Queensland election minus 15 days

One Nation goes for the scorched earth approach on preferences, published candidate lists bring forward an array of familiar names, and a poll finds opposition to taxpayer-funded loans to Adani.

A loose assortment of recent developments:

• The Courier-Mail reports One Nation is set to preference all sitting members second last, ahead of only the Greens. The report also says the LNP is now likely to direct preferences to Labor’s Jackie Trad ahead of Greens candidate Amy MacMahon in South Brisbane, despite earlier reports that a proposal to do the opposite had won wide support on the party’s state executive.

• Nominations closed on Tuesday, and the Poll Bludger’s election guide has now been brought up to date with full candidate lists in ballot paper order. A total of 453 candidates have nominated for the 93 seats – a record in absolute terms, although the 1998 election exceeded it for average number of candidates per seat. I count ten former LNP members defeated in 2015 who are seeking to make a comeback, including three running for One Nation and two as independents (One Nation’s count of former LNP members increases to four if Buderim MP Steve Dickson is included). Perhaps the most optimistic of the bunch is independent Redlands candidate Peter Dowling, whose career as the seat’s LNP member ended ignominiously in 2015 after a personal scandal and preselection defeat.

• The contest for the Rockhampton electorate has been shaken up by the entry of local mayor Margaret Strelow as an independent. Strelow ran for Labor preselection with the support of Annastacia Palaszczuk, but was rebuffed by the locally dominant Labor Unity/Old Guard faction in favour of Barry O’Rourke, regional director of the Department of Housing.

• The Courier-Mail reports a ReachTEL poll for the Stop Adani Alliance found 70% of respondents were opposed to taxpayers’ funds being loaned to the company. The poll was conducted from 1652 respondents ten days before Annastacia Palaszczuk announced she would veto any such loan.

• Betting markets continue to see nothing in it. Despite Labor’s shaky campaign, Ladbrokes has had Labor nudging to favouritism, paying $1.83 to the LNP’s $1.95, which reverses what was on offer at the start of the week. However, the movement merely brings it closer to Sportsbet’s $1.75 for Labor and $2 for the LNP, which has been unchanged over the past week.

Update: Galaxy electorate polls

The Courier-Mail has excitingly unrolled individual electorate poll results from Galaxy Research on an hourly basis:

• The surprise packet turns out to be southern metropolitan fringe seat of Logan, where One Nation candidate Scott Bannan is far outperforming his peers to record a slight primary vote deficit, of 35% to 33%, against Labor incumbent Linus Power. However, One Nation’s flow of respondent-allocated from the 20% LNP and 12% “others” voters is not enough to overturn the Labor lead, which finishes at 52-48.

• Aside from that, results for One Nation tend to be on the modest side. In the low-income retirement haven seat of Hervey Bay, which the party won in 1998, their candidate came in third with 25% of the vote, behind LNP incumbent Ted Sorensen on 38% and Labor on 31%. This converts into a 55-45 two-party lead for the LNP, compared with an existing post-redistribution margin of 6.5%.

• The poll credits the LNP with a crucial gain in Mundingburra, with One Nation again needing to make the final preference cut. Labor incumbent Coralee O’Rourke and LNP challenger Matthew Derlagen are finally matched on primary votes of 29% and 30% respectively, with Derlagen emerging 52-48 ahead after preferences, including from One Nation on 20% and Katter’s Australian Party on 12%.

• The Rockhampton result suggests Margaret Strelow – mayor, Labor preselection aspirant and now independent candidate – is unlikely to trouble Labor, recording only 14% of the vote. This accounts for most but not all of a drop in the Labor primary vote, from 52.9% in 2015 to 33%. Labor still holds a 58-42 after preferences, but this amounts to a 6% swing to the LNP. Primary votes of 23% for the LNP (down from 30.3%) and 22% for One Nation raise the possibility that it may be the latter that makes the final count, but they would have a steep hill to climb on preferences.

• Another independent recording weak numbers is Rob Pyne, the Labor-turned-independent incumbent in Cairns, who scores only 11%. Labor leads the LNP on the primary vote 37% to 32% and finishes 54-46 ahead on preferences, amounting to a 3.5% swing to the LNP.

• The new Gold Coast seat of Bonney registers at 50-50 result, for a swing to Labor of 2.2%.

• The Sunshine Coast hinterland seat of Glass House is also at 50-50, off a post-redistribution LNP margin of 0.9%.

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.

34 comments on “Queensland election minus 15 days”

  1. A shaky campaign? They don’t seem to matter as much as they used to. These days increasingly about one on one contact. The Curious Snail and other MSM are background noise.

  2. Key to this election is onp …..they will only win in excess of 2 seats if they get lnp preferences….then lap can only form a government if they have onp support for at least confidence and supply…..look where onp chose not to run candidates…in parts of Brisbane and the gold coast sitting on margins of 2 to 3 %…..imagine how long a onp backed government would last 6 months ?+??

  3. In the 1998 election the ONP (PHON) received 22.7% of first preferences (statewide) and won eleven seats, narrowly missing out on about six others.

    Assuming an overall vote of 18% this time and a similar preference distribution to 1998 they should win at least five seats. If they get something like 22.7% again they will probably win eight. It is hard to tell how a few PHON v KAP contests will play out.

    In 1998 there were eight seats in which the then Liberal Party preferences were distributed in contests between PHON and ALP. The preferences on average broke to PHON 52.2% to 22.6% with 25.2% exhausting.

    In 1998 there were fourteen seats in which the then National Party preferences were distributed in contests between PHON and ALP. The preferences on average broke to PHON 60.8% to 19.1% with 20.1% exhausting.

    In 1998 there were twelve seats in which the then ALP preferences were distributed in contests between NAT and PHON. The preferences on average broke to NAT 46.2% to 17.9% with 35.9% exhausting.

    In 1998 there were fifteen seats in which the then PHON preferences were distributed in contests between NAT and ALP. The preferences on average broke to NAT 50.3% to 18.7% with 31% exhausting.


    PHON will almost certain win more than two two seats, and it is unlikely that the ALP will be able to form government unless they win a majority of seats in their own right.

    Here in Mansfield the (very good) ALP candidate should take the seat from LNP, because PHON are preferencing against the sitting LNP member, but it is hard to know how many PHON voters will ignore the that recommendation. The LNP will have a small advantage from any donkey vote, which I dimly recall from some old Pollbludger discussion to be about .5 of a pecent.

  4. One of the big questions of this election is where the vote for non-2CP candidates that exhausted in previous elections will go?

  5. Yes, Fargo, I’d also be surprised if ON didn’t win a couple of seats – but don’t forget that in Will’s previous Qld State page he quoted some bookie’s odds and ON weren’t actually the favourites in any of them. So if you think they’re wrong, get your money on quicksmart before ON shorten. But maybe the money is right???

  6. Thanks Fargo you went to a lot of trouble to find this information. My point stands onp can only win any more than a couple of seats unless they get lnp preferences………. if lnp preference against them they cannot. talk of 10 plus seats only applies if they are gifted 8 plus seats by the lnp. Their present to the lnp is not to run candidates in seats such as Everton , Gaven …. and Chatsworth which have 2 to 3 % liberal Margins with a prospect of grn preferences to Labor.
    LNP cannot win a majority as such they can only form a government with some form of onp support……. imagine how stable such a government would be.

  7. All – I am bewildered at this election, which I suppose I also was before the 1998 one. You have variously pointed out the uncertainties – in particular where will what would have been “exhausted” votes in the previous system go. I have looked through some betting agency’s seat-by-seat odds, and yes they don’t have PHON favorite in any single seat.

    The 1998 election where ON got 22.7% and there was optional preferential voting – I feel (no maths analysis involved) that having “exhausted” votes made that 22.7% effectively more valuable, maybe something equivalent to 28-30% overall, and they did achieve a major breakthrough winning 11 seats. If the PHON primary vote is less than 20% with full distribution of preferences I can’t see them replicating the 1998 breakthroughs, though I agree with the posters giving them 2-5 seats courtesy of LNP preferences.

  8. I suspect that one of the major reasons that One Nation is not polling more like 22%, what it got in 1998, is that there is now the KAP competing for votes (but directing preferences, useful to One Nation if the outpoll KAP).

  9. The LNP will put the Greens last on its how-to-vote cards for the state election and also preference One Nation over Labor in a majority of seats where all three parties have candidates. However, LNP president Gary Spence insisted the party had not entered into any preference arrangement with other parties. An LNP spokesman said he did not know how many seats the party had preferenced One Nation, but confirmed there were more One Nation first preferences than Labor.

    The Greens have already announced they will put One Nation last, and the LNP second last, on their how-to-vote cards.


  10. The Logan poll does not look creditable to me. In 1998 the ALP got 49% and ONP got 28.6% first preferences. Either ONP are not anywhere near 35% or they will presumably win more seats then they won in 1998.

    On the other hand the ONP figure of 25% in Hervey Bay looks to be on the low side to me . They got 33.8% in 1998 and came from behind ALP vote of 36.3% to win with a TCP of 55.3%. On the other hand perhaps the flood of retirees to Hervey Bay since 1998 makes any comparison to then meaningless, and might account in LNP on 38% compared to then NAT 27.4%.

    Two weeks to go, and then we can all be wise after the event I suppose.

  11. The Galaxy Research polls were conducted 8-9 November.

    The sample sizes for four of the seven seats are 657 voters in Bonney, 503 in Cairns, 669 in Hervey Bay and 674 in Mundingburra.

    Two Party Preferred: LNP 50 (-2.2 since election) ALP 50 (+2.2)
    Primary Votes: LNP 45 (+1.1 since election) ALP 39 (+4.0) GRN 9 (+0.2)

    Two Party Preferred: ALP 54 (-3.5 since election) LNP 46 (+3.5)
    Primary Votes: Pyne IND 11 (+11 since election) ALP 37 (-7.4) LNP 32 (-5.4) ON 13 (+13) GRN 7 (-0.7)

    Glass House:
    Two Party Preferred: LNP 50 (-0.9 since election) ALP 50 (+0.9)
    Primary Votes: LNP 33 (-10.6 since election) ALP 27 (-4.5) ON 22 (+22) GRN 16 (+1.8)

    Hervey Bay:
    Two Party Preferred: LNP 55 (-1.5 since election) ALP 45 (+1.5)
    Primary Votes: LNP 38 (-9.8 since election) ALP 31 (-0.7) ON 25 (+25) GRN 4 (+0.3)

    Two Party Preferred: ALP 52 (-3.9 since election) ON 48 (+48)
    Primary Votes: ALP 35 (-10.1 since election) ON 33 (+31.2) LNP 20 (-17.6) GRN 7 (+0.1)

    Two Party Preferred: ALP 48 (-3.8 since election) LNP 52 (+3.8)
    Primary Votes: ALP 29 (-8.4 since election) LNP 30 (-10.6) ON 20 (+18.8) KAP 12 (+8.9) GRN 6 (-1.0)

    Two Party Preferred: ALP 58 (-6.0 since election) LNP 42 (+6.0)
    Primary Votes: ALP 33 (-19.9 since election) LNP 23 (-7.3) ON 21 (+21) Strelow IND 14 (+14) GRN 9 (+2.8)

  12. Thanks to GhostWhoVotes for the additional polling information.

    The sample sizes certainly look decent, bigger than most seat polling from memory. The PHON vote looks to be underestimated in the regions to me, especially in Cairns and Rockhampton, but in Logan, it seems to be overcooked.

    So the results still look strange to me, but maybe that is just a reflection of what the results will be – strange.

  13. One Nation’s preferencing strategy is actually pretty cunning when you think about it from a long-term perspective. If they poll well enough and much of their voters follow the HTV cards, the incoming Labor and LNP caucuses are both likely to wind up with a bunch of inexperienced first-term MPs at the expense of current frontbenchers and rising stars.

    Given that the post-election One Nation caucus will almost entirely consist of inexperienced first-term MPs without much of a party structure to hold their hand as they learn the ropes, this could give the party a pretty desperately needed edge in the new parliament.

  14. Taken together, the Galaxy and Reachtel results are quite encouraging for One Nation. The only dissappointing result for them is 13%Cairns. This is a seat they almost won in 1998.

    The Logan result is astonishing. If those primarys or anything resembling them are repeated on the day, they will win the seat. I wouldn’t put much stock in the TPP figures as these are asking LNP voters their 2nd preferences. On the day many will just follow the HTV and not make a conscious preferencing decision. There would also be a “shyness” effect at play here with some of these voters not wanting to admit even a preference vote for ON. I agree the figures seem too good for them, but they also have a high profile candidate here. It also needs to be remembered that current Logan has been weakened for the ALP in the redistribution by about 5-6%

    With Logan in mind, we should consider what similar seats could be at risk. The obvious one is Ipswich West, which now has to be considered a serious ON prospect. The others are all on the outer northside – Pumicestone, Bancroft, Morayfield and perhaps Kurwongbah. The LNP vote could be too high in Pumicestone and Kurwongbah for the ONP to get 2nd, while the other two they should have no trouble getting 2nd but the ALP primary will likely be too high to catch. This cachet will apply even more in Jordan, Waterford and Ipswich.

  15. Hervey Bay is not a seat that should be on the ON target list. When they won it in 1998, there was an ALP sitting member so it was easier to pass the National Party and get 2nd, then ride in on their preferences. The seat has since moved in a conservative direction, plus there is now a LNP sitting member. Even if ON comes first here they almost certainly won’t win because its an urban electorate with presumably more disciplined ALP preferencing than in bush seats like Callide or Nanango where the ALP probably won’t man many booths.
    The Wide Bay seats ON should target are in this order: Maryborough (1st or 2nd place and probable win against ALP on LNP preferences) Bundaberg (likely 2nd and if get that will have a very close fight for the win against the ALP on LNP preferences), Burnett & Gympie (ON could well come first with LNP 2nd, but unlikely to be enough due to ALP preferences going to LNP. Hervey Bay (as above)

  16. Asher Leu – I agree that PHON strategy to put all sitting members last is clever. I think from memory they did this in the 2001 WA election, got about 10% and may have helped Labor overall seeing as Labor had only 19/57 seats then won 13 more. They may also have learned from this year’s WA election where they seemingly did a preference deal with the Liberals – and lost a lot of their own supporters (5% vote), and this deal probably adversely affected the Liberals as well.

    Peterjk23 – having been in Bundaberg a bit in the last few years I agree that this is ripe for PHON, Bundaberg may be doing worse on a lot of social measures (therefore better for PHON) than Hervey Bay.

  17. Peterjk23
    I believe the LNP have preferenced Labor ahead of PHON in Logan so on the Galaxy primaries Labor would look to be a good chance of holding on. Unlike in Mundingburra where the primaries suggest it is way too close to call between LNP and PHON with Labor no chance whatsoever.

  18. Saw on the ‘Not 4 Sale’ FB Page that the LNP is leading Labor 52-48 in ReachTel with three quarters of PHON voters preferencing the LNP.

    Doesn’t seem good. Haven’t seen any primaries or other details.

  19. Queenslanders have learnt nothing from the jo and flo years or the newman years, they deserve whatever is inflicted on them by a LNP/ONE NATION dictatorship, candidates like mal roberts and the sex shop operator should be enough to warn of the intellect of these one nation buffoons let alone the moronic utterances of hanson, go for it queensland, you usually get the government you deserve and going on past experience you certainly deserve poleene, rope banjo sales will quadruple after the election

  20. Seth, that 53-48 figure is what they have extrapolated from a ‘poll’ of ONP voters.

    “An exclusive opinion poll in the Sunday Mail shows One Nation supporters could deliver the Queensland election to the Liberal National Party.
    The reachtell poll of 34,000 One Nation voters found that nearly three quarters plan to give their preferences to the LNP.
    If repeated on election day, this would give the LNP a two party preferred lead of 52 to 48.”


  21. Meant 52-48.

    How that preferencing plays out will depend on how much the ONP voters o the day follow the ONP recommendation to put sitting members (bar KAP & Joanne Miller) last.

  22. @Once was a warrier
    It appears you are right about Logan and I’m very surprised. Logan and Thuringowa are the only seats on the list where LNP preferences will come into play and they will be the deciding factor. I still doubt that this decision will stand. There is a big chance it could make the difference between an LNP minority government and the continuation of the Labor government.

    “But the decision, which will see One Nation preferenced above Labor in all but eight seats – Buderim, Logan, Mudgeeraba, Nicklin, Coomera, Scenic Rim, Stratton and Toovey in the state’s south east and Thuringowa, in North Queensland – has also given weight to One Nation’s policies.”


  23. I am not a “true believer” in betting odds but they do make interesting reading.
    sb currently gives these odds (out of 100%)
    – Labor Government 52.8% (majority 39%, minority 14%)
    – LNP Government 43.6% (majority 31%, minority 13%)
    – PHON Government 3.5%

    On a seat-by-seat analysis (only has 92/93 seats – not sure which one they are missing)
    – Labor 48
    – LNP 41
    – KAP 2 (Traeger, Hill)
    – PHON 1 (Buderim – PHON 1.80, LNP 2.20)

    I would think PHON will get a few more than that (from both sides), but maybe not Buderim.

  24. Only about a 27% chance of a ALP or LNP minority government? With ONP, KAP and potentially the Greens in Parliament, I would think that minority government is more likely than that.

  25. What of lnp voters who bolt their HTv and onp voters who do the same. The candidate for onp who runs the sex shop…..will stay and get lnp preferences…..great leadership by lnp and onp leadership

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