Galaxy: 51-49 to Labor in Queensland

A Galaxy survey of 800 voters published in today’s Courier-Mail finds the Queensland Labor and Liberal National parties even on 41 per cent of the vote with the Greens on 10 per cent. Labor leads 51-49 after distribution of preferences. The results at the September 2006 election were 46.9 per cent Labor, 20.1 per cent Liberal, 17.8 per cent Nationals, 8.0 per cent Greens and 54.9-45.1 to Labor after preferences. The Mail’s Steven Wardill reckons “an early election to limit Labor’s losses, likely in either late February or early March, is now a near-certainty given that Ms Bligh appears unable to address the downward spiral”, although the result is much the same as Newspoll and Galaxy surveys published in September. The poll also finds that no fewer than 82 per cent of respondents were in favour of the use of treated sewage as drinking water, which seems surprising given the result of the referendum on the matter in Toowoomba in 2006. I would be interested to see the wording of the question.

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.

28 comments on “Galaxy: 51-49 to Labor in Queensland”

  1. Does anyone know the geographic distribution of the Galaxy poll? I know the Greens are travelling well now, but I’d be surprised if they polled 10% outside the south east corner.

    Either way, given Qlds optional preferential voting, this poll does suggest that the pinneapple party amalgamation has stopped the rot for the Lib/NP. They could win.

    I saw a headline where Springborg has promised free train trips for voters. Does anyone know any of his more substantial policies? (Given that Brisbane trains area already massively crowded, I don’t see how free trips will help.)

  2. Vote splitting hasn’t been a problem for the Coalition for years. Labor would still be favoured to win by a narrow margin unless they followed the WA example of a panic early election.

  3. Again the geographic spread of the survey will matter. The 82% in favour of recycled water could be right in Brisbane, where awareness of water shortages is acute. Whereas Toowoomba, along with Gympie, is one of the most rednecked and least educated parts of the State.

    I still wonder how the coalition will go when they are asked to grapple with the more substantial issues. Free train rides is one thing, but how will they balance the budget, now that mining royalties are declining?

  4. We’ve recently seen a case of ‘surrogate beat-up’ here in Qld, orchestrated by the Courier Mail. The Bligh bashing baton was passed to the Australian (and our local broadcast branch of the Murdoch press, the ABC) for the recycled water issue. Once the damage was done and the ignorant masses inflamed to fever pitch by the dodgy science and the shock jockette Madonna King, the Courier could then smugly chide the Premier for not standing firm against the rednecks. Only in Queensland. Well, actually, only wherever the Murdoch cancer occurs in two virulent forms in the same territory.

  5. The free rides are not just for voters but for under 18, non-citizens and those eligible who don`t actually vote.

    It is an extended version of a scheme in Melbourne that has failed to achieve its aim and targets but has been kept anyway.

  6. I would have through there would be more support for the left in a policy which will reduce pollution, by encouraging people to use public transport.

    You would have through that Bligh would have learnt from Carpenter and NT, who went to early poll on better surveys and found the wreath of the voter.

    I doubt if she would be that stupid

  7. Carpenter called an election either a couple of days too late or a few moths too early.

    It is more an attempt to move the hours people commute rather that increase the number of people using the system and it does not actually work very well so it is a waste of money which should be spent on increasing frequencies which would work for both those aims and increases revenue there by decreasing subsidies. I am how ever supportive off off-peak (including pre-morning peak) discount fares.

  8. Bligh will go very close to the expected time of the election. Why would anyone say “We’re not going early” as she repeated for the umpteenth time on Saturday then risk the wrath of the voters. It won’t happen.

  9. The free train trip plan only applies to trips for Go card holders who touch off at CBD stations between 6am and 7am or who touch on between 6pm and 7pm. It will have a minor effect on peak time crowding at best (although more so in the evening I would assume) and do nothing to fix the substantial transport problems or environmental issues in SEQ.

    The Premier has said repeatedly that there will not be an early election in QLD and the Courier Mail keeps reporting that there will be one, based, apparently, on their ‘analysis’.

    Socrates – I agree with you – the LNP could win, because the merge thing has been a circuit breaker for them, and with the funds that they, or Mr Sprinborg, have to advertise with now (there is a new Springborg ad on TV running currently, the third or maybe fourth that they have had) their ‘brand’ is more recognisable, plus there has been a consistent flood of absolute crap pouring out of the Courier mail for at least the past 18 months, all bucketing the government.

    Not that the Gov’t don’t deserve some bucketing, they are not particularly impressive, but the reporting is often just plain wrong with regard to facts, let alone perceptive, and the opposition are the same old clowns, although they have already done quite a number of their preselections, so are probably better organised on that score, at least, then they have been.

    On the subject of reporting, there seems to have been a general decline in standards over the past few years. My wife and I were listening to the ABC 7pm news a couple of months ago, and we both nearly fell of our chairs when the reporter said that Hiroshima was the only place where a nuclear bomb had been dropped in war.

  10. As a proud Liberal, the prospect of a Springborg-led Government being elected really scares me.

    Those who have met the key members of Springborg’s frontbench would know how unqualified and narrow minded most of them are. Even Springborg himself is unimpressive and completely unfit to lead Queensland.

    A poll like this shows just how readily an electorate can turn, even despite the shocking State of the Opposition.

  11. [A poll like this shows just how readily an electorate can turn, even despite the shocking State of the Opposition.]

    Or looked at another way stu, it is a similar poll to the same time out from the last election. The turn usually occurs a day or so later than the calling of an election after Springborg comes out of hiding with no policies and a gaggle of shadow ministers that have nothing to offer the voting public.

    The ‘Long Nap Party’ has decided to spend their next few months on a John McCain style bus called, ‘The Borg Express’.

    No doubt the bus will be emblazoned with the ‘Look No Policies’ symbol of the newfangled party. I wonder if they will create a policy while swinging in hammocks on the bus trip. More likely is they will have as much policy when they get off the bus as when they embarked on their journey.

    One thing that is becoming clear is that the Opposition won’t be allowed to roll itself in a little ball, and try to steal the election by hiding in a bus and doing nothing until September next year.

  12. Stu @ 12

    I’ve had the good fortune to view the proceedings of the Qld Parliament, and I agree with your assessment of some Opposition MPs. I particularly remember Howard Hobbs (Member for Warrego, outback/pastoral SW Qld) say “sedation” when he meant to say “sedition”.

    That being said, I think the LNP is in with a chance at the next election, but it’s by no means a certainty. I think it’s a shame, because I think the current Labor govt is doing a reasonable job. E.g., you can’t throw a brick in South East Queensland without hitting an infrastructure construction site, whether it’s a busway or a motorway tunnel or a water pipeline or a rail project. SEQ now has selective high schools for gifted students and we even have fluoridated water, four decades after Sydney and Melbourne.

    But, I’ve spoken to quite a few Queenslanders from the regions, and some of them are angry. They see all the money being spent in SEQ and ask themselves, “Where’s our slice of the pie?” I’m surprised that I don’t see more of this regional jealousy of metropolitan spending in the letters page of the Courier-Mail.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Labor-held regional electorates such as Hervey Bay, Whitsunday, Barron River and Cairns are under threat. Of course it’s too early to say they actually will fall to the LNP.

  13. [I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Labor-held regional electorates such as Hervey Bay, Whitsunday, Barron River and Cairns are under threat. Of course it’s too early to say they actually will fall to the LNP.]

    Catatonia, not much of a limb when the rabble need twenty seats to win. Tell us the other sixteen that have have hidden up their sleeve and we’ll all be concerned about the threat.

  14. Worse case scenario for me is the government losing up to ten seats. Equally, the Liberal National Party could easily lose three or four of their own.

    I’m not convinced that Cairns with an 8% margin is under any real threat.

    You could safely say Glasshouse would be a difficult for Labor. Indooroopilly seems gone. Sunnybank will be tough . Chatsworth, Cleveland, Mudgeerabar, Gaven and Aspley are all very marginal.

    On the other side of the ledger,Bundaberg, Caloundra, Hinchinbrook, Currumbin, Kawana, Mermaid Beach and Lockyer are all on exceptionally small margins for the tories. Burdekin and Mirani will be difficult for the hayseeds to hold.

    So overall, it is very difficult to see how the Liberal National Party will be able to defend the seats it has in the marginal category without losing some of them let alone pick up around another twenty. Best for them to curl up in a small ball in the back of a bus somewhere and not appear until election night, I’d say.

  15. #17

    If the LNP didn’t lose those seats in their comically inept performances of 2004 amd 2006, why would they lose them now when things seem to be going better for them? I think Bundaberg is a bit different, a Labor-leaning seat that had obvious local problems last time: this is one seat I could see going back to Labor. But really, if you concede Chatsworth, Sunnybank, Gaven, Cleveland etc are in danger, then you can’t argue in the same breath that LNP might lose more conservative seats such as Mermaid Beach and Caloundra. Robina (old M.B) and Caloundra were even held in the 2001 wipeout, and although there’s been redistributions it’s hard to believe they could do even worse than that disaster.

  16. Steve

    the last Qld election was a landslide, the Lib/Nat was incompetant, the 2 party prefer was around 57-43. At the moments the poll is showing a 6% swing to the Lib/Nat

    An uniform 6% swing would move the following seat over to the Lib/Nat side

    Aspley, Barron River, Broadwater, Bundaberg, Burley, Cairns, Clayfield, Harvey Bay, Indooropilly, Kawana, Keppel, Townsville Pumicestad and Mudgeeraba and leave 8 other electorate with a margin of 2%

    ALP won’t be trying to claim any seats from the Lib/Nats, they will be defending their own seats to stay in govenment

  17. [Aspley, Barron River, Broadwater, Bundaberg, Burley, Cairns, Clayfield, Harvey Bay, Indooropilly, Kawana, Keppel, Townsville Pumicestad and Mudgeeraba and leave 8 other electorate with a margin of 2%]

    Dovif, that is just too funny for words. Bundaberg is held by Jack Dempsey for the Liberal National Party.Clayfield is held by Tim Nicholls for the Liberal National Party. Kawana is held by Steve Dixon for the Liberal National Party. Indooroopilly is held by Ronan Lee for the Greens. There are not another eight seats with a margin of 2%. Nice try but no cigar.

  18. [the last Qld election was a landslide, the Lib/Nat was incompetant, the 2 party prefer was around 57-43.]

    Another thing Dovif, if you click on the link in the second word of Williams post you will find the 2 part preferred at the last election was not as high as you state for propaganda purposes at comment 19. At the moment the poll is NOT showing a 6% swing to the Lib/Nat.

    Furthermore the big risk for the Liberal National Party at the next Queensland elections is independent conservatives and like the naming of the seats the conservatives must win, nobody has had a serious swing at the effect of Conservative Independents on the Liberal National Party at the next Queensland election.

  19. I’ll explain in simple terms why your claim of 6% increased support for the Liberal National Party is nonsense and is way off the mark, Dovif .

    There are 2,642,032 voters on the Qld roll. The 2006 election 2PP vote was ALP 54.9% and NonALP 45.1%. The Galaxy Poll has a sample size of 800 which gives a Margin of Error of 3.46%. The Galaxy Poll showed 51% 2PP for ALP and 49% for Non-ALP.

  20. Steve @ 16

    Stranger things have happened in Qld politcs than a possible LNP win in 2009. Who in 1998 would have predicted that One Nation would have picked up 23% of the vote and 11 seats? Or that the Libs in 2001 would have been reduced to a measly three seats, the same number as One Nation, with the two conservative parties going from 32 seats to just 15? Or that the ALP would only win two Qld seats at the 1996 federal election? Or that the Coaliton would lose such reasonably safe federal seats as Forde, Dawson and Longman last year?

    Nor is being a bucolic, uneducated rabble any barrier to electoral success in Queensland. Just look at the Country / National Party’s 32-year vice-like grip on George Street.

  21. Catatonia, while I agree anything is possible, there is also the small matter of what is probable. Reading the comments at the Curious Snail and even here in the past few months, there is a myth that the Liberal National Party is on track to win the next election but no hard evidence that such an event is probable or possible.

    Claimants when asked which twenty seats have no idea where the possible twenty seats are that they feel are at risk. Dennis Aitkin has asked people on his blog too and I have yet to see a set of twenty seats that point to a Liberal National win.

    Also the argument is advanced that the Liberal National Party is somehow more competent than they were at the last election, the converse has more evidence to support it. This quote from Question Time this morning shows how different things are on the Gold Coast for the recycled party:

    [When the Liberal National Party formed, one of the things its members said in their first days was that they would put their headquarters at the Gold Coast. Nearly five months later, there is nothing at the Gold Coast. The Leader of the Opposition has not even been to the Indy. I understand that the Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce invited him to be a guest speaker and he cancelled on them. So much for the Liberal National Party caring about the Gold Coast!

    Mr Lucas:
    His loss was their gain.

    Ms BLIGH:
    It may be true that his cancellation was the Gold Coast’s gain. Of course, the Liberal National Party not only has a recycled leader; it is recycling every single one of its candidates down there on the Gold Coast. A former expelled member of the Liberal Party who failed in the 2008 council elections is running in Broadwater, a failed Liberal state candidate for Burleigh is running again, the National who lost his seat in 2006 is running again in Gaven, and the failed Liberal candidate is running again in Mudgeeraba. So much for offering a fresh new voice to the Gold Coast. Instead we have no office, no attendance, cancelling functions and offering the public nothing more than the same old recycled products that they have rejected in the past.]

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