Roy Morgan yesterday published an SMS poll crediting Labor with a 51-49 lead ahead of next Saturday’s Queensland election, from primary votes of Labor 36%, LNP 35%, One Nation 12%, Greens 10% and Katter’s Australian Party 2.5%. The poll was conducted Monday to Thursday last week from a sample of 1187.
• Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party has run double page advertisements attacking Labor each day in the Courier-Mail since Sunday, with a half devoted to the government’s “policy-motivated stance” (apparently a bad thing) on COVID-19 and the other to a made-up claim about a Labor plot to introduce a death tax. The Roy Morgan poll had support for the party in statistically significant territory, at less than 0.5%.
• The campaign has been all about north Queensland this week, and in particular about the future of the Bruce Highway. The LNP signature election promise is a $200 million contribution to a dual carriageway from Gympie to Cairns, to which Labor has responded this week by building an alternative route further inland for heavy vehicles. Labor has been mocking the LNP for relying on an $800 million contribution from the federal government, but its own policies encounter much the same issue.
• Also in north Queensland, three Labor candidates have been disseminating campaign material imploring voters to “put the LNP last”, at odds with the party’s official position that that honour should go to One Nation, and with Labor’s attacks on the LNP for favouring both One Nation and Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party ahead of Labor on its how-to-vote cards. These include incumbents Craig Crawford in Barron River and Brittany Lauga in Keppel, along with Mike Brunker in Burdekin, which the LNP holds on a margin of 0.8%.
• Deb Frecklington yesterday targeted (white) voters in Townsville and Cairns by proposing curfews on children in the two cities, with parents potentially to receive $250 fines if it is broken. All three of Townsville’s seats are held by Labor on tight margins (Townsville by 0.4%, Mundingburra by 1.1% and Thuringowa by 4.1%), as are two of the three seats that cover Cairns (Cairns by 3.3% and Barron River by 1.8%). Townsville in particular is suffering a confluence of high crime and unemployment, as noted in a report in The Australian. While the notion of a curfew evidently has support locally, it has been criticised not just by indigenous and human rights groups, but also by some local police and Katter’s Australian Party, with Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto questioning the need for a “police special ops team just to look after stray kids”.
• A “Labor insider” quoted in the Courier-Mail says the party is “not ahead in all the seats we have”, but it hopes to compensate for any losses by poaching Pumicestone, Currumbin, Coomera and Caloundra from the LNP. Both sides are said to be feeling confident about Aspley.
• The Australian reports the Electoral Commission of Queensland expects 1.5 million out of a total of around 3 million votes to be cast as pre-polls. This comes after around 120,000 such votes were cast when voting opened on Monday, compared with an equivalent figure of 29,000 in 2017, with a further 140,000 voting on Tuesday.