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.
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.
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.
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.