New South Wales goes to the polls
The south eastern state of New South Wales will go to the polls today to elect members of the 56th State Parliament; that includes all 93 seats of the Legislative Assembly (lower house) and 21 of the 42 seats in the Legislative Council (upper house).
New South Wales has compulsory voting, with an optional preferential ballot in single-member seats for the lower house and single transferable vote with optional preferential above-the-line voting in the proportionally represented upper house.
Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has been having a torrid time recently. His Liberal Party lost Victoria in November and Queensland in early February and he needs to win this one.
In the 2011 election the Liberal/National coalition won 69 of the 93 seats in the Legislative Assembly. They took 51.15% of the vote in 2011 and Labor took 25.5%.
Labor were as high as 36% in the primary vote in mid-March but have dropped back to 29% in the latest polls whilst the Liberal/National coalition were on 44% and in the latest opinion poll are on 49%.
In the Two Party Preferred (TPP) vote the Liberal/National coalition are on 57.5%, down from 64.2% in 2011 and Labor are on 42.5% up from 35.8% according to the most recent opinion polls.
The 2,282 polling stations will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time for the approximately 5.15 million voters