This article was updated March 26.
With 36% of enrolled voters counted in today’s New South Wales state election, the Poll Bludger’s results currently have Labor leading in 53 of the 93 seats, the Coalition in 27, the Greens in three and independents in ten. Called seats are 43 Labor, 20 Coalition, two Greens and six independents.
If all current leads hold, Labor would have a 13-seat majority. They would need to lose seven seats they currently lead in to fall short of a majority.
The ABC’s two party estimate has Labor leading by 55.1-44.9, a 7.1% swing to Labor since the 2019 NSW election. If this holds, Labor would do better than in all pre-election polls. Newspoll’s 54.5-45.5 to Labor margin came closest, but it is likely there was late movement to Labor that the polls missed by not polling in the final days before the election.
Victory in NSW gives Labor control of all the mainland state and territory governments and the federal government. The only Australian jurisdiction remaining in Coalition control is Tasmania. The next state election is the October 2024 Queensland election.
Since Labor won the May 2022 federal election, they have performed impressively at both the Victorian and NSW state elections, defying expectations that the party in power federally should do badly in state elections. Federal Labor has consistently been polling honeymoon support levels since the election.
Perrottet had made a stand on reforming gambling, but voters were tired of the Coalition after three four-year terms of Coalition government. Cost of living was easily voters’ top concern, and Labor led by 35-29 on this issue in the last NSW Resolve poll.
I will have more analysis of the NSW results and the upper house tomorrow morning.
With 50.2% of enrolled voters counted, the Poll Bludger results continue to show Labor leading in 51 of the 93 seats, the Coalition in 30, the Greens in three and independents in nine. Called seats are 44 for Labor, 25 Coalition, two Greens and seven independents.
Newcastle can be added to called seats for Labor, as Labor is way ahead on primary votes and it doesn’t matter which of the Greens or Liberals is second.
So 14 seats remain in some doubt, and Labor needs two of the doubtful seats to win a majority. They would have to lose five seats they currently are projected to lead in to miss a majority.
The Poll Bludger’s results are using booth matched projections, where overall swings so far are applied to the outstanding votes. Unless there is a systematic bias against Labor in the remaining votes to be counted, Labor will win a majority.
Counting will not resume until Monday. There are many pre-poll votes still outstanding. Until we see these votes, it’s not certain that Labor has won a majority.
The ABC currently estimates a Labor two party margin of 54.3-45.7, a 6.3% swing to Labor since the 2019 election. Primary votes are 37.1% Labor (up 3.8%), 34.8% Coalition (down 6.8%), 10.1% Greens (up 0.6%), 1.8% One Nation (up 0.7%), 1.5% Shooters (down 2.0%) and 14.7% for all Others (up 3.7%). The Others category includes 8.8% for independents (up 4.0%).
Left a good chance to take control of upper house
In the upper house, 21 of the 42 seats were up for election by statewide proportional representation with preferences, and a quota was 1/22 of the vote or 4.5%.
With 33.2% of enrolled counted in the upper house, Labor has 8.15 quotas, the Coalition 6.43, the Greens 2.21, One Nation 1.23, Legalise Cannabis 0.87, the Liberal Democrats 0.73, the Shooters 0.67, Animal Justice 0.47 and Elizabeth Farrelly 0.27.
Current totals do not include below the line (BTL) votes, which will not start to be data entered until next week. The major parties do poorly on BTL votes and the Greens and minor parties well. BTL votes are included in the 5.6% for Other, but some of the Other votes will be informal.
On the current count, Labor would win eight of the 21 seats, the Coalition six, the Greens two, and one each for One Nation, Legalise Cannabis, the Liberal Democrats and the Shooters. The final seat would be a contest between Animal Justice and the Coalition.
While the BTL issue will hurt the Coalition, they will be assisted if the current results are skewed against them. This seat will decide whether left-wing parties (Labor, the Greens, Legalise Cannabis and Animal Justice) win the 21 seats up at this election by 11-10 or 12-9.
I said in my preview article last week that the left needed a 12-9 win to secure an overall upper house majority.
Labor has 39.3% of the vote in the upper house but just 37.1% in the lower house. I would normally expect Labor’s upper house vote to be weaker, but this may be explained by normal Labor voters tactically voting for independents in the lower house.
Federal Aston byelection and Resolve Voice poll
The federal byelection for the Victorian Liberal-held seat of Aston is next Saturday April 1. With Labor’s lead increasing in recent federal polls, they remain some chance to overturn the current 2.8% Liberal margin, but the Liberals are likely to hold.
In additional questions from the federal Resolve poll for Nine newspapers, support for an Indigenous Voice to parliament slid to 57-43 in a forced choice from 58-42 in February. There was no shift in initial preferences, with 46% in favour, 32% opposed and 22% undecided.
Comparing state results for February and March with those for December and January (two months of data mean larger samples), Voice support fell from 56-44 to 52-48 in Queensland, and from 61-39 to 52-48 in Western Australia. To pass a constitutional referendum, four of the six states must vote in favour as well as an overall majority.
This poll was conducted March 12-16, so it was taken before Anthony Albanese announced the question wording on Thursday.