The past few days have seen a lot of discussion in the media about the state of play in all-important Queensland. On Monday, Michael McKenna of The Australian reported that the Liberals’ internal polling was worse in blue-ribbon Ryan than in any other Coalition-held Queensland seat, apart from Bonner. Liberal member Michael Johnson reportedly blames this on the government’s determination to solve western Brisbane’s traffic problems by building the Goodna bypass rather than upgrading the Ipswich Motorway, a decision made with a view to shoring up the Ipswich-based seat of Blair. As Graham Young puts it at Online Opinion: People in Ipswich refer to the current motorway, which serves as their major link to Brisbane, as a carpark, and people in the western suburbs of Brisbane are happy to live in a quiet cul-de-sac and don’t want another link road with connections to them put through their area. The Australian report also brings us the surprising news that Liberal polling has Gary Hardgrave leading in Moreton, held on a margin of 2.8 per cent.
Elsewhere, Labor strategists quoted by Dennis Atkins of the Courier-Mail say polling in regional Queensland points to two party preferred votes north of 55 per cent. Presumably this refers to the target marginals of Blair (5.7 per cent), Herbert (6.2 per cent), Flynn (7.7 per cent) and Hinkler (8.3 per cent). Also in the Courier-Mail, Madonna King says Liberal insiders struggle to dispute Labor talk that Bonner, Moreton, Blair, Herbert, Flynn and even Leichhardt (margin 10.3 per cent) are in the bag, although Labor is apparently less confident about Longman and Petrie. King says three-cornered contests in Leichhardt and Flynn are an electoral gift to Labor, while Lisa Allen of the Financial Review quotes a Liberal source lamenting the departure of Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch and his 98 per cent name recognition in that electorate.