New South Wales election minus one week

Still a tight tussle a week out from the New South Wales election, but reports speak of “momentum” running against the government.

The New South Wales state election is likely to struggled for news space over the next few days, with implications that are not easy to read. Recently noted:

Andrew Clennell of The Australian today reports that “momentum” is “said to be moving away from the Coalition in key marginals”. The remainder of the report largely reiterates conventional wisdom about the state of play, but says the strength of Shooters Fishers and Farmers may be a problem for Labor in its bid to gain Upper Hunter from the Nationals.

• The Sydney Morning Herald reports Balmain, which the Greens have held for two terms, is “strengthening for Labor”, with the Greens’ recent internal warfare making it difficult for them to recruit volunteers.

• The Liberals have been showing a lot of interest all of a sudden in Heathcote, located on the southern fringe of Sydney and held for the Liberals by 7.6%, which has been targeted by robocalling featuring messages from Gladys Berejiklian.

• The Australian had additional results from last weekend’s Newspoll on Wednesday regarding best party to handle various issues, which produced fairly typical of such exercises, although perhaps with narrower margins than is typical. Labor led 44-35 on health, 42-36 on education, 41-30 on environment and 37-34 on energy; the Coalition led 39-33 on law and order, 41-34 on infrastructure, 39-31 on the economy and 37-36 on transport.

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.

86 comments on “New South Wales election minus one week”

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    Green 1.38
    Labor 2.40

    Coalition 2.00
    SFF 2.25
    Labor 5.00

    Coalition 1.18
    Labor 3.50

    Coalition 1.18
    Labor 3.50

    Coalition 1.13
    Labor 5.50

    Coalition 1.11
    Labor 5.50

    Labor 1.10
    Coalition 4.50

    Coalition 1.25
    Independent 3.50

    East Hills
    Labor 1.30
    Coalition 3.00

    Coalition 1.65
    Labor 2.10

    Coalition 1.44
    Labor 2.65

    Coalition 1.33
    Labor 3.10

    Coalition 1.18
    Labor 4.00

    Lake Macquarie
    Independent 1.17
    Labor 6.00

    Labor 1.65
    Coalition 3.50
    Green 4.00

    Coalition 1.40
    Labor 2.70

    Coalition 1.20
    Labor 4.00

    Coalition 1.36
    SFF 2.85

    Myall Lakes
    Coalition 1.20
    Labor 4.00

    Green 1.15
    Labor 4.00

    North Shore
    Coalition 1.44
    Independent 2.60

    Coalition 1.22
    Labor 3.75

    SFF 1.25
    Coalition 3.30

    Coalition 1.20
    Labor 4.00

    Coalition 1.12
    Labor 5.00

    Coalition 1.75
    Labor 2.05


    Seven Hills
    Coalition 1.30
    Labor 3.20

    Labor 1.45
    Coalition 2.60

    Upper Hunter
    Labor 1.60
    Coalition 2.20

    Wagga Wagga
    Independent 1.25
    Coalition 3.50

    Coalition 1.20
    Judith Hannan 4.00

    Footnote: i have noted the SFF presence in seats because they’re preferences may help Labor get a 2PP majority in those seats.

    Despite Peter Brent at Crikey declaring a Labor win via majority or minority, the betting market here suggests minority government is on the cards. Any last week messages the campaigns want to get out are likely to become second fiddle to people’s indignation and concern about the NZ tragedy and rightly so I would have thought.

  2. If the bookies favourites all win, that would be 5 seats moving from LNP to Labor, giving a parliament of LNP 47, Labor 39, Others 7, of which 3 Greens plus Greenwich and Piper would be more friendly to Labor than the LNP. So close, but still a majority LNP government. Is Labor really just a longshot in Monaro? Margin is pretty small.

  3. Bookies’ odds are meaningless, and reflect money taken, and nothing else. For most of these seats, the pool is going to be tiny. An example from the above is Labor at $4.00 in Oxley. Oxley’s an absolute certainty for the Nats. Given that in 2015 Melinda Pavey was an unknown replacement for ex-leader Andrew Stoner, but is now standing as a well-known candidate and Roads Minister in an electorate that’s had billions of dollars of new Pacific Highway upgrades opened since 2015 (mostly federally funded by Gillard/Albanese, but still), I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it’s one of the few seats where the Coalition primary vote actually goes up.

    I live in Oxley, and the visibility of non-Nat candidates is close to zero, bar a recent small outbreak of SFF corflutes screwed to trees along main roads. Nats don’t seem to be making much effort either – they know they’ve got Oxley in the bag, and are more worried about Coffs Harbour where they’re bunging signs up on anything that doesn’t move to get their replacement for Andrew Fraser better known.

  4. Also, being outside of Sydney, has there been any further talk of the Central Station stadium as a possibility should Allianz demolition be too far gone?

    As an ex-Sydneysider, this seems to make far, far more sense than rebuilding in Paddington. Also, there would be no reason to give a stadium at Central to the SCG Trust. Wins all round.

  5. JP says:
    Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 8:20 am
    Bookies’ odds are meaningless, and reflect money taken, and nothing else. For most of these seats, the pool is going to be tiny. An example from the above is Labor at $4.00 in Oxley. Oxley’s an absolute certainty for the Nats-

    I would NOT say bookies odds are predictive [never have] but are more than “meaningless” IMHO.

    Do what them with you will – some people like to have this information at hand.

  6. Parramatta Moderate says:
    Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Is Labor really just a longshot in Monaro? Margin is pretty small.

    Monaro is considered a bell-weather [Antony Green] these days. I think It will fall even at those odds on the skinny margin and the 50-50 poll should read 51.5-48.5… The Coalition are in for a shock IMHO.

  7. “The Liberals have been showing a lot of interest all of a sudden in Heathcote, located on the southern fringe of Sydney and held for the Liberals by 7.6%, which has been targeted by robocalling featuring messages from Gladys Berejiklian.”….

    If you are seriously worried about seats you hold with a 7.6% margin…. it’s because you are already toast!

  8. “SPORTSBET NSW ELECTION BETTING MARKETS ONE WEEK OUT”… I think that the betting markets have it a bit closer than you suggest:
    Sportsbet: ALP 1.95, Coal 1.87
    Betfair: ALP 2.06, Coal 1.9
    Tab: ALP 2.1, Coal 1.73
    Bet365: ALP 1.9, Coal 1.9
    Beteasy: ALP 1.95, Coal 1.82

  9. Central, or even Redfern (that is on all rail lines) makes much more sense for a new stadium…but it was never about a stadium, but a luxury,local fiefdom for Eastern Suburbs toffs and the Trust.

  10. The events in NZ will effect the ability of either side to form a minority government that requires the support of the Shooters, Farmers and Fishers. In particular, the willingness to modify our gun laws has evaporated (not that it was particularly large).
    I can see the SFF get 2 or 3 seats (Orange, Murray and maybe Barwon). The Liberal/National will require their assistance if they lose more than 7 seats (I can see them getting one or two of the Independents on board but not the Greens or other Indies). The ALP will need them if they only win 7 or 8 but I don’t see how the Greens would feel standing with the Shooters.

  11. The tragic events of yesterday offer a perfect distraction for Gladys. Just when people were focusing on this provincial contest (and not in a good way for the government) something huge has come along to knock the election right out of the consciousness of most people. The anger and anti-government sentiment could largely dissipate by Election Day. And with it, possibility Labor’s chances. Gladys has spent most of last evening and this morning playing the statesperson and NSW’s ‘mourner in chief’. There is a reason beyond mere sympathy for that.

  12. look at the bookies (online)……. there are some nice bets for Labor 5/1 in Barwon…. you could also bet on the shooters in that seat too 2.25 I would be fairly sure the ants will lose this seat
    the odds don’t reflect the true state in competitive seats

  13. Victor Waterson, standing in the Epping electorate as an independent, has previously stood in various local, state and federal elections under the auspices of the RW “Australia First” (Jim Saleam) party. He was one of three men who, in 2014, attempted to enter Federal Parliament wearing variously a motor cycle helmet, a niqab and a KKK hood. They claimed they represented a group called “Faceless”. Google is your friend to see just how many and varied have been his different sorties in the political arena

  14. I’m noticing on the ground in Coogee the Liberals have appeared to have given up. Not even anyone on Randwick Pre-poll at 8am yesterday morning. I think I’ve seen the Labor candidate nearly everywhere at this point, and she seems really charismatic. The general sentiment I’m getting is Liberal Bruce Notley-Smith is good but people don’t like Gladys or the Liberals.

    It’s on a 2.9% margin but this is the area which currently is half represented by Kerryn Phelps and half in a very safe Labor seat. I’m guessing it will be first to fall on the night.

    The one thing that worries me for Labor is Christchurch. Terrible tradegdy, but the Liberals always seem to work out how to milk them for votes.

  15. Dont worry about New Zealand. We had a terrorist attack during the elction campaign in Victoria and i doubt it has moved anything.

  16. Andrew, there were two major terrorist atrocities before the 2017 UK election, and UK Labour did much better than expected.

    This one is probably slightly bad for the right given it was anti-Muslim terrorism.

  17. I think Gladys can mourn all she likes, but she is strongly associated with the politics of divisiveness, and if there is any effect from NZ, it would trend to Labor imo, far more a party of inclusiveness.

  18. I think the examples you give dont deal with the point I am making.

    Obviously the GE in UK was a big deal, and although the terrorism attacks played into the tapestry of that, nobody ‘forgot’ about the election.

    The ‘terrorism’ attack in Melbourne was local and a different scale to Christchurch. It similarly played into the tapestry of the Vic election.

    Christchurch was a big attack. It has an Australian dimension. It will divert attention away from an election campaign that was singularly anodyne up until Daley threw a punch at Jones.

    Further, it allows Gladys an opportunity to show another side of herself in circumstances where frankly she was on the nose. Geez, even ScoMo has been rehabilitated – he’s currently doing a presser with Gladys outside Lakemba mosque.

    This all sucks the oxygen out of the air for Labor. Remember, whilst voting is compulsory, preferential voting at a state level isn’t. My fear is that for those 25-30% of voters who are not giving their primary vote to either the coalition or Labor that they wont be so motivated to use their optional preferential votes against the LNP as they probably would have before this terrorist attack.

  19. This sounds callous but we live in an extremely fast pace world..the Christchurch terror incident will pretty much disappear within a day…It is already losing prominence.

  20. AE – This is not a time to be awarding points for performance, but I found Gladys terribly stiff on television. Head down, reading from a script.

  21. A-E,
    You’re overthinking it just a little bit. I have just been out in the land of the rusted-on Liberal voter, someone who puts $ before Muslims and their right to live on this planet in harmony with the rest of us any day, and, taking into account that I did not mention the word ‘Labor’ at all to him when he came in to pick his mum up from the Op Shop, and bear in mind this is an aging petrol head whose father owned pubs, so your typical bogan capitalist Australian, I wasn’t even in the same room when I heard him let fly at Gladys and the Coalition!

    He said, “They will not be getting my vote this election. They don’t spend MY money on whatever the hell they want to!” By ‘his money’ I’m sure he was referring to State taxes. So this shooting is not going to shift his vote. Nor will Scott and Gladys mugging it up for the cameras at Lakemba Mosque. I doubt he even has any sympathy at all for the victims. Money is all that matters and he hates seeing it wasted. End of.

  22. Checking my Facebook page – the nsw Liberal Party are pumping out messages from Gladys re Christchurch. The latest – an announcement that Gladys will be illuminating the silver fern on the sails of the opera house tonight.

  23. I live in Queanbeyan ( seat of monaro). From my point of view Bryce Wilson is doing a pretty good job making himself known. Been door knocked once or twice, leaflets, mail and I’ve walked past him on the street a few times. I been getting lunch across the road from the prepoll and he been a fixture there too. So one suspects from the effort he thinks he’s a chance to knock off Barilaro.

  24. A-E
    An Australian, who is a ‘vicious right wing extremist terrorist’, went to another country and killed 49 people at random in a place of worship. Let that sink in. Again I repeat an Australian, who is not a Muslim, did that. Why was he influenced to do that. He did it because of the crap he heard and saw from right wing politicians, commentators and shock jockeys in the last decade and a half.
    Gladys becomes mourner-in-chief and you reckon every thing will be forgotten. Do you think Australian people are so gullible? Till now if you noticed my post I was of the opinion that NSW LNP will win the election. Now I am not so sure.
    Why do people keep forgetting the incident where Jackie Kelly followers were caught putting posters in Lindsay which were derogatory of Muslims and showed voters Lindsay in bad light. Remember Howard apologising to that stupid act. They absolutely hammered LNP in the 2007 elections. In fact I think Howard lost his seat in 2007 because of that one incident.

  25. I wouldn’t want to be a Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party candidate today, just sayin’.

    NSW Labor leader Michael Daley has ruled out watering down the state’s gun laws if he is elected premier, despite having done preference deals with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party in several key rural seats.
    With the latest polling showing Labor and the Coalition are deadlocked ahead of next week’s election, Mr Daley may be forced to seek the support of the Shooters to form a minority government.

    NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has explicitly ruled out accepting the Shooters’ support to form government, while Mr Daley has kept the door open and only ruled out forming a “formal coalition with any minor parties”.

    The SFFP are a front for the gun lobby, modelled on the NRA of America.

  26. Meanwhile,

    Labor is seeking to capitalise on the bitter factional divisions that have plagued the Greens party in New South Wales by rolling out attack ads in key progressive seats around the state.

    Posters will be plastered across the Greens-held seat of Balmain, asking “if the Greens are fighting each other, who’s fighting the Liberals?”.

    Critical north coast seats will also be targeted with a social media campaign and letterbox drops.

    With three seats up for grabs on the north coast, the battle for the progressive vote could be critical to the results of next week’s election.

  27. Ven’s right. The Coalition have realised that they can’t be seen to be playing down this atrocity like Trump has because he, the mass murderer, is one of us. Yet they also know that since Howard’s “We’ll decide who comes to this country and the manner in which they come!” it has been the Coalition that has ridden this horse and flogged it for all it’s worth. A Road to Damascus conversion a week out from the NSW State election and a couple of months out from a federal election will convince approximately no-one.

  28. Talk of a stream of robocalls from Gladys in Parramatta. Are the Libs worried about it? Would have though the margin was large enough to offset any swing to Labor.

  29. A-E@2:59pm
    Why do think Gladys decided to illuminate the Silver Fern on the sales of Opera House?
    Please think and reply the query? I will reply after giving you enough time to reply.

  30. If the libs want to win this one, they’ve got to claim Gladys has got an infectious disease and put her in a sealed ward until after the election. She is the worst campaigner I have ever seen. Getting her more exposure is not the answer.

  31. The Libs in Victoria tried to “milk” the murders by turning up at the restaurant – smiling for the cameras and promoting their law and order manifesto

    They got thrashed

    But they have not learned

  32. A-E
    I am providing the reply to my query@4:44pm
    She and no other Premier has offered to illuminate the Silver Fern on the sales of Opera House is because the terrorist is a New South Welshman.

  33. Sorry Ven. I was not online since posting. Apparently you put a shot clock on me to respond. I’m not sure why.

    Perhaps you think I’m having a go at Gladys over this issue. Even the Silver Fern. I’m not. Just observing the value of this issue to a flagging campaign. She gets to project leadership without actually campaigning. Of course this IS campaigning, given that the initiative was announced on the Liberal Party Facebook page and not a NSW Government press release. Just saying.

  34. FS@7:25pm
    Or perhaps the other premiers can illuminate Silver Fern on their State’s land marks, which I am certain other states have. Or are you implying that other states do not have land marks. 🙂

  35. No, just that they don’t have a Sydney Opera House!
    But I take your point, although a Silver Fern on Queensland’s big banana could be taken the wrong way.

  36. “The tragic events of yesterday offer a perfect distraction for Gladys.”… Just like the African gangs offered a perfect “distraction” away from the good job of the ALP government and in favour of Guy’s chances?… How did that “distraction” go?

    Nah, times they are a-changin’… it’s becoming difficult to distract the voters from their unemployment, lack of services, expensive education, queues in hospitals, waste of public money…. and the overall Neoliberal crap.

  37. antonbruckner11 @ #35 Saturday, March 16th, 2019 – 4:58 pm

    If the libs want to win this one, they’ve got to claim Gladys has got an infectious disease and put her in a sealed ward until after the election. She is the worst campaigner I have ever seen. Getting her more exposure is not the answer.

    She has Voteritis. Which is a terminal affliction.

  38. Alpo – yeah the unemployment mate, Its all about the unemployment.
    Wait – I just checked the stats. 3.9% unemployment in NSW. Lowest in the state’s history. But never, ever let these stats get in the way of a bigoted distorted narrative!!

  39. “moderate”:
    The number of people working for at least 1hr per week has fallen in NSW?… Yeah, that’s why the opinion polls give a result that either favours Labor or it’s even between ALP and Coalition.
    One day you will learn that the People know how to distinguish Neoliberal crap from Reality.

  40. Moderate, pitch a little highe r. Tories have fudged the figures, and the mechanisms of those figures. It’s the last week until the fall of Rome.

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