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. Saw Nicholls cast his vote. When interviewed he sounded very defeatist. Never heard a leader speak in such a dis-spirited fashion on a polling day. They’re toast!

  2. From the Oz

    ‘Hanson sparks confusion

    One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s high-profile campaigning in the state election has confused voters, with reports some residents are demanding to know why they have been unable to vote for the federal senator.

    Voters in Ipswich have turned up to polling booths in Ipswich and Bundamba, west of Brisbane, expecting to find her name on the ballot paper, local newspaper the Queensland Times reports.

    “I’ve just been up to the polls to vote for One Nation and it appears they’ve left Pauline Hanson off the list,” one angry resident was quoted as saying. “This is atrocious the way they have left the candidate out of this electorate off the list.”

    Booth workers said “numerous” people had turned up declaring: “I’m voting for Hanson” as they headed inside to cast their ballots.’

  3. Boerwar
    Thanks. ROTFL about the PHON voters! I hope they went informal. Serves her right for making a career of pandering to that demographic.

  4. Back to Federal. If the LNP goes down in Qld, and they lose Bennelong too, will Turnbull face a challenge when parliament finally returns?

  5. kevjohnno – I am really on edge. It reminds me very much of that night in 1998, which was unforgettable. I mainly remember keeping checking that Labor was not losing any seats net and looked to be holding 44/89.

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