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):
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.
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.