Tag Archives: NSW election 2015

New South Wales election

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.

NSW election winnable by Labor

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.