The situation in Queensland

Showdown number two: Campbell Newman versus Annastacia Palaszczuk on … January 31?

“Campbell Newman set to name election date as January 31”, announces today’s Courier-Mail. An election at that time of year is, to put it mildly, unorthodox, although I observe that the school holidays conclude the previous Tuesday. A bigger puzzlement is this from the report: “The minimum campaign period under Queensland law is 26 days. This means the earliest date an election could be held is on Saturday, January 31.”. But twenty-six days from today is surely February 1, which would appear to suggest February 7 as the earliest possible date. Perhaps I’m missing something.

In any case, here is a thread for discussion of today’s drama as it unfolds, as it appears it surely will.

UPDATE: Antony Green tweets there are “26 days from issue of writ (Tuesday) to polling in a Saturday”, so I guess the 26 days is inclusive of the date of issue. Perhaps I’m sleep-deprived (no perhaps about it actually), but that would seem to suggest to me that today is in fact the day after today.

UPDATE 2: Newman has certainly confirmed that he will announce the election date today, but beyond that tells us we will have to wait a few hours.

UPDATE 3: For those still curious about the election timing issue – which, judging by comments, is none of you – it turns out I needed refer only to the next section of the act along:

(2) For the purpose of determining under subsection (1) a cut-off day, the polling day or the day for the return of the writ (the relevant day)—

(a) the day of issue of the writ; and

(b) the relevant day itself;

are both to be included in any specified number of days.

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.

87 comments on “The situation in Queensland”

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  1. [damon @damonism · 21m 21 minutes ago
    The upcoming Qld election will be the first Australian election requiring voter ID. That, if nothing else, will make it interesting.]

  2. With Liz Cunningham not re contesting in Gladstone, that should be an unexpected ALP gain. Not a bad portent on day-1 of the campaign. Let there be lots more.

  3. [I have voted Tory all my life (over 40 years)]

    I honestly don’t know of any Liberal voters who call themselves Tory. I most often hear that term from Labor voters used in a derogitory manner when discussing Liberal voters.

    I would be very suspect regarding the genuineness of that post.

  4. [David also has (had?) a high opinion of Arthur Sinodonis so I’m sure we can rely on his judgement ]

    Yes Arthur let me down and so did Newman. I don’t agree that overall the Newman government is the worst government ever. They have actually done some good and necessary things which have been lost in the noise caused by the things they have done poorly. Time will tell which issues the people judge the government on.

    We will know soon enough.

  5. confessions @ 50: The assertion that the coming Queensland poll will be the first to require voter ID is questionable. In NSW from 1893 to 1906, voters had to produce an “elector’s right” certificate to vote: this is discussed in Professor Rodney Smith’s report on the subject prepared for the NSW Electoral Commission.

  6. The ABC just interrupted the cricket commentary to bring us about 2 minutes of AP. She was just OK, but I do hope she can say something more positive in future sound bites. Her old man is still highly respected throughout Queensland, so I hope she does him proud.

  7. Snap elections are a great way of making sure young potential voters are excluded. I gather the rolls close later this week! Add that to new ID requirements & the LNP are no doubt hoping a bit of disenfranchisement of the hoi polloi will get ’em over the line!

  8. Happy New Year to Bludgers one and all.

    One benefit for the voters of Queensland is that they will have a mercifully short election campaign. The downside of fixed terms with known election dates is that we have to all put up with up with the phoney campaign for months on end. These long phoney campaigns only serve to turn voters off – not helpful when the political milieu is not endearing itself to voters.

  9. [She was just OK, but I do hope she can say something more positive in future sound bites.]

    Can’t have been worse than the painful performance put on by Tony Burke on News 24. His head was rolling around as he was trying to think of how to roll Campbell Newman and Tony Abbott into one sentence. It was just ridiculous and I turned off 60 seconds later.

  10. Davidwh @ 54

    ‘I honestly don’t know of any Liberal voters who call themselves Tory.’ Neither do I. But both major parties have a huge range of people supporting them and may use different language. I remember a right-winger called Toryboy who posted extensively on the Drum at the ABC, so at least there is one for you. Another possibility was the poster was an English migrant who brought the terminology with him. Conservatives there are quite happy to describe themselves as Tories.

    I have no idea whether the post was genuine or not. It seemed to me to be genuine. I thought it interesting that the poster declared that he/she would return to the conservative parties when Newman and Abbott had gone. That twist made me think it was genuine. Abbott and Newman do not seem to me to embody the values that many traditional conservatives hold. There is certainly as much disaffection with this brutally ideological Liberal Party from a large sector of its traditional voters as there is among traditional Labor voters – it just gets reported by the MSM less, and there is no Greens equivalent on the right to publicise that disaffection.

  11. I certainly can’t disagree with the general feeling of disallusionment over Abbott and Newman.

    In Newman’s case it probably relates to his inability to maturely forget the personal attacks against him and his family in the 2012 campaign. He should have let it go and just get on and govern. Instead he decided to mess with the CMC and judiciary which will have lost him a lot of personal support. His arrogant demeaner didn’t help either.

    In Abbott’s case he was never fit to be PM and should never have been elected.

  12. Having watched Anastasia and can-do’s initial interviews I was very surprised at how up-to-the-job Anastasia sounded vs can-do who seemed disinterested and going through the motions. This may be a very close result….
    Anastasia deserves full credit for sticking to the task and deserves a shot as Premier.
    Back room grubs who think that they know best about leadership and when to replace them don’t understand how the public feels about disenfranchisement of their elected representatives.

  13. At the risk of making a somewhat inane comment, what a lovely name has the Queensland Opposition leader, now that I have heard how it is pronounced.

    Annastacia Palaszczuk (Pa-LAH-shay)

    Eight syllables that roll off the tongue quite beautifully.

  14. When Queensland last voted the late swing against the ALP was very much based on the “dirt” campaign waged against Newman & his wife. About a week before the election the allegations were totally refuted by the CMC including the allegations referred to the CMC directly by then Premier Bligh. Her Deputy was similarly seen as arrogant. This time it’s quite different.

    Ads regarding the allegations continued into the last week despite the refutation.

    This, in my opinion, led to a great deal of voter sympathy for Newman and a large swing. I would venture to suggest he’s “spent” it all and has nothing left to bank on this time.

    It may well be that a swing back will be quite a lot larger than expected in circumstances where normal ALP voters no longer have that grievance against the ALP. We haven’t got long to wait.

  15. Kate Jones (Ashgrove), Cameron Dick (Woodridge, ex-Greenslopes) and Stirling Hinchcliffe (Sandgate, ex-Stafford) are the only ones I’m aware of.

  16. Plus Grace Grace in Brisbane Central, Di Farmer in Bulimba, Mark Ryan in Morayfield and Kerry Shine in Toowoomba North makes seven defeated Labor MPs from 2012 contesting again this time.

  17. Together with a defeated senator (Mark Furner, Ferny Grove) and a retired ex-MP (Jim Pearce, Mirani, ex-Fitzroy), there are quite a lot of familiar faces in the Labor ranks, although I guess they have a lot of winnable seats to fill.

  18. I wonder if CanDos’ decision is really based on spite. His party hasn’t found him another seat. He ain’t going to get back in Ashgrove, so he just wants to get this all over and done with.

  19. [The upcoming Qld election will be the first Australian election requiring voter ID. That, if nothing else, will make it interesting.]

    Aka preventing the homeless from voting. The Tories have been on about this since year dot.

    One of the many reasons Tories suck: they just cant wait to limit the franchise.

  20. It is indeed pronounced “palashay”. You know you’re getting on when an old pal is bidding fair to be Premier.

    Thats all you’ll get from me on background, except that I wish her well.

  21. Main chance of Tories losing: Katter, PUP scattering their vote combined with OPV.

    But I think theyll hang on, and Springborg will be Premier on Feb 1.

    Since he had till June, this by definition means it wasnt Newman’s call in the end – unless it was a desperate one to hold the leadership.

  22. Oh, and if there’s been a more dreadful state government in recent history than Newman’s, I’d be curious to find out what it was.

  23. Hat-tip to TtFaB for 1913: an early election in Tas, less than 9 months after the last election forced by unstable parliamentary majority.

    That’s how desperate this is.

  24. The plan C option names I hear are Seeney, Nicholls, Emerson, Springborg, Langbroek.
    Are there others?

    The Borg for sure. (Over Emerson.)

  25. I’m going to tip my hat in the ring early and suggest Labor will get back in with 45-50 seats.

    May be wishful thinking though, but Campbell, he gone!

  26. I’m going to go with Labor to pick up about 30 seats (ending up at around the 40 seat mark), but the LNP will hold onto government narrowly (perhaps with the support of some independents/Katter).

    Palmer will get nothing.

  27. @ davidwh, 84

    Bligh made some whopper mistakes, but at least her government wasn’t about screwing over the whole state to sell off whatever they can to their donors for cheap, dumping crap all over the reef and spending millions of taxpayer dollars to build stuff for private companies to use.

    The irony of the Queenslanders booting a Labor government for (among other things) breaking an election promise not to privatise public assets (ie. for being too right-wing, economically speaking) and then electing the LNP is still hilarious to me.

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