Annastacia Palaszczuk resigns

Annastacia Palaszczuk’s departure after nearly nine years as Premier brings on a by-election and a potentially messy leadership contest.

Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced her imminent retirement from politics, two months short of her ninth anniversary as Premier of Queensland. This follows a period of mounting pressure on her leadership amid deteriorating opinion polls ahead of an election to be held on October 26. Palaszczcuk has endorsed Deputy Premier Steven Miles as her successor, but it appears that does not settle the matter, with one MP so far declaring support for Health Minister Shannon Fentiman. The parliamentary party has a strong incentive to settle on a consensus candidate, as a contested vote would require a process lasting several weeks in which equal weight would be given to votes of the caucus, affiliated unions and the party rank-and-file, a process that has never been tested since the state party introduced it a decade ago.

Both Miles and Fentiman are members of the Left, which commands a majority at state conference. However, the United Workers Union, and in particular its state secretary Gary Bullock, works as an individual source of power within it that has lately been allied with the Old Guard sub-faction of the Right (UPDATE: Comments feedback suggests categorising the Old Guard as part of the Right may be out of date – it has typically been identified as a third faction in recent times). The other sub-faction of the Right is the Labor Forum, dominated by the Australian Workers Union, which counts among its number Annastacia Palaszczuk and Treasurer Cameron Dick. In August, Dick took it upon himself to release a “blueprint” for how Labor could win the next election, which was widely seen as an effort to deal himself into the game. However, James Hall of the Courier-Mail assessed he would “find it challenging to secure sufficient support”.

Palaszczuk will resign as Premier later this week and from parliament next month, resulting in a by-election for her south-western Brisbane seat of Inala, which she retained in 2020 with a margin of 28.2%, making it Labor’s safest seat. It was also among the seven that remained to the party following its near annihilation at the 2012 election, which left Palaszczuk as the only plausible contender for the leadership of what remained of the parliamentary party. It has long been reckoned Palaszczuk’s successor in the seat would be her deputy chief-of-staff, Jon Persley. However, The Australian’s Feeding the Chooks column noted in December that his candidacy would raise difficulties with affirmative action and the optics of imposing a political apparatchik on a multicultural electorate. Right faction sources identified an alternative in Nayda Hernandez, ward officer to local councillor Charles Strunk, who had “grassroots support”.

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.

73 comments on “Annastacia Palaszczuk resigns”

Comments Page 2 of 2
1 2
  1. Queensland ALP rules require 45% of held seats to have female candidates.

    That means 23 ALP held seats must have female ALP candidates.

    Only 20 currently do.

    So the ALP candidate in Inala will be required to be female.

    Nayda Hernandez will be the ALP candidate for Inala.

  2. Democracy Sausagesays:
    Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 9:25 am
    Yes, Miles to be Premier and Cameron Dick Deputy Premier.
    The deal was done late last night!

    I think Cameron Dick would have been the best option, Miles in my opinion is risky, Shannon Fentimen I know little about.
    Yes, Cameron Dick would be the obvious choice from the current ALP cohort as he was in 2012 when Palaszczuk got the nod.
    In that election, the record win by Cando Newman, the ALP retained only 7 of the 89 seats in Qld; temporarily reduced to 6 with the resignation of the despised Anna Bligh. Labor was obliterated and all of the plausible candidates to replace Bligh lost their seats.

    The swing against Labor was almost 16% statewide, with Cameron Dick losing his seat of Greenslopes by roughly 1200 votes, a swing of “only” around 9.4%.
    The sensible thing for Labor to do at the time would have been to run Cameron Dick in the by-election for Bligh’s safe seat of South Brisbane and instal him as Opposition Leader.
    But Labor went with Bligh’s ignominious protege, Jackie Trad, and we all know how that turned out.
    Palaszczuk, a very peripheral member of the Bligh ministry, was left as the only possible candidate for leader.

    Of course, Can Do went on to blow himself up in the most amazing way and Labor astonishingly clawed back the Treasury benches in 2015 with a record recovery after only one term. Palaszczuk campaigned almost solely on the “I am not Campbell Newman” theme to great effect. The electorate’s visceral disgust with Newman was so great and enduring that the theme was able to be reprised in 2017 and 2020 with diminishing but still significant effect.

    Labor has been incredibly lucky to have such a dysfunctional and unelectable opposition in place. Thus enabling the pedestrian Palaszczuk government to stumble along despite serious integrity and competency issues. The Palaszczuk government has not been well liked, simply less despised than the alternative. For how much longer will they be able to rely on this scenario to retain government?

    Looks like the faceless men in the backroom have prevailed again to overlook the most competent candidate and instal the risky but compliant, Miles, as Premier.

  3. Living in Queensland in the Goss II election in 1992 I would never have believed that 31 years later there would have only been 5 years of non-Labor government in Queensland.

    Goss famously pleaded in 1989 for non-Labor voters to ‘give us one term to clean up the corruption’. I think next year Labor should emphasise that even one term of LNP government could be bad for health/education etc.

    The 2015 election was extraordinary, but 1998 was pretty amazing also. With One Nation winning a slew of ‘safe’ National seats Labor did well in the chaos to hold onto their numbers and so enable a subsequent minority Government. Which went on to win four more elections.

  4. FUBARsays:
    Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 11:24 am
    Don’t you love the ALP’s commitment to membership democracy – you get to choose only if the unions can’t cut a deal.
    Thought it exactly the same thing. Don’t you just love the term Union heavyweights.

  5. Queensland ALP rules currently require 45% of Labor held seats to have female Labor candidates.

    That means 23 seats.

    Currently only 20 Labor held seats have female ALP candidates.

    The ALP candidate in Inala will have to be woman.

    Nayda Hernandez will likely be the new Labor member for Inala.

  6. Yep RR, I remember 1998 well. On the night, the scribes were wetting themselves over the rise of One Nation and pushing each other out of the way to hear what passed for a comment from Poorlean. Meanwhile over here the Labor were shaping up to snatch victory.

  7. taylormade !

    Thought it exactly the same thing. Don’t you just love the term Union heavyweights. !!!

    Without them you would be WORKING FOR PEANUTS !!!!!

  8. Watching the news conference the now presumptive Premier elect and his Deputy gave at lunchtime – Cameron Dick has 100000% more presence, gravitas and communications skills than Steven Miles. What on earth are the Labour faction bosses up there thinking?
    A Premier Dick would wipe the floor with the LNP, not sure I can say the same about Premier Miles.

  9. think miles comes from the left faction which has majority seport plus palaszuk backed him this rules allowing ordinary members makes leadership les democratick as allleadership contests no longer happind would be better to get read of the rules and just the mps vote we

  10. There will be plenty of opportunities for Cameron Dick as Deputy Premier and Treasurer to comment on the L/NP.
    He is doing a good job with the money. Mining windfall tax is bringing in extra millions. Unfortunately, L/NP will drop that tax if they win government. They have no interest in renewable energy so all those projects will be easily privatized. They believe climate change is rubbish, so why wouldn’t they stay with their coal mates.
    Not sure Labor will lose in a years time. Biggest budget surplus of any State ever, low unemployment, lots of infrastructure projects happening, price of learner’s permits halved, free child care, electricity bills subsidised, pensioners getting over $1000 off their power bill each year.
    Have to sort out youth crime. Magistrates, social workers etc have to try to fix because it’s broken. If detention holds no fears and every young offender held in custody costs $1M per year, what do you do. From hearsay, many offenders have unfortunate backgrounds and have no interest in following any of our rules and laws. It’s too big a problem for Crucifooli to solve.
    There is housing and rent stress in Qld as there appears to be all over Aus. Many thousands are moving here each month, unfortunately they are not all builders, electricians, plumbers, carpenters.

  11. Dick will become opposition leader when labor loses the next state election.The way the libs go in Qld it will only be a one term gov so Dick did the clever thing as me thinks the next election is gone already for labor.

  12. Mr Ed : well said, the fundamentals are pretty good for Qld. The last electoral cycle the partisan LNP aligned media was highlighting the economy as being near the bottom but now it’s near the top they are highlighting youth crime in Far Q also problems in the old perennial – health. I really admire AP but you had to think her time in office was becoming a weight and the old question of when she would stand down a positive for Mr Crisis-fulli. It will be interesting to see how Miles handles this,Dick will be a positive for Labor in the high position especially when you compare him to the clown who is second in command for the LNP. The LNP will have to pick up 13 seats just to get a bare majority so there is a significant hill to climb. Will young offenders in Townsville be enough to sway votes across the the state? And will Mr Crisifulli who ran. 1400km to the bottom of the state to get a safe seat really appeal to those Townsvillites whom he ran away from ? Maybe this might be another bridge too far for the holy rollers of the LNP?

  13. FUBAR says:
    “Don’t you love the ALP’s commitment to membership democracy – you get to choose only of the unions can’t cut a deal.”

    Meanwhile, south of the Tweed, lawyers grow fat on Liberal party in-fighting:

    ‘A member of the NSW Liberals’ state executive who launched a legal challenge over the preselection process has been kicked out of the party.’

    ‘Millionaire Matthew Camenzuli … who took former Prime Minister Scott Morrison to court over preselections ahead of the federal election, said he had a loyal and growing support base of members who felt the party was “not listening”.’

    ‘Natalie Baini is suing the New South Wales division of the Liberal party, alleging she was unfairly blocked from being preselected for the inner west Sydney seat of Reid at the 2019 federal election.’

  14. Many comments here are sadly misinformed. Obviously the right faction have managed to have some people to post on their behalf on this blog. The new Deputy Premier’s speciality is performance only. Substance and intellect are somewhat wanting. This small faction is also moving to consolidate their power base in parts of Logan and surrounds. They will not have the numbers in caucus to make Mr Dick the Premier next time. If Labor loses some of their northern Queensland seats this will be even less likely. Look out for the actual cabinet changes not the projections of the ideologues.

  15. Nayda Hernandez will be the ALP candidate for Inala.


    It’s was reported today in Courier Mail, Jon Persley was in the box seat to win the preselection. And Nayda Hernandez has understood to have pulled out. School Teacher Margie Nightingale may still be run in the preselection though.

  16. Apparently, Shannon Fentiman was offered the deputy position under Steven Miles but turned it down. It was reported.

    One Labor insider was left fuming at how Ms Fentiman played her cards.

    “As a feminist, her legacy is now two men in the top jobs because she thought Deputy Premier was beneath her,” she said.

Comments Page 2 of 2
1 2

Leave a Reply

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