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Monday, 1 June 2009

Anyone could do better - Taverner Poll

Taverner Research ran a Poll on Friday in association with The Sun Herald, to monitor NSW voter sentiment on the two main State Government parties and their leaders.

Pollster Philip Mitchell-Taverner noted that whilst there are still a couple of years to go in Labor running New South Wales, the party is experiencing very negative attitudes from voters. This is despite high hopes pinned by Labor administrators, on the recent appointment of Nathan Rees to replace Maurice Iemma as leader.

The findings from the Taverner Poll suggest strongly that voters are saying any opposition party could do a better job. This most likely infers that voters are in fact “hoping” such improvement would occur, as there is really nothing an opposition can do to prove it.

Voters are saying that the opposition, if in power, would do a better job on virtually anything – health, public transport, roads and even education. Nothing the government touches in New South Wales these days seems to attract any praise.

The poll had really good news for Barry O’Farrell, the opposition leader, with over half of all voters preferring him over Nathan Rees as their Premier. Only one in three prefer Rees. The boost for O’Farrell continues an upward trend in his popularity, though many might apply the “drovers dog” analogy (made famous by Paul Keating in a similar kind of context some 15 years ago).

As noted by Philip Mitchell-Taverner, “Labor in NSW has created a strongly and widely held perception that it is incapable of effectively managing the NSW economy. Voters now are of the strong opinion that an Opposition under O’Farrell is far more capable of providing the leadership they want and would be shoe-in to win. The only thing in Labors’ favour is that it still has two years in office to turn everything around."

Philip Mitchell-Taverner further noted that Rees remains safe at present as ..."despite low ratings for the Nathan Rees, he seems set to stay as leader, with none of the more obvious alternatives having strong support to displace him.”

One possible option available to the government lies in the coming State budget. Voters are crying out for more money to be directed at health – 61% say this is the biggest State Government funding priority at present. This finding comes at a time when the Taverner Poll also shows that almost 8 voters out of ten (78%) would prefer hospitals and health services to be managed by the Federal Government instead. This is a trend that the State Government should seriously address if it is to appeal more to the public in a way that will really resonate with voters.

Philip Mitchell-Taverner further noted that whilst there is a perception that the health system, in particular, might well be better administered federally, a majority of NSW voters are against abolishing State Governments.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/rees-losing-grip-on-power-20090530-br1m.html

posted by Tom Mitchell-Taverner

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