New South Wales election minus seven weeks

Fresh news on independent candidates for the March 25 New South Wales state election, plus a rather less fresh poll result.

Roy Morgan had a rather dated New South Wales state poll this week that was conducted way back in December, showing Labor leading 55-45 on two-party preferred. However, both Labor and the Coalition were at a low ebb of 33.5% on the primary vote, with the Greens on 12% and One Nation 4.5%, leaving a further 16.5% scattered among independents and other minor parties. The poll was conducted by phone and online from a sample of 1446.

In other news, two notable independents have confirmed themselves as starters, though one seemingly has more promising prospects than the other:

• Northern Beaches mayor Michael Regan made his long-anticipated announcement that he will run in Wakehurst, which is being vacated by Health Minister Brad Hazzard. Regan has served locally as mayor since 2008, first for the old Warringah Council and then in Northern Beaches when it was created from a merger of Warringah, Pittwater and Manly in 2016. James O’Doherty of the Daily Telegraph wrote in November that Regan would be “favourite at unbackable odds” if he ran. The Liberal candidate is Toby Williams, RSL club director and electorate officer to Hazzard.

• Former Liberal Gareth Ward has announced he will seek re-election as an independent in his southern Illawarra seat of Kiama. Ward resigned from the ministry and the Liberal Party in May 2021 after identifying himself as the MP subject to an inquiry by the child abuse and sex crimes squad, and was suspended from parliament when charges were laid in March last year.

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.

157 comments on “New South Wales election minus seven weeks”

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  1. toby williams a rsl director i thought perottit was anti clubs i think Garith ward is still popular in his seat he semingly has the backing of the local liberal party branches

  2. Each of these North shore independents are likely to back the Liberals in any hung parliament so does it matter much? I suppose from the perspective of who negotiates from a position of majority amongst the two parties I guess?

  3. Larissa Penn is running in Willoughby again.

    She should sprint down Willoughby Road now and see what the roadworks on the Gore Hill express way are doing to Sat morning traffic as we bludge

  4. “Roy Morgan had a rather dated New South Wales state poll this week that was conducted way back in December, showing Labor leading 55-45 on two-party preferred.”….

    Well, if this reflects what the actual result will be, we may well say that the isolation (pun intended) of Tasmania as the last major jurisdiction controlled by the Liberal party in the country, will be COMPLETE!

  5. The Liberals haven’t yet preselected a candidate for Kiama. So are they going to run dead in the seat and hope Gareth Ward gets reelected as an independent MP who’d back Perrottett in a hung parliament situation?
    Over on the other side of the fence, I’m still perplexed that Labor as yet don’t have candidates for Fairfield and Cabramatta. Considering what happened in the seat of Fowler in the federal election last year, it seems to me slightly risky to foist a candidate on those two areas at the last minute.

  6. Re Kiama the liberals have problems what ever happens.. Mr Ward is suspended from parliament..his suspension will not be lifted any time soon. If the liberals run a candidate and they must. Do they accept Mr Wards preferences.. do they preferences him? Do they preference Labor.? There is no solution….. that works

  7. Shellbell – I think Penn knows. Tim James should probably run along Falcon street and see his campaign undergoing its last rites. The Labor candidates for North Shore and Willoughby both know too.

    One note relevant here that other Bludgers may have posted – Larissa Penn is not a Teal IND. She does not have any Climate200 backing. So good on her for running – but don’t put her in the same category as those that do have “Teal” status.

  8. Daughter-in-law’s parents live in the Kiama electorate. They think Ward is wonderful. “Gareth said….” peppers their conversations.

  9. The 2PP still looks very strong for Labor, but given OPV and the difficult pendulum, it’s still far from certain these numbers would produce a majority ALP government. 33.5% is a much lower ALP primary than other recent polls. Is the ALP 2PP lead and ALP primary slowly declining?

    On the other hand, Minns would be elated with the auditor’s report on Barilaro’s disgusting rorting of bushfire relief funding. It’s hard to think of anything that could be more damaging to the LNP than this insight into how they dispense taxpayer’s money, and yet another referal to ICAC.

    Kiama is a safe Liberal seat, but Gareth Ward running as an independent might make it interesting. It was Labor until 2011, but I imagine demographic and boundary changes since then would make it challenging for Labor to ever win it back. How anyone could ever vote for Gareth Ward I don’t know, unless you were totally unaware of the many colourful incidents in his personal life, such as the incident with two young men in a hotel room in the USA, the time he was found by police naked and disoriented in Sydney, and the allegations of sexual assault of an under-age male at Meroo Meadow.

    Maybe ALP insiders have some knowledge of what is going on with Fairfield and Cabramatta? Are the Dai Le/Frank Carbonne forces going to run candidates? If they are, the ALP better find some strong local candidates like Tu Le and get campaigning pronto!

  10. Aparently tu le klacks local support she is not from the aeria was not backed buy the local branchesshe was hand picked buy the out going mp cris hayes and backed lived in liverpool before working foor hayes hercampaigning and that of health survices union to force her on fairfield members is as bad as kenearley she has dun a interview erecently claiming that if she is not selectedlabor should loose this behavier buy hayes is not helpful and helped labor loose the seat

  11. maybi the union should focus more on its members in stead of labor factions hayes was very low profile but may have been a okay local member maybi the branches should have a say re fairfield and cabramatter atleast lallich is gone he waslinked to old guard

  12. If they didnt hand it in and left it to Minns it would have made them look even worse. Looking more and more likelier to be a minority labor government

    Betting odds right now are


    1.10 Labor

    6.00 coalition


    1.18 Labor

    4.75 coalition


    1.12 Labor

    5.50 coalition

    Keep in mind in 2019 the odds were neck and neck by now (1.80 to coalition, 2.00 to labor) The opinion polls were also 50-50.

  13. High Street @ #8 Saturday, February 4th, 2023 – 11:04 am

    One note relevant here that other Bludgers may have posted – Larissa Penn is not a Teal IND. She does not have any Climate200 backing. So good on her for running – but don’t put her in the same category as those that do have “Teal” status.

    So where is Penn politically?

    Looking at her HTV from 2022, it seems she is in the same space on the political spectrum as the Teals, even if not backed by Climate 200.


  14. BTW – Larissa Penn hasn’t actually stated on any Social media that she is running in this year’s state election in Willoughby. She is posting about various issues but her campaign website is not live. There is a Meet the Candidates this week and apparently the organisers haven’t heard from her yet.

    I just got polled by EMRS about Willoughby and whoever commissioned it thinks she is running. All LIB/ALP/GRN candidates mentioned by name and wanted to know if I would preference Penn over Liberal or exhaust.

  15. Larissa Penn is also listed as a Willoughby candidate on the ABC website.

    Independents run on all sorts of issues. In any event, whether Penn is classified a Teal or not, her potential impact is the same.

    Penn is running as and independent to win an otherwise safe Liberal seat. Penn is seeking Labor and Green voters to vote 1 for her tactically and if they don’t get their preferences. Penn is running on “small l” liberal issues to attract enough otherwise Liberal voters to win the seat.

    Teal or not, Penn’s impact is the same as the Teals.

  16. Hi William, sorry if this is not the right place to post this.
    Just wondering if you would be able to have a look at your live results facility for the 2022 Federal Election and see if it is working for you? I clicked on a couple of seats today but was met with a predominately white screen with no results/data appearing. Thanks and cheers.

  17. Nwcastle Moderate at 12.45 pm

    You have put a lot of faith in boundary and demographic changes in claiming Libs cannot be defeated in Kiama. Here are the 2007 results:

    Lib candidate Ann Sudmalis (later federal MP for Gilmore) got 38% after preferences. Ward has been the only Lib ever to hold Kiama. Even if Andrew Constance is the Lib candidate (most unlikely) he would struggle.

  18. Andrew Constance has never lived in the Kiama area so the Liberals preselecting him as their candidate would be a foolish move in the extreme, my hunch is they’re going to run dead in the election in that seat and give their preferences to Gareth Ward, and hope the Labor candidate is nowhere near more than 50% of the primary vote.
    I’d assume the Libs will put their resources into defending the neighbouring electorate of South Coast, which is dodgy for them now because they’ve lost the personal vote Shelley Hancock enjoyed for years and years, and the Liberal candidate the local branches preselected is by all reports very mediocre, also Chris Minns has been there a few times to campaign with the Labor candidate.

  19. Very roughly Gilmore consists of the state seats of Kiama and South Coast plus a bit more round Batemans Bay.. Labor would have won both state seats on federal figures. I can’t see how either Mr Ward or the liberals will win in Kiama. South Coast is different Shelley Hancock had an intact reputation and a personal vote.. I would say South Coast is Uncertain with the advantage to the liberals.. but this is all on the assumption that the endorsed liberal is a good candidate. If that is not the case then .. I may be pleasantly surprised on election day

  20. Newcastle Mod at 12.45PM
    On the other hand, Minns would be elated with the auditor’s report on Barilaro’s disgusting rorting of bushfire relief funding. It’s hard to think of anything that could be more damaging to the LNP than this insight into how they dispense taxpayer’s money, and yet another referal to ICAC.

    ICAC has been good for Labor, and Minns and Co should constantly hammer home to the electorate
    the fact that Premiers Berejiklian and O’Farrell and the other 11 MPs who had to resign, are all tarred with the same brush.
    They should also point out that Perrottet has been part of this sleazy government for well over a decade.
    Don’t let the voters forget the stench still hanging over Ms Personality Plus and her loverboy Daryl Maguire.
    I find it impossible to believe that many others in the parliament and the press gallery didn’t know about Ms P Plus and her secret lover before it was revealed during the ICAC inquiry.

  21. well sickora was hancocks chief of staff for a while but hewas thanked buy ward as his closist auporter mins is running a desent campaign he does not seem to like going on the attack

  22. ASHA asks at 12.36PM
    Why on earth does Morgan constantly release polls weeks or months after they were conducted? What’s the point?

    Good question?
    But who cares when it still reinforces Labor’s lead. When all polls are averaged out it also helps to give an overall view that at the moment points to a Liberal defeat.
    Not every poll, no matter how good the pollsters are, can get a perfect result but when those polls are totaled by the number of respondents, by election day it numbers in the tens of thousands.

    Must go and finish my competitions before midnight, but as Arnie said ‘I’ll be back’.

  23. Not sure where this intel on South Coast is coming from but the Liberals are everywhere here and running a huge on-the-ground campaign. Labor isn’t really anywhere. It might be on their wish list but Labor aren’t hungry enough for it.

  24. Here is the pre-election pendulum based on Antony Green’s analysis:

    It has the same inconsistency as Green, that Labor is credited with a 5.1% margin in Bega after the by-election (correctly so), but the Nats margin in Monaro is inflated to 11.6%, when it is really 5.2% from February vote. The correct figure for Monaro is noted in the footnotes, but the table as it appears is inconsistent.

  25. The people running Australian Election Forecasts are politically illiterate.

    Here is their so-called prediction for the seat of Bega:

    They think the Lib candidate will get above 39% primary and Labor 34% or less, as their best guess.

    Here are the by-election figures:

    Labor got 43.2% and the Libs 38.7%, with a well-known, dull candidate. The current Lib candidate is much less well-known and also dull. So they predict a 9% swing from Labor to others, with much of that exhausting.

    By contrast, they think the Lib candidate in Goulburn, Ms Tuckerman, has about a one in three chance of winning, a definite understatement:

    Things get worse for them in Monaro, where they think Mrs Overall, not an eager campaigner, has a more than three in four chance of winning:

    They think she will drop little more than 3% to 43% and Labor will stall or even fall a bit to little over 31.4%.

    Whatever unrealistic model they are using, it ignores candidate factors.

    At the bottom of their Monaro “prediction” page, they write this:

    “Two-party-preferred swing factors for Monaro Information
    4.8% to ALP – Base region swing
    1.3% to ALP – Correlation with federal swing
    1.0% to ALP – Reversion from previous swing
    0.8% to LNP – Elasticity adjustment”

    Adding up those figures gives a 6.3% swing to Labor. The imbeciles have not noted that Overall’s margin from the by-election (the only election she contested) is only 5.2%. They have been misled by Antony Green.

  26. Randall Flag: True that Labor has won Gilmore federally twice in a row because of a very active campaign on the South Coast, so why there’s virtually no activity from Labor in the equivalent state seat is a mystery to me – lack of resources and money at state level?
    Perrottett and Kean’s offer today of $250 rebates if a household switches energy providers is a straight out bribe, directed especially at Sydney’s West, so of course it got front page billing in the Murdoch owned Sunday tabloid.

  27. I’m in the seat of Wahroonga – North Shore of Sydney, mega safe Liberal electorate, no preselected Labor candidate as yet(guessing they can’t get anyone to nominate or put up their hand). Alistair Henskins, the sitting member, won’t have to raise much of a sweat in this part of Sydney, other than a bit of direct mail and a few street stalls.
    Those NSW bludgers who live in more marginal seats – curious to get your feedback on how things are going in your areas.

  28. I have to overwhelmingly disagree with the statements made regarding South Coast and Bega.

    Dr. Who? Has absolutely no presence in Bega and hates his job, barely showing up. Had one campaign event and it was like attending a doctors surgery – what a weird guy!! On the other hand, Fitzy is a great guy and very down to earth. Has done quite well as Mayor and has the capacity to be an excellent local member.

    I have to say the same about Luke Sikora, he is an excellent candidate for South Coast and well versed on the issues. Very youthful and has a campaign machine every week and weekend. The Labor Candidate is a nobody – even I don’t know who she is. And don’t get me started on Amanda Find-GREEN, she is an atrocious Mayor who blames everyone else for her failure to fix local roads and deal with matters. Shes a dud in council and will be a dud in parliament.

  29. Evan – Labor’s win in 2019 was a fluke thanks to major three way split in conservative vote + out of town Liberal candidate parachuted in without popular support. The 2022 win was certainly thanks to the massive campaign onslaught. But I suspect this time they’re stretched in trying to retain Bega and grab Kiama. They also don’t have incumbency in South Coast like they did for Gilmore in 2022. Throw in OPV and the Greens mayor also running, and it might explain why their priorities are elsewhere.

  30. Goulburn.. uncertain
    Bega.. Labor retain
    South Coast.. close liberal favoured
    Kiama… this is not a safe liberal seat given the Scandals. Don’t see how either Ward or libs can win
    Monaro.. more Scandals . Like south coast down the wire.. Labor favourite very slightly.. usually this seat goes with government

  31. seems the same in penrith labor seemevry where with the cowncilor karin mckown where as stuart ayres is not doing much but in riverstone labor have picked a little known candadate dont know whiy labor would not campaign hard in south cost given hancock is leaving labor seem very active in paramatter where as liberals arnt

  32. labiors nathan hegarty is very active in lepington myust have learnt from his liverpool mayor campaign dont think liberal candadate is doing much in lepington but davies issafe in bageries creek and labor may struggle in riverstone still no fairfield

  33. Labor are in the media a bit on South Coast but not on the ground where the rubber really hits the road. To overhaul a >10% Lib seat they are leaving their campaign very late.

  34. I’m in Strathfield, have seen Labor MP Jason Yat-sen Li out campaigning as well as his team. Haven’t seen the Libs as yet.

    Was in Gymea (Division of Miranda) on Sunday and both parties had teams out in force on the main shopping strip.

  35. Barry Hewson on Sun at 6.15 pm

    Here are some figures from the Bega by-election for you to study:

    Use tabs under polling place results. Choose swing tab; also percentages.

    You will see that there were much bigger swings to Dr Holland (Labor) everywhere north of Cobargo (i.e. north of the Bega Valley shire).

    Russell Fitzpatrick is a non-entity outside the Bega Valley, except for Gundagai where he will have a good reputation as an ex-publican. The people of Gundagai cannot vote for him.

    Within Bega, there is more one could say, including about Fitzpatrick’s support for the shonky, dubious deal that allowed McDonalds to build in the Bega CBD, against all the planning advice and all doctors’ opinions.

    However, just say that Fitzpatrick gets a swing in Bega of 5% or so, which would be unlikely, given that Perrottet is on the nose in the regions as well as in the city. Because it is very unlikely that there will be a similar swing in the more populous parts of the electorate north of Cobargo, even such a swing to Fitzpatrick in the south would not help him win.

    Your slagging off of Dr Holland for being a doctor is misplaced. Health will be a more important issue in the election than banking (Fitzpatrick is a banker) or pubs. Did you notice that before Fitzpatrick became the Lib candidate he was not keen to be associated with “the blue team”?

    ‘Mayor Fitzpatrick told ABC South East presenter Simon Lauder this morning that he was throwing his hat in the ring for state politics saying “I’m pretty excited about that.”

    “I don’t believe in the team blue or team red. I’d just like to have a crack.”‘ (24 Nov 22)

    Not the insights of a cluey political operator able to garner wide support.

  36. Sounds like South Coast Liberals are as confident of victory as Zak Kirkup in the 2021 WA election.

    In February 2019, NSW Liberal Party promised to reclassify 15,000km of local roads as state roads for funding purposes.
    Four years later, nothing has happened.

    Meanwhile, South Coast branch of the Liberal Party tries to blame Shoalhaven Council.

  37. The worst thing a political party can suffer is to have their Premier resign after being called to account by ICAC.
    The saying that ‘a fish rots from the head down’ is never more appropriate than when we look back at the Liberal party under the rotting fish head that was Gladys Berejiklian.
    Just recently the rot has made its way to the fish’s tail in the form of Perrottet.
    Going by the recent polls showing Labor will form the next state government, even in the unlikely event of a minority, the voters can smell the stench of that rotting liberal corpse.
    After March 25th, all we will see of that fish will be its bleached skeleton.

  38. well some south cost liberals including close garith ward friend paul ell are on sholhavin cowncil and there candadate is aparently wards best mate and was a long termchief of staff to retiring mp shelley hancock yet petrrottit protends the liberals are not backing Garith ward he still controls the local branches and has support in the local party yet perottit protends he is a real independent

  39. perottits pockies anowsment finaly being anowsed seems no one cares minns is ;putting the focus on barilarows bush fire grants and the plan is so slow five years that it can eazily be undermind plus sickora in south cost is close friends with garith ward plus is a corear staffer who has not had any real life expirence unlike labors candadate

  40. Just been listening to 2GB and their new drive time presenter Chris O’Keefe. He just tore into Perrottett over the cashless gaming card for pokies policy the Premier announced today, and actually applauded Chris Minns for the Labor policy of a 12 month trial of cashless gaming, which is what the Australian Hotels Association advocates too.
    Very rare for a 2GB shockjock to attack a Liberal Government, federal or state.

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