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Barry O'Farrell on solid ground in poll for preferred Liberal Party leader

Barry O'Farrell remains far and away the preferred leader of the NSW Liberal Party over two of his most fancied potential successors.

The Nielsen poll of NSW voting intentions shows Mr O'Farrell is preferred by 50 per cent of voters.

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Stirton on poll results

Neilsen poll expert John Stirton talks use through the exclusive Fairfax Neilsen poll on the New South Wales government.

Treasurer Mike Baird comes in a distant second with 14 per cent, while Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian is least preferred on 9 per cent.

The poll, in which voters were presented with three names but not their job titles, reveals support for Mr O'Farrell was strongest among Coalition supporters at 67 per cent, followed by Labor voters (44 per cent) and Greens voters (36 per cent).

Support for Mr Baird was strongest among Greens voters at 16 per cent, followed by Labor voters on 15 per cent. Only 12 per cent of Coalition voters picked Mr Baird as their preferred Liberal leader.

There was a similar result for Ms Berejiklian, who was preferred as Liberal leader by 11 per cent of Labor and Greens voters but only 6 per cent of Coalition voters.

Nielsen pollster John Stirton said it was ''a strong endorsement for Barry O'Farrell''.

Mr Stirton said the result in part reflected Mr O'Farrell's relatively strong public profile, but if voters preferred either of the others ''they would pick them to make the point''.

He also said voters were likely to know who Ms Berejiklian was but might not recognise her name.