Galaxy: 51-49 to federal Labor in Queensland

After a shaky result for the LNP in yesterday’s state poll, today’s federal follow-up brings even worse news from Queensland for the Abbott government.

Tomorrow’s Courier-Mail carries results of a Galaxy poll of federal voting intention in Queensland, going off the same sample as yesterday’s state poll, and it’s the first of four such polls since the election to show Labor in front. Labor’s 51-49 lead on two-party preferred represents an 8% swing from last year’s federal election, and a three-point shift to Labor from the previous result in February. It also sits well with the current reading from BludgerTrack, suggesting serious problems for the government in what may be the most important state in the country in terms of marginal seats. Primary votes and such to follow shortly. UPDATE: The primary votes are 38% for the Coalition, 36% for Labor, 8% for the Greens and 12% for Palmer United. The poll also finds 36% believe the Abbott government has lived up to expectations, down nine points since February, 56% believe it has performed below them, up nine points, and 4% believe it has been better, down two.

UPDATE (Essential Research): The regular weekly result from Essential Research has both major parties down a point on the primary vote, to 40% for the Coalition and 38% for Labor, and the two main minor parties up one, the Greens to 9% and Palmer United to 6%. Labor gains a point on two-party preferred to lead 52-48. Further questions find a remarkable 43% saying the government should respond to its budget difficulties by calling an election, the breakdowns for party support suggesting this mostly bespeaks a desire to get rid of the government rather than secure the passage of its budget. Thirty-eight per cent say they would rather a new budget be introduced, including a majority among Coalition supporters. I’m not sure if the availability of only two options together with “don’t know” succeeds in capturing the full range of opinion on the subject.

Other questions find opinion on the state of the economy little changed since April, with a good rating of 37% (down one) and a poor rating of 26% (up two), but more thinking it headed in the wrong direction, up seven to 41% with “right direction” down four to 35%. Concern about job losses is up a point to 58%, with the “not at all concerned” response up three to 32%. Twenty-one per cent say the impact of the budget on employment will be good versus 49% for bad. Sixty per cent disapprove of sending troops to Iraq versus 28% who approve, and 36% believe current spending on anti-terrorism measures is about right, compared with 28% who want more and 19% who want less.

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.

1,126 comments on “Galaxy: 51-49 to federal Labor in Queensland”

  1. Z: The abstract I linked was the one that article is based on. Neither that abstract nor the SMH article make the claim that: “fathers being at home didn’t seem to have the same impact that mothers being at home did.”

    If you were at the conference and your account is accurate then fair enough. But measuring maternal and paternal involvement, and then extracting a gendered effect after controlling for number of hours of care is significant research in its own right and since that wasn’t the point of the paper I’m somewhat suspicious they did. Just looking at what’s online my suspicion is as above: they made a claim about mothers’ hours because that’s what they measured and any comments on fathers (as in the SMH) were based either on other research or intuition.

  2. Re Chinese
    Anti-Chinese feelings has a long history in this country,going right back to the Victorian goldrush of the 1850ies..with punitive taxes… and riots in the Buckland Valley and much resentment in Ballarat and Bendigo,and bans on further immigration from China and …led by the emerging Labor Party after Federation
    ..The White Australia Policy,which still remained on the ALP Policy document until well after WW2

  3. Zoomster

    [I am not responsible for the inability of yourself, Astrobleme or pegasus to understand plain English, thus forcing me to restate what I’ve already stated using big crayons and a lot of butcher’s paper.]


    As I said the other day you are a distasteful person.

  4. victoria@776

    Martin B

    The myki ticketing system was very costly and Labor certainly stuffed that up

    I think there was a whiff of corruption about some aspects of it.

    The rest was the typical Vic Public Service inability to run a project properly as is repeatedly documented by the Auditor General and the Ombudsman but continues to be repeated.

  5. Tom tf&b at 797:

    Specific legislation to retrospectively interfere with contractual rights is “drastic” action. It is the action of a rogue state.

    In mid-1992 Kennet threatened to retrospectively interfere with the superannuation entitlements of ALP members of parliament who did not vote to bring on an early election. If for no other reason this should have made him unelectable. (Of course apart from being retrospective it was also a gross interference with proper political process and should have been dealt with as a contempt of Parliament.)

    Needless to say Kennett never followed through with the threat, but just making it should have been enough to end his political career.

  6. bemused

    [I think there was a whiff of corruption about some aspects of it.

    The rest was the typical Vic Public Service inability to run a project properly as is repeatedly documented by the Auditor General and the Ombudsman but continues to be repeated.]

    Sadly i agree

  7. deblonay@777

    Re VicRail_______
    The imrovement in Vicrail,notably the Velocity trains to the regional cities like Geelong, etc,was one of the great triumphs of Bracsk,as was the splendid new Southern Cross Station…one of the very few attractive”modern” buildings in Melbourne…it has something of the style of the Sydney Opera House and did win a major international design award a decade ago
    Great work by Bracks for which he deserves praise and acclaim

    Southern Cross Station looks nice but is otherwise an abomination.

  8. I’d also like to add Zommster that your commentary about Contract Law is largely your own speculation, and invention based on hypothetical scenarios where people would behave in the way you think they would.
    So claiming that others are ignorant is rich, considering you are basing these claims on invented scenarios.

    AND I can think of businesses and companies that would still tender for contracts where there was danger of a future Govt not following through. And old business I was involved with (in hydrogeology) tried to win contracts where there was uncertainty the next Govt would honor them

  9. 808

    It has its many problems but does have some good points. For example, the introduction of a Collins St concourse has been very useful as an interchange with the trams and necessary with the growth of Docklands.

  10. Let us get the White Australia Policy of the ALP in historical context. While it is a reflection of the racism of the time, it was mainly to prevent the boss class from importing lowly paid workers to take away Australian jobs and conditions. Those lowly paid workers, the modern equivalents the 457 visa holders, just happened at that time to be mainly characterized by being non-European.

    So let’s just get that straight before TWAP is used as baseball bat to beat the ALP.

  11. No, Astrobleme, my commentary is based on lived experience, and long hours spent in conversation with politicians who were trying to navigate their way through the kinds of situations I describe.

    You will note that I provided specific examples of projects where past contracts impeded a new government’s attempts to implement policy.


    ““The governor’s testimony indicates that other issues, besides monetary policy, are holding growth back,” said Michael Workman, a senior economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “Namely, a consistent and sustained lift in business confidence is required which would lead to higher non-mining business investment. The shift to more risk aversion by households and business restrains economic growth.””

    “Stevens noted that there had been improvement in employment growth this year and a similar strengthening of leading indicators. Assistant Governor Chris Kent said high population growth is also increasing the number of people seeking jobs. ”

    Pretty telling actually.

    My thinking it’s policy failure by Coalition Party to not do something straight off the bat (in public interest) after the election win, and banging on about what Labor has done or not done, that has caused damage with the economy.

    And as some commentators said earlier, the wheels are coming off.

  13. The coalition MPs are still not singing from the same hymm sheet re the budget. Cormann says no hurry. Hockey says structural changes need to happen. Abbott is saying budget measures require fireman putting out fire.
    How confusement

  14. Astro

    You don’t really need to prove to me that your comprehension skills lead a lot to be desired, I know that already.

    As I said to bemused, my ‘usual trick’ consists of explaining what I said in my very first post on a subject.

    In this case, my very first post on this subject referred to – very clearly – a case where an incoming government broke a contract.

    Thus I clearly have never argued, here or elsewhere, and certainly not today, that governments cannot break contracts.

    I’m sorry if that’s distasteful for you, but it’s a fact.

  15. Yet again the Abbott government is frightening away investment in infrastructure:

    [Australia is frightening developers away from renewable energy even before the government decides whether to overhaul targets for the industry’s growth.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s decision to take advice on renewable energy targets from a skeptic about the causes of global warming prompted at least two developers to reconsider plans for wind and solar farms. Earlier this week, the company planning a giant solar plant in Mildura pulled out of the project citing the risk the government will rework its policy.

    Concern that Australia will dismantle the target is unsettling an industry that has brought in A$20 billion ($19 billion) since the country first set goals for clean energy in 2001. Abbott’s administration is working to limit electricity bills and has tilted Australia away from wind and solar power and toward the fossil fuels blamed for global warming.]

  16. And – for those of you who are either slow of understanding or simply wanting a fight – my contention has been all along the very simple one that Victorian Labor cannot go into an election promising to rip up a contract.

  17. Zoomster – we are talking fair compensation for getting out of contract. With a big long term contract the actual loss by a company would be small providing action is taken quickly. Giving notice of an intention to so act is also a good idea because it limits the argument about unexpected losses. Its not that different to a Government acquiring property through compulsory aqusition. There is a lot of political squealing but if the public are onside and the numbers add up for getting out of contract then it is only a matter of having numbers in parliament.

    There is also the alternative of reneging on the contract – then its off to court to argue about damages. The advantage of doing it through Parliament is that it is transparent and quick and Parliament can fix the compensation if it wants to.

    SA government recently cancelled a mining tenement on Arkaroola – paid out a few million compensation which it didn’t need to do in order to buy some peace.

  18. Didn’t the SC roof leak at first? Not sure who paid for that remediation. I quite like SC station but it has its issues, I’d hardly describe it as first class in functionality. Sure, capacity and signalling needed upgrading but the main impact of the development was to deliver retail space… (although it supposedly has the potential to incorporate a whole lot of things tgat will likely not be buolt in the station’s lifetime, like a VFT, or additional City Loop tunnels.)

    But the main problem is one that I mentioned before: governments find it easier to spend $300M in one go on a flashy development than to commit to $50M a year every year for more tracks and trains.

  19. [The operating accounts show Melbourne’s Herald Sun was the mainstay of News Corp in Australia, with the weekday paper generating revenues of $250 million in 2012-13, down 13.5% on the year before, and operating income of $35 million, down 41%. Revenue for the Sunday edition fell 17% to $75 million, while operating income fell 31% to $21 million.]

    So it’s the bloody Voctorians proping up the Murdoch propaganda machine!!!

    Have they no shame?

  20. Dear Astro

    I love the irony of you bursting into post because I accused you of having poor comprehension skills and then demonstrating that you have poor comprehension skills, but I think you’ve proved your point now.

  21. Zoomster at 822:
    [And – for those of you who are either slow of understanding or simply wanting a fight – my contention has been all along the very simple one that Victorian Labor cannot go into an election promising to rip up a contract.]

    . . . Whether I am one of those of whom you refer, why do you not go on to say but Labor should now promise to look at ripping up an EW contract if Napthine can get round to signing it?

  22. [ my contention has been all along the very simple one that Victorian Labor cannot go into an election promising to rip up a contract.]

    Sure they could. There’d be pushback from business but it would be quite popular.
    They would have to:
    Do the necessary groundwork so that it was clear what they were and were not going to do and why;
    Believe in what they were doing so they could stand up to the pushback.

  23. zoomster@790

    …so let’s think this through.

    You’re a company, about to tender for a government contract.

    The government of the day is seriously on the nose and the Opposition is an Abbott type, ‘we’ll repeal everything they did just because they did it’ type.

    The government (the entity, not the party which happens to be in power) has laws limiting the amount of compensation receivable if a government contract is cancelled.

    So the company knows it’s tendering in a situation of risk. They know that if the contract is cancelled, they may lose money.

    In those circumstances, companies are either not going to tender (because, despite the airy views of posters here, no one likes starting a project and then abandoning it midway) or are going to jack up the price of the job considerably as they know there’s no other recourse.

    Of course governments can do all sorts of things and pass all sorts of laws to make these legal. It doesn’t mean that doing so creates the best environment for business investment, or protects the taxpayer from punitive costs in the long term.

    Remember, increasing the costs for business – either because, as guytaur says, they factor in the risk, or because each change of government sees a wholesale readjustment to contract arrangements – actually increases the cost to the taxpayer.


    A govt can, right up to the point of signing a contract, decide not to go ahead and all bidders are aware of this. Also, only one bidder can be successful and all the others have borne the costs of preparing their bid.

    So the only compensation that could reasonably be claimed would be the cost of any work actually completed or materials purchased. In a month or so, this contract will not get very far.

    With all the opposition on the record, all the expert advice against it and apparently no proper business case, an incoming Govt., having given fair warning, should get out of it with minimal cost.

  24. I know Victoria…….. 🙂

    I am sure they all buy it for the footy…..

    But if everyone with a modicum of good values just stopped giving money to Murdoch his evil empire would falter much quicker……

  25. [Labor’s attempts (and yes, in retrospect they cut too many corners) to rebuild country rail lines did cost them politically.]


    I have always thought it was very poor form of Bracks to promise the two independents, Susan Davies and Russell Savage, the restoration of the rail services to Leongatha and Mildura respectively and then to renege on the deal as soon as he didn’t need their votes any more to stay in government. A very low act in my opinion – and I say that as a Labor supporter.

  26. bemused

    and you now go and do the same thing.

    The post you quote was in response to a specific scenario put forward by a previous poster – in other words, it was a hypothetical.

    Of course that’s not what happens in reality, which was my whole point.

  27. zoomster@796


    my ‘usual tricks’ consist of saying exactly what I mean in my starting post, having people misconstrue what I’ve said, and me referring them back to my original post, which says exactly what they said it didn’t.

    I am not responsible for the inability of yourself, Astrobleme or pegasus to understand plain English, thus forcing me to restate what I’ve already stated using big crayons and a lot of butcher’s paper.

    You do backflips with pike, switch your position entirely and then claim consistency.

    I am not the first or only person to have noted your slippery techniques. They are becoming legendary.

  28. The Guvnor of the RBA made an interesting point today, the economy will need to reign in debt in the medium term, but he hinted that fiscal policy should be expansionary.

    The trick is to juggle when to slow the economy to repay debt. He almost stated point blank that interest rates will not be cut.

    So Joe, you have to stimulate the economy while eventually repaying debt, Swannie had a reasonable plan, why don’t you just copy it?

  29. MartinB

    I’m a bit tired of going over old ground, but to promise to rip up a contract without knowing what’s in it by the way of penalty clauses and the like is the height of irreponsibility.

    I maintain that they should pledge to re examine it, but that’s about as far as they can go without actually reading the thing with a troupe of lawyers looking over their shoulder.

    …I’m getting more than a bit tired of repeating myself, so if I think I’ve already covered a point, I’m now just going to say ‘refer to previous posts.”

  30. bemused

    the only people who have accused me of such tricks are yourself and Astrobleme, who apparently can’t read and understand even the simplest of posts without someone leaning over their shoulder mouthing the big words.

    When someone I respect starts accusing me of slippery language, I might pay attention.

    I do reserve the right to correct people who are – inadvertently, I’m sure – misrepresenting what I’ve actually said.

  31. [ So the only compensation that could reasonably be claimed would be the cost of any work actually completed or materials purchased. In a month or so, this contract will not get very far. ]

    I’m afraid this is incorrect. There will quite often (usually, in fact) be clauses that kick in specifically in the case of cancellation.

    Just try cancelling your phone contract as an example!

    And of course, in the case of complex contracts, the contracting company will usually have engaged in various sub-contracts, all of which will have to be untangled if the main contract is cancelled.

    Then there are legal fees.

    The cost of contract cancellation can be very, very high.

  32. @ruawake/843

    It’s because it’s Labor.

    Stephen Koukoulas ‏@TheKouk 24m

    If RBA Gov Glenn Stevens is right & the unemployment rate stays around 6.25%, there will be close to 1 million unemployed in 2016

    Faster to loose jobs than to create jobs.

    Will it be 4 million jobs lost over the term?

    “Unemployment will always be higher under Coalition Party”?

  33. zoomster@822

    And – for those of you who are either slow of understanding or simply wanting a fight – my contention has been all along the very simple one that Victorian Labor cannot go into an election promising to rip up a contract.

    And that contention is BS.

    Please state your financial and legal qualifications from which you derive your assumed expertise?

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