Queensland election minus four days

Couple of things:

• I haven’t yet watched yesterday’s leaders debate (which can be viewed in full at the Brisbane Times site), but not many observers are crediting the Channel Nine worm operators’ 76-24 decision in favour of Anna Bligh. Rather, the consensus seems to be that it was the usual scoreless draw. Campbell Newman did not repeat his error from the Ashgrove candidates’ debate of refusing to shake his opponent’s hand.

Michael Madigan of the Courier-Mail offers polling figures for leading Katter’s Australian Party candidates without saying where they came from – presumably from internal ReachTEL automated phone polling which was referred to in yesterday’s edition of the paper. In Mount Isa, Robbie Katter is said to be leading LNP candidate Mick Pattel 37 per cent to 31 per cent, with Labor incumbent Betty Kiernan apparently gone for all money, while the LNP-turned-KAP member for Beaudesert, Aidan McLindon, is said to be on 37 per cent to LNP candidate Jon Krause’s 38 per cent.

• The Courier-Mail reports that what appears to be Labor push-polling has been conducted to sow doubts in voters’ minds about the influence of “big business and developers”. What is particularly of interest is that it has been happening in Labor’s ninth-safest seat of Nudgee, where Labor newcomer Leanne Linard is defending a 14.3 per cent margin after the retirement of Neil Roberts. Both Anna Bligh and the party’s state secretary, Anthony Chisholm, have denied knowledge of the polling, which has reportedly been conducted by market research firm Ask Australia.

• The seat-level implications of the weekend’s Galaxy poll are plotted out by Kim Jamieson at Crikey.

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.

63 comments on “Queensland election minus four days”

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  1. In the 1974 Bjelke-Petersen landslide, the eleven seats retained by Labor were Archerfield, Bulimba, Bundaberg, Cairns, Lytton, Nudgee, Port Curtis, Rockhampton, Rockhampton North, Sandgate and Wolston, while Ed Casey held Mackay as Independent Labor. Of these, Bundaberg is already lost, Port Curtis has disappeared, Rocky North has become Keppel, and Archerfield and Wolston have more-or-less become Inala and Algester. Since 1974 new very strong Labor seats have been created such as Bundamba and Woodridge.

  2. It looks like the voters of Qld will get the government they deserve, or should I say all the people of Qld will get the government the LNP voters deserve. Poor Qld.

  3. Labor is surely in no danger in Nudgee?

    I wonder if it was actually Stafford they were push polling and just caught a few people on the border with Nudgee? Stafford’s the sort of seat that will go down to the wire, where you can imagine Labor fighting desperately to hold on.

    Reckon KAP will easily win Mt Isa, but I’d be very surprised if they won Beaudesert.

  4. I know the cycle’s turning but it’s still hard to believe that people can’t see the opposition for what it is, both State and Federal! Or am I just biased???

  5. Sadly a lot of talented, younger MPs will seemingly lose their seats on Saturday, and QLD Labor will be reduced to a cricket team sized rump.

  6. Toorak Toff, Qlders were out with a baseball bat on Bligh about a week after the last election, since they thinks she lied about the fuel excise and the cuts to public service, before the last election.

    There was a reprieve during the flood, where she handled herself really well, but the campaign had destroyed her, disapproval rating rising 9% is probably the last straw

    Newman is a larikan, and a decision maker, he is as Qlder as they come

  7. [Newman is a larikan, and a decision maker, he is as Qlder as they come]

    There are many talented, wise Qld’ers it is a bit rich to suggest the are all dangerously self obsessed, lacking in transparency and lacking competence as this clown.

    One or two in Kingaroy and one or two who’ve been in the tropics a week or two too long but really …

  8. @dovif/7,

    He’s a crook and sni, didn’t like Bligh much either, but Camspell smell’s funny…. Especially with all his special dealing’s with property developments and family.

    He had a advisement in the Sunday mail not long ago in regards to his “business interests” saying that he will sell it all, my ass he will not.

    QLD is doomed (just as NSW will be) and just as WA has been for all this time.

    Perhaps I should move to SA/TAS or NT?

  9. Psephos

    Did Port Curtis morph into Gladstone? If so – with Liz Cunningham as MP – it too has been lost some time ago.

  10. Channel 9’s sample audience of undecided voters overwhelming backed Bligh after viewing the leader debate. They couldn’t get past Newman’s dodgy business dealings. The worm hit the roof whenever Bligh prodded the issue.

    But my feeling is that many voters made their mind up to support the LNP after the cut to the fuel excise years ago, so how the undecided split may mean very little in the end.

  11. Newman is not a Queenslander but a Tasmanian and is the son of two Liberal Tasmanian Federal ministers, Jocelyn Newman and Kevin Newman. He didn’t come to Queensland until the 1990s.

  12. @Peter/15,

    Wish i could, but still booked for Uni next year, perhaps I can transfer UNI lol.

    Depends on how well/not well this election and Federal election is going.

  13. Queenslanders will mutiny against Bligh this weekend.Hopefully they will get a moderate competent Government like NSW.
    Btw what did Labor ever do during their 16 years in NSW apart from creating some National Parks , running down the transport system stuffing up ticketing systems and entering into toll roads with private partnerships. We were the financial capital and strongest economy when Carr took over and part of the slow lane rustbelt when Kenneally bowed out. Please detail Labor’s great achievements in NSW versus say Bracks/ Brumby who were highly competent.

  14. Newman may not win yet. Newman has now been subjected to 5 CMC reviews and has been cleared on all reviews so on that basis people should have confidence that the highest crime investigation body in the state found no basis for the smear campaign. I doubt any of the other 300 plus candidates have been put through so much scrunity and received a pass mark.

    QLD will be fine and the sky won’t fall. Well no more than it is already with all this ongoing weather.

    One last question, why should QLD’ers vote for a premier who continues to prosecute a smear even after the CMC has cleared the subject of the smear. I think the answer will be obvious on Saturday.

  15. [ One last question, why should QLD’ers vote for a premier who continues to prosecute a smear even after the CMC has cleared the subject of the smear ]

    Because where there’s smoke there’s cod!

  16. Zoidlord agree up to a point however this one was particularly nasty and included family and extreme claims under parliamentary privaledge. It should have ceased once the CMC report was released and yet is still being prosecuted. I don’t see much upside for Labor in continuing the strategy.

  17. I doubt the LNP will get two terms. It well might, but if it does, Newman — a man who seems not to have a stronger base in the LNP than Rudd had in the ALP — is going to have to unite the party around him — assuming he wins Ashgrove. If the party’s polling starts heading south, which it will, you have to wonder who would step aside for him in a defendable seat in 2015.

    Part of this reflects of course whether the ALP will actually learn anything from 2009-12. Both in NSW and now, astonishingly, QLD, the ALP has abandoned its core constituency and tried to pander to those who by and large wouldn’t vote for it in a pink fit. The consequence has been depoliticisation and demoralisation and of coruse in those circumstances, a drift towards the opposition. Both in NSW and QLD, privatisation was unpopular, even with many conservative voters.

    It’s likely that the QLD regime would have struggled to win even if they had been an active and equitable-policy-driven government in the last 3 years. Governments that survive longer than a couple of terms generally need to the opposition to reveal itself as unfit. Of course, the chance of that occurring in QLD would have been a lot higher if Bligh’s regime had actually been about something that the core supporters liked. In any event, if you give large numbers of people a stake in your regime surviving, your chance of being wiped out goes down.

    One last thing. The ALP were entitled to think, even in 2009, that 2012 would be tough. They knew at the time that there some scandals in the pipeline. They were planning on flogging off public assets and they’d seen how that went in NSW. Why they didn’t move then to introduce some sort of list-based single member PR voting is hard to work out. They are looking at maybe getting 10 or 11 seats out of 89 when under PR they’d be a show of perhaps 27 or 28.

  18. [Queenslanders will mutiny against Bligh this weekend.Hopefully they will get a moderate competent Government like NSW.

    Well they can’t get a competent Govt if they vote for Campbell, anymore than NSW got a competent govt, in fact every indication is Newman is worse that O’Farrell.

    As for the Labor record, if you study any actual facts then you’ll work out what Howard did with Federal State funding in this period and what the State Labor Govts around the Country achieved is / was a true miracle of excellence.

    As for the difference between dodgy and criminal just look at the usual conservative / Labor double standard here were the conservatives can actually be convicted of a crime and it is all ok, and if Labor even looks a bit less that a saint it is ‘corrupt’. It is a deliberate and deliberately misleading spin by the conservatives and morons who buy their talking points without engaging their brains.

  19. I think Labor will not be smashed as badly as some people think on Saturday, although I do expect them to lose. Anna Bligh has been handed a great reason not to continue her planned frantic swing through 50 electorates, which looked a bit desperate. She’s now staying in Townsville until the recovery effort is well established after the storm last night. This will also help by resurrecting memories of her actions during the floods.
    Also, huge leads generally tend to be pegged back in the last week of a campaign as the electorate gets more engaged.
    The main hope is that enough Brisbane Liberals get elected to contain the influence of the Nationals in the government. This might also be helped if the mad Katters take a few rural seats.

  20. Port Curtis became Gladstone and Bill Prest continued as sitting MP. Fitzroy was a new electorate taking in all the Bowen Basin mining towns that the National Party had previously managed to divide between six safe National different electorates.

  21. We Want Paul I disagree progressives being fairer than conservatives. I for one have cut Craig Thomson more slack than many of the progressives here have shown to Newman. I think political bias clouds even the progressives thinking.

  22. WWP

    From the other side of the nation, you write some odd things about the achievements of the NSW government’s tossed out 12 months ago this weekend.

    “…a true miracle of excellence”

    Even one of that government’s moist prominant members would not stomach that appraisal. A summary of Frank Sartor’s Fog on the Hill:

    [The Fog on the Hill is a merciless portrait of Mr Sartor’s time as a minister between 2003 and March this year, with its most savage analysis reserved for the governments of Ms Keneally and her predecessor, Nathan Rees.]

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/opposites-attract-as-sartor-the-sage-manages-to-bridge-partys-divide-20111005-1l9ro.html#ixzz1pdIAKQQI

  23. @DavidDW/23

    I disagree, attacks on Gay Former MP from NSW.

    Attacking Previous PM (Kevin Rudd).

    How is this worse than some “claims”?

  24. If the Bligh government was even half useful, there wouldn’t have been the mass exodus of ministers. A mate is a hydrological engineer and had to brief Bligh for pressers during the flood crisis and he was amazed at how she would blow her top at other staff, even with an ‘outsider’ present.

    I saw ALP workers out at Bardon today having lunch and all were pretty pessimistic about Adrew Fraser. Ironically, it was outside Saxon Rice’s office. The environment in there was like a party. My insiders tell me that several Brissie seats have had a lift in the last few days.. They’ll be out picking office furniture.

    This state is a mess in health, water, QR, budget and credit rating, despite the biggest boom in the state’s history. Labor is incompetent and some in this room need to face it. Southerners don’t understand Newman. He is quintessential Queensland. Get things done, shrink government and it it out of your face. Nice.

    Labor bloated the bureaucracy and still managed to get less done. A recurring theme at most levels of government with the ALP…

  25. I live in Stafford, and I’ve been push-polled. They didn’t take it well when I ventured the opinion that Newman is a crook, and they should replace him with Dr. Flegg!

    Normally in these things, as polling day approaches the polls seem to get closer and closer. This is the first election I’ve watched closely where one party is getting further and further ahead and we approach polling day.

  26. If you are going to sling mud, you’d better make sure enough sticks. Otherwise it just slides off back onto you, making you look grubby and desperate.

  27. [Fran Barlow
    Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink
    I doubt the LNP will get two terms………..

    ……….They are looking at maybe getting 10 or 11 seats out of 89 when under PR they’d be a show of perhaps 27 or 28.]

    I think your opening and concluding sentences don’t really synch! If you are right and the ALP get 10 or 11 seats (I actually suspect about 16 on the day but doesn’t really change my point) in the election, the LNP are there for 2 to 3 terms. Look what happened to Howard, after his landslide he managed to introduce a great big new tax and still held office (and won two more elections after 1998).

    Have there been any landslides of the one expected on Sat which have been wiped out by the next election?

  28. [MDMConnell
    Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink
    Labor is surely in no danger in Nudgee?

    I wonder if it was actually Stafford they were push polling and just caught a few people on the border with Nudgee?]


    [Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink
    I live in Stafford, and I’ve been push-polled. They didn’t take it well when I ventured the opinion that Newman is a crook, and they should replace him with Dr. Flegg!]

    Assuming you mean it was the ALP push-polling, I don’t understand why thy wouldn’t take it well when you ventured the opinion that Newman is a crook! I would have thought they would have been thrilled.

    If the ALP has resorted to push polling in seats like Stafford (7.3%), let alone Nudgee (14.3%), shows considerable desperation.

  29. I don’t mean to excuse the ALPs failings but I think the sorry fact is that the governments who do a good job on infrastructure are few and far between, of any persuasion. I don’t think the records of the Howard or Kennett governments, for example, are particularly good on this front. These issues are hard and the kind of political policy and financial commitment they require are beyond most.

    OTOH Brisbane at least is a far more vibrant place than it was 20 years ago. No doubt some of these changes would have happened anyway, but people may come to remember the good side of the ALP governments as well as the bad before too long.

  30. Have there been any landslides of the one expected on Sat which have been wiped out by the next election?

    David Tonkin (Lib) in SA, 1979. Won 55-45, which was an 8.4% swing. He lost the 1982 election to Bannon.

    Also, in NSW, Greiner came close. He won 1988 with 56-44, then lost the majority in 1991.

    Then there’s the fact that many voters are incredibly fickle these days. Voting in an election means less to them than, say, voting on MasterChef.

  31. Von Kirsdarke @ 40

    John Tonkin in 1979 only had a 3 seat majority despite the high 2pp. The best example again comes from SA – In 1993 the ALP were reduced to 10 seats vs the Libs 37 – In 1997 after factional brawling and the dumping of Dean Brown (the then Lib premier) the Libs were reduced to 23.

    Despite the supposed fickleness of the electorate we still see very few one term governments – Tonkin in SA (1979-82) is the last that comes to mind – that is ignoring Borbidge in Qld which was decided by a mid term by election.

  32. I take your point VK, and good examples, but when I looked up the Tonkin result he won 27 seats to 20 seats for the ALP (reversed to 22-25 at the next election). We are looking at 70-20 kinda territory which is a little different.

    The NSW example was 59-43 seats changing to 49-46 (which was minority government as you say).

    So yes, you are right that large TPP leads can be whittled down, but the point I was making is when you need to 35% of government seats to change to the opposition at the next election (perhaps what we are looking at in Queensland if the LNP get to 70 seats), then that is a hard ask in 1 term!

  33. Where this election might turn very ugly for the ALP (as it did for them in NSW) is that optional preferential voting does them no favours if the Greens don’t preference or their voters will not preference. Once upon a time it was in the Libs interest to have full preferential voting when they depended on DLP preferences and there were more Lib/ CP/ NP candidates up against each other – now that the preference flow is from the left, it is in the ALP’s interest.

  34. QLD tends to give a new government a good run more than most states so in the absence of a major failing, assuming the LNP win, the odds are against a one term government. I can think of a couple of factors which may result in a one-termer, the LNP falling apart by internal wars or if the new government tried to dismantle the results of the Fitzgerald Enquiry are possibilities. However I think dreams of a one term government, particularly if the win is as big as some are saying, are fairy-tale dreamtime wishes.

    I also think that if Newman wins Ashgrove and providing he has nothing to hide then he will be a good premier.

  35. True, Mod Lib, but Queensland and SA appear to be quite different places in terms of seat margins.

    Queensland has 60 out of 89 seats with margins less than 10%. SA has 22 out of 47, and even that number is swelled due to Labor holding out with a lower popular vote in 2010.

    But I can’t predict whether a landslide LNP government will have its goodwill dry up quickly or slowly, so I don’t know for sure what the scenario will be.

    However, Newman’s made a dubious move in selecting a seat for starters, the LNP would need constant victories of at least 56-44 to hold on to Ashgrove. There might be a Premier’s Bonus of up to 5%, so he could hold on with a lower vote, but winning it again in 2015 will be a tough task, spending time that could be otherwise used campaigning in other marginal seats.

  36. Nearer to hand in SA, Dean Brown came to power with a 61-39 result in 1993 (unsurpassed in modern Australian history until the NSW election last year), but John Olsen could only manage 51.5-48.5 in 1997 and was technically in minority government: 23 seats out of 47 for the Liberals, plus one independent Liberal (Mitch Williams in MacKillop, who joined the party two years later), one independent (Rory McEwen in Mount Gambier) and one National (Karlene Maywald in Chaffey).

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