uComms/ReachTEL: 51-49 to Labor in New South Wales

A fairly robust second week of the New South Wales makes no impression on the latest poll result, which also finds public opinion leaning strongly to Labor over the stadiums issue.

NOTE: The main discussion thread has fallen down the page a little, to here. That will be rectified when, presumably, Newspoll comes through this evening.

Today’s Sun-Herald has the first statewide poll of the New South Wales election campaign, conducted on Thursday by uComms/ReachTEL from a sample of 1019. The results are remarkably similar to the last such poll in late November, weeks after Michael Daley assumed the Labor leadership: two-party preferred is unchanged at 51-49 in favour of Labor, while the primary votes, after exclusion of the undecided (4.7% this time, 3.1% in November) are Coalition 37.5% (down 0.2%), Labor 35.8% (up 0.6%), Greens 10.1% (up 0.2%), One Nation 5.9% (down 1.8%) and Shooters Fishers and Farmers 4.8% (up 1.4%). The two-party preferred result is presumably from respondent-allocated preferences, but the result from 2015 election flows would be the same.

Michael Daley retains his lead over Gladys Berejiklian, which is 53.3-46.7 in this poll, and was 54.2-45.8 in the November poll – surprising results both, although ReachTEL’s forced response preferred leader polls consistently produce unusual results. The poll also shows 52% opposed to the government’s expansive spending plans for Sydney sports stadiums, with 37% in support.

The new poll numbers make next to no difference to my state election poll tracker, the current reading of which is almost exactly the same as the uComms/ReachTEL result. You can view the trend charts over the fold, with a little more value added in the display on my election guide.

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.

37 comments on “uComms/ReachTEL: 51-49 to Labor in New South Wales”

  1. Presumably this means ALP is doing a fair bit better on preferences from ON and the Gunners than LNP is from GRNS.

    It will be fascinating to see where the backlash plays out.

  2. Given Reachtels past performance polling wise plus other polls which have largely understated Labors actual polling, when compared to byelection and state election results, NSW may well surprise on 23 March.
    Election night promises to be a real roller coaster ride.
    I can’t wait.

  3. 2015 election – Coalition 45.63, Labor 34.08, Greens 10.29. (SFF 3.9% in upper house)
    TPP Coalition 54.32, Labor 45.68.

    Comparing those numbers to this poll the main change on primaries is the Coalition down 8%.
    SFF and ON are on a combined 10.7% which likely accounts for a lot of this.

    If the TPP is around Coalition 49: Labor 51 that represents a 5% swing – even given the vagaries of the regions and individual seats it is very hard to see the Coalition retaining majority government by only losing five seats or fewer.

  4. I think we will be pleasantly surprised at this election- the swing is on, the LNP is on the nose and people have bats at the ready, Gladys is an appalling campaigner, and by-election swings have been enormous (20plus percent)….

    Whether Labor can get an outright majority is the only question.

  5. Win or lose I think Daley is running an excellent campaign. Standing up to a media bully like Jones has done his personal popularity no harm at all. Normally I expect to see LOTOs a few points behind until they become PM or Premier. Daley is focusing on what people want: ditching egotistical builds like yet more new stadiums for more money into hospitals and schools. It also shows large construction companies will no longer be running the state if Labor is elected, which would be a refreshing change. I could say the same about preferences to improve public transport rather than plough more billions into toll roads.

  6. Going on previous results at federal and state election , if the libs/nats combined primary vote is lower than 43% , they will be out of majority , under 40% Labor wins the election comfortably

    My prediction will be the same as the federal election if the libs/nats primary vote is under 40% on election day , Labor will be the new government 7:30pm saturday night

  7. I reckon the regional seats will be the ones to watch.

    The Coalition are perceived to be a Sydney centric and irrigator bought government out in the regions.

  8. Really depends where the swing is happening as to whether there’ll be a change. A few things to consider:

    – Labor needs 13 seats to form a majority in its own right. Nobody thinks they’ll get that on these numbers. If they win ten seats they could potentially form a government with the Greens (assuming they hold all three of their seats, which isn’t guaranteed in the case of Ballina).

    – The coalition needs to lose 6 seats to fall into minority. At the moment their primary vote is down 7-10pc in polling so that’s certainly possible. But the ALP vote is steady from 2015 while the one nation and shooters party are way up. The vote for “others” probably indicates that the swing is on in the country, but more conservative crossbenchers probably means a liberal minority government. Remember that optional preferential always helps the candidate who comes first on primary votes – so the nationals could still hang on against big swings if they come first.

    The last two weeks of the election are going to be absolutely crucial. If Daley can get the ALP’s primary vote in Sydney overtaking the coalition, then there could be an upset.

  9. Yes agreed bobalot, it’s the regions that will be critical.
    Well done Dayley, preferred leader is an astonishing effort.
    Based on this poll that would put the liberal pv at 28 which is amazingly poor.
    Still leaning towards a hung parliament with the libs slightly the better chance to form govt but the longer this goes the better it is for Dayley.
    Exciting times.

  10. UComms/ReachTel poll claims the Nats vote is up. Bizarre.
    Anger towards the Nats is white hot out in the sticks.
    Upper Hunter, Monaro, Lismore, Tweed, Myall Lakes, Tamworth, Murray, Barwon etc. are all at risk of falling.
    Again, I can’t stress enough how on the nose the Nats are.
    It will be fascinating to see if voters exercise their right to preference (and put the Nats last).
    Will be watching the Monaro count with great interest. Labor’s Bryce Wilson is a top drawer candidate. I knew him when he was teaching science at a small government central school out this way. He’s Labor to his bootstraps.

  11. As much as I disagree with many of the polices of SFF (and would never vote for them), they deserve credit for being well organised and structured. They’re not a single issue protest party or a party of one (i.e Poorline’s Look at Me Party).
    SFF will be a major beneficiary of the Nats’ Liberal Party lap dog status and utter contempt of the bush.

  12. “UComms/ReachTel poll claims the Nats vote is up. Bizarre.”

    Not so bizarre. Very few people consider voting Nats.
    Usually when polled, they will select Liberal even if Nats is an option.
    It is only when the election campaign gets underway, that voters discover Nats is the only coalition option where they live.

  13. Dave from Wagga

    I agree – “Shooters, Fishers and Farmers” by their very name are trolling the Nationals – what group is left for the Nats, oh yes “Miners”!

    With the Nationals member retiring in Barwon, and the Nationals drawing 9th (last) spot on the ballot I think they are in big trouble. I would like to think the Labor candidate Darriea Turley, Broken Hill Mayor, could win but the SFF is more likely.

    Someone else pointed out that when a hung Parliament is in the offing, that can be the best time to have a member who is not from one of the major parties because by definition their vote becomes vital. I went through Mildura on the day of the Victorian election and was instantly convinced that the independent Ali Cupper was about to knock the Nationals out of their safe seat. I can see similar things happening all across regional NSW.

  14. Gladys looks a bit stressed, its obvious relief when people applaud.

    Ive not paid much attention to her before though (victorian), maybe she is always like that ?

  15. Shellbell@7:37am
    I think you know that preferences are optional for NSW State elections and can be exhausted after marking 1 on the ballot paper.
    Hence your musing that ON and Gunners preferences are flowing better ALP may be a big assumption.

  16. Ven

    I would imagine that the pollsters still ask the question “Which would you give your preference to – Labor or Coalition?” when the true answer may be “Neither – I will let it exhaust”. Which makes you wonder how much that TPP actually means.

  17. RR@7:52am
    Betting markets are tracking 49 (LNP) & 38 (ALP) seats although they are giving better odds for ALP win than LNP win, which is odd. There are 93 seats in NSW state lower house. So according betting markets LNP will get majority seats but ALP will win the election.

  18. Torchbearer@8:13am
    The swing may be on but a party (ALP i.e) cannot win with a PV of 35.8% especially with optional preferencing. The PV has to be over 38% to win from opposition.

  19. People should keep in mind regarding the nationals vote – since their formation in the 1920s, the nationals have never got lower than 8.5% at a NSW state election (1999,1984,1959). Even during the Wran and Carr era they mostly got between 9-10pc.

    If the nationals got a primary vote of 7, it would be comfortably their lowest result in history. It would be a loss of around one third of their primary vote across the seats they hold. Depending who benefits from that swing it could be devastating.

  20. @ven

    You need to look at implied probability in seat by seat odds. A 51 percent implied probability in odds betting means an event is handicapped as happening 51 times in a hundred, it doesn’t imply that the vote in a particular electorate will be 51 percent. Nor does Labor being shorter odds in the overall betting imply that they are a certainty of winning!

    Sportsbet have Coalition at 1.78 and Labor 1.91 so predict a close result, but have the Coalition forming government.

  21. Courtesy of Peter Fitzsimons in the SMH:

    Tweet of the Week
    “If only the SCG Trust was in charge of NSW public hospitals. They’d be empty, well resourced and re built every 30 years.”


  22. Reachtel state polls tend to under report Labor vote. On those figures Gladys looks cooked. Daley is running a good campaign. This will also a be the first time voters will have a chance to punish Liberals after leadership chaos.

  23. Michael Daley reminds me very much of Bob Carr circa. 1991. A wonkish nerd thrust into the leadership.
    Gladys reminds me of Nick Greiner circa. 1991. A very poor campaigner.
    What’s Terry Metherell up to these days?
    Shades of ’91.
    Hung parliament, anybody?

  24. Hung parliament is where I think NSW is headed. I just can’t see the LNP holding onto 6 seats. I can perhaps see the ALP getting over the line with a bit of luck.
    But if it is the SFF who get control, and Gladys does a deal with them, it will be toxic for the Feds.

  25. BS Fairman
    But if it is the SFF who get control, and Gladys does a deal with them, it will be toxic for the Feds.

    Indeed. Particularly for the Nationals and for whatever discipline remains with them in the lead up to the election; it appears to be fraying mightily already

  26. My predictions

    Legislative Assembly
    Labor winning enough seats to form a minority government.
    The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers could add Barwon and Murray to Orange which they currently hold. Also might get into second place in some other electorates west of the Great Dividing Range.

    Legislative Council
    Keep Sydney Open will win a seat.
    David Leyonhjelm might struggle to win a seat.
    Mark Latham will definitely be elected to the Legislative council, I don’t know about a second One Nation candidate being elected.

  27. https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/berejiklian-government-poised-to-lose-nationals-seats-yougov-poll/news-story/90e97cca9a5e139f98853bab861eaf06

    Berejiklian government poised to lose Nationals seats: YouGov poll
    Anna Caldwell, NSW Political Editor, The Daily Telegraph
    31 minutes ago

    EXCLUSIVE: The Berejiklian government is poised to lose a string of Nationals seats, as new polling confirms support for the government has plummeted in two key electorates.

    An exclusive YouGov Galaxy poll conducted for The Daily Telegraph shows the Nationals are on the cusp of losing Barwon and Lismore — key battleground seats that could contribute to putting the government in minority.

    Today’s poll has the Nationals on track to lose the north coast seat of Lismore and trailing the Labor Party in a tight two-party preferred result of 49/51.

    And in Barwon, the Nationals are in a fierce contest with the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party, who are just trailing the government 51/49 — a narrow win for the incumbents but a result too close for comfort.

    The poll is based on a sample of 502 voters in Barwon and 588 voters in Lismore.

  28. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
    Rural folk feel left behind.
    It’s the Nats what did it.

  29. 2 contests alp against libs and nationals and nationals against shooters and independents
    Barwon could be won by alp or sff
    ind…… Dubbo, coffs Harbor and maybe Tamworth against the Nationals
    sff……… Clarence and Murray against nationals
    alp…….. Goulburn and Bega against libs
    alp……. upper Hunter Monaro and Lismore against the nationals
    alp……. Kiama and South coast
    this is the country post where I think contests will occur with a possible change of mp
    the city version to follow

  30. moderate,
    Yeah, nah.
    Nats are gonna get it where it hurts.
    No one to blame but themselves.
    Why in God’s name they insist on a ‘coalition agreement’, and not sit as a an independent party guaranteeing supply and confidence…

  31. The minute the Nats did that, the Libs would stand against them in every seat and wipe them out. The Nats may be stupid, but their self-interest stops them being *that* stupid.

    Also, portfolios and deputy leaderships are their precious.

  32. Peter van OnselenVerified account@vanOnselenP
    5m5 minutes ago
    Sorry but this needs to be called out: First female Premier chosen on merit? Kristina Keneally challenged a leader, then beat two blokes (Sartor then Rees) in two separate ballots to become premier – Gladys was uncontested after Baird resigned.


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