With a quarter of the Queensland election campaign already been and gone, I have the following horse race news to relate:
• A second tranche of results from the Galaxy poll records Labor favoured as the party to create jobs by 40% to 34%, to build new rail and road infrastructure by 39% to 36%, and cut power prices by 32% to 28% (with uncommitted a notably high 40%). However, these modest leads are put into the shade by the LNP’s 51% to 19% lead on reducing state debt. The poll also found 53% rating it bad for Queensland if One Nation held the balance of power after the election, compared with 36% for good. Results when the question was asked in February were 39% good, 49% bad. I’ll update the poll tracker with Galaxy’s voting intention results later today.
• Ladbrokes, with which this site has an affiliate marketing arrangement, is now offering bets on the 93 electorates individually, rating Labor the favourite in 49 seats, the LNP in 40 and one seat (Redlands) lineball, with the two Katter’s Australian Party members both favoured to win re-election. This is despite Ladbrokes rating the LNP slight favourite as the party to provide the Premier after the election, by $1.83 to $1.95 (contrary to Sportsbet, which has Labor on $1.75 and the LNP on $2). Nowhere is One Nation rated the favourite: Ladbrokes’ shortest odds for the party are in Lockyer ($2.25 to the LNP’s $1.62), Callide ($2.60 to the LNP’s $1.57), Burnett ($3.40 to the LNP’s $1.30), Thuringowa ($3.40 to Labor’s $1.29), Gregory ($3.50 to the LNP’s $1.28), Nanango ($3.50 to the LNP’s $1.20) and Warrego ($3.75 to the LNP’s $1.22). You can find Ladbrokes odds for each electorate advertised on my individual election guide pages.
Soon-to-be-updates to the seat-by-seat election guide:
Cook (Labor 6.8%): Independent member Billy Gordon made life easier for Labor on Tuesday when he announced he would not recontest his seat, endorsing Labor candidate Cynthia Lui.
Rockhampton (Labor 14.0%): Labor’s preselection in Rockhampton, filling a vacancy created by the late retirement of Bill Byrne, has been won by Barry O’Rourke, a public housing regional director. This represented a win for the Labor Unity/Old Guard faction, which has traditionally held the seat, and a defeat for Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor Forum faction, which had backed local mayor Margaret Strelow. O’Rourke reportedly won the local ballot by 43 votes to 32, and also had decisive support from the Left on the party’s electoral college.
Bundaberg (Labor 0.5%): Steven Wardill of the Courier-Mail reports that Labor polling conducted in Bundaberg in late September had Labor on 38.6%, the LNP on 30.1% and One Nation on 23.3%, with the latter allocating their preferences in such a way as to leave Labor member Leanne Donaldson with a 51-49 lead.
South Brisbane (Labor 13.8%): The Courier-Mail reported yesterday that the LNP’s state executive had voted to direct preferences to the Greens ahead of Labor in South Brisbane, although it appears this doesn’t settle the matter. When the Liberals flipped their preference recommendation from Greens to Labor in 2013, an 80/20 split in favour of Adam Bandt at the 2010 election became a 66/34 split in favour of Labor. What would otherwise have been a swing to Bandt of approaching 10% actually converted into a very slight swing away from him. A scenario that involves the Greens winning the seat would likely involve the LNP vote in South Brisbane landing in the mid-twenties, so Labor would need to start 15% clear to survive a distribution of LNP preferences in which 80% went to the Greens. The difference was 19.4% in 2015, but would surely be narrower in a scenario where the Greens overtook the LNP to take second place. Elsewhere, the LNP appears to have been softening the media up for preference recommendations that put One Nation ahead of Labor and the Greens.
Maiwar (LNP 3.0%): Labor candidate Ali King made the news on Wednesday after an ABC journalist who had been door-knocked by her said she had insisted Adani would not go ahead, as it had been determined to be financially unviable.
Macalister (Labor 6.4%): Hetty Johnston, founder of child protection organisation Bravehearts, is running in this seat as an independent. Johnston is a serial candidate whose strongest performance was when she ran in the partly corresponding seat of Springwood in 2001, when she polled 20.9%.
Glass House (LNP 0.9%) and Caloundra (LNP 4.7%): On Wednesday, Tim Nicholls promised to spend $300 million duplicating the Sunshine Coast rail line between from Beerburrum and Landsborough, a project that will ultimately be followed through to Nambour.
Townsville (Labor 5.7%), Mundingburra (Labor 1.8%) and Thuringowa (Labor 6.6%): Tim Nicholls’ focus on Townsville last week encompassed an announcement on Wednesday that $225 million would be spent on water infrastructure projects, and a proposed six month trial of a 10pm curfew in the city on children under 16. Reflecting the sensitivity of unemployment locally, Annastacia Palaszczuk was in town on Tuesday to announce a $155 million extension to an employment program.
Mirani (Labor 3.8%), Whitsunday (LNP 0.6%) and Mackay (Labor 10.2%): Other elements of Tim Nicholls’ accumulated promises on water infrastructure on Wednesday included construction of the Urannah Dam, near Mackay, and Rockwood Weir, 65 kilometres to the south of Rockhampton, at the southern end of the Mirani electorate.
Keppel (Labor 4.1%), Cairns (Labor 7.5%) and Barron River (Labor 3.6%): Labor was generally outgunned for spending promises by the LNP in the first week, its one big pitch being $134 million for regional tourism infrastructure. This was announced by Annastacia Palaszczuk in Cairns, and included a promised $25 million for rejuvenating Great Keppel Island.