Poll that matters

Newspoll hath spoken. Lest we forget, this organisation showed what it was worth at the last Queensland election with a final survey that nailed Labor’s score to within 0.1 per cent and was only 1 per cent out for each of the Coalition parties. With this record any sensible observer would do well to regard the following as holy writ: Labor on 50 per cent, up 1 per cent on last election, versus the Coalition on 33 per cent, up 5 per cent. Labor are down from 58 per cent to 55 per cent in Brisbane but up from 42 to 46 per cent in the rest of Queensland.

The Australian’s Greg Roberts notes that the latter figure "contradicts private party polling, which indicated issues such as sugar industry reform were hurting Labor in the regions". To this I would point out that "Brisbane" presumably does not include the Gold and Sunshine coasts and that the "regional" figure has been weighted upward by what is likely to be a very strong Labor performance in these areas. If this is so the Nationals will have reason to be nervous about Maroochydore and Beaudesert, and the Liberals will be looking dicey in Caloundra.

Against that, the regional figure could be hiding pockets of weaker Labor performance in seats including Burnett, Charters Towers, Toowoomba North, Thuringowa and Burdekin. To the latter list can be added Barron River if for no other reason than that Greg Roberts in the Courier Mail and Charles Richardson (see below) would have it there – again, they must know something I don’t. Against that is the finding, again consistent with trends in other polls, that Labor faces a 3 per cent dip in Brisbane. This makes things very interesting for Clayfield and Indooroopilly (maybe even Aspley), and has inspired the Poll Bludger to reverse his judgement that Labor will hold the former.

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.