With all indicators pointing to a landslide defeat for Anna Bligh’s Labor government in Queensland at the state election due early next year, it seemed to me that one question mark remained: the Liberal National Party’s risky plan to parachute its extra-parliamentary leader, Campbell Newman, into the seat of Ashgrove, held by popular Labor member Kate Jones on a margin of no less than 7.3 per cent. Should any indications emerge during the campaign that Newman might not get over the line, there would emerge the electorally ruinous question of who would lead the party in his absence.
However, GhostWhoVotes relates that a Newspoll survey to be published in The Australian tomorrow shows the toxicity of the Labor brand is such that this is unlikely to be a problem. The poll shows Newman with a 55-45 two-candidate preferred lead over Jones, from primary votes of 50 per cent for Newman, 37 per cent for Jones and 11 per cent for the Greens. It also finds 57 per cent of voters in the electorate approve of Newman against only 27 per cent who disapprove. I will be interested to see the sample size, but this being Newspoll it can be taken for granted it was fairly substantial.
UPDATE: GhostWhoVotes relates the sample size was 504, putting the margin of error a bit north of 4 per cent.