New South Wales election minus three days

A summary of recent horse race commentary, plus some minor opinion poll findings.

UPDATE: The Financial Review today brings a Freshwater Strategy poll showing Labor leading 53-47 on two-party preferred, unchanged from the start of the campaign, from primary votes of Coalition 37% (steady), Labor 37% (down two), Greens 10% (steady) and independents 16% (up two) – I assume all respondents were given the independents option, as distinct from the ballot paper-based approach of Resolve Strategic. Dominic Perrottet’s lead over Chris Minns as preferred premier 45-40, in from 46-34 last time. The poll was conducted Sunday to Tuesday from a sample of 1100.

Some notable observations from news coverage over the past few days:

Troy Bramston of The Australian reports there is “deep fear within (Labor) party ranks that the contest is perilously close, and many expect only the narrowest of wins or a minority Chris Minns-led government when it should be a landslide”. While Chris Minns is rated highly, the article lays out a list of perceived organisational deficiencies at the heart of a low-impact Labor campaign. Several teal independents are rated a show, but the Nationals “could regain Barwon or Murray” from ex-Shooters independents, though seemingly not Orange.

Alexandra Smith of the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday that the Liberals were “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”. Labor is said to be at least hopeful of recovering Balmain from the Greens.

• The Daily Telegraph has an instructive heat map illustrating which electorates have been most visited by the leaders during the campaign. Parramatta, Riverstone and Penrith have seen the most action; the Liberals have put more effort into East Hills, and Labor more into neighbouring Oatley; the Liberals would seem to be concerned about Drummoyne; and neither side is taking Leppington for granted.

Further opinion poll findings:

• The latest Essential Research poll posed questions relating to state politics to its cohort of 708 New South Wales respondents, finding Dominic Perrottet with a 36-33 lead over Chris Minns as preferred premier. Forty-one per cent expected Labor to win, against 35% for the Coalition. Thirty-six per cent said Labor’s promise of no future privatisations made them more likely to vote for them, against 10% for more likely to vote Coalition; 31% said they were more likely to vote Labor due to its promise to scrap the public sector wages cap, against 13% for the Coalition; 16% said they were more likely to vote Coalition due to their promised savings fund for children, against 26% for Labor; and 16% said they were more likely to vote Labor due to the Coalition’s commitment to a cashless gambling card, against 31% for Labor (findings I find highly unintuitive in the latter two cases).

• The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday had further results from its Resolve Strategic poll found 43% in favour of the proposed children’s future fund and 30% opposed, while 50% backed Labor’s promised Energy Security Corporation with 14% opposed. Labor led 35% to 29% as best party to handle cost of living, while the Coalition led 38% to 33% on the economy and 36% to 32% on infrastructure. Labor as usual had strong leads on health (39% to 29%), education (40% to 31%) and climate change (30% to 18%).

• A Roy Morgan SMS poll of 844 respondents credited Labor with a 53.5-46.5 lead, from primary votes of Labor 34%, Coalition 34% and Greens 13%, with Chris Minns leading Dominic Perrottet 52-48 as preferred premier. The poll was conducted over a week ago, from March 10 to 14.

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.

226 comments on “New South Wales election minus three days”

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  1. Freshwater Poll in today’s AFR has the 2PP at 53:47 with primaries of 37/37 and 10 Greens, 16 Indy’s.

    Now for Newspoll.

  2. William, I read the Essential results as the cashless card makes people more likely to vote Labor – am I doing this wrong?

  3. Troy Bramston of The Australian reports there is “deep fear within (Labor) party ranks that the contest is perilously close, and many expect only the narrowest of wins or a minority Chris Minns-led government when it should be a landslide”.
    —————————————-
    Repeat of South Australia, Federal , Victorian elections , going on the previous election predictions by Bramston where Labor were not going to get majority , will NSW continue the previous trends to an easy Labor majority

    With the lib/nats combined primary under 40% wont be a close election , as Labor will be only political party which will be able to form any kind government

  4. Lars Von Trier says:
    Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 5:09 am
    Freshwater Poll in today’s AFR has the 2PP at 53:47 with primaries of 37/37 and 10 Greens, 16 Indy’s.

    Now for Newspoll.
    ————————————-
    Made a choice yet ?, will it be lib/nats or Labor

  5. Final debate of the campaign tonight, the Sky News so called people’s forum.

    As for the Greens, I expect they will retain their 3 lower house seats, I doubt Labor will win Balmain.

  6. The leaders heat maps are interesting, as they are presumably based at least partially on internal party polling. All electorates noted are LNP-held, so the LNP is playing defence. But none of them are “save the furniture” territory. East Hills, Parramatta, Penrith and Riverstone are just essential for an ALP government, if Labor is struggling to win these they are in trouble. On the other hand, all recent polling indicates the ALP has a TPP of about 53%. Surely that would be enough for the ALP to end up with more seats than the LNP. So I still think Labor minority is a good guess.

    Labor has slipped out from 1.14 to 1.20 on Sportsbet. On seat betting, the only seats favoured to change hands are still the four noted above. Camden had Labor as very slight favourites a few days ago, but now the Lib is a clear favourite.

  7. Thank you William for providing an excellent round up of polling, and a platform to discuss the Premier State election.

    Some more from the AFR Freshwater poll…

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FrxSoS-acAIU2ex?format=jpg&name=large#image.jpg


    Critically, the survey of 1100 voters conducted from March 19-21, shows Mr Minns has substantially narrowed Mr Perrottet’s lead as preferred premier, rising 6 points to trail the premier at 40 points to 46.
    “What we could be seeing is that Labor’s campaign has successfully thwarted the Liberals’ advance,” Freshwater Strategy director Mike Turner told The Australian Financial Review.

    “They’ve taken the edge off Dominic Perrottet and the Liberal brand, and they have also been able to cast Chris Minns as a leader.”

    Undecided voters are warming to Labor

    An uptick in Mr Minns’ popularity could be the start of a firming in support for Labor among undecided voters, Mr Turner said, in which the improved perception of the leader lifts the Labor brand – and primary votes – on election day.

    https://www.afr.com/politics/undecided-voters-are-warming-to-labor-poll-20230321-p5ctxp

  8. As they say at the races, ‘close enough if good enough’ for Labor. If it’s 53/47 and they win more seats than the Coalition they have to form government, both arithmetically and in terms of a public mandate. Maybe it gets interesting if they only win 4 seats and the Coalition wins two S/F seats back. So in that scenario with the ALP on 42 and the Coalition on 44 it gets tricky for the ALP.

  9. You state: “31% said they were more likely to vote Coalition due to its promised savings fund for children, against 16% for less likely” This is incorrect!
    According to their published results, Essential Research actually found 31% were more likely to vote for LABOR due to the Coalition’s savings fund promise, and 16% more likely to vote for the Coalition.
    In other words Essential found the Coalition promise to be a net vote loser.
    The Guardian also originally reported this result incorrectly.
    In fact a notable result of this poll was that both Coalition policies polled were found to lose them votes, and win net votes for Labor.
    Source: https://essentialreport.com.au/questions/nsw-election-policies-impact-on-vote

  10. 53/47 on average. Those are landslide numbers. Hate to sound like a RWNJ, but since 2019 the ALP supporters have become bedwetters!

    The MSM kept telling us in Victoria that we were looking at a hung parliament…..

    Fox News promulgated the stolen election allegation for ratings. Our news services need it to be close. The public have made up their minds. It’s over.

    Put Lars down for LNP minority. Their handlers would not let them tip anything else.

    I am not in Suspense.

  11. I’m actually torn this election of who to vote for.

    I find it very hard to put the Coalition 1, and the ALP as 1 has been easy in the past. However, one of my main interests is public transport, and I have no faith that the ALP will, in complete joy, kill any future PT plans (such as the new business cases for the West Metros, or any of the lines that are on billboards all over Sydney) and take us back to a world where he have no clue and do not act like a modern city.

    I lurk in a PT forum and nearly all of them dislike the ALP because of their antagonism to anything but motorways and buses.

    And I can’t say I don’t disagree with them. The ALP ripped up the tram system in the 60s with absolute glee (even setting the trams on fire; wtf?), had a transport minister (Costa) in the 90s who said “everyone wants to drive”, and have no indications that they are interested in innovation.

    Having met Victor Dominello, and watching Matt Kean, I am (well not necessarily impressed), but happy that they are in touch with reality and want to do their job well for more than just some rich fkrs in the Cayman Islands.

    And the Greens, who in my mind, ought to have a solid pro-PT policy comes out with thought bubbles. How do I know they won’t grind our PT system to a halt too because they saw a butterly?

    Then I met some nurses who said the Coalition is happy to make their life miserable. So other than PT, where they have a good professional edge, the Coalition are a bunch of vaginas.

    I think I’ll vote independent, Greens 2, ALP 3 etc

  12. I can think of two modern cases where a government got back on a 47/53 two party preferred, Qld in 1995 and SA in 2014. I think the 1989 WA State election was close to 47/53 as well. So it’s not unheard of. But you would have to be lucky/skillful in seat targeting.

  13. Seems to me Labor is in front and there is a primary vote swing of about 4-5% on the published polling. I’d like to see Newspoll and I think the Labor primary seems to have dropped in published polling to the election outcome in recent elections.

    I also think its hard to judge OPV and the effect it has, especially with the teal candidates. What happens if more of the primary vote decline for the Libs is in the seats with teal candidates. Maybe the Libs lose 10% of the primary on the north shore – it seems like they could absorb that and still win those seats. Is the swing uniform ? Not clear.

    Also I dont see a lot of chatter about seats like Ryde and Oatley – both would have to go for Labor to win majority govt.

    It seems to me there’s about a 75% chance of a Labor/ Greens coalition – 25% chance that Labor bags a few seats but falls short and the Libs cobble together some form of Independent support from without.

    Sorry if that sounds wishy washy. I think the final Newspoll should make it clearer for all.

  14. I’ve corrected my error on the Essential Research poll finding the Coalition’s promises making them more likely to vote Labor, which I find a little hard to believe. It’s said here that The Guardian had this wrong as well, but the report is now consistent with what’s on their site.

  15. I am hoping for another ALP victory. How many terms will it take for Labor governments to clean up the mess Lib governments have created in Australia?

    Every state, and the nation have been damaged by Liberal governments. It seems surreal that nobody has been charged and tried for crimes for the corruption and harm they engaged in.

  16. Lars Von Triersays:
    Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 9:37 am
    Seems to me Labor is in front and there is a primary vote swing of about 4-5% on the published polling. I’d like to see Newspoll and I think the Labor primary seems to have dropped in published polling to the election outcome in recent elections.

    I also think its hard to judge OPV and the effect it has, especially with the teal candidates. What happens if more of the primary vote decline for the Libs is in the seats with teal candidates. Maybe the Libs lose 10% of the primary on the north shore – it seems like they could absorb that and still win those seats. Is the swing uniform ? Not clear.

    Also I dont see a lot of chatter about seats like Ryde and Oatley – both would have to go for Labor to win majority govt.

    It seems to me there’s about a 75% chance of a Labor/ Greens coalition – 25% chance that Labor bags a few seats but falls short and the Libs cobble together some form of Independent support from without.

    Sorry if that sounds wishy washy. I think the final Newspoll should make it clearer for all.

    As good a summation as is going round.
    Not wishy washy at all as anything else is wishful thinking.

  17. Hi Mick – I’m not saying they are the best. They just have gotten projects off the ground and continue to, and the ALP seem to continually have no interest in PT, and would like to rip up PT. Potentially the best would be the Greens, if they would put out detailed plans for PT in NSW. That’s all.

  18. While I am strongly of the view the Libs are going to be hurt by a stronger than expected drop in their primary vote, and not being as strongly backed by OPV flows… but the big challenge will be where this happens and to what effect.

    The Coalition COULD fall over the line if the swings aren’t sufficient and the Nats are able to wrangle a seat or two back from the SFF.

    A Labor Government still seems like the most likely outcome – Minority is the safe bet, but a majority isn’t really outlandish.

    OPV should hurt the Teals (or Teals-in-all-but-name)… but the Teals only really matter in the context of a Lib over-performance, relative to expectations. My own chatter is something similar to what many have reported – Labor is feeling better but still wary, and the Libs are increasingly nervous about their more populated and diverse regional seats.

    My own gut feeling as to likelihood:
    1. Labor Minority
    2. Labor Majority
    3. Coalition Minority
    4. Utter chaos
    5. Coalition Majority

  19. I can’t see how “utter chaos” can occur given that there is an odd number of total seats and therefore one of the “left” and “right” bloc must have more seats than the other. There are no “truly centrist” independent MPs.

  20. Aaron Newton
    What is your opinion about candidates for Holsworthy electorate? It is open seat.
    They are Liberals, NSW Labor, One Nation (apparently Holsworthy local), Greens, Independent (apparently Wattle Grove local).

  21. If this is correct & Malou deserves compensation.. Jetstar & AFP fined a good few $M to sharpen their sense of awareness & kerb their racism.

    ‘I felt like an animal’: Father humiliated after being dragged from Jetstar flight

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/i-felt-like-an-animal-father-tells-of-humiliation-after-getting-dragged-from-jetstar-flight-20230321-p5cu5h.html

    The fellow passenger who filmed the ordeal said Malou was not being aggressive towards others on the plane.

    Jaeris Vansson said it appeared as though the father had agreed to swap seats to be with his family.

  22. Record number of postal vote applications for NSW election

    The NSW electoral commission is reporting it has received a record number of postal vote applications before the state poll this weekend.

    So far 540,208 applications have been received. That’s up 117% from the 2019 election.

    Postal votes need to be returned by 6pm on 6 April to be counted.

  23. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a result where Labor end up one seat short of a majority, with a seat like East Hills defying the swing and remaining Liberal held.

  24. It’s odd the media are so relaxed about the ambulance thing. There’s three stories in that, any of which should be enough to sink Perrotet and the Coalition.

    Has managed the health system so badly that the Premier feels the need to be corrupt + the corruption + this morning’s lies to cover it up.

    Also, who leaked it, 3 days before the election?!

  25. DT online now has the Perrottet ambulance story. Headline makes it sound like he is deserving of sympathy.

    ‘She was crying’: Dom denies ambo favour
    The NSW Premier was grilled over a call he made to the Health Minister while his wife was having a medical episode, denying he received special treatment.

  26. It could be the case that a seat like East Hills stays Liberal(due to the current demographics) but seats higher up the pendulum like Ryde fall to Labor – why I think it will be a messy result on Saturday night.
    Upper Hunter is another very marginal seat that I somehow suspect will stay with the National Party.
    Kiama is a dog’s breakfast – if the voters down South reelect Gareth Ward on the basis that “he’s a good bloke” and then he ends up convicted, they’ll be going to a byelection in 6-12 months. Is Melanie Gibbons preferencing Ward?
    The SMH today have an article about Wollindilly. The independent candidate, a disaffected Liberal, is a real chance to take the seat off the Libs, and they’re worried.

  27. Wonder if this is a positive or negative in terms of votes for Latham and ON?

    Video has emerged showing LGBTQ protesters pleading with police to be escorted to safety as they are surrounded by hundreds of people outside a church where One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham was speaking in Sydney’s south-west.

    About 15 members of the Community Action for Rainbow Rights group were outside St Michael’s Church in Belfield where Latham was holding an event on Tuesday night.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/two-arrested-after-hundreds-turn-on-lgbtq-protesters-outside-mark-latham-event-20230322-p5cu6b.html

  28. citizen says:
    Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 2:27 pm
    Wonder if this is a positive or negative in terms of votes for Latham and ON?

    Maybe you could ask Alan Jones. Hypocrite (in a closet) that he is

  29. Can any folk here inform me on ID requirements when voting at this election.
    My 91 year-old mother was asked for ID at her Ingleburn early voting centre. She is hard of hearing and felt harrased by the NSWEC staff.

  30. Dave from Wagga – I didn’t think they were asking for ID at voting centres, wasn’t that all dumped when Labor won the federal election last year? An upsetting thing to happen to your mother, I think she deserves an apology from the electoral commission staff member on duty that day.
    I would assume acceptable forms of ID would be Drivers licence, Photo ID, Medicare card, Seniors Concession card?

  31. Some polling Sky News have leaked this afternoon – 9% swing to Labor in Goulburn, which would mean they gain the seat easily from the Liberals. A Labor hold in Leppington(and a 16% vote for One Nation). Wakehurst – 50% Liberal, 50% Independent.

  32. “Utter chaos could occur should Gareth Ward be the difference between the Liberals reaching 47 seats?”

    The Liberals would just do a deal with Ward and get to form government.

  33. Well I voted today. I had done a postal & sent it off then realised I’d forgot to get a witness to sign it. Dumb. Took longer to drive to the early voting centre than to actually vote though, very small line. Boomers clutching Liberal HTV’s, everyone else with Labor. Went through the car park door though and missed my favourite pastime of laughing when a Liberal tries to shove a HTV at me before taking a Labor card.

    They really need to do something about the ridiculous upper house sheet. I would block anyone who can’t get or keep 10,000 paid, authenticated members who are citizens of NSW for a year before the the nominations close. Time to get rid of below the line voting as well and just have each party or group of independents rank themselves.

    “It’s odd the media are so relaxed about the ambulance thing. There’s three stories in that, any of which should be enough to sink Perrotet and the Coalition.”
    Gee I wonder why.

    If a Labor pollie did this the LNP Propaganda Rags would be calling for jail time. Nothing to see here for a Liberal though.

    “deep fear within (Labor) party ranks that the contest is perilously close, and many expect only the narrowest of wins or a minority Chris Minns-led government when it should be a landslide.”

    For me, my fear would be losing. That’s it. Leaking “fears” about not winning by enough feels like anti-jinxing or setting up getting rid of Minns if the unthinkable happens.

    To my view there’s only three “real” results:
    * You don’t form government. Loss.
    * You form government. The Liberals lose their power to corrupt our state, and Opus Dei Dom is gone. Victory.
    * You form government with a majority in both houses. Domination.

    Anything else is detail.

  34. I rarely post a link, so I hope I’ve done it correctly! For those pro-ALP people who support the party running dead on poker machine reform, the info. below might give you something to think about. It describes how pokies are engineered to addict players by triggering dopamine release in the addicts brain. I’m all for mandatory cashless gaming cards with set loss limits, but I’d like to see legislation ban these manipulative design features as well.

    https://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2023/why-pokies-are-addictive/index.html

    Much as I’d love to see the back of the LNP, I’m hoping Minns is in minority and has to negotiate with Greens and Indies for confidence and supply, as that’s the only way I’d trust the ALP to deliver substantive gambling reform. The ALP is supposed to be the party of the working class, and we know that is the very group of people who suffer the heaviest losses from gambling addiction, so it’s so disappointing that the party didn’t have the balls to take on the gambling industry, even when Perrottet gave them the opportunity to do so at zero political cost.

  35. FFS could someone in NSW Labor grow a spine.
    Minns takes Dorky Dom at his word that he wasn’t after preferential treatment for his wife.
    YES HE WAS.
    You ring 000 for an ambulance not the minister for health and the head of the ambulance service.
    It doesn’t matter what priority was allocated. IT WAS WRONG!
    Put the boot in. Does anyone think the fibs wouldn’t?

  36. MelbourneMammoth @ #45 Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023 – 4:57 pm

    “Utter chaos could occur should Gareth Ward be the difference between the Liberals reaching 47 seats?”

    The Liberals would just do a deal with Ward and get to form government.

    If Ward is re-elected, he will still be facing charges. For consistency the first order of the day is to renew his suspension. If elected he will be a net negative for the coalition

  37. i know som poasters are pashinet about this gambling stunt by perottit but minns is a very smart leader most people dont care and cashlis gaming will never happin this ifthe liberals are running toby williams a former club derector of three eregisted clubs including dewi rsl and state cowncil clubs nsw but just resigned after preselection

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