Newspoll: 50-50 in New South Wales

Two months out from a state election, a New South Wales poll finds nothing to separate the two major parties.

With less than two months to go before the election, The Australian brings us a Newspoll result of state voting intention in New South Wales, which records a tie on two-party preferred (unchanged from the last result nearly a year ago), and primary votes of Coalition 39% (compared with 38% in the last poll and 45.6% at the 2015 election), Labor 36% (34% last poll, 34.1% last election) and Greens 10% (11% last poll, 10.3% last election). On preferred premier, Gladys Berejiklian records a 44-31 lead over the new Labor leader, Michael Daley. We should hopefully have the leaders’ approval ratings a little later. The poll was conducted from Friday through to earlier today, from an as yet unknown sample size.

UPDATE: Gladys Berejiklian is down four on approval since last year to 41%, and up eight on disapproval to 43%. Michael Daley’s debut ratings are an uninspiring 33% approval and 41% disapproval. The sample size was 1011.

Relatedly, I am a few days away from unleashing my state election guide, which among many other features will include a BludgerTrack-style poll trend measure.

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.

23 comments on “Newspoll: 50-50 in New South Wales”

  1. New South Wales Newspoll post:
    https://www.pollbludger.net/2019/01/29/newspoll-50-50-new-south-wales-2/”

    My thoughts:
    Whilst Foley’s departure was embarrassing, the performance of Daley since replacing him has done Labor no harm at all. He has gone back to basics in terms of Labor philosophy (I do not want to enter an obsolete left/right debate) and stuck consistently to a simple message that resonates with people. If ScumMo went to the polls before NSW Gladys might get back into a lead, but he shows no signs of doing that. Great team players, these Liberals.

  2. 39+36+10=85%
    Where has the other 15% gone?
    Are they ON, SF&F, other minor parties, independants and ‘don’t knows’?

    Do you distribute Greens prefs 80:20 Lab:Coal?
    That would give 41 Coal:44 Lab

    So how did the Coalition pick up 9 of those 15%?
    Very mysterious.
    I do look forward to your details, William.

  3. Maude…the G split is more like 65/35…and many prefs will exhaust in the OPV system used in NSW. Labor need to do better than 50/50 to win. However, the Libs will also need prefs to win seats, so the final result is difficult to predict on the basis of primaries alone.

  4. Also, on re-reading my comment it appears that I am adversely reflecting on William.
    That was not my intention.
    I realise that William is only providing the Newspoll results, as reported by them, at this stage.
    And I am seriously looking forward to William’s analysis.

  5. Gladys and her government are on the nose. Not as many votes will exhaust like 2011 and 2015: folk want to make their anti government vote count – just like Queensland in 2015. Optional preferential voting has exaggerated the margins in many seats that will swing back with double digit swings.

  6. I think it is quite unlikely the LNP will lose their absolute majority in NSW. 50-50 represents a 4% swing to the ALP on 2015 numbers. The Libs have only 2 seats which sit on margins of less than 6% (East Hills and Coogee). There are also 4 Nats seats in this category, on margins of 2-3%, but we know that swings in rural seats are often more muted than in urban seats. You may well see some pretty big swings in former ALP seats in Sydney’s west, but the margins are so high that little by way of seats changing hands can be expected I think. But from the federal ALP viewpoint, the LNP holding on to NSW may make voters a bit less nervous about seeing the ALP in power federally.

  7. I’m looking forward to this. Gladys is on the back foot, always an apologist, and too private by far, while Daley presents well, speaks directly to the issue and the camera, and is blessedly free of the dodgy Foley look. My father would have said he has a nice open face!

    As for Gladys’s ‘I prefer people to fish‘, what sort of gormless rubbish is that to people who have lost their drinking water.

  8. Scomo “not required” for the NSW campaign.

    In November 2018, political reporter Michael McGowan cited Gladys Berajiklian saying Scott Morrison was not needed for the NSW State government election campaign.The New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has suggested the prime minister, Scott Morrison, would be surplus to campaign requirements.Asked by reporters whether Morrison would be called on during the NSW election campaign the premier replied: “I have never relied on anybody outside NSW and I don’t intend to start now.” Her government would stand “on its own two feet”, she said. Berejiklian declined to say whether she believed the ousting of the former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull contributed to the result in Victoria,.
    “But I’ll say this: People don’t like to see instability. People don’t like to see politicians focused on themselves, we know that,”.

    The then NSW Opposition leader said NSW was “the eye of the storm” for divisions within the Liberal party. “We’ve got a Liberal premier who doesn’t want a bar of the Liberal prime minister and the feeling’s mutual. That says everything, doesn’t it?

    NSW Pre-election Numbers
    Prior to the 2019 New South Wales State election, the Coalition held a majority of six seats [ 52 of 97 seats]. The Labor Party had 34 seats. It would seem unlikely that the Labor Party could or would win 13 seats to gain majority government in New South Wales. However, the six-seat majority of the incumbent Coalition government became vulnerable. If the -7.1 percent 2PP swing average of the Coalition seats lost to Labor in Victoria was repeated in New South Wales, 12 seats would come into play for the Labor Party. These seats are
    Lismore (50.2) East Hills (50.4) Upper Hunter (52.2) Monaro (52.5) Coogee (52.9) Tweed (53.1)
    Murray; (53.7) North Shore (54.7) Penrith (56.2) Oatley (56.6) Goulburn (56.6) and Holsworthy (56.7).

    A State election loss in NSW following the Victorian disaster would at the very least put in the federal electorate voters mind a perception that there is a wave of dissent against the Liberal brand sweeping the country just weeks ahead of the federal election. How many habitual Liberal voters jump on that wave, which alternative option they elect to vote for and where those votes hit the beach remains the critical questions.

  9. Just working out the Others’ numbers…

    Primary vote 15%
    Last poll 17%
    Last election 10.0%

    I ween that most of the increase in the Other vote from the election would be fragmentation of the Right, making their exhaustion rates with optional preferences voting potentially more “interesting” for the coalition

  10. @ Socrates

    Whilst Daley is generally good, I don’t think he can be trusted on public transport. Even hinting that ripping up Light Rail shows he’s attitude towards public transport is to stop and no, rather than getting PT into the ground (literally and figuratively)

  11. “Relatedly, I am a few days away from unleashing my state election guide, which among many other features will include a BludgerTrack-style poll trend measure.”

    If the Victorian election is anything to go by, there might not be enough polls to track in NSW. The media lost interest because their side wasn’t going to winhere. It’s amazing how much media polling had understated the Labor vote in WA and Victoria when the results came in. It’s a good idea to be cautious of polling in recent years.

  12. electionblogger2019.simplesite.com

    Thanks for your post, and also for your website, which I am working my way through. If you post something on the main current thread I am certain you will generate some traffic there.

    It is interesting that the bookmakers have now installed Labor as narrow favourites to win (ie provide the Premier). Winning 13 seats to get to a majority seems unlikely, but as Andrew_Earlwood points out, the Optional Preferential Voting may well work against the Coalition this time if enough right wing voters are just browned off with the state (and federal) Coalition.

    My tip is for a bigger than anticipated swing on election day, with Labor falling a few seats short of a majority, but ending up as a minority government. A position I did not think was ever possible while Luke Foley was leader.

  13. “Just working out the Others’ numbers…

    Primary vote 15%
    Last poll 17%
    Last election 10.0%

    I ween that most of the increase in the Other vote from the election would be fragmentation of the Right, making their exhaustion rates with optional preferences voting potentially more “interesting” for the coalition”

    There will be a double whammy effect – exhausted votes on the left and centre in 2011 and 2015 will come home to Labor – either as primary votes (probably only a 4-5% swing state wide) and on preferences as these voters will want their anti government vote to count.

    On the other hand centre and far right votes are likely to go to the shooters, ON or conservative independents and then exhaust. This could effectively wipe out the National Party in the bush as it is on the nose to an even greater extent than the liberals are in Sydney.

    Labor is likely to pick up those 6 seats that sit on margins of less than 3.2% quite comfortably even though some of them are National Party seats. There are over a dozen seats that are on margins of 6-10% where that margin is massively inflated because of the Obied effect and optional preferential voting (just a quick check of their federal counter part seats from 2016 will show how ‘winnable’ many of those are) and I reckon Labor has a good chance of picking up another half dozen with big 10%+ swings.

    Another thing to remember is that 5 MPs on the current cross bench are more likely than not to support Labor on supply, so in my view – given that the last three state wide polls show Labor’s 2PP vote to be in the 50-52% range (and some little well placed birds tell me that this is where Labor’s internal polling is at as well) a minority Labor Government is the most likely outcome.

    One thing that is significant that I have been made aware of (and have had a degree of involvement in) is the amount of networking behind the scenes that key labor front benchers are currently doing to prepare to take Government in 6 weeks time. A change of government is on like donkey kong.

  14. This could get very interesting. Historically the ALP do well in NSW. It will be particularly interesting to see if the polls are understating the ALP vote.

  15. “This could get very interesting. Historically the ALP do well in NSW. It will be particularly interesting to see if the polls are understating the ALP vote.”

    I don’t think the polls are necessarily understating the Labor vote state wide, but the disparity between the statewide swing and the swings in certain seats will be very marked because of the effects of optional preferential voting

  16. Rocket Rocket

    Thanks for the comments. A Labor minority government . Now that’s a possibility if the polls are under cutting the swing against Gladys et al. I’m going to have another look now. Thank you
    Cheers

    David.
    electionblogger2019.simplesite.com

  17. @Paramatta Moderate:

    Ordinarily that’s true about city/rural swings. But think about the two by-elections this cycle in Orange and Wagga Wagga. It’s possible the country seats are the more likely to fall *if* there are strong independents or strong candidates from the smaller rural based parties. Events like those taking place in and around the Murray-Darling could see us with an expanded cross-bench.

  18. I suspect all the independents to be reelected…. so the libs will need only to lose 6 seats to go into minority…….. now looking at the bigger picture with 5% swing to Labor state wide…… 7% plus in some non alp held seats is not out of the question…………. I had a look at what seats are in my opinion competive based on Local factors the results of the federal election etc I think 25 seats are competitive…. these are up to and including Bathurst……. (Bathurst…. half Lithgow ….half Bathurst……… so 15% is a much inflated margin…… now Calare which is more anti labour…… has an 11% margin…….. Bathurst is wholly contained I think…. in that seat…… Lithgow alp 54% Bathurst city 48%….. alp win?)

  19. “primary votes of Coalition 39% (compared with 38% in the last poll and 45.6% at the 2015 election), Labor 36% (34% last poll, 34.1% last election) and Greens 10% (11% last poll, 10.3% last election).”…

    Looking good for Labor…. 🙂

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