YouGov: 52-48 to Labor in Queensland

Shortly ahead of the official start of the campaign for the October 31 election, an encouraging poll for Labor suggesting a decline in One Nation support is yielding an insufficient dividend for the LNP.

After a period in which we have only had sketchy reporting of sometimes dubious private polling, the Courier-Mail offers the first statewide poll of Queensland voting intention in two months, courtesy of YouGov (and while I’m on the subject, please note my recently published Queensland election guide, to which you will find a permanent link on the sidebar).

The result is somewhat at odds with some of the media narratives in showing Labor with a 52-48 lead, reversing the result of the last such poll in early June. Both major parties are on 37% of the primary vote, which is up five in Labor’s case and down one in the LNP’s, while the Greens are steady on 12%, One Nation is down three to 9% and Katter’s Australian Party is down one to 2%. The most recent state poll was a Newspoll in late July, conducted by YouGov but published by The Australian rather than a News Corp tabloid, which had the LNP ahead 51-49 from primary votes of Labor 34%, LNP 38%, Greens 12% and One Nation 11%.

Breakdowns are provided for Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine coasts combined, and regional Queensland:

• Labor leads 57-43 in Brisbane, a 1% swing to the LNP compared with the 2017 election, suggesting Labor may struggle to retain Aspley (1.2%) and Mansfield (1.6%). The primary votes are Labor 42% (43% in 2017), LNP 34% (31%), Greens 16% (13%) and One Nation 6% (9%).

• The LNP leads 54-46 on the coasts, a 3% swing to Labor, enough to net Labor Bonney (1.7%) on the Gold Coast and put the LNP under pressure in Currumbin on the Gold Coast (3.3%) and Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast (3.4%), and perhaps also Pumicestone (0.8%) which straddles the Sunshine Coast and outer metropolitan Brisbane. The primary votes of Labor 33% (27%), the LNP 46% (43%), Greens 12% (11%) and One Nation 7% (12%).

• The LNP leads 53-47 in the regions, a 1% swing in their favour – and while regional results are prone to be variable, this would bring Labor-held Mundingburra (1.1%) in Townsville down to the wire if uniform. The primary votes are Labor 32% (30%), LNP 35% (31%), Greens 7% (5%), One Nation 14% (21%) and Katter’s Australian Party 7% (8%).

On leaders’ ratings, Annastacia Palaszczuk is at 57% approval (up eight from the last YouGov, but down six on a Newspoll result a fortnight ago) and 27% disapproval (down six on both YouGov and Newspoll), while LNP leader Deb Frecklington is at 29% approval (up three on the June YouGov poll) and 32% disapproval (down three), indicating an unusually high uncommitted rating even for a state Opposition Leader. Palaszczuk holds a 48-22 lead as preferred premier, out from 44-23 in the June YouGov poll.

The poll has an unusually large sample size of 2000 – big enough to produce credible sub-samples for the regional breakdowns – as well as an unusually long field work period, running from Thursday, September 24 to Thursday, October 1.

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.

45 comments on “YouGov: 52-48 to Labor in Queensland”

  1. The preference decision from LNP to place LABOR last in every Queensland seat has the potential to backfire on them especially in Brisbane and in South East Queensland.

  2. “Labor leads 57-43 in Brisbane, a 1% swing to the LNP compared with the 2017 election, suggesting Labor may struggle to retain Aspley (1.2%) and Mansfield (1.6%)”

    Yet when I click on the link for Aspley it says it’s in far north QLD (?)

  3. The YouGov preference allocation is stated to be based on the previous election.
    However it appears that a large section of the LNP friendly ON voters have decamped to become LNP primaries so there may be a more ALP friendly cohort left.
    Also I seem to recall that Labor had a lower than usual share of Greens preferences in 2017. I think Frecklington is a less Green friendly LNP leader than Nicholls so Labor may well do better out of the Greens this timely.
    Don’t be surprised if Labor overperforms the 2PP in this poll.

  4. This backs my sentiment that Labor may just hold on in Queensland. This isn’t a glowing endorsement for the Labor leader but more an inditement against the opposition leader.

  5. Game on!

    Much better poll for the ALP than recent seat polling, especially in the regions.

    However, I still think the ALP is going to lose several seats in the regions, including the 3 Townsville seats, and possibly Barron River, Keppel and Maryborough. Conversely, the ALP may win some seats in the GC and Northern Brisbane fringe/Caloundra to even up. Maybe even Clayfield in Brisbane.

    But then a loss of South Brisbane and possibly McConnel to the Greens.

    Net result, hard to pick. It does seem that the LNP can win its regional targets easier than the ALP can win SEQ seats.

    Regardless, most people seem to think the ALP will form the next government.

  6. Who would Labor lose Maryborough to? One Nation, who are apparently collapsing, or the LNP, who got 18% last time? Libs are better at directing their preferences than ON, so if they manage to come second they actually make things better for Labor. Similar deal in Keppel.

    Thuringowa’s interesting. Last time it was ALP 32, LNP 21, ON 20, KAP 16 (roughly). If One Nation lose a big chunk of their vote, they’ll come fourth, but their preferences could help push KAP ahead of LNP, who can then win from third place, similar to Hinchinbrook 2017.

    Barron River should be fine if the Greens and Labor are both doing well regionally – it’s probably the best Greens seat north of the Sunshine Coast.

    Burdekin is still one to watch as well, with the ex-LNP MP, ex-ON candidate now running for KAP. The Katter empire could expand to five if they get lucky.

  7. There are 5 must watch seats – Barron River Townsville Aspley Mansfield and Currumbin which will tell me who will win because if either party can win 4 or 5 of them then that party will probably go on to win.

  8. Everyone seems to be assuming Labor are gonna get owned in Townsville, for being insufficiently TUFF ON CRIME (ie: Aboriginals). The Libs tried that one in Victoria two years ago (the “African gangs” who supposedly maraud suburban Melbourne), and it was them who got thumped. I know Townsville ain’t like Melbourne, but I don’t reckon those three seats are the walk-up gimme for the LNP that people seem to think.

  9. What strikes me about this poll is just how poorly One Nation are going. They seem to be tanking everywhere, even in the regions. Means we can probably expect Pauline to pull one of her stupid stunts soon in a desperate bid to get attention.

  10. Firefox
    Ashby-Hanson may not be able to “pull one of her stupid stunts” she has just about expelled her whole work force.” No doubt some of her Qld executive will be less than enthusiastic having just had the garbage thrown over them for losing $1/2 Million on investments. Even though she micro
    Manages everything the loss of half a million was all the fault of executive.

    Hanson spends a lot of time berating social security receipients but has lived off the public purse since her win in Oxley in 2007?.

    The Libs decision to preference Ashby-Hanson and Greens ahead of ALP will come back to bite their ideological supporters

    An ALP government dependent on Greens will be far worse than one dependent only on ALP members.

    Only party that can work with ALP or LNP without dragging either of them towards the extremities of their party philosophy is Katter’s Australian Party. KAP will moderate the left wing tendencies of ALP and neo- liberal privatisation lunacy of LNP..

    Katter’s decision to preference One Nation ahead of Liberals is just as irresponsible.

    I have offered my support to one Katter candidate with a clear message that if the How to Vote favours Ashby-Hanson no support will be given.

    In this election I have no choice but to vote for my local ALP member Chris Whiting something I have never previously done before

    LNP has been a disaster for financial base of Queensland. It has resulted in National members becoming obedient running dogs of a Liberal Chairman.
    How would Joh have reacted to a party leader who is happier running around with Inner city types than farmers?

    Something tells me he would be reforming a rural based Country Party.

  11. We just don’t know…….. I still think a lnp majority government is the least likely result…….. if the lnp governs in minority it would be unstable. If votes are as split as last time….. then even if not a single vote changes from 2017 we could well get a different result to last time.

  12. Labor will probably hold government with support from the greens or the independant.

    Unless Labor do something really stupid I cannot see any way the LNP could win the required number of seats to hold government in their own right.

    I will also add that Palaszczuk must be the luckiest politician that ever lived. Got her seat in parliament because of her father. Got the job of opposition leader because Labor were decimated. Got to be premier because the LNP went full stupid when they won power. Now will retain government and be the longest serving Labor premier for decades because of a virus.

  13. And next week the papers latest polls will say LNP now coming back or something similar to get more stories out of it and to sell more papers.

    Just wait for the next seat by seat polling that has a couple of high profile MP’s on the ropes in their seats too.

  14. Very interesting to see ALP in front in a Courier Mail poll after trailing in the last few. The CM generally twists everything into an anti ALP denunciation and it’s hard to trust anything generated by them such is the opinionated hard right slant. My gut feeling was that Labor had its nose in front even before their world’s best response to the pandemic. I think the LNPs attempt to install a new leader was a bit of a giveaway. I wonder if the still recent Cando Newman/LNP debacle remains a difficult to dislodge memory to many?

  15. The Gold Coast seats will determine who wins. Labor are strongly targeting Bonney, Coomera, Theodore, Currumbin, Gaven (Hold) and Burleigh. There’s more than a 50/50 chance in quite a few of them.

  16. Drop in Hanson vote is no surprise to me. A high proportion of her supporters seem to be older folk of largely British / Celtic ancestry – and these are, based on my unscientific observation, amongst the most supportive of our closed border policy – which Ms Hanson constantly criticised and wanted to challenge in court.

    Some folk have perhaps also finally woken up to the fact that neither she nor her hangers on have actually achieved anything in 24 years of grandstanding.

    I expect the Katter party to pick up seats (or go close to doing so) around Townsville, to add to the three they already have in NQ. A fall in the ON vote may help them if they can pick up the lions share. Not convinced that it will be the LNP that wins any seats up there off ALP – but may not make much difference if KAP supports LNP to form Gov’t.

  17. To Mike (from previous Qld thread)

    “@fargo61 The irony here is with South Brisbane is ALP voted to move back to compulsory preferencing for the exact reason to increase the flow of greens preferences to them. This is now highly likely to backfire and push LNP preferencing to the Greens to take out at least one if not two ALP scalps in Trad and Grace.

    Also I think ALP will hold Mansfield. LNP is struggling to cut through in the Brisbane seats.”

    Hi Mike – Yes I agree with you about the compulsory preferential voting, I thought it was a stupid shortsighted idea at the time and have no reason to change my opinion. LNP don’t really have to cut through much to win Mansfield – but I hope you are right.

  18. Can anyone explain why the Brisbane area in state electorates is heavily Labor.

    Yet the Brisbane City Council has been held by the liberals for what seems like decades.

    Is it a case of people in Brisbane just never want change to happen? Whoever is their representative, they just continue to vote for them no matter what.

    I find it odd that people who continue to vote Labor in one government, then continue to vote Liberal in a different government. Having read many comments in newspapers, one gets the impression that voters who always vote for one party, always vote for that party across all government’s. Yet this must not be the case in Brisbane. Which makes me wonder are they scared of change?

  19. Josh Frythebudget has pulled out an eye watering $213 billion deficit.

    That is 5 times bigger, needs repeating – FIVE TIMES BIGGER THAN ANYTHING THE ALP HAS PRODUCED! And net debt projected out to a risable $996 billion with gross debt out to a ginormous $1.7 trillion of your taxpayers dollars.

    No wonder Josh sounded like an undertaker who’d lost the body on the way to the cemetery. He has locked in the title of Worst Treasurer Ever *

    * title bestowed based on the size of Debt and Deficit disaster.

    Pandemics may come and go, but these whopping records will be Josh’s epitaph

  20. Paul @ #22 Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 – 7:42 pm

    Can anyone explain why the Brisbane area in state electorates is heavily Labor.

    Yet the Brisbane City Council has been held by the liberals for what seems like decades.

    Is it a case of people in Brisbane just never want change to happen? Whoever is their representative, they just continue to vote for them no matter what.

    I find it odd that people who continue to vote Labor in one government, then continue to vote Liberal in a different government. Having read many comments in newspapers, one gets the impression that voters who always vote for one party, always vote for that party across all government’s. Yet this must not be the case in Brisbane. Which makes me wonder are they scared of change?

    Because the Lord Mayor is elected at large rather than by the winning party, there is not a prominent opposition leader. Labor does have a leader in the Council but holders of that office have not been willing to trade the certainty of a safe ward councillors seat for the uncertainty of competing for Lord Mayor.

    The LNP has normally chosen a “safe” Lord Mayor who doesn’t ruffle feathers too much (Campbell Newman was the exception that proved this rule). Also the LNP moderate faction pretty much has a lock on the Council positions. They eve accept the reality of climate change and have reasonable environmental policies.

    Having said that we have had long periods of Labor councils in the past, notably under Clem Jones and Jim Soorley, so the same factors help to entrench Labor when we do get in.

  21. Brisbane voters like Brisbane just the way it is. A lot of tension between every level of government ensures that just about nothing ever happens.

  22. “In a major fillip for Labor’s re-election campaign, The Courier-Mail’s exclusive YouGov Poll has revealed Ms Palaszczuk’s dominance on the critical question of the economy extends to every region across the state.”

    “The poll of more than 2000 voters, one of the largest weighted surveys ever undertaken in Queensland, comes as the economy is expected to dominate the election debate and after both leaders claimed they would not “do a deal” to gain minority government.”

    “Conducted last week, the results show 40 per cent of respondents believe Ms Palaszczuk’s Government would do a better managing the economy and creating jobs compared to 27 per cent for the LNP. ”

    “Backing of Labor on the economy was strongest in the Greater Brisbane area at 43 per cent and weakest in regional Queensland at 38 per cent however one in three voters overall either didn’t know or believed the major parties were much the same.”

  23. @Paul. Qld voters also tend to separate the levels of government and will vote differently. Take for example the Brisbane council ward of Jamboree which is safe LNP by about 10%+ and the same area at Federal votes solid LNP 5%+. The state seat of Mt Ommaney is reasonably solid ALP and sits around 5%+ to them.

    A couple of commentators are also right that LNP in council is very soft right and it could be said would make excellent members of the ALP right faction which makes it very hard with the additional structural difficulties to cut through.

  24. The strength of the Nationals in state politics also moves Brisbane towards Labor at the state level. We would never vote for the Borg but once we had a chance to elect Campbell Newman, a real Liberal from Brisbane, almost the whole city was willing to give him a shot! (what happened after that of course is another story)

    Beattie and Bligh had a great run. Not only was One Nation splitting the vote, but there was a lot of confusion on which of the Nats (the biggest party in opposition) or the Libs (who would be making big gains to take power) would actually be in charge if they won government.

  25. I do think that if the LNP had a competent moderate Liberal as leader it should win most times in the modern Queensland. Of course, that’s how Campbell Newman presented himself in 2012. Tim Nicholls, was a social moderate but an economic hard liner.

  26. All government’s have a problem in Queensland where you have such a large population centered in one tiny area. Remember most people suffer from small town syndrome, even those that think they are “progressive” as such they think their view of the world is right and just.

    What Queensland needs is to cut the number of current MP’s by 50%, then create a senate made up of 35 elected members, all elected from some formula that takes power away from highly populated areas and distributes it elsewhere.

    That way any elected government has to govern for the whole state rather then just their supporters.

    Unfortunately the Bjelke Peterson government passed a law denying the ability of government to create a senate unless there is a referendum. One of the very few things a Queensland government can not do. The Queensland government’s powers is so unrestricted it is scary.

  27. You think so Paul? Maybe the problem is a small population spread out over a massive area, and what we really need is 35 members representing a couple streets each in the CBD and West End.

  28. Yes I do think so.

    Queensland governments are full on dictators when they get into government because they have absolute power to pass laws with nothing to balance that power. From Bjelke-Peterson to Palaszczuk, they end up all the same. Those latest laws by Palaszczuk to jail journalists for reporting corruption would have gone full steam ahead had there not been an election in a months time. But she did pass laws banning donations from some specific groups, that certainly were done just to hurt one particular political party. Look at the see-saw of preferential voting. One year it is voluntary, the next it is optional. All depends on whether the ruling party thinks it works in their favour.

    It has been proven that while much good has the potential to be done, reality is that seldom happens as power goes to their heads. Minority groups get stomped on. Laws that are solely politically motivated get passed.

    There has to be balance bought back into the system.

  29. Labor is naturally the party of government in state politics in Queensland. I know in the Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen era the Nats/Libs were in power for 32 years. However, people tend to forget Labor dominated state politics for 40 years in Queensland previously where conservatives spent only one term of government during that period.

    Bjelke-Petersen dominated because of Queensland’s love of long-term state governments and also he had a weak opposition during that period.

    Its almost a carbon copy now with Labor been in power for most of the last 30 years. However, that is where the comparison ends as Labor wasn’t corrupt like Bjelke-Petersen government was.

    I will say though the LNP blew it under Campbell Newman with their massive majority. Their time in government has made voters wary of giving them another shot. And giving them a reason to go with what there used to with a Labor state government. It also harmed the succession plan, in terms of leadership. Deb Frecklington was a junior minster in Newman’s government and now she is leader of the opposition. The move was quicker then it should have been, and she should be a senior minster that has done a couple of terms as a minister by now.

  30. So you disagree with the federal senate? It is not made up of one vote one value. In fact Tasmania with 540 000 people has the same number of representatives in the senate as NSW with 8 000 000.

    Do you think when John Howard passed workchoices it was a fantastic piece of legislation and that we should get rid of the federal senate, so the sitting government can pass more pieces of great legislation.

    I have seen successive Queensland government’s pass atrocious legislation that remove core rights. I have seen the old National party remove the right to protest. I have seen Labor governments remove the right to remain silent. I have seen the government of the day change the electoral system to their advantage. I have seen the government stomp on a minority group that does not vote for them to make them look good to other voters. All because they can do that with no oversight.

  31. The post 1949/51 Senate with proportional representation has proved a more often than not useful check on government power, particularly since the Democrats came along, something that has subsequently been replicated is the other 4 mainland Legislative Councils. Before the introduction of proportional representation the Senate was either a pro-government rubber stamp or and anti-government rubber stamp controlled by the opposition where there was no crossbench and an usually very small non-majority contingent. A proportional Legislative Council would serve Queensland well.

    The malapportionment in the Senate has not, apart from insuring the quota in the smaller state was not undersized, has not been a major contributor of value in the Senate. I also note that Australia`s states, being far more balanced in size and demographic composition than the USA`s, has no particular rural weighting, unlike you are proposing and WA has.

  32. I have seen successive Queensland government’s pass atrocious legislation that remove core rights. I have seen the old National party remove the right to protest. I have seen Labor governments remove the right to remain silent. I have seen the government of the day change the electoral system to their advantage. I have seen the government stomp on a minority group that does not vote for them to make them look good to other voters. All because they can do that with no oversight.

    This is an argument for proportional representation, not “taking power away from highly populated areas and distributing it elsewhere”.

  33. I was going to write a whole bunch of stuff but yes, there’s a difference between a proportionally-elected house of review and an Americanesque oligarchy massively overprivileging right-wing demographics and their right-wing politicians. I mean the idea that regional Queensland is screaming out for a review of CCC powers to compel testimony is just absurd.

    And yes the Australian Senate is similarly awful in design if not in sheer scope.

  34. Welcome to 2020 where the left wing party is championing hard borders with little to no sympathy while the right wants free borders.

    I think that the next week or two will be the decider regardless of the current polls. It really is Labor’s to lose but some of their lines are starting to fray- just a question of whether they can stop it unraveling on them.

  35. The lack of polling is pitiful. Presumably there will be another big YouGov exercise in the last week but until then? Maybe there will be some seat polls.

    I thought the first week of the campaign was Labor’s in that they made no big mistakes and no particularly contentious new issues were raised. And I see that the betting market has now adjusted to about a 60% Labor win probability. But the seats market, at least the SportsBet one still seems to imply an LNP minority government.

  36. Labor had a few glitches in the past few days though. The border still raised it’s head with some wealthy person waved through while a person recovering from brain surgery told to go straight to a government hotel and then told to take a taxi to any doctors appointment.

    Steven Miles bleating is not helping. Whilst I admit to being biased, I think Labor probably got their message through earlier on, but Morrison turning up may have given the LNP an assistance the last couple of days if only because it takes the media away from Palaszczuk.

    Getting air time is probably the single most important thing. It is why Palaszczuk is so popular, despite overall mediocre performance which if they can continue to sweep it under the rug, they will probably win.

    As of now, I do expect a hung parliament, which could be scary if it is a Labor/Greens coalition (due to our fiscal position, now is not the time to march off into fairy land beliefs). I do not believe any of them when they say they will not do deals. They all will do anything to form government. LNP/Katter party might be fine.

  37. Dodgy Debs developer dinner is now going to be the end of her, as well as Alan Jones’s take down of her over the New Acland Mine stage 3 on Sky News. My prediction is a comfortable Labor majority government.

  38. So Sportsbet now has the ALP into $1.50 favourite. Curiously, however, the seats market has the ALP losing five seats – Barron River, Townsville, Keppel, McConnell and South Brisbane and gaining one seat – Pumicestone . The first three to the LNP and the other two to the Greens.

    This would be a result of ALP 44 seats, Greens 3, independent 1, LNP 41, KAP 3, ON 1. Presumably, an ALP minority government.

    However, I guess the popular assumption is that the ALP will win some other seats beyond Pumicestone, either on the Gold Coast or Glass House/Caloundra.

    I’m not willing to call this yet, but to me it’s looking like a very familiar story, the LNP well placed to win on the seats but just not presenting as a credible alternative government.

  39. Those gambling odds would be who forms government. They are predicting Labor to form government after doing a deal probably with the greens to secure guarantee of supply. It is not like the Greens would ever support the LNP, so it is a given they will support Labor, but it would not be without wanting some of their aspirations attended to. So maybe, farmers stomped on through vegetation/reef laws again. Coal mines stomped on and no doubt some social freebies for inner Brisbane.

    After the last federal election and the new news of Queensland having the worst unemployment rate in the country, who knows what will happen. Does not seem to be any new polls, especially with voting starting within a few days.

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