The Morgan Poll has Mike Baird’s LNP a clear leader at 57.5-42.5 over the ALP, so an even race would be unexpected. If the win turns out to be 51-49 or even 52-48 questions will be asked about the influence of Abbott’s leadership travails, but that looks extremely unlikely.
Of interest will be whether the Greens can get themselves into second place in one or two of the northern seats and win on preferences.
Antony Green points out that there is a second election taking place, one that is crucial if the LNP is to proceed with it plan to privatise half the electricity distribution system. NSW of course has an upper house, the Legislative Council, where the LNP has only 19 of the 42 members. The ALP has 14 and the Greens 5, leaving the balance of power with the Christian Democrats (2) and the Shooters and Fishers(2).
After the LNP elects one member as president it has only 18 votes, hence has needed both minor parties to get the required 21 votes to pass legislation. An important sticking point is that Shooters and Fishers Party opposes the privatisation of electricity.
A term in the Legislative Council is eight years, so half the members face election each time. This time the LNP has 11 continuing members and 8 facing election. It needs to elect 9 to have the numbers to pass its privatisation legislation with the help of the Christian Democrats. Green reckons the LNP needs about 39% of the first preference vote to get 9 members elected. Morgan has them on 49% of the primary vote, so with the quota 4.55% it should be a cake walk. On that basis they could get 11, as they did last time. If so they’ll be home free without needing anyone else’s vote.
With 9 members elected the LNP would be in a situation where it could pass any legislation with the assistance of just one of the minor parties, assuming that both the Christian Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers elect one member each to add to their continuing single members. These minor parties typically need just 2 to 2.5% of first preference votes to achieve a quota of 4.55%. In 2011 Pauline Hanson failed on 2.5% because she attracted very few preferences.
Oddly other polls seem to favour the ALP less than Morgan. Essential has the LNP ahead only 53-47. Newspoll is on 55-45.
Altogether, though, it looks like a good news day for the LNP.
Elsewhere, Peter John Chen has a more comprehensive review of the election and the issues involved.