NSW Election Newsletter – Issue 4

23 March 2015

The NSW election is now only days away.  Premier Mike Baird started the week with positive headlines claiming the Coalition is set for re-election, however with a substantially reduced majority.  A Fairfax/Ipsos poll published today has the Coalition leading Labor 54:46 in the two-party-preferred vote, a result that would see the Coalition win 51 seats compared to Labor’s 38.  However Labor remains hopeful of winning a number of seats with margins larger than the state-wide 10 per cent swing suggested by this poll.  With a significant number of marginal seats up for grabs, the announcement of a Labor/Greens preference deal across 23 key seats last week, including in Strathfield and Ballina, could prove important.  The deal is expected to lift Labor’s vote by as much as 4 per cent in seats where The Greens poll well.

Premier Mike Baird officially launched the Liberal campaign on Sunday in Sydney, welcoming Prime Minister Tony Abbott and former PM John Howard to a function with the party faithful.  Mr Baird promised to create 150,000 new jobs and stressed the Coalition’s track record in government over the past four years.  Meanwhile, seeking to capitalise on the Prime Minister’s unpopularity, Labor Leader Luke Foley was joined by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to tell a party gathering that ‘if Mr Baird goes next Saturday, Mr Abbott goes on the Monday’.

The Opposition Leader continues to make hay over a UBS research report that questioned the effect of the Coalition’s partial privatisation plan on the state’s budget over the long term.  The 14 page note, originally titled ‘Bad for the budget, good for the state’, was later reissued with the new title ‘Good for the state’.  Labor, The Greens and the Shooters and Fishers will now combine to force an upper house inquiry into the matter in the next parliament.  For its part, the Coalition has continued to point to the various senior former Labor figures who support the privatisation plan.

Meanwhile the NSW Electoral Commission’s iVote service – for the online casting of pre-poll votes – has succumbed to criticism following reports that two parties did not appear on the upper house ballot paper for a time and that computer science academics had successfully breached the system highlighting its vulnerability to tampering.  The service has seen more than 60,000 cast their ballot already despite these problems.

GRACosway will bring you a summary of the final week of the campaign this Friday.

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