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. OzPolT,

    I take your point about Monash when Dr Stone was probably there, but I still hazard a guess that she would have attended Monash holding a Commonwealth Scholarship – given that she graduated with honours, and back in the late 1960s honours weren’t awarded with quite the, er, liberality that they are now.

    Interestingly, Wiki hasn’t quite deleted all her family info – she was born in Pyramid Hill: her father was William Bawden, her mother was Nancy Chalmers. From some very quick searching, the Bawden family seems to have flourished in the Pyramid Hill district for quite some time. So, given that Sharman would appear to be a country lass, it’s not implausible that – if she missed out on a Commonwealth Scholarship – she would have received a Teacher’s Scholarship, which would have had the bonus of paying for her accommodation while at uni.

    In any event, whether or not she benefited from the Whitlam no-fees university education for her graduate degrees, she almost certainly would have had considerable assistance with her undergraduate degree.

  2. Rummel,

    Get yourself a pair of skins mate. Will do the trick, and you can get short ones, not just long. I wear them when I’m training and they’re great.

  3. [You argue in a respectful way so I never take offence if we disagree or have a misunderstanding. I hope you see it the same way.]

    Cheers, bemused. I’m OK with it, too. A lot do take it personally. A lot of that comes from frustration. It’s bad enough being besieged by the MSM without our own side also taking up the same points. But… yours is a point of view, rightly or wrongly.

    I have no doubt feeney and spur are bona fide, too. I just think they’re wrong in the favourable impact a change to Rudd would have on Labor’s electability. Frankly, I’d regard that as conceding defeat because it validates all the nihilism that Abbott-Credlin have run in conjunction with News Ltd.

    No matter how alarming the polls are, the thing you should never do is validate the line that’s being thrown up, which a change must do. Surely the lesson of what happened after the mea culpa on the HIS needs to be taken.

    Stand by your programs and principles. Make them try to win government by offering alternative viable programs, not sneaking in on bullshit issues and concocted scandals.

  4. Good result. The UK has corrected a bad error. It took quite a while for Hague to pull his head in.

    [In a statement, Ecuador’s government said it had received “a communication from the British Foreign Office which said that there was no threat to enter the embassy”.]

  5. Centre,

    The Canberra Times had the heading, wtte:

    Now we are in control of our own destiny

    I hope Hasler lives to regret sending his second 18 to Bruce Stadium.

  6. Diogs,

    The Brits never threatened to enter the Ecuador Embassy Grounds. That was always horseshit propagated by the Ecuadorians.

  7. Newcastle > Souths by 30+
    Penrith > Brisbane by 30+
    Or a total of 60
    Melbourne > W.Tigers
    Manly > Gold Coast
    means Newcastle are IN

    Gold Coast > Manly by 20+
    Penrith > Brisbane by 30+
    Or a total of approx 50
    Melbourne > W.Tigers
    and Newcastle lose or win by less than about 35
    mean Gold Coast are IN

    StGill need to win by about 100 and hope all the above happens

    None is likely to happen

    Probable Order:
    North Queensland
    Canberra Brisbane

    Possible change with 3,4,5 and 6,7
    Necastle lose or win by less than 30

  8. The draft plus salary cap in communism gone mad.

    I have a spectacular system in mind.

    If the AFL or NRL are interested get in contact with me, I’m serious!

  9. GG

    [The Brits never threatened to enter the Ecuador Embassy Grounds. That was always horseshit propagated by the Ecuadorians.]

    A large number of ex-UK ambassadors would disagree with you.

  10. Danny@1741:

    Incidentally, Tony (if you are lurking), I have a question for you:

    How’s your week been?

    Danny, that’s mean, but I love it!

    :devil: :smirk:

  11. GG

    I reckon the AFL draft system is how the Greens would design an electoral voting system.

    Sure would.
    The worst thing about the priority picks is that it leads to corruption, as Melbourne proved a few years ago. Re allegations of Tanking.
    Ironically is that considering the Game that bought that into focus Melbourne V Richmond 2009 (?), and the subsequent form of both teams.
    Richmond, with out the benefits of Priorities, is showing so much potential atm
    and Melbourne, with all the aid, is still a cellar dweller.

  12. Diogs,

    Every story I’ve read says, “The Ecuadorian Foreign Minsiter says…….”

    Sort of like the ABC here with their “The Opposition says…..” routine.

  13. ! am watching Grand Designs on abc ch2 where a couple are building a dwelling using old tyres filled with rammed earth, and then plastered over. It seems a really good idea for country and remote areas.

  14. Shows On

    If you read my first post, you must have seen the correction immediately below.

    So that make you a deliberate detractor as well as an habitual liar, since your smartarsk post pretended that there was no correction.

  15. Seriously diogs, the whole Brits will invade us meme fails the bullshit test.

    If that was the Brit’s intention, they would have done it already, Assange would probably be dead and Ecuador wopuld have invaded the US in protest.

  16. If the Broncos, Tigers, Titans and Knights lose and the Dragons win by 80 points they’re in.

    If teams 8 to 15 are caught breaching the cap within the next 2 weeks, Parra get the call up.


  17. I was at Lorne on the weekend. The ducks (which looked a lot like Ducky) hanging around on the grass could barely be bothered waddling out of the way when you approached them, whereas in most places they’re off if you get anywhere near them. Clearly they’ve got unthreatening humans worked out there.

  18. Bemused

    I have read Donnelly’s stuff on education for years. He had a regular piece in the OO for some time

    He was a teacher from the state system as I seem to remember, from the wrong side of the tracks himself who has pulled himself up by his own bootstraps and who has ‘seen the light’ with the view that all schools should be “private” and that only good can come from such schools.

    He has sold his soul and has touts vouchers which is evidence enough for me.

    I really don’t know if he is a card-carrying member of the Liberal party and care even less.

    He always seems to trotted out as a spokesperson of the hard right in education circles.

  19. [Shows On

    If you read my first post, you must have seen the correction immediately below.]

  20. GG,

    Thank you for the reminder: I must see if The Mouse That Roared is available for hire/purchase.

    I am not being flippant with respect to you, by the way – but certainly with (lack of) respect to the situation.

  21. OPT @ 1770,

    I tried a delicate swipe of my paw – to no effect.

    Having just seen the latest effusion, all I can suggest (to both of us) is:

    [Scroll him by–i, scroll him by–i–i …]

  22. GG,

    I wasn’t being coy, but given the blue paper that has been in evidence today, I thought that I should make it clear – ex abundanti cautela – where I was coming from.

    Actually, I hadn’t realised, until checking out the fillum this evening, that there’s a whole series of books:

    [Wibberley wrote one prequel (1958’s Beware of the Mouse) and three sequels: The Mouse on the Moon (1962), The Mouse on Wall Street (1969), and The Mouse that Saved the West (1981). Each placed the tiny Duchy of Grand Fenwick in a series of absurd situations in which it faced superpowers and won.]

    Those I will definitely go chasing (I particularly like the sound of The Mouse on Wall Street).

  23. Rummel # 1709, impressive and hilarious at one and the same time. Despite being from Sydney I don”t actually know anyone who goes to all night dance parties in leathers , I’m sure some of them would have lots of useful advice!

    All the best.

  24. fiona,

    Not sure what blue paper might be, but I always pay good insights.

    Remember, too much love and understanding leads to unwanted propositions.

  25. don

    Since you are around, you may be interested I just installed cccp in Chrome on a Ubuntu Linux system.

    Worked the same as with Chrome on a Windows system.

  26. [Having just seen the latest effusion, all I can suggest (to both of us) is:

    Scroll him by–i, scroll him by–i–i …]

    I know, Fiona. Most of the time i do. But every now and then, when he writes something that’s such an outrageous lie, so easily outed as such, and is so abusively intolerant of correction, I can’t help myself.

    Make a good stand-in for Abbott.

  27. GG

    [Seriously diogs, the whole Brits will invade us meme fails the bullshit test.]

    There is a big difference between making a threat and intending to carry it out.

    Hague had a testosterone surge.

  28. bemused@1788


    Since you are around, you may be interested I just installed cccp in Chrome on a Ubuntu Linux system.

    Worked the same as with Chrome on a Windows system.

    Yeah, like I said I can’t understand what is going on there. It’s not like macs to make things difficult to do, that is the preserve of windows machines.

    All I can think of is that Chrome was made for PC and was ported to the mac platform.

    Musrum’s cccp is working fine now, but it should have (as in the past) have worked right from the start, it is (seriously!) what you expect from macs.

    I don’t think Apple can lay claim to inventing much, but boy oh boy they make things work the way you would expect.

    Most times. 😀

  29. Diogs,

    Show me any unbiased source that says Hague said anything. He may have got them confused with Ethiopia.

    As always, your uncritical acceptance of newspaper reports reveals your inner credulity. Too much reading makes you dumber.

  30. [Who would you rather play Roy?

    Bulldogs or Storm in week 1 ?]

    Canterbury, 100 times out of 100. Nowhere near as good as advertised. Melbourne don’t worry me too much and in spite of the other week, neither do Manly. The team that bothers me is Brisbane. And the player that keeps me awake at night is Issac Luke. I know he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed but what is going on with him? The word is he could be cut.

  31. [At least one of the lawyers at the Foreign Office (FCO) expressed concern over the warning that Britain could use the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 to “storm” the embassy building and remove Assange, who faces sex crime allegations in Sweden. A senior Whitehall source said yesterday that staff feared the move could provoke retaliatory attacks against British embassies overseas.]

  32. 60 Minutes did a “story” on the Aust Govt shutting down intercountry adoption with Ethiopia. Childless couples in tears. The only mention of why it had to be shut down was “Ethiopian government red tape”. No mention of the corruption, stolen children, faked orphans etc. (see link). Cue the outrage on twitter about ALP Govt “stuffing up” how cruel Julia Gillard is….

    Another cheap anti Labor shot. Shameful again channel 9

  33. [Burgey
    Posted Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Get yourself a pair of skins mate. Will do the trick, and you can get short ones, not just long. I wear them when I’m training and they’re great.]

    Skins eh! i will go for a look, thanks for the tip

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