Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor in Queensland

A day after the LNP made Queensland’s head spin by resolving to have Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman campaign for Premier from outside of parliament while contesting the fairly solid Labor seat of Ashgrove, Newspoll throws in another grenade: a poll showing Labor leading 52-48 on two-party preferred, with Anna Bligh enjoying what is undoubtedly a record 49 point reversal on her net approval rating. Like most state Newspolls, this one was compiled from respondents in the state over the course of Newspoll’s last three months of polling, on this occasion covering a sample of 944 with a margin of error of 3.2 per cent. It was thus conducted during and after the floods crisis, whereas the previous poll was conducted entirely before. On the primary vote, Labor is up 12 points to 38 per cent, the Coalition is down eight points to 37 per cent and the Greens are down three points to 10 per cent, while the two-party figure compares with 59-41 to the Coalition in the previous poll. Even after a 25-point rise in approval and 24-point fall in disapproval, Anna Bligh’s ratings are still good rather than great: 49 per cent approval, 43 per cent disapproval. John-Paul Langbroek’s farewell result was a five-point fall in approval to 33 per cent and a two-point rise in disapproval to 40 per cent. On better Premier, a 41-31 lead to Langbroek turned into a 53-26 lead to Bligh. Full tables from GhostWhoVotes.

The result is very different from the other post-floods poll to emerge, from Galaxy on February 20. This showed a much worse result for Labor on voting intention – the LNP led 46 per cent to 35 per cent on the primary vote and 55-45 on two-party preferred, despite the fact that Anna Bligh’s approval rating was a much higher 60 per cent. It is also different from LNP polling we were hearing about as part of the campaign to undermine Langbroek, which supposedly asked separately who respondents would vote for out of Labor and the LNP, or Anna Bligh and John-Paul Langbroek – finding the LNP leading 56-44 on the first question but 52-48 on the second (as the Sunday Mail reported it, the latter result was “short of the 54 per cent needed to win”). With Campbell Newman however, “it would be 66-34”. Newman was also said to lead Langbroek 77-10 as preferred party leader.

UPDATE: Andrew Fraser of The Australian checks off the positives: “Newman is demonstrably a popular mayor in Brisbane, the LNP has secret polling that allegedly shows he’s popular across the state, and he has a ‘cut-through’ factor in the media, which the LNP desperately needs and which Langbroek lacked.” However, without having investigated a possible dearth of alternatives, it seems to me that the LNP has committed to an appallingly big risk by pitching Newman against a solid Labor seat held by an appealing young member. History suggests Labor will be able to make hay by putting it to voters that Newman will be back at city hall soon enough if he doesn’t win – so that a vote for Jones would be a vote not just for her and Bligh but for Newman as well, whereas a vote for Newman would leave only him standing. If polling were to emerge showing Newman indeed falling short, the conservatives would walk into yet another mid-campaign implosion.

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.

73 comments on “Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor in Queensland”

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  1. geezlouise

    Yeah if u actually read my posts, you would know that I know

    Rudd was PM, not opposition leader, so that does not count… oh wait! I was wrong Rudd does count, he was also made opposition leader in 2006 and he won the election, that is the correct comparison

    As for disaster area, Fentree Guly, whom some throught the ALP would pick up, swung to the Liberals by 12%, twice the election average

  2. There is another big chink in Newman’s armour and that is his very crusty relationship with major ratings agencies who don’t consider him much of an economic manager. Much of the Curious Snail\Galaxy\Madonna King type criticism has been over Bligh losing the AAA credit rating. Can’t wait to see how these react to the Newman brand of debt.

    [“If Brisbane City Council was a private enterprise or a publicly listed company, the alarm bells would be ringing and the share price would be collapsing with this non-disclosure,” Cr Sutton said.

    But Cr Newman said he would table QTC’s reviews in the council chamber.

    “It’s going to save $180,000 (over four years) and we have that openness and independence,” he said.

    The most recent ratings report reiterated the council’s AA+ rating but downgraded its outlook from “stable” to “negative”.

    S&P analysts flagged the potential for rising debt as a result of the TransApex tunnel and bridge projects, as well as the political situation at the time as factors in the downgrade.]

    Yes indeedy, the reason that Can-do-better Campbell hasn’t been downgraded by the ratings agency is because he sacked them.

  3. dovif

    I ken that you know but from your conclusions it is obvious that you don’t really understand so I took it upon myself to assist you with that. You seem fond of absolutes so I tried to present the information in a style you would be comfortable with.

    Comparisons between Rudd and Newman as Opposition leaders are flawed. If that is the basis for your claim of certain LNP victory then I wish you well.

  4. Salary-Ann Atkinson now claims that she was offered one of these crazy Leadership of the State Tory deals too.

    [Former Brisbane lord mayor Sallyanne Atkinson has revealed that senior Liberals approached her about making a Campbell Newman-style switch to state politics in 1990.

    Brisbane’s current Lord Mayor, Councillor Newman, sparked turmoil in the Liberal National Party (LNP) this week when he announced he wanted to lead the party and oust Labor state Premier Anna Bligh at the next election.

    His bold move forced the LNP leadership team of John-Paul Langbroek and Lawrence Springborg to fall on their swords.

    But now questions are being asked about whether Councillor Newman will be able to transfer his popularity at the local government level into enough support for him to become premier.

    And while words such as “unprecedented” and “extraordinary” are being employed to described the situation, there are some echoes of previous times.]

  5. I think some of you are being too critical of this LNP idea.

    It is no more ridiculous than any of their other ideas.

    On the other hand, maybe it will work. Realistically the Government will be battleing to get re-elected – the time already in office, and the’reporting’ from the Courier mail and Madonna King, 4BC, et all, will make it very difficult.

    I agree with earlier posters that the best approach for Mrs Bligh is to go full term – so as not to seem too oportunistic and thereby annoy people, and because I expect that as time goes on Messers Seeney and Newman will contradict each other over various things.

    Mr Seeney often seems like a big enough dope, that I am tempted to believe that his claim to ‘not know the result’ of the LNP leadership vote may well be true. On the other hand, even in that mob, could there possibly have been 13 who were silly or desperate enough to vote for Fiona Simpson, albeit instead of a previously dumped ‘interim leader’?

  6. geezlouise

    Well the Rubb comparison was extremely flawed, a better comparison with Rudd would be Iemma, and both time the ALP went close to oblivion

    The LNP is thinking of the best person for the job and they think Newman is the best person, we will see if the Disaster bounce for Bligh will carry over to the next few polls. If I was Bligh, I would retired at the top of the world.

    The question is, has any of the issue Qlders had with Bligh changed, in the last 3 months. The lying etc, I think not

  7. I think Newman even has doubts on this. Tonight he looked exhausted he had big rings under his eyes and he admitted to the press that he has had a few sleepless nights. With Newman not having an income and also with his council mayor job on hold plus the factor he has no certainty to win his seat I think the pressure will certainly build up. The longer Bligh holds out for an election the more restlessness there will be from Newman the uncertainty will be prolonged.

    Plus the LNP are certainly divided on this with Fiona Simpson being able to manage to muster up 12 votes although that has been disputed by Jeff Seeny that she got 12 votes. Mike Horan came up in the toowoomba chronicle today hardly giving a ringing endorsement on this. You could tell his comments were restrained and you could read between the lines he was not happy about this. Having Newman as leader of the LNP could work but it’s something that should of been done by parachuting him a seat. The way they have done it looks clumsy, disunited and incongruent.

  8. At the last election the LNP had about 50 media releases available for perusal on their web site. Three of those media releases dealt with the vital issue of the size of crab pot holes.

    I am anxious to know the thoughts of both opposition leaders about this vital matter.

    I hope the LNP have not dropped the ball on this.

  9. The statewide swing against the ALP in 2009 was about 4% or so, but the swing against it in Ashgrove was only about 1%. That makes the 7% odd margin look like a fairly hard climb, even for a popular (almost ex) mayor.

  10. The LNP have a huge problem when Springborg whines about faceless men:

    [But deposed deputy leader Lawrence Springborg said he had deep concerns about the process of appointing Cr Newman as leader.

    “I think this has been presented as a fait accompli and it may very well be. We don’t even know if there is a (party room) vote,” he said.

    “It has been delivered as an inevitability to MPs.

    “My issue is with the process and the outside influence of those unelected people who have created this situation.”]

  11. More examples of how Brisbane City Coucil has been slow to sort out financial affairs.

    [MORE than a third of property owners who lost their land to the Clem7 tunnel are yet to receive final compensation.

    The passage of five years since Brisbane City Council announced the resumptions has seen the tunnel’s completion and the subsequent collapse of operator RiverCity Motorway under the weight of $1.3 billion in debt.

    Council’s estimate of the total cost of resumptions has more than doubled in that time, but still it is yet to settle claims from the owners of 27 properties taken for the tollway.

    Resuming 74 surface properties for Clem7 along with 127 “volumetric” resumptions, 52 of which remain unsettled would cost $165.5 million in all, a council spokeswoman said.

    This has blown out 133 per cent from the $71 million slated for resumptions in April 2006.

    Twenty businesses dislocated by the project are also yet to be fully compensated.]

  12. Scorpio @ 28

    [Nobody self destructs like the Queensland Tories.]

    I beg to differ – the SA Liberals wrote the textbook.

    An example from the last state election: two days before election day and an Opposition frontbencher called Vickie Chapman (wet) refused to rule out a challenge to the Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond (dry) IF they won the election.

    It became THE story in the lead up to election day and in some marginal electorates, Liberals starting fighting amongst themselves the day before election day which carried through to spats amongst Liberals on polling booths.

    The Queensland Tories may be bad but they need a junket down here to learn how to do it properly.

  13. I think 1 tactic worth considering for the ALP is for the Member for Ashgrove to resign and contest the by-election. If Newman wins then it is a failed tactic for the ALP. But if Newman looses it is a success and the LNP would almost certainly need to find a new leader (or recycle an olds one).

  14. Actually Springborg came across quite good in the QLD 7:30 report not that I’m a LNP fan far from it. But during Springborg’s leadership he became very winey and negative If he had spoken a bit more like that during his time as leader he may have became premier. Basically in the interview he stressed parliamentary democracy should not have leaders foisted on them by outside unelected officials. Contends Langbroek could of turned it around and that LNP should not be driven by poll panic. Also reaffirmed that he will be sitting on the backbench. Mike Horan has also called a press conference for Monday looks like he is going to call it quits.

  15. Looks like Newman is unconcerned about using ratepayers funding for State campaigning.

    [Mr Lucas told reporters yesterday that, as Cr Newman had no competitors for preselection and nominations had closed, and Brisbane’s LNP councillors had selected Graham Quirk as the new lord mayor, Cr Newman should stand down.

    ”It’s incredibly rich. Not only has he turned his back on the ratepayers of Brisbane, not only have the ‘backroom boys’ sorted out a deal for the preselection, he’s still happy to take the cash as mayor and Jeff Seeney to take the cash as opposition leader,” he said.

    ”He won’t resign until after the 30th of March so that the people won’t get a say on who is his successor. It’s this sort of drunken free-for-all that puts the ratepayer and the taxpayer as second. What we have seen over the past week in Queensland is bad if not worse than the Bjelke-Petersen days.”]

  16. Yeah I believe 7 News had a clip of Newman’s Lord Mayoral media adviser being on hand on a Saturday when he was doing State campaigning. What is he thinking? I imagine Labor both at Council and State levels are looking at launching legal claims against misuse of Council funds.

    Why couldn’t he have waited a couple of weeks???

  17. Galaxy poll I have always had mixed views about their always hit and miss. There last poll before the state election had the LNP winning I tend to have more confidence in Newspoll. Still even with the questionable accuracy I would tend to believe the indicators that the LNP got a huge bounce. I lot of that LNP vote is soft vote and I have a view that should come back to the government. I really believe that if Labor loses it wont be a bloodbath like NSW, Bligh did a great job during the floods and that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Labor should also strategically be making a point that Jeff Seeny is the opposition leader not Newman which would even go as far as refusing to debate Newman and only agree to debate Jeff Seeney. This undermines Campbell Newman and also reminds voters that Seeney could be premier which some voters wouldn’t feel comfortable with. Also how Newman is viewed in regional and rural QLD should be interesting. There is a an anti-southern Queensland view north of the border that won’t change anytime soon by parachuting a Brisbane lord mayor to the leadership. I read comments about Newman’s leadership on the Gympie Times and alot of them were not thrilled with Newmans leadership and some of them were Tories.

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