The first Newspoll since the NSW election says what you would expect it to say: the Coalition is riding high on 51 per cent of the vote, precisely what it achieved at the March election, with Labor on 22 per cent compared with 25.6 per cent at the election, and the Greens on 14 per cent compared with 10.3 per cent. Barry O’Farrell’s debut net approval score as Premier is plus 29 (53 per cent satisfied, 24 per cent dissatisfied), which was exactly what Bob Carr achieved in his first poll as Premier in 1995. John Robertson’s figures are similar to those recorded by Daniel Andrews in his debut poll in Victoria in July/August (which as you can see above are little changed in today’s result): 27 per cent satisfied and 32 per cent dissatisfied. O’Farrell’s lead as preferred premier is 57 per cent to 13 per cent. His government faces a real world electoral test next weekend with the Clarence by-election, on which I will have more shortly. Antony Green is as always well on top of things.
UPDATE: I tend not to pay attention to the Liberal and Nationals figures, as many voters aren’t aware which party will or won’t be fielding candidates in their electorates. However, Sean Nicholls of the Sydney Morning Herald may well be correct in relating the Nationals’ weak showing to the coal seam gas issue. The party’s rating is at 6 per cent, which compares with 12.5 per cent at the election and – a better point of comparison – 9 per cent in the final pre-election Newspoll.