Odds and ends

A review of the movements in New South Wales election betting odds over the past week, in which the Coalition have emerged clear favourites overall, despite a mixed picture in the individual seat markets.

With one day to go, I’ve done a bit of work updating my state election guide with a few new candidate details and campaign updates – and also with updated betting odds from Ladbrokes. There has been a bit of a divergence in the overall odds, where the Coalition are now clear favourites on $1.45 to $2.70 for Labor, and the seat odds, which seem to paint a more favourable collective picture for Labor. UPDATE: The Sydney Morning Herald has a chart showing the fluctuations in Sportsbet’s odds over the campaign, making clear the late surge to the Coalition.

The Asian immigration kerfuffle has been reflected in Labor lengthening in Kogarah (from $1.17 to $1.30, with the Liberals cut from $3.75 to $2.50) and Oatley (from $2.75 to $3.75, with the Liberals in from $1.36 to $1.22). However, there is no movement in Strathfield, despite reports of favourable polling for the Liberals, and Labor is now unbackable in Coogee, where they are in from $1.22 a week ago to $1.10. Labor are also in from $5 to $3.75 in South Coast – but, contrary to media chatter, the Liberals have shortened in Heathcote from $1.44 to $1.33, with Labor out from $2.88 to $3.10.

The Nationals’ odds have deteriorated in a number of seats over the past week, with Labor slashed from $17 to $4 in Coffs Harbour, and even given a sniff in Barwon, where they are in from $7 to $5, the market presumably considering it possible that they might skate home as votes split between the Nationals and Shooters. Shooters have shortened from $1.33 to $1.25 in Orange, and from $3.25 to $2.90 in Murray; independent Mathew Dickerson seems to be attracting attention in Dubbo, where he is now on $2.75, with the Nationals on $1.40; and independent by-election winner Joe McGirr is in from $1.50 to $1.27 in Wagga Wagga. Conversely, the Nationals’ odds have improved in Tweed (from $3 to $2.50, with Labor out from $1.36 to $1.50) and Upper Hunter ($2.88 to $2.10, with Labor out from $1.40 to $1.70).

The Greens’ odds have improved on the north coast (from $4.50 to $3.50 in Lismore, where Labor are clear favourites, and from $5.50 to $3.75 in Ballina, where the Nationals are given the edge), but deteriorated slightly in the inner city (from $1.36 to $1.44 in Balmain and $1.11 to $1.14 in Newtown).

New South Wales election minus two days

Michael Daley’s debate stumbles and controversial take on immigration give the Liberals an opening, as campaign reportage gets flooded with the purported findings of party internal polling.

The final week of the New South Wales campaign has been marked by a turn in the media narrative, with a barrage of negative headlines for Michael Daley dispelling an earlier consensus that “momentum” rested with Labor. This morning’s reports mostly relate to stumbles over education policy during the Sky News leaders forum in Penrith last night, which ended with 50 of the assembled “undecided voters” (one of whom turns out to have been an Australian Conservatives election candidate) rating themselves more likely to vote Coalition, compared with 25 for Labor and 25 uncommitted.

However, the main headline spinner over the past few days has been the emergence of video of Daley addressing a forum in the Blue Mountains last September, in which he expressed concern about the impact of Asian immigration on the employment and housing markets. To identify where this is most likely to cause Labor trouble, the table below shows the top ten electorates for Chinese ancestry, as identified in the 2016 census. The only seat here that might be described as a Labor target is Oatley, although it has not much featured in discussion of seats that are likely to fall its way. However, Labor appears to have been thrown on the defensive in Kogarah, held by widely touted leadership prospect Chris Minns, and Strathfield, which Jodi McKay narrowly succeeded in gaining for Labor in 2015.

Chinese ancestry Margin
Kogarah 32.8% Labor 6.9%
Ryde 28.2% Liberal 11.5%
Epping 26.4% Liberal 16.2%
Strathfield 25.8% Labor 1.8%
Heffron 22.6% Labor 14.1%
Auburn 20.6% Labor 5.9%
Willoughby 20.2% Liberal 23.8%
Parramatta 19.3% Liberal 12.9%
Oatley 19.2% Liberal 6.6%
Baulkham Hills 18.3% Liberal 21.8%

Minns took to Chinese social media forum WeChat on Tuesday to distance himself from Daley’s comments, as the Liberals turned the screws by spruiking internal polling with his primary vote at 32.4%, dangerously down on the 45.4% he recorded in 2015. Multiple reports have said the poll showed a 7% swing away from Labor, although there is some confusion as to whether this is from the base of the 2015 election result, in which case the seat would go down to the wire, or if it reflects the immediate effect of the story breaking. The polling is said to have been conducted on Tuesday evening from a sample of 400, with a margin of error of 5%. The Liberals have followed this today by telling the Daily Telegraph that further polling shows it with a primary vote lead of 42.6% to 34.3% in Strathfield.

Not all the party polling chatter over the past 24 hours has been bad for Labor: a Liberal source acknowledged to the Daily Telegraph yesterday that the party still did not expect to win Kogarah; Nine News reported last night that the furore had had no impact in “marginal seats Mr Daley needs to win”; and Seven News reported the Coalition had “grown more worried about the seat of Goulburn following a steady decline in polling numbers”. Andrew Clennell of The Australian today offers that the Liberals could be looking at four losses on top of five for the Nationals, sufficient to cost the government its majority. However, the ship is said to have been steadied in Heathcote, which the Liberals have targeted with intensive campaigning after being spooked by the results of polling conducted last week.

Before the turn in the media mood had fully unfolded, I took part in a podcast with Ben Raue of The Tally Room on Monday, together with social researcher Rebecca Huntley, which you can hear below.

YouGov Galaxy: 50-50 in New South Wales

The Daily Telegraph has a statewide New South Wales poll from YouGov Galaxy that records a dead head on two-party preferred, from primary votes of Coalition 41%, Labor 38% and Greens 9%. The poll also records Shooters Fishers and Farmers on 3% and One Nation on 1%, which I presume accounts for the limited number of seats these parties are fielding candidates in, as was the case with YouGov Galaxy’s late campaign polling in Queensland last year. A preferred premier question has Gladys Berejiklian with a 38-36 lead over Michael Daley, which is rather slender for an incumbent. It also finds 47% saying the government’s stadium plans have made them less likely to vote Coalition, compared with only 16% for more likely. The report says the poll was conducted from a sample of 1016 “before The Daily Telegraph broke the story of Mr Daley’s doublespeak over ­Chinese immigration”, but it’s no more precise than that on the field work period.

Yet again, the is well in line with the existing reading of the state election poll tracker, on which Labor currently leads 50.6-49.4. The trend charts can be viewed over the fold, with the full display featured as part of the election guide.

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YouGov Galaxy: 50-50 in Goulburn; 51-49 to Liberal in Penrith

Two New South Wales state seats held by the Liberals on margins of between 6% and 7% are going down to the wire, according to new polls by YouGov Galaxy.

The Daily Telegraph has two more seat polls from YouGov Galaxy, with sample sizes of around 550, but I only have an image from the front page of the paper to go on at this stage. One is from Goulburn, which is being vacated with the retirement of Pru Goward, and where reports have widely suggested that Labor is in the hunt despite the solid 6.6% margin. The poll bears this out, recording a tie on two-party preferred. The other is from Penrith, which cabinet minister Stuart Ayres holds for the Liberals on a margin of 6.2%. The poll finds him with his nose in front, with a lead of 51-49. More to follow.

UPDATE: The primary votes in Goulburn are Liberal 38%, Labor 37%, Shooters 8%, One Nation 6% and Greens 4%. In Penrith, it’s Liberal 42%, Labor 38%, One Nation 9% and Greens 6%. Sample sizes were 531 in Goulburn and 550 in Penrith. Respondents were resoundingly negative towards the government over sports stadiums, with 56% in Goulburn saying they would be less likely to vote Liberal as a result compared with 13% for more likely, while in Penrith the numbers were 48% and 20% respectively. However, Gladys Berejiklian led Michael Daley as preferred premier by 43-30 in Goulburn and 51-30 in Penrith.

New South Wales election minus one week

Still a tight tussle a week out from the New South Wales election, but reports speak of “momentum” running against the government.

The New South Wales state election is likely to struggled for news space over the next few days, with implications that are not easy to read. Recently noted:

Andrew Clennell of The Australian today reports that “momentum” is “said to be moving away from the Coalition in key marginals”. The remainder of the report largely reiterates conventional wisdom about the state of play, but says the strength of Shooters Fishers and Farmers may be a problem for Labor in its bid to gain Upper Hunter from the Nationals.

• The Sydney Morning Herald reports Balmain, which the Greens have held for two terms, is “strengthening for Labor”, with the Greens’ recent internal warfare making it difficult for them to recruit volunteers.

• The Liberals have been showing a lot of interest all of a sudden in Heathcote, located on the southern fringe of Sydney and held for the Liberals by 7.6%, which has been targeted by robocalling featuring messages from Gladys Berejiklian.

• The Australian had additional results from last weekend’s Newspoll on Wednesday regarding best party to handle various issues, which produced fairly typical of such exercises, although perhaps with narrower margins than is typical. Labor led 44-35 on health, 42-36 on education, 41-30 on environment and 37-34 on energy; the Coalition led 39-33 on law and order, 41-34 on infrastructure, 39-31 on the economy and 37-36 on transport.

Newspoll: 50-50 in New South Wales

With less than a fortnight to go, another poll finds nothing in it in New South Wales.

The Australian has a New South Wales state poll from Newspoll that records a dead heat on two-party preferred, unchanged from the previous poll in late January. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up a point to 40%, Labor is steady on 36% and the Greens are steady on 10%. Gladys Berejiklian’s lead as preferred premier has narrowed from 44-31 to 41-34, and both leaders’ personal ratings are improved: Berejiklian is up three on approval to 44% and down five on disapproval to 38%, while Michael Daley is up four to 37% and down two to 38%. The poll was conducted Friday to Monday from a sample of 1003.

Once again, the poll is entirely consistent with the existing reading of the state election poll tracker, on which Labor still has its nose in front on two-party preferred. The trend charts can be viewed over the fold, with the full display featured as part of the election guide.

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