uComms: 50-50 in Queensland

Labor draws level in a Queensland state poll for the first time in over a year.

The Courier-Mail has a uComms poll of Queensland state voting intention showing a tie on two-party preferred, compared with a 51-49 lead for the LNP in a similar poll just before Christmas, shortly after Steven Miles succeeded Annastacia Palaszczuk as Premier. This is the first Queensland poll not to show the LNP in front since December 2022, although its leads tended to be fairly modest. After allocating a forced follow-up question for the 12.5% initially undecided, the primary votes come out at 34.2% for Labor (down 0.2%), 37.3% for the LNP (down 0.7%), 12.2% for the Greens (down 1.1%), 7.7% for One Nation (up 0.4%) and 3.9% for Katter’s Australian Party (down 0.1%).

David Crisafulli nonetheless records a narrow 51-49 over Miles on a forced response preferred premier question, in from 52.2-47.8 last time. Steven Miles is rated positively by 44.2% (up from 42.7%), neutrally by 25.2% (down from 27.6%) and negatively by 25.2% (down from 27.6%). Crisafulli is 41.7% for positive (up from 37.8%), 31.2% for neutral (up from 30.2%) and 18.7% for negative (down from 22.8%). The sample for the poll was 1743, with field work dates not provided in the Courier-Mail report.

Further news related to the state election to be held on October 26:

• Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath announced yesterday she would retire at the election, creating a vacancy in her northern Brisbane seat of Redcliffe, which she holds on a margin of 6.1%. Kerri-Anne Dooley, founding director of a home care nursing firm, will make her fifth attempt to win the seat for the LNP. The Australian reports Corinne Mulholland, former federal candidate for Petrie and now in-house lobbyist for Star casinos, is the favoured candidate of Steven Miles, “but several sources say she is reluctant to stand”.

• The southern Brisbane seat of Mansfield, held for Labor by Corrine McMillan on a margin of 6.8%, will be contested for the LNP by Pinky Singh, Indian-born public relations consultant, Order of Australia medal recipient and candidate for McConnel in 2020.

• James Ashby, high-profile adviser to Pauline Hanson, will be One Nation’s candidate in Keppel, which the party came within 3.1% of winning on 2017. Brittany Lauga holds the seat for Labor with a margin of 5.6% over the LNP.

Essential Research 2PP+: Labor 50, Coalition 46 (open thread)

More static poll results in the wake of the tax cuts revamp, of which more than half say they know little or nothing.

The fortnightly Essential Research poll adds to an overall picture of static voting intention despite the government’s income tax overhaul, with Labor down a point on the primary vote to 31%, the Coalition recording 34% for the sixth poll in a row, the Greens up a point to 14% and One Nation steady on 7%, with undecided steady on 5%. Respondent-allocated preferences nonetheless cause Labor to perk up a little on the pollster’s 2PP+ measure, which has Labor up two to 50% and the Coalition steady on 46% (again with 5% undecided), Labor’s biggest lead on this measure since the start of October.

The poll also includes the monthly leaders’ favourability ratings, with differ from the separate approval ratings in inviting respondents to rate the leaders on a scale of zero to ten. This gives Peter Dutton his strongest result so far, with a four-point increase among those rating him seven or higher to 32% and a four-point fall in those rating him three or lower to 33%. Anthony Albanese improves slightly from December, when he recorded the weakest results of his prime ministership, with 33% rating him seven or higher (up one) and 35% three or lower (down two).

Questions on the tax cut changes confirm what was already established in finding 56% in favour and 16% opposed, while telling us something new with respect to awareness of them: only 10% consider they know a lot about the changes, with 37% for a bit, 40% for hardly anything and 13% for nothing at all. The poll also found 59% per cent for the “right to disconnect” laws working their way through parliament with only 15% opposed. Other questions cover fuel efficiency standards, party most trusted on tax, the importance of keeping election promises and the ubiquitous Taylor Swift, who scores a non-recognition rating of 3%.

The weekly Roy Morgan poll has Labor’s two-party lead in from 53-47 to 52-48, but this is due to changes in respondent-allocated preferences rather than primary votes, on which Labor gains one-and-a-half points to 34.5% – its strongest showing from Morgan since October – with the Coalition and the Greens steady on 37% and 12% and One Nation down half a point to 4.5%. The poll was conducted Monday to Sunday from a sample of 1699.

In by-election news, of which there will be a fair bit to report over the next six weeks, the ballot paper draws were conducted yesterday for Queensland’s Inala and Ipswich West by-elections on March 16, which have respectively attracted eight and four candidates. Ipswich West is a rare no-show for the Greens, who are presumably more concerned with the same day’s Brisbane City Council elections. Further crowding the calendar is a looming state election in Tasmania, which is covered in the post above.

YouGov: 52-48 to Labor (open thread)

Another poll finds strong support for the government’s stage three tax cut changes have not shifted the needle on voting intention.

YouGov’s tri-weekly federal poll shows no sign of movement one way or the other in the wake of the stage three tax cuts rearrangement, with two-party preferred unchanged at 52-48 from primary votes of Labor 32% (steady), Coalition 36% (down one), Greens 14% (up one) and One Nation 8% (up one). The poll also has a question on the tax cuts which finds a 69-31 break in favour of the changes over the tax cuts as originally proposed. Anthony Albanese’s lead on preferred premier has narrowed from 45-35 to 45-38 and his net approval rating is out from minus 13 to minus 16, with Peter Dutton in slightly from minus nine to minus eight. The poll was conducted Friday to Wednesday from a sample of 1502.

Some notable electoral happenings at state level:

• There is the possibility of an early election in Tasmania as Premier Jeremy Rockliff pursues a demand that John Tucker and Lara Alexander, Liberal-turned-independent members who hold the balance of power in the lower house, agree not to vote for non-government amendments and motions. Further clarity may be provided after a meeting between the three at 1:30pm today.

• March 23 has been confirmed as the date for the South Australian state by-election in Dunstan, the highly marginal seat being vacated with the resignation on Tuesday of former Premier Steven Marshall.

• I also have by-election guides up for the Queensland state seats of Inala and Ipswich West, which will go to the polls concurrently with the local government elections on March 16.

Weekend miscellany: WA Liberal preselections, Queensland and SA by-elections (open thread)

A comeback lined up for a former WA Liberal Senator, plus candidates in place for state by-elections in Queensland and SA.

The biggest electoral news of the week was probably the annual release of electoral donations disclosures, which has been widely covered elsewhere. From the more narrow concerns of this site, there is the following:

• Ben Small, who served in the Senate from November 2020 to June 2022, has emerged as the only nominee for Liberal preselection in the regional Western Australian seat of Forrest. The seat will be vacated at the next election with the retirement of Nola Marino, who has held it safely for the Liberals since 2007. The West Australian also reports Mark Wales, an SAS veteran, Survivor winner and former McKinsey consultant, plans to nominate for Tangney, a normally comfortable Liberal seat that fell to Labor in 2022. Others known to be interested are Canning mayor Patrick Hall and IT consultant Harold Ong.

• The Liberal National Party has chosen its candidates for the looming Queensland state by-elections for the safe Labor seats of Inala and Ipswich West, respectively being vacated by Annastacia Palaszczuk and Jim Madden: Trang Yen, a 28-year-old public servant in the Department of State Development, and Darren Zanow, president of the Ipswich Show Society. The by-elections will be held concurrently with local government elections on March 16.

• With former South Australian Premier Steven Marshall saying he will formally resign from parliament “in the coming months”, the Liberals have preselected lawyer and former ministerial adviser Anna Finizio for the looming by-election for his seat of Dunstan, which once had the more instructive name of Norwood. Labor is again running with its candidate from March 2023, Cressida O’Hanlon, a family dispute resolution practitioner.

Miscellany: Essential Research on tax, Roy Morgan, by-election latest (new thread)

Half-cooked early indications on the tax cuts backflip produce mixed signals.

The first two polls after the government’s tax cuts backflip are out, though neither was conducted entirely after the new policy was announced on Thursday. The Essential Research poll, which was conducted Wednesday to Monday with a sample of 1201, is as yet lacking voting intention numbers, which will hopefully be along later today. As reported in The Guardian, the poll presented respondents with a description of the stage three tax cuts as originally proposed and a choice of four responses, with only 22% favouring that the cuts proceed unchanged, up two from November. Of the remainder, 47% preferred they be “revised so they mostly benefit those on low and middle incomes”, in line with the government’s new policy, up six; 19% favoured an option of delaying cuts for those on more than $200,000 until “economic conditions improve”, down three; and 13% opposed the cuts altogether, down three.

UPDATE: Essential Research’s voting intention numbers are Labor 32% (up one from mid-December), Coalition 34% (steady), Greens 13% (steady) and One Nation 7% (steady) with 5% undecided. Its 2PP+ measure has Labor leading 48-46, in from 49-46.

The weekly voting intention poll from Roy Morgan had only half its field work after the announcement, being conducted Monday to Sunday from a sample of 1688. The two-party headline of 50.5-49.5 in favour of Labor is in from 52.5-47.5 last week, though that result was something of an outlier: the previous four polls, conducted from late November to early January with a week’s break for Christmas, were all in the range from 51-49 to 49-51. On the primary vote, Labor is down one-and-a-half to 31% and the Coalition is up by the same amount to 37.5%, with both the Greens and One Nation up half a point to 13.5% and 5% respectively.

Essential Research also asked about respondents’ personal financial circumstances, which reportedly showed improvement “over summer”, though I can’t find the earlier poll being compared to. Eleven per cent rated their circumstances as comfortable, 38% as secure (up seven), 39% as struggling a bit (down four), and 12% as in serious difficulty (down two). Regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict, 67% felt Australia should stay out entirely, up six since November, with a five point drop in support for “active assistance to Palestine” to 16% and a one point drop for Israel to 17%. A presumably related question on the ABC found an even 39% for and against the proposition that it was independent and unbiased. Support for a republic was at 42% and opposition at 35%; on Australia Day, 40% supported the status quo, 18% a separate new date, and 31% a new date in addition to the existing one.

In other news, yet another by-election is on the horizon after Labor MP Jim Madden announced his resignation from the Queensland state seat of Ipswich West. Like the by-election for Annastacia Palaszczuk’s seat of Inala, this will be held simultaneously with the local government elections on March 16, at which Madden will run as a candidate for Ipswich City Council. Madden had previously announced he would retire at the next election after a series of unwelcome headlines last year, including claims of bullying and harassment of electorate office staff. Labor had already preselected Wendy Bourne, a Right-aligned former staffer to Annastacia Palaszczuk, who was unopposed after the withdrawal of Neisha Traill, an official with the Left faction Electrical Trades Union.

The road ahead: Dunkley, Inala and more

With dates set for a federal and a Queensland state by-election, a review of looming electoral events.

House of Representatives Speaker Milton Dick has announced the Dunkley by-election will be held on March 2, with nominations to close on February 8 and be decared the following day, and the Poll Bludger’s guide to the by-election is now up and running. It is the first of my guides to feature historical results charts for the primary vote as well as two-party preferred (among many other things), which I hope is of use to somebody because it involved a lot of work.

In a report on the by-election in The Age yesterday, David Crowe related that “this masthead reported last week that Labor officials privately believe the Coalition has the edge”. I am not clear if this refers to a report from Broede Carmody, saying only that the officials “expect a swing against them”, or one from Paul Sakkal saying “both parties are privately downplaying their chances”.

The other by-election on the way is in Queensland for Annastacia Palaszczuk’s safe Labor seat of Inala, which Premier Steven Miles has confirmed will be held simultaneously with the local government elections on March 16. Seemingly assured of Labor endorsement is Margie Nightingale, former teacher and policy adviser to Treasurer Cameron Dick, who has the support of the Right. Lydia Lynch of The Australian reports the Liberal National Party is “due to preselect its candidate within a fortnight” – I will hold off doing an election guide until then.

The council elections are of substantial interest in their own right, with Brisbane City Council in particular being both the most powerful and the most partisan local government jurisdiction in the country. The conservatives have been dominant since Campbell Newman became Lord Mayor in 2004. The current incumbent, Adrian Schrinner, won by 56.3-43.7 after preferences in 2020, a swing to Labor of 3.0% from 2016. His Labor opponent this time is Tracey Price, a lawyer and sewing shop owner.

The Liberal National Party’s dominance on council reached new heights with the elections of 2016 and 2020, both of which saw them win 19 out of 26 council wards, leaving five for Labor and one each for Greens and an independent. The Greens have high hopes of expanding their footprint after their federal breakthrough in 2022, to the extent of talking up the possibility of displacing Labor as the council opposition. Considerably more detail on the elections is available courtesy of Ben Raue at the Tally Room.

Also looming are Tasmania’s periodic Legislative Council elections, presumably to be held on May 4, which this year encompass two of the chamber’s fifteen seats: Prosser, covering rural territory immediately north of Hobart, and the self-explanatory seat of Hobart. These are of particular interest this year because former Greens leader Cassy O’Connor has abandoned her seat in the lower house to run for Hobart, which if successful will win the Greens its first ever seat in the chamber. The seat will be vacated with the retirement of Rob Valentine, who has held it as an independent since 2012. Prosser is held for the Liberals by Jane Howlett, one of the chamber’s four Liberal members, who won narrowly in 2018 and may struggle amid the government’s declining fortunes. Labor likewise holds four seats, the remaining seven being independents.

Friday miscellany: culture war edition (open thread)

Poll results on republicanism, Australia Day and boycotting Woolworths, plus Roy Morgan voting intention numbers and preselection latest.

Roy Morgan remains the only regularly reporting pollster to have returned for the year on voting intention, but Essential Research presumably isn’t far off. Past experience suggests it should be at least another week before Newspoll is back in the game. Which leaves us with:

UPDATE: There are now voting intention results for the YouGov poll mentioned below. Labor’s two-party lead is out to 52-48 from 51-49 in the final poll last year, from primary votes of Labor 32% (up three), Coalition 37% (steady), Greens 13% (down two), One Nation 7% (steady).

• This week’s Roy Morgan poll found Labor with a two-party lead of 51.5-48.5, after the Coalition led 51-49 upon the pollster’s return for the year a week ago. The primary votes were Labor 31.5% (up two-and-a-half), Coalition 37% (down two), Greens 12% (down one) and One Nation 4.5% (down half). The poll was conducted from a sample of 1727 last Monday to Sunday.

• Pollster DemosAU, which produced accurate polling on the Indigenous Voice referendum, has a poll showing strong support for a republic referendum in the next five years, but also that any given model for a republic will have a hard time ahead of it. On the former count, 47% said yes and 39% no, a notable contrast with Freshwater Strategy’s finding of 55% opposition to a referendum “now”. On the latter, “direct election with open nomination” trailed the status quo 38-41; “executive president/US model” trailed 35-43; “ARM ‘Australian choice’ model” trailed 32-45; the 1999 referendum proposal trailed 27-48; and the McGarvie model, for all its impeccable credentials, did worst of all at 27-49. The aforementioned are summaries of more detailed question wordings that can be found on the methodology statement. The poll was conducted January 8 to 12 from a sample of 1300.

• YouGov has an Australia Day themed poll finding 49% support for keeping the holiday as its present date, 21% for changing the date, and 30% favouring a “two-day public holiday that celebrates old and new”. Respondents were also which of three options was closest to their view concerning Peter Dutton’s call for a boycott of Woolworths and Big W: support for Dutton’s position, which scored 20%; support for Woolworths and Big W, which scored 14%; and “my main concern with supermarkets now is excessive price rises rather than this issue”, accounting for the remaining 66%. The poll was conducted Friday to Wednesday from a sample of 1532.

Other news:

Hayden Johnson of the Courier-Mail reports the by-election for Annastacia Palaszczuk’s seat of Inala simultaenously with Queensland’s local government elections on March 16, and that the Liberal National Party is expected to field a candidate for the safe Labor seat. Labor’s candidate is likely to be Margie Nightingale, former teacher and policy adviser to Treasurer Cameron Dick.

• Liberal preselection nominations have closed for Kooyong and Goldstein, where Josh Frydenberg and Tim Wilson were respectively defeated by teal independents in 2022. As previous reports indicated, Kooyong will be a four-way contest between Amelia Hamer, Susan Morris, Michael Flynn and Rochelle Pattison, with Hamer boasting the support of Frydenberg. In addition to Wilson and the previously reported Stephanie Hunt, the Goldstein preselection will also be contested by IPA research fellow Colleen Harkin. Rachel Baxendale of The Australian reports the preselections are likely to be held shortly after the Dunkley by-election.

Dan Jervis-Bardy of The West Australian reports Patrick Hill, Canning mayor and former police officer, and Howard Ong, a Singapore-born IT consultant, will seek Liberal preselection in Tangney, where the party suffered one of its worst defeats of the 2022 election at the hands of Labor’s Sam Lim. The report says the former member, Ben Morton, is understood to have ruled himself out. It also relates that Senator Michaelia Cash is marshalling support for Moore MP Ian Goodenough in the face of a preselection challenge from former Stirling MP Vince Connelly.

Monday miscellany (open thread)

A preselection opponent for Tim Wilson in Goldstein, update on the Queensland by-election for Annastacia Palaszczuk’s seat, and Eric Abetz announces a state comeback bid.

Three items of electoral relevance to emerge amidst the New Year news and polling drought:

Paul Sakkal of The Age reports Stephanie Hunt, corporate lawyer and former legal adviser to Julie Bishop and Marise Payne, will seek Liberal preselection for Goldstein, which Tim Wilson hopes to recover after losing to independent Zoe Daniel in 2022. Wilson remains the front-runner, in the estimation of a further report in The Age today.

Lydia Lynch of The Australian reports Margie Nightingale, former teacher and policy adviser to Treasurer Cameron Dick, is the front-runner to succeed Annastacia Palaszczuk in her seat of Inala, the by-election for which is “tipped to be held in March”. Palaszczuk’s former deputy chief-of-staff, Jon Persley, had long been mentioned as her likely successor, but he has withdrawn from contention, saying the party’s gender quota rules played a “big factor” in the decision.

Sue Bailey of the Sunday Tasmanian reports that veteran former Liberal Senator and conservative stalwart Eric Abetz will seek state preselection in the division of Franklin for an election due in June next year, assuming Jeremy Rockliff’s government is able to keep the show on the road that long.