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NSW Newspoll – Cruising Coalition Edition

Today via The Oz comes the latest bimonthly NSW Newspoll which has the primaries running 31 (down 2) /41 (up 1) to the Coalition, washing out into a two party preferred of 55/45 the same way – a two point increase to the Coalition since April. This comes from a sample of 1281 for an MoE that maxes out arounf the 3% mark.

As has been a regular occurance with NSW State polling lately, with Labor having a primary vote at such a low level and optional preferential voting operating in NSW, the two party preferred measure is undercooked as a proper representation of how strong the Coalition lead is. Since elections generally produce a swing to a party of an average of X percent with a standard deviation of Y, swings in individual seats will vary in a fairly large way – as they nearly always do. As a consequence, if the result of this Newspoll was repeated at an election, the ALP would most likely lose more seats than the two party preferred result suggests – simply because their primary vote is so low across the state, they would be reliant on preferences flowing to them at a magnitude that an Optional Preferential system probably wouldn’t provide for.

The only cause for concern for the Coalition is the lack of a personal following for O’Farrell, with the Better Premier stakes continuing to come in at roughly the same levels for both the Opposition leader, the Premier and the Undecideds. So saying, a lack of a personal following has never really stopped anyone from becoming Premier or Prime Minister when their party vote is high.

The usual charts come in like this (click to expand):

nswprimsj23 nswtppj23

nswpremsatsj23 nswopsatsj23

nswbpj23 nswnetsatsj23

UPDATE:

Worth mentioning is the relatively recent explosion in the Greens vote in NSW, while the broad “Others” has remained fairly static. The Greens effectively doubled their vote between the beginning of the election campaign in 2007 and the beginning of 2008 – and have pretty much remained at this new level ever since.

minorpartynswj23

UPDATE 2:

Antony Green has produced a really interesting long view perspective on levels of political support in NSW in terms of this Newspoll, going back to the early 20th century that’s well worth a read.

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  • 1
    Evan Beaver
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Wow, I knew that everyone hated Labor in NSW, but I didn’t realise it was that bad! I haven’t seen this report before Poss. Thanks. I did also think that O’Farrell’s unknown-ness would count against them, but like you said, the party can still win. I suspect a lot of people are voting against Labor also, rather than for the Liberals. Do they poll Green/Other votes there as well? Could be interesting.

    Lastly, some feedback, which might be impossible. I’d love it if the graphs could blow up in some sort of flash pop out, so I could compare them side by side while big, or move them around to read the text and think about it. Just a thought, I’ve got no idea how difficult this sort of thing is to do.

  • 2
    David Charles
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    The ALP must hope that its polling doesn’t get any worse (like their primary vote dipping below 30). The party desperately needs a strategy to contain the losses in the Legislative Assembly which it will inevitably suffer in March 2011. If it can put a ‘floor’ under its diminishing primary vote, and come out of the election with (say) no less than 30 Assembly seats, then the party gives itself some chance (albeit a long shot) of restricting non-Labor to being a one term government. Part of the strategy has to be to replace Rees (a 49% dissatisfaction rating is terminal) some time before the election, because I think he will continue to drag down the ALP’s primary vote while he is the leader.

  • 3
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    For those reading comments via RSS, the post has been updated with Greens and Others charts, as well as a link to Antony Greens latest piece where he takes a long view of NSW political support in the context of this Newspoll result.

    Evan – I’m actually working on something like that with the charts, but it wont be ready for a little bit yet.

    David, I’m wondering if the ALP polling can actually get any worse? Surely they must be approaching their rusted on levels of support.

  • 4
    philofsydney
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I still think that this will be a close election. The LibNats have to pick up 11 seats to win a majority, which, on a even swing is 8% required, with it going quickly to 10% if they miss a couple.

    With the relatively high number of indi’s in NSW and the disproportionate weighting of the Liberal vote, a hung parliament would not surprise me, even if the Libs get a 53 2PP.

    And David, I really don’t think that replacing Rees is a good move. I don’t think that his personal figures would improve for anyone else. As a close NSW watcher, I think that Rees is doing a good job and that his numbers is a reflection of antipathy towards the Labor Party in NSW. I think he’s growing into the job though and to replace him would only destablise the party – especially if with Sartor (who does not have more than a handful of votes in caucus). I think that Rees will lead Labor to the next election.

  • 5
    David Charles
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    # 3 Yes, Scott you are probably correct but I observe that the ALP primary did dip below 30 in the later part of 2008. It must be a concern if some of its base is going to the Greens and it may not return (at least in 2011) with OPV.

    # 4 Well Phil it is fair enough to be cautious about replacing Rees. I agree Sartor is not an alternative but what about someone else like the Roads Minister?

  • 6
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    It’s always true that the Liberals could falter, but 11 seats really aren’t that many at the moment. I would expect the swing to be much bigger in those marginal seats.

  • 7
    philofsydney
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    6 – 11 is quite a bit when seat 11 is an 8% swing away. Simply put, the Libs won’t win majority Government with a simple 51-49 or 52-48 2PP, so they’ll need a BIG swing to win majority, which on the latest polls looks likely, but I expect to tighten in the next 20 odd months.

  • 8
    Geoff Robinson
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Ian Hancock in his excellent history of the NSW Liberal organisation notes that after 1988 the Libs were disappointed in private they hadn’t won some of the upper range Sydney marginals like Ashfield, Kogarah etc., the real test for Labor now is whether they can hold onto these seats next year.

  • 9
    Gary Bruce
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    When a government goes bad there’s nothing that can be done to rectify it. The Libs will get in and nothing will change. Give them a term or two to get chucked out. That’s how it works.

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