New South Wales election minus six days

As a low-key campaign reaches its conclusion, Labor is reportedly confident, though not necessarily of a majority in their own right.

After opening with a barrage of results from Newspoll, Resolve Strategic, Freshwater Strategy and Roy Morgan, the New South Wales state election has been marked by complete silence on the public polling front. Nor has the campaign had much to offer in the way of excitement, beyond the usual procession of quickly forgotten promises and social media controversies involving obscure candidates.

Which leaves us with:

Brad Norington of The Australian reports that Labor is “increasingly confident”, while recognising that they may gain only six of the nine seats required to get them all the way to a majority. Doing so would likely require Riverstone and Parramatta, which are rated merely as “doable”. Should they fall short, Ben Raue at The Tally Room lays out the scenarios for a hung parliament.

• Teal independent Pittwater candidate Jacqui Scruby has filed a complaint over Liberal Party signs alerting voters to the fact that they only need number one box, arguing they are made to appear as official rather than party political announcements. The signs do have a small Liberal logo on the bottom right, but it is alleged they are being positioned so as to obscure it. The complaint echoes that against Chinese language Liberal signs used in Melbourne at the 2019 election, which the Federal Court ruled found deceptive in their adoption of the Australian Electoral Commission’s white-and-purple colour scheme.

• The Liberals have registered two sets of how-to-vote cards for Balmain, Newtown and Summer Hill, one recommending a first preference for the Liberal candidate only, the other a preference to Greens ahead of Labor.

• The Coalition has been getting the worst of the routine election campaign parade of social media indiscretions from candidates in unwinnable seats. The latest case is Bill Burst in Maroubra, who took to Facebook to voice commonly heard right-wing opinions on climate change and the treatment of COVID.

• The Sydney Morning Herald has published breakdowns from its Resolve Strategic poll of three weeks ago by three age cohorts, showing Labor on 39%, the Coalition on 28% and the Greens on 17% among those aged 18 to 34; Labor on 41%, the Coalition on 26% and the Greens on 14% among those 35 to 54; and Labor on 34%, the Coalition on 41% and the Greens on 3% among those 55 and over.

• I had an article in Crikey this week on the growing problem the Liberals face from right-wing minor parties poaching votes from them, such voters overwhelmingly following the practice encouraged by Liberal election signs in allowing their votes to exhausted after the first preference.

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.

95 comments on “New South Wales election minus six days”

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  1. And the seat where the impact of that video was greatest against Labor was Kogarah. I thought at the time that News Ltd had leaked this not only to derail Daley but to destabilise Chris Minns in Kogarah, who the Liberals and their Murdoch media mates saw as a threat to them, and still do I presume.
    I recall that election night in 2019 on Channel 7 when Minns was on the panel and when results from Kogarah flashed up on the screen showing him losing the seat, he visibly aged by about 10 years.

  2. Camden drew my eyes too. It was held by Labor during its high tide years, its hold even somehow surviving the 1988 election (albeit notionally and only just). But it also seems to be leaning toward One Nation lately, and ON are running a candidate there this time too, so optional preferential voting will probably result in a Liberal retain.

    Its numbers post-redistribution are LIB 42, ALP 29, ON 13, GRN 4, OTH 12. It’d have to be a pretty strong swing on primaries for a Labor gain, and that part of Sydney didn’t go strongly for Labor at the federal election.

  3. Yes, I can’t imagine One Nation preferencing Labor in any seat.
    Heathcote interests me, because Minns has been there a few times but no visits from Perrottett to support Liberal MP Lee Evans. The redistribution turned his seat from a semi marginal Liberal one to a marginal Labor one.

  4. Evan Parsons @ Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    Some of these Sportsbet odds are surprising. If I were to bet, I would be on 1.20 for Labor in Granville. The Liberal candidate is a blow-in that doesn’t reside in the seat v the Labor incumbent. Same odds as Labor in Leppington! I also think 1.15 for The Greens in Newtown is decent, but less of a return.

  5. Had a chat to the lass behind the bar at the Vic today.
    Joe McGirr is a shoe-in, she said.
    Nats and Libs fighting each other in unwinnable seats should be promoted like a Tim Tszyu fight. They really do not like each other in this part of the world.

  6. NSW Labor has and still is rather pro-gambling, or at least not anti-gambling. News Corp has significant interests in the gambling industry, maybe that could be a reason why News Corp is relatively light on NSW Labor.

  7. I’m really not sure how the rural Independent seats in NSW will go. From the experience in Victoria in the election last November, both rural Independents lost to Nationals in the seats of Mildura and Shepparton, and the other one in Morwell where the ex-Nat Independent retired saw a big swing to the Nationals.

    Then again, the situations are different. In Victoria it was an incumbent Labor government, while in NSW it’s an incumbent L/NP government. So it will be interesting to see how these seats play out.

  8. That said, I really hope Helen Dalton retains Murray, even if her margin is the most perilous of the rural Independents. She’s been the most active of them in exposing National party corruption from what I can tell, and it would really suck if she loses for that.

  9. is it realy the case nsw labor has strong gambling links there is the crown links but clubs nsw does have a labor mayor on there board but until recently toby williams liberals pick for wakehurst did labor put in to parliament former australian hotells asosiationnsw deputy chief david elliot did labor put in federal parliament well known pub owner Craig laundie and di labor give packer a second casino know thats all from the liberal party which have mor pro gambling links then labor ever had

  10. lets vote perottit in even though most of his cabenit ministers are retiring health transport customer survice because i 7 or 8 years time the party that lind up with clubs nsw to bring down gillard is suddinly going to stop pockies becaus peter costellows brother says we have to vote for costellows own party it doees not matter about health and education

  11. maybi the liberals allowing clubs nsw to increase the number of pockies mashines in clubs might have increased problim gambling but with out cash it would actualy make the problim gambling ishue worse plus what happind to the liberals being the party of individual fredom and government getting out of our livesits not like costellow is triying to help perottit he is no exbert on the subject any way i dont know whiy any body listons to him hewent missing when his party lind up with clubs nsw for 12 years and gave them evry thing they wanted

  12. most people realy dont care iva way on pockies yes peoplecan gamble to much but people can drive badly as well it wont have much impact how ever minns campaign on posible privatisation of sydney water by perottit was a smart stratigy and should help in penrith not even perottit is talking abbout gambling leaving to his backers like costellow who are running a liberal backed anti gambling candadate as the liberals left it to late and its usualy a safe labor seat

  13. Right wing shock jocks are helping the Labor Party by demonising Matt Kean. You can bet that One Nation will attract “just vote 1” voters who don’t want to vote for or preference the party of Matt Kean.

  14. Camden isn’t a sleeper for those of us who live here. Can’t believe it hasn’t had any press coverage.
    Liberal MP is a very weak performer, not well liked locally and embroiled in branch stacking claims.
    Labor candidate is running another (ran in 2019) very strong local campaign. High visibility.
    PHON will get between 10%-20% pulling down Lib vote.
    Will be extremely close. Polling and odds reflect that.
    But where is the coverage about it????

  15. Labor is in to 1.13 on Sportsbet now. Which is totally disconnected from Sportsbet markets on individual seats, where favourites getting up in all seats would result in 42 ALP, 41 LNP, 3 Greens and 7 mainly conservative Independents, and absolutely no guarantee of an ALP government.

    The article on Tally Room is an excellent read, if you haven’t checked it out already, as it breaks down the election into 4 separate battles (classic ALP vs LNP, Greens vs major parties in inner Sydney/North Coast, teals vs Libs in northern Sydney, conservative independents vs LNP in rural NSW) and looks at realistic post-election scenarios depending on how these various battles work out.

    Here in the Hunter/Central Coast all seats are safe ALP, bar safe Liberal Terrigal and marginal Upper Hunter. Upper Hunter has only a 0.5% margin, but given the possibility of a “sophomore surge” for the Nats incumbent, and a small swing against the ALP in Singleton and Muswellbrook at the federal election, I wouldn’t be confident that Labor will pick up Upper Hunter, even if there is a decent swing to the ALP in Sydney.

  16. Argyle St at 8.53 pm

    Only 5 candidates in Camden compared to 7 in 2019, when an Indie and a minor franchise got nearly 9% together. Both absent this time, which will help Labor.

    Hanson/Latham franchise got 13.3% last time, of which Libs got 18% and Labor 8% with the rest exhausting. Camden voters do tire easily, with 52% of Greens voters exhausting. For details see bottom of p 4 at:

  17. The Sportsbet odds seem distorted to me on the public polling so far. The odds imply an about 85% chance of the ALP forming government. But the revealed polling has the ALP at about 53% of the two party preferred. Given normal statistical variability plus the ‘fundamental’ of an incumbent government that isn’t completely despised you’d think that a 75% chance is more reasonable.

    So maybe the final round of polling will be stronger for Labor. Alternatively, the ‘pathways’ argument, that Labor has many pathways to forming a government but the Coalition few, is dominating gambling thinking. I am a sceptical of those sort of arguments which can come apart in practice especially if the Coalition wins more seats than the ALP.

  18. Five days to go, Poll Bludgers. Who is going to win on the 25th?
    Two weeks ago these bludgers put their name to the Party they say will win.
    Not might, maybe, if, but, provided, hopefully, etc.
    The party they say from everything they know about following politics and life, will win on Saturday.

    They were at the time:
    98.6 Labor
    Mick Quinlivin Labor
    Mabwa Labor
    Desie Labor
    Malcolm Labor
    Scott Labor
    Newcastle Moderate Labor (Minority)
    Ven Labor (Minority)

    At this stage no one is saying Liberals to win.

    Have any of the above changed their mind ?
    Does anyone want to double down on their selection?

    Let your fellow bludgers know your prediction.

  19. Herald Resolve Poll out this morning: Labor 38, Coalition 38. No idea what this means in two Party preferred terms, the SMH says Labor will need independents support to govern. I am sure William will expand on this much further.

  20. Evan says:
    Monday, March 20, 2023 at 6:28 am
    Herald Resolve Poll out this morning: Labor 38, Coalition 38. No idea what this means in two Party preferred terms, the SMH says Labor will need independents support to govern. I am sure William will expand on this much further.

    Very similar to the Victorian state election , when the Age claimed the same the thing , about the Andrews government

  21. Lib/nats currently on 45 seats , will lose seats with a declining combined primary vote and will not gain seats with a combined primary vote less than 41.5%

  22. Newcastle Moderate says:
    Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 9:17 pm
    Labor is in to 1.13 on Sportsbet now. Which is totally disconnected from Sportsbet markets on individual seats, where favourites getting up in all seats would result in 42 ALP, 41 LNP, 3 Greens and 7 mainly conservative Independents, and absolutely no guarantee of an ALP government.

    libs/nats are unlikely to get to 41 seats with a combined primary vote around 37%

  23. Jeez Scott you are always saying 40%. Now you’ve given us a benchmark of 41.5%. Thanks for being such a tough coach – I’ll pass that over to party HQ and say that that’s now the “Scottometer” for polling night.
    As they say in marketing nothing like a stretch target!!

  24. Moderate says:
    Monday, March 20, 2023 at 6:47 am
    Jeez Scott you are always saying 40%. Now you’ve given us a benchmark of 41.5%.

    Thats the election trend , the lib/nats governments are rarely competitive with combined primary vote under 40%

    The point i have made is, for chance of minority government Lib/nats combined primary vote needs to be 40%+ , for a chance of lib/nats majority the combined primary needs to be 42%+ , they need to gain seats why the combined primary vote needs to be greater than 2019

  25. A very symmetric poll.

    It does appear that Dom is being boosted bigly, by the Murdoch and Costello mastheads – so their influence is on the ballot. Let’s see.

    If we are tipping, I think the Coalition will squeak a minority government, with the ex-conservative Indies, including Teals, to give Dom the crown. Gareth Ward, all is forgiven.

  26. moderate says:
    Monday, March 20, 2023 at 7:00 am
    They won 48 seats with 41.58% of the vote in 2019 Scott.

    But they are minority with 45 seats going into the election

  27. Some more seat commentary from the SMH/Resolve – Jim Reed is ex Crosby/Textor btw

    Liberal strategists in NSW are increasingly confident that they will be able to stave off a teal wave, however Lane Cove, held by the Planning Minister Anthony Roberts, is seen as the most at-risk. Independent Victoria Davidson is contesting the seat which is on a margin of 14.7 per cent.

    Labor is also hoping it can win back the inner-city seat of Balmain from the Greens, which is vulnerable because the party’s popular MP Jamie Parker is retiring at the election.

    Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has campaigned in Balmain and will be in the electorate on Saturday, handing out how-to-vote cards for the Labor candidate Philippa Scott.

    The Greens have ruled out backing the Coalition in the event of a minority government, but have released a list of policy demands that it will make before agreeing to support Labor.

    Other key independents, including Sydney MP Alex Greenwich and Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper, have said they will not back Labor unless it agrees to implement a mandatory cashless gaming card.

    Reed said it was difficult to predict the composition of a minority government.

    “In a hung parliament scenario, a lot will depend on how many seats change hands and the make-up of the crossbench,” Reed said.

  28. God scott how stupid are you. In your last post you said LNP needed 42% plus for minority.
    The last election disproved even your most basic premise. Please return here when you’ve engaged your brain old son.

  29. 38% Labor primary in a poll could turn out to be 36% Labor primary in the actual vote. This was off a primary of 33.5% in 2019.

    Still Minns’ to lose you would think. If he does blow it from here he would be Labor’s Debnam.

    One way or other the Oppo Leader’s office will have a new incumbent in April. Ryan Park for Labor or Mark Speakman for the Libs.

  30. The last thing Dom needed was total transport chaos and meltdown on the weekend before the State Election, and he delivered in buckets full.
    Whoever was responsible for the decision to shut down most of the Sydney Metropolitan and Inter-urban rail network, last weekend, should be immediately terminated from their position.
    The Rail replacement buses were totally inadequate to the task, insufficient in number and the marshalls were overwhelmed with a task beyound their control.
    My friends and I regularly travel from Gosford to Olympic Park for the footy.
    Choosing the correct trains, with 2 changeovers at Strathfield & Lidcombe we can travel from point to point in approximately 1.5hours.
    On sunday, the journey time extended to over 3 hours, each way.
    Fortunately, after 4.00pm, the Olympic Park shuttle to Lidcombe had resumed as was a service from Lidcombe to Gordon – from which we could connect with a bus to the Central Coast.
    The first part of the return journey was efficient with a 13 minute wait at Lidcombe for the Gordon train with only a stop at Strathfield and no stops to Central and then all stops along the North Shore line to Gordon.
    From Gordon it was chaotic. The buses were running well behind schedule, if at all.
    My friends were able to transfer onto a bus to Woy Woy.
    I waited expecting from past experience that the Gosford / Wyong bus would be following directly behind the Woy Woy bus.
    45 minutes later, an hour after it was meant to arrive, the Gosford / Wyong bus did eventuate – it departed Gordon nearly full with only 4 seats available.
    On arrival at Hornsby the bus stop was crowded, alas only four passengers could be accommodated.
    At Berowra, the only stop between Hornsby and Gosford two passengers alighted which allowed the two waiting passengers to step aboard.
    I would hate to consider how long they may have waited to convene their journey had our bus been full and knowing how long the queue of waiting passengers for this service were at Hornsby.
    Congratulations to Bus Marshalls and the Drivers for a wonderful job in the extremely trying and demanding conditions which were set for you, of which you had no control.
    If you are reading from outside Sydney, last weekend the temperatures – particularly in western Sydney were in the mid to high 30s.
    On arrival at home, at Nth Avoca Beach, it was still 30 degrees at 8.00pm.
    I wonder how many of these affected passengers, last weekend, were undecided or uncommitted voters?

  31. Resolve Poll
    This company is the least reliable of all the Polling Companies in the market.
    I wouldn’t trust the veracity of any of their results.
    Really, ALP & LNP on 38%.
    Greens, Indies & Others all on 8%.
    The reputable polling has been sparse, but this is unicorn polling!

  32. Promising data from the Terrigal electorate Pre Poll numbers conveyed to me yesterday. It may well turn out to be the case that we just fall short in this blue ribbon electorate for the Liberals but between now and next Saturday night you never know. 😀

  33. Perrottett was always going to have the advantage of incumbancy and a rather compliant and friendly media pack behind him.
    If you can criticise Minns for anything, it’s for what I think has been a rather safe and timid sort of campaign, without any big noticeable announcements – maybe something big in the health area, or public transport area or education might have been a good idea?
    As I thought all along, it will be a messy result on Saturday night!

  34. Let’s keep this thread going in the constructive way we have been the last few days, a very good contrast to the garbage that the main thread has turned into.

  35. C@tmomma

    Has someone being sneaking a peek?

    “Promising data from the Terrigal electorate Pre Poll numbers conveyed to me yesterday”

  36. Does the Coalition want to privatise Sydney Water? Well, they “have no plans” to do so but then planning was never their strong suit.

    There’s a simple one-question test to determine whether or not the Coalition parties want to privatise something:

    Is it in public ownership?

    If yes, they want to sell it.

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