The Australian brings us a campaign eve Newspoll that will, on top of anything else, be the first real-world test for the poll since YouGov took it over last year. It suggests no swing at all compared with the 2017 election on the two-party vote, with Labor leading 51.5-48.5 – technically a half-point move to the LNP since the last poll a fortnight ago, but that result would have been rounded to a whole number (this one might have been rounded either to a half-point or a decimal place).
The primary votes are Labor 37%, which is unchanged on the last poll and up from 35.4% in 2017; the LNP is down one to 36%, compared with 33.7% in 2017; the Greens are unchanged on 11%, compared with 10.0%; and One Nation is on 10%, which is up one but down from their 13.7% in 2017, despite the fact they are running in nearly every seat this time but only ran in two thirds last time. Breakdowns for the regions and the south-east would have been nice, but no such luck apparently.
The LNP is surprisingly competitive given how the leadership ratings are looking: Annastacia Palaszczuk is up one on approval to 62% and steady on disapproval at 33%, while Deb Frecklington appears not have had a good campaign, with her approval down two to 35% and disapproval up four to 48%. However, Palaszczuk’s 56-30 lead as preferred premier is little changed from the 57-32 she scored a fortnight ago. The poll was conducted from Sunday until earlier today from a sample of 1032.
In light of all that, the following observation from my paywalled piece in Crikey today holds up okay:
For all that though, Labor strategists are being kept awake at night by the path to victory that remains open to the LNP in the same parts of the state that savaged Labor at the federal election.
When the federal seats of central and northern Queensland recorded swings upwards of 10% last year, the effect was certainly demoralising for Labor, but the impact was limited by the fact that there had only been one seat there for them to lose — the Townsville-based seat of Herbert, which the party gained by a paper-thin margin in 2016.
At the state level though, the region is so richly endowed with Labor marginals that a locally concentrated swing could deliver the LNP victory even if it loses the statewide two-party vote, as the latest polls suggest.
Last but certainly not least, I believe I’m in a position to promise a functioning live election results facility tomorrow evening, similar in format to my acclaimed effort from the Eden-Monaro by-election, barring unforeseen egregious technical mishaps on either my end or the Electoral Commission of Queensland’s (the latter hopefully having made good its deficiencies from the night of the council elections and state by-elections in February). For anyone whose interest in the result extends to the booth level, this will easily be the best place to view the results, assuming all goes according to plan.