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”

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  1. What on earth did they see in JG’s interview?

    SK, Bias, ad hominem attacks on people like Larry Pickering……

    Even links to daH Bolta’s take on it which is a bit of an internally inconsistent hoot of a read. But Bolt and Monkton are worshiped there.

    Its been getting a bit of an unhinged feeling over there over the last few weeks with less science “discussion” and more conspiracy type circle jerking.

    I suspect that they are a little disappointed the economy hasn’t crashed yet due to the evils of the Carbon Scam!!!!!!

    Some of the posts sound more like wails of despair that the world isn’t really listening to them when THEY have the revealed truth after all.

    An interesting barometer for what the nutjobby, teabagger types are saying though.

  2. [Correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall you being on record here that only Ruddstoration could shift Qld in this way.]

    Where are them painful pavlovian doggys – bring them on!!!

  3. spur212:

    I’m glad you are happy, but sad you can’t allow those of us like me who never gave into spineless whingeing our moment in the sun.

  4. Those poll numbers are game-changers. Are they sustainable?
    Will Federal Libs jump on Cando?
    Would he care?

  5. Thanks TLBD

    Looking at the CT question table, fully 71% of LNP voters think it has minimal or no effect. Seems the base has deserted Tony.

  6. (not Hot)spur and TP are the furniture in the PB lounge that you get so used to that you just avoid it without thinking about it. A few seem to stub their toes on it.

  7. [spur and TP are the furniture in the PB lounge that you get so used to ]

    Duckey, i thought that “we piss to”, no?

  8. [Seems the base has deserted Tony.]

    Hence his wanting to latch onto the Gillard stuff but seemingly unable to do so credibly.

    I sincerely hope this is a sign of things turning around for the govt.

  9. Breivik got 3.3 months in prison per murder. If I was the parents of all those kids he killed I’d be very angry. He ought to get “never to be released.”

  10. 74

    He may well be. Under the system in Norway, his sentence can be extended, repeatedly, by up to 5 years at a time, until he no longer poses a risk to the community.

  11. The Chad Trio Mitchell (Canadian, not USAian) aren’t exactly heavy metal but they (the original ones) have rocked my boat for about forty years.

    Super Skier is another one that might suit Tone.

  12. This little black duck

    To me, I don’t care who is leader of the ALP. All I care about is winning. I’ll back whoever can deliver that outcome.

  13. [To me, I don’t care who is leader of the ALP. All I care about is winning. I’ll back whoever can deliver that outcome.]

    First goal for me is ensuring Abbott is never PM. That is the bottom line right now.

  14. Psephos,

    Brevik, on current form, is unlikely ever to get released. As I understand it, 21 years is the maximum he could get. The “could be extended” is the killer, pardon the expression.

  15. G’night SK. Not far behind, but delighted to see a) a Galaxy poll in Qld and b) that Can Do is helping federal Labor with his conduct.

  16. It will be very interesting to see the LNP dynamic from here. Will the Nationals start backlashing against Newman?

    Clive Palmer already has.

    If the ALP can get to 47-48% 2PP, that’s around 6 seats. Enough for victory all other things being equal

  17. Well TFFT, looks like Newman has opened the eyes if the red necks up here. Of course the real ramifications won’t hit for a few months yet but when the South East corner falls into recession see the LNP numbers fall further.

  18. Psephos
    He will never be released. He has a three room unit in which he will live in solitary. It is his access to the internet that he will have which is upsetting people. I do not know any details but I assume it will be monitored. I wouldn’t be surprised if that gets canned, As it should be.

  19. Puff,

    I’m dead sure, pardon the expression, that his activity on the net will be heavily regulated. He’ll be lucky if he can play chess on the net.

  20. Puff,

    Can do is locked into the budget by now.

    He is damned and caught by his own rhetoric over the past few months re the terrible state of the economy and the urgent need to reign in spending. Any changes would be very hard to introduce at this point and leave him open to attack.

    ‘If the economy is so bad why are you now changing your mind re cuts ? Is it because the economy is not as bad as you have said ? If so why did you make those statements ? ”

    The job losses will not be forgotten.

    As well it is not just job losses. Those who keep their jobs face loss of conditions including nurses, firies ambos etc etc. As well the loss of services etc will continue to play out

    Any breakdown in service delivery, any story of pensioners and others being pushed out of caravan parks, pallative care losses, any loss of life will be put straight back onto Can do over the next 12 months.

    It will not die down.

    Can do is about to realise any economic decision has its social consequences that must be faced up to and the noise will not die.

  21. Careful she might hear you 👿

    [Jessica Wright ‏@jesswrightstuff
    @Thefinnigans partly. But your comment in that OTHER place cheered me no end. References to my da, notsomuch]

  22. Psephos:

    [Breivik got 3.3 months in prison per murder. If I was the parents of all those kids he killed I’d be very angry. He ought to get “never to be released.”]

    The calculus is wrong. Even 63 years would be only 10 months each. A horrible crime is just that — no amount of gaol time can acquit it. That’s why “potential to harm the community” is the correct standard. After 40 years, perhaps he will be past that point.

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