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. Shellbell

    Yes SFF and Greens as part of a grand coalition is hard to envisage

    If Jacinda Ardern in NZ could get NZ First and Labour in Coalition, with Greens supporting – anything is possible. And I think the 1999 Victorian election is a model – rural independents and SFF members probably would be better off separating themselves form the Coalition, otherwise they can end up looking like the lap-dogs for the Liberals (as the Nationals they are replacing already do).

  2. I think supporting the Nationals would become an existential crisis for the SFF. What purpose do they serve if they are just going to get into parliament and then prop up the Coalition government that they have fought so hard against. Thats why I’m inclined to think they are more likely to swing Labors’ way in a hung parliament situation.

    I wouldn’t put a Greens-SFF-Labor government completely out of the picture. Maybe give Piper speaker as a consolation prize while there at it?

    I’m calling ALP 51-49 LNP for the next poll, although I am starting to think these 2PP polls are a bit useless.

  3. There will be no coalition. No alliance, no pact. No agreement. If labor falls short of a majority it will simply say to the cross bench:

    “we will restore the powers of ICAC. We will provide extra resources to the cross bench to scrutinise proposed legislation (regardless of whether you support us of the coalition on the question of supply), but that’s it: now make up your own minds on who you support to form government”.

  4. What are the chances of improved preference flow to ALP from minor parties including Greens?

    In 2015 QLD election polls were wrong in terms of 2PP due to changes in the preference flows despite correct primary voting intentions.

  5. Good question Gorks. In 2015 there were quite a number Greens voters who exhausted their votes. Similarly quite a number of Labor voters did the same thing. I suspect that there is enough hatred of this government that a significant number of voters this time will not exhaust their votes like they did last election. This could be decisive.

  6. You need to have a collection of salt containers at hand when the ALP make promises about ICAC.

    The only serious engagement was Rees’ appointment of Ipp. Everything else was about neutralising it or negating it from the top by appointing the meekest of commissioners.

  7. the libs and the nationals will get very few preferences from any one except maybe the Christian democrats….. to win a seat they will have to poll close to an absolute. majority say 46% or higher after exhaustions. where they poll 35 40 % they will lose the seat concerned even if that is the highest primary vote in a seat. Greens and labour will be especially careful to preference each other.
    if a hung parliament eventuates then the coalition cannot be sure of any cross bencher supporting them
    I would be sure that the 2 or 3 greens and Mr Greenwich would support a minority Labor Government
    As I see it they have a major problem

  8. Story in AFR that Labor preferencing SFF and AJ ahead of Nationals.

    Not surprising really, but perhaps some on the left would have a difficult time choosing between SFF and Nats.

    Preferences due to be finalized on Friday, it will be interesting to see if Labor preference a variety of moderate and more left upper house candidates ahead of the usual solid Green support.

    It will likely work well for them in Vic because they had such a strong result so can shop around for a few extra votes for the balance. Its likely much closer in NSW so the cross benches may not offer such a luxury.

    Surely christian democrats will lose their upper house seat due to association with Catholic abuse. SFF looking like they can only improve with Nats on the nose, so may end up with balance of power.

  9. As I’ve long contended I think a minority Gladys govt (at least until Dom knifes her) is the most likely result. But with OPV and super tight polling and low major PVs almost anything could happen.

    So in the spirit of anything could happen I’d like to get in early with predictions that Mulgoa and Camden will be on the larger end of the swing. Perhaps not enough to flip, (although Mulgoa might), but certainly enough to get some attention on the night. Massive new housing estates in both are likely to be much more Labor friendly so adding a few percent to any underlying swings.

  10. Can someone fill me in on this..

    Supposed neither party gets a majority. Which independents are most likely to be elected and which way would they lean?

  11. bug1 – SFF are first on the upper house ballot paper so are well-positioned to get one or maybe two seats. ON (Latham) are on the extreme right (!). I am not sure how many groups Labor would ‘preference’ on their hand-outs – Greens, Animal Justice, Keep Sydney Open, ?SFF. With no group voting tickets parties cannot really dictate the majority of flows as they did in Victoria. I am really not sure whether they would recommend just a “1” in the Labor box, or several numbers above the line after 1.

    I didn’t know this (from Antony Green) applies to group H

    The ungrouped column and groups with fewer than 15 candidates do not have a group voting square.

    Ben Raue has a good article about the Legislative Council election on his tallyroom site

  12. Cud Chewer

    I think if you are an SFF or Independent member, siding with the Coalition will doom you ultimately. The paradox in Australian politics in the last twenty years or so has revolved around this – siding with the ‘other’ side to put them into government you can probably achieve more.

    Some examples from memory

    Liz Cunningham (Qld) independent in safe Labor seat backing Coalition in 1996
    Peter Wellington (Qld) independent in safe Coalition seat backing Labor in 1998
    Savage and Ingram (Vic) independents in safe Coalition seats backing Labor in 1999
    Peter Lewis (SA) independent in safe Coalition seat backing Labor in 2002
    Windsor and Oakeshott (Aus) independents in safe Coalition seats backing Labor in 2010

  13. Cud,

    That is what makes election night so interesting, it’s difficult to predict.

    There has been mention of the independents up-thread (Lake Macquarie and Sydney) who lean left, and the Greens in Balmain and Newtown.

    There is the question of how much damage the Nats will suffer. There are seats in the North, that have enough of a left lean to encourage both the Greens and ALP (Lismore and Ballina). And there is the threat from the SFF in traditional rural Nat seats, such as happened in the Orange by-election (Orange, Murry, even Barwon).

    Then you have all the seats that you expect to fall to the ALP with a general TPP swing – East Hills, Coogee, Upper Hunter, Tweed (another northern Nat seat).

    I’m trying to keep this brief, so I’m sure I’ve missed a few obvious contenders, but if the swing is on then many other seats will come into play, as well as the usual clutch of surprises both ways.

    It’s hard to get a strong grip on what all the various constituencies really think about the government. On one hand the economy has been reasonable, and it feels a bit too soon for the ALP to have recovered.

    On the other hand there is the sense of losing control, with construction over-runs, the poorly constructed Opal tower, dying rivers, and smashing down stadiums all signalling poor management, unnecessary haste, and little consultation.

    Meanwhile the polling is pointing to a hung parliament, and in recent state elections the polling has been underestimating the ALP vote.

  14. Labor attack ads are focusing on the stadiums and where the money should be spent. The ads have small pictures of Abbott, Dutton and Morrison down in the bottom left of the picture, so Labor clearly thinks that Gladys’ Federal colleagues are a drag on her vote. I’m rather hoping that this helps drag down the Federal Coalition vote as well, assigning guilt it by association with the State Government’s waste and neglect.

  15. “Ok, but can you give me some numbers?

    93 seats.. how many greens? how many other minors?

    (not counting lab/lib/nat)”

    My wild guess as to the final outcome:

    Labor: 44
    Coalition: 40
    Cross Benchers: 9, with at least 2 SFF and 3 Greens.

  16. A_E

    When my “Brexit fever” breaks I really want to dig deep into the actual seats. There really are many variables at play. I get the sense, like others here, that fewer preferences will ‘exhaust’ – voters will sense that they can cast a protest vote but also get rid of the Coalition, which did not really seem a feasible possibility at the 2015 election. So for instance in Lismore and Ballina I am confident that the Nationals will not win either, with Labor or the Greens winning them.

    West of the Divide, I think Barnaby Joyce is campaigning brilliantly for SFF and the independents.

  17. From my observation, broadly speaking, The Greens voters are crusty, middle-aged alternative lifestyle types; Liberal voters are very well-heeled; and Labor voters are families, the disabled and hipsters (I think they love our Live Music policy). The Tradies appear to be up for grabs. Though it seems that they are gravitating back to us because we have announced a lot of policy which will see them given work to do.

  18. Hey William

    On your NSW state election guide. On the Regional NSW map. If one clicks on the outline for WaggaWagga, it takes one to the South Coast seat profile

  19. This is Ben Raue’s blogpost today, for anyone who is interested to help out:

    NSW 2019 – help the State Library collect election materials
    by Ben Raue
    This morning’s blog post focused on the how-to-votes being handed out on pre-poll. I’ve collected a bundle of how-to-votes, as well as some other leaflets and letters I’ve received in my local electorate of Parramatta. I’m sure I’m not the only person building up a little collection.

    So what should we do with these materials when we’re done with them?

    I’d recommend sending them to the State Library of New South Wales to add to their collection of election ephemera.

    Yes, we need assistance with collecting how to vote cards, posters, flyers, badges, stickers, magnets, mail outs – Please send to ‘Election Ephemera’ State Library of NSW, Macquarie St Sydney 2000

    — State Library of NSW (@statelibrarynsw) March 5, 2019

    The State Library is collecting physical ephemera of the election, including printed materials. You can mail your materials to the address in the above tweet, and there’s more information in the above link. I’ve also been told that materials can be dropped off at the info desks in both State Library buildings if you are in the area and don’t want to deal with the postal system.

    If readers collect the materials you receive in your mailbox, get handed on a street corner and receive at your local polling place, they can get a much more thorough collection for the archives.

  20. Ben Raue

    Over the last decade, Australian politics has seen a big increase in support for small parties, but most of these new parties have emerged on the right. Yet this election has seen a huge turnout from parties competing with Labor and the Greens on the centre-left of politics, some of whom could have a chance of picking up upper house seats.

    The how-to-vote cards released by the parties on Monday appear to show a preference-swap arrangement between these progressive minor parties, the Greens and Labor.

    All three of these parties could be considered to be rivals to the Greens and they are contesting significant numbers of lower house seats in this state election. Sustainable Australia is running 55 candidates, the Animal Justice party is running 48 candidates and Keep Sydney Open is running 42 candidates.

    While the Greens have been preferenced highly by two of these three parties, they are in danger of having their support base chipped away, and could potentially lose out in the upper house race to one of these rivals.
    With a growing field of parties and candidates running on the left, preferences will become more important.

  21. Bit counter intuitive to say ALP win outright is most likely and give Orange back to the Libs (and say nothing about what is happening in Sydney metro)

  22. Jamie Clements a bit disgruntled

    . This is sickening.
    was Eddie and Joes choice. That is where it begins and ends. They beat Sartor and Rees and installed her. That is historic fact no amount of spin from friends can change that.]

  23. Shellbell @ #84 Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 – 6:51 pm

    Jamie Clements a bit disgruntled

    . This is sickening.
    was Eddie and Joes choice. That is where it begins and ends. They beat Sartor and Rees and installed her. That is historic fact no amount of spin from friends can change that.]

    Um, Eddie and Joe can have made the right decision, as well as anyone else could of wrt KK, no matter their other crimes.

  24. Ms Berejiklian forgets that Polices, Nurses and Teachers ARE Public Sevants!

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian has attacked Labor’s support for an increase in wages for the state’s public servants saying it will end up benefiting middle managers…

    …”I am so concerned about Labor’s policy,” she said.

    “We want to hire 5000 more nurses, 4600 more teachers, 1500 more police. That’s our policy. What Labor wants to do is give a pay rise to middle managers in the public service. This is an example of Labor’s economic vandalism and this policy scares the heck out of me.

    Labor’s policy is to apply to ALL Public Servants. NOT just ‘middle managers’.

  25. re kkk she is a decent and intelligent woman an asset to labor. There is no suggestion she or Mr Rees were corrupt. Part of the job of a leader that is Mr Daley is to be independent of head office… expect their support work with them to implement alp policies by all means…….
    Since 2011 the alp parliamentary representatives have renewed themselves very few who were in parliament before the 2011 election and are still in parliament now.
    They are able and ready to govern

  26. The thing which is hurting Labor in NSW is their failure to win back their former heartland of Sydney’s western suburbs. Look at this list of Liberal-held seats in Sydney’s west-Penrith, Holsworthy, Seven Hills, Mulgoa, Riverstone and Parramatta. All moderately to quite safe Liberal seats now, with none of them talked about as possible Labor gains on March 23rd. These areas have seen massive population increases since 2011, and more seats are going to be created in Sydney’s west as population continues its rapid growth. Labor needs to get more competitive in Sydney’s west again before it can hope to win majority government.

  27. “Penrith, Holsworthy, Seven Hills, Mulgoa, Riverstone“. I’m not sure who you are listening too PM, but all of the above have been mentioned as possible Labor gains. The swing will be uneven and the current margins are inflated. I’ve got reasonable hopes that Labor will pick up Coogee, East Hills, Penrith and two to three other Sydney seats (in addition to that list, Oatley and Heathcote are worth watching on election night).

    That said, I agree it’s a tall order for labor to win back all its heartland in one election, especially when up against a very sydney centric government. But a 4-6 seat gain in Sydney alone, on top of the gains from 2015, would still be a pretty good result for Labor.

    In other “news” I am hearing out of both camps that Liberal and Labor internal polling has Labor at 52-48 2PP, with the gap starting to widen.

  28. How the polling holds up against the votes will be the most interesting part of the night for me. Even if Gladys hangs on, if Labor’s PV is up over the polling the panic that will induce in the Feds will make for great viewing.

  29. Does the NSWEC publish a running daily total on how many people pre-poll/i-vote/issue of postals, in this pre-poll voting period up to Election Day?

  30. P1 &V@tmomma
    KK is much better than Anna Bligh and Anastasia P. However, Anna B and Anastasia P have won reelection where as KK lost her election. KK lost because she was given Chalice brimming with poison. ALP has this habit of giving premiership or leadership to women when everything is completely screwed up. Examples, Carmen Lawrence (what is she doing?), Joan Kirner, KK and to some extent Gillard.

  31. PM@10:39am
    You are right. ALP is not in a position to win any of the seats you mentioned. I think AE is just hoping for best. The losses to Libs in Greater Sydney will be minimal.
    Women are major voters for ALP and they are not breaking towards ALP this time around because many educated, working women can identify with Gladys B.

  32. My post vanished…. moderate …..all those seats are a chance for labour with Parramatta the least likely
    the best the libs could hope for would be a minority government but who will support them?
    Donato and Mcgirr?
    There is a likely hood that Labor will win the bulk of the first few seats up to Penrith
    but there are many more seats which are competitive and not just for labour but for sff and independent as well
    I would be reasonably certain that the nats will lose Barwon
    look at Coffs Harbor figures for 2015…. this seat is not safe for the Nationals but was safe for the retiring mp Mr Fraser…….. he popped 54% primary but won 64% against labor…… I would expect 58% based on
    the expected pattern. of preferences
    oh have a look on Tally room under Riverstone care for a small wager?

  33. Ven
    Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    I think Carmen Lawrence is on the Conservation Council of WA, these days. Spokesperson after Piers Verstegen.

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