Keen-eyed observers will have noted that a state election poll tracker appeared in the sidebar yesterday. It has since been updated with the results of Morgan’s latest SMS poll, on which more below. The chief innovation is separate two-party and seat projections based on both previous election and respondent-allocated preferences, the Queensland experience having cast serious doubt over the utility of the former method under optional preferential voting when a big swing is on. Respondent-allocated data is available in two polls from Ipsos and one from ReachTEL, and my method is to crudely split the difference between the two (or rather an average of the two, in the case of Ipsos). However, it had hitherto escaped by notice that ReachTEL provided detailed results from its preference breakdown, and now that I know this I’ll use it to sharpen things up a little when the next poll comes out.

Notable news nuggets:

• The aforementioned Roy Morgan poll was conducted from Friday to Sunday by SMS from a sample of 1287 respondents, and it has the Coalition well clear of Labor with 46.5% of the primary vote to 33.5%, and the Greens on 11.5%. The published two-party result is 55.5-44.5 in favour of the Coalition. However, the size of the lead hasn’t made much difference to the poll tracker, as this series has been reasonably consistent in landing above trend for the Coalition, and has been bias-adjusted accordingly.

• Labor has reached a deal with the Greens in which the latter will recommend their voters preference Labor in 23 seats, including most of the ones that matter. Furthermore, it would seem the party is further set to direct preferences to Labor in many seats not directly subject to the deal. It would appear that this is more consequential than it would be under compulsory preferential voting, with Kevin Bonham calculating a 1.7% gain to Labor for every 10% of the vote recorded by the Greens, based on an Antony Green study of results from the 2007 election. The Daily Telegraph has made the deal the subject of one of its trademark front page hatchet jobs in today’s edition of the paper.

Kirsty Needham of the Sun-Herald reports focus group research from market research firm Visibility, which specifically targeted voters in western Sydney who changed their vote to Liberal in 2011, has found the government isn’t having much luck in its endeavour to link electricity privatisation to the roads and transport measures that will be funded from its proceeds. By contrast, “the participants showed a spontaneous recall of ‘facts’ from Labor and union attack ads”. Labor’s claim that privatisation will lead to higher prices is widely accepted by voters, as reflected by Luke Foley’s invocation of the voting public as the “ultimate independent experts” in countering the argument that prices are to be set in any case by an independent regulator. On the other hand, the research confirmed the popularity of Mike Baird, found “little mood among voters for change”, and reported a perception that the government had not been beset by scandal, despite the best efforts of ICAC.

Andrew Clennell of the Daily Telegraph reports that “privately, Labor people virtually admit they are done in terms of winning but that their real aim is to win as many seats as possible to get the party back in contention for 2019”. Clennell further quotes a Labor source saying the party has a corruption attack ad “ready to go” should the Liberals strike first with one invoking the spectre of Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald, but so far it’s been a case of “mutually assured destruction”. On the Liberal side, there have reportedly “been calls for some Obeid advertising to be run and frustration that this has not occurred”.

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