Newspoll: 50-50 in New South Wales

With less than a fortnight to go, another poll finds nothing in it in New South Wales.

The Australian has a New South Wales state poll from Newspoll that records a dead heat on two-party preferred, unchanged from the previous poll in late January. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up a point to 40%, Labor is steady on 36% and the Greens are steady on 10%. Gladys Berejiklian’s lead as preferred premier has narrowed from 44-31 to 41-34, and both leaders’ personal ratings are improved: Berejiklian is up three on approval to 44% and down five on disapproval to 38%, while Michael Daley is up four to 37% and down two to 38%. The poll was conducted Friday to Monday from a sample of 1003.

Once again, the poll is entirely consistent with the existing reading of the state election poll tracker, on which Labor still has its nose in front on two-party preferred. The trend charts can be viewed over the fold, with the full display featured as part of the 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.

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

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  1. This still represents a more than 4% fall in TPP for the Coalition, and more than 5% in Primary compared to 2015 election. That surely somewhere will translate into loss of majority at least.

  2. Looks like minority government is on the cards by the look of that. Labor would need a bigger PV bump to get anywhere near a win. At best, losing a couple of seats to the SFF will scare the Nationals into some madness ahead of the Federal election and Labor can strip down a few NSW State election seats to wtf I almost lost level. It was always going to be a tall order for Labor to win this one after the leadership change. – Momentum is everything sometimes.

  3. Shellbell

    Yes, so clearly SFF and ON are benficiaries of the fall in Coalition vote. Which also makes me think the swing against the Coalition in Sydney is not going to be that much.

    A few others have looked at the 1999 Victorian election, where Labor made their gains mainly in the “near Melbourne” 100-200 km seats, and then three Independents got up (one re-elected), two of them in the farthest places from Melbourne in the North-West and Far-East.

    I suppose an equivalent scenario would be Labor winning some coastal seats especially on the north coast, and SFF and Independents winning seats especially west of the Great Dividing Range.

    I cannot see the Coalition retaining majority government. I still believe Labor will end up as the minority government – this ‘slight’ reverse back to 50-50 doesn’t encourage me in this second belief but I am sticking with it.

  4. I haven’t seen all the primary votes for this latest Newspoll, but if PHON is at around 5% and Others at 9%, I have the suspicion that the 2PP for the ALP is closer to 51% than 50%.
    In any vent, the election is definitely close, but the Liberals should be sweating more than Labor in my view.

  5. Anyone know if Newspoll have adjusted One Nation to account for tge fact they are only running in a limited number of seats ? Similar to the adjustment of SA Best in SA polls.

  6. “I cannot see the Coalition retaining majority government. I still believe Labor will end up as the minority government – this ‘slight’ reverse back to 50-50 doesn’t encourage me in this second belief but I am sticking with it.”

    This Sydney centric government will likely hold on to most of the furniture in the big smoke, but there will be a big enough swing to lose Coogee – largely because of the light rail disaster and East Hills. I reckon because of the variable nature of the swing Labor may likely pick up another 2-3. Seats to watch include Penrith, Oakley, Holsworthy, Harthcote, Seven Hills and Mulgoa.

    The real action this election will be outside Sydney. Labor, SFF, Greens and Indepndents are all posed to plunder coalition seats, both National and Liberal held seats. I don’t think these small sample state wide polls are truly picking up the anti government sentiment in the regions. A good seat to watch on election night will be Dubbo. The Nats are on the nose. One poll has seen there primary vote collapse from around 60% to under 35% with both Labor and an independent with primary votes around 28-29%.

    Taking all that into account, I agree with your assessment Rocket.

  7. Individual seat opinion polls are notoriously unreliable, but are a nonetheless useful gauge of whether there is a noticeable swing on. The Dubbo Liberal newspaper conducted a poll of 300 residents back on 21 February. This was the result:

    National Party – Dugald Saunders at 29.41 per cent of the primary vote, Labor’s Stephen Lawrence at 29.08 per cent.
    Independent candidate Mathew Dickerson at 28.01 per cent.
    One Nation (with no declared candidate) at 8.82 per cent.
    Shooters Fishers and Farmers’ Lara Quealy (3.27 per cent).
    The Greens’ Rod Pryor (1.31 per cent).

  8. Looks like Indie wins on that poll which WW described as follows on Tally Room:

    [Watson Watch March 4, 2019 at 9:17 am
    Have reread the Dubbo poll article.
    The poll was one of those ones where people select their favorite from the newspaper’s website.
    It is self selecting, multiple votes are allowed, and there is no requirement to live in the electorate to participate. The results are meaningless.]

  9. Whilst the most crusty Labor PBer’s can’t seem to drag themselves away from the screen and this blog.
    Some further news from the north coast where it is pretty much only the Greens who have been working to get rid of the mostly useless Nats. If you look at recent elections results, Labor has gone pretty much nowhere or backwards over the last few elections around there.

    NSW election: changing tide threatens to leave Nationals stranded on far-north coast

    Once again the only reason Greens didn’t win Lismore last time was basically because Labor voters exhausted their pref, abdicated their vote, and the Nats scraped in on that basis.
    It seems Labor candidates in both these seats are more practical and less spiteful than your average Labor PBer partisan (read a’hole) and they appear to be actively campaigning for people to use preferences to get rid of the Nats this time. People in and outside both parties are arguing for just that too.

  10. If, as seems likely, there is a hung parliament would Berejiklian or Daley be better at negotiating with cross benchers to form government?

  11. If it was a hung parliament I guess it would largely depend on what the makeup of the cross bench was and how many seats each party holds. I’m guessing whichever party wins more seats will likely be the ones to form government, however it could also be influenced by the make-up of the cross bench.

    If the Greens + Greg Piper comprise a majority of the cross bench I can see it being difficult for the Coalition to retain power, but even SFF are running on a anyone but Nationals platform so I don’t exactly seeing them providing support to the Coalition either. Either way, Labor seems to have a platform that will be more enticing to most of the crossbench in my opinion, particularly when it comes to environment for the Greens and helping the regions for the SFF.

    I’m calling Coogee and East Hills for Labor, and I’m pretty confident on Tweed as well. I do however think this is going to an election that has to be taken seat by seat, with large swings in some areas and no swing in others. The problem for Labor in a number of Sydney seats will be whether the Greens actually suggest preferences or to just vote 1.

  12. citizen,

    I think the ALP are generally more competent at dealing with cross benchers, but if the Lib’s have more seats than the ALP, and/or most of the cross benchers have a conservative base, you would expect them to cobble something together. Whether that is workable for a full term is another matter.

    I can’t think of a coalition government that has prospered in a minority government or a even a small majority (although there must be examples out there). It’s also probably harder when you come down to minority government from a majority, so unless the L-NP only need 1 or 2 level headed and conservatively minded cross benchers it could get very difficult.

    If we get a hung parliament it will have come a term before I would have thought likely not that long ago. If the ALP manage to form government it will be quite a stellar recovery.

  13. Back from my Pre Poll shift up here on the NSW Central Coast with a couple of interesting tidbits to impart (and that’s all you’ll get for the moment until I recover from standing for 4 hours in 32C heat! 😆 ) :

    * A Liberal-voting lady, and she admitted as much, came up to me and told me what she thought about the NSW Opposition Leader, Michael Daley. She said that, while she would never vote Labor, that she thought he was very genuine and direct. And she approved of him putting Alan Jones back in his box on 2GB.

    * We have been asking voters what the most important issue is to them this election. So your average middle-aged mum comes along and we got a very surprising answer from her. She said that the most important issue to her was the squandering of taxpayers’ money by the government!

    So Scott Morrison better be worried about that too because it crosses over between State and Federal government. Half a Billion for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Almost half a Billion for Paladin. Over $2 Billion for Sydney stadiums to keep Alan Jones happy and in the style to which he has become accustomed as he watches his sport.

    People are noticing and they don’t think it’s right.

  14. Quoll,

    I share your boredom of the ALP/GRN wars on PB. I think PB is getting bored of waiting for the federal election (I know I am). Text is also a very conducive format for flame wars. It’s a pity more Libs don’t come on PB to make their case.

  15. @Conor,

    I’m pretty sure East Hills will stay Liberal. Many of the people there are hopeful about the M5 duplication and demographic change is working against Labor. Tweed and Coogee are both lost causes for the Coalition though.

  16. Don’t forget Greenwhich is Sydney would likely preference Labor over the LNP. Very close to Greens policies and workd closely with Clover Moore. There is bad blood there

  17. I’ll tell you another thing from today on the Pre Poll.

    Guess who I had an argument over the Franking Credits policy with?

    The Greens’ candidate! 😆

  18. Cat on main thread

    In your dreams, Rex Douglas. Labor has been down that road before and they’ve seen that movie and don’t particularly want to see it again. I think Labor would be happier dealing with Greg Piper, Alex Greenwich and Dr Joe McGirr.


    Ben Raue


    Interestingly Labor preferences Shooters, Fishers and Farmers ahead of viable indies in Dubbo and Wagga Wagga and don’t preference Alex Greenwich in Sydney.

    5:03 PM – 10 Mar 2019

  19. Since cat’s into anecdote … I have had civil discussions (not arguments) with Labor voters who aren’t happy about Labor’s position on franking credits.

  20. Z.S..
    Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 2:47 pm
    I’m pretty sure East Hills will stay Liberal. Many of the people there are hopeful about the M5 duplication and demographic change is working against Labor. Tweed and Coogee are both lost causes for the Coalition though.

    FWIW, Ladbrokes currently has similar odds on all.
    East Hills ALP $1.2, L-NP $3.5
    Coogee ALP $1.22, L-NP $3.5
    Tweed (not quite so good) ALP $1.36, L-NP $3

  21. Question

    Ah Newtown still the progressives Sydney village 🙂

    I am hoping for a progressive majority hung parliament I don’t think Labor will get over the peak this time. Just get to put its flag in place. I also think Labor can work with the SFF.

    Everything is moving away from hard right politics people are over it. The only reason the LNP are competitive is they did not follow their Federal counterparts

  22. Ben Raue

    Angela Vithoulkas’ Small Business Party doesn’t recommend any preferences, and neither does Alex Greenwich. Keep Sydney Open were handing out a leaflet with no preferences.

    5:04 PM – 10 Mar 2019

  23. guytaur,
    I don’t know if you are aware of this but the SFF are actually very concerned about the Environment. It’s the Farmers element of the party.

  24. I’m certain there won’t be a hung parliament, simply because there are so many people predicting one.

    Predictions of hung parliaments always seem to become self-defeating prophesies.

  25. guytaur,
    I wouldn’t be anywhere else, although I wish I had my own car space.

    I’ve stopped banging on about franking credits these days because I don’t want the issue to define me. I would rather get rid of them altogether.

  26. “Predictions of hung parliaments”
    The bogeyman of “hung parliaments” is always trotted out by the MSM and both major parties when an election is tight.

    It’s a scare campaign designed to ‘persuade’ the wavering or gullible voters to vote for either of the two major parties and hence maintain the political status quo, or business as usual.

    Shock, horror! The world as we know it will end if there is a hung parliament!

  27. I like your logic on the hung parliament A M 🙂

    Interesting that the more we are talking about the cross benchers the more difficult things appear to be for the L-NP. It will be interesting to see if the SFF get some seats, and a hung parliament, what issues they decide to weight heavily in the bargaining.

  28. Gladys would do well to drop the supercilious smarmy patronising look and talk and think about some humble pie, before it’s compulsory.

    The sorry word just isn’t in the Liberal handbook.

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