Galaxy: 51-49 in Queensland marginals

The Courier-Mail has published a Galaxy poll of the Queensland marginals Bonner, Moreton, Longman and Herbert, which shows a collective Labor lead of just 51-49. Based on results in these seats in 2004, Adam Carr calculates a swing to Labor of 5.1 per cent – enough to reel in Bonner (0.5 per cent) and Moreton (2.8 per cent), but not Longman (6.7 per cent) or Herbert (6.2 per cent). Also just outside the range is Blair (5.7 per cent). The Courier-Mail refers to a 5.6 per cent swing in Bonner, but no seat-by-seat breakdown appears to be available online. This is the most encouraging poll to appear for the government since June, when Galaxy showed a Labor lead of 53-47 result nationally and Westpoll had the Liberals on track to gain a seat in Western Australia. The poll was conducted over the weekend, from a combined sample of 800, so it’s conceivable that Labor’s political difficulties of last week might have been a factor.

In other news, this blog will be moving to new premises reasonably shortly, which partly explains why my reaction to the election announcement has been less dynamic than it might have been.

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.

78 comments on “Galaxy: 51-49 in Queensland marginals”

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  1. “Galaxy poll shows Rudd in trouble at home”

    What an absurd headline. Labor needs to win 2 seats from QLD, it’s in the lead in 2 seats. Sure it’s a lot less than other polls are predicting but it hardly amounts to ‘trouble’.

  2. Phil Robbins 50

    I suspect that the inclusion of Longman in the Galaxy poll skewed the results somewhat. Without knowing local politics there, I suspect Mal Brough is fairly popular (hey, he’s one of the few Colation ministers I actually like, and I think he’s a future leader in the making) and will hold his seat.

    Bowman, on the other hand, with the one-term Andrew Laming as the sitting member, is much more vulnerable. Hinkler as well, as noted in post 49.

    I’d be worried, for sure, but I still think the ALP will win Bonner, Herbet, Moreton, and Bowman. I think they could also win either Petrie or Dickson, maybe both.

    That’s 4-6 seats, and a third of what they need for government. Not a bad result.

  3. This is a nothing result by the inclusion of Longman. The Coalition were always going to win the seat thanks to the higher public profile of Mal Brough and his intervention. Even hard nosed ALP supporters suggested that they were pushing it uphill to gain the seat.

    This skews the result lower for Labor than it otherwise should be. A better idea would have been to include Blair or Petrie which are more in doubt.

  4. 41
    William Bowe Says:
    October 15th, 2007 at 2:09 am
    Tasmanian results only come in early if the election is held is in October or March, when Tasmania is the only state on daylight saving.

    NSW is joining Tasmania as of March next year. Iemma has a bill in parliament right now to legalize it. It didn’t get going in time for the start of DST in Tassie earlier this month but we in NSW will end it with Tasmania next April. Then going forward in the future, NSW will be on line with Tasmania. Suspect Victoria, ACT and SA won’t be far behind 😉

  5. Two polls have been released with differing results, but they’re not mutually exclusive.

    The national Newspoll reports the same result it’s been reporting for a long time 48/39 primary 56/44 TPP, ~ 9% swing.

    The Galaxy poll in 4 QLD marginal seats shows 5%. Newspaper polls in SA show similar swings.

    Assume the 5% figure is actually all the ALP will get in the marginals, then we can conclude two things:

    1. that’s sufficient to deliver 18 seats by itself with the hypothetical uniform swing.

    2. there are some very large swings going on elsewhere in the nation delivering seats that no-one thought would fall before. If 40 marginals (L/NP and ALP) are delivering a 5% swing to the ALP, then the other 110 seats will be delivering over a 10% swing.

  6. Definately in line with my prediction of a 5-7 seat majority.

    I can imagine Labor won’t find it too hard to get together the following:
    SA: 3 seats
    Qld: 2 seats
    Tas: 2 seats
    NSW: 3 seats
    Total: 10 seats

    However, I imagine them losing Cowan in WA is a real possibility. This gives them a net gain of 9 seats. Can they scrounge up another 5 seats to gain minority government? Definately not out of the question but I wouldn’t be betting the farm on it.

  7. Re Bluebottle at #47…

    Herbert is affected by the amalgamations issue because the Townsville and Thuringowa councils are being amalgamated and both mayors have expressed opposition.

    These results do not surprise me at all, but as James at # 7 and some others have said, the ALP does not necessarily need to gain more than two seats in Queensland to win the election.

    In any case I think that the ALP will gain Bonner and Moreton and Blair besides, due to a larger than average swing there.

  8. Bluebottle @ 47: 56/44

    That would certainly make more sense than everyone indicating they prefer Rudd and want him as PM but say they will vote LNP. I am suspecting that 51/49 is being very generous to the LNP.

    Labor’s internal polling will no doubt have its finger on the pulse.

  9. Well may Mr Howard say that everything depends on the economy [BTW, a position not inconsistent with Marxism]

    What he appears not to realise is that, in turn, the economy itself rests on three crucial foundations, all of which he has sorely neglected.

    They are:
    The environment,
    Education training and research and
    Investment in public infrastructure.

    He clearly has been a negligent economic manager, riding on the reform coat-tails of Keating and a global boom.
    He lamely boasts of surpluses. But they have been gleaned from the neglect of the above crucial areas and by scrimping on payments to the states.

  10. Playing with Anthony Greens calculator on the ABC site is interesting. 5% swing in NSW, Vic and QLD, followed by 3% everywhere else (which is pretty conservative given the current polling i think!!) and the ALP romp it in with an 8 seat majority.

    Ok, not quite the bloodletting that some are hoping for, but it will do the job. Also, i really think that the Liberals need to lose big time at this one so that the “liberals” can go about reclaiming the party from the “conservatives” in the aftermath.

  11. This will all be academic anyway. I’m tipping Antony to call the election by 6.55pm anyway. I Think it’s GST and monthly mortgage repayments. Does anyone (dis)agree?

    I also think Antony will call the election by 6.55pm, but if it’s anything like the Victorian election, he’ll call it for Family First and the Greens! 🙂

  12. you can line up this poll with Newspoll.

    some ‘safe’ seats will fall and some ‘marginals’ will not but seats will fall nevertheless. quite a few in fact.

  13. Mark 44: “I would be interested to see if the poll results were significantly different in Herbert. It’s a North Queensland seat so there would be a lot of opposition to council amalgamations.”

    You are deadwrong on this mate. I live in Townsville(Herbert Seat) and most people here support the council amalgamation, so if anything it’s a plus for Labor.

    Most of the “Thuringowa” area is now swallowed up in the city that is Townsville, and people in Thuringowa see themselves as being an area OF Townsville… not a seperate city.

    I will be glad if Howard pulls his council amalgamation plebescite stunt here in Townsville on election day, because it’s going to backfire badly on him and we may see Peter Lindsay down at the centrelink queue the week after the election.

  14. The importance of Queensland

    Those who don’t hail from the Sunshine state might be forgiven for wondering what the fuss is about here. Why is it so important to this (and most) Federal elections?

    1. It is the most “bipolar” of states. Voters here can landslide Labor at State level (2006) right after delivering 23/29 Federal seats to a coalition.
    2. It has the highest growth in population. This significantly changes a) the voter mix, b) the electoral boundaries and c) the issues mix (local/state issues can blur more readily).
    3. It has a lot of people. Sure Sydney and Melbourne as gravitational centres outstrip Brisbane but are more politically and demographically stable in terms of population. However, South East Queensland, from Coolangatta to Noosa and West to Toowoomba, with over 2 million residents, is the biggest pool of swinging voters in the country.

    It is not “fair” that Queensland and Tasmania have disproportionate influence on our Federal politics but influence it they do. If you want to win this election, you need to win South East Queensland.

  15. Erratum with post #67

    This should read ” 23/29 Federal seats to conservatives, including 22 Coalition and one independent (Bob Katter) in Kennedy”

    Sorry Bob 😉

  16. This Galaxy Poll is a bit of trickery by David Briggs – a Howard supporter – He deliberately includes Longman and Herbet, which for reasons mentioned by others may not reflect the general swing in the rest of the state. Why did he exclude Blair which is more marginal than both of these? You can be certain that on election night, across the country, some govt seats with 5-7 percent margins will be retained while others requiring a 10%+ swing will be lost. For this reason polls of selected marginals should be treated with caution.

  17. GO at 67, Labor don’t need to win Qld as such, they just need to do better. Even if the swing in Qld is less than 4% (& indeed even if this is accompanied by a swing of less than 3% in WA, SA, Vic, Tas & the NT) Labor can still gain sufficient seats to form government if they get a swing above 4% in NSW.

  18. Sorry Jack, are you arguing that opinion polls are people saying who they think will win rather than who they will vote for? What basis do you have to believe that?

    Not saying I disagree with your count, I’d probably be a little more generous for the Coalition than you, but I’m interested to see why you think the opinion polls reflect ‘expectation and not voting intent’.

  19. Jack, the polls have been incredibly consistent with a swing of 8%+ for 9 months. You don’t get polls like that unless something is going on out there. Please provide some evidence to your assertions rather than wishful thinking…

  20. The Narrowing can be bit of a myth – whilst possible I wouldn’t be putting my house on it and there can always be the ‘widening’.

    Possums did an analysis of it here:

    “So The Narrowing is 2 from 5 at best, 1 from 5 that can be called certain, and where both of those occasions can be explained by the longer term trends and movement occurring in the polling series over the previous months.

    While The Narrowing makes for a simplistic bed time polling story and is to be expected to be used by political parties as a weapon for their own electoral self-interest, when it comes to providing actual explanations of electoral behaviour to a broader public, the dogmatic representation of “The Narrowing” as some divinely inspired inevitability is a poor substitute for polling analysis based on the evidence contained within the polling data.”

  21. Possums ominous comments about the two possible narrowings –

    “….both of those occasions can be explained by the longer term trends and movement occurring in the polling series over the previous months.”

    This is what has not happened to Labor’s polling, it has staid steady if there has been a recent trend in recent times it has seemed to be in the opposite direction.

    Anything is of course possible.

  22. If I was the ALP I would be fine with these poll numbers.

    Now I could be wrong but I feel Longman is a bit like Deakin always marginal but never ALP.

    We are seeing from the polls 5% swings in seats like Bennenlong, these four Queensland seats and Stuart / Boothsy.

    Possum has reported the swing is said to be bigger in safer Liberal seats and I would suggest apart from 2004 the ALP have in recent timers improved there polling numbers.

    The sample size is only 200 per seat and I would imagine that all booths in these seats have more voters than the sample size.

  23. Jack @ 72,

    Where do you come up with such hilarious statements? You don’t work for the Government Gazette or for the Liberal party do you?

    I’ve had a look at your blog and I’ve found this very interesting comment:

    “While the PM has been looking calm and relaxed over recent weeks, Kevin Rudd has been looking decidedly stressed and it’s my view that it’s because he knows what internal party polling is telling him regarding Labor’s election chances”.

    Rudd looks pretty relaxed to me, it’s the Howard who looks tense – a shadow of the PM he was in 2004.

    Oh and here’s another beauty from your blog:

    “Both Labor and Liberal polling suggests that Victoria will remain with the status quo and while Deakin and La Trobe will be closely fought battles I expect them to stay in Liberal hands”.

    How do you know what internal polling for BOTH parties is saying? I thought such polls were confidential to important party members only?

    I don’t believe your statements, but hey everyone’s entitled to their opinion – especially when they’re good for a laugh. It’s a pity that Glen and Nostradamus et al are not posting on this thread tonight – they’ll be delighted to meet you.

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