Essential Research has produced Labor’s least bad poll of state voting intention in NSW for some time, based on responses in that state from Essential’s last four weeks of regular polling. The poll has Labor’s primary vote on 27 per cent, compared with 22 per cent and 20 per cent in the most recent Nielsen and Galaxy polls, with the Coalition on 51 per cent and the Greens on 12 per cent. The Coalition’s lead on two-party preferred is 59-41, compared with 66-34 from both Nielsen and Galaxy. The gap between Essential and Nielsen is notable given the very different results they produced on federal voting intention at the start of the week, as half the New South Wales sample from the federal poll also participated in the state poll.

The poll also provides demographic breakdowns: the Coalition leads 61-39 in Sydney and 56-44 in the rest of the state, 58-42 among men and 60-40 among women, and 56-44 among the 18-34 age bracket, 57-43 among 35-54s and 68-32 among those aged over 55. Nielsen had it at 66-34 in Sydney and 67-33 in the rest of NSW, so the disparity is particularly pronounced for “rest of NSW”. By my calculation, Labor’s two-party vote in 2007 was 54.5 per cent in Sydney and 46.8 per cent in the rest of NSW, so the swings recorded for Sydney are 21 per cent in Nielsen and 16 per cent in Essential, while for the rest of NSW it’s 14 per cent from Nielsen and 3 per cent from Essential. So the most likely explanation is that Essential has undercooked the Coalition vote in NSW. Furthermore, Antony Green writes on Twitter: “I can’t see how Essential Research get 59% 2PP out of their poll. Has to be at least 61%.”

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