Labor in lead six months from NSW election

·3-min read

NSW Labor has taken the lead ahead of an upcoming election, but a turbulent week and a long road ahead will dampen any celebration.

The NSW election is still six months away but if it were held on Saturday, Labor would be swept to power for the first time since 2011, according to the latest Newspoll and Resolve surveys.

Newspoll, published in The Australian, had Labor and the Coalition neck-and-neck on a two-party preferred basis across three consecutive polls since March 2018.

The latest results on Saturday show Labor taking a four-point lead.

A Resolve Strategic poll published in the Sydney Morning Herald showed Labor securing 43 per cent of the primary vote, compared to 30 per cent for the Coalition.

While it's good news for the party, it's less so for leader Chris Minns, whose support as preferred premier dropped from 32 per cent in February.

Premier Dominic Perrottet lost one point and the pair are locked at 28 per cent, with 44 per cent undecided.

Resolve's first-preference results from Sunday showed a marked change from February's poll, when the Liberals and Nationals led 37 per cent to 34.

Multiple reviews into former deputy premier John Barilaro's appointment to an overseas trade role in that time have placed the blame on a since-fired department secretary, clearing former deputy Liberal leader and senior minister Stuart Ayres.

Whether those actions shake the perception of "jobs for the boys" in an ageing government before the March election remains to be seen.

Treasurer Matt Kean, who replaced Mr Ayres as deputy Liberal leader, was not concerned with the latest polls.

"There's only one poll that matters and that's the poll that will be taken in March next year," he said on Saturday.

Mr Minns doesn't want anyone in his party getting ahead of themselves following the positive poll.

"The polls are going to change a lot in the next few months ... I'm sure the next election will be a cliffhanger."

"We've got a huge amount of seats that we have to win," he said on Saturday.

The Newspoll was conducted between September 19 and September 22 and the Resolve poll on September 18.

The results come after a turbulent week for Labor.

Bankstown MP Tania Mihailuk was removed from the opposition's inner circle after accusing a local mayor and potential upper house Labor MP of corruption.

Mr Minns demoted Ms Mihailuk after she did not respond to an ultimatum to substantiate her claims through the proper channels and avoid using parliamentary privilege to make further attacks.

Mr Kean said Ms Mihailuk's accusations should be examined.

"The parliament should have a very close look at using the parliamentary committee process," he said.

Mr Minns said Labor would support an inquiry into local government if it was required.

He said an inquiry could also examine a speech Liberal MP Ray Williams made under parliamentary privilege in June and grants to Hornsy Shire Council in Mr Kean's electorate.

"Last election Matt Kean secured $90 million for that council with a grant that they weren't entitled to apply for," he said.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption has already examined the grant and Ms Mihailuk's allegations.