NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has dismissed a poll showing support for his government has plunged and only four in ten people know who he is.
A Galaxy poll published by News Ltd on Wednesday shows support for the O’Farrell coalition government has slumped from the thumping 64.2 per cent two-party-preferred vote it scored at the ballot box 18 months ago.
The coalition’s support rate of 58 per cent is still a massive lead.
However, the poll also found 38 per cent of respondents couldn’t identify Mr O’Farrell when asked to name the premier.
It found only 15 per cent of voters thought Mr O’Farrell was living up to his election promise to “make NSW number one again”, while 26 per cent described him as a “do nothing premier”.
“All I know is that along with my team I’m getting on with the job of cleaning up the mess left to us by Labor in NSW,” Mr O’Farrell told reporters at Parliament House in Sydney.
“Every government should be aiming to improve, but what I’m heartened by is that even on these figures, people are giving us a go.”
Mr O’Farrell said there was still two and a half years until the next state election and the government was focused on long-term planning, not headlines or “periodic polls”.
“My judgment day, the government’s judgment day, will come in March of 2015,” he said.
NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson said the poll reflected voter disappointment in Mr O’Farrell and his government.
“Barry O’Farrell was elected promising that he’d deal with infrastructure, and doing nothing, promising that he’d invest in frontline public services, and cutting $1.7 billion from education and $3 billion out of the health budget,” Mr Robertson told reporters.
“These polls reflect people’s anger and frustration with the government they’ve got rather than the government they thought they were electing.”
Labor, who lost office in a landslide after 16 years in government, has improved its primary vote by 5.4 points to 31 per cent, according to Galaxy.