News State New South Wales NSW Libs dodge ‘Abbott effect’

NSW Libs dodge ‘Abbott effect’

Mike Baird
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Labor faces an uphill battle in the NSW election, with the Coalition government and Premier Mike Baird ranked ahead by voters on both popularity and key issues.

The Newspoll published in The Australian found Mr Baird outranked new Labor leader Luke Foley on every personality trait, just four weeks from the March 28 election.

Eighty per cent of voters polled believed Mr Baird was more likeable than Mr Foley, while another 80 per cent said he was more experienced and had more of a vision.

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Mr Baird was also considered more trustworthy, decisive and strong, and in touch with voters.

Luke Foley NSW Labor leader
Labor leader Luke Foley. Image: AAP

The poll follows stunning Liberal Party defeats in both Victoria and Queensland, with the Labor Party in Queensland securing 44 seats from just nine before the January election.

Talk of an “Abbott effect”, however, seems irrelevant in New South Wales, with only 25 per cent of voters believing events in federal politics were a “very important” factor at the ballot box.

A separate Newspoll conducted on Saturday has the Baird government comfortably ahead of Labor, leading 54 to 46 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis.

The Coalition government was considered better placed to handle nine out of 12 of the suggested election issues, with Labor only outranking the government on climate change, health and education.

The poll follows the launch of both parties’ election campaigns on Sunday, with Mr Foley joined by Labor stalwart and former prime minister Bob Hawke.

Across town, Mr Baird was joined by Social Services Minister Scott Morrison.

Mr Baird was promoted from treasurer to premier in April 2014 after the resignation of former NSW leader Barry O’Farrell.

Mr Foley was only made leader of the Labor Party in January after the resignation of former opposition leader, John Robertson.

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