Resolve Strategic: Coalition 41, Labor 30, Greens 11 in NSW

The Berejiklian government retains an edge in the latest NSW state poll, despite a narrowing over the past two months.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the bi-monthly Resolve Strategic state voting intention result for New South Wales credits the Coalition with a primary vote of 41%, down two points from two months ago, with Labor up two to 30% and the Greens down one to 11%. This suggests a slight swing against Labor on two-party preferred compared with the 2019 election result, at which the Coalition recorded 52.0%. Gladys Berejiklian records a lead of 48-21 over Chris Minns as preferred premier, narrowing from 55-16 last time. The poll also finds 65% support for easing COVID-19 restrictions in mid-October with 70% vaccination rates, including 34% strong support, with only 17% opposed, including 9% strongly opposed.

As I understand it, the poll combines results from this month and last month’s national surveys, although the accompanying report refers to a “survey of 1606 voters between September 15 and 19” – which would seem to be a confusing reference to the entire national sample of this week’s poll. In any case, both survey periods produced federal numbers that were a lot stronger for the Coalition than rival pollsters. The two survey periods of the previous poll included one from before the COVID-19 outbreak and Labor leadership, and one from after it. The survey periods for this poll were August 17 to 21 and September 15 to 19, i.e. Wednesday to Sunday. Next month will be the turn of the bi-monthly Victorian poll.

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.

30 comments on “Resolve Strategic: Coalition 41, Labor 30, Greens 11 in NSW”

  1. Morning all

    As per usual the media piles on Victoria.

    How do you think these ratbags feels they have permission to riot in the city against vaccinations.
    It’s not as if NSW are not mandating it

    It’s not as if NSW don’t have a covid crisis in the hospitals
    It’s not as if vaccines are mandatory before construction workes can return to work

    ACA the other night had a story of the crisis in NSW re covid and the ambulance service explained why

    Has any stage the Daily telegraph put any of this on their front page?

    The media are continuing to abuse Victorians simply because we have a Labor state govt
    Anything to support the most useless bunch of state and federal liberals ever

    That goes for NSW as well as Vic.

    Have had an absolute gutful

  2. And despite these Cray Cray idiots rioting against lockdown and vaccines and getting support from the usual suspects from Murdoch in particular.
    Victorians are not buying it.

  3. Given this is a Resolve Poll with their apparent detachment from reality, I’d say they real story is that Berejiklian is in diabolical trouble. As she should be.

  4. Gladys clearly in deep trouble on the back of this poll. I mean its only an 11 year Government, and the main opposition party is polling at 30% primary vote in an optional voting system, with an 11pc primary vote lead, 5% on 2PP better than the last election.

    But I’m sure all we will see all day in this echo chamber is that the pollster is wrong/jaundiced/biased/a coalition stooge/Murdoch flunky (take your pick).

    What is apparent, and referenced in the article is that The Govts ratings are ticking up again, closer we get to 11 October. Fun Fact – the NSW ALP has not contributed to an outright election win (state or federal) since 2007. Maybe its time to make Earlwood general secretary. It would guarantee a classy fit out for the war room!!

  5. Victoria

    Unvaccinated workers have just been allowed back to work in NSW. It’s not a permanent ban like what is being implemented in Victoria.
    Not defending the protestors but that’s what they are pushing back on (at least on Tuesday anyway)

  6. This poll says it all about how toxic NSW Labor still is. I reckon it’s a pretty widely held view here in NSW that Gladys is doing an absolutely terrible job of handling this outbreak but yet the Libs have actually managed somehow to improve on their position since the last election?

    If this had happened in any other state or territory Labor would probably be way ahead of the Coalition by now. Gladys and her government deserve to be kicked out but there seems to be no chance of that happening anytime soon.

    If this outbreak didn’t give NSW Labor the opening it needed then I don’t know if anything ever will. What will it take for NSW to give Labor another chance? They really need to rebuild the state party from the ground up and start again. Their only real option at this point is to put an end Centre Unity’s stranglehold on the party once and for all and bring in fresh faces. Out with the old, in with the new. Honestly I think that would be such a positive move for not only NSW Labor but the federal party as well.

  7. Gladys benefits from a very subservient media up here in Sydney, that includes the ABC, not just the Daily Telegraph and commercial TV/radio. Chris Minns doesn’t get much of a look in, despite the fact that he holds daily press conferences and events every day(the only place you see those is on Facebook).
    2023 is probably a bridge too far for NSW Labor, especially if by then they’ve replaced Gladys with Perrotet or Rob Stokes or Matt Kean. I guess Labor will aim to win back 2 or 3 seats in Western Sydney and hope that NSW is again in minority government territory.

  8. Will be interesting if polls remain like this, whether O’Neill will be required to defer to the old guard in the south east Sydney seats and battle to hold onto Coogee.

  9. William Bowesays:
    Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 7:38 am
    Please note that this thread is for discussion of NSW state politics. The main thread continues here:

    After knowing that the owner worked for Crosby-Texter organisation and now being employed Costello 9 Fairfax media outlet, it is very hard take opinion polls of Resolve seriously. This polls by Resolve may be true or may not be true. But he worked for one political party exclusively for a long time.

  10. moderate @ #6 Thursday, September 23rd, 2021 – 9:05 am

    Gladys clearly in deep trouble on the back of this poll. I mean its only an 11 year Government, and the main opposition party is polling at 30% primary vote in an optional voting system, with an 11pc primary vote lead, 5% on 2PP better than the last election.

    But I’m sure all we will see all day in this echo chamber is that the pollster is wrong/jaundiced/biased/a coalition stooge/Murdoch flunky (take your pick).

    What is apparent, and referenced in the article is that The Govts ratings are ticking up again, closer we get to 11 October. Fun Fact – the NSW ALP has not contributed to an outright election win (state or federal) since 2007. Maybe its time to make Earlwood general secretary. It would guarantee a classy fit out for the war room!!

    To be fair there should be some legitimate concerns about this pollster given their opacity on methodology and the weird numbers the national poll seems to be spitting out.

    Examples. the PPM in the rest of Australia on the national poll had a 32 per cent shift to Albanese on a month to month basis. That’s possibly a bit too much. Morrison is most popular in Queensland yet the 2pp works out to a ~5.5 percent swing to Labor, Morrison is least popular in VIC yet that is swinging to the Coalition, the WA state level polling has just disappeared, and there’s a few more examples of this poll spitting out weird, counterintuitive numbers.

    The Primaries on the whole across their national and state results seem pretty OK, but it feels a bit like the answer to an algebraic equation being presented without the working.

  11. I’ll reserve judgement on a new pollster until they’ve got a decently large series of polls and preferably an election or two under their belt.

  12. This is counter intuitive ….. given the circs would not expect a small swing to the Libs…….Resolve gets federal figures which are 5 % better for the libs than other pollsters….. remember this time the liberal dirty tricks dept will not find any ” dirt” to drop on election eve. I don’t know what the result will be but I lean towards a hung Parliament ….. I supect sff greens, and the 2 independents will be relected.

  13. What dirt would that be Mick? The ALP leader making clearly racist comments at an ALP branch meeting – and not pulled up by Trish Doyle. Honestly mate you live in a parallel universe to reality.

    And I was right. The veracity of the poll clearly in question. I bet if it were the other way around, the comments would be very different.

  14. As the Liberal Party dirt unit that helped win the NSW election opens up about tactics, key players are moving to the federal campaign. By Paddy Manning.
    Inside the Liberal Party’s dirt unit

    Liberal Party operative Peter Phelps.CREDIT: SKY NEWS FACEBOOK
    Peter Phelps first saw the clip in a South Park meme, posted in a closed Young Liberals Facebook group. A former Howard government staffer, once employed by hard-right senator Eric Abetz, Phelps understood the import immediately: here was Labor’s New South Wales leader, Michael Daley, saying on camera that “young people from typically Asia with PhDs” were taking Australian jobs and forcing people out of Sydney.

    Phelps’s next move was simple. He went looking for the original tape. Were it not for the fact it changed the course of the NSW election campaign, it would scarcely be worth reporting.

    “I go into YouTube, hit the search engine for ‘Michael Daley Labor’,” Phelps explains to The Saturday Paper. “That’s all … it was literally the sixth video down. It was there for months for all to see, but no one had seen it. It’d had about 120 to 130 views … When I saw what’s in it, I thought, ‘Holy shit, this is great, I’ve got to get this out.’ ”

    Initially Phelps shared the video, shot by blogger Daniel Pizarro, on his own Facebook page. As soon as he did, colleagues told him to take it down. There was a bigger opportunity here. They would save it for the final moments of the campaign.

    Eight days out, the massacre in Christchurch reopened debate about the violent outcomes of racist political rhetoric. The Liberals saw an opening.

    Almost as soon as the video aired, the Daley campaign collapsed. Bruce Hawker, a strategist for the Labor Party campaign and a former adviser to Kevin Rudd and Bob Carr, said feeding the video through to The Daily Telegraph was an “entirely legitimate” tactic for the Liberals. Lobbed just as voters were making up their minds about the recently appointed opposition leader, the video was, he says, “very effective … well timed and well placed”.

    Help us make 7am. Become a supporter.

    Peter Phelps has worked in the Liberal Party’s dirt unit since 1998, when the Liberals identified a handful of potential future Labor leaders whose backgrounds needed researching. He learnt the craft of “opposition research” from party legend Darcy Tronson, an adviser to former Tasmanian premier Robin Gray, who pioneered “oppo” for the conservatives. He has been a staffer for the Howard government, an adviser to Senator Abetz and, most recently, an MP in the NSW upper house.

    Phelps says sitting MPs are less likely to be fruitful targets for opposition research – “everything’s been cauterised” – but new candidates have proved much more likely to yield stories.
    During the 2004 election campaign, Phelps says, he spent days “getting motion sickness” going through microfilm of the Liverpool City Champion to unearth dirt on Mark Latham, research that helped sink Labor’s chances.

    “All that Liverpool stuff, ‘L-plate Latham’, that was our work at the time,” Phelps says. For the 2019 NSW election the Liberal Party assembled a three-person dirt unit comprising Phelps, John Macgowan and Tom Green, who were tasked with trying to define Daley in the public’s mind.

    The unit’s priority was to try to connect the Labor leader with corrupt former Labor powerbrokers such as Eddie Obeid – whom Daley had thanked in his first speech to parliament – and Joe Tripodi.

    Phelps concedes the unit spent a lot of time on it. He even called Tripodi himself, only to find Daley was not close enough.

    “In the end we had to abandon it,” he says. “… I spent so much time trying to find a photo, a newspaper article, or anything with him and Obeid, there’s literally nothing which we could find.”

    The dirt unit also tried to link Daley with murdered property developer Michael McGurk, but came up empty-handed.

    On the Labor side, Hawker says they did not have a specialist dirt unit comparable with the Liberals’.

    “Obviously you’d get people ringing in, and you’d pick up bits and pieces of information, but there was nothing in a co-ordinated way, there was no unit as such,” he says. “That was the big difference between our campaign and theirs. For starters, we just didn’t have the resources to do that.”

    Phelps says the negative campaign efforts from Labor were hopeless.

    “We beat them hands down,” he says.

    For instance, Phelps says, a Network Ten story about Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s apparent failure to disclose hospitality from his old law firm misunderstood the electoral laws and got no traction: the donation was duly disclosed by the party and there was no illegality.

    Phelps says sitting MPs are less likely to be fruitful targets for opposition research – “everything’s been cauterised” – but new candidates have proved much more likely to yield stories.

    That was borne out by the experience of one Labor candidate, who spoke to The Saturday Paper on the condition of anonymity.

    “I had people I went to school with, like decades ago, contact me to say there was an investigator or somebody who called them up and wanted to talk to them and asked questions about how I was in high school, and all of this sort of stuff,” she said. “They’d looked into where I worked, and where I said I’d worked, and contacted people to verify all that.”

    The candidate’s bio stated she had worked at a university, but the researcher couldn’t find any evidence online and started to call journalists suggesting she had lied about her work history. At one point, the candidate had to send a journalist her staff ID and the head of the school’s email address to stop a story running.

    “There was no story, because there is no story, but they did try very hard,” the candidate says. “This is how they are. This is what they do. Young Libs just egged on by sitting members to be really awful bullies and harassers to candidates and supporters.”

    After eight years in the upper house, Phelps is relaxing and will not be part of the federal campaign. His colleague Macgowan, however, who worked alongside him for a decade, will be involved. Macgowan is a hard-right operative, with experience of negative campaigning in Ukraine. He is a fan of black metal and smoking. When the Liberals won in NSW, he wrote on social media: “This is another Bruce Hawker masterstroke what you don’t realise is he always intended for the Liberals to win, it’s all part of the plan.” And then: “Did we just ninja an election”.

    Phelps worked on the 2016 federal campaign and says there was dirt the Liberal Party could have used against Opposition Leader Bill Shorten back then but didn’t. Malcolm Turnbull wanted to run a positive campaign, Phelps says. “I’ll run a positive campaign when you can show me one that works,” he says, quoting former Liberal Party director Lynton Crosby.

    Liberal sources argue the Canberra press gallery is more conservative than Sydney’s media and less inclined to run dirt. Hawker says that is little comfort for Labor, though, when you consider the coverage from the Murdoch press. A veteran of the 2013 campaign, when the Murdoch empire turned entirely against Rudd, Hawker says “you’ve got to ask yourself how effective the Liberal Party, either in NSW or Canberra, would be if it didn’t have the willing collaboration of a large sector of News Corporation, every time they go into an election campaign”.

    Still, Phelps believes the Coalition is headed for defeat in May. He is unsure whether there is any new information that could shift voters.

    “Everything hasn’t been thrown at Shorten,” the Liberal operative says. “There’s more than enough on him already to run a savage attack campaign. The real problem is, is it going to move a single vote? My view is, there’s nothing you can do now which will move a single vote. I don’t know what [the federal party] can do to win the election. Shorten can lose the election by doing something completely off script or stupid, but he’s a machine and it’s unlikely. People have made up their minds about Shorten.”

    The Liberal Party dirt will not be directed exclusively at Shorten, however. One source indicates that, just as Michael Daley’s record on Randwick council came up during the NSW election, shadow treasurer Chris Bowen’s record on Fairfield council as councillor from 1995 to 2004, while Joe Tripodi was state member, will be scoured.

    Labor will be in a position to retaliate, though: there is fertile ground in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s own CV, including his controversial stint at Tourism Australia, as this newspaper has reported.

    Federal Labor campaign sources did not return calls for comment, but Hawker says the party will be well prepared going in to a must-win election.

    “They’re a very professional operation,” he says, “and they will be war-gaming on any number of issues that may have to be dealt with in the campaign.”

    This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Apr 6, 2019 as “Inside the Liberal Party’s dirt unit”.

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    Paddy Manning is contributing editor at The Monthly and the author of a forthcoming biography of Lachlan Murdoch, Sly Fox, to be published by Black Inc.


  15. Putting aside questions about the methodology of this polling firm (which are valid and worth considering until they have any kind of track record)… this wouldn’t be a shock.

    Based on the Newspoll approval ratings, and other info, like Essential – it’s clear people are giving their state governments far more leeway than they are the Feds. Let’s be honest there are only places in Australia right now where the oppositions are really getting any kind of significant kind of look-in is in South Australia and the Feds.

    Something I note people don’t really appreciate he is – it doesn’t matter how hard an opposition goes, when the electorate is distracted, as the NSW electorate is, and when they are giving more of a pass to the Government than they should – there’s little point making a lot of noise. My own personal view is a lot of the swingy electorate are taking the “are you helping? If not, shut up”.

    People want to make this (as per usual in the place) a factional/party/moral/ethical/cultural fight. It’s a) the Labor brand at the state level still has a lot of work to do b) the electorate isn’t particularly interested in hearing from the opposition while the crisis is still unfolding – see Victoria/Qld. We’re still 18 months out from the state election. It’s a data point – potentially with a wonky methodology – but there are many reasons why there isn’t yet a clear electoral consequence from their failures.

  16. I think Minns is doing OK. He comes across as being fairly positive and likeable. I think he’s been smart to actually support some of the measures the state government has taken. Endless aggressive negativity might please hardcore supporters, but not the people whose votes determine who wins. Who knows how accurate the poll is, their federal numbers looked surprisingly good for the LNP. But pre the current Covid outbreak, the LNP I think would have romped home with an increased majority, at least in Sydney. Gladys is just so lovable, apparently, even when she fronts ICAC to explain how she turns a blind eye to corruption.

    There are a lot of unknowns between now and March 2023. Maybe NSW pulls out of Covid OK over the next few months. Or maybe it becomes endemic, and there is an ongoing infections/deaths/hospitals crisis. Maybe Gladys sticks around. Or maybe she doesn’t-maybe there is more ICAC trouble coming. You’d think she’d be in high demand to sit on boards, as she ticks the female director box and the Liberal party connections box. But I’ve seen enough of Minns to believe it was the right call to make him leader.

  17. While I’ve got my doubts about how useful Resolve is as a poster (and we won’t really know until they get a couple of elections under their belts, so that we have something concrete to judge them against), my gut feeling is that this poll is not a million likes off the truth.

    JT1983 has noted the tendency for voters to give their own state government the benefit of the doubt, and indeed any polling I’ve seen suggests that voters in every state seem to think that their particular state government is handling things the best. This poll, then, is simply confirmation of that trend.

    I realise that there are many Bludgers who think Gladys Berejyklian is the devil incarnate, a regular Down Under Ron DeSantis, but in truth she’s simply a moderate conservative, following Covid policies that are broadly in line with the consensus (ie suppression over let it rip) – doing her best as she sees it, and I suspect that’s how the general public views her. I think most Bludgers (particularly non-NSW ones) don’t really appreciate that Gladys is broadly liked by the electorate, and as such, they will continue to give her qualified support.

    As for Minns, he seems to have made a solid, if unspectacular, start. In the circumstances, with a brutal Covid wave and more than 18 months to go until the election, that’s probably all he has to do for the moment.

  18. Isn’t this Resolve state poll effectively the same outcome – within a statistical margin of error – as the corresponding Resolve National poll?

    Which in turn is out of step with the other published National Polls.

    How odd.

  19. “But I’m sure all we will see all day in this echo chamber is that the pollster is wrong/jaundiced/biased/a coalition stooge/Murdoch flunky (take your pick).”…

    Instead you seem to believe that this poll’s respondents are masochistic, rewarding the Berejiklian government for the worst Covid performance (by far) in the country during this third wave….

    If the poll is reflective of reality, then we are entitled to conclude that NSW people are a majority Voting Morons: people who like to vote against their own interests…

    Interesting …..

  20. The worst COVID response by far….hmmm not sure what you’re smoking Alpo but id like some buddy. The only barometer that would make that assessment are the posters on poll bludger. Thankfully they are as far from mainstream Australia as Kristina Keneally is from understanding the voters in Fowler.

    Meanwhile, Earlwood is working on the war room renos, waiting for the party that NSW ALP will host when they actually win something. Cmon guys, time to at least make it competitive.

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