Queensland election: March 24

Anna Bligh has today announced the Queensland state election will be held on March 24, after the state’s floods inquiry was recalled to hear what Hedley Thomas of The Australian describes as “extraordinary new evidence that suggests the wrong strategy was used to manage Wivenhoe Dam days before Brisbane was inundated”.

Bligh explained today that it had been her intention to hold a poll on March 3, but she will now hold off until after the inquiry reports on March 16. This amounts to an effective campaign of over eight weeks (although she will not visit the Governor to officially call the election until February 19), which may be without precedent in Australia at least so far as past three or four decades are concerned. It had generally been thought that a long campaign would be in Bligh’s interests, as it allows an incumbent trailing by a long margin to hope that either the Opposition Leader or the party behind him might fracture under the pressure.

The state’s local government elections, previously due on March 31, will now be delayed until after Easter to allow for more clear air after the state election. It was reported earlier this month that the Electoral Commission of Queensland wanted a six months gap on either side of the council elections for logistical reasons.

For comprehensive details on each of the state’s 89 electorates, look no further than the Poll Bludger’s election guide.

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.

120 comments on “Queensland election: March 24”

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  1. Here’s one from a year ago.

    [What if he does not win the seat of Ashgrove?

    We can all get over the extraordinary circumstances being established here, where the Lord Mayor won’t get to be a state MP for even one day before becoming the Premier of Queensland – but seriously, what if he does not win?

    The LNP may run an entire election campaign based on the premise that Campbell Newman will be Premier and then we could end up with Jeff Seeney?

    The likelihood of this is not only possible, it is probable.

    The margin of the seat of Ashgrove is 7.1%.

    This would not even normally make the target seat list of a major political party during an election campaign.]

  2. the poll on January 11 2 weeks ago by ReachTel in Ashgrove has the following primary figures

    LNP 50.8
    ALP 37.6
    Greens 6
    Katter’s Aus Party 4.4
    One Nation 0.7
    Others 0.6

    2PP LNP 54.8 ALP 45.2

    all polls by ReachTel since september have newman on over 50% of primary votes

    as i said earlier he is home and i for one will be taking the $1.12 and making a tidy profit


  3. [i for one will be taking the $1.12 and making a tidy profit]

    Do what you like but there is no value there. Better to just get your pay and shred it – far easier.

  4. @ steve.

    i have seen internal data from both sides and it is consistent with both the Reachtel and galaxy polls in which have Newman’s primary vote in Ashgrove between a lowest point of 48% to a highest of 55%. the recent trend is a primary vote from the internal polls of both major parties being slightly lower than the Reachtel, but have been consistent between 48%-51% since November

  5. [aaronkirk

    Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    @ steve.

    i have seen internal data from both sides and it is consistent with both the Reachtel and galaxy polls in which have Newman’s primary vote in Ashgrove between a lowest point of 48% to a highest of 55%. the recent trend is a primary vote from the internal polls of both major parties being slightly lower than the Reachtel, but have been consistent between 48%-51% since November

    Only a handful of people see internal polling.

    You it seems isn’t one of them.

  6. Yes Frank John Brumby the man you called a Liberal 😉 was great during the Black Saturday bushfires but was undermined by Christine Nixon

    I was very impressed in the manner that Anna Bligh handled the floods and later on I had the opportunity to hear a presentation by a member of the flood management team and the stories they told were very impressive.

  7. True very view people see the internals, I was surprised at how few do, during the last Victorian state poll I knew several people close to cabinet members and they had no more of an idea than many in here expressed. even on election eve.

  8. It’s not only Galaxy and Reach Tel showing a comfortable win for the LNP as Newspoll results are showing similar results. However it’s QLD and anything is possible up hear as Goss found out in the 90’s. All the vibes I am getting is that the it’s time factor is so strong that it is going to take something special for Bligh to turn things around for Labor.

    Fraser and much of Bligh’s team are not held in high regard. Personally I think the more likely outcome if the LNP doesn’t win outright will be a minority government of some makeup which would be a worse result for the state.

    It may come down to how Newman handles the pressure of an election campaign although I suspect many people accept Bligh is the stronger leader/politician but have nonetheless lost confidence in her government. The desire for change is so strong that it will likely overcome just about anything short of a LNP implosion.

    Anyway we will find out soon enough now.

  9. [Personally I think the more likely outcome if the LNP doesn’t win outright will be a minority government of some makeup which would be a worse result for the state.]

    Personally I think minority governments of various makeups have produced some of the best governments we have seen with the exception of lib minority governments.

    The labor NSW VIC and SA minority govts were terrific in accountability and getting issues heard and passed that would not have been without the influence of the independents upon whom the govt relied. The minority lab govt in ACT works appears to work well.

    I remember the comment of one who said that the trouble with minority govt is that they have to justify every decision as an inquiry may and can be called seeking that justification as they do not have the numbers in the house.

    For the libs it does not seem to work as well, Nick found to his great anguish that he could not ignore the independents in his crusade to rid the state of corruption. The QLD lib minority govt lasted one term, the Tas one didn’t do too well either.

    Would love Newman to be in minority govt to work with the Katter party and three or four other independents. 18 months of Newman gnashing his teeth. pulling the last of his hair out, trying to work compromises and meet the individual demands whilst being subject to intense parliamentary scrutiny.

    Would show in all practical terms what Gillard has achieved and what the libs can’t do.

  10. http://tinyurl.com/83jws5l (click Google link)

    [Smart timetable allows debate, ensures a campaign slog for opponent
    by: Peter Beattie
    From: The Australian
    January 26, 2012 12:00AM

    ANNA Bligh has set the right election tone for Labor by announcing a state election date of March 24.

    This enables the flood inquiry report to be publicly released before Queenslanders vote. It also means a long election campaign that in effect starts today, even though the Premier will not visit the Governor until February 19.]
    more in the article

  11. Bligh has actually made it very easy for Newman when he loses Ashgrove to go straight back and apply for his old job as Lord Mayor of Brisbane. The date for the Brisbane City Council election to make Newman Lord Mayor of Brisbane is yet to be decided. The voters were always keen for him to do the job at City Hall and will support him again I’m sure. I doubt whether Premier Seeney or any of the Nationals will plead with him to come back after the way he ousted JPL and Springborg from their jobs.

  12. Newman needs to rule out a plan B run for lord mayor immediately, or the corrosion to his state campaign will be terminal. While he’s at it he should also rule out a run for PM next.

  13. If doubts persist about Campbell winning Ashgrove then the inevitable questions about what would happen will dominate the election.

    Could imagine a picture of Newman morphing into Seeney by George would scare a few of the punters.

  14. Bligh’s election strategy is clear. Smear Newman and hold fear of a hung parliament.

    Could work if people are still listening to her.

  15. AndrewFraserMP Andrew Fraser
    Many Qlders will recoil as Newman politicises appointment of independent CMC Chair. Begs question of who/what he has secretly promised
    27 minutes ago AndrewFraserMP Andrew Fraser

    Connolly-Ryan, Police Union MOU? Newman is overruling Seeney interfering in a parliamentary process as a non MP. What does @jplangbroek say?
    19 minutes ago

  16. [Bligh has actually made it very easy for Newman when he loses Ashgrove to go straight back and apply for his old job as Lord Mayor of Brisbane.]

    I’d been big on the idea that Labor could run in Ashgrove saying: “Vote for Kate Jones and keep her, Bligh and Newman – the latter will go back to city hall where you wanted him all along, Clem Jones-style. But if you vote for Newman, all you’ll only get is Newman – Jones and Bligh will be on the dole.” This was spoiled of course by the timing of the two elections. But now it’s not.

  17. I can see the average National Party member sitting back applauding and cheering loudly as an unelected Big city Liberal upstart tramples all over their processes and authority. But it doesn’t really matter because the National in charge of the committee is only from the Gold Coast so who cares?

    [Campbell Newman says the Government should not be making appointments so close to the poll.

    “Will there be an agreement from the Premier to not seek to appoint people to some significant positions around the state, for example I can reveal that they’re trying to push through an appointment of a new head of the CMC … now we don’t agree with that happening,” he said.

    Attorney-General Paul Lucas says the Opposition has been given the opportunity to interview the Government’s nominee.

    “The law provides that any nominee of the Government for the chair of the CMC has to be supported by bipartisan majority of the parliamentary committee, which is chaired by Alexander Douglas an LNP Member of Parliament,” he said.]


  18. The thing that Newman being a big head doesn’t understand is that Queensland has always been ruled by someone other than him, Ashgrove has always been represented by someone other than him. Both will be represented as Premier and Member for Ashgrove with someone other than him. Even worse news for him if all the hype from the LNP and their cheersquad at the Courier Mail is to be believed the Tories are going to win the election so easily that nobody need vote for Newman at all. Jeff Seeney can just make the transition from Opposition Leader to Premier in the usual way Australia, Queensland and Ashgrove has always operated.

  19. Galaxy Poll Queensland State (800 Voters)

    Two Party Preferred: ALP 41 (+3) LNP 59 (-3)
    Primary Votes: ALP 32 (+4) LNP 49 (-1) GRN 10 (0) KAP 4 (0)
    Bligh: Approve 43 (+2) Disapprove 50 (-3)
    Newman: Approve 48 (+1) Disapprove 37 (0)
    Preferred Premier: Bligh 40 (0) Newman 49 (-2)

  20. So Galaxy has every figure for Newman Inc on a downhill slide probably a case of too little to late for Labor with three years of being mugged by a major political Party who still deny the Global Financial Crisis have personalised every public mistep by the Premier.
    Katter may well be beginning to cut into the LNP vote too as country Queensland look at the City led Newman credentials point and laugh.

    Labor won an estimated 50.6% two party prefered vote at the last election so this Galaxy poll has them down 9.6% which at present would be a loss of :

    Everton ALP 1.4%
    Broadwater ALP 2.0%
    Cook ALP 2.2%
    Barron River ALP 2.3%
    Toowoomba North ALP 3.2%
    Whitsunday ALP 3.2%
    Southport ALP 3.5%
    Townsville ALP 4.0%
    Springwood ALP 4.1%
    Cairns ALP 4.2%
    Mansfield ALP 4.4%
    Ferny Grove ALP 4.5%
    Kallangur ALP 4.6%
    Pine Rivers ALP 4.6%
    Mount Ommaney ALP 4.8%
    Burleigh ALP 4.9%
    Pumicestone ALP 5.0%
    Mount Coot-tha ALP 5.3%
    Redcliffe ALP 5.6%
    Mount Isa ALP 5.7%
    Brisbane Central ALP 6.0%
    Albert ALP 6.5%
    Mundingburra ALP 6.6%
    Greenslopes ALP 6.9%
    Ashgrove ALP 7.1%
    Murrumba ALP 7.2%
    Stafford ALP 7.3%
    Keppel ALP 7.6%
    Bulimba ALP 7.8%
    Mulgrave ALP 8.1%
    Thuringowa ALP 8.5%
    Yeerongpilly ALP 8.7%
    Morayfield ALP 9.1%
    Algester ALP 9.2%
    Stretton ALP 9.5%
    Ipswich West 9.6%

  21. Interesting view from yesterday’s Australian Financial Review:

    [Mr Katter has not said his party would be making any preference deals with the other sides but said nothing would change in Queensland if the LNP won power.

    “You can’t get change in Australia by changing governments the only thing you can do is change what governments do when they get in there,” Mr Katter said.]


  22. Tencb Cathy Border
    .@LNPQLD logan candidate quits over 2003 case as then police officer in spitting incident @Campbell_Newman @TheQldPremier
    1 hour ago

  23. The second LNP candidate in three weeks has quit and Journalist are starting to get jack of these Late Friday night LNP bad news announcements. Not sorry for what he did apparently but very sorry he got caught out.

    LNP candidate for Logan, Peter Anderson-Barr, quits after smear campaign

    by: Koren Helbig
    From: The Courier-Mail
    January 27, 2012 7:13PM

    Peter Anderson-Barr was to contest the Logan for the LNP bowed out for ”personal reasons”. Source: The Courier-Mail

    ANOTHER LNP candidate has been chopped from Campbell Newman’s election team.

    Police officer and Army Reserve warrant officer Peter Anderson-Barr was to contest the Logan seat but bowed out today for “personal reasons”.

    An LNP spokesman said Mr Anderson-Barr had become aware of a “Labor Party smear campaign” against him, relating to a 2003 incident while he was working as a police officer at the Surfers Paradise watchhouse.

    “In that incident Mr Anderson-Barr retaliated against an offender who spat on him,” the spokesman said.

    “He resigned as he did not want to put himself and his family through the stress of a relentless personal attack from Labor.”

    Mr Anderson-Barr did not return calls today, but tonight his profile on the Can Do website had been removed.

    It came just two weeks after LNP candidate for Broadwater Richard Towson was dropped after being charged with drink-driving.


  24. Fifty years of brawling beteen the Liberals and the Nats and no letup in sight.

    [Mr Newman said he wouldn’t be discussing who would sit on his front bench but confirmed LNP MP for Gregory Vaughan Johnson and others had expressed their interest.

    He said it would be presumptuous to say who would be picked, because the LNP had to get across the line first.

    But he added: “Regional Queensland, particularly west of the divide, must be represented [in cabinet], and I advise people in those areas that should we win government, they will be represented.”

    He denied the issue was proof of ongoing division and conflict within the LNP.

    Earlier, Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser said Mr Johnson and other experienced LNP MPs Howard Hobbs and Mike Horan were being passed over by Mr Newman and the party’s parliamentary leader Jeff Seeney because of their support for former leader Lawrence Springborg.

    “Vaughan Johnson, Howard Hobbs and Mike Horan all have cabinet experience from the Borbidge years, but Campbell Newman’s petty backroom politics saw them dumped immediately,” he said.

    “Now it seems that Vaughan has taken a stand, telling the ABC this morning that he has no intention of being a humble backbencher should the LNP win government, as Mr Newman has told him he will be.”

    “Vaughan is scorned and he’s telling Mr Newman or whoever could potentially lead the LNP that he will not stand for anything less than a cabinet post. This is just another example of the torrid infighting the LNP is famous for.”

    Comment was being sought from Mr Johnson.

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/lnp-leader-newman-denies-party-divisions-20120127-1ql1p.html#ixzz1keSyGPLY

  25. I cannot believe how much rubbish I’ve heard from the ABC on Bligh and last years floods.

    If the ABC isn’t getting serious money from someone they have sold their souls for nothing.

  26. LNP red face:

    MichaelCrandon Michael Crandon MP
    “Bundy Rum” drivers excuse takes cake “It was raining so hard I didnt see the blue wheelchair painted on the bitumen!” pic.twitter.com/avUO1Pem
    5 hours ago

  27. I hope nobody ever tells the Queensland National Party that there has been a Global Financial Crisis and any effect it has on the Queensland economy in the next three years will be blamed on Premier Seeney just like they have blamed all the GFC ripple effect on Bligh.

    [The Fed forecast growth of up to 2.7 percent this year, up to 3.2 percent next year and up to 4 percent in 2014, but at the end of that period, the central bank projected that the recovery would still be incomplete. Workers would still be looking for jobs, and businesses would still be looking for customers.

    “What did we learn today? Things are bad, and they’re not improving at the rate that they want them to improve,” said Kevin Logan, chief United States economist at HSBC. “That’s what they concluded — ‘We’ve eased policy a lot, but we haven’t eased it enough.’ ” ]


  28. The candidate for Ashgrove in full acrobatic mode:

    [CAMPBELL Newman has stumbled on the campaign trail again, backtracking on his call for the Premier to pay her own way to Cyclone Yasi commemorations.

    Critical on Thursday of Anna Bligh’s plans to use the Government jet to fly north early next month, Mr Newman yesterday conceded it was “fair enough” given she had been officially invited as Premier.

    The backflip came one week after the LNP leader botched his own jobs announcement, distancing himself from a pledge to create 420,000 new jobs that he had made only two days earlier.

    The latest gaffe came as he again demanded the Bligh Government enter caretaker mode immediately – instead of on February 19 – accusing it of using the perks of office to campaign.]


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