A sneak preview of a Keneally bloodbath

Picture: ANDREW MEARESThe swing of almost 7 per cent against Labor across NSW continues a voting trend likely to overwhelm the Keneally government at the election in March.While the Premier, Kristina Keneally, was clinging for comfort to narrow Labor victories in two central coast seats and in the southern seat of Eden-Monaro, the results across greater Sydney, the Hunter and the south coast hold grave implications for Labor-held state seats.Byelections since late 2008 have produced state swings of between 10 and 25 per cent.The loss in Macquarie – based in the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury – suggests defeat in the state electorate of the Blue Mountains. The big anti-Labor swings in Lindsay and Greenway bode ill for the state electorates of Mulgoa, Londonderry, Riverstone and even Toongabbie. Calls for Bitar’s head after inept campaign Voters censure Labor’s lack of principlesThe Gillard government’s failure to win Hughes in the south-west, nominally Labor under new boundaries, is bad for Labor in at least three state seats – Menai, Heathcote and parts of East Hills.Another nominally Labor federal seat, Macarthur on Sydney’s south-west fringe, fell easily to the Liberals, putting on notice the state Labor MPs for Wollondilly and Camden.A third federal seat that had been redistributed in Labor’s favour – Gilmore on the south coast – went comfortably Liberal, in a sign of likely defeat for the Keneally government in the electorate of Kiama.In the federal seat of Reid, in the inner-west, the Labor MP John Murphy, long considered an ideal parish-pump MP, suffered an 8 per cent swing, which should terrify the state Labor member for Drummoyne, Angela D’Amore.The Keneally government’s prospect of holding the state seat of Coogee in Sydney’s east also weakened, given the 10 per cent swing to the Liberals’ Malcolm Turnbull in Wentworth and the 8 per cent swing from Labor’s Peter Garrett in Kingsford-Smith. Coogee straddles the boundaries of Wentworth and Kingsford-Smith, and the Greens also polled strongly in both federal electorates.The huge Greens vote of 25 per cent-plus in the federal seat of Grayndler almost guarantees they will take the state electorate of Marrickville in March. Neighbouring Barton delivered an 8 per cent swing to the Liberals – a worrying portent for state Labor in the seats of Rockdale and, possibly, Kogarah.In regional NSW, the 8 per cent swing to the Nationals in Calare and the 5 per cent swing to the Liberals in Patterson – which Labor had targeted as a possible pick-up – will be gloomy results for the Keneally government as it fights to retain Bathurst and Maitland.While the Labor machine argues the Keneally government could withstand a uniform 7 per cent swing, the ABC election analyst, Antony Green, told the Herald: ”State Labor was not on the ballot at this election. The Keneally government should not be thinking about 7 per cent but about the 25 swing against it at the recent Penrith byelection.”

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