Media Release – NSW Premier Mike Baird maintains strong approval as the Coalition set for victory – Fairfax Ipsos poll

The NSW state Coalition is maintaining its lead over the ALP, the latest Fairfax Ipsos NSW state Poll shows. Given the change in electoral law that now allows NSW voters to enroll on the day, the figures for this poll are based on all those who said they are certain to vote at the state election this Saturday.

The poll of 1,223 in NSW, conducted between 19 – 21 March 2015, shows the primary vote for the Coalition at 47% (up 1 since February 2015) and the ALP on 32% (down 2 since February 2015). The Greens continue to lead the minor parties with a 13% share of the vote (up 1 since February 2015) and other parties are on 9%.

“On a two-party stated preference, that is, how respondents said they would allocate preferences, the Coalition leads the ALP by 54% – up 1 since February 2015 – to 46%, down 1 since February 2015,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.

“When preferences were distributed based on overall share of preferences in 2011[1], the Coalition at 58% leads the ALP at 42%.”

Key findings

  • First preferences: Coalition 47% (up 1 point since February 2015), ALP 32% (down 2 points since February 2015)
  • Recognition of Mike Baird is at 71% (up 18 points since February 2015), whereas recognition of Opposition Leader Luke Foley is significantly lower at 46% (up 31 points since February 2015)
  • Mike Baird’s approval is at 60% (unchanged since February 2015), and his disapproval is at 22% (up 4 points since February 2015). This gives a net approval figure of +38 (down 4)
  • Luke Foley’s approval is at 37% (up 7 points since February 2015), and his disapproval is at 32% (up 11 points since February 2015). This gives a net approval figure of +5 (down 4)
  • Mike Baird leads Luke Foley as preferred Premier by 56% (up 2 points since February 2015) to 27% (up 3 points since February 2015)
  • The top three issues for voters in NSW are ‘health and hospitals’ (24%), ‘managing the state’s finances’ (19%) and ‘education’ (16%)
  • 31% support the partial sale of the electricity infrastructure to the private sector (up 8 since February 2015); 62% oppose the partial sale (down 5 since February 2015)
  • Support increases to 48% (up 1 since February 2015), and drops to 47% opposed (up 1 since February 2015), if the funds raised by the partial sale are used for infrastructure.

Recognition of party leaders                                                                                            

Recognition of Mike Baird is at 71% (up 18 since February 2015), whereas recognition of Luke Foley is lower at 46% (up 31 since February 2015).
Recognition of Luke Foley amongst those intending to vote Labor is now at 46% (up 27 since February 2015).

Party leaders                                                                                                                       

Mike Baird’s approval rating is 60% (unchanged since February 2015), and his disapproval is at 22% (up 4 since February 2015). This gives him a high net approval rating of +38 (down 4).
Luke Foley’s approval is at 37% (up 7 since February 2015), and his disapproval is at 32% (up 11 since February 2015). This gives him a net approval rating of +5, which is a decrease of 4 from February 2015.
Mike Baird maintains a strong lead as the preferred Premier for NSW, with 56% (an increase of 2 points since February 2015). Luke Foley has increased by 3 points since February 2015 to 27%. Mike Baird’s lead as preferred Premier has decreased slightly since February 2015, from +30 in February 2015 to +29.

Importance of key issues

When asked which issues are most important in determining how they will vote, the top three issues for voters in NSW are health and hospitals (24%), managing the state’s finances (19%) and education (16%).
Health and hospitals remains the most important issue for voters, with just under a quarter (24%) choosing it as their top issue (down 2 points since November 2014). Managing the state’s finances is now the most important issue to 19% (an increase of 9 points since November 2014), meaning it is now the second most important issue overall.

Issues most important to you personally in deciding who you will vote for NSW
November 2014
NSW
March
2015
Change
Health & hospitals 26% 24% -2
Managing the State’s finances 10% 19% +9
Education 17% 16% -1
Jobs and employment 13% 11% -2
Coal seam gas and mining 8% 8% Unchanged
The environment 6% 6% Unchanged
Public transport 5% 5% Unchanged
Roads 5% 5% Unchanged
Law & order 7% 4% -3
Local council mergers 1% 1% Unchanged

Coalition voters are significantly more likely to consider the managing the state’s finances as the most important issue (32% among Coalition voters, 10% among ALP voters), compared to those supporting other parties. Health and hospitals (20%) is the next most important issue for Coalition voters when deciding how to vote.

ALP voters are significantly more likely than those supporting other parties to consider the health and hospitals as the most important issue (33% among ALP voters, 20% among Coalition voters). Education (18%) is the next most important issue for ALP voters when deciding how to vote.

Women voters are significantly more likely to be concerned about health and hospitals (30% among women, 17% among men) and education (19% among women, 13% among men) than male voters. On the other hand, male voters are more likely to consider managing the state’s finances (16% among women, 22% among men), and jobs and employment (9% among women, 14% among men) as the most important issues.

Voters in regional areas are significantly more likely to be concerned about health and hospitals (22% among Sydney voters, 28% among voters in the rest of NSW) and coal seam gas and mining (6% among Sydney voters, 12% among voters in the rest of NSW).

Sydney voters are significantly more likely to have indicated that education is the most important issue to them (18% among Sydney voters, 13% among voters in the rest of NSW).

Voters over the age of 55 (24%) are significantly more likely to be concerned about managing the state’s finances than those below the age of 40.

Partial sale of electricity infrastructure
Almost a third (31%) support the partial sale of the electricity infrastructure, the ‘poles and wires’, to the private sector; 62% oppose the partial sale. This marks a rise in support from February 2015 when 23% supported the proposal, and 67% were opposed.

Partial sale of ‘power poles and wires’ 22-26 Feb
2014[2]
20-22 Nov
2014
5-7 Feb
2015
19-21 March 2015 Change
Support 19% 29% 23% 31% +8
Oppose 74% 64% 67% 62% -5

Opposition to the partial sale is significantly lower among voters in Sydney (57%) than in the rest of NSW (70%). Voters over the age of 55 (38%) are more likely to support the partial sale than other voters.

The majority of Coalition voters (57%) now support the partial sale, an increase of 20 points since February 2015.

If the funds raised by the partial sale are used for other infrastructure projects in NSW, voters are evenly split, with 48% supporting the proposal and 47% opposed. One in twenty (5%) are undecided.

Poll Profile                                                                                                                                 

Fieldwork dates: 19-21 March 2015
Sample size: 1,223 respondents who are certain to vote
Sample: New South Wales, aged 18+. 15% of sample comprised mobile phone numbers.
Method: Telephone, using random digit dialling.
Statistical reliability: ±2.8% is the maximum margin of sampling error that might apply to this sample
Analysis: The data has been weighted by age, gender and location (metro/non-metro) to reflect the population distribution

For further information contact:

Jessica Elgood
Ipsos Director
0431 656 217

Mark Davis
Ipsos Public Affairs Managing Director
0412 508 188

Rochelle Burbury
Third Avenue Consulting
Rochelle@thirdavenue.com.au
0408 774 577

About Ipsos Australia

Ipsos is the world’s third largest and Australia’s second largest market research company, present in 87 countries. Innovative, entrepreneurial and client-focused, Ipsos is the only global market research firm still controlled and operated by its founders, who are market researchers.

Ipsos launched in Australia in 1999. Headquartered in Sydney and with offices in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, Ipsos Australia has several research specialties including: Advertising; Loyalty; Marketing and Healthcare; Public Affairs and Social Research; Qualitative Research; Operations (survey management and data collection); and MediaCT (Media, Content and Technology)

Ipsos Australia clients cover a wide range of sectors, including health, tourism, education, industry and employment, social welfare and community services, transport, taxation, and electoral services.

Ipsos was founded in 1975 and first listed on the Paris Stock Exchange: July 1, 1999. Its total revenues in 2013 were €1,712 million. The company has more than 15,000 employees and more than 5,000 clients.

For more information see http://ipsos.com.au

 

[1] ‘Overall’ share means that preferences are distributed based on the total share of preferences attained by the major parties in 2011. Differences between minor parties flows are not take into account (e.g. Green preferences tend to favour Labor more than other parties and candidates, so theoretically an increased Green vote should give Labor an increased share of preferences, all other things being equal).

[2] Previously asked in Feb 2014 as ‘Do you support or oppose the sale of NSW electricity infrastructure, that is the ‘power poles and wires’, to the private sector’. The wording now includes the phrase ‘partial sale’.