The New South Wales state election will be held on Saturday. I had a preview of both the lower and upper houses last week.
A Resolve poll for The Sydney Morning Herald, conducted March 14-19 from a sample of 1,000, gave the Coalition 38% of the primary vote (up six since late February), Labor 38% (steady), the Greens 8% (down three), independents 8% (down five) and others 8% (up one).
No explicit two party estimate was given, but the SMH article talks about a 4.5% swing to Labor from the 2019 election, implying a 52.5-47.5 lead for Labor; this would be a 3.5% gain for the Coalition since the late February Resolve poll.
As I have predicted previously, the use of actual ballot papers in this poll sharply reduced independent support. Not every seat has strong independent candidates.
In late February, Resolve was a pro-Labor outlier, with Newspoll, Freshwater and Morgan NSW polls giving Labor between 52 and 53% two party. Since Labor won the May 2022 federal election, Resolve has usually had better results for state and federal Labor than other polls.
As my preview article suggested, Labor would probably not win a lower house majority if this poll were replicated on election day, and a hung parliament would be a strong chance.
Incumbent Liberal Dominic Perrottet led Labor leader Chris Minns by 40-34 as preferred premier (38-34 in late February). Perrottet’s net good rating improved 15 points to +20, with 52% rating his performance good and 32% poor. Minns’ net good rating also improved seven points to +20.
AUKUS and defence federal Resolve questions
A federal Resolve poll for Nine newspapers was conducted March 12-16 from a sample of 1,600. So far only questions on AUKUS and defence have been released.
By 50-16, voters supported the specific AUKUS deal to buy nuclear submarines. On generic support for nuclear submarines, 25% said they actively supported them (up three since November 2021), 39% said they didn’t have strong feelings, but nuclear submarines were acceptable (up five), and 17% were opposed (down three).
On defence spending, 39% said we should spend more than our current 2% of GDP on defence, 31% the same amount and 9% less or nothing. By 65-8, respondents thought Taiwan was an independent state over being part of China.
On threats to Australia, 52% thought Russia and/or China are a threat, but one that can be managed with careful relationships over time (up three since January), 28% that they are a major threat that will need to be confronted soon (down three) and 6% they are not a threat at all (down one).
Additional Newspoll question: Voice support drops
In the last federal Newspoll that I covered two weeks ago, an additional question, reported by The Poll Bludger, had 53% supporting the Indigenous Voice to parliament (down three since the early February Newspoll) and 38% opposed (up one).
Early March Essential poll
In the federal Essential poll, conducted before March 7 from a sample of 1,141, voters were asked to rate Albanese and Dutton from 0 to 10. Ratings of 0-3 were counted as poor, 4-6 as neutral and 7-10 as positive. Albanese had a 40-27 positive rating (47-22 in February), while Dutton was at 33-26 negative (35-26 previously).
By 50-19, voters supported the super changes that would limit tax concessions for those with over $3 million in super. By 42-22, voters supported cancelling the stage three tax cuts when told they disproportionately benefit those earning incomes over $180,000.
By 70-23, voters did not think it likely they would have over $3 million in super when they retired. By 51-49, voters said they were financially struggling rather than secure (53-47 in February). By 51-49, they thought they would be struggling when they retire.
WA poll: McGowan’s ratings slump but are still high
The Poll Bludger reported on March 14 that a Painted Dog Western Australian poll of 1,052 respondents gave Labor Premier Mark McGowan a 63% approval rating (down seven since October), and a 24% disapproval (up six). New Liberal leader Libby Mettam had a 24% approval rating, 18% disapproval.
NT Labor easily holds Arafura at byelection
A byelection in the Northern Territory occurred on Saturday in the NT seat of Arafura owing to the death of the previous Labor member. Labor defeated the Country Liberal Party (CLP) by an emphatic 68.9-31.1 (53.6-46.4 at the 2020 NT election). Primary votes were 66.3% Labor, 29.6% CLP and 4.1% Federation Party.
Arafura has a large Indigenous population, and has been held by Labor since its creation in 1983, except for one term in 2012, when the CLP gained it. Labor is the incumbent NT government, and this is a great result for a government in a government-held seat at a byelection.