Newspoll: 60.8-39.2 to LNP in Queensland

GhostWhoVotes reports the final Newspoll of the campaign has the LNP’s two-party preferred lead at a towering 60.8-39.2 (the decimal place being a feature of Newspoll’s final pre-election polls, for which they usually up the sample to about 1800), in line with the general impression elsewhere. The primary votes are 50 per cent for the LNP and 28 per cent for Labor. The results from the Newspoll at the start of the campaign were 47 per cent and 30 per cent, for 58-42 on two-party preferred. The poll also echoes last weekend’s Galaxy poll, as it does in all other respects, in showing Katter’s Australian Party has succeeded in its campaign period awareness-raising efforts: they are up five points to 9 per cent. The Greens are doing correspondingly poorly, down three points to 6 per cent, which compares with 8.4 per cent at the 2009 election. Also in common with Galaxy, Anna Bligh’s personal ratings have slumped, her approval down four to 36 per cent and her disapproval up seven to 51 per cent. Newman is respectively up two to 47 per cent and up three 40 per cent, and his lead as preferred premier has blown out from 50-41 to 58-36.

UPDATE: Full results here. Brisbane and rest-of-Queensland breakdowns are provided which, terrifyingly for Labor, show the carnage to be concentrated in the city where most of the damage awaits to be done: a swing of as much as 15 per cent (which is exactly Anna Bligh’s margin in South Brisbane), compared with about 8.5 per cent elsewhere.

Late news:

Dennis Atkins in the Courier-Mail on the pressure the LNP was under mid-campaign:

Newman had been resisting internal urging to tackle the pecuniary interest issues for months, despite Labor having started their campaign against him seven months before the election. Now the party – with the steely James McGrath in the campaign director’s chair – and its leader had hit prime time, the stakes were so much greater, particularly because the target audience for Labor’s campaign was the voters of Ashgrove. After some intense internal discussion, Newman was convinced to announce on the second last Sunday that he and his wife would divest or blind trust their interests and, for good measure, declare he wasn’t a crook. There was another, until now, undisclosed tell-tale sign that the Labor campaign was biting. In the week before Newman made his bold announcement, the LNP team cut a high-risk ad. It was Lisa Newman, to camera, declaring her husband was a good man and saying these attacks were not just wrong but deeply hurtful to her family. It never saw the light of day but the fact it was made shows just how much pressure the Newman campaign in Ashgrove was under.

But then:

By the time Labor was getting traction on all this, two events derailed the whole thing. First, Bligh stood up in Caboolture and said she had no “material” to back the claims made against Newman. This was the “I got nothing” moment and sent the parties’ lines in their polling analysis bonkers. It was all going the wrong way for Bligh and the just-on-time right way for Newman. Two days later, the CMC offered the coup de grace, giving Newman an effective clearance and leaving Bligh high and dry … The timing of the CMC’s announcement – late on a Friday – left Labor tactically stranded. They couldn’t turn around their advertising buy for the weekend which meant the heavy negative spots on Newman kept running and the positive Bligh-to-camera burst didn’t get up until the last three broadcast days of the last week. When the ad ban came in at the end of Wednesday, Labor was left without what little paid media support they had and the small drag they had on the swing evaporated.

Jamie Walker and Sarah Elks of The Australian report an LNP source says Katter’s Australian Party has “no chance” of winning any seats other than Mount Isa and Dalrymple.

• The Morning Bulletin newspaper has conducted its own poll of 330 respondents in its home seat of Rockhampton, probably with no great expertise, but with primary vote figures of 38 per cent for Labor candidate Bill Byrne, 37 per cent Gavin Finch of the LNP and 10 per cent for Shane Guley of Katter’s Australian Party. Retiring Labor member Rob Schwarten won the seat in 2009 with a two-party margin of 17.9 per cent.

• Bundaberg’s NewsMail has conducted an even more doubtful exercise involving 100 respondents in Burnett: 40 in Childers, 30 in Bargara and 30 in North Bundaberg. They found 42 supporters for LNP candidate Stephen Bennett, 23 for Labor’s Stuart Tomlinson and just 16 for incumbent Rob Messenger, who probably didn’t make the wisest career move when he quit mid-term to become an independent and declined to throw his lot in with Katter’s Australian Party.

• In a regular campaign feature where the Courier-Mail’s chief writers offer their verdict on the state of the campaign, Dennis Atkins goes nuclear: “The LNP will have the biggest majority in Queensland history – somewhere between 70 and 80 seats – I think nearer the latter. Labor will be reduced to 7 to 15 seats, closer to the former.” Madonna King tips “15 seats or less” for Labor. Koren Helbig and Sarah Vogler are more conservative, respectively tipping the LNP to win “as many as 70 seats” and Labor to to win fewer than 20. Steven Wardill likewise goes for a relatively modest “LNP 63, Labor 20, Independents 4, Katter’s Australian Party 2”. The general consensus is that Katter’s Australian Party should win Mount Isa and Dalrymple, but no more (Nanango is generally rated the third most likely prospect). Nobody is tipping any of the three sitting independents to lose, but I think the $2.50 on the LNP to unseat Peter Wellington in Nicklin is worth a flutter (albeit that it came down from $3 overnight). As for my own tip the other day that Labor would win 19 seats, I would like everyone to know that I wrote on Twitter shortly after: “Suspect I’m being slightly kind to ALP.”

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.

132 comments on “Newspoll: 60.8-39.2 to LNP in Queensland”

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  1. Oh lord……at this rate, Labor will be lucky to win 10 seats tomorrow.
    I guess the next question should be – who the hell will be the new Opposition Leader, assuming that the likes of Andrew Fraser & Cameron Dick lose their seats?
    Perhaps Bligh will be asked to stay on as leader, at least in the short term?

  2. I took a bit of stick from some people who took umbridge with my view that there has been a mood for change for a long time. If that polling holds up then I was understating the mood for change. Obviously I’m happy although very cautious about the apparent size of the swing.

    I do feel happy that people eventually saw through what was a very dirty personal campaign against Newman.

  3. TLM:

    I thought the Newman move on Ashgrove was incredibly arrogant at the time, but it appears he will get away with it tomorrow.

  4. TLM you had to see him with his sleeves rolled up organizing and helping the Mud Army. Love him or hate him he does much more than talk the talk, he gets in and walks the walk. He will make mistakes but he wont be scared to to make things happen and hold his team to account.

  5. Using Antony Greens election calculator on those figures you get 70 LNP, 12 ALP, Katter 2, Ind 5.

    That ALP 12 includes Mount Isa which most commentators suggest will go to the Katterites. Of the 5 independent seats – Nanango, Gladstone, Nicklin, Burnett, Maryborough – are any likely to go the LNP?

  6. I wonder how you run a state opposition with only 10-12 members in the Lower House?
    You might find that Newman’s real opposition comes from the media over the next few years, as Labor will be so impotent and their talent pool will have been reduced to a few insignificant MPs.
    My scenario involves Bligh resigning completely from parliament in a few months, and Andrew Fraser or Cameron Dick or Sterling Hinchcliff being parachuted into South Brisbane(assuming 1 or 2 or all 3 of them lose tomorrow).

  7. No Upper House in QLD isn’t great for democracy either.
    Even though Labor in NSW was decimated in March 2011, at least John Robertson had some talent in the Upper House that he could use to form part of a Shadow Ministry(and the retirements of a couple of long standing ex-ministers allowed Labor to bring back Steve Whan and recruit Walt Secord).
    The people of QLD obviously want Newman to have unlimited power – fair enough – but at what cost to the capacity to keep his government accountable?

  8. [I wonder how you run a state opposition with only 10-12 members in the Lower House?]

    At least in the other states there is an upper house to bolster the numbers for the front bench – I suppose you have everyone on the front bench and muddle through to the next election when hopefully you will pick up a few more.

  9. [The people of QLD obviously want Newman to have unlimited power โ€“ fair enough โ€“ but at what cost to the capacity to keep his government accountable?]

    Queenslanders might be quite happy to have this type of thing – after all in 2001 Peter Beattie won 66 seats.

  10. Another likely outcome – Labor’s caucus after tomorrow will be dominated by women(more than 50% of those MPs left standing).

  11. stuff em all I don’t want to see Bligh or Newman win with this much mud there s no clay to keep it together is just shit everywhere with the same agenda to keep us all bent over a barrel

  12. It is looking like the zonal electoral system main intended effect through its entire life is going to be finished this election with the Liberals getting the Premiership.

  13. Queenslanders will indeed find themselves bent over a barrel if they move in the numbers this poll is showing. That’s the thing about the ebbing and flowing of parties’ fortunes over electoral cycles: the voters apparently need to keep relearning the same painful lessons over and over again. Oh well, looks like the next repeat of bitter experience is about to begin. This one’s likely to be a doozy…

  14. Cuppa Labor were always going to find it hard to win but they only have themselves to blame for the size of the defeat. It was a bad election strategy and they managed to trash their best asset in pursuing the strategy.

  15. Love some of the comments above that are clearly from QLD opposition supporters (oh sorry I am 24 hours ahead of myself, I mean QLD ALP supporters). I find it highly amusing that:

    A) You think we need an upper house, when the state has got by perfectly fine without for 70+ years. You didn’t seem to think one was required when ALP was in power. Yes lets have more politicians and bureaucrats to support them, good idea. Other states should follow Queensland’s lead and abolish theirs.

    B) You have the audacity to criticize Mr Newman before he has enacted a single policy while your lot over the last 20 out of 23 years has been responsible for appalling mismanagement of the state resulting in it having greatest government debt in history.

    I am savoring my final few hours of Socialist Queensland, it is about to revert to the Free Enterprise Queensland of my youth and start moving forward again, at a rapid rate, like it used to, only this time it is being run by a very smart, honest, aboveboard, hard working professional young man instead of a corrupt old redneck.

    The ALP by my reckoning is gone for about 15 or 20 years (i.e. an entire generation), don’t you worry about that ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. David,

    [Labor were always going to find it hard to win but they only have themselves to blame]

    Ultimately it’s the voters who are responsible for electing a government that puts out for billionaires, multinational agribusiness corporations and the like. Good luck to them; I hope they find the experience instructive…

  17. [I am savoring my final few hours of Socialist Queensland, it is about to revert to the Free Enterprise Queensland of my youth and start moving forward again, at a rapid rate, like it used to]

    Good grief, for a ‘Queenslander’ this character sounds awfully like a southern American from the 1950s.

  18. Cuppa, look, I have take exception to that, anyway I more important things to worry about, I have to go voting today and I have misplaced 10 Gallon Hat, now where did I put it, hmmm, oh that’s right I think I left it in the Cadillac …..

  19. Incomprehensible lead article in the Courier-Mail:

    [THE man many in Queensland Labor blame for sowing the seeds of today’s defeat may have also provided the only hope of avoiding near-certain annihilation. Instilled through a cap on the number of MPs introduced by former premier Peter Beattie, the advantage helped Labor win 17 more seats than the LNP in 2009 despite near identical primary support. However, Labor’s only hope at this election is that the cap, which concentrated seats around its support, will prevent the doomsday scenario of a single-figure head count.]

    Can anyone translate this into English for me? What advantage? Concentrated seats around the support of what, and how? Subediting no doubt to blame.

  20. Turns out a second sentence from the print edition went missing there:

    [THE man many in Queensland Labor blame for sowing the seeds of today’s defeat may have also provided the only hope of avoiding near-certain annihilation. Labor was last night clinging to the rapidly declining possibility that a natural electoral advantage will save the party from being reduced to a rump …]

  21. It’s Time. The White Shoes Brigade is back in the MoonLight State. Welcome to the new Nightmare. But expect last minute unexpected

  22. Any way we in the deep south (Tasmania) can follow the election results? It won’t be on TV. I suppose it’ll all be over in about an hour anyway. William – will you be blogging it?

  23. gusface @ 1

    [I still hope for a minority labor Gvt]

    That’s an even less likely scenario than Labor winning in their own right, as there’s hardly going to be a raft of Labor-leaning indepedants elected today.

    Anthony Grace @ 18

    [You didnโ€™t seem to think one was required when ALP was in power. ]

    Indeed, if Labor actually wanted change, they’ve had fourteen years to get the ball rolling.

    The Finnigans @ 25

    [The White Shoes Brigade is back in the MoonLight State.]

    You wish โ€“ middle-eastern syndicates now run vice in south east Queensland.

  24. Gus,

    I have just started up the Largest National Paperbag manufacturing company in Qld.
    Located in George St Brisbane. (reduced delivery costs)

  25. It’s quite correct that Labor people have no right to complain about the fact that Newman will be the elected dictator of Qld for the next three years. We didn’t say how unhealthy big majorities were in 2001, when the Libs were reduced to three seats. We abolished the upper house, and despite Bjelke-Petersen’s abuses of power we didn’t re-introduce it although we had 20 years to do so. And we introduced optional preferential voting, which magnifies the advantage of the winning party, because it helped us win seats from the divided Libs and Nats. Having said that, I don’t share the view that a big win “guarantees” any party x number of terms. Greiner in 1988, Kennett in 1992 and what’s-his-name in SA in 1993 all had very big wins, but screwed up and were out after two terms. Despite the facade of the LNP, the Libs and Nats still hate each other and a city-dominated conservative government (something Qld has never had before) will be an unpleasant experience for regional Qld, long over-protected by both Nat and ALP governments.

  26. Adam

    There is no chance that an upper house will ever be reinstated in Qld. All it takes is for the opposition to run on a populist “we don’t want more fecking politicians” campaign and the government will be killed off at the following election.

    Optional preferential voting is the most ideologically pure form of voting because the voter does not have to give a preference to candidate who they do not really support just because they hate another candidate even more. It was also clever politics for Beattie at the time because, in three cornered contests, there was always going to be exhausting votes for one conservative party candidate when preferences were distributed; thus reducing the effect of preference swapping between the Nats and Libs and consequently favouring Labor. However, now that the Nats and Libs have eliminated such contests and Labor needing Green preferences, the boot is on the other foot. Swings and roundabouts. However I don’t think that the mechanism magnifies the advantage of the winning party, oonly advantages the party with the highest primary vote in that particular electorate.

    Yes, the only silver lining will be seeing the schisms within the lnp open up from day 1.

    I think that the universal expectation of a landslide victory to lnp and it’s constant repetition will cause some small but detectable claw back in the final numbers. I don’t think it will be Tom Burns’ cricket team but not a lot more.

  27. That’s what they said in NSW. Didn’t happen.

    Re an upper house: Reduce Assembly to 60, have a 26 member Council, 13 elected at each election by statewide PR for six-year terms. Net reduction: 3 politicians. Net gain: effective bicameralism.

    Re OPR: It was clever politics for Beattie, but harmful for Labor now, which was my point. And the same was true in NSW.

  28. Labor to hang on to just 13 seats – an unlucky number for the pitiful new Opposition, the bloated LNP Government and the people of Queensland.

  29. 34

    The Best chance for reintroducing the Legislative Council was the Borbidge Government. Before One Nation and I read somewhere it was that Government`s policy. The Democrats were also a factor favourable to re-introduction and their centrist house of review party model would have been a big factor in any victory in the necessary referendum.

    To be fair optional preferential voting was introduced by the Goss Government. It was also not referendum entrenched like it was in NSW.

    To be fair to Dean Brown the SA Libs replaced him as leader before the next election with John Olsen.

    The city dominated conservative government will likely be a big boost for the Katter Party at the next election. Remember the One Nation 1998 11 seats from 22% of the vote occurred with a National lead Coalition.

  30. Just voted at Craigslea in Stafford. Pretty brisk trade being done, a surprising number of KAP people handing out how-to-votes too. Not a single Green poster or volunteer to be seen anywhere, but then they’ve essentially phoned in their performance this time around (and it shows in their falling poll numbers).

    I’m tipping the ALP to retain somewhere between 15 and 20, but that will be a huge win still for the LNP. Although, given the structure of our Parliament, so long as there’s a reasonable buffer to protect against defections and the like, it doesn’t really matter if you have a majority of 5 or 50, since there is no other brake on the power of the Assembly.

  31. 38

    In he modern system of Deputy and Acting Premiers he would have been an Acting Premier but with the 1 vote, 1 value system he may well have been Premier in his own right.

  32. @43

    Technically speaking, the Premier is just a minister though right? Theoretically speaking, could a government and cabinet operate without a formal Premier for a period of time, just like you might be able to operate without any other minister for a short period of time?

    Going even further, could the Premier’s Department and ministry be abolished through a machinery-of-government change? Or is there some special constitutional requirement that there must formally be a Premier in order for Parliament to do business?

  33. If Newspoll is right, would this be the first substantial break trend downwards shift for the Greens in any Australian state/territory or federal election?

  34. Someone must advise the Crown. If a PM or Premier resigns or dies, the Crown must have a new adviser who can command the support of the lower house of Parliament.

    There’s no constitutional reason why the PM needs to have a department. The PM’s Department was created in 1911.

  35. [Rann only had 10 MPs in the lower house after 1993, although he did have 9 in the upper house.

    He got back after 2 terms.]

    Having the ideological thugs on the Liberal Right overthrow their Premier (makes Gillard v Rudd look like an amicable transition in contrast) and the selling of assets didn’t help one bit.

  36. Carey

    I can’t see Newman having the same fate but the Qld LNP are pretty adept at own goals, possibly in the league of the SA Libs.

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