Galaxy: 52-48 to Labor in Queensland

One Nation surges, the LNP sinks and Labor holds the line in the first opinion poll of the Queensland election campaign.

The Courier-Mail today has the first opinion poll of the Queensland election campaign, showing Labor with a 52-48 lead on two-party preferred, up from 51-49 at the last such poll three months ago. However, perhaps the bigger news is that One Nation is up three on the primary vote to 18%, while the Liberal National Party is down four to 32%, with Labor steady on 35%. The Greens are also up two points to 9%, potentially helping to explaining the government’s new tack on the Adani project.

The leaders’ ratings are little changed, with Annastacia Palaszczuk up two on approval to 41% and down two on disapproval to 42%, and Tim Nicholls up one to 28% and down one to 40%. Palaszczuk holds a 43-29 lead as preferred premier, up from 42-30 last time. Field work dates are not provided, but the sample size was 900.

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.

27 comments on “Galaxy: 52-48 to Labor in Queensland”

  1. This could be a low point for Labor, with rating improving slightly from here.

    Palaszczuk ratings are holding up surprisingly well, considering. The Adani decision will help against the Greens, pull some swinging voters from LNP, and lessen the protest from others. Also the government usually gets a late swing in the last few days (but maybe that only applies to conservative governments, not sure).

    One nation vote is going to be deciding a lot of seats, history says their preferences flow more to Liberal than Labor, but the seats that One Nation do best at are rural and provincial, LNP strongholds. I dont think anyone expects them to do will in high density areas which is where Labor does best. So i think One Nation is going to be taking most of their seats from LNP.

    Its going to be messy, but with this Adani backflip i am now starting to believe that Labor have a chance of retaining government.

    One nation have said they will only support a government if they commit money to building a new coal power station in north Queensland, so the only way LNP can form government is by commitment to coal. LNP are going to get all the attention from anti-adani and pro-renewable crowd from here on in.

  2. Looks good for Annastacia on those leader ratings.

    The burgeoning PHON is still somewhat of a concern, but undoubtedly more so to the LNP at this stage. I don’t know if the Greens will actually poll much higher than that this time round, I expect their best chances still rest with South Brisbane. Labor, hopefully, can make some gains on the primary.

    All in all, a very interesting contest.

  3. Better to be a little ahead than a little behind. ON is going to give LNP more headaches than Labor. But a slim majority Labor government is the best that can be hoped for. Nicholls’ history with Newman is continuing to damage him.

  4. There are a number of seats that ONP threaten the ALP in- Logan and Ipswich are in danger, Keppel up the coast too are some that come to mind.

    Ironically, LNP could hand the Greens South Brisbane ala Brisbane City Council style if their preferences flow to the greens.

    The big unknown are the party preferences which will decide the above and many others. ONP could be delivered a fair few Labor seats on the back on LNP preferences and the indication is ALP will be last on many HTVs across the state.

  5. I like the new website, William.

    Is that 2PP with respondent allocated preferences, or done from past elections?

    While coming out against Adani might help them with some, Labor supported Adani for a reason. It won’t help them in some regional seats.

  6. I have my doubts about whether the Adani decision by Labor will stop the Greens surge in inner Brisbane.
    Voters are cynical of the major party duopoly. A case of too little, too late and the #StopAdani campaign is only going to get louder from here.

  7. How are Labor going in their field campaigning in this election? I was surprised that Labor decided on such a short campaign as the field campaign is a major advantage for Labor and it needs time to work.

  8. Most of the MSM here, particularly News Ltd which owns all daily newspapers up and down coastal QLD, are running a strong anti-Labor campaign.

    It’s very disheartening.

  9. Hopefully Labor can hang on to Keppel, they have a real quality MP there. Ipswich, while technically ONP heartland and seeing a high profile candidate in Malcolm Roberts, still seems a tough nut to crack according to some.

    Yet to be seen how the LNP preference on their HTVs. A perceived “deal” would play into the Labor narrative and hurt their chances in the urban areas.

    Labor could, possibly, make gains in seats like Mount Ommaney, Mansfield, Everton, etc that would help mitigate potential losses.

    A ONP-LNP coalition really isn’t what the state needs, neither is this revolving door of changing government that would appear to be emerging if this is the case.

  10. Mansfield is going to be an interesting one to watch.
    Labor candidate Corrine Macmillan has a high profile as the principal of Cavendish Road High School one of the larger high schools in Brisbane however she is up against Ian Walker the Shadow AG who IMHO the person who should have been the AG in the Newnham government and is one of the better performers for the opposition.
    Corrine is running a good grass roots campaign and her campaign manager as a candidate significantly cut Ian’s margin last time so I think he is in some trouble.
    As to the LNP the baggage of the Newnham-Nicholls connection is beginning to sharpen voters mind as the poll draws closer.
    PHON is a real threat in regional seats where people feel they have been forgotten by the majors and don’t see the greens as an alternative. I have an uncle, auntie and cousins who will vote this way even though it is not in their best interests.
    Anyway I am strapped into the roller coaster that will be this election campaign and election night and I am wondering if the PHON vote will hold up or collapse like it did in WA.

  11. That stuff going on at the Manus camp is really evil. Dutton is obviously Turnbull’s choice because Dutton could see a python about to throttle an endangered species baby primate, and the thought of saving the infant would not cross his mind.

    It sickens me that as a party the ALP cannot say or do anything about Manus without being punished at the ballot box by the Australian voters. Wedged, totally wedged. And the Coalition congratulate themselves on this.

    How did we get to this? Was it Howard, or did we always have a cyst of pus deep in our nation’s heart, and it only needed a persistent scratch to let it poison our body?
    But Menzies did the same thing about the Communists and The Yellow Peril. Is anything really that different?

  12. @paulo, I think the Adani decision will backfire a) it really was a weak point the finger say ‘you are being mean boo hoo hoo, oh cause you are mean I have to backflip’ moment that the city voters she wants to swing will see through and b) won’t help regionally.

    @rule of law, I would say they are running their usual paper selling stories. Just wait for the LNP’s surge from bad polling this last week only to see the ALP claw it back for ONP to then go above 20% soon after. I would say they are running an anti-major party campaign myself.

  13. @Mike, I suspect the reason Palaszczuk campaigned up north in the first few days of the campaign was to see if staying on the fence re Adani could make a difference up north.

    I assume the reason she came out against Adani is because she either, realized she has lost up north, or that to save it would cost her more elsewhere. In either case, that should have been determined a long time ago.

  14. @bug1 spot on! Time will tell which one 🙂

    Seeing a strong independent push in the ‘safe’ new Labor seat of Jordan. If one of them leap frogs the LNP it will be a big loss to Labor (unlikely but would be worth watching on the night).

  15. Labor need very much to emphasize that any sort of “LNP-One Nation” arrangement in Government would be a disaster for Queensland. That same Galaxy Poll shows that now 53% of Queenslanders think the state would go backwards if One Nation had the balance of power. As in 1998 Labor just has to push this line for the next three weeks.

    People generally choose stability over potential chaos. Labor putting One Nation last (at least below LNP, as you never know who else may stand in any seat) in every seat will pay off. The LNP not always putting One Nation below Labor will, like in 1998, end up electing One Nation candidates which will do more damage to the LNP than Labor.

    It seems to me that the LNP could only become the Government with some arrangement with One Nation, in the event that Labor does not hold on. As a one-time Queenslander that outcome fills me with dread, but I believe that the national fall-out from such an outcome would help Labor federally in the next election.

  16. It is good that environmental and commercial reality is finally reflected, to some degree, in Qld’s Labor’s perenially muddled position on the dead-end Adani coal mine proposal. Qld Labor should have been out in front of this issue years ago, making the case for socially and environmentally and economically useful development of regional centres, instead of pretending that this proposed coal mine is part of the answer. It never was and it never will be. Real leaders aim to shape public opinion – they don’t assume that public opinion is immutable, and they don’t just reinforce mythology in the hope that this will avoid loss of votes.

  17. @Rocket
    “Labor putting One Nation last (at least below LNP, as you never know who else may stand in
    any seat) in every seat will pay off. The LNP not always putting One Nation below Labor will,
    like in 1998, end up electing One Nation candidates which will do more damage to the LNP
    than Labor.”

    Isn’t it actually the reverse? If the ALP put the LNP ahead of ON, that will PROTECT LNP seats from ON. On the other hand if the LNP doesn’t reciprocate, that may deliver a clutch of ALP seats to ON. So the ALP will be the one more at risk. In particular Maryborough, Bundaberg, Thuringowa, Cairns, Mulgrave, Keppel, Mirani, Gladstone, Ipswich West, Pumicestone & Logan. ON might win these seats with a little over 30% of the vote. On the other hand, if the ALP preference against ON they will require over 40% to win any LNP seats. It will be hard to see the ALP providing “stable government” if they lose 4-5 of these seats.

    If I were the LNP I’d just announce an across the board “put labor last” policy, same as what the ALP did last time. This would also allow them to put Jackie Trad below the Greens in South Brisbane and would reduce public talk of a “deal” with One Nation – even though it seems their strategy is for ON to win the seats needed from the ALP, to enable them to form government.

  18. PHON are volatile and less desirable to deal with than the Katters or potential independents, so I think preferences are something that the LNP will have to think about carefully.

    Buderim seems to still be in play, so Steve Dickson will likely not be leading negotiations in such circumstances.

    Although in true Queensland fashion, the whole thing could be turned on its head and the LNP actually manage to squabble together a majority. I don’t expect it to happen, but recent times (not just the 2012/2015 QLD elections) suggest one shouldn’t rule out any kind of upset.

  19. @Peterjk23
    Yes, mathematically you are right. Labor putting ON ahead of LNP could gain seats for ON at expense of LNP, as LNP putting ON ahead of Labor could gain seats for ON ahead of Labor.

    What I believe, based on the experience of the last twenty years of elections around Australia, is that Labor saying “put ON last” will influence HOW people vote across the state. Yes it may seem a risky strategy, and ON voters may go (even more) ballistic against Labor, but overall I think that it is likely to benefit Labor in how people vote, even though the final results may indicate certain seats went to LNP rather than ON.

    Similarly the LNP not saying “put ON last” will also influence how people vote, and in the bigger picture I believe this will help Labor, though again in a post hoc analysis there may be individual seats that have gone to ON rather than Labor.

    The LNP are obviously in a quandary about this – they know from the recent WA election that “cosying up” in any way to ON is electoral poison for many potential swinging voters. Thus they are keeping their cards very close to their chest.

    In the Victorian State election in 2010 I credit the National Leader at the time Peter Ryan with persuading the Liberals to make an across the board “Put Greens Last” decision. I think this was crucial in influencing enough voters to enable the Coalition to win in an upset (the night before the election bookmakers were still offering $3.00 on a Coalition win). I realise this was a bit different in the number of seats the Greens could potentially win compared to One Nation, but I think it is the same principle – the “sweeping statement of intent” has a bigger effect across the whole state, and counters any individual losses. In the Victorian example the Coalition could have perhaps got a few Greens elected ahead of Labor without this strategy, but we will never know if they would have still won the election themselves.

    So – to cut a (very) long story short – Annastacia, don’t play “small ball”, but “swing away” (for the fences – as in try to hit a home run, sorry I am still in Baseball mode after the amazing Astros-Dodgers series), and declare that Labor will put LNP ahead of ON in every seat. It sounds reasonable. It is reasonable. And it is better for Queensland (much as an evil angel in me thinks about the havoc of an LNP-ON Government). Then Tim Nicholls can be asked again and again what he will do.

  20. 1. Has someone asked Tim Nicholls to answer the simple question: “If the election results in a hung parliament, will you commit to spending $180m building a coal-fired plant in FNQ?”

    2. @The Whig Party: WA’s a conservative State, too. We routinely vote 3-2-1 Lib-ALP-Minor for the Senate, and the minor is usually a Green.

  21. As a Labor Branch member in QLD working in the election, it’s very hard to stay focused when there is so much garbage in the media about Adani, ON, preference deals.

    One really doesn’t know just what is the truth about any of the reports.

    Onwards and Upwards with hard work till Election Day, Comrades.

  22. The Whig Party says:
    ‘QLD is a conservative state.’

    A ‘conservative’ state that had the world’s first Labo(u)r government.

    A ‘conservative’ state that abolished capital punishment half a century before Victoria.

    A ‘conservative’ state that elected Australia’s only Communist MP.

    A ‘conservative’ state that was the first state to elect a woman premier. And the first to elect a woman premier from opposition.

    A ‘conservative’ state that, in the 25 years since the abolition of the Joh gerrymander, has had 20 years of Labor governments

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