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”

Comments Page 1 of 3
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  1. Sue Lappeman ‏ @sueGCB

    The LNP has this afternoon endorsed Ms Verity Barton, resident of Coombabah & Chairperson of Broadwater SEC as new candidate for Broadwater.

  2. Must be Friday afternoon the LNP is clearing out the dead:

    [In a statement, LNP state director Michael O’Dwyer announces the party has disendorsed the candidate for the seat of Broadwater, Cameron Caldwell.

    “The decision arose following a complaint made by a member of the public to a senior party official. Mr Caldwell was offered the chance to put forward his version of events, however the nature of these matters were at conflict with the standards of the LNP. The LNP believes that its candidates should uphold high standards of behaviour in line with community expectations and on this occasion those standards have not been met.”

    This afternoon, the LNP has endorsed Verity Barton as the new candidate for Broadwater.]

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/state-election-2012/poll-call-february-24-20120224-1trfh.html#ixzz1nHPWhPbO

  3. I don’t fully get the Liberal objection on spending. Unlike the NSW law, there is no explicit rule preventing a party spending what it likes nursing a marginal, provided it doesn’t blow its statewide total cap (worth $80k x # of seats contested). The only explicit limit is on the amount a candidate’s agent can spend.

    As unfair as this rule is for independents, LNP and ALP are free to target and sandbag marginals. I inquired of this months ago and the ECQ already had Crown law advice on this. Aside from the policy problem, the LNP’s proper objection, if this group is not really independent, should be about front groups/misleading conduct.

  4. William, I’m interested in your reasoning about the robo polls. I’ve read Antony’s objections; and follow them insofar as OPV ain’t compulsory preferences: ie Reachtel’s two question looks a French runoff system but with the flaw of not assessing likelihood of turnout on the second ballot.

    A potential problem is in name recognition: in a first pref list of five or six candidates some harried respondents may exhibit a Newman bias given his high profile. At ballot boxes with photos of Jones in hand that is evened up a little. In the robo poll, it is evened up somewhat when an ‘ALP’s Jones’ vs ‘LNP’s Newman’ question is given.

    I’ve been cold called twice by ReachTel’s robot. The problem I see is less in questions
    asked than in the system. At first you wonder if this is a genuine poll, a party poll or a prelude to dodgy marketing. The other problem is it is rapid fire: merciless for those not nimble in response or dextrous with key pads.

    All that said I expect Newman to win with a modest margin. Then as a newbie Premier with a heavy load and a steep education in parl politics before him, to regret/recriminate at how the party could not find him a safer seat. He could perpetually feel like Howard in 04 or worse 07.

  5. Not Campbell Newman ‏ @Can_do_Campbell

    Maybe the ex LNP candidate for Broadbeach should have joined the @aussexparty where “swinging” would be a bonus on the resume…

  6. Cheersquad getting testy:

    [Meanwhile, the Liberal National Party (LNP) campaign had its own distractions.

    LNP leader Campbell Newman hit the hustings with wife Lisa in the key Brisbane seat of Ashgrove to announce a $4 million program of community grants.

    However, he spent most of his time defending the party’s decision to dump lawyer Cameron Caldwell from the seat of Broadwater on Friday.

    Mr Caldwell says he was asked to resign over a visit to a Gold Coast swingers’ club but Mr Newman refused to reveal more details.

    “We’ve set a high bar and I don’t want my team not living up to the standards that we’ve set,” he told reporters.

    A member of a community group on hand for the LNP’s announcement then took aim at reporters for broaching the topic.

    The man launched an unusual tirade at the gathered media, demanding they let Mr Newman talk about his policy or “shut up and go home”.]


  7. Cameron Caldwell ‏ @Cam_M_Caldwell

    36 days since my last tweet… 30 hours since I was dis-endorsed by the Lnp. The political world awaits my next tweet.. GO THE REDS!!
    28m Marsha Graham Marsha Graham ‏ @marshagoldcoast

    @Cam_M_Caldwell Sorry to hear your news y’day. Ridiculous party standard. There r much more important things in life and politics IMHO
    Cameron Caldwell Cameron Caldwell ‏ @Cam_M_Caldwell

    @marshagoldcoast thanks, the support for me today might make everyone re-think. Politicians are representative of people, not above them.
    Retweeted by Col Smith

  8. Wilderness Society gets temper flashing from Ashgove Candidate:

    [But he copped some criticism of his own from Wilderness Society members who tried to hijack two media conferences.

    A man dressed in a platypus costume and two others with a “Save our Wild Rivers” banner positioned themselves behind Mr Newman and bombarded him with questions. The tall Mr McCall and LNP minders tried to block them out.

    Mr Newman told the protesters he had already responded, then barked: “Don’t be so rude . . . just be courteous for once.”]


  9. Candidate for Ashgrove met with the Christian lobby this afternoon and has ignited a flame war on twitter.

    Not Campbell Newman ‏ @Can_do_Campbell

    RT β€œ@sleemol: Two steps forward and 40 years back. If ur outraged by @Campbell_Newman’s pledge to scrap civil unions, shout it from the roof

  10. Know this Queensland ‏ @Know_This_QLD

    Qld State Election – First name on ballot: 25% ALP; 20% LNP, 20% GREENS; 19% OTHER; 16% KAP (from all 89 electorates). #qldpol #qldvotes

  11. A list of Queensland premiers since the Queensland labor manifesto of 9 Sep 1892 and the first Labor Government of Dawson and still the tories want to bleat about 13 years since borbidge.

    Queensland Premiers
    Period served Premier
    13/09/2007–present Anna Maria Bligh
    26/06/1998–13/09/2007 Peter Beattie
    20/02/1996–26/06/1998 Robert Borbidge
    02/12/1989–20/02/1996 Wayne Goss
    22/09/1989–02/12/1989 Russell Cooper
    01/12/1987–22/09/1989 Michael Ahern
    08/08/1968–01/12/1987 Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen
    01/08/1968–08/08/1968 Gordon William Wesley Chalk
    17/01/1968–01/08/1968 Jack Charles Allen Pizzey
    12/08/1957–17/01/1968 George Francis Reuben Nicklin
    17/01/1952–12/08/1957 Vincent Clair Gair
    07/03/1946–17/01/1952 Edward Michael Hanlon
    16/09/1942–07/03/1946 Frank Arthur Cooper
    17/06/1932–16/09/1942 William Forgan Smith
    21/05/1929–17/06/1932 Arthur Edward Moore
    22/10/1925–21/05/1929 William McCormack
    26/02/1925–22/10/1925 William Neal Gillies
    22/10/1919–26/02/1925 Edward Granville Theodore
    01/06/1915–22/10/1919 Thomas Joseph Ryan
    07/02/1911–01/06/1915 Digby Frank Denman
    18/02/1908–07/02/1911 William Kidston
    19/11/1907–18/02/1908 Robert Philp
    19/01/1906–19/11/1907 William Kidston
    17/09/1903–19/01/1906 Arthur Morgan
    07/12/1899–17/09/1903 Robert Philp
    01/12/1899–07/12/1899 Anderson Dawson

  12. Ron Clarke, the former Olympian distance runner who won a bronze medal at the 1964 Olympics and current but soon to be retiring Mayor of Gold Coast City Council will contest the electorate of Broadwater as an independent.

    With the decline of labor in Queensland, and the shenanigans of the LNP candidates in Broadwater, Cr Clarke IMO will have a great chance to win the seat

  13. Looks like the Queensland Chamber of Commerce is trying to be a political player again. They turned up at Kevin Rudd’s home on the weekend and shown on TV news footage over the weekend. A couple of elections back they embarrassed themselves during a campaign.
    Patrick Lion ‏ @patricklion

    Why was the pres of the QLD Chamber of Commerce pretending to be an insulation installer dumping the batts on Rudd’s driveway? #auspol
    Retweeted by Not Campbell Newman

  14. Since August 1957 the Liberal or National Party has ruled Queensland for 34 years and 8 months under Premiers:


    Labor has ruled Queensland since August 1957 for 19 years and 9 months under premiers:


  15. Unbelievable! Was anybody hurt? Anybody arrested? Any substance to this at all? Is the LNP up to it’s old tricks in Mulgrave?

    [LNP candidate for Mulgrave Robyn Quick experienced first-hand a brush with criminals outside the Edmonton police station while walking to a Neighbourhood Watch meeting.

    Last week Ms Quick was walking along the busy street on twilight when two youths riding pushbikes sped past her trying to grab her purse causing her to fall during the incident.

    “I experienced first-hand what these people in this area are experiencing as they go about their daily life, minding their own businesses and some of the things that have happened to these people are a lot worse,” Ms Quick told The Cairns Post.

    “It was a terrifying experience and these residents have every right to speak out about the increasing criminal attacks on them and their property.]


  16. Toowoomba North shenanigans:

    [IT IS gloves off and no holds barred on the streets of Toowoomba North.

    Candidates for the electorate have spiced up the Garden City’s normally peaceful political scene as they fight out one of the most hotly contested campaigns in years.

    The latest incident occurred at the weekend when Labor’s Member for Toowoomba North Kerry Shine was contacted by police over volunteers electioneering in Margaret St.

    Mr Shine was told his team was distracting traffic and campaigning in an overly aggressive way.

    After investigating, Mr Shine discovered those responsible were actually working for LNP candidate Trevor Watts.

    They were dressed in ALP colours and were waving Keep Kerry banners that were altered to also read “Keep the Labor lies”.

    “That’s the sort of tactic you’d think up late at night at a nightclub under the influence of various things.”

    Mr Shine, who has held the seat of Toowoomba North since 2001, said he was surprised by the “unusually dirty politics” that had emerged.

    “I haven’t seen anything like it in Toowoomba.”

    Mr Watts yesterday made no apology for the tactic, which he said was aligned with those of Mr Shine and the ALP.]


  17. Michael Crutcher ‏ @MJCrutcher

    The Courier-Mail will no longer travel on the leaders’ buses during the state election campaign. Time for a better debate. Details tomorrow.

  18. Cameron Atfield ‏ @CameronAtfield

    Don’t worry, folks. @brisbanetimes will still be reporting from both on and off the bus! #multitasking

  19. [A DEVELOPER donated $50,000 under five different company names last year to then Brisbane lord mayor Campbell Newman’s city hall re-election fund just weeks before the city council approved two residential towers overlooking a heritage-listed cathedral and school.]


    [Mr Lawlor said Mr Newman has “explicitly signalled” to Cr Clarke that he could expect a position on the Board of the Organising Committee if he withdraws from his intention to run as a candidate in Broadwater.Mr Newman on Friday told The Bulletin: “I do not wish to be in any way presumptuous but someone of his

    stature, his track record in sports and administration, is someone who would be, how can I put it, someone we would be prepared to consider (for the Commonwealth Games board) as a government.”

    Mr Lawlor said he had no doubt that Mr Newman was telling Mr Clarke through the pages of the Gold Coast Bulletin that he would get a job under a Newman government if he does not run.

    “This is an incredible public inducement not to run for office,” Mr Lawlor said.

    “No one can pretend Mr Newman doesn’t know what he is doing when he makes these comments, prefaced by “…how can I put it…”.

    “It’s clear there is a public negotiation going on!”

    An LNP source in the same report had told The Bulletin: “It’s pretty clear what [Ron Clarke]’s up to. He is trying to shore up his retirement gig on the Commonwealth Games board”.]


  20. ReachTEL ‏ @ReachTEL
    We’ll be updating our Ashgrove poll on Monday night – results available Tuesday. Past results: goo.gl/S9fpr #qldvotes #qldpol

  21. LNP ‏ @LNPQLD

    Β· Open

    RT @bradtupper: Free train travel today hey? No such thing as ‘free’ travel, up goes some other tax to pay for it! #qldvotes #laborfail
    Col Smith Col Smith ‏ @Dangerman_2

    Β· Close

    @LNPQLD @bradtupper so what does that say about LNP promise of free travel after 9 trips? Thank for exposing LNP con job #qldpol #qldvotes

  22. Another day; another Newman backflip:

    [Mr Newman, who last year denounced the state government’s underground rail plan as an β€œ$8 billion unfunded fantasy” that would never proceed as planned, yesterday indicated he was open to a federal funding offer when asked whether he would turn down cash.

    β€œIf the federal government, which have been incredibly wasteful in spending our money as well, put money on the table, I guarantee to them and to the people of Queensland, indeed taxpayers across Australia that an LNP government under my leadership will spend what’s needed to fix the rail capacity issue,” he said.

    β€œWe’ll take any money gratefully from them but we will deliver the outcome more efficiently and economically.”]

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/state-election-2012/bigticket-rail-project-ready-to-proceed-20120229-1u3c0.html#ixzz1nomT3tGW

  23. Claims of another $20 000 of dodgy Campbell dealing in today’s Australian on top of the $50 000 they dug up yesterday.

    [Premier Anna Bligh has again this morning criticised Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Campbell Newman over more allegations about developer donations to his campaign fund when he was Brisbane mayor.

    The Australian newspaper is reporting the developer of two towers at East Brisbane paid another $20,000 to Mr Newman’s election fund.

    That is on top of the $50,000 in donations the paper reported yesterday.

    Ms Bligh says Mr Newman is still avoiding legitimate questions about some dealings with developers while he was Brisbane’s mayor.

    “I think there’s a very simple question here,” she said.

    “Why did this developer seek to use seven different names and companies to make seven different donations in a period of a matter of a days.

    “If this is all above board, why not just make one donation in one company name of more than $70,000.”

    The ABC has contacted Mr Newman for comment on this morning’s claims.

    Mr Newman yesterday denied any wrongdoing, saying he had no influence over the council approval process.

    He is yet to comment on the latest revelations.

    However, the LNP has said today if elected, it will not change the current rules that prevent ministers and their partners from owning shares in companies.

    Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls says there will be no exemptions to existing rules.

    “That’ll apply equally to all members of the Cabinet, so clearly we will comply with the Cabinet handbook, and it will apply to all members of the Cabinet, including Mr Newman,” he said.]


  24. AMAQ has found an LNP bandaid.

    [The Australian Medical Association of Queensland (AMA) says the Liberal National Party’s (LNP) plan for improving access to hospital emergency departments is a short-term solution.

    LNP leader Campbell Newman yesterday announced $129 million to provide more hospital staff on weekends, so patients can be treated and discharged more quickly.

    Part of that money will also be spent having more patients on elective surgery waiting lists treated in the private system.

    AMAQ president Dr Richard Kidd says it is not a lot of money.

    “It’s a band-aid, and it’s not a very good one,” he said.]

  25. Confusion as to which fund has the funny cash being poured into it but it turns out to be the Lord Mayor’s Reelection Fund:

    Mike G Chambers ‏ @mikegchambers

    Β· Open

    @ABCnews @Can_do_Campbell abc.net.au/news/2012-02-2… Newmans ‘re-election’ fund? I think that’s ‘restoration’ fund. That’s quite a typo. #NoCanDo
    Not Campbell Newman Not Campbell Newman ‏ @Can_do_Campbell


    @mikegchambers @abcnews two different funds. One is the city hall restoration fund, the other is in fact the LM’s re-election fund.
    Hide conversation
    5:58 AM – 1 Mar 12 via Twitter for iPhone Β· Details


    3h Mike G Chambers Mike G Chambers ‏ @mikegchambers

    Β· Open

    @Can_do_Campbell @abcnews Wow ok, my bad. Wait, no, Newmans bad.

  26. I wonder which of the following stories will gain more traction out here in the real world where trying to make ends meet and stay healthy is more important than which party has the best political spin machine?



  27. Hmmm, well DavidWH interesting question you pose.

    In article one, the probable next premier has dodgy developer links while he tries to fob off any scrunity; or article two, where pre-election the Doctors Union lobbies for more funding.

    Most concerning is how Clive Palmer, the team owner of the LNP, is getting more litigious and obnoxious as the campaign drags on. When Campbell and Clive have a falling out it’s going to be spectacular clash of egos!

  28. Ex Springborg staffer coming back from a glorious stint in the West to reek more havoc in Queensland:

    [The West Australian _ can also reveal that another Government employee, whose name surfaced during the email affair, has resigned from a unit attached to the Premier’s department called the Government Secretariat.

    Jake Smith, who joined the Barnett Government from the Liberal-National Party in Queensland, once wrote that nazis were “admirable” and unmarried women were “perverse”.

    “Jake Smith was on a short-term contract which was due to end in mid-March,” Mr Barnett said yesterday.

    “He resigned his position to return home to Queensland where it’s understood he has accepted a position working on the State election campaign.”]


  29. Shareholder Newman?

    [Labor says it has proof Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman is not complying with cabinet rules about financial interests.

    Mr Newman told reporters on Thursday morning neither he nor his wife, Lisa, owned any shares in publicly listed companies.

    As he tries to win a seat in parliament, Mr Newman said he was already complying with rules that ban cabinet ministers from holding shares in publicly listed companies.
    Advertisement: Story continues below

    “I don’t own publicly listed company shares. My wife owns no publicly listed company shares,” he told reporters.

    “If I become the premier we will comply with the cabinet handbook and if that requires a change it will occur.

    “But, basically, from everything I’ve seen, there is no requirement to change anything under the current rules.”

    Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser said Mr Newman was lying.

    Mr Fraser produced Mr Newman’s pecuniary interests register, which the LNP leader signed on January 20 this year.

    Under a section for declaring investments or beneficial interests of private companies, it lists: “Shares held by Frome Holdings Pty Ltd – Woolworths, Stirling Resources”.

    Woolworths and Stirling Resources are both publicly listed companies.]


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