A new poll has given Labor a sizeable 56% to 44% two-party preferred lead over the Coalition, two months ahead of the New South Wales state election on March 25.
It's an even bigger margin than the Newspoll conducted last September, which gave Labor a 54-46 lead.
The Coalition won the 2019 NSW election by a 52-48 margin after preferences, so this poll represents an 8% swing to Labor.
The YouGov poll for The Sunday Telegraph was conducted January 14-17 from a sample of just over 1,000 people, and recorded primary votes of 39% Labor, 33% Coalition, 11% Greens and 17% for all others. Poll figures and other NSW election news are from The Poll Bludger.
The public seems to be indifferent to the recent revelation by Liberal Premier Dominic Perrottet that he wore a Nazi costume to his 21st birthday party. About 67% of respondents said the scandal made no difference to their vote, while 20% said they would be less likely to vote Coalition, and 8% more likely.
On other topics, the poll found a majority of voters supported cashless gaming cards (61% in favour, 19% opposed). On the party best to deal with the cost of living, 30% selected Labor, 25% the Liberals, and 26% neither. Cost of living was rated the most important issue by 39%, far ahead of the 17% who rated the economy most important.
This YouGov poll found 46% of NSW voters supported a federal Indigenous Voice to Parliament, while 30% did not.
If these recent polls are accurate, the Coalition is likely to be defeated in March after three terms and 12 years in government. If this happens, Labor would govern federally and in all states and territories except Tasmania.
In other NSW election news, former Labor MP Tania Mihailuk has joined One Nation, and will be the party's second candidate on its upper house ticket. Mark Latham was elected to the NSW upper house for One Nation in 2019 for an eight-year term. However, he has resigned so he can contest this election in an attempt to attract enough voters for One Nation to win a second upper house seat.
NSW Morgan poll: 52-48 to Labor
A Morgan poll, conducted in November from a sample of 1,234 gave Labor a 52-48 lead in NSW, a five-point gain for the Coalition since October. This poll was not released until December 20.
Primary votes were 37% Coalition (up five since October), 35% Labor (down 1.5), 11.5% Greens (up two), 5% One Nation (down 0.5), 1.5% Shooters (up 0.5), 5.5% independents (down three) and 4.5% others (down 2.5).
Morgan began polling NSW in September, and had Labor ahead by 53-47, before a Labor blowout in October to 57-43 and a Coalition recovery in November.
Victorian Narracan supplementary election
Owing to the death of a candidate before the November 26 Victorian state election in the Narracan district in the state's east, the election there was postponed until Saturday January 28.
Labor and the Nationals will not contest, so the Liberals' only significant opponents will be independents and the Greens.
Last year's Freshwater federal poll: 54-46 to Labor
The Poll Bludger reported December 20 that a federal Freshwater poll for The Financial Review, conducted December 16-18 from a sample of 1,209, gave federal Labor a 54-46 lead.
Primary votes were 37% Labor, 37% Coalition, 12% Greens, 4% One Nation and 10% for all others.
Anthony Albanese had an approval rating of 48%, and a 30% disapproval rating. By contrast, Peter Dutton's approval rating was 29%, and his disapproval rating was 38%. Albanese led Dutton as preferred prime minister 55% to 29%.
In this poll, 50% of voters supported the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, compared to 26% who did not.
Also, 56% said they supported the proposed cap on gas prices, while 20% did not. By 60% to 22%, voters would support extracting and using more domestic gas. Asked to choose between a cap on prices and increasing supply, the cap was just ahead, 40% to 39%.
Federal Morgan poll: 59.5-40.5 to Labor
Morgan's first weekly federal poll of the new year gave Labor a 59.5-40.5 lead, a one-point gain for Labor since the mid-December Morgan poll. Morgan's polls have swung strongly to Labor since late November, when Labor only led by 52.5-47.5. The latest poll was conducted January 9-15.
In a Morgan SMS poll that was conducted December 9-12 from a sample of 1,499, the Indigenous Voice to parliament was supported by 53%, to 30% against.
Labor and Greens voters strongly supported the Voice, while Coalition and One Nation voters were strongly opposed. This poll was released December 20.
Republican Kevin McCarthy becomes US House Speaker on 15th ballot
Republicans have a 222-212 majority over Democrats in the United States House of Representatives. To win the speakership, a candidate needs a majority of all votes for candidates, but not necessarily a majority of the House owing to abstentions and "present" votes (which is effectively an abstention).
I covered the January 3-6 Speaker election for The Poll Bludger. It took 15 rounds of voting before Republican Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker, defeating Democrat Hakeem Jeffries by 216-212 with six Republicans voting "present", lowering the threshold for a majority to 215.
This was the first time since 1923 that the speaker election had not been won on the first round. In every round, all 212 Democrats voted for Jeffries, while at one stage 21 Republicans were not voting for McCarthy.
Chris Hipkins replaces Jacinda Ardern as NZ Prime Minister
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced last week that she would resign as the country's leader. She also announced that the next NZ election would be held on October 14 this year.
Chris Hipkins was elected by the Labour parliamentary caucus to replace Ardern on Saturday. He was the only nominee.
Ardern's Labour party narrowly gained power from the conservative National in 2017 thanks to the support of the populist NZ First party. Labour then won a landslide in 2020, owing to the popularity of measures to keep COVID out.
But the combined vote for Labour and the Greens has fallen behind National and the right-wing "ACT" party in the polls.
I wrote for The Poll Bludger on Saturday that Hipkins faces a tough task to win a third term for Labour in October.
Author: Adrian Beaumont - Election Analyst (Psephologist) at The Conversation; and Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne