NSW election 2019: Key Berejiklian government seats on knife’s edge
NSW election 2019: Key Berejiklian government seats on knife’s edge

Major slump in key government seats: Poll

SUPPORT has slumped in key seats and there are damaging swings away from the Berejiklian government that could mean it faces defeat on Saturday, new polling shows.

A YouGov Galaxy poll has found the seats of Goulburn and Penrith are on a knife's edge and could easily be lost with swings of 6.6 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively.

The same polls shows voters in both seats will punish the government for the decision to spend $2.2 billion on sports stadiums.

This is the third set of seat polling conducted by The Daily Telegraph this election campaign, and every seat surveyed - Ryde, East Hills, Lismore, Barwon and now Penrith and Goulburn - have consistently recorded swings away from the government.

Stuart Ayres Member for Penrith and his partner federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne arrive at the Liberal Party campaign launch in Penrith last week. Picture: David Swift
Stuart Ayres Member for Penrith and his partner federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne arrive at the Liberal Party campaign launch in Penrith last week. Picture: David Swift


The polling has predicted every seat either to be lost or too close for comfort.

Taken together, it points to Ms Berejiklian facing a tough fight this week to hold on to majority government and could even see her lose power altogether if the larger swings are repeated across the state.

The seat of Goulburn has been held by retiring minister Pru Goward for the Liberals since 2007, but results revealed on Monday have it locked 50-50 on the two-party preferred vote with Labor.

Sitting Penrith MP Liberal Minister Stuart Ayres is narrowly ahead after both sides targeted the vital seat.

But a slump in support has tightened the contest to just 51-49 - a precarious result that is too close for comfort and a swing of 5.2 per cent.

In both seats, voters are less likely to vote for the Liberal government due to stadiums.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres at the new Western Sydney Stadium in Parramatta last week. Picture: Damian Shaw
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres at the new Western Sydney Stadium in Parramatta last week. Picture: Damian Shaw

In Goulburn - which is representative of the regional sentiment over stadiums - 13 per cent of voters say the commitment makes them more likely to vote Liberal, but 56 per cent say they are less likely to vote Liberal.

In Penrith, 20 per cent say stadium spending makes them more likely to vote Liberal but 48 per cent a less likely.

But voters in both seats see Ms Berejiklian as the better Premier than her challenger Labor's Michael Daley.

In Goulburn, she leads Mr Daley 43-30, and in Penrith 51-30.

The result in both seats will be influenced by preferences.

ANNA CALDWELL COMMENT

NSW state election poll results for Goulburn and Penrith.
NSW state election poll results for Goulburn and Penrith.

In Goulburn, new Liberal candidate Wendy Tuckerman leads Labor's Ursula Stephens by just one point on the primary vote - 38 to 37 per cent.

One in four voters are choosing minor parties, with the Shooters Fishers and Farmers taking 8 per cent of the primary vote, Pauline Hanson's One Nation 6 per cent and the Greens 4 per cent.

In Penrith, primary support for Mr Ayres is 42 per cent - just 3 per cent below the vote achieved in 2015. Support for former local Mayor Karen McKeown for Labor is 38 per cent - an increase of more than five percentage points.

One in five voters are looking to minor parties, with Pauline Hanson's One Nation leading the pack with nine per cent, followed closely by The Greens on six per cent.

Voters in both electorates nominated the economy and jobs as their most important issue at the election, followed by health and education.

The poll is based on a sample of 531 voters in Goulburn and 550 voters in Penrith.

The dire warning for the government comes as The Daily Telegraph can reveal the state's major sporting codes have tried to rally their massive membership base to support the stadiums in a last minute election intervention.

In an email to supporters - which is believed to have reached up to 100,000 people - The NRL, Rugby Australia, and Football Federation Australia along with the Sydney Roosters, NSW Waratahs and Sydney FC have urged fans to show their support for the policy at the ballot box.

The email, which landed in inboxes over the weekend, is the first time the codes have banded together to make their case for the $2.2 billion spend.

"As sporting fans know, it (Allianz) is a vastly inferior facility compared to those in any other major Australian city," the letter says.

"We believe NSW should have world-class facilities."

 

You'd better believe it … They Said It
You'd better believe it … They Said It

Traffic is a vote killer

By Campbell Gellie

Heavy congestion and billions of dollars being spent on stadiums is driving Penrith voters away from Liberal MP Stuart Ayres.

Mother of two Barb Howard said congestion in Penrith was "absurd" with it taking almost an hour to travel seven kilometres during peak hour.

Barb Howard with kids Jack, 15, and Tess, 11, is concerned about the cost of living and money being spent on rebuilding sports stadiums. Picture: Toby Zerna
Barb Howard with kids Jack, 15, and Tess, 11, is concerned about the cost of living and money being spent on rebuilding sports stadiums. Picture: Toby Zerna

Mr Ayres has held the seat since 2010 but is staring down the barrel of losing it to Labor with polling revealing he is just ahead 51-49 on the two-party preferred vote.

"I see stadiums go up like this and I think 'what a crock'," Mrs Howard said.

"We have more than 60 per cent of the population out here travelling east for work. This means we are slogged with $2000 a year in just tolls and the M4 is still not complete.

"I think (Mr Ayres) will be punished for this, at the end of the day people have had enough."

Mrs Howard said she would usually vote for Labor but was now looking to minor parties.

Hard sell in the bush

Goulburn livestock Charlie Crocker thinks the billions of dollars being pumped into the Sydney stadium upgrades was a waste of money.

Charlie Crocker, 29, with daughter Marley, 10, and son Digby, 1, in Goulburn. Picture: Sean Davey
Charlie Crocker, 29, with daughter Marley, 10, and son Digby, 1, in Goulburn. Picture: Sean Davey

He said the Coalition would be hard pressed convincing country voters their needs were being prioritised with the Berejiklian government's stadium policy sucking most of the oxygen out of the election campaign. "I think there's a few things a little more pressing. Drought-affected farmers could really benefit from that amount of money," the father of two told The Daily Telegraph.

 

But Mr Crocker said he saw first-hand that the Coalition tended to be more committed to supporting the agricultural sector. He said retiring MP Pru Goward had been a strong local member and that her departure would affect the local vote.

Howard appears in gun control ad for Liberals

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley's preference deal with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers will be the focus of government attack advertisements in the final days of the state election campaign.

John Howard features in an anti-Labor attack ad over gun control. Picture: Supplied
John Howard features in an anti-Labor attack ad over gun control. Picture: Supplied

Last night, advertisements went on social media featuring former Prime Minister John Howard warning a vote for Labor is a vote for weakened gun laws.

The advertisements were due to run on Saturday night but were cancelled in the wake of the Christchurch massacre with the Liberal Party not wanting to appear to be politicising the issue, but they decided to push ahead with it on Monday.

"It's very clear that Michael Daley and Labor have done a preference deal with Robert Borsak's Shooters Party. If Labor were to win, the Shooters would put enormous pressure on them to water down (gun laws) and that would be at a great cost to community safety," Mr Howard says in the ad.