The Guardian reported on Saturday in disagreeably vague terms about an Essential Research poll of state voting intention in New South Wales, which finds the Coalition on 37% of the primary vote (42% among men, 32% among women) and Labor on 33%, compared with 41.6% and 33.3% at the 2019 election. Dominic Perrottet was on 49% approval and 35% disapproval, while Chris Minns was on 39% approval and 22% disapproval. I’m guessing the poll was conducted for an unidentified private client and not for The Guardian, which would have made a bigger deal out of it otherwise. It was conducted in “over five days after the release of the state budget last week”, which I guess means June 22 to 26, from a sample of 700.
Further election-related news from the premier state:
• Gabrielle Upton, who has held blue-ribbon Vaucluse for the Liberals since 2011, has announced she will not contest the next election in March. The Sydney Morning Herald reports possible contenders for Liberal preselection include Daisy Turnbull, teacher, author and daughter of Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull, and “journalist turned executive” Kellie Sloane, who unsuccessfully contested the preselection to succeed Gladys Berejiklian in Willoughby. The Daily Telegraph further throws in Woollahra mayor Susan Wynne, Export Council director Cristina Talacko, and two Woollahra councillors, Mary-Lou Jarvis and Richard Shields. There is clearly a view among party hardheads that the candidate should be a woman, although local preselectors ignored a similar sentiment when choosing a successor to Gladys Berejiklian in Willoughby.
• Max Maddison of The Australian earlier reported that Vaucluse was one of a number of seats where the Liberals are concerned about prospects for teal independents, together with Willoughby, Lane Cove and Wakehurst. Willoughby was rated most at risk, with Wakehurst having the potential to join it if its member, Health Minister Brad Hazzard, opted to retire. However, Liberal sources said they believed the challenge would be blunted by “campaign funding caps, optional preferential voting and the ‘Matt Kean effect’”. Community group North Sydney’s Independent, which activated Kylea Tink’s successful federal campaign, have identified Lane Cove, North Shore and Willoughby as potential targets, with the former offering the opportunity to capitalise on discontent with local member Anthony Roberts’ decisions as Planning Minister.
• The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that the New South Wales Liberal Party’s state executive has set a target of 40 per cent of seats to be contested by women at the March election. Max Maddison of The Australian reports the state executive has opened preselections for seats specifically identified as targets at the election, including Opposition Leader Chris Minns’ seat of Kogarah, where the redistribution has cut the Labor margin from 1.8% to 0.1%. The others are Leppington (newly created in the redistribution with a notional Labor margin of 1.5%), Londonderry (Labor margin down from 6.5% to 3.0% in the redistribution), The Entrance (Labor margin of 5.3%), Bega (Liberal margin of 6.9% at the election, Labor margin of 5.1% at the February by-election), although another unnamed insider says only Leppington was a serious prospect.
• Linda Silmalis of the Sunday Telegraph reports that Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone, a key backer of Dai Le’s successful independent campaign in Fowler, could now run as an independent in the corresponding state seat of Fairfield. This threat has complicated a Labor plan to deal with the redistribution by moving Bankstown MP Tania Mihailuk to Fairfield, Fairfield MP Guy Zangari to Cabramatta and Lakemba MP Jihad Dib to Bankstown. Concerns that Mihailuk might go the way of Keneally have prompted suggestions she should be cast aside in favour of Tu Le, whose ambitions for Fowler were thwarted by the anointment of Kristina Keneally. Another possible contender is Khal Asfour, the mayor of Bankstown.