Queensland election thread

A Queensland state election looms, and while it could theoretically be held as late as June 16, most observers of the state’s politics are expecting it in late February or March. (UPDATE: Or perhaps not – Striketwo in comments alerts me to this Courier-Mail article which relates that the ECQ wants “a clear six weeks either side of the March 31 council elections”.) Peter Beattie weighed in thus in The Weekend Australian:

Labor is giving Newman as much time as possible before going to the people, hoping the LNP will disintegrate and repeat the disastrous campaigns of the past … This month will be a silly season for election date speculation. The 2009 election was held on March 21 but this year there are local government elections on March 31. For Bligh to go past the 2009 election date would enable Newman to run an effective campaign against the government, claiming “Time’s up” or “It’s time” for the people to decide the future of Queensland. The government would be seen to be running scared if there was a delayed election and a winning momentum would move solidly to Newman and the LNP.

Helpfully for his successor, Beattie relates that “even my old dog Rusty” could have managed Anna Bligh’s achievement in winning the 2009 election, owing to a favourable redistribution and the size of the majority he bequeathed her. Beattie also predicts that Campbell Newman will seek to succeed Teresa Gambaro as federal member for Brisbane if he fails to win either the election or his designated seat of Ashgrove.

Elsewhere, Ben Raue at The Tally Room has a complete seat-by-seat guide in business, and my own will follow when it’s done. The same obviously goes for Antony Green, who in the meantime has shown us what the result would look like if voting patterns at the federal election were replicated – not pretty for Labor, suffice to say.

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.

42 comments on “Queensland election thread”

  1. Prelude: http://www.couriermail.com.au/life/officials-put-bligh-poll-plan-in-doubt/story-fn8mqfvq-1226234002629

    Queeensland is a big state and the election logistics are complex. The timing of the state election is affected by the Qld local council elections, timed to be held on 31 March 2012 (NB: Anna Bligh might be tempted to bump that date).

    ECQ needs at least four weeks separation between the Council vote and the state election. This favours a Feb 18 or Feb 25 poll if it is held before the council elections on 31 March, or mid May (say 12th or the 19th) if its after (remembering Easter dates). The local council election date provides a reasonable media line that there needs to be ‘clear air’ between the two events.

    It is noted that the ALP has still not announced candidates in all state seats – that gives little time for ‘hyper-local campaigning’ for a Feb poll.

  2. I also caught up with some Brisbane friends over the break and the feeling was pretty grim for Labor. The latest Health crisis looks ot be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Even people I would describe as staunch labor supporters said that it was indicative of corruption in that department, not just a rogue individual. All referred to multiple instances of politically connected people being parachuted into (health) management and being unable to fix it. One said the trend in Health had started way back under Beatty with a controversial DG appointment.

    One conservative friend claimed that the LNP had stopped polling because it was a waste of money – they were so far in front. They are now only polling one or two uncertain seats (Ashgrove?).

    This is all just heresay, but when you hear it from multiple people, on both sides of the fence, it forms a pattern. Labor in Qld is headed for a serious thumping.

  3. I am intrigued what possible difference people think the change of government will make to the problems the state faces.

    Are they going to significantly alter the capital investment plans? Nope.

    Are they going to magically un-make the $2b water grid? Nope.

    Traveston Dam? Nope.

    Public Transport prices? Nope.

  4. ggm there are times when a team has performed so poorly and behaved so badly that they have to be punished regardless of the outcome. This is one of those times.

    Bring it on.

  5. Saying the problems will still be there with a change in government will not save the incumbents. You could have said the same about Barry O’Farrell in NSW. He was still elected in a landslide, and is still miles in front in polls a year later.

  6. Further to 7, the mess George W Bush created will take a decade to clean up. That did not justify re-electing the republicans.

  7. After becoming familiar with the Ruler’s lurks and perks handbook, Newman won’t want to upset his new chums and tutors, the long entrenched Bureaucrats, owners of their domains and to retain and encourage a working compatibility, will be unable to delve comprehensively into QBuild quangos or care much about the character assassinations of some tenants by retributive Sister Ratcheds of the Housing Dept. Anyway, the NLP chief won top-level favour by declaring their patch excluded from the playing field.
    The exposed workings of Qld Labor Government have hurt so many of us in different ways that polling day for thinkers has becomes a festive occasion, with a void vote the days major thrill. The CM’s inner sanctum less favourable to Bligh lately suggests the big fella’s dropped her. Queenslanders though, are still part of the Great Southern land whose occupants, in the main, have a three-week memory recall and a State/newspaper sponsored fun-run or firework show held within that time-frame will favour the incumbent. A daily declaration of a new martyr seems to have a similar purpose.
    So long as the Nanny-state thinking rules, we will all wear the Dumbded-down Australians tag.

  8. http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/bligh-rules-out-calling-poll-next-week/story-e6frfku0-1226242577623

    [Bligh rules out calling poll next week
    January 12, 2012

    QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh has categorically ruled out calling an election next week.
    Ms Bligh will be in regional Queensland on Tuesday, the day some observers had speculated she might go to the governor.

    Asked today if she would rule out calling an election next week, she said: “Yes”.

    At about the same time, the man who wants her job, Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman, said he was kicking off the election campaign, and wouldn’t wait for Ms Bligh to set an election date.

    “Today marks the kick off of the state campaign, whether the premier has confirmed it or not,” Mr Newman said in the Brisbane seat of Ashgrove, which he must take from Labor if he wants to become premier.]

  9. Bligh will no doubt be looking for a flood anniversary poll bounce before making the call. I have little doubt Newman is correct that the real campaign started this week.

    June is a long way off but at least we know that’s an end date and given we have managed to suffer through 33 months then what’s another 6 months. Anything less than 6 is a bonus.

  10. Haven’t seen this reported anywhere, but Labor has preselected Leanne Linard as its candidate for Nudgee in place of retiring Neil Roberts. All I’ve been able to find out about her is that she was a policy adviser to Anna Bligh (then Deputy Premier) as of early 2007.

  11. I’ve also heard that the ECQ’s request for a clear six weeks on either side of the council elections elicited a response from the government which featured four-letter words, together with a directive to quit flapping their lip to the media.

  12. The Australian’s QLD election & flood anniversary coverage today


    [Flood memorials over, it’s now a race to the polls
    BY: MICHAEL MCKENNA AND ANDREW FRASER From: The Australian January 13, 2012 12:00AM]


    [Life returns, not quite as they knew it
    BY: ROSANNE BARRETT From: The Australian January 13, 2012 12:00AM]


    [Feature – Labor swims against rising tide
    BY: HEDLEY THOMAS From: The Australian January 13, 2012 12:00AM]

  13. Bligh’s 2011 flood inspired poll bounce was washed away when most people realised the floods were easier to recover from than the Bligh government. I doubt things will be much different in 2012.

  14. The conservatives two election run of taking over Green Protest campaigns seems to have been hijacked by the Katter Party just in time for the Queensland election.

    [THE Queensland leader of Katter’s Australian Party, Aidan McLindon, has joined an anti-coal-seam-gas blockade south of Brisbane.

    Local landowners and anti-CSG campaigners from Queensland and NSW set up the protest site on a farm at Kerry, near Beaudesert, early yesterday, preventing Arrow Energy from doing exploratory CSG drilling.

    Twelve people have been arrested at the site and charged with contravening a police direction. They will all face Beaudesert Magistrates Court next month.

    Mr McLindon, a former LNP member and sitting Beaudesert MP, said he had joined the blockade because he shared the residents’ concerns about the mining practice.]


  15. Arrow Energy:


    [Arrow Energy Limited, an integrated energy company, engages in coal seam gas activities ranging from exploration to production, transportation, and electricity generation. It supplies gas to power stations, and local and industrial users in Australia and internationally. Arrow Energy Limited was formerly known as Arrow Energy NL and changed its name to Arrow Energy Limited in January 2008. The company was founded in 1997 and is based in Brisbane, Australia. As of August 23, 2010, Arrow Energy Limited operates as a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell plc and PetroChina Co. Ltd.]


  16. Have to admit Steve that Seeney is not my preferred premier however he is nevertheless an improvement over both Bligh and Fraser. Regarding the QLD fiscal position, Seeney could hardly do a worse job in 2012 than his federal mates from Griffith and Lilley did when they got control of the federal treasury in 2007 and he starts from a much worse position.

  17. There is an awful lot of precedent in Australia and Queensland even for an Opposition Leader and especially one paid taxpayers money of an extra $60, 000 per year to actually do the job taxpayers are paying him for. Taxpayers were employing Newman but he cut and run and frankly how do we know that after the election he won’t cut and run to be Prime Minister of Australia and after five minutes in that job leave to become Emperor of the whole known universe. His ego knows no bounds, It is time for Premier Seeney!

  18. Steve I doubt Newman has the same lofty ambitions to be Emperor of the World as our previous PM did and has. But you never know, perhaps it’s a QLD trait.

  19. What is a Queensland trait is the National Party hiding behind weak Liberals like we saw when Don Lane and Brian Austen were elected as Liberals at an election on Saturday and both had joined the National Party by early the next week. Are the Liberals and the CMC as a matter of principle and wise spending of public money going to force Seeney to hand back the taxpayers money he has taken as a ruse for pretending to be Opposition Leader?

  20. “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

    Ayn Rand,Atlas Shrugged”, 1957

    It really has all been said before and I’ve been too self-effacing from the word go to pour over the writings and discoveries of my antecedents and rearrange them in such a way as to get praise and degrees. So I amuse myself by using the wisdom of others who, in most cases, presented it better than I could.
    In her defence of capitalism, Rand’s philosophies made huge books and huge readership. As with the Bible we pick bits to suit the occasion, and though the opening paragraph of this post was used in a compilation recently, “Good People…” the determination that drove good and decent people, much like you and me, to be arrested the other day at Kerry for defending their country, is true gut and I would like to believe their actions have been officially noted with recommendations for exceptional bravery in the face of adversity.

  21. Another very disturbing aspect of National Party rule in Queensland and the elephant in the room for the LNP in this election (whether headed by Opposition Leader Seeney or sock puppet Newman) is that nobody has bothered to explain just what will be the role of the Police Union in this reincarnation of extra parliamentary politics which we are all witnessing at present. In the past the National Party has allowed free reign to the Police Union, has anything changed? The National Party adopting power drivers from outside the parliament is the norm for them but somehow we are supposed to believe that this time the same tactics are different and will produce a different result this time around.
    Sing Hallejuah and pass the brown paper bags because they are back!

  22. Poor bugger me, and the other day I noted in a story how in the immediate post-war, Aussies sent raw eggs to their starving English cousins preserved in animal fat to prevent oxygen entering through shell pores. To egg is to be human…

  23. Welcome to the bizzare world of Queensland politics where the Queensland Labor Party has adopted Queensland Health as its symbol of caring until it throws one tantrum too many and destroys Labor rule opposed to the Queensland National Party who adopts the Police Force as its symbol of caring until it throws one tantrum too many and destroys Tory rule.

  24. Apparently there is a plan to roast Newman slowly but I’d still prefer him to suffer until Jun 16. He would be beside himself with panic if Labor focused totally on winning the City Council elections first and winning of Ashgrove by mid June. He goes very red and puffy in the face when frustrated and annoyed so we would have a good indicator each day of how the little fella is travelling.

    [PREMIER Anna Bligh will likely opt for a six-week election campaign, hoping that will give her opponent Campbell Newman time to shoot himself in the foot.

    She is expected to opt for a 40-day marathon instead of the normal 26 days “so Queenslanders can get to know Campbell Newman”. And, for the first time, she has pointed to a possible date – March 17 or 24.

    “I certainly will be looking forward to an election campaign some time in the first few months of the year and … game on,” she told The Sunday Mail yesterday.

    “It is my intention to go as close to full term (March 21) as reasonably possible. There is a slight complication with the council elections due at the end of March … but these are not insurmountable.”

    Ms Bligh said promised health and education reforms would “take shape in the next couple of weeks” and only then would she turn her attention to calling the eagerly awaited election. And the Liberal National Party leader is firmly in her sights.

    “By the time people go in to vote, I want them to know a lot about Campbell Newman. I think he is unsuited for leadership. I think his record is one which demonstrates that and I want people to have an opportunity to fully scrutinise him.”]


  25. Problem is Premier we only have your word Newman is not fit for leadership however we know from experience that you are a failed leader.

    We are impatient and the longer this gets drawn the harsher may end up being the punishment. Just bring it on Premier.

  26. [We are impatient and the longer this gets drawn the harsher may end up being the punishment.]

    Funny one DavidWH I seem to remember Torries breathlessly running around scandalised because the last election was held a couple of days early! Selective memory is a wonderful Tory trait.

  27. [I am learning to be patient. Good things are worth waiting for according to my mum.]

    Good, now if you can just explain to Campbell what your Mum taught you he might be able to get himself into parliament at a by-election some time in the next three years. The problem for Newman is that he has no seat in parliament, has no parliamentary experience, has poor financial credentials, is no Bob Hawke, not a rhodes scholar and clearley does need to learn a little about patience to counter his sense of entitlement.
    Demanding to be Premier is not a good resume for Premier.

  28. [Mr Newman fielded questions about his leadership and how brittle the LNP could be under pressure.]
    But as usual the poor quality reporting of the state political scene by the Courious Snail will never allow us to know what was said. If Newman spoke about how brittle the LNP can be under pressure then I want to know what he said that is what political reporting is.


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