The Australian has a Newspoll result of somewhat dubious utility, in which three disparate electorates Cairns, Keppel and far distant Ipswich West were targeted with small samples of 200 respondents each, the composite result indicating a reversal from 57.4-42.6 to the LNP in 2012 to 56-44 to Labor now. Which is obviously very good news for Labor, but how good is extremely hard to say. On the primary vote, Labor is up from 31% to 47%, the LNP down from 43.5% to 35%, the Greens down from 6.6% to 5% and others down from 18.9% to 13%, Katter’s Australian Party having done well in all three seats in 2012 but not contesting this time.
Campbell Newman cops a particularly tough mark of 32% approval to 60% disapproval, though whether this reflects a decline in his fortunes since previous campaign polls or peculiarity of sentiment in these electorates is, once again, impossible to say. The same goes for Annastacia Palaszczuk’s strong ratings of 45% approval and 33% disapproval, her 46-36 lead as preferred premier, and the LNP’s unusually narrow lead of 44-36 as party expected to win.
The rationale behind polling these seats is clearly to get a sense of how things are looking in seats in the 6-9% range, but since similar margins is all these seats have in common, I’m not sure how illuminating it is. Basically, I’d much rather have seen Newspoll’s efforts dedicated to a particular region, or even just one seat, than a scattershot look at three electorates that have nothing to do with each other.