New South Wales election minus eleven days

Coalition candidate troubles, plus seat polling from North Shore and Riverstone.

Recent highlights, such as they are, from a distinctly uneventful New South Wales state election campaign:

• Too late to affect their placement on the ballot paper, the Coalition have disendorsed two candidates in no chance seats this week over past indiscretions on Twitter: 20-year-old Ash Barnham in Cessnock, who has been dropped by the Nationals over comments two years ago denigrating women, gays and Jews, and Liberal candidate Matthew Squires in Wyong, who among other things described homosexuality as a “perversion”.

• A report in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday, which I can’t find online, related a Climate 200 poll showing an effective dead heat between Liberal member Felicity Wilson and teal independent Helen Conway in North Shore, with the former leading 50.7-49.3 on two-candidate preferred. Wilson led 33.6% to 17.9% on the primary vote, with Labor on 16.6%, the Greens on 10.4% and 9.8% uncommitted. The poll had a sample of 600, with no field work dates identified in the report. Liberal sources quoted in The Australian today say the party is concerned about independents in North Shore, Wakehurst and Willoughby, but seemingly less so in Manly and Vaucluse.

• The Financial Review last week reported that Freshwater Strategy found Labor candidate Warren Kirby with a 54-46 lead over Liberal candidate Mohit Kumar in Riverstone, from primary votes of Labor 40%, Liberal 37%, Greens 7% and One Nation 7%. The accompanying report was distinctly light on further detail, but this appears to have been a supplement to the statewide poll published by the paper last week, which was conducted the Thursday to Saturday before last.

UPDATE: Adrian Beaumont’s latest piece in The Conversation draws attention to seat polls I had missed from Redbridge Group, showing Labor 54-46 ahead in Parramatta but the Liberals 51-49 ahead in Penrith (though the accompanying release acknowledges the Liberal vote is “a little under-reported” in the former).

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.

154 comments on “New South Wales election minus eleven days”

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  1. Labor minority government has been my tip since day 1. Minns could certainly do a deal with the 3 Greens in the lower house likely to be elected, if Labor for example gets to 43 or 44 seats.

    I see Anthony Albanese and Chris Minns were campaigning in the seat of Balmain yesterday. Which means Labor haven’t completely written off reclaiming the seat from the Greens.

  2. There is so much less interest in the NSW election amongst poll bludgers compared to Victorian election. Is PB full just of Victorians? Come on people !

  3. If you believe Sportsbet and TAB, Labor are favourites to win 42 seats – including gains from the Liberals of Penrith, Parramatta, Riverstone and East Hills. Under this scenario, Labor also wins Leppington and Heathcote(notionally theirs due to the redistribution) and retains Bega which it won in the byelection.
    Coalition narrow favourites in Camden, Holsworthy, Tweed, Winston Hills and Upper Hunter.
    Teal candidates not favourites in any seats they’re contesting, but Liberals only narrow favourites in Pittwater, North Shore and Wakefield and Willoughby.
    All the existing independents(including the now ex Shooters Party MPs) favoured to retain their seats, that includes Gareth Ward in Kiama.

  4. Granted it is a fairly boring campaign, both leaders playing the small target strategy. But Australia’s most populous state and last Lib holdout on the mainland is having an election, genuinely surprised there is not more interest on this blog.

  5. Maybe it’s because NSW’s Liberal Party still retains a modicum of normalcy rather than hard Trumpism and because NSW’s Labor Party would be nebulous centrists at best. I mean Bob Carr… are you sure he chose the right party?

  6. Liberal signage in Pittwater has familiar colours, different to the Liberal candidate’s blue cordlute.

    Where have we seen those colours before? Used by the NSW Electoral Commission – HT to the Teal Machine for pointing this out..

  7. QLD State LOTO David Crisafulli has the right idea.
    He has said he wants to endorse candidates in most of the states electorates by Easter this year,2023, and every seat by the end of this year, for the next state election due in October 2024.
    By doing this at least 12 months in advance, anyone and everyone can check out those candidates social media pages, posts, comments, photos-(naked or in NAZI fancy dress), etc etc going back to the day they were born and therefore avoid what has happened to the Liberals and Nationals YET AGAIN where they have had to dis-endorse two candidates just 2 weeks out from the state election.


    I wouldn’t be completely singing the praises of David Crisafulli. He is ignoring the elephant in the room- unless he tap’s some of the dead wood in the LNP parliamentary ranks on the shoulder and tells them to leave. It’s one of the reasons their so ineffective is the talent base particularly in the LNP strong holds of the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast is so paltry. But being a parliamentarian in a long term opposition can have its perks. Plenty of $$$ and zero responsibility, with the occasional whinge from the sidelines.

    One of the senior lecturers was interviewed on the ABC podcasts was scathing of the LNP policies last election. They had all that time to develop policy and delivered a couple pedestrian policies. That had very little vision or substance. She blamed the National party side of the LNP that doesn’t really do policy. And kind of adverts it.

  8. And in Lane Cove.

    It looks like the Liberal Party Dirty Tricks Team have been wargaming how to limit ALP, Greens and minor candidates from giving preferences to the Teals.

    But have they thought this stunt would last till election day?

  9. Dr Bonham comments on the ‘Important’ signs

    I detest signs like this and they are the main reason why I cannot support fully fledged optional preferential voting. #NSWvotes

    I would amend the NSW electoral act such that parties erecting such signs were fined one million dollars per sign and disqualified from the seat.

    The purpose of these signs is to attempt to dupe voters for other candidates into thinking that just voting 1 is in any way a good idea, and deceitfully making the message look somewhat official if the viewer does not look too closely.

  10. Simpson I think its because neither party has demonstrated any real policy points of difference to the wider electorate. After NSW Labor effectively died in 2011 they wrote themselves off for at least 4 terms in the wilderness. Now that Minns finally has a stable and functional front bench and caucus I get the impression he didn’t want to rock the boat with a big picture reformist pitch to the voters. The NSW Libs have almost maxed out the credit card with their speeding spree on major projects around the Sydney basin- the vast majority of which are located in outer suburban areas the Libs gained in 2011 and want to continue to hold. Labor had little room for big dollar project proposals to excite.

    Also we don’t have any characters on either side to spice up the theatrics. You’ve got two leader of similar age, faith, interests that both readily profess a profound personal admiration and respect for each other that consider themselves pretty good friends !?

  11. So dirty tricks from the Liberals on day 1 of pre-poll voting. May not end well for them.

    Not the smartest tools in the toolbox.

  12. The Liberals got away with this garbage in Chisholm in the 2019 federal election, but we are awake to similar dirty tricks in 2023 .

  13. S. Simpson @ #104 Saturday, March 18th, 2023 – 1:42 pm

    Granted it is a fairly boring campaign, both leaders playing the small target strategy. But Australia’s most populous state and last Lib holdout on the mainland is having an election, genuinely surprised there is not more interest on this blog.

    Everyone’s over on the open thread. While the discussion there is nominally about Federal issues (e.g. AUKUS), its basically descended into open warfare between the factions of NSW Labor, who I think are worried about the outcome of the NSW election and the possibility of ending up in a minority government.

    It’s not a very edifying spectacle.

  14. Player One: no doubt round 2 of Andrew Earlwood vs C@tmomma, unedifying stuff.
    Andrew Earlwood, well known for his hatred of Chris Minns

  15. South Coast and Kiama as Labor gains is massively optimistic. The Labor campaigns here have been very low energy – even Minns’ domestically manufactured bus doesn’t have the mileage to make it this far down!

  16. Randall Flag: I would assume Labor gave up on South Coast a few weeks ago, as for Kiama I guess the Labor candidate has a chance if the conservative vote is split between Gareth Ward and Melanie Gibbons.
    My impression is Labor have moved all their firepower into Bega to protect the good doctor.

  17. My belief remains that the ALP will win the NSW election in one week, but I am astounded by the complete lack of interest. I reckon about a third of NSW still don’t know they have an election next week.

    AS for this optional preferential voting garbage – what a con! It is appallingly undemocratic. Next federal election a significant portion of the electorate will spoil their vote because of it.
    FPTP is ridiculous in ant event but deliberately exhausting your vote is just careless in the true sense of the word.

    These ideas always eventually come back to bite the perpetrators (think NSW liberals and ICAC!)

  18. Randall, Chris Minns has visited South Coast five times recently, his wife (very impressive!) once. Huge door knocking and phone banking campaign (looks like they don’t know you). 7 days and we will know.

  19. Randall, Evan- I can assure you Labor hasn’t given up on South Coast and its very must a toss up.

    The local council has a long serving directly elected Greens Mayor, the council has several labor members and Fiona Phillips has continued to hold Gilmore federally despite the Libs throwing everything they had at it twice in a row.

    The massive growth of several sizable towns around the central shoalhaven around jervis bay that have popped up over the last decade are full of young working families with progressive, left leaning traits they have brought with them from the metro areas they’ve escaped from.

    With Shelley Hancock retiring the Queen of Ulladulla is no more and the old guard antiquated retirees and conservatives of the north of the electorate are now outnumbered by the central and southern communities. Also Ward at heart is a Shoalhaven native and had a polarizing tenure as a Shoalhaven deputy Major. He went to war with Gash resulting in him having to find kinder pastures in Kiama. I’m sure the taint will spill over into Nowra.

    Labor has had a candidate on the ground for 6 months and the hot off the press Liberal underhanded decision to suddenly nominate a candidate raises serious questions as to just what secret dealings may have been negotiated between the party and Ward.
    Both seats are very much in play.

  20. People are sick of politics as camp theatrics: Trump, Bozo, and the execrable Scomo!

    The 3 stooges and what good do they do: Tucker Carlson was accurate – for once – in his email describing Trump as a prime destroyer with no other talent

    Look how Albanese presents, stable and sensible and even a bit boring.

    For Minns, appearing competent is what’s required

  21. Thanks to those who live on the South Coast for the real deal on how the Labor campaign is proceeding.
    Pre poll voting started today, I wonder how it has been going in the key marginal seats?

  22. The main thread’s an absolute sewer. If the state-based threads are a bit quieter, it’s because of the absence of the worst half-a-dozen posters from there, which is a good thing.

    From a non-NSW left-wing perspective, this election’s hard to get excited by. The Libs seem relatively sane (all their worst people seem to go federal), while the best we can expect from Labor is to be better than the flaming shitheap their last govt turned into. It’s a low bar to clear.

    If Labor flub this one, it may become the Libs’ version of 2007 – the election that in hindsight they would’ve been better off losing. Everything spends the next four years falling apart, they get flung from office in 2027 and Labor get a blank cheque to do whatever they like for the next decade. Not a good outcome.

    I’d like to see Labor get about 45 seats – enough for a stable left-wing govt, while making some of the more swivel-eyed Labor partisans’ heads explode that they have to spend the next four years being relatively nice to the Greens.

  23. Evan, outside Left is your best source of Gilmore/South Coast Kiama goings on- He is very well connected down there and you can be assured of his assessments.

  24. Bird of Paradox: Yes, the usual suspects over on the main thread have gone entirely stupid. An oasis of sanity in here in comparison.
    Minns was handing out HTVs in Parramatta, Dom was in Penrith today.
    Leftiebrawler, thanks mate for the tip above

  25. The Liberals are running the same election campaign, tv, that Abbott ran in 2013 and that Turnbull ran in 2016.
    They deserve to lose on the lack of imagination shown in these ads alone.
    Hopefully the news perrottett was well down the path of privatising Sydney Water will see them shown the door in a landslide. Unfortunately I’m getting 2007 vibes.

  26. Bird of P-

    You are right, starting with Magic Mike Beard who took over after the grange gate scandal the NSW Libs were able to reinvent and differentiate themselves from your more garden variety Lib. They became the uber waspy Northern beaches type of socially progressive, financially conservative type of brand.

    Beard was adored by women across the land and he had a clear run with an emaciated opposition that went through a stagnating period led by 3 successive dud leaders including 2 transplanted from a union and one a career sussex street staffer who was shoehorned in. Gladys took the Libs to astronomical levels of universal praise. As an outsider who arrived as a child immigrant from Armenia she didn’t speak English until she was 6 and worked her way up on merit without the the traditional LNP established networks. She appealed to many traditional labor voters who saw her as pragmatic, reasonable and her centrist outlook. Ironically we all thought she was above reproach. She made sure it was leaked that she hated Morrison and that was also a big part of her appeal. Perrott has for the most part come across as reasonably competent, intelligent and inoffensive. Like Minns he seems hard to hard as a person and is probably why Labor isn’t a shoein for majority gov. But Perrott has his own dramas- he is trying to manage a raging NSW factional civil war that could potentially leader to mass break aways or at worse a formal split. His brothers have been hiding in national parks and Lebanon to avoid being served a subpoena to appear at a parliamentary enquiry levelling serious allegations at both his brothers regarding accepting slush finds from a lebanese developer to branch stack several north shore branches to remove a Lib Mayor who is anti high rise and to also have Alex Hawke disendorsed. He will be dogged by these in the coming days no doubt.

  27. “Come and say hello”: Minns’ invite to Dutton. (Oz headline currently)

    Seems to sum up Dutton’s apparent popularity in NSW.

  28. Cheer Evan,

    I’m been Penrith based for almost a decade and we are all trying to figure out just what exactly has spooked Ayres here in the last 48 hours.

    First Gladys and the bride, today Johnny Howard making his once a decade catch up to his famous howard battlers that made him PM.

    I suspect his internal tracking metrics have been in a consistent decline since he was stripped of his ministry. I also think public support has waivered big time for his signature pork barreling unnecessary knock down and rebuild of the stadium.

    He is an interesting character- His public persona is a complete construct made specifically to go into politics. Perhaps he knows he knows he his cooked.

  29. It really is a big ask for Labor to get across the line this time. I worry that if they dont then the great momentum built by Minns and his team will be setback for a bit. I hope not. But I am not detecting white hot anger provoking change? But it could just be people are tired and will vote for it for a freshen up?

  30. Heathcote and Leppington should be a pick up for Labor but the Libs are putting in a good ground game in Leppington at least suggesting they think they might jag it. I have not heard much about Holsworthy which, if the swing is on, you would think Labor will get there. I am surprised that Labor is not surging on the North Coast but that might be Greens territory now? Greens v Nats?

  31. Minns will not enjoy minority with the new teal CB. He will be forced to end the longstanding, counter productive, bilateral opposition to the legalising of recreational cannabis for a start if he wants to get any legislation through. Then he’ll be forced into real pokie reform and thus ending the old faithful stream of donations from clubs NSW.

  32. The Greens are out and about in Redfern yesterday. They were also staffing the pre poll booth in Sydney at about 3 to 1 to Labor.

  33. Griff. I cannot imagine Labor would bother with Newtown in this election apart from being a presence? I am surprised they are bothering with Balmain as well.

  34. Some observations from the Inner West

    The Greens have bigger billboards than Labor. Much bigger. The one at Norton Street Leichhardt would probably be the biggest one in all of NSW.

  35. LeftieBrawler: Yes, interesting that Gladys, John Howard and Perrottett have all been in Penrith the last couple of days, Stuart Ayres is pulling out the big guns so you could assume his internal polling is not that great. It’d be a joy to see him defeated next Saturday, he symbolises everything that is slightly wrong about the modern Liberal Party. And maybe the promise of a new stadium for Penrith Panthers home games isn’t the panacea for Ayres that he and Perrottett and Kean thought it would be? Time will tell on that one.
    I’m hopeless at judging the general vibe of an election because I’m on Sydney’s North Shore, it’s rock solid safe Liberal territory, there is virtually no campaigning, you wouldn’t know an election is on if you weren’t a political nerd or a news junkie like yours truly. My local MP Alistair Henskins doesn’t have to do anything much because he’ll be reelected handily, and the Labor candidate is an 18 year kid barely out of high school, who was only preselected 2 weeks ago. It would not shock me actually if the Greens candidate in Wahroonga outpolls the Labor candidate, the Greens did very well in the most recent Hornsby Council election(3 of them elected). So the general vibe here in Thornleigh where I live is flat from a political point of view, but that’s probably no general indication of what’s going on in other seats or areas of Sydney and NSW.
    I avoid commercial TV pretty much – does Minns get much airplay on their news programs and with his ads? Maybe he still has a visibility problem? I guess if Labor doesn’t win next Saturday, Minns will be blamed by some for being too nice to the Liberals, certainly during the pandemic, when he perhaps could have gone on the attack more. He’s a better option for Labor than bloody Michael Daley was, that was a fuckup 4 years ago.

  36. Wranslide: I wondered too yesterday why Albo and Minns were in Balmain, a seat which the Greens will retain, even with a new candidate after Jamie Parker’s retirement. It was St Patrick’s Day, of course, might have had something to do with it. At least Albanese is a plus for Minns, Dutton definitely is no help to Dom(why Potato Head isn’t allowed south of the Tweed before March 25).
    Leppington: That one is a dog fight, the Liberals are throwing a lot at it, from all reports. Will be close on election night probably.

  37. wranslide @ Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 8:31 pm

    Watching an opposition attempt to take government using a small target strategy is a damp squib.

  38. Griff. I am not sure you can run a big target campaign in opposition at a state level. Its much much harder to get any media (outside the two months leading into the election) and the mainstream media is very much pro NSW Liberal especially Nine (the Tele assumed automatically although have I detected that they have been a bit tamer in recent times?).

  39. Evan. There is a sniff in the wind about Balmain but there often is because the inner city Left branches have little else and so hype Balmain. The change of Parker does suggest there is a gap to fill and polling must show it in play but I would prefer Minns to be out in the west, his own seat, and up and down the coast rather than Balmain as I think the other areas need his presence more. The same is not felt about Newtown which Labor continues to go further and further back in.

  40. Wranslide: Minns was back in Sydney’s West today – Prospect, Riverstone, Parramatta.
    Yes, true that the media in Sydney are pro Perrottett, but Minns had a 3 page profile of him in today’s SMH, which was fairly balanced.

  41. Yeah well if NSW Labor loses this one it’s time for the proverbial hard rain to fall on the party administration. It’s 12 years on from the 2011 debacle now and the 2019 result is an adequate launching block. All they really needed to seal the deal was a top level leader, which could have been installed like Neville Wran in the old days.

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