The Keneally government’s re-election hopes have taken a blow with the latest Nielsen poll, which replicates the seemingly unbelievable 66-34 Coalition lead indicated by the last published opinion poll from Galaxy. Nielsen at least has Labor’s primary vote two points higher than Galaxy, though at a still record-shattering low of 22 per cent, but since it has the Greens two points lower on 13 per cent and the Coalition three points higher on 53 per cent, the two-party total ends up the same. It should be noted however that the primary vote takes on greater importance in elections conducted under optional preferential voting, particularly in light of voters’ progressively increasing tendency to use the “just one vote” option available to them under the system – which you can learn more about courtesy of Antony Green’s post on how minor party preferences behaved at the last election. Plugging the results into Antony Green’s election calculator produces striking seat totals of 73 seats for the Coalition, 14 for Labor and two for the Greens, plus three independents. The poll has Kristina Keneally with an approval rating of 36 per cent and disapproval of 58 per cent, compared with 55 per cent and 33 per cent for Barry O’Farrell, who leads 52-38 as preferred premier.
My seat-by-seat election guide will not posted any time soon, and will probably be unveiled step by step throughout the campaign period. Fortunately we are very well served by the efforts of Antony Green and Ben Raue. Antony has also been having a fair bit to say about the election on recent blog posts.