Queensland election minus two days

Polls and betting markets appear to be breaking in Annastacia Palaszczuk’s favour, although Labor remains nervous about its brace of marginal seats in north Queensland.

Two days out from an election that is in a sense already half over, the rate of pre-polling and postal voting being what it is:

• Hot on the heels of similar polling from New South Wales and Victoria, the Financial Review yesterday published results of a voting intention-free poll from Ipsos. The most striking finding is that “half” believe Annastacia Palaszczuk would do a better job on the economy compared with 26% for LNP leader Deb Frecklington, a question on which conservatives traditionally have the edge. Sixty-five per cent of respondents took a positive view of Palaszczuk’s handling of coronavirus, including 38% very satisfied, with “only one in five” dissatisfied. The poll also found 40% support and 30% opposition to Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, with support at 45% in regional Queensland and 35% in “the cities”, which I take to mean the south-east. The poll was conducted last Wednesday to Friday from a sample of 1003.

• There is increasing talk about the prospects of independent Claire Richardson is the southern bayside seat of Oodgeroo, which Mark Robinson holds for the LNP on a margin of 7.2% over Labor. Richardson is the owner of a local engineering consultancy, and narrowly failed to unseat LNP incumbent in the Redlands mayoral election in March. A “senior LNP strategist” quoted in The Australian yesterday went so far as to say that Robinson would win the seat.

• Writing in Crikey earlier this week, Madonna King reported a view among Labor strategists that coronavirus had secured them the “grey vote”, reflecting a dynamic that appears to be playing out in the United States. This is reflected in Labor’s hopes of snaring LNP-held seats on Gold Coast (Bonney, Currumbin and Burleigh, in ascending order of margin) and Sunshine Coast (Caloundra and Glass House).

• On a less optimistic note for Labor, Annastacia Palaszczuk visited Mackay on Tuesday, where the LNP is talking up its chances despite an 8.3% margin and its long record as a Labor stronghold. An LNP source quoted in the Courier-Mail claimed support for Labor was “tanking in the regions”.

• The first of two leaders debates was held last night, with the other to follow tomorrow, with 53% of the hand-picked audience of 47 undecided voters saying the debate had made them more likely to vote Labor compared with 30% for the LNP, which I guess means 25 to 14. However, it would appear 23 of those selected to attend failed to show up on a night of inclement weather, thereby serving as a proxy for the nearly half of Queensland voters who are in no position to be influenced by the debate since they have voted already.

Kevin Bonham reviews the betting markets so I don’t have to: “Labor favourite in 44 seats, LNP 39, KAP 3, GRN 3, ONP 1, IND 1. One ALP/LNP tie, one LNP/KAP tie. Only 6 seats (inc Whitsunday) with incumbent not favourite. IND almost favourite in Oodgeroo“. I have a notion that things might have shifted further in Labor’s favour in the two days since that was written, as Sportsbet is offering just $1.25 on Labor to form government compared with $3.75 for the LNP, whereas not that long ago the markets gave the LNP the edge.

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.

94 comments on “Queensland election minus two days”

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  1. If Labor pick up Coomera which is the LNP’s 10th most marginal electorate then you’d have to assume that they’ll pick up a sleuth of other seats before it as well. Anyone banking on a hung parliament is in absolute denial. IT WON’T HAPPEN! Glass House, Currumbin, Caloundra, Chatsworth, Clayfield, Bonney, Pumicestone all have margins below Coomera in the South East. If there’s a swing on, which there is, those seats are in play too.

  2. @M. It is interesting mate but I don’t think it is a uniform swing at all. I think some local issues are coming into play. One ALP member for example who I know well expects they will still win their seat but their margin will be eaten in to and potentially drop 5%. This is offset by another who believes their margin will increase by 5%- both in the South-East corner.

    I do lament the fact that the LNP seems to be lurching towards the right and fundamentalists at state and federal levels. The LNP moderates seem to be all stuck in Brisbane Council where they present a moderate platform that is to me, far more reflective of Modern Australian values than most sitting governments- don’t get me wrong, they are certainly not perfect by any means but are a on a definite positive direction.

    I do hope some of the punters here are correct about some of the LNP losses and some of the deadwood/fundamentalist group are banished by the voters on Saturday to allow next time round some candidates who are more moderate.

    Ultimately, think the ALP will win tomorrow with 50 seats in the next parliament.

    I will even be so bold to predict 2024 ALP loss with 30-35 seats in parliament.

  3. Queensland election: party insiders say minority government is increasingly likely

    The likelihood of a minority government in Queensland has increased significantly since the start of the state election campaign, analysts say, as both major parties find themselves with narrowing paths to an outright victory.

    For the past four weeks, the Queensland campaign has played out as if occurring in two separate states – Labor and the Liberal National party have crafted separate messages for the urban south-east compared with the rest of Queensland.

    Party sources also say they expect wildly different results in different seats on Saturday night, including swings in both directions, and gains for minor parties and independents.


  4. Why a coalition between Queensland Labor and the Greens would work

    The Queensland Election, to be held on Saturday, has raised again the long-standing problem of how Labor and the Greens should deal with each other.

    It seems quite likely that Labor will lose at least one seat (that of South Brisbane, currently held by Jackie Trad) to the Greens, with the neighbouring seat of McConnel also a possibility. In the plausible case where neither major party wins a majority of seats, Labor’s only chance of forming a government would depend on support from the Greens.

    Before considering how this might work, it’s worth observing that the horror with which mainstream journalists refer to a ‘hung Parliament’ has no basis in reality. The term is adapted from a “hung jury” — one which is unable to reach a verdict, either guilty or not guilty. However, Australia has ample experience, at both state and federal levels, of parliaments which have functioned quite effectively despite the absence of a (lower house) government majority.

    At present, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has stated that she will not do a deal with the Greens, asserting that “minority governments don’t work”. This is an odd claim, coming from someone who led a minority government, generally regarded as successful, between 2015 and 2017. Interestingly, her father Henry also served as a Minister for Primary Industries in Peter Beattie’s minority government between 1998 and 2001.

    It’s safe to predict that, should the numbers permit Labor to form government only with Greens support, Palaszczuk’s apparently resolute rejection of co-operation will be forgotten, or reinterpreted to make an arrangement possible. A variety of such arrangements has been tried, with varying degrees of success.


  5. Mike you may well be right, Governments do run out of steam and if this one is close it’s hard to see the government winning again in four years. But who knows? For the LNP to win they will need to appeal to Brisbane voters. You are right about the council but the responsibilities of council leave little room for the ideological malarkey the LNP are known for. Cando was a good example of someone who seemed reasonable yet turned into a madcap when in power. The LNP struggles to bridge the city/ country, Born again Christian/ secular gulf that exists in Qld due to its size and spread of population far from the capital.Labor has its Brisbane stronghold it’s regional city bases and even is capable of occasionally bagging some GC seats if it captures the populist mood on an issue.Beattie did it and Annastacia might as well, if Ms inside knowledge bears fruit.anyway I think the LNP needs to revert to separate entities in a coalition as most city people think it’s just the national party with moderates persecuted ( see Jan Stuckey) and born again looney toons in charge.

  6. Noticed a particular demographic at Burleigh pre-poll yesterday, in significant numbers – well-to-do, male surfie-types in their 30s and 40s -making a beeline for Rabbit Bartholomew to grab their how to vote card. One of the harder demographics for Labor traditionally, especially on the coast. When you combine this with the swing towards Labor in the March Currumbin by-election and what’s essentially been a train-wreck campaign for Frecklington, the coast definitely the place to watch tomorrow night

  7. Very impressed with Claire Richardson’s forthright transparency in Oodgeroo in respect of areas such as the proposed VAD provisions and reproductive rights. In marked contrast to our local LNP candidate, who has muted her previously documented views given that a considerable majority of adults support the ALP position on both. I am so tired of the religious right hiding their agenda. Can’t stand Van Gend but will grant at least that he’d put his opinions out there in plain sight before standing for pre-selection in Groom.

  8. I think the LNP needs to revert to separate entities in a coalition as most city people think it’s just the national party with moderates persecuted

    I’ve had the same thought. The “N” in the LNP are very apparent. I was also struck by the fundamental Christian Drs. My local guy (Moggill) and the Oodgeroo guy.

  9. Someone pointed out in another forum I frequent that the Oodgeroo incumbent’s Doctorate was apparently in regard to Pentecostalism. Which might explain his passive flick-pass of the Toondah issue to “the scientists”, as he clearly doesn’t identify as one at this point.

    A PhD is conferred as much for general rigor and scholarship capacity as it is in respect to advancing the specific topic in hand, and I certainly don’t mean to imply that the skill set it implies doesn’t usefully generalize to other executive tasks (some of the best Ministerial work happens in policy areas far removed from their original qualifications), but this one is interesting in the circumstances.

  10. For all those people going on about the “religious right”

    Why do you think palaszczuk refused to have a euthanasia vote? She certainly lied about the reason she gave as she contradicted herself this campaign.

    She cancelled the vote because she was behind in the polls and the issue would have torn the party to bits from infighting and bullying.

    The abortion vote certainly was not a conscience vote by both parties. It was nearly split down party lines. That is not what you should get in conscience votes. Both parties are chock a block full of infighting and bullying. However when in government you can hide it better as most people put their position of power above their personal beliefs. That is until you get too many members of your own party in government. You watch Jacinda Adern have trouble keeping the members in line with such a huge majority. They will all expect something.

    As for a Labor Greens type coalition for a minority Labor government. The two industries Queensland needs right now as they are coronavirus resistant in an economic sense, beef production, sugar production and coal mining, the greens want to essentially shut down for environmental reasons.

    Palaszczuk has shown she will do anything and sacrifice anyone to win government. Why take the risk by voting Labor.

  11. Someone pointed out in another forum I frequent that the Oodgeroo incumbent’s Doctorate was apparently in regard to Pentecostalism.

    Makes sense then. But unless you’re an academic keeping a Dr prefix for a PhD is something you grow out of. Thanks for the info.

  12. Paul:

    The abortion vote certainly was not a conscience vote by both parties. It was nearly split down party lines. That is not what you should get in conscience votes. Both parties are chock a block full of infighting and bullying.

    Do you really think it’s unusual that the majority of parliamentarians in a centre-left party in 2018 would be voting to decriminalize abortion? If someone is still pro-life in this day and age, they probably aren’t going to be a running for office as a member of the Labor party.

    And even if some MPs did vote against their own personal beliefs here, I daresay their decision would have been influenced far more by electoral considerations – ie. not pissing off the base – than any pressure put onto them by the party.

  13. Its becoming the narrative that ALP will be smashed in NQ and Far Q and is hoping to God it can pick up a few in SEQ and not lose seats like Mansfield and Aspley. What if this NQ holocaust does not eventuate? And if ALP doesn’t get to 47 only One Nation is certain to back the LNP.Katters seat was Labor for a long time and both these guys were against candoes anti unionism and mass sackings and would often be at our anti Candoe union protests. Throw in the greens and a couple of moderate independents and ALP minority looks more likely than LNP. Still think logically though ALP will win a majority as we are still in the midst of this pandemic so who would vote for more uncertainty.

  14. While I’d love to be able to share M’s boundless confidence, I think declaring any election over before the votes have been counted is the height of folly. Don’t forget May 2019. Or November 2016. Or January 2015. Or the gold standard way back in 1993. It ain’t over until it’s over.

    Its very difficult to get an accurate read of the public mood from polling booths. You’re in one small section of an electorate (or multiple small sections of various neighboring elections, at most), generally for only part of the time the booths are open, interacting with people who – by and large – don’t give away much in regards to their voting intentions. For every person who wears their political stripes on their sleeves, making a bee-line to grab HTVs from a particular volunteer and/or obviously enthusiastic or enraged about a particular party, there’s fifty more who happily take every card, or politely refuse any material, or pointedly pretend noone at the booth even exists. The regional divide is very real in Queensland – the mood in Brissy and the Gold Coast is unlikely to reflect that of Townsville or Mackay or Cairns, and vice versa. Then you’ve got all the wildcards like postals, turn-out, and where the undecideds break.

    Me, I’m feeling pretty good about Saturday. Another slim majority, with some gains in the south-east making up for losses in the north, seems the most likely outcome to me. But a Labor landslide, a hung parliament, or an LNP upset certainly aren’t out of the question either. Between the Covid factor, the Murdoch press’ usual bastardry, Clive’s lies, Frecklington’s hopelessness, what’s looking like a pretty uneven swing, and the real possibility of another systematic polling fail (this is their first real test since the Federal election), things could easily fall a number of different ways on the night.

  15. very hard to tell… but supposed 51/49 or 52/48 suggests alp win out right or a slight minority. It is suspected labor will lose seats in nth qld but unclear which . and how many…………….. Hervey Bay a possible due to large retired population. Don’t think labor will win Brisbane seats from the lnp. Gold Coast….. possible alp wins in the most labor friendly parts… Coomera , Theodore, Currumbin, Bonney ……. Pumicstone also possible win. Now possible may not eventuate…. who knows…… but Labor would be unlucky to win at least a couple. Also possible lnp…. lose Oodgeroo and labor lose south Brisbane

  16. I’ve two issues with polls. The first is their reliability. The second is publicly accepting them, specially if you are seen to be bragging. You’ll as likely get punished for the brag.

  17. Labor launched a massive rearguard action a week back to shore up the Townsville seats, and agree PrincePlanet it’s not a foregone conclusion up there for an ALP wipeout. Extremely tough, yes, bot not hopeless

  18. Is it me, or do QLD premiers always come across as having a lot more bluster, even hubris, particularly of a parochial ‘QLD nationalism’ type?

    Its always annoyed me, like for example Bligh’s teary “we are Queenslanders!” speech.

    Something tells me that a minority government is just the remedy that is needed to help stamp this culture out.

  19. Firefoxsays:
    Friday, October 30, 2020 at 8:41 am
    Why a coalition between Queensland Labor and the Greens would work



    The article uses evidence of Peter Wellington and the ACT government as minority governments can work. Wellington was the most pragmatic independent in the history of Queensland parliament. He didn’t have huge demands and pork barreling promises to secure his vote which is likely going to come from the Greens and KAP.

    ACT is completely different to Queensland. Alot more public servants who’s economic interests don’t rely on the coal industry. I think its fair to say alot of them would be tertiary educated who align with Greens issues on the environment, refugees, and social issues too.

    Labor relies on support in the outer suburbs and the inner regions in Queensland. To think these constituencies are going to champion a minority government with the Greens is laughable. The Federal Labor party has the same hurdle which is why they are weary of dealing with the Greens again after the deal they struck in 2010.

  20. I agree that the North QLD marginals are far from unwinnable for Labor. They typically perform better there on a state level than federally, particularly around Cairns. That said, the LNP likely did worse than is normal there in the last two elections – they literally only have a single seat in in North Queensland right now (two if you count Whitsunday), I imagine partly due to socially-moderate city boy Tim Nicholls not endearing himself much to the regions. As much as Frecklington’s been a flop in the south-east, an old-school Nat like her might be able to make up some of that ground.

  21. I’m not so sure Deb Freckleton is going down well up north. She is a southern Qlder from the holy rollin’ town of Kingaroy – Joh BPs old stomping ground. This might as well be alpha Centauri for a passionate Nth.Qlder. I doubt she gives them the warm and fuzzies any more than Tim did. I think Townsville electorate will go and a few others Labor were lucky to get last time but Labor might only lose two or three and LNP may lose some as well. This is just a gut feeling, I just feel everything has gone right for Labor this year and the LNP has been pretty uninspiring. If they win this election obviously my gut needs replacing and Paul and Wayne get the bragging rights and I most likely get made redundant by the LNP.

  22. Thanks Kevin, always enjoy reading your stuff.

    The Greens don’t have a chance in Cooper, in my humble opinion – Labor has an excellent, high-profile candidate in Jonty Bush, who Kate Jones has been vigorously campaigning with.

    The Greens candidate in my electorate has been talking up the party’s chances in Greenslopes and Clayfield, which strikes me as, er, pretty damn optimistic on his part, though a high Greens vote in Clayfield could well deliver the seat to Labor given how slight Nicholls’ margin is. (Tellingly, even he said he doubts they’ll be able to compete with Jonty in Cooper, and he’s been seriously suggesting the party could win five seats on Saturday.)

  23. Looks like the consensus is, no one has any idea what is going to happen tomorrow. There is no clear outcome at this point in time. Neither major side seems to have achieved much.

  24. Paulsays:
    Friday, October 30, 2020 at 2:52 pm
    Looks like the consensus is, no one has any idea what is going to happen tomorrow

    That’s something I think we can agree on 🙂

  25. I don’t think the Greens will win in Cooper, and I doubt they’ll win in McConnell either. I do have them down for Maiwar and South Brisbane but I won’t be surprised if they don’t win there either. That’s not based on any evidence other than the fact that every election they make a big noise about how they are going to sweep the board, and never do. The council election this year case in point.

  26. Be interesting to see if the latest border decision changes votes away from palaszczuk. I wonder if people are getting sick of the word safe, it must be up there with furious and frustrated on the first page of Palaszczuk’s vocabulary.

    South Australia open to NSW for 40 days and no cases. Queensland still closes the border for ~5 million NSW people. Stupidity at it’s finest. I wonder what the alcohol and drug abuse and violence figures currently are due to economic stress.

  27. Palaszczuk saved her best trick till last

    After weeks of the “we will keep you safe mantra” on the coronavirus – even though there are only 200 active cases in a country with a population of 25 million – there was fear a move to open the borders with NSW on November 1 would blow up her entire re-election strategy.

    Enter Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.

    Despite only a handful of cases of community transmission in Sydney – when will there never not be? – Dr Young came to the rescue on Friday, announcing Queensland’s borders will still be closed to the 4.8 million people in Greater Sydney for another month.

    (The rest of NSW can come in from November 3, with permits, but not required to do 14 days of hotel quarantine.)

    The decision, which Palaszczuk said was made on health advice only, is likely to ensure Labor will return for a third term in office.

    Although the race looked tight earlier in the year, Palaszczuk was given a lifeline by the coronavirus and she has made the most of it right up to election day on Saturday.

    Traces of coronavirus at sewage treatment plants in Wynnum and Ipswich were also manna from heaven for Labor strategists – playing up on people’s irrational fears about a coronavirus outbreak that will likely never eventuate.

    It’s helped reinforce Palaszczuk and Labor’s “fear strategy” which has worked so well for them over the past six months.

    Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington has had no choice but to follow Labor’s lead and back Dr Young’s cautious advice.

    Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has played a minor role in this campaign – further evidence that Hanson’s relevance is continuing to fade.

    Palaszczuk and Labor may have the edge in Saturday’s election, with the nine-seat net gain required by the LNP maybe a bridge too far.

    But stranger things have happened in Queensland politics, so watch this space.

    More –

  28. Vote early to avoid storms in Brisbane on Saturday

    If you think the political climate has been stormy in the lead-up to this weekend’s Queensland state election, wait till you see the Saturday weather forecast for the most populous part of the state.

    Severe storms are set to turn the southeast of the Sunshine State decidedly un-sunny on Saturday, with the strongest likelihood of storm activity from late morning onwards.

    If you’re heading out to vote, it could definitely pay to do it early – polls open at 8am – and grab a snag sanga for brekky rather than lunch, before the weather turns ugly.

    (And by the way, if democracy sausages are pretty much the only thing that motivates you to perform your democratic duty, here’s a really helpful interactive map of everywhere you can buy one.)


  29. Ok here’s the prediciton.
    Anna wins. Why, because for all the talk everyone in QLD has been looking at Victoria and thinking ‘there but for the grace of god go I/we’. Her grit has helped her.

  30. Yes of course a close newspoll as presented by Newscorp. Who would have thought of that. The facts are that ALP has run way better campaign, more popular leader, well regarded and gold standard response to Corona virus,very few headline issues over the last three years etc. etc. If they lose under these circumstances they will never win again.

  31. Late afternoon thunderstorms packing up the democracy sausages on a November election day as the Jacaranda blossoms fall? What are the Sportsbet odds on this?

    Could be we’ll be sweating on a result for weeks. Postals, a re-count, and Clive chucking a wobbly about something or other. There will not be enough Bundy rum in all the world, and here in the Great South East we think it IS the world, as the regions are probably itching to remind us tomorrow.

  32. https://twitter.com/GhostWhoVotes

    #Newspoll QLD State 2 Party Preferred: ALP 51.5 (-0.5) LNP 48.5 (+0.5)

    QLD State Primary Votes: ALP 37 (0) LNP 36 (-1) GRN 11 (0) ON 10 (+1)

    QLD Palaszczuk ALP: Approve 62 (-1) Disapprove 33 (0)

    QLD Frecklington LNP: Approve 35 (-2) Disapprove 48 (+4)

    QLD Preferred Premier: Palaszczuk ALP 56 (-1) Frecklington LNP 30 (-2)

  33. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/queensland-election-labor-set-for-third-term-but-its-tight-newspoll-shows/news-story/2e0248464c75ad4762eda9f1461abafc

    Queensland election: Labor set for third term, but it’s tight, Newspoll shows

    Annastacia Palaszczuk is poised to win the Queensland election and deliver Labor a third consecutive term of state government, Newspoll shows.

    The benefits of incumbency during the COVID crisis coupled with a superior campaign by the ALP position the party to overpower the Liberal National Party, though the election result is likely to be tight and a hung parliament remains possible.

    The Weekend Australian’s exclusive Newspoll puts Labor ahead of the LNP, 51.5 per cent to 48.5 per cent, after preferences. This would return the government and possibly improve its narrow two-seat majority in the 93-seat parliament.

    But an electoral pendulum stacked against the ALP — with 14 of its existing 48 seats on margins of less than 4 per cent, many in the state’s volatile regions — and the unknown quantity of up to 70 per cent of the electorate voting early are wildcards that leave the LNP an outside chance to take minority government.

    Newspoll confirms that both major parties have pulled votes from One Nation, which shed 27 per cent of what it secured at the previous state election, down from a vote of 13.7 per cent in 2017 to 10 per cent.

    Labor’s primary vote, however, remained steady on 37 per cent through the campaign while the LNP’s slipped one point to 36 per cent. The Greens are unchanged on 11 per cent, up marginally on 2017, while most of the remaining 6 per cent goes to Katter’s Australian Party, a force only in north Queensland. Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party has had negligible impact.

    Newspoll shows that Labor ends the 26-day campaign where it began — ahead of the LNP on the two-party-preferred vote, but not decisively. The mid-campaign survey­ published on October 17 had the ALP in front 52-48 per cent.

  34. I wouldn’t call that close and 48.5 is being generous to the LNP. It will be a comfortable win for Labor tomorrow.

    I’m going for 52.5/47.5 Labor/LNP. Labor majority government.

  35. Hold up. Did the australian newspaper admit Labor had a superior campaign.

    the australian?!

    It could almost make you believe Labor are headed for a lamdslide.

  36. Agree Davidwh, as I’ve said previously this is a turkey shoot for Labor and with the margin for error this will be closer to 53/47 and possibly more

  37. David, somehow you deliver that verdict as a gentleman in all things. (Also, per my previous post, Clive refers to he of the monstrous yellow adverts and not PB Clive. I do hope this was obvious.)

  38. “This survey was conducted by YouGov between 25-30 October 2020 and is based on 1032 interviews among Queensland voters conducted online. The maximum theoretical sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. ”

    The last YouGov had a bigger sample, and so could be broken down by region. None of that here.

  39. Warrigal thank you. We have had Labor governments here for most of the past 30+ years and the sky hasn’t fallen in. Often political arguments in Australia are around the margins apart from a few key issues like climate change.

    I hold no fears of another four years of Labor and I expect my electorate to change from blue to red.

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