Today via The Oz comes a NSW State Newspoll showing the primaries running 41(steady) / 32 (up 1) to the Coalition, washing out into a two party preferred of 54/46 the same way – a one point gain to the Labor government since the last Newspoll in June. This comes from a sample of 1266, giving us an MoE that maxes out around the 2.8% mark. The Greens are 14 (steady) while the broad “Others” are down 1 to 13.

While 46 might not look too bad for the ALP, it’s primary vote is still sitting on a lowly 32, which, when combined with optional preferential voting in NSW, would still give the Greens a good chance to take a few seats with their relatively high primary vote. With Labor’s primary vote so low, the two party preferred undercooks the magnitude of their estimated electoral position a bit.

This poll is pretty much more of the same for NSW – a government facing a pounding. The only thing really new about it is how the “uncommitteds” on the satisfaction ratings for both Rees and O’Farrel have tightened, reducing 5 points for the former and 4 points for the latter. They’ve broken, in net terms, 3 to 2 in favour of Rees, and 2 all with O’Farrell.

The usual charts come in like this:

nswprimsaug9 nswtppaug9

nswpremsataug9 nswopsataug9

nswnetsataug9 nswbpaug9

Try as he might, O’Farrell just doesn’t seem to be able to drive the final stake into NSW Labor. While Rees has a net satisfaction coming in at minus 18, O’Farrell is sitting on a net satisfaction of zero. Similarly, the Better Premier question has O’Farrell leading 33/32 with 35 uncommitted.

If Labor can get their primary vote up in the mid-30’s and the NSW public continues to be hesitant about O’Farrell, the election might actually end up being closer than most suspect. Expect to see Labor try and peel off some of that Green vote, particularly in the inner cities. Yet that’s a long time away yet, we could have half a dozen of those special NSW political implosions from both sides between now and the next election.

Whatever happens though, the NSW Coalition leadership needs to start making the people of NSW warm to them a bit more if they want to be confident of turfing out Labor. At the moment they’re close, but haven’t quite got the cigar.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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