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The Australian today brings a state Newspoll result from New South Wales that suggests big trouble for Dominic Perrotett’s Coalition government, crediting Labor with a two-party lead of 54-46 from primary votes of Coalition 35% (compared with 41.6% at the 2018 election), Labor 40% (33.3%) and the Greens 12% (9.6%). Perrottet nonetheless has reasonable personal ratings of 47% approval and 41% approval, although Labor leader Chris Minns does better in net terms with 42% approval and 27% approval, while Perrottet has a 39-35 edge as preferred premier. The poll was conducted Monday to Thursday from a sample of 1006.

UPDATE: And now the Sydney Morning Herald has come through with a Resolve Strategic result drawn, like the earlier Victorian poll, from the samples for its last two federal polls. The results in this case are quite a bit worse for the Coalition than Newspoll’s, putting Labor ahead 43% to 30% on the primary vote, with the Greens on 10% and Shooters Fishers and Farmers on 2%. By my loose reckoning, this would pan out to a Labor lead of around 60-40 on two-party preferred. Dominic Perrottet and Chris Minns are tied on 28% for preferred premier, leaving fully 44% uncommitted. The polling was conducted “in August and September” from a sample of 1170.

Other recent news from the state relevant to the March 25 election:

• If I correctly understand a complicated situation, Right faction candidates on the Legislative Council ticket will include incumbent Courtney Houssos in top spot, along with the following newcomers: Emily Suvaal, a Cessnock nurse who was in contention for the federal Hunter preselection, in a position described by one report as “unbeatable”; Stephen Lawrence, Dubbo-based barrister and former mayor; Sarah Kaine, an honorary professor at the University of Technology Sydney; Nick McIntosh, deputy national secretary at the Transport Workers Union; and Canterbury-Bankstown mayor Khal Asfour. The Left has endorsed incumbents Rose Jackson, John Graham and Mick Veitch. All of which remains to be confirmed at next month’s state conference. However …

Brad Norington of The Australian reports that Cameron Murphy will defy his defeat in the Left faction by nominating for a position on the ticket at state conference. The results of Left ballot were 81 for Rose Jackson, 74 for John Graham and 73 for Mick Veitch, with Murphy on 64. Murphy and his “soft Left” backers (once identified as the Ferguson Left) are crying foul at the exclusion of 23 CFMEU delegates of the vote, a ruling made by George Simon, assistant state secretary and member of the rival hard Left.

• Labor’s member for Bankstown, Tania Mihailuk, was dumped from the shadow ministry yesterday after using parliamentary privilege on Tuesday to accuse the aforementioned Khal Asfour of “unprincipled actions in furthering the interests of developers and identities, in particular Eddie Obeid”. Max Maddison of The Australian reported yesterday that a letter from ICAC from 2013 referred to circulation of such claims by Mihailuk as “baseless” and “undesireable”. Mihailuk is at the centre of a preselection impasse that looks likely to shunt her to the seat of Fairfield, where local mayor Frank Carbone appears to be preparing an independent run after serving as a prime mover behind Dai Le’s successful campaign in the corresponding federal seat of Fowler, with Fairfield MP Guy Zangari moving to Cabramatta, which is being vacated with the retirement of Nick Lalich, and Jihad Dib moving to Bankstown from his abolished seat of Lakemba. The mooted possibility of an escape hatch for Mihailuk into the Legislative Council has not transpired.

• Following Jonathan O’Dea’s recent retirement announcement, Alexandra Smith of the Sydney Morning Herald reports suggestions Roads Minister Natalie Ward, a moderate-aligned member of the Legislative Council, will nominate to succeed him in his safe Liberal seat of Davidson. Another candidate is Matt Cross, who has worked for Barry O’Farrell and Mike Baird and as an electorate officer to Gladys Berejiklian.

• Alexandra Smith further reports that nominees to succeed retiring Liberal member Gabrielle Upton in blue-ribbon Vaucluse will be “journalist-turned-executive Kellie Sloane, Woollahra mayor Susan Wynne, former NSW Liberal Women’s Council president Mary-Lou Jarvis and businesswoman Roanne McGinley Knox“.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

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