Newspoll: 52.5-47.5 to Labor in Queensland (and much more)

Newspoll provides more support for the emerging consensus that Labor is likely to get up. Also featured: the situation explained as succinctly as I can (i.e. not very).

UPDATE: The Guardian has an Essential Research poll compiled from its polling over the full course of the campaign, with a sample of 918, which has Labor leading 53-47 from primaries of Labor 36%, LNP 32%, One Nation 15% and Greens 10%. Another Essential poll, of 430 respondents, has the Greens leading Labor in South Brisbane by 36% to 32%, with the result to be decided by preferences from the LNP, on 24% (with 8% undecided).

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We now have concluding results from Galaxy Research in the Courier-Mail and Newspoll in The Australian. These are done the same way by the same company, differing only in their field work dates (Monday to Wednesday for Galaxy, Tuesday to Friday for Newspoll) and sample sizes (1556 and 1834 respectively). The two polls are unlike all others published during this campaign, in that One Nation was only included in electorates where they were running a candidate. This accounts for half the party’s drop in Galaxy, from 18% to 12%, and two out of the three points lost in Newspoll, from 16% to 13%.

Newspoll has Labor’s two-party lead at 52.5-47.5, compared with 52-48 at the start of the campaign. Labor is down one on the primary vote to 36%, but the Greens are up two to 10%, which feeds into Labor’s two-party total. The LNP is unchanged at 34%. Both leaders have gone backwards during the campaign, particularly Tim Nicholls, who is down five on approval to 27% and up eleven on disapproval to 54%. Annastacia Palaszczuk is down one on approval to 40% and up two on disapproval to 47%, and widens her preferred premier lead from 43-33 to 45-31.

The Poll Bludger opinion poll tracker has now been brought up to date, which is to say finalised, with the Newspoll and Galaxy results. The final score: Labor 36.5%, LNP 34.1%, One Nation 13.7%, Greens 9.6%, with Labor leading 52.1-47.9 on two-party preferred. No effort has been made here to allow for the issue noted above in relation to One Nation candidates, so their reading may skew a little on the high side.

Both Newspoll and Galaxy break down their results into south-east Queensland and regional, as ReachTEL did earlier in the week (without the same nuance regarding One Nation). First the statewide results:

ReachTEL 34 30 17 10 51
Newspoll 36 34 13 10 52.5
Galaxy 37 35 12 9 52
2015 Election 37.5 41.3 0.9 8.4 51.1

Now to the detail:

South-East Queensland

ReachTEL 36 31 15 11 52
Newspoll 39 36 9 12 54
Galaxy 40 36 8 12 54
2015 Election 39.5 41.9 0.3 10.2 52.3

To get to the 9% attributed to it by Newspoll and the 8% by Galaxy, One Nation would need to average 14% to 16% in the seats where they are running. This suggests a swing in the party’s favour of 6% to 8% compared with last year’s Senate result, which if applied evenly would nudge One Nation into the low twenties in Ipswich West, Ipswich and Logan – not bad, but not enough to pose a real threat.

With the suggestion of a slight swing to Labor, the following LNP seats can be regarded as in the firing line: Redlands (1.2%), Everton (2.0%), Bonney (2.2%), Gaven (2.8%), Maiwar (3.0%), Aspley (3.2%) and Chatsworth (3.3%). The LNP will also struggle to retain Mansfield and Mount Ommaney, which have respective notional Labor margins of 0.8% and 1.0% after the redistribution.

Conversely, Labor is no certainty to hold its urban fringe seat of Pumicestone, which has a bare post-redistribution LNP margin of 0.1%. Labor’s task has been complicated its disendorsement of its sitting member, Rick Williams, who is running as an independent. There is at least an outside chance that Deputy Premier Jackie Trad will lose South Brisbane to the Greens, or that the Greens rather than Labor will poach Maiwar from the LNP.

Regional Queensland

ReachTEL 31 29 20 8 48
Newspoll 30 30 22 6 49
Galaxy 30 33 20 5 48
2015 Election 33.9 40.2 2.0 5.1 49.1

The regional vote for One Nation is on 22% in Newspoll and 20% in Galaxy, implies an average of around 25% in the seats where they are running. This amounts to a “swing” of about 10% compared with their Senate vote last year. An improvement on that scale would push the One Nation vote to 37% in Lockyer, which was something of an outlier result after Pauline Hanson’s state campaign there in 2015.

Beneath that lies an enormous crush of seats where the party lands between 25% and 30%. This is potentially enough to knock off Labor seats with LNP preferences, but perhaps not the other way around. Their best prospects for taking seats off Labor are Mirani, Maryborough, Burdekin, Thuringowa and Mundingburra; from the LNP, Whitsunday, Callide, Gregory, Burnett, Condamine and Hinchinbrook.

The Labor-held seats, together with highly marginal Whitsunday, are genuine three-cornered contests where much depends on which of the three parties drops out before the final count. Where it’s the LNP, Labor will need a very high primary vote to survive. Where it’s Labor, it might be assumed that their preference arrangements will clinch the result for the LNP. However, Labor voters in Lockyer defied the party’s how-to-vote card to preference Pauline Hanson in surprisingly large numbers at the 2015 election, so this is another factor we won’t really be sure about until we see some results.

One Nation is directing preferences against all sitting members, which history suggests should split at least 60-40 in favour of the LNP where there is a Labor incumbent, and in more modest degree to Labor when the incumbent is from the LNP. This makes Burdekin and Whitsunday distinctive among the three-cornered contests in that is LNP rather than Labor members who are on the wrong end of the preference stick.

There is a further category of seats in regional Queensland where One Nation do not appear likely to win, but are more than strong enough to decide the result on their preferences. This threatens Labor incumbents in Bundaberg, Barron River and Keppel, and an LNP one in Toowoomba North.


Some extra late news:

• The Courier-Mail has follow-up results from the Galaxy poll, showing some substantial gaps: among women, Labor are on 39%, the Greens 11% and One Nation 10%; among men, it’s 34%, 7% and 14%. One Nation do better among the middle-aged than the old, with the latter favouring the LNP. The poll also finds 46% saying Labor does not deserve to be re-elected versus 36% for yes; 44% expect Palaszczuk to win, compared with 28% for Nicholls; 39% think Palaszczuk the better performer in the campaign, versus 25% for Nicholls.

• The Galaxy poll appears to have triggered a rush of money on Labor: Sportsbet has cut Labor from $1.95 to $1.72, with the LNP out from $1.87 to $2.50 (UPDATE: Now it’s $1.44 and $2.55). Ladbrokes now has Labor as $1.72 to $2.05 favourites, compared with $1.88 apiece a few days ago (UPDATE: Now it’s $1.50 and $2.25). In Ladbrokes’ case at least, this brings it into line with what its individual seats odds were already saying, and these accordingly haven’t moved much. One interesting shift is that Ladbrokes has cut independent Margaret Strelow from $8 to $3.50 in Rockhampton.

• The LNP’s announcement that it would free up $2.6 billion in funding by delaying the Cross River Rail project forms a key element of its pitch to regional Queensland, but does no favours to its incumbents in inner Brisbane. As well as Scott Emerson’s three-way battle with Labor and the Greens in Maiwar, there has been significant campaign activity in Chatsworth, held by Steve Minnikin on a margin of 3.3%, and even a spot of Labor mischief in Clayfield, where Tim Nicholls has a margin of 6.6%.

• The conclusion of my paywalled article in Crikey today: “The accumulated evidence of opinion polls suggests the odds are against (the LNP) – but with everything depending on a populist party and its largely disengaged support base, this is exactly the sort of election that has led pollsters around the world astray in recent years”.

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.

63 comments on “Newspoll: 52.5-47.5 to Labor in Queensland (and much more)”

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  1. Apparently “pa-la-shay” originated with a lecturer who taught her father. He couldn’t pronounce it as originally intended. I, too, think it’s a pity. It ain’t that hard as long as you stop being afraid of four consonants in a row.

  2. Correction: Palaszczuk.

    So political scientist John Wanna doesn’t think Labor will get to a majority of seats.
    Wanna bet on it?

  3. Predict Labor Majority Govt:
    ALP – 36% (50 seats)
    LNP – 34% (38)
    ONP – 14% (3)
    GRN – 10% (-)
    KAT – 2% (2)
    Other – 4% (-)
    ALP 53%-LNP 47% (or possibly 52.5/47.5)
    GRN – outside chance in Maiwar (probably fall short in South Brisbane). If Grn win in Maiwar, ALP tally falls to 49 seats.

  4. Kevin Bonham @ #11 Saturday, November 25th, 2017 – 1:17 am
    Queensland: The Election Polls Forgot

    I have the same 2PP as Newspoll and virtually identical primaries, with a seat estimate of 51-37 plus 3 PHON and 2 KAP. I don’t have enough evidence to say anything about a seat for the Greens.

    That would be an interesting outcome. It would certainly release AP from the constraints of dodgy, unstable members on her side and trying to placate independants and Katterites. One can only hope.

  5. I am hoping ALP fall under the 47 as neither them or LNP deserve bragging rights to a majority and with no upper house some minor parties and Indies are the way to go.

    Here’s hoping for a voter backlash against the ALP and LNP that will see Greens get South Brisbane and Maiwar, KAP hold what they have and ONP with 3-5 seats and some Indies get up- hot tip and word is keep an eye on Jordan.

    Regardless of ones personal opinion of any of these parties, they do deserve their respective voters voices heard with the votes they carry.

    Unfortunately I feel that ALP will be getting up tonight with a majority and arrogant enough to claim with only 1 in 3 actually voting for them that it is a clear message that Qld support their ineptness.

  6. At this point I do not know who will win but I hope it is Labor, who look favouraites. Either way, hasn’t Nichols campaign been aweful? Amazing such a poor speaker is made a party leader.

    My preferred outcome would be Labor government with Greens holding balance of power. Then we might actually see action on Adani and land clearing.

  7. Arrogant ALP? Are you serious , Mike ? If Labor gets up tonite (or whenever) arrogance will be the last thing on their minds. After the Newman slaughter and a narrow victory in 2015, absolute relief will be the emotion.
    Conversely, if the LNP gets up, the smug smile on Nicholl’s face will betray the arrogance of the LNP and their born to rule self belief. Anna can’t do smug like Tim and its little wonder he has a 53% disapproval rate. Methinks voters here read LNP smugness very clearly.
    As for voting, in Qld, the number of times the ALP has won the primary vote only to be beaten by preferences and back-room deals, plus gerrymander, makes your comments farcical. Could it be you are subconsciously admitting defeat in the only way the Right knows- blame loss on anything but themselves?
    Today is the only poll that counts.

  8. @Kevin Bonham – Do you have any thoughts on the impact of the switch away from OPV? It looks like the legislation is pretty sparse on savings provisions (only one empty box allowed?), so surely the informal voting rates will be relatively high, particularly among more disengaged voters.

    (I tried posting this question on your site, but for some reason I can’t post there . . .)

  9. FWIW I would prefer Pa-la-shay any day to Pal-ash-chook.
    Not really sure why. Just the way it rolls off the tongue I guess, in much the same way that Hyacinth from “Keeping up up appearances” preferred to be called Mrs Bouquet rather than Mrs Bucket, but without the social climbing aspect.

    For those who prefer the original, at least she kept the same spelling.

  10. If the Greens are leading in South Bris by 36 to 32 (out of 92), then a lot of LNP voters would have to disobey the party’s HTV for the Green to win. I think Ms Trad is safe this time, unless LNP voters in West End, Highgate Hill, etc think for themselves rather more that the average unquestioning, obedient LNP voter. Or maybe they still think (as some dopes did when she was first elected) that because she’s of Lebanese origin she’s a Muslim and that’s a reason to vote against her?

  11. I’ve done scrutineering training. The informal saving provisions are pretty decent in terms of legibility / numbering systems.

    The big one is theres no savings if you don’t have a preference for every candidate (so only 1 blank box allowed as implied last) and they won’t take ballots that have only a partial ordering so 1,2,3,3,4 gets informaled straight away rather than exhausting after 1-> 2.

    The ECQ officer however says to number every box when handing out a ballot paper and the ballot paper says the same

  12. I reckon a runaway Labor win.
    One Nation voters, i.e. geriatric racists and failed forklift drivers, are too stupid to pick up the compulsory preferencing requirement, and therefore most of ’em will vote informal.
    Mark my words.

  13. The reason for the defiance of the ALP how to vote card in Lockyer was that the ALP ran a put the LNP last campaign around the state and the box being left blank on the ALP who to vote cards was not well highlighted as an exception to that and so it is likely that many of the ALP voters thought they were doing what the ALP wanted by numbering all the boxes with the LNP last and accidentally defied the ALP how to vote card.

  14. I am certainly feeling a lot less pessimistic than I was a week ago. Tim Nicholls seems to have spent too much of his campaign time in SEQ seats, whereas the premier has travelled widely. I also think that the premier comes across as being fairly down to earth, and that she wins on ‘trust’ because the LNP haven’t been able to lay any ‘broken promises’ charges against her.

  15. The QEC people handing out the ballots at my booth were making sure to tell people that they had to number every box. Whether people listen we will find out tonight.

  16. WRT to South Brisbane, the LNP are running deader than dead here, so I’m wondering if their primary will be even less than some of the polls are saying.

  17. Interesting reporting on ABC ‘news’ 24 at 3pm. The commentary was that Labor are “slightly” ahead in the latest poll, that it could well be a hung parliament, and that it might come down to PHON preferences/them holding the balance of power/forming a coalition government, complete with a live cross to a PHON candidate (an ‘ex-bikie’ and kickboxer, no less) and mini-interview with him. I haven’t been following this election closely (I don’t live in QLD), but I thought that was a rather interesting interpretation of Labor 52.5% 2PP, PHON 12%. Sure, it’s not a guaranteed ALP win, but it’s looking likely based on that figure.

    The ABC journo on site also spoke of “cynical” sentiment among voters, who are sick of the major parties, with vox pop from a bunch of (all white) voters, including one who said she was going to donkey vote, another who said he was sick of pollies promising things they can’t deliver, and another who said she doesn’t listen to any of the campaign sloganeering and was just going to vote for who she thought was best.

    The takeaway message from the segment was, in my view, that it’s going to be neck and neck, that people are going to vote for PHON/similar minor parties to send a message to the major parties, and that PHON votes may well be deciding who wins this election. There was also commentary that this will be the closest election in ‘some time’. Again, how do you get that from 52.5%?

  18. Considering that 2015 was so close as to be a hung parliament, that is an especially ridiculous statement.

    If the ALP win a majority, I expect that someone on ABC will proclaim it a “shock result” or a “surprising win”, as though their hunches mean more than the polling.

  19. On Sportsbet the ALP have blown out to $1.35.

    I remain cautiously optimistic. I’m sure there will be some surprise seat results, maybe at least one independent getting up.

    I’m surprised One Nation didn’t get a candidate up in Warrego, they did alright in Maranoa last year.

  20. As someone from Warwick I can say the rural Nat vote is very locked on in Maranoa. It’s a surprisingly tough nut to crack from the right as a result.

  21. Can’t put much faith in Sky News when they can’t even handle time zones and the daylight saving factor. According to their website the polls have closed in Qld. Someone should let them know it’s only just after 5PM here.

  22. There will be Galaxy exit polls on the Nine News at 6pm tonight. I worked a booth in the seat of Keppel (central Qld coast) and spent hours with the Poll lady as she was attempting to poll the punters as they left the booth.

    She told they were doing 18 state seats.

  23. Still terrified deep down that One Nation may exert power over my one time home. We will know soon enough.

    “I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

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