Rose and Reynolds

Friday began with some media outlets reporting as fact that Emergency Services Minister and member for Townsville Mike Reynolds was about to pull the plug on his political career and stand aside in favour of Townsville mayor and Shepherson inquiry survivor Tony Mooney. Beattie and Reynolds had nipped the story in the bud by daybreak, but as was no doubt the intention of whoever started the rumour, the incident added a touch of drama and attendant publicity to the allegations surrounding him. These relate to an alleged approach to Greens candidate Theresa Millard offering assistance in her bid for a place on council if she kept a low profile during her state election campaign. The Greens have lodged a formal complaint with the Crime and Misconduct Commission over the matter, a prosecutable offence if they know the allegations to be untrue. For his part Reynolds has been notably vehement in his denials, telling the Townsville Bulletin that Millard, his former media adviser, harboured personal malice towards him. However, barring sensational findings against Reynolds by the CMC during the campaign period (and Queensland Electoral Commissioner Bob Longland told the Courier Mail on Thursday there was no prima facie case of bribery) the Poll Bludger’s judgement is that his 9.3 per cent margin two-party preferred margin will be enough to buffer him against Liberal candidate Margaret Shaw, while his existing 52 per cent primary vote should make him safe from Millard.

Merri Rose enjoyed a further campaign highlight overnight when she swore at television reporters on camera, as reported today in The Australian. The Poll Bludger is a big fan of rude words and not having been privy to footage of the incident, would love to hear from anyone who was – emails here please. With both parties jockeying for underdog status it would stand to reason that Lawrence Springborg would describe the Rose resignation as "no more than a mosquito bite on an elephant", but nonetheless the judgement is almost certainly correct. Even Rose’s Gold Coast electorate of Currumbin may not prove as interesting as The Poll Bludger has been suggesting – speaking on Brisbane radio on Thursday, the Courier Mail’s Mark Oberhardt said a senior Labor official had informed him that internal polling had them confident she would easily retain the seat.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.