpt who offers to ‘listen’ thinks he will win in liberal margin of 19%, and also hold balance of power )
    so there is hope and there is ….

  18. @ Tom, 129

    Or possibly if Yeltsin had lost the 1996 election.

    To the Communists? That would have been interesting, to say the least.

  19. @ geoffrey, 130

    Ellis has minor entertainment value, nothing more.

    On the odd occasion he turns out to be right, it’s usually for the wrong reason – as they say, a broken clock is correct twice a day.

  20. [Nothing says a Labor machine man more than a candidate for premier who has never faced an election (except as a union official). He was parachuted into a casual vacancy in the upper house and then before he even had to face election he was parachuted into Auburn.]

    Foley isn’t the Member for Auburn. He is yet to be… wait for it… elected.

  21. A note on state exit polls

    In QLD, Galaxy exit poll predicted an ALP win, but by too much. TPP of 54%, not actual 50.9%. May be a hard to poll regions element in that poll.


    Anyway, they don’t lean to the LNP. In Victoria, similar poll very close to actual result. ALP 52.5, actual TPP 51.9. No OPV may help in estimating TPP there.


    In NSW, who knows? ALP *may* be getting a better regional swing, but its not as hard to poll in NSW overall as QLD (regions are a bigger % of people)

  22. Channel 9 have started their election coverage, with everyone on zero seats. A crawler says a Galaxy Poll predicts a Coalition win.

    It’s a bit like the football. They waffle on for an hour, then the game, then more waffling.

  23. Just got this from Luke Foley:

    [I wanted to take a moment today to say thank you.

    No matter what happens, thank you for everything that you have done to help Labor get here.

    To all of the volunteers who staffed polling booths today, who have been at the train stations handing out every morning and on the phonebanks every night.

    To all of our generous donors who have helped us afford the resources that we’ve needed to run the campaign – printing, merchandise and the big Labor bus.

    To all of the people who have signed a petition, shared their story or stood up for us on social media.

    To all the true believers who have stuck with us through thick and thin, fighting for what it means to be Labor.

    Thank you.

    No matter what happens tonight, everything we’ve done has built a better and stronger Labor that we can be proud of.

    You are what it means to be Labor.

    Thank you,

    Luke Foley
    NSW Labor Leader]

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