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. Labor are in no danger of promising to repudiate any contracts. Pretty good reason is that it would cost them the election.

    One thing people like is the rule of law and keeping your word. Second thing is that business investors would desert Victoria if we start cancelling contracts entered in to in perfectly good faith. (See banana republic). Thirdly, workers like the certainty of knowing projects will proceed.

    Whether the E-W link is the best project at this time of our development is open to conjecture. However, the Government is duly elected and has the perfect right to advance projects to it’s priorities.

    Those that don’t like this process need only remember that throwing out perfectly good Governments like the previous Brumby administration in a fit of pique should now be understanding the word consequences.

    A new Labor Government will have to play the cards they are dealt. There may be options to review and revise the project under question. However, there won’t be any wholesale breach of contracts occurring.

  2. zoomster@841

    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.

    Huh????? 😮

    WTF!

  3. bemused at 850:

    Z has now explained at 844 that she agrees that Labor should pledge to re-examine any EW agreement. Promising to do more than that without knowing what the cost of ripping up the contract might be is as foolish as Swan promising the budget would be back in surplus at a given time.

    There is no point in promising to rip up the contract.

    Likewise there is no point in not promising to give the closest scrutiny to ripping up the contract. The second promise avoids tedious arguments and maximum flexibility.

  4. zoomster@845

    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.

    I appreciate you making it clear you don’t respect others.

    So don’t be surprised if it is returned in spades.

    It is not simply Astrobleme and me that have noted your slippery techniques.

  5. nappin, I do say.

    If you think I will recant you are sorely mistaken.

    No you didn’t …

    I’m sorry, is this the 5 minute argument or the full half hour?

  6. Zoomster

    [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.]

    Yet when you claim something for pages on end and I dispute it you end it by claiming that you were joking and didn’t mean it and accused me of stupidity.

    Remember how you were the one who was the realist and the Greens were not? And when I attempted to show we WERE being realistic you finally told me it was a joke. Maybe an hour later?

  7. Windhover@858

    bemused at 850:

    Z has now explained at 844 that she agrees that Labor should pledge to re-examine any EW agreement. Promising to do more than that without knowing what the cost of ripping up the contract might be is as foolish as Swan promising the budget would be back in surplus at a given time.

    There is no point in promising to rip up the contract.

    Likewise there is no point in not promising to give the closest scrutiny to ripping up the contract. The second promise avoids tedious arguments and maximum flexibility.

    ‘Rip up’ is a bit of hyperbole that is commonly used.

    No government can act illegally or it will find itself in court on the losing side.

    So to metaphorically ‘rip up’ a contract a Government would of course need to take legal advice and be prepared to legislate if necessary.

    But if a party to a contract has been warned prior to entering into a contract that its cancellation is likely to be sought within a few weeks of signing, its position in seeking compensation is considerably weakened.

    That tunnel appears to be such a dud that even a considerable payout would be worth it to avoid going through with the contract.

    I would suggest the absolute maximum the contractor could claim would be its anticipated profit from the construction. Of course that would be a fraction of the total cost of construction and they would be likely to get much less.

  8. Astro

    your poor petal.

    You reacted to the ‘realist’ comment by a long series of posts which – despite repeated requests from me – didn’t go beyond you making statements which were purely your personal opinion, without an ounce of evidence to support them.

    That’s what I was arguing in all those posts, not whether or not Greens were realists. All you did was help to prove my point by relying on ‘feelings in your waters’ rather than actual fact.

    That your underlying agenda was to prove that Greens were realists wasn’t the centre of your argument, and thus irrelevant to the conversation.

    When you finally made it clear that that was what you were trying to prove all along, I very kindly put you out of your misery.

  9. Defenders of the boss class make altogether too much fuss about the inviolability of contracts involving a government, IMO. it makes no sense at all to declare on the one hand that the sovereignty of each regime is limited to the time they are in office (and thus cannot bind successors) and on the other hand say in effect that incoming regimes ought to be bound by contractual arrangements entered into by previous regimes.

    While it may well be the case that it’s politically unwise to foreshadow failing to honour a specific contract, and may well have some of the deleterious consequences Zoomster notes, these costs need to be weighed against the advantages to be had from repudiation. One of the functions of opposition is, after all, to discourage a ruling regime from entering into contracts that would be contrary to the public interest, and to insist on good process and transparency, backed by prospective repudiation.

    A contracting party involved in a proposal that could harm a public interest might decide to abandon it or defer it until the new regime is settled. That’s a good thing.

    Equally, in the interests of transparency, an opposition that declares early its concerns about process and foreshadows repudiation as a possibility, allows the public to make a call on the desirability of this course, and for these matters to be debated fully when it stands to make a difference. That too is a good thing, and the contracting parties may well choose to take steps to minimise their losses and costs.

    While it may well be true that the field of potential contractors to government may be reduced if such usage became regular, with a consequent rise in costs, it might be that some very costly and unwise projects would be avoided. It might also be that over time, greater accountability might lead to downward pressure on costs with companies looking to avoid creating the kinds of contract likely to be revised or repudiated by new regimes.

  10. nappin

    I was intending to go on for a few years!

    I have a better idea, I will write some software to simulate it and we can leave it running for a few years on my solar powered calculator. If you want to know who’s winning at any moment in time, just ask.

  11. bemused @ 868

    So we’re basically in agreement, and the rest is just your normal ‘zoomster has said something, I must try and attack it’ thing.

  12. z,

    It’s just the mating call of the fwitted bullduster. No vision, lots of bellowing noises and a smell that would certainly clear the sinuses of a small village.

  13. [I find it difficult to take a Green voter who works for a coal mining company seriously. ]

    Hehe — like bombing for peace or f***ing for virgnity?

  14. [bemused @ 868
    So we’re basically in agreement, and the rest is just your normal ‘zoomster has said something, I must try and attack it’ thing.]

    Pretty much. You can set your clock to it — Astro was even wheeled out on cue!

  15. Player One 847 – those issues are only relevant in a normal contract dispute. If government does it through parliament they can eliminate the “opportunist” claims.

  16. BW
    Further to BW’s comment about Bardabunga.

    [An intense earthquake swarm began Saturday deep beneath Bárðarbunga, Iceland’s largest volcano complex.]
    [The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service has positioned a webcam to keep an eye on the volcano.

    How likely is an eruption? And how bad could it be?

    Bárðarbunga is a big volcano directly beneath Iceland’s largest glacier. Over the past 10,000 years, it has erupted “more lava than any other volcano on the planet.” Still, not much is known about it, mostly because it sits below so much ice. Plus, the last major eruption here was more than 100 years ago.

    In a country so defined by its seismicity, even the politicians are scientists.]

  17. bemused

    [No government can act illegally or it will find itself in court on the losing side.]

    That’s a truism. The reality is that Australian states have very wide powers to make laws that they deem apt for the good governance of their bailiwicks. Certainly, they have the power to extinguish contracts and limit compensation and even to write the rules determining whether compensation needs to be paid in any particular case, and the methodology for calculating it.

    It may well be unwise for a state government to make broad-ranging changes when there is only a single undesirable deal to repudiate, but they certainly can.

  18. Rob Oakeshott ‏@RobOakeshott1 7m

    A budget ‘reality check’ sounds like a political admission of trouble to me. Very ‘real’ julia…..

  19. Z: You’re conflating two things: what the ALP intends and how they say it. Of course the ALP would be silly to say ‘we sign a blood oath to rip up this contract regardless of what it will cost’, but nor is their only option to retreat to a completely non-committal ‘we will look at our options’. They can say in very strong terms that they do not believe the current government has a mandate to implement the project and their intention is not to proceed with it if at all possible while noting that they do not know what the contract says.

  20. Retweeted by Possum Comitatus
    Paul ‏@davispg 3m

    Wonder if there’ll be a Newspoll about taxpayer subsidy of The Australian. Its losses would be offset against News Corp profits?

  21. The “Media” seem convinced that the Abbott Govt can pull a rabbit out of its hat and pass legislation almost every Senator keeps stating they will oppose.

    The only “budget measure” (it cost money) that the Govt could pass next week is the abolition of the MRRT. They won’t because they need the money.

    Removing it from the other related bills would be easy, I guess miners really don’t care if it is there or not.

  22. A Scottish satire on the mad Australian PM….

    With a footnote on cultural cringe…

    [[1] The Scots like to think of “cringe” as being uniquely theirs. But in this, as with most other things, they are just copy cats – without an original thought in their wee heads. Australian cringe was first identified in 1894 and was a fully fledged academic theory by 1950. “Australia was being made to rhyme with failure.”]

    http://bbc.scotlandshire.co.uk/index.php/city-news/792-outrage-in-oz.html

  23. Bemused. No reason to be paying out expected profit. Just the costs reasonably incurred to date. The costs might be $10million and the expected profit $500million. Big difference.

  24. Zoomster

    [Astro

    your poor petal.

    You reacted to the ‘realist’ comment by a long series of posts which – despite repeated requests from me – didn’t go beyond you making statements which were purely your personal opinion, without an ounce of evidence to support them.

    That’s what I was arguing in all those posts, not whether or not Greens were realists. All you did was help to prove my point by relying on ‘feelings in your waters’ rather than actual fact.

    That your underlying agenda was to prove that Greens were realists wasn’t the centre of your argument, and thus irrelevant to the conversation.

    When you finally made it clear that that was what you were trying to prove all along, I very kindly put you out of your misery.]

    So you wasted my time.
    AND still think that somehow you have ‘evidence’ when what you had was simply your opinion.

    You claimed you were the realist, yet you were no more ‘realistic’ than the Greens. It was CENTRAL to the argumemt. You were claiming that your beliefs were realistic because they were based on evidence, yet you cannot have evidence for future polling.

    So you still make the argument that you’re the realist, yet at the same time claim that you’re joking.

    This is Clive Palmer style logic.

  25. ru

    So far two of the cross bench senators are in favour of co payment, uni deregulation etc. Senator Day and the other guy whose name escapes me. Sen x and Sen Muir say no, and the Pups so far say no.

  26. [Labor are in no danger of promising to repudiate any contracts. Pretty good reason is that it would cost them the election.]

    As it happens I agree with the first sentence but the second is rubbish.

    [One thing people like is the rule of law and keeping your word. Second thing is that business investors would desert Victoria if we start cancelling contracts entered in to in perfectly good faith. (See banana republic). Thirdly, workers like the certainty of knowing projects will proceed.]

    Sure if the ALP said ‘we’ll rip up all contracts cause we feel like it’. But if they articulated a very clear case around a single project, and identified alternative construction projects for the money then none of these criticisms are definitive.

  27. 851

    I doubt that the ALP would loose many voter to the Liberals over promising the cancelling of existing contracts for the East-West Link.

    If it does not it will loose seats to the Greens over the matter. There are no two ways about that. The inner-city is dead against the East-West Link.

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