PM a vote winner in marginal NSW election seat
EXCLUSIVE: Polling in Sydney's most marginal seat shows PM Scott Morrison is a surprise weapon for Gladys Berejiklian in the NSW election.
An exclusive YouGov Galaxy poll conducted for The Daily Telegraph found Labor has not yet gained the ground it is looking for in the key battleground seat of East Hills, with a swing to the ALP of just 0.4 per cent leaving the parties deadlocked at 50-50.
East Hills voters were worried about migration and population and regard Mr Morrison's impact on their state vote favourably - an apparent nod to his tough stance on border protection.
The result is a minuscule 0.4 per cent swing to Labor that leaves the most marginal Liberal seat in the state on a 50/50 knife edge.
However, the polling reveals a tale of two cities, with voters in Ryde - a seat impacted by massive overdevelopment - saying Mr Morrison is a net negative.
A swing of 8.5 per cent to Labor still leaves the government comfortably in front, 53-47, on two-party preferred basis.
The result in East Hills suggests PM Morrison's relentless campaign on border protection could be helping his NSW counterparts in some parts of Sydney.
The poll canvassed 508 voters in East Hills and 534 voters in Ryde last week.
Primary support for the new Liberal candidate Wendy Lindsay in East Hills is 44 per cent, just ahead of Labor's Cameron Murphy on 42 per cent.
A total of 35 per cent of people said the federal government's performance made them more likely to vote Liberal and 31 per cent said less likely - a net positive score of +4 per cent.
This is despite Premier Berejiklian signalling she wanted a clear separation from federal issues during the election, repeatedly declaring she would "run her own race".
Liberal ministers and MPs have privately voiced fears that chaos at a federal level would impact the state vote. However, the result in East Hills calls this into question.
Primary support for the government in the electorate of Ryde has slumped by more than 10 points since the last election - but still not enough for Labor to win the seat.
With 43 per cent of the primary vote, NSW minister Victor Dominello still leads the Labor candidate and local mayor Jerome Laxale on 36 per cent.
Despite the 8.5 per cent two-party preferred swing, the Liberals will be relieved by this result, with development issues biting in Ryde and prompting government worries the seat could fall.
Mr Morrison's influence has a net negative impact in the lower north shore seat.
In Ryde, 30 per cent of voters were more likely to vote Liberal and 37 per cent less likely on the basis of the federal government's performance - a net negative score of -7 per cent.
In Ryde, the key issue on voters' minds was urban development (27 per cent), followed by infrastructure (20 per cent).
In East Hills, the number one issue for voters was migration and population (33 per cent). This was followed by health (18 per cent) and urban development (15 per cent).
PART OF THE IN-CROWD
By Henry Lynch
They are migrants themselves, but Jai and Aiko Bhatt are aware of the issues that a growing population places on Sydney suburbs such as East Hills.
They have called on the State Government to better manage infrastructure to meet demand.
The couple will soon move from Canterbury into the East Hills electorate with Mr Bhatt having lived in Australia for 13 years.
"(Migration is) good, hopefully we are still open for people who really need help … (but) they need to make more space outside cities. Australia is getting really packed," Mr Bhatt, 35, said.
The couple, both registered nurses, said cramming new developments into the suburbs wasn't the solution to the city's overcrowding issues.
"Yes (growing population is good) if you have the infrastructure, but not if you have to build lots of units," Mr Bhatt said.
"That's the reason people want to live in a house, they don't want dense population around them."
Mr Bhatt said he would speak to his new East Hills neighbours before he decides where to place his vote at the state election. He believes Prime Minister Scott Morrison is delivering well for Australia's economy.
"He's been giving good budgets, but that's the only good thing I can tell. "He still hasn't come up with any good long term suggestions for the city,'' he said. "I don't think he's delivered what he's supposed to.''