Queensland election: March 21

Anna Bligh has called a Queensland election for March 21. My most recent coverage of recent Queensland state politics action is here: more to follow in due course.

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.

91 comments on “Queensland election: March 21”

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  1. Talk about moving the goalposts. In a famous graph, thought by some to be one of the weirdest ever produced, a big drop in revenue was the focus of the Springborg attack. What is Springborg going to do to make up for lost revenue? Seems like he’s adopting the Joh line of “Don’t worry about that!”


    [He said the LNP would have been able to prevent the Queensland economy slipping into deficit by properly managing the cost of infrastructure projects and keeping Queensland’s Triple-A credit rating.

    “As our Shadow Treasurer identified the other day in the last four years alone there has been $9 billion worth of cost blowouts in projects,” he said.

    “If they had properly scoped and properly overseen the project delivery, then our budget would be in surplus, not in deficit and we would have our Triple-A credit rating.

    “That is the big difference between our side of politics and the Labor side. It’s efficiency in management.”]


  2. Sunnycoaster or others,
    Is the Sunshine Coast still as conservative and/or is there a chance Labor might pick up seats there? There has been a lot of demographic change there and I assume that the nature of the electorates would be changing? The Gold Coast ceased being a Liberal party stronghold when it changed from retirement village to suburbia.

  3. I expect the LNP will pick up 11 or so seats. Well short of forming government.

    I also expect some massive swings in some seats, and little to no change in others, the changed political landscape of the conservative side makes it hard to judge how the LNP will be received in Brisbane compared to regional Queensland.

    LNP to Gain:

    1. Glasshouse
    2. Chatsworth
    3. Whitsunday
    4. Indooroopilly
    5. Mirani
    6. Cleveland
    7. Hervey Bay
    8. Mudgeereba
    9. Aspley
    10. Gaven
    11. Nanango

    Possible LNP Gains: (If the LNP comes close to forming government, these are the seats to watch)

    12. Pumicestone
    13. Redlands
    14. Keppel
    15. Carins
    16. Broadwater
    17. Coomera
    18. Mulgrave
    19. Greenslopes

  4. Socrates it took the Liberals a $Million in the Gold Coast city council elections to learn that lesson. No wonder the Nationals scream about debt nonstop when their takeover of the Liberals gave them debt as the only tangible result.

  5. A million Dollars borrowed by the Liberals to win seats on the Gold Coast City council and not a seat won. Great value for money there.

  6. I also expect the LNP to pick up every Labor seat with < 4% margin. There’ll probably be a few bolters too, but I it’s hard to say which.

    I suspect the independents will hold on in Nanango and Gladstone and maybe even Dalrymple.

  7. Kawana, the sitting National Party member ran away from it as soon as he saw the redistribution. The white flag has already been run up on that one by the Nationals, Ryan.

  8. I think the LNP will get big swings in rural QLD, and next to nothing in S.E. QLD, which will make it impossible for them to win.

    I think Labor will retain a 10 – 15 seat majority.

  9. The Nationals already own most of the seats in rural Queensland ShowsOn. They are missing the apportionment badly, it’s no fun for them with fairer boundaries. They were much cockier when they could win with 19% of the vote.

  10. #52 A few points be to made about the Sunshine Coast.

    1 I disagree with ru about Noosa, but believe the ALP will win Kawana and Caloundra.

    2 The one thing that goes against #1 is that none of the Sunshine Coast are ALP ‘targeted seats’ despite high quality candidates. This means the party has chosen to put minimal resources into capturing these eminently winnable seats. As a local member I find this dissapointing if somewhat understandable given that they want to focus their energies on many of the Brisbane Metro seats that are in play (as Ryan has outlined above)

    3 In past elections Gold Coast Seats have been three cornered contests with the Libs and the Nats running against each other. I recall a Lib running against former Nats leader Rob Borbidge in 2001 for the seat of Surfers Paradise.

  11. For those thinking about possible Labor pickups I wouldn’t bother. Labor will be much more interested in keeping the seats they have than going after others. A majority is a majority and working with a margin is better than against. Also the people who were willing to vote for a split Coalition with a possible leader of Flegg are not going to change their vote.

  12. [Also the people who were willing to vote for a split Coalition with a possible leader of Flegg are not going to change their vote.]

    I think we will wait until we see the public reaction to McArdel and Nicholls before we condemn Bruce Flegg. At least he was intelligent and witty. These two are untried under the heat and pressure of an election campaign and their parliamentary performances over the past three years have been woeful.

  13. I think there are going to be some really surprising packages at this election. Remember 1995 and seats that weren’t marginal fell to the ‘Coalition’. If people are wanting to change government, which we are yet to see, expect to see interesting results in Greenslopes and Everton – they become quite marginal in 1995 – Greenslopes changed hands and Everton nearly did- now they don’t have sitting members – this could be interesting

  14. Luke there are plenty of seats without sitting members on both sides where surprises could come from.

    Chatsworth, Coomera, Mulgrave, Everton, Morayfield, Kallangur, Greenslopes, Pine Rivers, Townsville, Sunnybank and Bulimba.


    Glasshouse,Kawana, Mermaid Beach, Beaudesert, Dalrymple and Buderim.

  15. Speculating on seats at this stage without any recent polling or the complete list of candidates is just a way of getting to know the electorates and candidates anyway, sunnycoaster. But it does add to the theatre of the campaign.

  16. Moggill, Gregory, Condamine, Glass House, Hinchinbrook, Mermaid Beach, Lockyer, Beaudesert, Burnett, Noosa, Maroochydore, Toowoomba South, Buderim, Surfers Paradise, Callide, Southern Downs Gympie, Warrego

    No, Bree, you’re still about four short at present.

  17. Mermaid Beach is just Robina renamed; it has a sitting member in Ray Stevens. Similarly Steve Dickson is contesting Buderim, which contains much of his current seat of Caloundra. Dalrymple is a contest between two sitting members. Whilst Pine Rivers will be contested by sitting Glass House MP Carolyn Male, albeit the seat she’s contesting has little or no commonality with her current seat.

  18. I must say with election talk to rampant the last few weeks I expected a poll in Queensland. The fact we are on day 1 of the campaign and the last poll conducted was in December is a little annoying.

    There’s quite a few bludgers on here waiting to pick it apart.

  19. Re Greens preferences…

    At the 2006 election the Greens contested 75 seats and received 175,798 votes, or 7.99% of the total formal primary vote. Their total final vote, after the distribution of preferences from other candidates, and immediately before their own preferences were distributed was 182,615. Of those, 77,518 or 42.45% exhausted and 105,597 or 57.55% were distributed. Of those distributed, 64,256 went to ALP candidates and 34,809 went to coalition candidates. (The remainder went to others). That equates to a net 17% of the Green primary vote being added to the primary ALP vote, or 1.34% of all formal votes.

    The figures are however also very variable, so, for example, the % of Green Primary votes Net to ALP was as high as 42% in Barron river, but down only 2% in Hinchinbrook and Pumicestone. Coalition candidates actually got more Green preferences than the ALP candidates in Kallangur, Burdekin and Gympie.

    What is more important however, when considering preference flows, is the results in only those seats in which the Greens had candidates, and in those 75 seats the Greens primary vote was 9.26% of formal votes.

    For the purposes of analysis I have further excluded those seats where either of the final two candidates was other than an ALP or coalition candidate, thus taking out another 5 seats. The Greens primary vote was 9.42% of formal votes in the remaining 70 seats. There was still a net 17% of the Green primary vote in those seats added to the primary ALP vote, equivalent to 1.64% of all formal votes in those seats, or 1.74% of the non-exhausted votes.

    In the 22 ALP seats won by a margin of less than 10% The Greens primary vote was 8.72% of formal votes and the net addition to the ALP was 1.67% of all formal votes, or 1.77% of the non-exhausted votes. Those figures are skewed however by the results in Ashgrove, Indooroopilly and Barron River and, excluding those three results from the 22 seats with an ALP margin of less than 10% gives a average net addition to the ALP was 1.11% of all formal votes, or 1.18% of the non-exhausted votes in the other 19 seats.

    In the 13 ALP seats won by a margin of less than 6% The Greens primary vote was 8.67% of formal votes and the net addition to the ALP was 1.68% of all formal votes, or 1.78% of the non-exhausted votes. However when the results in Indooroopilly and Barron River are excluded the average figures for the other 11 seats are a net addition to the ALP was 0.95% of all formal votes, or 1.01% of the non-exhausted votes.

    In summary, the net value Greens preferences to the ALP in 19 0f their 22 most marginal seats was just under 1.2% of the remaining votes at final count, and this figure was just over 1% in 11 of their 13 most marginal seats.

    When considering possible results therefore, it is important to ignore silly media reports about where the LNP vote is in relation to the combined ALP – Greens vote, as in most cases the net value of Greens preferences to the ALP was only about 1% of remaining votes in 2006, and is unlikely to be any higher in 2009.

  20. Scorpio, weird to see some of those margins try 0.4% for Whitsunday minus Bowen in the redistribution. I think they need to be introduced to Antony Green’s website.

  21. Fargo, it certainly puts the wild claims from the Courier Mail that accompanied some Galaxy polls late last year back into perspective.

  22. Someone should phone Betfair and tell them that there are a heap of deluded Queensland tories wanting to empty their wallets into Betfair’s betting bags if only the bookmakers would frame a market.

  23. Steve, there’s no reason to be upset, you can put a bet down on the ALP. You assure us that Springborg has no hope in hell of winning. Indeed, you think the LNP will lose seats!

    You should back your judgement.

    I mean you were right about the September election…

    Oh, wait.

  24. [From my experience of our Children’s Hospital, it’s much better to have the Childrens Hospital with the adult hospital, as you seem to be planning. Childrens hospitals tend to be very small and sacred cows which are way behind the times. Co-locating with an adult hospital is the way to go.]

    Here in WA, the Barnett Government have just announced plans to build a new Children’s hospital, to replace the current Princess Margaret Hospital on the Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital Site, which btw was first mooted by Labor and was to be built in stages, but the Libs are now going to build it in one hit.


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