The LNP appear to be cruising in NSW with opinion polls giving them 53 to 54% of the two-party preferred (TPP) vote. Yet Antony Green says they are vulnerable in the forthcoming election, just over two weeks away on 28 March.
One reason is the pattern of preference flows may emulate the recent Queensland experience. NSW and Qld use the same optional preferential voting system.
…the recent Queensland election saw a 20% decline in exhausted preferences and a similar size increase in preference flows to Labor. This factor alone was enough to add another 3% to Labor’s state wide 2-party preferred vote compared to polls. If the Queensland experience is repeated in NSW, then the published polls are over-stating the Coalition’s 2-party preferred vote.
Green gives a couple of other complicated technical reasons why the Baird Government may get a fright.
Also, as in 1991 when Greiner was forced into a minority government against the odds, Baird’s policies may play well to the Liberal heartland, but not so well in the marginal seats. Apparently the Liberals are promising to sell electricity assets, which may not go down well in the marginals.
Meanwhile Labor has announced a saleable array of policies with a focus on education, health, privatisation and coal seam gas.
- Electricity supply would be kept in public hands. A Labor government would use the profits from the electricity network to improve services and invest in hospitals and schools.
- Every new school will include child care or before- and after-school care facilities on site.
- There will be funding for 200 specialist maths and science teachers in primary schools.
- On the health front, the major promise is to abolish the co-payment for chemotherapy drugs.
- There will be a moratorium on coal seam gas activity in NSW, with a permanent ban on the north coast and the special areas of the Sydney drinking water catchment.
Furthermore on health:
Mr Foley also promised an additional $1.7 billion for health infrastructure.
Mr Foley said Labor would introduce nurse-led walk-in medical centres to take pressure of emergency departments.
They would also build a new public hospital at Maitland and complete major redevelopments at St George and Westmead hospitals, he said.
On corruption, apparently the answer is Jodi Mckay who came through the ICAC hearings with her reputation intact and has become the party’s “pin-up girl”.
“People ask has NSW Labor learned, has NSW Labor changed,” Mr Foley said.
“I say four words: look at Jodi McKay.
“That is the face of the Labor Party I lead – bright and brave and honest.”
According to Wikipedia there are 93 seats in the Legislative Assembly, so 47 is the magic number. According to Antony Green’s election pendulum, 69 seats are LNP, 20 Labor, two Greens and two Liberal voting independents. The TPP vote in 2011 favoured the LNP 64-36 approximately, a bigger thumping for Labor than Qld in 2012.
So Labor could do it, just, but anything other than a comfortable LNP win will generate tremors in Canberra.