Thursday, November 10, 2011

A First Impression

The first NSW Newspoll since the election.  It ain't pretty reading for Labor.
Labor primary is at 22%.  Twenty-two percent!

That is 3.5% less than what they polled at the election. Looking at the numbers before the election makes it even more striking.
Shamelessly nicked from Newspoll and The Australian
From the 2007 election the number slowly trended downwards from 39% to 23% shortly before the election.  It may be that the 23% just before the election and the 22% now are both an underestimate, and the true figure is 25% they polled at the election, but either way, the numbers are still subterranean.

The TPP has deteriorated too: down marginally from 36% to 34%.

There are a few things I should say at this point, in fairness.  First of all, the next election is 42 months away.  Whilst the Clarence election is next weekend, the polling numbers are not actually going to "matter" for some time yet.

Further, voting intentions at a time well outside the lead-up to an election are not worth much because people aren't in a place where who they might vote for enters their mind, not to mention that the parties are not in anything resembling campaign mode.

That said, polls do give politicians an idea of how they are tracking.  I firmly believe that any politician who claims that they don't read polls is a liar - polls matter, and for better or worse they motivate a great deal of what our politicians do.

Labor will be disappointed with these numbers.  They have to be.

In saying that, I note what The Poll Bludger has had to say today:
Respectfully, I disagree.  Regular readers (yes! Both of you!) will know that I have had a great deal to say about how Barry O'Farrell has, to be frank, pissed a lot of people off since his election: solar panel owners, public service unions and Green voters.  We've had a minister resign in disgrace, another minister (as yet unnamed, publically at least) accused of a public sex act, and an administration whose gloss (it has seemed to me, at least) has started to wear off.

And yet the Coalition's numbers are BETTER than at the election?

It seems that the voters must still be hanging onto their revulsion at the thought of a Labor government.  It is the only reason I can think of why there has not been a leakage of "Close you eyes and think of England" Coalition voters back to Labor.

Additionally, John Robertson has remained fairly anonymous outside of the BearPit, to the extent that Kristina Keneally, just about the only non-freshman Labor member without a shadow ministry, has a bigger profile than him.

That explains, I think, his incredibly low approval rating.
People don't know him and can't think of something positive he has done, and are therefore unlikely to approve of his performance.

It's early.  And this poll doesn't actually make any difference to anything other than the Clarence by-election, which is already in the bag for the Nationals.  But if you think there are no Labor members concerned about this, you're kidding yourself.

Sean Nichols article in the Herald today took a very different tack.  Besides a brief opening about Robertson's very low approval, the article focussed on the halving of the National's support, and questioned whether the Coal Seam Gas issue is to blame.
On this issue, I think that the Poll Bludger is most likely right.
The Liberals' primary is up 6%, and I fancy that the vast majority of those that have left the Nationals' column have ended up in the Liberals'.  If not, what other explanation is there for the Liberals' numbers going up at the same time as the Nationals' numbers go down? At the very least you would expect the Liberals' numbers to stay steady.

These numbers are unlikely to have any real world implications.  No one will be suggesting that Robertson's time is up - he will be given years (not months) to get Labor into a position where 2015 is winnable.  Even if he doesn't manage that, most people expect that the Coalition will have 8 years (at least) and the expectation may merely be that he gets them close enough to have decent shot (with a more viable candidate) in 2019.

But that doesn't mean they are going to like being where they are at.  Not one bit.

1 comment:

  1. Yet on just about every measure O'Farrell is failing and it's only a matter of time before these growing pile of failures turn around to bite "I will fix it" O'Farrell.

    The blaming of Labor is already wearing thin.

    So I only have one question. When are you going to fix it Barry?