Fatal exposure

Polling agencies move in mysterious ways, as demonstrated by their insistence on letting respondents choose out of the Nationals and Liberals in Queensland state election surveys. Given that there will be no three-cornered contests at the election, voters will in fact have to make do with one or the other depending on where the live. Nevertheless, tomorrow’s Galaxy Research figures in the Courier-Mail turn up an interesting result: support for the Liberals has fallen over two weeks from 28 per cent to 24 per cent and now 22 per cent, while the Nationals have travelled from 15 per cent to 16 per cent to 18 per cent.

Why ever could that be? One answer suggests itself if we discount the notion that "all publicity is good publicity" and do some quick word searches on the Factiva news archive, which make clear that the current Liberal leader has assumed a higher profile than his predecessor had in 2004. The following table indicates the number of references to party leaders in the first 11 days of the two campaigns, both of which started four Tuesdays before polling day.

. 13-23/1/04 15-25/8/06
Peter Beattie 760 (58.1%) 837 (54.9%)
Lawrence Springborg 385 (29.4%) 387 (25.4%)
Bob Quinn/Bruce Flegg 163 (12.5%) 300 (19.7%)

In fairness to Flegg, it should be noted that the Nationals also gained ground on the Liberals after the 2004 election was announced, presumably because respondents became aware of which candidates were running in their own seats. As for Labor, Galaxy has their support over the past two weeks progressing from 42 per cent to 45 per cent to 47 per cent, and the two-party split reversing from 49-51 to a point where it is "edging closer" to the 55.5-44.5 result from 2004.

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.

9 comments on “Fatal exposure”

  1. Labor getting the same vote as 2004 almost defies belief. Beattie has done well to keep the party vote ‘up’ for so long, but surely his margin is vastly inflated and there must be some swing back at this election.

  2. It does not make sense that Family First would preference to Labor. For a party who prides itself on Christian values it confuses me as to why Family First support a government who, (a) introduced legislation making it legal for politicians to lie in budget estimates committees (which the state director of Family First wants reversed…why support MP’s who voted for this?) (b) it was the labor party who wanted to remove Christian education from schools and (c) it was the labor party who also at one stage wanted to remove bibles from public hospitals. Family First supporting families in Qld? I don’t think so.

  3. Well confused, the only person who has been confused is your good self. And the reason why? Because you are silly enough to believe the Tory propaganda of Springborg and Flegg which bear no relationship to the facts.

    All three points you raise are written from a Flegborg perspective and are to be taken with a grain of salt as we are heartily sick of this nonsense and deserve a more honest appraisal of what is happening in State politics than you have provided.

    Nice try but this garbage has been sproutd for so long that nobody believes a word of it except you. You don’t fool Family First with your Spinning, so why delude yourself?

  4. Dear Steve

    The christian community which I am apart of do not support family first. If you don’t agree that is ok but a party such as Family First which supports a government who makes it legal for politicians to lie will not recieve much support from the christian population and rightly so.

  5. But I take it,confused, that you are quite prepared to back a coalition gavernment with a track record of years of environmental vandalism, jailing of anybody who dissents, banninng freedom of association, throwing unionists out of work to prove a political point, declaring states of emergencies to allow a rugy union match to go ahead, collecting bribes from developers through the old paper bag on the desk trick, having prostitution and Gambling flourihing while denying it exists.

    I’d have thought that any chistian would have had enough of coalition lies and deceit years ago so why do we want the coalition;sshady and corrupt histories to be our hope for tomorrow?

  6. Nice to see ‘confused’ Christian finally fessed up to being a blue-ribbon Tory. Dear ‘confused’… all politicians lie – it’s part of the job description. Even your mob lie when they need to. Are you born-again or born yesterday?

    On to more sober matters… the problems the Qld Libs have is in stark contrast to their federal counterparts. The Fed Libs romped in at the past few fed elections, dominating SEQ at the expense of the ALP. They even give the Nats a run for their money in the rest of the state. Many voters in SEQ prefer the Libs to the ALP at state level too, but prefer the ALP to the Nats, so they shy away from voting for a Lib-Nat coalition that will be dominated by the Nats (including a Nat premier).

    The Qld Libs have yet to reach the ‘tipping point’ where they can be seen to be within striking distance of being the majority conservative party in govt. For that to happen, the ALP really has to be really on the nose, and Beattie &co aren’t quite there yet. In other words, the ALP’s poll numbers have to be very low for the prospect of a Lib landslide to be feasible. Until then, many traditional Lib voters will baulk at voting for the Libs for fear they are electing a Nat premier and/or an unstable Coalition govt with the Libs and Nats at odds.

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