‘Self-promotion’: Advertising campaign to showcase Gladys to the people

The NSW Liberals are preparing an advertising campaign to showcase the government’s infrastructure credentials and lift the profile of Premier Gladys Berejiklian 17 months before the 2019 election.

The proposed campaign, raised by NSW Liberal state director Chris Stone at a meeting of the party executive on Friday night, is understood to include television ads as well as social media.

It is set to focus on the government’s achievements, but a senior Liberal source said the ads were also designed “to lift Gladys’s profile”.

Plans for the Liberal campaign coincide with new polling that shows Ms Berejiklian has a net favourable rating with NSW voters, but that even after eight months as Premier more than a third remain “neutral” about her and five per cent have never heard of her.

In the ReachTEL poll of 1647 NSW voters commissioned by Fairfax Media 31.1 per cent said they have a favourable opinion of Ms Berejiklian.

A further 25.4 per cent said their opinion is unfavourable, 38.3 per cent said they were neutral and 5.2 per cent said they had never heard of Ms Berejiklian.

Ms Berejiklian is most popular among those aged 65 and over, of which 40.4 per cent returned a favourable response, 19.9 per cent unfavourable and 36.8 per cent neutral.

She is least popular among 18- to 34-year-olds with just 24.6 per cent holding a favourable opinion, while 33.7 per cent said their view was unfavourable and a further 34.9 per cent neutral.

In the same poll, Opposition Leader Luke Foley returned a net negative approval rating, with 27 per cent saying their opinion was negative compared with 23.6 per cent who said it was favourable.

However, 42.9 per cent said their opinion was neutral, while 6.6 per cent said they had never heard of Mr Foley.

Mr Foley is most popular among 18- to 34-year-olds, with 26.4 per cent saying they have a favourable opinion. But even among that age group, 32.3 per cent said their opinion was unfavourable, with 30 per cent remaining neutral.

The campaign comes as the government is spending more than $13 million on “Tomorrow’s Sydney” advertising designed to pacify commuters frustrated by the amount of infrastructure related construction work around the city.

The opposition has slammed the spending on the ads, which are set to run until 2018-19, as government “self promotion”.

Fairfax Media has also revealed the government is spending $2 million on advertising that will run through the 2019 election spruiking the benefits of the $17 billion WestConnex motorway.

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