ReachTel: 50.7-49.3 to Labor in Ashgrove

The Queensland election is now less than three weeks away, which marks the point where I usually start to take state election campaigns seriously. In that spirit, here’s an overdue new post.

• The latest of ReachTel’s seven automated phone polls for Ashgrove, conducted last night from a sample of 742, has Kate Jones leading Campbell Newman for the first time, albeit with a lead well within the margin of error: 50.7-49.3 using the preference distribution from the 2009 election. On the primary vote, Campbell Newman leads 45.4 per cent to 44.4 per cent. Results for the other six Ashgrove polls conducted by ReachTel are outlined here. More on ReachTel polling from Antony Green here.

• Two big pieces of news from the Gold Coast electorate of Broadwater, which Labor’s Peta-Kaye Croft holds on a margin of 2.0 per cent. Firstly, the 75-year-old mayor of Gold Coast, Ron Clarke, has confirmed he will run as an independent. Paul Weston of the Gold Coast Bulletin reports that “senior Liberal (sic) sources” said Clarke’s entry meant it was “game over” for them, as they expected Clarke to “gather enough votes from older residents in the electorate” to win. Secondly, the LNP is now on to its third candidate in the electorate after the second, solicitor Cameron Caldwell, was disendorsed when photos emerged (innocuous of themselves) of him and his wife at a party staged by a swingers’ club. Caldwell was given the nod at the end of last year after the first candidate, Richard Towson, allegedly returned 0.07 at a random breath test. The new candidate is 26-year-old Verity Barton who, according to Henry Tuttiett of the Gold Coast Bulletin, is “still lives at home with her mum” (“saving to enter the property market”, Barton responds), “doesn’t have a university degree” (she has partly completed a law degree at Bond University), and “the two jobs she’s had were as a retail assistant and LNP electoral officer” (the latter gig is with George Brandis). That Barton is a woman is one bright spot for Campbell Newman, who was defied by the local party on this count when it preselected Caldwell. The LNP now has 16 female candidates from a total of 89.

• Another LNP casualty has been their candidate for Logan, police sergeant Peter Anderson-Barr, who withdrew a fortnight ago after media reports from 2004 were circulated concerning an incident in which he allegedly struck an offender who had spat at him. The LNP’s assertion that Anderson-Barr was the victim of a “Labor Party smear campaign” was rubbished by Matt Condon of the Courier-Mail. Anderson-Barr’s wife, Joanna Lindgren, is running for the LNP in Inala. The party’s new candidate is American emigrant Michael Pucci, who served with the United States Marine Corps and met his wife during a posting in Brisbane.

• Campbell Newman’s decision to denounce Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s government as corrupt while campaigning on his home turf of Kingaroy was seized upon by Bob Katter, who accused Newman of “spitting on the grave” of Bjelke-Petersen and insulting his elderly widow. Kingaroy is located in the electorate of Nanango, which former test cricketer Carl Rackemann hopes to win for Katter’s Australian Party in succession to retiring One Nation-turned-independent member Dorothy Pratt. As VexNews sees it, Newman erred in stating to Kingaroy voters what was “probably the correct view for St Lucia dinner parties”. Newman immediately went on to tell such a party – or at any rate, an LNP fundraising dinner attended primarily by prospective business donors – that Bjelke-Petersen had nonetheless run the state’ s last decent government. Among the ministers in that government was Bob Katter, who served during the last four years of Bjelke-Petersen’s premiership. In another curious link, the party’s campaign director is Luke Shaw, who secured a place on the jury in Bjelke-Petersen’s 1991 perjury trial despite his involvement in the Young Nationals, and was one of its two members who held out against his conviction.

• Katter’s Australian Party has initiated legal action seeking to have all ballot papers reprinted, after it dawned upon them that they would be identified merely as The Australian Party. This threatens to make life complicated for the Electoral Commission of Queensland, as pre-poll voting has already commenced: as Antony Green says, “the ECQ may have to make some provision to isolate pre-poll votes completed before the court hearing just in case the court grants an injunction”. However, Antony further explains that the KAP appears not to have a leg to stand on, with the Electoral Act clearly stipulating that parties are to be identified according to their registered abbreviation. Rosanne Barrett of The Australian reports that lawyers for the party argued before the Supreme Court that its own application for the abbreviation to be registered should never have been accepted, for reasons presiding judge Roslyn Atkinson found “bizarre” – so much so that in one case she had “difficulty understanding how anybody could make that argument with a straight face”. The party is also pleading that the difference between the federal and state acts is an “operational inconsistency” which somehow amounts to an “unpermissable burden on freedom of political communication”. Atkinson retorted she was “not satisfied that there is a prima facie case of any argument of direct or indirect consistency under the Commonwealth electoral act and the state electoral act”, while Antony Green, writing on this site, rated the argument as “crazy”. The application, it seems safe to say, will be formally rejected when the matter is determined in the coming days.

• Nominations closed on Tuesday and the ballot paper orders have been drawn. Antony Green relates that the 430 candidates comes second only to the 438 from the 1998 election as the highest number ever. No doubt the long lead-in time between the announcement of the election and the issue of the writs helps explain this.

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.

219 comments on “ReachTel: 50.7-49.3 to Labor in Ashgrove”

Comments Page 3 of 5
1 2 3 4 5
  1. Fake Jeff Seeney ‏ @FakeJeffSeeney
    Darn. Looks like the entire shadow cabinet will have to door knock Ashgrove AGAIN @Chris_Hassall cc @katejonesmp @reachtel
    In reply to Chris Hassall

  2. I actually think that the result will be much closer than commentators think. The LNP have made a few mistakes in the last few months and there will be a drift back to Labor. I predict Labor to retain about 25-30 seats.

    As for Campbell Newman, I think he is probably odds against to win Ashgrove. The incoming LNP government needs to elect a new leader with little fanfare. This is actually a better result as it allows them to choose someone who is more Conservative and better represents their constituency. Then I hope the unicameral legislature can move to act decisively on policy and not descend to liberal lite. Repeal civil unions! Privatize Translink and Queensland Rail! Reintroduce the death penalty for heinous crimes and people-smuggling! Introduce mandatory sentencing! Grow some chest hair!

  3. Nostrils you old, soft lefty. You can run a better fear campaign than that.
    Where’s my rugby matches under a state of emergency, the free Comalco shares for Cabinet Ministers, The Honorary Doctorates for proud dummies, what happened to the good old days of Corrupt police Commissioners and rigged electoral boundaries. What happened to proposals for oil drilling on the Great Barrier Reef and burning hippies houses in dawn raids…and where’s the promises of more bankrupt tunnel companies? Where’s the promise of a ban on freedom of speech? Once the National Party never tolerated gatherings of more than three people, I have seen groupd of five lately onviously it is time for a change.

  4. In fact I believe that a moderate to weak majority wouldn’t be a bad thing for the LNP. Legislation would be unobstructed in a unicameral legislature, and it would pave the way for a massive win in 2015, like the Rann and Bracks socialist governments did down south in their second terms, rather than gradually have their majority eroded if they won in a bloodbath the first time.

  5. Steve: we will see how the miscreants react to our policies, whether the ahemmm “alternatively oriented” *cough* decide to riot when we take away their cherished entitlements. Hopefully they will meekly accept reality. If not, I agree, public gatherings should be limited to a maximum of two people (or one).

  6. Campbell Newman has not won a single day of this campaign so far, and on present form it’s just going to keep getting worse for him. Katter is the big winner of the right wing protest vote due to this default, particularly in the regions.

    An LNP minority Government – without Campbell – supported by Katter is possible, and scary. That’s why Springborg has urgently recalled his mate Jake Smith to Qld. Larry has revenge on his mind; he was never on board with Clive Palmer’s city slicker import and is positioning himself for Premier. Smug bastard.

  7. An LNP-Katter minority government would likely be unstable and would only happen in a very narrow range of seat results and would see the ALP retain 37-42 seats, unlikely in my opinion. It could potentially lead to a short-lived administration handing power back to Labor within one term, as had happened when Borbidge was installed as premier. Queenslanders would be the real losers in that scenario!

    With preferences being optional, vote splitting on the right is a very present danger – but not a real problem as losing the election is probably not a possibility at this stage.

  8. Nostrils this little fella can teach Newman Inc. how to lose his seat and lose the election:

    [2.25pm: A conservative leader, who struggled to retain his seat and win an election, will lend his support to LNP leader Campbell Newman’s campaign.

    Former Prime Minister John Howard, who lost his seat and power in December 2007, has been booked as a special guest speaker for a business lunch at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on March 15.

    The LNP is charging $200 per person, according to the invitation to “the only large business function Campbell Newman will address during the campaign”.]

    Read more:

  9. One Nation won 11 seats in 1998. Katter will pick up 5 easily, 10 is possible. So let’s say Katter gets lucky and Newman keeps up his atrocious campaign. That would mean that the LNP would need 35 seats + 10 Katter to win. Not counting conservative indies of which there will be at least 3. That would leave the ALP on 41 seats.

    Someone should ask Bob, “If his party has balance of power which leader of the LNP would he find acceptable?” I bet the answer is another nail in Campbell’s coffin.

  10. Graeme Orr @ 101

    A couple of years ago I did a moderately comprehensive analysis of the effects of the donkey on Citizens Electoral Council (CEC) votes over time at federal elections. CEC votes are relatively stable and offer a good base-line. All my data points would have occurred after the commencement of labeling. As far as I can determine, CEC first preference votes relative to previous and future elections are, on average, approximately 0.7% percentage points higher when that party is placed #1 on the ballot (nearly doubling their actual vote in many cases). The effect varies from around 0.2 percentage points to a little over 1 percentage point. It is not clear what percentage of first preferences might flow down the ballot with an optional preferential system as in Queensland, but it seems that the #1 position, at least, has an extremely statically significant advantage.

  11. I think that if Newman wins Ashgrove and power then the Katter party will do very well at the next election from all the disaffected rural conservatives.

    If Newman looses Ashgrove but the LNP win and an ex-National such as Springborg is elected then there will be a swing against the LNP in Brisbane probably delivering the ALP government.

  12. AngoraFish (talk about GM!)

    Look at voting rates truly micro parties like the NLP. They have been negligible even when in first place. I don’t doubt there is some selection bias amongst protest voters to find the first recognisable party name – given their desire is to not vote for a mainstream party. But that’s a long way from the concept of donkey blind down the card, let alone the treasurd myth that luck of the draw placement above its rival inflates a major party’s preference share.

  13. First Newman Inc. was unable to locate Bowen in relation to Cairns now he is finding Ipswich has been scrubbled from the map of Queensland.

    [THE Queensland Times is today calling on LNP leader Campbell Newman to show Ipswich the same support he has promised to the Gold Coast, Logan, Townsville and Brisbane.

    The city’s turf club is one of the few in this state that makes a profit and hosts the biggest single race day in Queensland – the Ipswich Cup.

    But it could miss out on a massive $110m injection of cash into Queensland’s racetracks under an LNP government.

    While Labor has pledged to contribute $6m towards the expansion of the Bundamba track, the opposition has repeatedly declined to give a straight answer to a simple question: will it back the Ipswich expansion?

    Greyhound and horse-racing tracks across the state are set to share in the windfall if the LNP wins power, yet Ipswich Turf Club has been given no assurances of any kind.

    Yesterday shadow racing minister Tim Nicholls had no trouble rubbishing the record of racing under Labor when contacted by The Queensland Times, but couldn’t find the words to support racing’s future in Ipswich.]

  14. Speaking of Ashgrove: this might warm the hearts of parents of Marist Bros College, but the majority who send their kid to the excellent Ashgrove Primary and The Gap SHS?

    <a href="

  15. Joh was not corrupt but the National Liberal Government was corrupt is now the story according to Newman Inc.:
    [Yesterday, Mr Newman denied that he had referred to Bjelke-Petersen as being personally corrupt. “There was clearly corruption in that government – that’s what I said,” he said. “Some people have gone out there and said I commented on Sir Joh himself. I did not, unequivocally, I did not. I talked about the government and it’s a fact that there were issues with that government.”

    Premier Anna Bligh seized on the row, saying it highlighted continuing tensions in the LNP between its former National Party and Liberal wings over the Bjelke-Petersen record.

    “The Liberal National Party has always been a very, very fragile partnership and you can see that in their inability to confront their past,” she said.]

  16. Oops: #115 just posted itself. Latest browser upgrade!

    To resume …

    Speaking of Ashgrove: this might warm the hearts of parents of Marist Bros College, but the majority who send their kid to the excellent Ashgrove Primary and The Gap SHS?

    Campbell Newman accused of attack on state schools with capital funding boost for Independent and Catholic sectors

    [CAMPBELL Newman is being accused of launching “an attack on state schools” and setting up “a Government for the elite” by providing 75 per cent of a capital funding injection to the Independent and Catholic sectors.

    A decision to hand 75 per cent of $115 million in extra capital funding to Catholic and Independent schools over the next four years has been slammed as “outrageous”, “bizarre” and “unfair” by the Queensland Teachers’ Union …

    Mr Newman said … “The building future schools fund will be allocated on a 25/75 (share) basis to government and non-government schools,” he said.

    He defended the decision to provide the lion’s share to the non-government sector, saying they were helping take the burden of the state system]

    So the private schools – almost all religious schools – which educate 30% of school students will get 75% of the funds, and state schools which educate 70%, a mere 25%.

    This might go over a treat in Southern States hung up on the status & up-market friends private schools are presumed to bestow on students who attend them, but it doesn’t in Q.

    In part, that’s because private schools did not fare as well under school-based assessment as they did when they poached from and paid (much) better salaries to top SHS teachers (esp those on examination & marking panels) to teach classes sitting for public exams. In part it’s because SHSs’ more flexible curricula, including vertical timetabling, Schools of Excellence, school-TAFE and school-Uni partnerships – all those things schools can do once matriculation is no longer constrained by state-wide public exams. In part it’s because vastness & decentralisation ensure that, outside cities (ie most of the West and North) there are very few non-state schools, esp secondary schools.

    Added to the Newman’s recent buckling to “christian” pressure to scrap civil unions (he personally supports them) Clive Palmer’s LNP role & his interests, and more than the usual stench of SEQld Liberal sleaze, we can only suppose that this means electing Newman’s LNP will see the State back to an era of Bjelke Petersen-cloned god-botherer dominant, anti-conservation, pro-exploitation Big Mining and sleazy property deals future.

  17. Steve

    [Yesterday, Mr Newman denied that he had referred to Bjelke-Petersen as being personally corrupt. “There was clearly corruption in that government – that’s what I said,” he said. “Some people have gone out there and said I commented on Sir Joh himself. I did not, unequivocally, I did not. I talked about the government and it’s a fact that there were issues with that government.”]

    That statement by Newman will make Bob Katter real happy.
    Now he is saying Joh wasn’t corrupt but Bob Katter, being part of that Government, was corrupt.
    Keep digging Newman this is hilarious stuff.

  18. AF @118. Err, precisely. Where is the evidence for a significant donkey vote effect – either traditionally understood as blind seriatim numbering, or as some party hopeful use it today, the idea that if Labor is a spot or two spot above Liberal, that will maximise preference flows?


    [Union baulks at LNP plan to raise truck rego

    March 6, 2012

    Potential Queensland premier Campbell Newman is facing a backlash over a proposal to increase heavy vehicle registration fees in return for freezing charges on privately-owned cars.

    Queensland Transport Workers Union Secretary Peter Biagini leapt on a report confirming the trucking industry will pay to fund Newman’s plan to halt registration increases for vehicles under four tonnes for three years.

    While the Liberal National Party (LNP) has not formally unveiled how it will fund the scheme, The Courier Mail reported that motorcyclists, heavy vehicles and utes will all be stung with price increases. ]
    more in the article

  20. Heard Kate Jones on Radio National with Fran this morning, no wonder she looks like being a good chance of holding her seat – came across very well

  21. Gaffhook:
    Now he is saying Joh wasn’t corrupt but Bob Katter, being part of that Government, was corrupt.
    And the first part isn’t even correct.

    This is from “The Australian” (yeah, I know) 26 April, 2005
    A RESPECTED film producer, if that’s not an oxymoron, has a film that should be
    shot in Queensland and requests a meeting with the premier. Joh Bjelke-Petersen listens half-attentively to the sales pitch.

    “Based on a Queensland novel, set in the canefields, backed by the Australian Film Commission, providing a few months of local employment, guaranteed to provide international publicity and bring tourists flocking.” And so forth. “We do not seek any further investment but would appreciate your help with …”

    Joh interrupts: “What’s in it for me?”

    The producer misunderstands the question and begins to recap the pitch. Publicity, employment, tourism … Joh interrupts again. “No! What’s in it for me?”

    Excusing himself for a moment, the producer, in panic, rings a friend in Canberra. Andrew Peacock’s response is a worldly chuckle. “That’s our Joh!” Yes folks, it’s brown paper bag time. Pay up or piss off. The producer pisses off and rings me, in my capacity as chairman of the Australian Film Commission. Like Andrew, I’m not surprised.

  22. I got challenged yesterday for posting bollocks, with justification, but it seems mild compared to the bollocks posted on this thread. Newman is being attacked about alleged corruption and being compared to the Jo government and when he addresses the issue he gets criticized in a completely dumb way for doing that.

    Not having a go at you William really 🙂

  23. davidWH

    [I got challenged yesterday for posting bollocks, with justification, but it seems mild compared to the bollocks posted on this thread. Newman is being attacked about alleged corruption and being compared to the Jo government and when he addresses the issue he gets criticized in a completely dumb way for doing that.]

    David that has been i think the first time i have seen you throw a bit of a tanty on PB.

    Does the truth hurt eh?

    There is no comparison between Joh and Campbell. Campbell Newman will be streets ahead of Joh.

    His family buisness would be streets ahead, as in $31mil, if the Bligh Government had been sucked in to buying the rip off disaster management plan.

    That makes $5k in a brown paper bag or getting a new bulldozer built from spare parts and claiming it as maintenance real chicken feed.

    every time LNP is in a sentence the word corrupt should always be in the same sentence. It is in their DNA.

  24. Looks like Kevin Rudd still has electoral appeal in his home state – Rudd’s been doing a lot of work for Kate Jones in Ashgrove recently. 🙂

  25. DWH , Not ” There will be NO GST ” Johnny ??? The lying rodent . Wonder how much he will charge ? What’s in it for me ? GST inclusive.

  26. Guys: If Kate looks like she’ll retain Ashgrove in the final week of the campaign, a lot of swinging voters in the rest of the state on Saturday 24th March are going to wonder if the LNP is a headless chook and maybe tired clapped out Anna and her rag tag bunch of socialist thatcherites might be the lesser evil.

  27. DavidWH
    Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Let’s hope there aren’t too many swinging voters left Matthew.

    They are growing daily 🙂

  28. If Katter wins his case then large parts of the electoral acts in every state are in danger of being invalidated and replaced by the Commonwealth Electoral Act. I very much doubt the court will want to make a finding of this type for the purposes of an injunction. Katter’s Australian Party is arguing that it should not have been granted the abbreviation it requested under the Queensland Electoral Act, instead now arguing the provision that granted the abbreviation it requested is unconstitutional. They are saying the ECQ should not have granted the requested abbreviation because the AEC had earlier denied the party the same request.

  29. The Katter Party litigation is Alice and Wonderland stuff. Ros Atkinsons judgement yesterday is worth a read for how it rationally deals with some very circular and self-contradictory arguments.

    But in PR terms, and getting gullible journalists to say ‘Katter’ and ‘Australian Party’ a lot, in the same sentence, its well worth the shekels.

  30. Very expensive shekels I’d imagine. Big costs order coming I reckon. Court won’t take kindly to a hearing that is going on because the Australian Party stuffing up its registration.

  31. Steve, it is irrelevant. That’s the Commonwealth Electoral Act which doesn’t cover registration for Queensland elections. The Commonwealth Electoral Act also has a much tougher name similarity test, put in there to wipe out Liberals for Forests. The Queensland Electoral Act has a less rigorous test which is why the Australian Party was allowed under the state act.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 3 of 5
1 2 3 4 5