Galaxy: 52-48 to Labor in Queensland

The Courier-Mail has today produced an eyebrow-raising poll on Queensland state voting intention, conducted by Galaxy from 800 respondents. It shows Labor’s two-party lead plunging to 52-48 from 61-39 in February, with reversals for Labor of up to 10 per cent on every measure. One of the many supplementary questions is on attitudes to the proposed Coalition merger, showing it would make 23 per cent more likely to vote Coalition against 8 per cent less likely.

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.

68 comments on “Galaxy: 52-48 to Labor in Queensland”

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  1. I find it hard to imagine public opinion could change to such in one month with very little of substance changing on the political landscape.

    The whole idea of the Coalition merger in Queensland is certainly interesting though. When they can’t even guarantee you which leader will be Premier that’s a branding problem.

  2. Call me paranoid, but is it just coincidence that this poll is released the same day as state ALP conference?
    I mean, come on, they need a negative to take the gloss off Kev being seen on TV news getting a standing ovation!
    “Kevin Rudd has addressed the Queensland Labor faithful for the first time since becoming prime minister by spruiking the talents of the sunshine state.

    Mr Rudd was greeted with a standing ovation as he entered the 46th state Labor conference on the Gold Coast on Saturday and was forced to urge for quiet after the applause refused to die down.”

  3. I too find this hard to believe. Leadership of the coalition is still an issue. Looking at the previous results the last poll may have been an outlier (up) but that would still put this at the very bottom of any plausible range. What is the MOE for an 800 sample poll? Was it done in Toowoomba??

    There have been some serious transport incidents recently causing massive delays in Brisbane. They have underlined how precarious the state of the system is and how badly upgrades are needed. Even so, there have also been events to demonstrate the government is acting to fix the problem, including opening of the Inner Northern Busway. Still if that is the reason for the shift, maybe in future goverrnments will actually listen to infrastructure engineers rather than theorising economists before its too late. (Socrates dreams of a world run on competence..)

  4. LTEP – I agree with your sentiments but it must be said the last poll was taken in February I believe. I’ll give this poll credit if Newspoll comes out with a similar result. One poll is not sufficient to conclude anything given the massive change.

  5. The Qld Nats and Libs have had a terrible year, one embarrassment after another. They can hardly be seen as a credible Opposition let alone alternative government so you have to ask whats up with Queenslanders?

    Maybe they are getting bored with the Govt and are having a protest vote – but when it gets down to an election and it is choosing a government I doubt that many could choose the Opposition as they are.

    I reckon they would have to be the worst Opposition in the country and in the worst condition. 61-39 actually sounded generous given that just the 4 of them couldn’t ever come to an agreement.

    Wonder if they polled WA asking how they would vote if they were Queenslanders?

  6. This poll may well be correct. It is the silly season in Qld State politics, where all the single issue nutcases get to raise their issues.

    But as has been the case in the past, despite Galaxy prediciting a Nat/Lib or Pineapple win, when it comes to the crunch only one side is electable. 🙂

  7. I tend to agree with Socrates, there hasn’t really been a big vote-changing event in QLD recently. By all means the chronic unsolved problems remain unsolved, but QLD’ers have expressed in the last few elections they expect Labor to botch these up less than the other mob.

    The 23% more likely to vote for a merged party is the more interesting figure. My take is that this isn’t 23% of people that would vote for the ‘Liberal-Nationals’ rather than those parties individually just on a name change. More likely is that 23% of people would think about switching their vote if the Opposition looked competent. I suspect this has been the state of play for some time and so is not as exciting as it may seem.

  8. Gary Bruce @ #4: “One poll is not sufficient to conclude anything given the massive change.”

    Especially when that poll is a Galaxy Poll.

  9. This is the only story I saw the Courier Mail run on the Galaxy poll taken 26/27 February 2008.

    [By Clinton Porteous

    February 29, 2008 12:00am

    QUEENSLANDERS have given Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan the green light to deliver the election tax cuts into their superannuation instead of in cash.
    An exclusive Galaxy/Courier-Mail poll showed more than half the voters in the state wanted the promised $31 billion put away for their retirement.

    The surprise result will increase the pressure on Mr Swan and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to re-think the promised tax breaks that are due to start on July 1.],23739,23294093-953,00.html

  10. *YAWN*

    The Nats/Libs(can’t remember the names of the people leading them this week) still remain unelectable in the forseeable future.

    You don’t need a poll to realise that, you just have to live here… most people have NO IDEA who the leader of either the Nats or the Libs are so why the hell would people vote for them.

    The Libs/Nats winning the next election is about as likely as a John Howard becoming part of the Australian Cricket Team.

  11. The question was asked if you would be more likey to vote LNP if the parties merged. Now if someone asked me that question I would most likely say “yes”. I have no intention of changing my vote but think it would be better if they did combine. So to think that all the 23% are considering a change in vote if the parties merge is straight out wrong.

    Typical Galaxy Poll which infers something not really asked. The question, if that was what was wanted, should have been been more direct.

    The only change has been Springborg instead of Seeney. Springborg is more popular with the community than Seeney, but this would not have caused the 10% change. I agree with those who say that the LNP are dysfunctional and could not win an election, perhaps for a long while. The poll figures flatter the LNP and are probably not correct.

  12. I’m laughing at the Labor Party damage control going on in this thread!

    You can carp on forever about how bad QLD Galaxy polls are and how the Libs/Nats are dysfunctional but at the end of the day this poll says something.

    Consider this poll was taken 4 days ago.

    No significant news from the Labor party in months, so the poll couldn’t be related to their performance…

    This has to be a result of continued talk about a Lib/Nat merger. While I don’t think that a merger is a get out of jail free card for the coalition I think it is a huge perception win for them. Finally the people of Queensland are starting to see the Libs and Nats get their act together and take it to the Bligh Government.

    This poll, accurate or not, indicates that Queenslanders do see the opposition as a credible alernative government.

    And at 52-48, they are gathering momentum much faster than I think anyone predicted.

  13. Ryan 15 the poll did ask whether the merger made the respondent any more likely to vote Liberal or National. Only 38% said yes, and I bet you they were the 38% who intended to vote Lib/Nat anyway.

  14. This poll is a joke, Bligh is highly regarded up here and her team is performing well, Springboard is just a recycled loser who will lose the next election as well. What more could you expect of the Courier Mail and their pollsters. As far as infrastructure is concerned, this dates back to the Bjelke days when he was so obsessed with low taxes and development at any cost, we have just recently had the long overdue Tugun by-pass completed, pushed through by Beattie. This government is performing well and the next election will see another wipeout for the Pineapples.

  15. 15 Ryan – Let’s wait for a few more polls before getting overly excited shall we? We really don’t know what it is showing. Like all of us, you are just guessing.

  16. It is a fortuitously timed piece of propaganda though with the Liberals in the last week of signing their death warrant. This next week is the extension given by Brough because some of the letters to Liberal Party members could have got wet in mailboxes during recent rain. It also gives the members of ‘Ryan’ a chance to return their approval for the formation of the Pineapple Party from their Hong Kong addresses.

  17. Only rusted on Libs think they have any chance in Queensland.

    Set your sights on Tassie and NSW fer christ sakes before taking on the gauntlet of Queensland.

  18. Was watching the 7 news last night (got to watch something) and a reporter said the Anna will be ‘preaching’ at the ALP Conferrence tomorrow (today).I thought these people are suppose to have a bit of brain,some Uni graduates.

  19. This statement by Nationals leader Warren Truss is a fairly desperate attempt to garner votes and hold onto the seat of Gippsland.

    {VOTERS in the upcoming Gippsland by-election are being urged to vote for the Nationals because Prime Minister Kevin Rudd already has enough people in his Canberra “cheer squad”, Nationals leader Warren Truss says.

    “Labor’s got plenty of people in their cheer squad for Rudd in Canberra, they don’t need another one,” Mr Truss said to ABC TV today.},23599,23903466-1702,00.html

  20. Galaxy Poll or no Galaxy poll, anyone who seriously thinks the Liberal/National rabble in Queensland can win the next state election up there is seriously in need of a reality check.

  21. Gary Bruce @ 4

    “I agree with your sentiments but it must be said the last poll was taken in February I believe.”

    Ah OK thanks for that. Since February, has anything significant happened in Queensland? I don’t think there have even been any major scandals in Queensland recently.

  22. LTEP

    As I said before, I don’t think there have been any scandals as such in Qld recently. There have been problems with government services, but I think it is also fair to say that the government is working hard to fix them. Indeed, part of the problem is the sheer rate of growth of Queensland. In population terms, Brisbane grew faster than the ABS high forecast between 2001 and 2006. Any government would have trouble coping with that, although like all the others, Queensland reduced spending on infrastructure in the 1990s to its long term cost.

  23. Basil @ 18: “Bligh is highly regarded up here and her team is performing well.” Exactly what planet is it that you are on, Basil? Performing well? Highly regarded? OMFG.

  24. Ken

    Thanks for that illuminating post. 😛

    At the last two elections Labor has had major problems “Bundaberg Hospital” and Mike Kaisers electoral roll shenanigans. Neither did too much damage.

    There may be a perception that the Lib/Nats are getting their respective acts together, but how long will this last?

    The Nats are unelectable in the SE and the Libs are unelectable in the rural/regional areas.

    52-48 would still mean a comfortable win for Anna Bligh.

  25. 29 Ken, not a keen reader of Hansard in Queensland obviously. If Springborg is going as well as you suggest, why do they slink out of Question Time cowed, bruised and beaten every time parliament sits? When are we likely to see any detailed policy from the the best resourced but laziest opposition in the history of Queensland? The Pineapple Party could start with tree clearing and work its way down from there.

    I did see a four page water policy earlier this year – a grade eight student at any school in Queensland could have done better.

  26. Did the Galaxy poll have a “preferred premier” section? I think asking that question would force people to consider whether they are just more favourably disposed to the coalition now or actually prefer them. Again, I find it hard ot beleive that Labor’s lead wudl evaporate so quickly.

    As an aside though, I am actually glad if the coalition has finally gotten its act into order in Qld. Weak oppositions breed bad governments, because when a goverrnment knows it can’t lose they think they can do as they please. NSW Labor is a case in point. A bit of pressure should bring the best out in Bligh and her colleagues.

  27. 32 Indeed they did, Socrates.

    Who do you think would make the better Premier?
    9/10 Jan 2008 26/27Feb 2008 18/19Jun2008

    Anna Bligh……………….. ……………68 65 55%

    Jeff Seeney/Lawrence Springborg ….12 21 32%

    Uncommitted……………. …………….20 14 13%

  28. Steve @ 31 – Where exactly did I say Springborg is going well? I implied (and I believe) that we in Queensland are being short-changed by getting a basically inept Government which isn’t being helped by a similarly inept Opposition. Don’t you find it kind of repulsive that somebody can have a view like ruawake @ 30 where they seem to be gloating that the government has had “problems” like Bundy Hospital and yet it didn’t do “too much damage”. That was people’s lives you’re talking about FFS.

  29. Ken your comments at 29 lead me to that conclusion. No, I find neither your comments or those by ruawake repulsive. I enjoy a wide range of opinions in the Queensland political mix.

  30. I don’t think the Galaxy poll should be dismissed as glibly as some correspondents are so eager to do. I’d rather trust a poll conducted by experienced researchers than someone’s personal view. And i would suggest that in Australia we are quite well served by (most of) our pollsters. I recently heard that some pollsters in France adjust their findings based on the pollsters “experience and expertise” (maybe Gary Morgan is French?). Sometimes governments just outstay their welcome. It doesn’t matter much how they are performing, voters just feel the need for change. (and yes, I know this sounds glib).

  31. 36 Winston, Galaxy has this in the last paragraph.

    “The data has been weighted and projected to reflect the Queensland

    What we don’t know is how accurate this weighting and projection is. But I guess by projecting the Opposition into a better than expected position, there will be an increased expectation that they will at least begin to behave like an opposition instead of a rabble. I am not confident that they can live up to or sustain such a demanding ask based on their performance to date.

  32. Steve, I ‘m happy to acknowledge your insight into QLD politics. But all polls weight their data – it’s a simple procedure.

  33. Winston that is true but there has still been no real explanation for the huge difference in this poll. Admittedly the change from Seeney to Springborg accounts for some of it. The merger could account for more of it. Traffic congestion could also be a factor but I drove through the South and North Burnett and back through the Sunshine Coast last week and there is road works everywhere, so I would tend to discount that theory too.

    Which still leaves us with much unexplained about what people are actually saying in this poll. It would be better if more information was provided on a more regular basis from Galaxy and the Courier Mail.

    The last Newspoll for Queensland on the 4/4/08 had Labor 60 2PP Pineapples 40. So we are looking at a poll way out of kilter to what is known so far.

  34. Not looking good at all for Belinda Neal

    [THE besieged federal Labor MP Belinda Neal could face a charge of conspiring to pervert the course of justice over her former employee’s claim that the MP made her staff complete untrue statutory declarations about the Iguanas nightclub affair.

    Police sources confirmed they would consider charging Ms Neal while the Prime Minister will come under pressure to expel Ms Neal from the Labor Party tonight, when her former staffer, Melissa Batten, tells Channel Nine’s A Current Affair that she no longer stands by her statutory declaration about the Iguanas nightclub fracas. She wrote the statement in Ms Neal’s presence.]

  35. The courier Mail and Galaxy have released the Federal Government component of the Poll here. If we are to believe this part of the survey , it could be that Petrol Prices are spilling over into the state sphere.

    By Clinton Porteous

    June 23, 2008 12:00am

    PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd is copping the blame from Queenslanders for surging petrol prices and rising cost of living pressures, a poll has found.
    An exclusive The Courier-Mail/Galaxy opinion poll found 75 per cent of voters in the state were dissatisfied with the federal government’s response to rocketing fuel costs, while seven in 10 thought last month’s federal Budget should have done more to ease pressure on family budgets.

    And in a nasty twist for the government, many of those venting their anger are Labor supporters. About six in 10 are dissatisfied on both counts.

    The poll sends a powerful message to federal Labor just seven months after it swept to victory on the back of a big swing in Queensland.,23836,23905168-952,00.html

  36. So at last it is revealed the Galaxy are up to their old tricks. I had it confirmed last night just how the interviews were conducted.

    First the questions on Federal politics – petrol, budget, leadership etc.

    Then “moving to state politics” …who would get your first preference vote in a State election.

    So was this poll really a reflection of State voting or Federal voting?

  37. Just got out of an airport taxi. Everyone is talking borg. If he takes metro seats here, he’ll walk it in.

  38. Was it Galaxy that produced a poll late last year that suggested Fed Labor would only win 2 seats in Queensland?

  39. Can someone tell me what Milne is sniffing to write todays story in The Australian. “Gippsland is shaping up to be a test for Labor”, he says. I just went to Antony Green’s web site on Gippsland and he says that Labor has never held Gippsland ever.

    Antony Green
    Gippsland has been used as a Commonwealth electorate since Federation. It has been represented by only seven members of parliament in 107 years and has never been held by the Labor Party. Gippsland has been held by the Country/National Party since 1922, with only four Country/National MPs in 86 years.

    I admit to not reading the full article but have read something similar from Milne in the papers before.

    1. Why is it a test for Labor if they have never won this seat?
    2. Why is Milne blatantly misrepresenting this electorate by saying that if Labor don’t win this electorate – that they never won – then they failed the test?

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