YouGov Galaxy: 50-50 in Queensland

A new poll shows a bad result for Annastacia Palaszczuk, but an even worse one for LNP leader Deb Frecklington ahead of a difficult by-election late next month.

The Courier-Mail has published the first YouGov Galaxy poll ($) of Queensland state voting intention since late August, which records a dead heat on two-party preferred after the Liberal National Party led 51-49 last time. Labor is up two to 34% on the primary vote and the LNP is down one to 35%, but this only yields a slight shift on two-party because One Nation is up two to 15%, whereas the Greens are down three to 10%. The poll is particularly bad news for LNP leader Deb Frecklington, who faces a potentially dangerous by-election in the marginal LNP-held seat of Currumbin on March 28, with her approval rating down eight to 23% and disapproval up six to 44%. Frecklington also trails Annastacia Palaszczuk 34-22 on preferred premier, compared with 34-29 last time. Palaszczuk’s ratings have also deteriorated, down five on approval to 29% and one on disapproval to 44% (and she was down twelve and up seven in the poll before), resulting in unusally high uncommmitted ratings. All I can tell you at this stage is that the poll was conducted earlier in the week from a sample of “more than 1000 voters”.

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.

39 comments on “YouGov Galaxy: 50-50 in Queensland”

  1. It’s no much better than a hunch but I think Labor will trump the Tories – Palaszczuk doing little to upset the horses. Poor (Deb) Frecklington is really a lightweight.

  2. This is a great poll for Labor in the circumstances. But the Palasczuck approval numbers would be a concern.

    I don’t believe the bad Frecklington numbers are real. She’s done OK.

    On balance, I still think the LNP is better placed to win the October election. Too many regional ALP seats that are at risk. However a split Parliament is a real possibility.

    If ON stays at 15% or more it will pick up some of the regional seats in play.

    Labor needs to do something about Jackie Trad but Palasckzuck has already had plenty of chances.

    The uncommitted vote is consistent with a view that the ALO is gripping on, but it’s on the edge. I think it will probably fall over.

  3. Historyintime:

    Not a bad critique but you’ve overlooked the advantage of incumbency, not the least of which is Anna’s
    pleasant demeanor, compared to Deb’s angriness.

  4. “ Palaszczuk doing little to upset the horses.”

    How unethical. She MUST demand a Green New Deal. Stop Adani. Promise to close all Queensland coal power stations in 2 years and all coal mining within 5.

    It’s ‘values’ that count. Looking fabulous for Greta. How dare she not stand up for Greens values in favour of actually having a shot at winning (thereby saving 400,000 of native woodlands from clear felling by National party cockies each year. A mere detail, you’ll agree).

  5. Mavis

    Personally I think Palasczuzck is wearing thin. Her failure to act on Jackie Trad has also affected her credibility.

    I just think that at some time the natural order of Queensland politics, which is conservative, will reassert itself. The LNP just need a mildly competent leader and a non offensive campaign.

  6. Andrew_Earlwood:

    Just occasionally, I take issue with you: how does Labor deal with coal seats in Queensland, the Hunter -and please stop the upper case?

  7. Labor has been in power in Queensland for 25 of the past 30 years. What natural order is that again?
    (and yes, its an interesting compare and contrast to their Federal fortunes in that state)

  8. Simon

    I have lived in Qld for much of that period and followed politics and elections very carefully. The ALP’s success reflects cautious ALP State Governments, reasonable leadership (apart from Bligh’s final term) and LNP incompetence. When the LNP presented an acceptable front I.e. Newman in 2012 it won a stunning victory. The State is conservative culturally and ts demography is less urban than other States; in grneral the LNP has some inherent advantage if it can get it’s act together.

  9. Historyintime

    [‘Personally I think Palasczuzck is wearing thin. Her failure to act on Jackie Trad has also affected her credibility.’]

    Yes, I agree with you about Trad. Premiers, though, have little knowledge of their minister’s misbehavior. Anna should not be judged by an aberrant minister. Trad should’ve been stood down, the right thing to do; but maybe there’s a symbiosis? Trad bought a house near to a station, increasing the value of the property doubly. She should, therefore, eff off -a prima facie case of insider trading.

  10. Trad will find it very hard to keep her seat. It’s inner city Brisbane and the LNP are giving preferences to the Greens this time around. If the 2015 election result was repeated she would lose.

    However, there are a couple of things in her favour. First she’s a proven winner in bad situations. Second, the seat is becoming wealthier and this could improve the LNP vote and harm the Green vote. Also, are we slight past ‘peak green in terms of inner city success. There is a scenario where the Greens drop to third and lose. Overall I’d say it’s a 50:50 proposition for her.

  11. Since Palaszfuk decided to lick Adani shoes QLD ALP goes last for me. The stupid cow is a climate emergency denier who rushed laws through to arrest extinction rebellion protesters warning of the pending climate disaster and now we have climate disasters she is as useless and clueless as the PM.

  12. I just cannot see Labor possibly winning a third term. They wont survive October. Jackie Trad will be the first domino to fall on election night.

    I know a lot can change in the next 8/9 months, but still. You may remember barely a week out from the federal election, the QLD vote was also 50-50 according to a poll – yet was 58.4-41.6 to the LNP on election day. I wouldnt be surprised if a similiar dynamic were at play here.

    Frecklington is far from inspiring but she isnt the utter clueless buffoon that Tim Nicholls was, or the creep Springborg presented himself to be. I cant see why she would be electorally unpalatable.

  13. There are a few issues with the poll reporting.

    1. The report says “The number satisfied with Ms Frecklington’s performance fell from 31 to 23 per cent over the past year, while the percentage of dissatisfied voters grew from 38 per cent to 44 per cent.” But the graphic shows Frecklington’s dissatisfaction rating as 33% and the uncommitted rate on her performance at 44%. (Presumably the article is right not the graphic.)

    2. Frecklington’s dissatisfaction rating a year ago was 35 not 38.

  14. Icancu

    Peter Dutton, George Christensen and the rest of Queensland LNP thank you kindly for your vote.

    I’m sure they’re planning to parade you and the rest of the over-priveleged idiots of Extinction Rebellion through the streets as the heroes you believe you are.

  15. Qld Labor has always balanced the budget so it will take something big (sale of part of Q rail for Bligh) to get them turfed out.
    No coal means huge job losses and a big hit to the budget bottom line. Not going to risk that.
    Federal LNP have won the last few elections highlighting how they will subsidise coal, increase coal exports and not penalise emitters. Still got elected so the money and jobs is more important than Adani.

  16. A new poll shows a bad result for Annastacia Palaszczuk,


    The first sentence doesnt make any sense , when continuing to read these points

    after the Liberal National Party led 51-49 last time.

    Frecklington also trails Annastacia Palaszczuk 34-22 on preferred premier, compared with 34-29 last time.

  17. “ Trad bought a house near to a station, increasing the value of the property doubly. She should, therefore, eff off -a prima facie case of insider trading.”

    The new station had little to do with Trad’s decision to buy and the increase in property value. Both were related to the fact that the expansion project of the local high school – and it being turned into a selective high school (unless students lived in the catchment area) – nearing completion.

    That project was announced under the Newman government. Trad simply took an investors gamble that as the reopening date drew closer property values would increase.

    The rail project has a very long way to go and there is little evidence of that being responsible for the property price surge.

  18. I’ve always wondered why Queensland tends to vote LNP federally but Labor at state elections. As Simon pointed out, over the last 30 years Labor has won every QLD state election except one while the LNP have won the TPP vote in QLD at every federal election except one.

    I really don’t know much about Queensland’s politics but at a glance it seems to be the regional areas (around Townsville, Cairns and Rockhampton) as well as the outer suburbs of Brisbane that shift between state and federal politics. Is it just because of the differences between state and federal politics? Or is it because QLD state Labor is more conservative than federal Labor/state LNP is excessively right wing? Or is it a legacy of Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s “hillbilly dictatorship”?

  19. martini henry

    Well Campbell Newman seemed competent as Opposition Leader. Little did we know …..

    But actually I thought Frecklington was doing OK and am surprised at the polling. Maybe it’s because she seems a little brittle and light on occasions. Her comments about Palaszczuk’s clothes were stupid.

    As to why the State ALP does much better than the Federal ALP – I’d say this is a very long term phenomenon. The structural argument would be that the State party is more tailored to local circumstances. I see it as a bit like Southern USA politics where up until recently, the region was solidly Republican at a national level but still elected moderate to conservative Democrats to State and local offices.

  20. I wonder if it the seat distribution.

    A lot of regional cities have multiple state seats returing labour but make up less then 1 federal seat.

  21. Yeah, the regional cities (towns) have traditionally been State Labor. In fact , the National Party’s gerrymander created a separate category for them, with lower weighting than pure country seats.

    If I was Labor I’d be worried about something similar to the collapse of UK Labour’s red wall. The local culture is pretty conservative socially and – in Central Queensland at least – mining oriented.

  22. Good point about the smaller state seats being more winnable for Labor because they’re more concentrated on the regional centres, although Labor’s actual vote is higher in Queensland state elections, not just its seat count.

    I wonder if it’s just because of the politics of immigration – which tends to be a big issue at federal elections but isn’t really a state issue. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there does seem to be more of anti-immigration sentiment in Queensland than in other states (although I’m not sure why). Similar thing with the “red wall” seats in the UK: from what I can tell, voters there mostly swung to the Conservatives because they were very pro-Brexit, and they were mostly pro-Brexit because they want to restrict immigration.

  23. I feel a renewed interest in the Bradfield Scheme (diverting eastward-flowing rivers inland) coming on. Freckles has already made reference to making it an LNP priority this year and the ALP would be silly not to ‘trump’ it in some way. After all, they have all the advantages on incumbency. Modern science and technology just may make the idea feasible – at least for the duration of an election campaign. For dreamers like me – and Bradfield, Rex Connor, Bob Katter and even Barnababy – it stirs our hearts to think about such nation-building schemes……but then again didn’t Beattie beat it up not long ago? Sexy Rexy (the strangler), now there was a real man….

  24. Perhaps a desal plant in the Gulf that enables us to water ski on Lake Eyre would suffice. And bugger the cost – just like extending The Ghan from Alice to Darwin. Build it and it’s there forever. Build it and development will come…. well, eventually. Tell me I’m dreamin’.

  25. “On balance, I still think the LNP is better placed to win the October election. Too many regional ALP seats that are at risk. However a split Parliament is a real possibility.”

    But you ignore the fact if Deb Frecklington is to win she needs to make inroads into Labor’s dominance in Brisbane. She is a rural LNP mp which has limited appeal in Urban seats as Lawerence Springborg found over three elections. Its possible she can make up those seats in the regions but not likely in my opinion without further gains in Brisbane. And she definitely can’t afford anymore losses in urban seats particularly in the LNP’s stronghold on the Gold Coast. If the LNP lose the Currumbin by-election (which I don’t think is likely) her leadership will be finished. Suggesting the LNP is ‘better placed to win” on the polling and Labor’s strength of incumbency is a bit presumptuous in my opinon.

  26. @Political Nightwatchman

    I dont think Frecklington is anywhere near as unappealing to urban areas as lawrence springborg was. The fact that she isnt male in this instance probably helps. Also, springborg was up against a labor party that held very large majorities – Palaszczuk’s majority is very thin and stands to lose her majority at any statewide swing against Labor. I just cannot see how Labor can possibly achieve anything greater than the 51.2% 2PP it won in 2017.

    Given that by-elections traditionally favour oppositions, and the fact that the government is on the nose (in no small part because of Trad) – makes it highly unrealistic that Labor can pick Currumbin up. Whilst there was some controversy about the LNP candidate, its old news already.

  27. I’m going to say something controversial.
    The best scenario for Australia as a whole in the next Queensland election is a minority LNP government propped up by One Nation (or a combination of One Nation + KAP), whether in a formal coalition or a confidence-and-supply agreement.
    The people of Queensland need to learn their lesson under their scenario before the next federal election, they need to experience what a government under these divisive, regressive parties really looks like. Some will never change their vote but there may be enough moderate, suburban voters who will switch their federal vote under these circumstances.

  28. When Joh abolished Death duties all those years ago, the rich moved to the Gold Coast in droves and many of their children and grandchildren are still there. L/NP there is well funded and wins practically every seat at every election no matter how it is performing.

    Brisbane and surrounds votes Labor and bore the brunt of Newman and Freckleton and for many its like it was yesterday. A local member buying a house that may go up in value in 10 years time won’t be a concern.

    QLD is interesting in that the member for Manilla and the allegedly unpopular Dutton were returned at the last election with an increased majority. Go figure.

    Federal Labor had by far the best policies in relation to infrastructure, employment and education for Regional Qld. Along came Hanson, said preference L/NP and the rest is history.

    If PHON polls 5% to 25% at State level, she will win seats and go into coalition with L/NP. Last time that happened, Pauline’s members engaged in fierce infighting and when the boss was put away her party imploded in under 2 years.
    Many Regional seats had around $B1 in infrastructure allocated to them if Federal Labor was elected. Pauline has never been back to apologise to electors and businesses who got nothing because of her. She should also understand that over $B70 in Corporate and super high income earner tax cuts did not ‘trickle down’ to any of her supporters. You can’t spend it twice.

    The Greens will have influence in Brisbane but they are unliked outside the Capital. If they stick to floods, fires, rainforest and the reef they may hold their vote. When you look back, many will feel they don’t get anything much of anything finished. You will be hammered in rural / regional QLD if you refer to coal unfavorable or mention emissions.

  29. So the Q Parliament has 93 seats of which the ALP has 48.

    There are 10 regional seats which the LNP or ON could plausibly win. These are in Central Queensland (4), Townsville (3) and Cairns (3). Some of these are better prospects than others and the ON/LNP split is uncertain .

    The ALP is unlikely to win any new seats elsewhere and may lose one or two in Brisbane.

    So it’s looking close at this stage

  30. @Historyintime

    I would argue that the only reason why Labor won Aspley in 2017 was because of cross river rail and the LNP’s failure to commit to it. With Trad having bought a home near a projected train station that was undesired by experts, i cant see them holding it.

  31. Icancu says:
    Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 12:36 am
    “Since Palaszfuk decided to lick Adani shoes QLD ALP goes last for me. The stupid cow is a climate emergency denier who rushed laws through to arrest extinction rebellion protesters warning of the pending climate disaster and now we have climate disasters she is as useless and clueless as the PM.”

    Don’t be an idiot. I’m a Greens voter, and share your frustration with Labor, but preferencing the Libs above ALP is stupid. At least put them 3rd last before ONP and LNP. Putting Greens before ALP is enough of a protest vote.

  32. Tibit in the Couier Mail suggests the LNP are leading in the internal polling in the Currmbin by-election but a source says not are all happy with Deb Frecklington’s performance in the LNP and some would like a change but its not going to happen unless they fall at the bye-election hurdle.

    “ANNASTACIA Palaszczuk and Deb Frecklington will lead their parties into the next state election. Take it to the bank. The die is cast.

    Despite appalling polling figures published at the weekend, neither woman will be challenged.

    An exasperated LNP source said Frecklington was “the hope of the side’’.

    “The obvious alternatives don’t have the numbers and we will go into the election with Deb, whether we like it or not,’’ the source said.

    The only way this would change is if the LNP lost the Currumbin by-election, although internal polling suggests the LNP is ahead, despite Labor throwing plenty of money at the seat.”

  33. Currumbin is arguably the most pro labor of the gold coast seats………. the sitting lnp mp had a personal vote I expect of 5% plus. So the extent of the swing to labor is an issue….. if none or negative this is a problem for Labor……. if a swing that is good ….. If the swing is enough for labor to win….. then wowwwwwwwwwww…………….. expect a minor swing to Labor.

  34. Queensland has always produced Labor heavyweights for the simple reason that they have been able to appeal to the ‘Queenslander’ factor: a degree of loyalty to the State/regions that outweighs national allegiance. Many influential Labor figures were from the regions. Yes this loyalty focus occurs across the political spectrum but Labor has well developed regional networks, excepting it seems in the coal seats. We forget that numerous socially progressive policies were introduced into Queensland well before the rest of Australia, e.g. free public hospitals (an initiative of the 1940s Labor governments). Queensland may be conservative but it’s not necessarily anti-Labor. Some friends were travelling back from the Gulf last year and commented that many of the medium sized towns had empty shops and offices. Why wouldn’t any half decent Labor Party want to support a jobs boost for those areas?

  35. A lot of people ruled out Dan the Man in Victoria and look what happened down there. Palaszczuk is doing a good job! South east QLD infrastructure is getting built. Schools, hospitals, roads, rail, M1 upgrade. She’ll hold on in Brisbane as well as parts of the Gold Coast, but she’s toast in rural and regional QLD. It’s a state split in 2: the metropolitan south east love her and the bush/rural/regional hate her. One Nation, Katter will win seats off of the LNP and Labor. Minority government looks on the cards with Labor winning more seats overall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *