YouGov: 50-50 in Queensland

Despite declining personal ratings for Annastacia Palasczuk, YouGov records no change from its finding in June that the two parties are neck and neck.

Results from a Queensland state poll by YouGov have been parcelled out over the afternoon by the Courier-Mail, whose reporting I will not dignify with a link (UPDATE: YouGov methodology statement here). The results show no change for the major parties since the last such poll in June, with Labor on 34% of the primary vote, the Liberal National Party on 38%, and level pegging on two-party preferred. The Greens are down a point to 13% and One Nation are up one to 11%. Annastacia Palaszcuk’s personal ratings continue to track downwards, her approval down five to 40% and disapproval up two to 41%, while David Crusafilli is respectively steady at 31% and up four to 27%, with Palaszczuk’s lead as preferred premier narrowing slightly from 41-28 to 39-28. The poll was conducted December 1 to 8 from a sample of 1000.

UPDATE: Now Nine Entertainment’s Brisbane Times website has a fortuitously timed Queensland poll from Resolve Strategic. The results are quite a bit stronger for Labor than YouGov’s, but the poll is a good deal less up to date as it combines results from the pollster’s national polling going back to August. The primary votes are Labor 37%, LNP 35%, Greens 11% and One Nation 6%, which compares with results at the 2020 election of 39.6%, 35.9%, 9.5% and 7.1%. No two-party preferred is provided as per the pollster’s usual practice, but the primary votes imply only a minor swing from Labor’s 53.2-46.8 result at the election. Annastacia Palaszczuk records a 42-30 lead over David Crusafilli as preferred premier. The poll has a sample of 924 and was conducted between August 21 and December 4.

YouGov: 50-50 in Queensland

A new poll finds the Greens the chief beneficiary of a significant drop in support for Queensland’s Labor government, though Annastacia Palaszczcuk continues to be viewed favourably.

The Courier-Mail has results from a YouGov poll of state voting intention in Queensland showing Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor government and the Liberal National Party opposition tied on two-party preferred. This compares with a result of 53.2-46.8 in Labor’s favour at the October 2020 election, and 52-48 in Labor’s favour at a similar poll in February. The primary votes are Labor 34% (down from 39.6% at the election and 39% at the February poll), LNP 38% (up from 35.9% and steady), Greens 14% (up from 9.5% and 10%) and One Nation 10% (up from 7.1% and 8%).

Annastacia Palaszczuk nonetheless retains net positive personal ratings of 45% approval (down five since February) and 39% disapproval (up three), while Opposition Leader David Crisafulli is up five on approval to 31% and down five on disapproval to 23%, with the uncommitted remainder of 46% suggesting an ongoing weakness in name recognition. Palaszczuk leads Crisafulli as preferred premier by 41-28.

Further questions on Palaszczuk, some tailored to reflect lines of criticism she has received recently (particularly from the News Corp papers), find 50% agreeing and 19% disagreeing that she “enjoys the high life” and 35% agreeing and 32% disagreeing that she is “easily influenced” (presumably by lobbyists). However, 52% agree that she works hard and 60% that she cares about Queensland, compared with 27% and 25% who disagree.

The poll was conducted from June 23 to 30 from a sample of 1044.

UPDATE: Further results from the poll in Thursday’s Courier Mail include a finding that Annastacia Palaszczuk is rated best Queensland Premier of the twenty-first century by 21%, compared with 20% for Peter Beattie, 17% for Campbell Newman and 12% for Anna Bligh. Asked who they would favour as Labor leader if Palaszczuk became unavailable, the runaway winner was uncommitted on 57%, followed by “someone else” on 17%. That left 11% for Steven Miles, 7% for Cameron Dick, 5% for Yvette D’Ath and 3% for Shannon Fentiman. After being required to accept the proposition that Queensland has a “health crisis”, 54% included state government mismanagement as a factor to blame, with COVID-19 and the flu on 52% and underfunding of aged care and disability places on 39%.

Callide by-election live

Live coverage of the count for the Queensland state by-election for the seat of Callide, held by the LNP on a margin of 8.8%.

Click here for full Callide by-election results updated live.

8.53pm. All four pre-poll booths are now in, and they’re a clean sweep of bad results for Labor, so clearly there was a different dynamic between election day and pre-poll booths: on the former, the primary vote swings against the LNP and Labor are 10.8% and 3.4%; on the latter, 4.3% and 8.1%. The result now looks more like a typical anti-government by-election swing.

8.06pm. Three out of four pre-poll booths are now in on the primary vote, and they have all made things look worse for Labor, such that I’m now projecting swings against them of nearly 5% on the primary vote and 4% on TCP.

7.36pm. The first pre-poll booth is in, from Chinchilla, and its 2461 votes have swung quite heavily away from Labor. Whereas previously I was suggesting that Labor was not suffering much of a swing, it’s now a more substantial 4.2%.

7.21pm. The large Calliope booth has significantly lifted Labor’s raw primary vote, but reduced its projection: their primary vote there is down 12.6%, which will feed into a substantial swing to the LNP on the TCP.

7.02pm. So what we have here is pretty much a status quo result in which the entry of One Nation has drawn about 16% of the vote almost entirely off the LNP. To the extent that Labor might think about the result at all, they would probably be pretty happy to have almost held their ground at a mid-term by-election where they faced competition from One Nation that wasn’t there last time.

7.01pm. Now my probability is saying what I believe it should be saying, which is that the LNP will definitely win. It assumes LNP-versus-Labor at the final count, which seems very likely now — they are ahead on raw votes and well ahead on my projection/

6.56pm. My TCP projection is now working off preference flow projections. My win probability seems to be stuck on 83.6%, which is making me thing something is amiss with it.

6.46pm. One Nation’s primary vote lead has almost disappeared as larger centres start to report, and my projection puts Labor ahead of them.

6.41pm. My TCP projections are still based off preference estimates — they will kick over to using a projection based on actual preference flows probably when the next TCP booth result comes in.

6.37pm. There are two booths in from very near Gin Gin, Bullyard and Wallaville, which are the closest things we have to results representative of larger population centres. Wallaville has the LNP well down on the primary vote, to the extent that my projected final result for them has been dragged down from near 50% to 44%.

6.36pm. With six booths in on the primary vote and two on the TCP, nothing to add that hasn’t been said previously. The larger centres in this electorate are Biloela, Chinchilla, Calliope and Gin Gin, and the chance that they may behave differently from the rural booths is such that you wouldn’t quite call it yet, although there’s no reason so far to think things aren’t playing to script. Probably the main point of interest is who out of Labor and One Nation comes second.

6.26pm. The first TCP result is in, from Jimbour — only now can I confirm that the count being conducted is between the LNP and Labor.

6.25pm. Five booths now, with the picture as described in the previous update essentially unchanged. One Nation well ahead of Labor on the raw primary vote, but I am projecting a close race between them. I am also projecting an LNP primary vote just shy of 50%, which doesn’t suggest they are in serious difficulty. Early days still though, and different parts of the seat may produce different dynamics.

6.20pm. We have 257 primary votes in from the Brigalow and Jimbour booths, which show both parties down on the primary vote in the face of competition of One Nation, which is about as you would expect. One Nation currently leads Labor 35 votes to 18, but that may be a function of these being deeply rural booths.

6pm. Polls have closed. With a lot of small booths and not too many candidates to complicate the counting process, results should soon be coming in a pretty fair clip, the first primary votes reporting perhaps within half an hour.

4.30pm. Today is the day of the Queensland state by-election for Callide, held to choose a replacement for Liberal National Party member Colin Boyce following his move to Canberra as the new member for Flynn. This is a rural conservative seat and an historic stronghold for the Nationals, though such contests can be dicey for the party if an independent challenger or One Nation builds a head of steam. No independent has emerged, but One Nation are fielding a candidate who polled 25.6% when she ran in 2017 and came within 6.1% after preferences, though she only managed 12.2% as candidate for Flynn at the recent federal election. A little surprisingly, Labor have entered the field in a seat where they will need a swing of 15.8%.

Live commentary of the count will proceed here from the closure of the polls at 6pm. You can find my live results page here and my by-election guide here. I’m assuming for now that the Electoral Commission will be conducting a two-candidate count between the LNP and Labor, but it may well be One Nation that makes the final count. The same presumably cannot be said of Katter’s Australian Party, Legalise Cannabis or Animal Justice, who are also in the field.

By-elections three

A quick run through the three state by-elections shortly to be held in Liberal and Nationals seats in Labor-run states.

There are now three state by-elections on the way, one imminent, another three weeks away, and a third on a date yet to be determined. I have election guides for the first two of these, linked two below. In turn:

Callide. A by-election will be held for this rural seat in Queensland on Saturday to replace Liberal National Party member Colin Boyce, who has now gone federal as the member for the corresponding seat of Flynn. Labor has not gone the usual path of forfeiting a seat in which it has never been competitive, at least notionally setting up a contest between LNP candidate Bryson Head and Labor’s Bronwyn Dendle. However, there seems at least as much chance that final count will be between the LNP and One Nation, whose candidate Sharon Lohse achieved as much when she ran in 2017. Lohse was also the party’s candidate in Flynn at the recent federal election. For whatever reason, the party sat it out in the seat at the 2020 state election. Also in the field are Legalise Cannabis, Katter’s Australian Party and Animal Justice – but not the Greens, who tend not to trouble the scoreboard much in this part of the world.

Bragg. This blue-ribbon Adelaide seat goes to the polls on July 2 to choose a successor to former Deputy Premier Vickie Chapman, who displeased her party by pulling the plug on her political career shortly after the March election defeat. Here too Labor is gamely taking the field in a seat it has never held, but given the Liberals’ form in comparable seats at the federal election and its all-time low margin of 8.2% after the state election, it’s easier here to see why they might think it worth a roll of the dice. The Liberals could have had particular trouble if disgruntled political staffer Chelsey Potter had followed through on her threat to don the teal independent mantle, but it seems she was persuaded not to. The by-election thus pits Liberal candidate Jack Batty, who until recently worked at the High Commission in London, against Labor’s Alice Rolls, head of policy and strategy at the Australian Pro Bono Centre. The Greens and Family First have also announced candidates; nominations close on Friday.

North West Central. One of only six seats out of the 59 in Western Australia’s lower house not held by Labor, North West Central is shortly to be vacated with the retirement of Nationals member Vince Catania. Catania began his political career with Labor as a member of the Legislative Council in 2005, transferred to the Legislative Assembly in 2008, defected to the Nationals the following year and comfortably retained it through to 2021, when he held out by 1.7% against a swing of 8.4%, one of the lowest in the state. Although anything would seem possible given the loss of Catania’s personal vote, which is of particular significance in a seat where only 8000 voters were cast at the last election, the consensus seems to be that Labor will not field a candidate as it fears a backlash over its one-vote one-value reform to the Legislative Council, expects the seat to be abolished at the next redistribution and already has more MPs than it knows what to do with. The seat could potentially develop into a contest between the Nationals and the Liberals, but the odds on the latter would presumably be rather long.

Honeymoon polling and state by-election news

The first embers of polling since the election record strong support for the new Prime Minister and his agenda.

US pollster Morning Consult, which conducts monthly international polling on world leaders’ domestic personal ratings, has found Anthony Albanese with an approval rating of 51% and a disapproval rating of 25%. Its final result for Scott Morrison was 40% approval and 54% disapproval. The poll was conducted May 23 to 31 from a sample of 3770.

Essential Research published its usual fortnightly poll this week, which had nothing to offer on voting intention or leadership ratings, although it did find that 23% rated themselves more likely to vote Coalition with Peter Dutton as leader compared with 27% less likely. Questions on attitudes to Labor policies found 70% support for increasing the minimum wage and 69% support for a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption, with only 9% opposed in each case. Fifty-two per cent felt Labor should “look for opportunities to rebuild relations” with China, with only 19% favouring a more confrontational position and 12% favouring the current set of policies. Support for the Uluru statement was found to have increased significantly since November 2017, with 53% supporting an indigenous voice to parliament in the constitution.

Some notable state news that got lost in the federal election rush:

• A by-election will be held on June 18 for the Queensland state seat of Callide after its Liberal National Party member, Colin Boyce, moved to federal politics as the Nationals member for Flynn. This is a very safe rural conservative seat, but Labor has nonetheless endorsed Bronwyn Dendle to run against Bryson Head of the LNP, a 26-year-old mining industry geologist. Also in the field are candidates of One Nation, Katter’s Australian Party, Legalise Cannabis and Animal Justice.

• The by-election to replace Vickie Chapman in the safe Liberal seat of Bragg in South Australia has been set for July 2. The ABC reports four nominees for the Liberal preselection: Jack Batty, adviser to the Australian High Commissioner in London; Sandy Biar, national director of the Australian Republic Movement and public affairs officer with the army; and Melissa Jones, a law firm director; and Cara Miller, former co-owner of a radiology business.

• Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff has announced he will introduce legislation this year to increase the size of the state’s House of Assembly from 25 seats to 35, reversing a change made in 1998. The move has the support of the Liberals, Labor and the Greens.

YouGov: 52-48 to Labor in Queensland

A poll commissioned by the Courier-Mail finds Queensland’s Labor government keeping its head above water, despite the paper’s best efforts over recent weeks.

Yesterday’s Courier-Mail featured a YouGov poll of state voting intention in Queensland, which I believe is the first poll for the state since the October 2020 election. The poll credits Labor with a lead of 52-48 on two-party preferred, compared with 53.2-47.8 at the election, from primary votes of Labor 39% (39.6% at the election), Liberal National Party 38% (35.9%), Greens 10% (9.5%) and One Nation 8% (7.1%). Annastacia Palaszczuk recorded a 50% approval rating with disapproval at 36%. The poll was conducted Friday to Wednesday from a sample of 1021.

Hello Newman

An eventful weekend bequeaths Queensland a by-election result and an unexpected new Senate election candidate.

I had a piece yesterday on Campbell Newman’s break with the Liberal National Party and plans to run for the Senate in Crikey, which I believe has its paywall down for a limited time only. The upshot is that Newman’s anti-lockdown message may struggle to gain traction in a state that hasn’t had many of them; that he is unlikely to benefit the conservative cause even if he wins; and that his presence on the ballot paper could even contribute to a seat currently held by the Liberal National Party (specifically Amanda Stoker) or Pauline Hanson instead going to Labor or the Greens.

The article includes a reference to a poll conducted by Ipsos in June from a sample of 500 Queensland respondents for conservative podcast host Damian Coory, who published approval ratings for state political figures among its small sample of 173 LNP voters. Newman was credited with an approval rating of nearly 60%, substantially higher than any of his four successors as party leader, which may have encouraged him in his present course. Newman has also maintained high name recognition, with only around 20% of respondents uncommitted, compared with around 40% for Lawrence Springborg and Deb Frecklington and 60% for David Crisafulli, who replaced Frecklington after the election defeat in October.

Rightly or wrongly, some media accounts have tied Newman’s abandonment of the LNP to a crisis in the party that was laid bare by Saturday’s Stretton by-election, which delivered it an unimpressive swing of 1.6%. My live results display for the by-election continues to be updated here, if on a somewhat irregular basis. The Electoral Commission of Queensland helpfully publishes preference flows by candidate, which may be of some interest: these show that preferences of the Informed Medical Options Party broke 60-40 to the LNP, while the Greens went 82-18 to Labor and Animal Justice went 56-44.

Elsewhere, Antony Green offers his estimated new margins for the finalised federal redistribution of Victoria.

Stretton by-election live

Live coverage of the count for today’s state by-election in Queensland.

Click here for full display of latest results.

Live commentary

10.04pm. The pre-polls are now in on two-party preferred, and the LNP ends the night with a 1.6% two-party swing. Diminishing batches of postals will be added over the coming week or so, together with a small number of provisional votes, but I’d say that’s it for this evening.

9.14pm. The main source of pre-polls has reported on the primary vote, accounting for 7507 votes with very little swing.

8.06pm. The addition of the postal votes on two-party preferred has pushed the LNP swing back over 2%.

7.52pm. The only outstanding results on the primary vote are a big set of pre-polls (maybe 6000) plus late postals; no TCP yet from the 5402 postals counted so far plus the Stretton polling booth. My two separate projections are now in close alignment, one crediting the LNP with a 1.6% swing, the other (which makes use of the booths that have so far only recorded primary votes) with 1.1%.

7.47pm. 5402 postal votes have been added on the primary vote — they have swung to the LNP by about 5%, though this may reflect a tendency of early arriving postal votes to be more conservative than later ones. In any case, it hasn’t changed by final projection too radically, which continues to show very little swing.

7.38pm. Four election day booths are now in on the primary vote, including three that are in on two-party preferred. My vanilla projection of the swing is 2.1% to the LNP, but after factoring in the booth that’s yet to report the TPP and crediting Labor with a higher share of preferences than last time, I’ve actually got a very slight swing to Labor on the overall projection. Maybe that won’t stick, but it’s clear that the LNP has picked up a small swing at best.

7.21pm. Small primary vote swing to the LNP at Runcorn East booth, where 1293 votes were cast.

7.18pm. The Kuraby booth, with 2076 primary votes, is better for the LNP — they’re up by 7.1%. My projection hasn’t changed much though, which I think is because another of the minor booths has reported on TPP and it’s given them a less good preference flow. This projection leans heavily on a preference estimate based on, at this stage, not enough minor party TPP votes (76 in all). The primary votes suggest an LNP swing of 3%-4%.

7.14pm. And with that, my projection is definitively calling it for Labor.

7.13pm. The first major result in is 2344 primary votes from the Sunnybank Hills booth, which record very little swing.

7.11pm. Still no election day results, which could well prove very different — but the three booths we have so far, of which two have TPP as well as primary vote results, suggest a swing to the LNP of insufficient size to put the result in doubt.

7.01pm. Actually, I think my primary vote projections are okay — Antony Green’s are identical.

6.59pm. ECQ booth now in on TPP, which I make to be a 2.1% swing there to the LNP, keeping in mind that this is their strongest result of the three sets of primary vote numbers so far. So it seems pretty clear that Labor aren’t in trouble. I believe there’s a problem with my primary vote projections, which I’m looking into.

6.49pm. The ECQ headquarters booth is in now on the primary vote: 154 votes, swinging slightly to the LNP. Still nothing on two-party preferred.

6.35pm. Now we’ve got “Telephone voting – early voting” as well. The distinction between this and the other telephone voting is unclear to me, but there’s 250 votes’ worth of these and they record a 6.4% drop on the primary vote.

6.15pm. “Telephone voting” is in: only 79 primary votes, little change since the election.

6pm. Polls have closed. I’m not sure when we will be seeing the first results — presumably the five election day polling booths will take a while, and the pre-poll booths still longer. However, the ECQ Headquarters booth in Brisbane will only account for a few hundred votes and shouldn’t take long to knock off if those votes are indeed being counted right away. There’s also telephone votes, which I can’t tell you about; a space for “mobile polling” results is listed, but I suspect there won’t actually be any.


Welcome to the live count thread for today’s by-election in the Queensland state seat of Stretton, which you can read all about here. The action will as ever commence with the close of booths at 6pm, with the first results presumably to follow an hour or so later.

The displays at the top of this post offer a glimpse of my full live results facility, which neatly lay out booth results and the swing calculations being used to project the result. It should be noted that the COVID-19 situation is making booth-matching an ever more fraught exercise: the number of election day polling booths has been cut from an already modest eight to an unheard-of low of five. For this purpose I have folded results from the decommissioned Calamvale booth into Stretton, Eight Miles Plains West into Runcorn East and Runcorn into Sunnybank Hills. We can presumably also expect to see a repeat of the state election when over third of the votes cast were postals.