Galaxy: 57-43 to federal Coalition in Queensland; Seat of the week: Lingiari

GhostWhoVotes tweets that a Galaxy poll on federal voting intention in Queensland gives the Coalition a two-party lead of 57-43 – a seven-point turn-around in Labor’s favour since the last such poll three months ago, suggesting a swing to the Coalition/LNP of only 2% since the 2010 election. Leaving aside the Labor-skewed Morgan face-to-face series, the last time a published poll of federal voting intention showed a swing that low was the Newspoll of May 27-29, 2011, which had the Coalition leading 52-48 nationally. The only Queensland seat Labor would lose on a uniform swing of that size would be Moreton, held by Graham Perrett on a margin of 1.1% (the present numbers in Queensland are 21 seats for the LNP, eight for Labor and one for Bob Katter). The primary votes are 30% for Labor (up seven on the previous poll) and 49% for the Coalition (down seven). The poll also finds 52% detecting little or no impact of the carbon tax on their household budget, against 15% for “major impact” and 27% for “minor impact”. New asylum seeker laws are rated “strong” by 26% of respondents, “inhumane” by 18% and “too little too late” by 51%. The poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 800, and has a margin of error of about 3.5%.

UPDATE: The Sunday Mail today has further results from the poll which show “two out of three people believe the Premier is going too far with his proposal to cut 20,000 public sector jobs”, together with figures showing widespared feelings of job insecurity, particularly among government employees.

Further evidence of the Queensland elastic snapping back was provided earlier this week by ReachTEL, which conducted automated phone polls of three seats out of the many which the LNP won from Labor at the state election. These showed Labor leading in two of the seats and lineball in the third. My own calculation of two-party preferred results based on preferences from the previous election had Labor leading 60-40 in Sandgate, a swing to the of 13%, and 51-49 in Brisbane Central, a swing to them of 6%. I had the LNP 51-49 ahead in Towsville, but Possum has it at 51-49 in Labor’s favour – no doubt having used a formula that took better account of the decline of the Katter’s Australian Party vote. The poll also found Campbell Newman’s personal ratings in Sandgate and Townsville in Tony Abbott if not Julia Gillard territory, though he scored better in Brisbane Central. There was similarly a strong view he had not kept his promises in Sandgate and Townville, but an even divide of opinion in Brisbane Central. The samples on each poll were around 400, for margins of error approaching 5%.

And not forgetting …

Seat of the week: Lingiari

I’ve previously been limited my Seat of the Week choices to seats where both parties have preselected candidates, but am making an exception today in a spirit of keeping things topical. The federal seat of Lingiari covers the entirety of the Northern Territory outside of Darwin, which for the most part will play second fiddle during tomorrow night’s election count: whereas Darwin’s suburbs teem with marginal seats, the remainder is largely divided between Country Liberal Party strongholds in Alice Springs and Labor strongholds elsewhere. However, the tea-leaves of the regional and remote results will be read carefully for federal implications given Labor member Warren Snowdon’s narrow margin in Lingiari, and recent rumours of Labor internal polling showing him headed for defeat.

The Northern Territory was first granted its own seat in the federal parliament in 1922, but its member did not attain full voting rights until 1968. Perhaps not coincidentally, the seat had recently fallen to Sam Calder of the Country Party after a long period of Labor control. The Country Liberal Party was established in 1978 as a local alliance between coalition parties to contest elections in the the newly established Northern Territory parliament, and Grant Tambling succeeded Calder as its members upon the latter’s retirement at the 1980 election. Tambling was unseated by Labor’s John Reeves in 1983, and returned as a Senator four years later. The seat thereafter changed hands with some regularity: future Chief Minister Paul Everingham recovered it for the CLP in 1984, Warren Snowdon won it back for Labor in 1987, Nick Dondas held it for the CLP for one term from 1996, and Snowdon recovered it in 1998.

The population of the Northern Territory is such that it consistently hovers between an entitlement of one or two seats according to the formula used to allocate seats to the states and territories. It first rose above the line prior to the 2001 election, resulting in the territory’s division between Solomon, covering Darwin, and Lingiari, which in accommodating the entire remainder of the territory is the second largest electorate in geographical terms after Durack in Western Australia. However, when the Australian Electoral Commission next conducted its mid-term determination of seat entitlements the Northern Territory had fallen 295 residents short of the number required to its second seat. With Labor and the Coalition both convinced they could win both seats at the 2004 election, the parliament proved amenable to arguments that the determination left the territory under-represented, and passed legislation to reinstate the second seat. Solomon and Lingiari accordingly have the lowest enrolments of any seats in Australia at around 62,000, compared with a national average of about 95,000 (which together with the extensive use of mobile booths explains the scarcity of numbers on the 2010 results map at the bottom of the post).

Lingiari is notable for having by far the highest proportion of indigenous persons of any seat in the country, at 41.8% against 15.7% for second-placed Durack. Relatedly, and depressingly, it also has the lowest median age of any electorate. The support of Aboriginal voters has given Labor enough of a base to have kept the seat in their hands, despite CLP strength in pastoral areas and the urban centres of Alice Springs, Katherine and Tennant Creek. Labor’s margins have progressed over four elections from 5.3% to 7.7% to 11.2% to 3.7%. The diversity of the electorate’s components can make for enormously complicated election results, as demonstrated by local swings over the last three elections. In the wake of the Howard government’s intervention into Aboriginal communities before the 2007 election, mobile polling booths swung 8.4% to Warren Snowdon off an already very high base of 78.7%. However, it was a very different story in 2010, when these booths swung to the CLP by no less than 28.1% – a result variously put down to the troubled Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program, the actions of newly merged regional councils, and the ongoing suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act by the new Labor government. Remarkably, the swings in Alice Springs were in the opposite direction, with Snowdon down 2.6% in 2007 and up 8.4% in 2010. In Tennant Creek the Labor vote fell from 58.7% to 34.2% while the Greens rocketed from 4.6% to 33.7%, a result credited to the Muckaty Station nuclear waste dump proposal.

Snowdon is a figure in Labor’s Left faction, and has held junior ministry positions since the Rudd government came to power in 2007. He had earlier been a parliamentary secretary during his first stint as a member from 1990 to 1996, again reaching the position in opposition after the 2001 election. After the 2007 election win he received a substantial promotion to the junior defence science and personnel ministry, which Glenn Milne in The Australian credited to his close association with Julia Gillard. Snowdon was demoted to indigenous health, rural and regional services after Joel Fitzgibbon resigned as Defence Minister in June 2009, which Philip Dorling of the Canberra Times put down to incoming Defence Minister John Faulkner’s “longstanding lack of enthusiasm” for him, “and perhaps more specific concerns about the contribution Mr Snowdon’s office may have made in the past week to Fitzgibbon’s downfall”. He recovered defence science after the 2010 election and further gained veterans affairs, while dropping rural and regional services.

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.

1,858 comments on “Galaxy: 57-43 to federal Coalition in Queensland; Seat of the week: Lingiari”

  1. I just read the Hartcher story. As a Labor member I know what I’d like to do to McClelland. How low can you get in working to destabilise your own Party while in Govt.

  2. I have logged on and still have about 10 pages from the previous thread and 10 from this to catch up on, so these may have been linked before. This post is copied from the previous thread.

    An open letter from Tony Burke to Campbell Newman.

    Let me be clear, if what you want is for me to give approvals without conducting checks, then I will stand in your way.

    If you want the Government to let you trash the Great Barrier Reef, we will stand in your way.

    If you want to clear fell every acre of koala habitat in south east Queensland, we will stand in your way.

    The Sunshine Coast Daily running a survey on voters current opinion of Campbell Newmann’s governing style.

  3. I just noticed that the ABC on their web site have an article on the possibility of a takeover for Fairfax.

    Ha, guess where you read that first? 😯

    The article says that Fairfax may also face the possibility of a breakdown of its assets :into more than one company). NO 😛

    What may more likely happen is that FXJ will conduct a capital raising – with say, an offer of 0.30 cents a share to all retail investors. 🙂

  4. And another good article (well, good and bad; jobs WERE lost in Australia, and aren’t likely to come back) on how innovative companies adapt and survive

    with some good comments from Henry:

    [For companies to thrive during the Asia boom, which has brought the high dollar, Henry argued they needed to make the most of the ”competitive advantages” – such as our educated workforce and advanced technology.

    ”Instead of making the same products that we were making 140 years ago, that capacity can instead be used to make and do things that only we can do, or that Australia can do better than people in other countries,” he said.

    Henry stressed that this was more than simply taking output from existing factories in Asia. It’s also about companies trying to integrate themselves more deeply in the region.]

    [ResMed, medical product manufacturer, has also invested in factories in Singapore and Malaysia, in addition to its research and development work in Australia.

    A UBS healthcare analyst, Andrew Goodsall, says this has given them lower costs and provided a handy shield against the high Australian dollar. Similarly to Blundstone, it also benefits from being far closer to markets in the northern hemisphere, with shorter shipment times. ”Because Singapore is so much closer to their market they save a week’s worth of working capital,” Goodsall says.

    Vitamin company Blackmores has also pursued Asian operations for the past two decades, with profits doubling in the past three years]

    Gee, let’s hope these Asian countries don’t start getting nervous about Australians investing there….

    [Far from just defending offshoring as a cost-cutting strategy, Henry says these examples show how Australian companies can exploit the Asian century to their advantage.]

  5. [While I am happy that we are witnessing what seems to be a turning tide with the media, one has to ask the bleeding obvious – why did it take them so long to call out the incessant personal attacks on the PM and the almost feral barrage she had to endure EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR TWO BLOODY YEARS.]

    Meanwhile, of course, the pathetic Fairfax columnists are still churning out screeds on how Gillard is done like a dinner, once the Slatergate allegations really bite.

    Carney, in his inimitable style, puts it down to “two words”: “slush” and “fund”.

    How about “brain” and “dead”?

    Or “missed” and “boat”?

    Perhaps “brain” and “dead” would be appropriate to describe Carney’s pissweak effort to keep this debacle afloat.

    Hartcher reckons this is just round #1, as Rudd manoeuvres Gillard into the Killing Zone, just where he wants her, aided and abetzed by none other than Labor’s own Stan Laurel, “McClelland of Malaysia”.

    Grattan tells us she’s still in an election losing position, and that if an election were to be held today she’d be out on her ear. Pity the election’s not for another year yet, eh?

    Coorey shrugs his shoulders and says it was a pretty good “performance” the other day, but that more questions may be asked. Perhaps whether Gillard’s boyfriend’s belly fluff was blue or black?

    As they humiliatingly trawl over the story that News ltd journalists collated, they don’t seem to see the pathos of their own situation: they missed it, and now all they can do is opine about it… someone else’s yarn… hoping out loud that, again, someone else will distill a few more prurient facts out of it before it dies a natural death.

    Why do they think their opinions on a story these Wily Coyotes didn’t see coming, and can only shout at as it whizzes past them, Roadrunner style, are of the slightest interest to their readers?


    The spectacle of these fools going through the trash can, like so many Sylvester The Cats, chewing on old fishbones, a trash can that has already been gone through by, almost literally, generations of muckrakers before them, is as appalling as it is amusing.

    Dey taut dey taw a puddy cat.

    Too late, $2.7 billion too late.

  6. Message to Arthur Sinodinos: None of those things will help the BHP Olympic Dam Expansion.

    [Kloppers said Olympic Dam was dependent on uncertain development of cheaper “leaching” technology to expand the mine’s future production.]

  7. latikambourke: Lib. Senator Arthur Sinodinos ‘if I had a choice between reading 50 shades of grey and another industry policy statement…guess I’d go 50.

    @latikambourke: Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos on Tony Abbott’s ‘snafu’ on whether he’d read the BHP doc ‘I’m not quite sure what was going on there.

    @latikambourke: Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos says Tony Abbott got up at 3am to write his speech on free speech. Says its evidence of his hard work.

    @latikambourke: Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos says Tony Abbott got up at 3am to write his speech on free speech. Says its evidence of his hard work.

    @latikambourke: Labor guys use to cite that type of behavior from Kevin Rudd as one of the reasons they felt he wasn’t fit to be PM anymore….

  8. Ah Spur212

    I have noticed this Galaxy poll.

    But, but, you said Labor would lose just about every seat in QLD if they didn’t go back to Rudd?

  9. Australians want job security. The fibs want flexibility. Of course, code for employers using and abusing workers at the lowest possible price.

    When all is said and done, it is the economy stupid.

  10. Vic

    Agree with other Sandgropers on Barnett. At this point, there is not a push for change.

    The Emperor (and he hates this title) has the support of the West and Sunday times.

    He is busy talking up new stadiums, hotels, waterfronts and burying railway lines.

    On the other hand, electricity costs have gone up 60% plus without any reference to the CT, the freeways are becoming carparks, trains are packed at peak hours, there is a shortage of parking at stations and he has a very, very weak front bench.

    Mark M is a good LOTO and has lifted Labor’s chances. Barnett was lucky to win last time and is only there with the graces of the Nationals – who would sell the soul for the money.

    As far as Buswell is concerned, he claims he does not want the leadership. Time will tell. He must be revolting to women but at the last election, he actually increased his majority and not all of this would have come from a male vote. He does strike one was competent but risky. Barnett conveys “safe”.

    No accounting for tastes I suppose.

    Labor is about 4 seats short and I think 2 should come back but as for the rest……….

  11. vic

    We don’t hear much about WA/Vic/NSW premiers here. I gather Ballieu isn’t travelling well but that’s more because he’s a bit crap than scarymad. BOF and Barnett seem to be polling OK and will win again.

    Newman is the odd man out. He’s a wrecker and seems to be uncontrollable. And there is a well-founded concern that Abbott will be similar.

  12. Love this tweet.
    [Liv ‏@mmechomski
    Wow! RT @yinyangman69 Sitting with client who has autism, watching Abbott on TV. He points at TV and says,”He’s wearing a mask.” #AusPol]
    The perception seems just about right.

  13. McClelland and Fitzgibbon had better put the interests of the Party and its reelection chances ahead of their own pewny little selfish vendettas and ZIP… big time! They are an embarrassment.

    There is only one message, it’s loud and clear – RACK OFF RUDD!

  14. vic

    A few weeks ago my Dad had a mild heart attack (he’s fine now). For a while I was spending most of my time at the ancestral home which doesn’t have access to the interwebz. When I finally got home I was too knackered to do anything but fire off the odd angry tweet, and accumulate more bookmarks for posts on The Derp.

    Things back to normal now, so am starting to go through all the bookmarks and will (hopefully) publish them on The Derp, including wrapping up the Murdoch Virus series.

    This weeks events were too good to resist though, so I had to do something with them (in case you missed it, here’s the link again – :wink:).

  15. Centre

    I said it the other day, and was accused of being slanderous. Ridiculous in the extreme. But I am still of the opinion that the rats in the ranks could still do Labor in

  16. Morning All

    Great win by The Raiders last night moves them into the top 8 – just need The Swannies to roll the Hawks and effectively seal the minor premiership today to make it a massive week for the teams I follow 🙂

    Much better polling from Queensland, seems after seeing what Newman has done so far they can’t handle Abbott as well. Another interesting figure from the poll was 20% of Labor voters thinking Pacific Solution Mk 2 is “inhumane” – would be interesting if that was the same in other states.

    Just on asylum seekers, seeing as I’m an on-shore processing man like Clive, maybe I should see if he was willing to fill Titanic 2 up with them and bring some over 🙂

    Really looking forward to Insiders tomorrow to see what they have to say – this week was HUGE in politics and could be the beginning of the end for Abbott

    Have a great day All


  17. DG

    Glad to hear dad is doing okay now. Great post. Summarises the horrible week the Rabbot has had perfectly. One to bookmark for future reference.

    Off to buy supplies for the hungry mob. Catch you bludgers later on

  18. Centre

    I thought I made that view clear last night and this morning. Newman is clearly on the nose. I didn’t anticipate it would flow on to federal voting intention but it clearly has. The underlying problem still remains, but Newman has begun to overshadow it.

    As for the rest regarding the leadership, I have no preference so long as they keep Abbott out of the lodge

    If I was as partisan about it as some on here are (on either side), I’d be saying a lot more, but I’m not

  19. [Not sure if you know this, but you’re in Grogs Gamut’s book]

    Gorblimey! What for plse? Just lucky he doesn’t realise that I posted from early 2006 under a different name. Lost it when PB switched to Crikey where I was already a subscriber.

    I’ve ordered the book and hope it arrives this week.

    I remember those early days when Grog, Poss, Ari and many others gave so much pshesy info so between them and William I learnt how to read polls much better.

  20. [Paul Bongiorno ‏@PaulBongiorno

    Note to Hedley Thomas of the Oz. Read PVO in your paper today. I endorse every word as a Walkley winner myself. ]


    [Christopher Joye
    Accentuating the economic negatives
    PUBLISHED: 11 hours 5 MINUTES AGO | UPDATE: 3 hours 59 MINUTES AGO

    The “fog of war” is used to describe decision-making under duress. Investors grapple with a similar challenge when trying to sort fact from fiction in today’s real-time news cycle.

    In Australia, the labour and housing markets have held a magnetic appeal for spurious “storytellers”. And it is not only hyperbolic doomsayers like Steve Keen that you have to worry about. There is a negative bias across general news coverage. Don’t take my word for it. This is also the judgment of Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens and one of his chief lieutenants, Guy Debelle.]
    Good (non paywalled) article, touches on negativity issue we’ve discussed here.

  22. BH

    It was in regards to the lack of female bloggers writing about Australian politics.

    He also copies a response to your comment at from Hoyden About Town

  23. Dan,
    I hope your Dad will be okay. My Mum was carted off to hospital 2 months ago and they found she has an enlarged heart. 🙁

    All the best for you and you Dad.

  24. @oz_f: Casting my vote in Heffron by-election. Proud as punch to be able to vote for my wonderful mother, @MehreenFaruqi

    I think Labor will win but am hoping Greens do an upset. Get the Labor party thinking about how far right they willing to go.

  25. TLBD @ 232:

    Hartcher is unlovable, unlike the parts of female genitalia you describe.

    Pinstripe Pete, with his ridiculous affectations, is falling further and further behind the pack, and into irrelevancy.

  26. [He also copies a response to your comment at from Hoyden About Town]

    Whoops! I got absolutely panned by the mob at Hoyden for that comment. Water off a duck’s back, I thought 🙂

  27. Victoria, the rats in the ranks and being outnumbered by the day. Nobody will ever side with a couple of twerps because of their pewny hang ups.

    Rudd is gone, don’t worry about that!

  28. I’m don’t listen to Philip Adams nowdays but this is a bit rich. Eric Butler peddles so much junk.

    [The decision is odd enough, but why on earth is the Press Council even intervening to settle an argument? How dare it intervene to censor a writer’s opinion?

    Now, in an adjudication that should give pause for thought to those on the Left advocating greater media regulation, the Australian Press Council has ruled we must not besmirch the blessed memory of our fellow travellers with Germany’s wartime regime.]

  29. Carey, saw a *little* of “Watchmen” last night. Wanted to watch doco abt Mosquito raid on Gestapo HQ. Brilliant.

    However, the movie you mentioned looked terrific. May be on SBS online site “On Demand”. If so, will watch it.

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