Queensland election minus four weeks

Around the grounds:

Ashgrove (Labor 7.1%): Yet another ReachTel automated phone poll for Ashgrove was conducted on February 9 from a sample of 616, and it showed Campbell Newman with a narrower lead than in any of the previous five: 49 per cent to 41 per cent on the primary vote, which panned out to an implausibly narrow 51-49 on ReachTel’s dubious two-party preferred measure. The Greens continue to hover around 6 per cent in this poll series, which is much lower than seems credible in this seat. In other Ashgrove news, the LNP is complaining that a “community group” to back Kate Jones under the banner “Locals for Locals” was set up by Labor to help it evade the $50,000 spending cap on promoting individual candidates which is coming into force at this election.

South Brisbane (Labor 15.0%): ReachTel also targeted the Premier’s electorate with a poll canvassing 339 respondents on January 23, and it found Anna Bligh leading the LNP 35 per cent to 34 per cent, which would pan out to a very comfortable win for her after distribution of preferences from the Greens, who were on 22 per cent.

Ferny Grove (Labor 4.5%): The most recent ReachTel poll canvassed 370 respondents in this seat on February 17, and together with past results it seems to suggest a pattern of ReachTel being roughly plausible in inner suburban seats like the two noted previously, but producing fantastically bad results for Labor further out in the suburbs. This poll had Labor incumbent Geoff Wilson trailing LNP challenger Dale Shuttleworth 63 per cent to 23 per cent on the primary vote. This was the first ReachTel poll which didn’t come with a respondent-allocated two-party preferred result, which presumably had something to do with Antony Green’s blog post on the matter a week earlier.

Mount Ommaney (Labor 4.8%): Following a very late retirement announcement from Labor member Julie Attwood, the party’s new candidate is Ben Marczyk, an organiser with Together Queensland.

Stretton (Labor 9.5%) and Sunnybank (Labor 10.8%): Steven Wardill of the Courier-Mail reported a fortnight ago that retiring Labor MPs Stephen Robertson and Judy Spence failed to attend the opening of their successor candidates’ electorate office. Robertson has reportedly “fallen out with branch members after the party preselected unionist Duncan Pegg over his preferred candidate, David Forde” (who is running as an independent), and “courted controversy late last year by attending a fundraising function for Mr Forde”.

Broadwater (Labor 2.0%): The ABC reports that Ron Clarke, the 75-year-old Gold Coast mayor, says he will decide over the weekend whether he will run as an independent against Labor’s Peta-Kaye Croft.

Southern Downs (LNP 21.1%): Peter Watson, Labor’s 19-year-old candidate for this unwinnable rural seat, has been disendorsed and expelled from the party over comments he left on web forums at the age of 15 and 16, in which he supported the White Australia Policy and said homosexuals were “degenerates” who should be “wiped out” from society. Anna Bligh argued, rather implausibly, that Watson had infiltrated the party in order to embarrass it. However, his father Dudley Watson is a long-standing party member and former president of his local branch, and resigned his membership in response to Bligh’s comments. Labor is using Watson’s expulsion to claim higher standards than the LNP, which is continuing to endorse Gavin King in Cairns despite his colourful record as a newspaper columnist. This follows the LNP using Richard Towson’s withdrawal in Broadwater over a drink-driving offence to plead higher standards than Labor, which continues to endorse Algester MP Karen Struthers despite her own drink driving conviction in 2007. Labor’s dumping of Watson has called attention to the party’s large retinue of wet-behind-the-ears candidates: 18-year-old Ben Parker, who lives on the Gold Coast, in Gympie; 20-year-old Oscar Schlamowitz in Indooroopilly; 20-year-old Jack O’Brien in Gregory; and 19-year-old Rachel Patterson in Mermaid Beach.

Lytton (Labor 12.2%): Meanwhile, the LNP’s 23-year-old candidate for Lytton, Neil Symes, has attracted attention over comments he made on Facebook describing asylum seekers as “terrorists and queue jumpers”.


Bernard Keane of Crikey observes that spending caps which are taking effect at this election arrive just in time for Labor’s loss of its spending advantage over the LNP, whose coffers have been engorged by donors courting favour with the expected victor.

• The registration of political parties which will take effect at the election has been finalised and it doesn’t include the Australian Sex Party, who were unable to prove they had the requisite 500 members. All that leaves is Labor, the LNP, the Greens, Katter’s Australian Party, One Nation, Family First and Daylight Saving for South East Queensland.

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.

122 comments on “Queensland election minus four weeks”

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  1. Some friction in the Beaudesert faction of Newman Inc.

    [The LNP’s fight to regain the seat of Beaudesert has hit a major road-bump with the resignation of a senior party member.

    LNP chairman for the Christmas Creek/Tamrookum branch George Andrew said he could not, “in good conscience”, remain a party member after recent events including a “bungled pre-selection process” and “intentionally deceitful” actions over coal seam gas.

    “Many LNP members of local branches are unhappy over the bungled preselection process which has left Beaudesert with a candidate (Jon Krause) who lives in Brisbane who is completely out of touch with the local issues,” Mr Andrew said.

    “The LNP is being intentionally deceitful about the party’s position on coal seam gas mining in the Scenic Rim Region.

    “I was present at the Beaudesert branch meeting in February when the LNP’s Beaudesert campaign manager told the Beaudesert branch chairman that LNP headquarters were insisting that no debate would be allowed on a motion before the branch aimed at protecting the Scenic Rim Region against CSG mining.”

    Mr Andrew said the motion was deferred until after the election.]


  2. Katter case:
    [1.58pm: A Supreme Court judge has described the Katter’s Australian Party’s legal bid to have millions of Queensland ballot papers shredded as bizarre, AAP reports.

    The Queensland Electoral Commission has printed ‘‘The Australian Party’’ on ballot papers for the March 24 state election, the shortened version of its registered name.

    Katter’s Australian Party wants an injunction to have the papers reprinted, a move that could delay the election, because it fears the name obscures the identity of its candidates.

    Queensland Supreme Court Justice Roslyn Atkinson says that confusion is of the party’s own making, because it registered The Australian Party as its abbreviated name. She says the Queensland Electoral Act makes it clear that abbreviations can be used.

    The Supreme Court will be making a ruling on the issue later today.]

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/state-election-2012/poll-call-march-5-20120305-1ubn8.html#ixzz1oELYyfmp

  3. Patrick Lion ‏ @patricklion
    RT @seanparnell Newman: “I don’t want to sound like an egotist, but I am better qualified than anybody down there the ALP has put forward.””
    Retweeted by Col Smith

  4. Fake Jeff Seeney ‏ @FakeJeffSeeney
    @CD_track is apt name for Cam’s official twitter acct. Like a dodgy CD he keeps skipping; on his costings, on Qs he cant answer & The Truth.

  5. Premier Seeney maths are brilliant. Does he forget Borbidge or regret Borbidge?

    danielhurstbne LNP’s Jeff Seeney media release says “tired, 20 year old Labor Govt” is “failing basic maths” on Bruce Hwy funding #qldvotes #subtractskills 8 hours ago ·


  6. Now Newman Inc. has reverted to “just sent Labor a message” advertisments. They must have some bad polling if they have had to switch to this.

  7. [QUEENSLANDERS will have to wait until at least Wednesday to learn whether a Supreme Court application by Katter’s Australian Party to have its founder’s name included on ballot papers will delay the state election.

    The organisation and its Queensland leader Aidan McLindon’s application to have the Electoral Commission of Queensland cease the production and distribution of ballot papers bearing the party’s registered abbreviated title “The Australian Party” remained part heard before Justice Roslyn Atkinson on Monday.

    The case, in which the party is seeking to have its full registered title “Katter’s Australian Party (Queensland Division) featured next to candidates’ names, was adjourned after the applicants raised “Constitutional issues”, legally requiring consultation with state and federal attorneys general.

    However, in a small win for the ECQ, Justice Atkinson ruled against placing a temporary injunction on the distribution of existing ballot papers – 6.5 million, of an ultimate 7.16 million, of which have already been printed.]


  8. Antony Green given foyer of new ABC Building at Southbank for election night coverage:

    [Please note: Queensland Votes 2012 will be broadcast in Queensland only on ABC1.

    The new ABC Brisbane headquarters will be transformed into the ABC Queensland Election Centre on Saturday, March 24, hosting the corporation’s multi-platform election coverage from the building’s new foyer.

    On election night the ABC will mount the most comprehensive broadcast on TV, radio, online and mobile.

    Continuing the leading coverage of the Queensland election campaign, the ABC will provide the most accurate and expert analysis on election night.

    ABC TV coverage will be live nationally on ABC News 24 and on ABC1 in Queensland only. On-air at 6.30pm (Qld time, 7.30pm AEDT), veteran election broadcaster, Kerry O’Brien will host the TV special, with ABC Election Analyst, Antony Green. This is Antony Green’s 9th Queensland election, and as always, he is confident the ABC election computer system will call the results as early as possible.]


  9. Michael Crutcher ‏ @MJCrutcher
    Another CM election exclusive tomorrow. @stevenwardill on the mate’s rates story that will dominate the day. #qldvotes

  10. The Australian Party’s case is crazy. They are now arguing Section 109 of the Constitution, inconsistency between state an commonwealth law so the commonwealth law should apply.

    The problem is that in its application to register the abbreviation, Katter’s Australian Party used the Queensland Electoral Act. To argue Section 109 now is to argue the party should have been prevented from being granted the abbreviation it requested.

    The other problem is the Commonwealth Electoral Act explicitly applies only to Commonwealth elections. The Act is completely silent on the conduct of Queensland elections, so there can’t be a conflict between state and commonwealth laws. But if they ask for an injunction and claim constitutional grounds, the Judge has to ask for state and federal opinion. Big costs order coming out of this for the Australian Party I reckon.

    That’s unless the court accepts the ‘vibe’ argument.

  11. Antony, I really do wonder if it is not the another version of the whinge and win theory the Queensland Tories know how to sook and whinge and have turned sookiness into votes for years. Katter himself is an ex National Party Minister and in the areas where Katter is strongest this whining goes down a treat.

    It will do them no harm at all in seats like Beaudesert, Dalrymple, Nanango, Cook, Barron River, Mt Isa and Callide. They will run on the old Hansen anti politician line and claim the whole establishment from the major parties to the courts are giving them a hard time. Very tough people doing very arduous and difficult work have a history of falling for these sob stories in Queensland’s political history. I’d be surprised if they don’t get around 8 or 10 seats.

  12. Gympie went to One Nation for years too and seats like this would be prime pickings for Katter. I don’t think a developer’s friend from Brisbane Central or a Former Brisbane Lord Mayor will hold much appeal for people in these areas and if the Reachtel Poll run tonight and out tomorrow might mean that Newman Inc. will have to stay in town to protect their own turf.

  13. It is a very expensive way to get publicity. They’ll end up paying for teams of senior counsel to represent both the state and the commonwealth. You can see from the judge’s remarks what she thinks of the arguments put so far in relation to the Electoral Act.

    Pauline Hanson was very fortunate after the NSW election that the Court of Disputed Returns decided the state should pay to resolve the origin of accusations of electoral fraud rather than make her pay for having taken them to court. The Australian Party is unlikely to be so lucky unless they can produce a decent argument that there are constitutional issues to resolve.

  14. This all seems like something out of Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter has lost all sense of reality. Having toyed with One Nation in the 90’s I have more faith in QLD country people than you do Steve to see beyond the craziness that KAP offers. But it is QLD and we have done some crazy things in the past. I put it down to too much sunshine and the fact we have been short of that for a while could be a positive.

  15. The Reachtel Poll for Ashgrove is being released in about an hour and a half from now (just after 7.00am Brisbane on ABC local radio). This will be the first real big indicator for how this election has gone so far. If there has been any movement in the state campaign I would expect it to show up in Ashgrove where all the resources have been focussed by both sides.

  16. Andrew Fraser ‏ @AndrewFraserMP

    The allegations in the Courier Mail against me are completely and utterly baseless and false. LNP has tried this on before in Parlt.

  17. Steve said “I really do wonder if it is not the another version of the whinge and win theory” of the Tories

    The champion of this theory would be the Federal ALP, because it is never their fault, lets look at a list of people they have blamed for their massive list of failures.

    Rudd Dumping the ETS, it is either the Rat f*cking chinese or Julia
    Budget blowout on the BER, NSW ALP’s fault
    Changing the law (writen by Gillard) to allow boat people in, that is Abbott’s fault for helping Gillard pen the new law?
    Stuffed up the Mining tax, it is not the lack of consultation, it was mining interest… Swannie, if you decide to tax supermarkets $10 billion extra, do you really think they would just do nothing. The best thing to do is negotiate and get something that they grundgingly accepts, the way Swannie did it showed a complete lack of competance (as Rudd said)
    Gillard backstabbing Rudd, it was a media creation
    Rudd trying to backstab Rudd, another media creation, nothing really happened
    Gillard writting her victory speech over Rudd 3 weeks before she said …. Complete loyalty ….. full forward for Melbourne ….. Her staff fault
    Gillard saying “no carbon tax under a government she led” 3 month before announcing a carbon tax under a government she led… that was Abbott’s fault, Gillard could not have said no to a carbon tax
    Gillard’s staff ringing union official to tell Aborigines tent ambassy where Abbott is and lying about what Abbott said, causing the Australian day triot …. ACTU unions leader and staff fault
    Fake Julia …. invented by Abbott

    It is the Federal ALP modus operani to blame everyone for all of their countless stuff ups. They comes out with a new scapegoat everyday.

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