Newspoll: 60-40 to Labor in Queensland

The Australian reports Newspoll’s quarterly survey of Queensland state voting intention has Labor leading the Coalition 60-40 on two-party preferred, up from 59-41 in the October-December survey. The Liberals are down from 26 per cent to 22 per cent and the Nationals, who switched leaders from Jeff Seeney to Lawrence Springborg on January 21, are up weakly from 9 per cent to 10 per cent. These measures have been erratic: the Liberal vote was up 5 per cent in the previous survey, and the Nationals’ share of the Coalition vote is invariably higher at actual elections than in mid-term opinion polls. The two-party figures however have been rock solid, ranging from 59-41 to 61-39 in the four Newspoll surveys since the September 2006 election. Premier Anna Bligh’s satisfaction rating is up from 59 per cent to 64 per cent, higher than any figure achieved by Peter Beattie after January 2004. The one piece of good news for the Coalition is Lawrence Springborg’s 40 per cent approval rating, 12 per cent higher than any recorded by Seeney and even 6 per cent higher than Springborg achieved in his last poll before the 2006 election. Bligh’s 64-18 lead as preferred premier compares with 66-11 in the only Bligh-versus-Seeney poll, and 58-28 in the last Beattie-versus-Springborg poll in 2006.

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.

86 comments on “Newspoll: 60-40 to Labor in Queensland”

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  1. It is grim times indeed for the Queensland conservatives. The coalition isn’t working. The Springborg Pineapple Party doesn’t look like getting off the ground. Leader of the Liberals Mark McArdle still has never fully explained his role as compliance officer for a Sunshine Coast Law firm involved in a Mortgage scheme ripping off seniors. The Liberals have been unable to progress past the four all deadlock that has stifled change and the pool of talent to pick leaders from is too poor in quality. Interference from failed Federal candidates does not help their cause.

    The performance of the coalition in Parliament is lamentable with too many old Nats saying and doing silly things, the tactics in parliament have been weak for years. The Liberals are weakened further when the Steve Dickson’s of this world threaten to resign from the Liberals in the interest of democracy then backflip into a garden variety non democratic old school position on the receipt of a few phone calls.

    All in all the elevation of Springborg a twice beaten Opposition Leader who spends all his spare time trying to herd the Liberals into a role dominated by the Nationals has not been very successful. The National Party really needs to cull out some of the deadwood that has been sitting around doing nothing for years at great expense and annoyance to Queensland taxpayers.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23481484-5006786,00.html

  2. Time to bring in Shane Knuth as National Party leader I say, he would be a breath of fresh air with his bounty hunting philosophy. There would not be a pest left in all Queensland by the time he’s sorted the place out. We would have flying foxes, dingoes, pigs and canetoads on the backfoot within a week of his elevation to leader.

    Imagine the ad campaigns he could run with wild animals being rounded up by bounty hunters with big guns and even bigger fridges.

  3. Barry @ 6 and greig @ 7 – As a Queenslander, and don’t hold that against me, let me just say that I recognise the problems with our Labor government here. Even so, they’re still vastly preferable to the “alternative”.

  4. Yes – I would definately prefer Joh. At least he built some infrastructure in the State – this mob do nothing until we reach crisis point and then want praise for solving the problem. How anybody can say that the current mob are better than the alternative is amazing – on what basis could you make the judgement?

  5. Policy. I like my oppositions, if they aim to put themselves forward as an alternative government, to do more than just oppose – to actually consider the problems and try and put forth solutions. Yes, the Government has problems, but what sort of alternatives are the Liberals and/or Nationals putting forward? I can’t actually remember them putting any alternatives to the public – they’re spending all their time on the merger, advertising campaigns, or leadership squabbles.

    Now, in the interests of fairness, I’ve decided to go looking for what, if anything, the Opposition has been putting forward. Maybe I just haven’t been listening to them – which would be a problem in and of itself, because if they can’t get the public to listen, they’ve got buckleys of convincing voters that they’re worth putting into office. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything.

  6. We could start with Seeney, Barry. Did they really think we’d cop that red neck as the alternative Premier?

    Some of us remember the Fitzgerald Enquiry, money in brown paper bags, National party ministers jailed for corruption, the politicisation of the police force and the public service, the banning of street marches and political expression, among other things. We have no desire to go back to being the idiot nanny state.

    Mostly though, we see an opposition that is incapable of putting together a coherent argument on any political issue that arises (and god knows there’s been plenty of them). We also see a coalition whose members can barely stand the sight of each other and wonder how this mob could ever govern anything when they can’t govern themselves.

    Do we think they’re ready to govern the state? NUP. Clearly they have some credibility issues to sort out. You can’t expect to win because of the mistakes of the other side, Barry. The coalition needs to prove that it is ready to govern. They can’t because they’re not.

    So, expect to be in opposition for a long…long….long…time.

  7. My pesonal favourite policy of the Liberals has to be number 018, it still has Beattie as Premier, Boyle as Environment Minister and Messenger as Shadow Environment Minister. Wrong in three out of three cases. But I suppose you can’t merge or fight the merge and work out who has what job where at the same time.

    http://www.qld.liberal.org.au/Data/PDF/850.pdf

  8. 12 Barry – what branch of the Lib/Nats are you in? Joh was as corrupt as buggery. Didn’t you see the Four Corners program on him?
    Only a diehard supporter can pine for the old days of corruption and want this present day rabble in.

  9. Your time peter # 13 could be better spent on quality of life projects on yourself than trying to fruitlessly locate sound opposition policys that do not exist

  10. Gary Bruce – I’m not. I guess people have a choice of retaining the existing incompetent government or giving the others a go. Left wingers though don’t usually look at things very logically. As for Joh being corrupt, quoting 4 Corners as your source says it all but if you want to talk about the good old days, let’s talk about Keith Wright and Bill Darcy – what fine upstanding citizens they turned out to be (and that’s only in Qld). I see another 4 expelled from the party in NSW just today. You can add that to the recent ex NSW ministers jailed plus the goings on in WA and Tas. If you want to have a debate about corruption and sexual misconduct – bring it on.

    It doesn’t really worry me who is in power because I am in a position where their policies impact me very little. I am sick though of hearing people talk about incompetent governments and then rewarding them. Nothing ever improves if you keep doing that.

  11. 21 Barry – Let me get this straight. You defend Joh (wasn’t there the Fitzgerald enquiry?) and try and deflect the argument to the ALP. If you’re that contemptuous of the ALP bad eggs why do you excuse Joh? He was as guilty as sin. You finally end up saying you couldn’t careless who is in power anyway. This I find very hard to believe, given your stance on Joh and your desire to replace a reasonable government with a poor opposition.

  12. “Left wingers though donโ€™t usually look at things very logically.” This wouldn’t be coming from a right winger would it? Oh, and this “As for Joh being corrupt, quoting 4 Corners as your source says it all …” Please Barry, don’t pee down my back and tell me it is raining.

  13. The old adage that ‘Oppositions don’t win elections, Governments lose them’ is way too simplistic. The reality is that Governments lose elections when Oppositions have shown themselves to be capable of taking over.

    By that measure the Qld Opposition (either in its current form or in some kind of forced ‘one party’ marriage) will be in opposition forever.

    There are other demographic reasons why Qld will never again elect a National Party government, but regardless of that it is not good for the future governance of this state to have a virtual one-party state – again.

  14. greig @ 20 – I didn’t say they were going to be sound, I just said I was going to try and find them. I fully expect that I’m likely to disagree with them, however, in the interests of fairness, I feel I should give the other side a fair go.

    Besides, I’ve already got enough quality of life projects going – uni assignment due next week (last 12 months, yay), study to catch up on, job applications to put in this weekend – I figure a diversion can only take up more time I don’t have ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. The National Party organisation remains quite strong in Queensland.
    IMO the best thing they could do would be to break the Coalition and let the Liberals languish in their own ineptitude – they would have 0 seats in this term if springborg didn’t come back to the Gold Coast to save their bacon. That way, they should aim to eliminate the Liberals from Parliament then get on with the job of being Opposition.

  16. That’s right George! Before long they could be the most experienced Opposition in the history of this great land.

    Then nobody will be able to take the job off them. Opposition forever!

    Nice.

  17. The Libs are paralysed in Qld, just look at the mess over the prseident of the party, there is the Santoro candidate who won 43-40.

    Then there is Mal Brough the anyone but Santoro candidate, then there is the Liberal who worked for a National Leader who is now the “Amalgamate or Perish” candidate.

    We all know the result – Santo Santoro’s faction will win. Then all hell will break loose. 4 Libs will join the Nats – the other 4 will wreck everything out of spite, and Anna Bligh will win the next election in a canter.

  18. 26
    george Says:
    April 4th, 2008 at 4:57 pm
    The National Party organisation remains quite strong in Queensland.

    Only when compared to the Qldl branch of the liberal party.

    The Nats are out of the SE corner and are increasingly being pushed out of regional centres. In Rockhampton for example the Nats could staff their booths.

    So if you leave out the SE (where most of the population lives) and the regional centres the Nats are doing just fine, its just a pity no one lives in those areas anymore.

  19. Gary Bruce asks – wasnโ€™t there the Fitzgerald enquiry?. Yes there was but perhaps you’re too young to remember the results. I think 2 of the Government ministers went to jail for fiddling their expenses. Everybody else involved were Police officers not members of the National or Liberal parties. Joh was never convicted of anything but these urban myths of corruption continue to flourish. If the court process is not good enough for you then nothing I can say will make any difference. Perhaps though you could provide a little more evidence to back your assertion of corruption (not 4 corners, Current Affair or even Today Tonight which are probably your favourite sources of information).

    If you consider the Joh administration as the worst corruption you have seen then you are obvioulsly unaware of what went on in WA, the Bryan Green saga in Tasmania, the goings on at Wooloongong, the numerous sex and drugs scandals in the ALP, even the charges against Gordon Nuttal. That’s just off the top of my head. So many over the years we tend to forget.

    Anyway if that’s the sort of administration you want for Queensland – go for it but at least stick to the facts and provide a bit of evidence to back your assertions.

  20. 35 Barry – there you go again Barry, denying Joh had done anything wrong. This is BS at its best. You also insist on diverting to other states. How does finding examples of corruption on the other side of the political fence excuse political corruption on your side of the fence? If both do it, it’s ok? Is that your argument. If you find it on both sides then all is ok with Joh? That recognising both sides have skeletons means the Queensland opposition is now ready for government?
    Your defence of Joh just shows me Barry which side of the political fence you are indeed on. That’s your business of course but just don’t pretend not to care who is in government because I can see who you are backing. You’re as biased as the best of us.

  21. Steve – I knew somebody would bring that up. Yes – it is an urban myth. Are you seriously suggesting that Joh was able to manipulate our courts and particularly jury selection. He must have been a very clever man because I have never heard any suggestion of anybody else being able to do it and if he was able, it puts a serious doubt on our whole system of justice in this country.

    Again, maybe a few facts instead of supposition. Even the link you provided talks about allegations and that’s all they ever have been (and always will be).

  22. Yes Gary Bruce. Until you (or anybody else) can provide evidence I will insist that Joh did not commit any crime or was corrupt. That’s the way things work in this country – innocent until proven guilty. So, as the old saying goes – put up.

  23. Wasn’t Joh associated with Lewis the chief commissioner? What was the story in regard to bags of money? Was Four Corners ever charged with libel or some such for telling untruths about Joh? No? I wonder why.

  24. No I am not saying Joh was smart in any sense outside of cunning.I would never accuse him of being clever at all but when a member of the Friends of Joh group steadfastly holds out against the rest of the jury then justice is either not done or can not appear to be done.

    It does not put “a serious doubt on our whole system of justice in this country” as you claim , just doubt about the authenticity of your interpretation of the historical detail of that case.

  25. I suppose accounts from those very closely associated with Joh at the time mean nothing. They were all lying? For what purpose?

  26. I am equally sure that if any senior members of the Nationals Shadow cabinet in Queensland today were asked what they understood about the doctrine of the separation of Powers, the same dribble would fall out of their mouths.

  27. Re 37:

    (1) Ta for the linkage.

    (2) I don’t think it’s quite so simple as the Courier Mail and the Gold Coast Bulletin stepping into the vacuum created by the lack of a parliamentary opposition:

    “We resent having to ask the Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg and Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek to fi ght for justice for Carmel, but they have taken up our fi ght and we thank them for that.”

    (From Robyn Wuth’s open letter to Anna Bligh).

    A case of the Queensland opposition becoming the Queensland Branch of the News Limited Party perhaps?

    Last note: I’m a Melburnian – my main interest in the story was in what it showed about tabloid journalism. Still, happy if the information is useful and interesting for youse Queenslanders.

  28. 47 steve – Barry will see this as a very clever answer by Joh. Says it all really doesn’t it? No wonder Joh didn’t follow doctrine.

  29. Oh Dear, now the Young Liberals join the brawl and have decided to undermine Springborg’s Pineapple party.

    [Queensland Young Liberal president Shane Goodwin said the proposal was “nothing more than an attempted short-cut” to fix the poor standing of the conservative parties in the state.

    “The merger proposal is being promoted as a cheap and nasty attempt at rebranding a coalition which is suffering from years in the political wilderness,” Mr Goodwin said in a statement.

    “Instead of engaging in the hard work required to promote the coalition as an alternative government, Mr Springborg just wants to slap a bit of paint on the Liberal and National parties then convince the people of Queensland it’s something different.”]

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23488743-3102,00.html

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23488743-3102,00.html

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