YouGov Galaxy: 53-47 to state Labor in Queensland

The same poll that had the federal Coalition retaining a slight lead in Queensland goes solidly the other way on state voting intention.

The Courier-Mail today has part two of its YouGov Galaxy poll of Queensland, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 900, this time dealing with state voting intention. Interestingly, the state result is quite a bit better for Labor than the federal one, recording Labor with a 53-47 lead on two-party preferred, compared with 52-48 at the previous such poll in February, and 51.2-48.8 at the November election. The primary votes are Labor 38% (up one on the previous poll in February, and compared with 35.4% at the November election), Liberal National Party 35% (down one, 33.7% at the election), One Nation 12% (up two, 13.7% at the election) and Greens 10% (steady, 10.0% at the election).

UPDATE: Personal ratings are 46% approval (up two) and 38% disapproval (steady) for Annastacia Palaszuczuk, and 31% (up two) and 28% (up three) for Deb Frecklington, with Palaszczuk leading 47-27 as preferred premier, out from 42-31.

YouGov Galaxy: 52-48 to state Labor in Queensland

Labor maintains a modest lead in the first Queensland state poll since their November election victory.

The Courier-Mail today has the first Queensland state poll since the November election, conducted by YouGov Galaxy from the same sample as the federal poll published on Saturday. It finds both major parties gaining about equally from a decline in support for One Nation, with Labor at 37% (up from 35.4% at the election), the Liberal National Party on 36% (up from 33.7%), the Greens on 10% (unchanged) and One Nation on 10% (down from 13.7%). Labor is credited with a 52-48 lead on two-party preferred, compared with 51.2-48.8 at the election. Deb Frecklington’s debut result on the question of preferred premier has her trailing Annastacia Palaszczuk 42-31, which compares with Tim Nicholls’ deficit of 43-29 at the beginning of November. The poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 860.

New year news (week two)

A bunch of state polling, particularly from Victoria, and two items of preselection news.

Another random assortment of polling and preselection news to tide us over until the federal polling season resumes:

• Essential Research has broken the poll drought to the extent of releasing state voting intention results, compiled from the polling it conducted between October and December. The results find Labor ahead in all five states, with Tasmania not covered. This includes a breakthrough 51-49 lead in New South Wales, after they were slightly behind in each quarterly poll going back to April-June 2016; a 51-49 lead in Victoria, after they led either 52-48 or 53-47 going back to October-December 2015; a 52-48 lead in Queensland, from primary vote results well in line with the state election held during the period; and a new peak of 57-43 in Western Australia. In South Australia, Labor is credited with a lead of 51-49, from primary vote numbers which are, typically for Essential Research, less good for Nick Xenophon’s SA Best than Newspoll/Galaxy: Labor 34%, Liberal 31%, SA Best 22%.

The Age has ReachTEL polls of two Victorian state seats conducted on Friday, prompted by the current hot button issue in the state’s politics, namely “crime and anti-social behaviour”. The poll targeted two Labor-held seats at the opposite ends of outer Melbourne, one safe (Tarneit in the west, margin 14.6%), the other marginal (Cranbourne in the south-east, margin 2.3%). After excluding the higher-than-usual undecided (14.5% in Cranbourne, 15.5% in Tarneit), the primary votes in Cranbourne are Labor 40% (down from 43.4% at the last election), Liberal 40% (down from 41.3%) and Greens 7% (up from 4.2%); in Tarneit, Labor 43% (down from 46.8%), Liberal 36% (up from 26.4%), Greens 10% (up from 9.0%). Substantial majorities in both electorates consider youth crime a worsening problem, believe “the main issues with youth crime concern gangs of African origin”, and rate that they are, indeed, less likely to go out at night than they were twelve months ago. The bad news for the Liberals is that very strong majorities in both seats (74.6-25.4 in Tarneit, 66.5-33.5) feel Daniel Andrews would be more effective than Matthew Guy at dealing with the issue.

Rachel Baxendale of The Australian reports on the latest flare-up in an ongoing feud between Ian Goodenough, member for the safe Liberal seat of Moore in Perth’s northern suburbs, and party player Simon Ehrenfeld, whose preselection for the corresponding state seat of Hillarys before the last state election was overturned by the party’s state council. The report includes intimations that Goodenough may have a fight of his own in the preselection for the next election, with those ubiquitous “party sources” rating him a “waste of a safe seat“, particularly in light of Christian Porter’s dangerous position in Pearce.

• Not long after Andrew Bartlett replaced Larissa Waters as a Queensland Greens Senator following the latter’s Section 44-related disqualification, the two are set to go head-to-head for preselection at the next election. Sonia Kohlbacher of AAP reports that Ben Pennings, “anti-Adani advocate and former party employee”, has also nominated, although he’s presumably a long shot. The ballot of party members will begin on February 16, with the result to be announced on March 26.

Queensland election endgame

The result, barring big surprises at the eleventh hour: Labor 48, LNP 39, Katter’s Australian Party three, One Nation, Greens and independents one apiece.

The ECQ now has “two candidate results after distribution of preferences” for 77 out of 93 seats, with the only theoretically doubtful ones outstanding being Thuringowa and Mundingburra, where the chance of One Nation victories is being used by Tim Nicholls to justify not conceding defeat. Failing that, Labor will emerge from the election with 48 seats out 94, which is exactly what they notionally went in with, based on 2015 election results adjusted for new boundaries in a parliament enlarged from 89 seats, and ignoring seats lost through carelessness and misfortune. However, it has got there in a roundabout way, compensating for losses in the regions with wins in the city.

Partly this was a correction after 2015, when Labor performed strongly in the regions to pick up historically tricky seats like Maryborough and Bundaberg, while falling short in bellwether city seats. It’s also to do with changing preference flows, for which the government’s decision to reintroduce compulsory preferential voting played a substantial part. In regional seats where Labor-versus-LNP data is available for comparison, the LNP received 53% of all minor party preferences this time, compared with 2015 results of 41% for Labor and 17% for the LNP, with 42% exhausting. This was certainly enough to cost Labor victory in Burdekin, and perhaps also Whitsunday (although the preference flow there was almost even).

Continue reading “Queensland election endgame”

Queensland election live: week two

With counting set to drag into a second week, Labor remains on the precipice of majority government.

Tuesday, December 5

Hetty Johnston has conceded defeat in Macalister, which would seem to remove the final obstacle to Labor’s 47 seats, with Townsville still outstanding. Only a handful of votes were added to the count there today, but there is talk in comments that Labor scrutineers believe they have a lead of over 100 votes.

Monday, December 4

A second batch of absents in Townsville has been better for the LNP than the first, breaking 244-240 to Labor rather than 520-428. Since my projection of these votes had been based on the behaviour of the first batch, this eliminates the gain I was projecting Labor to make on late counting, such that my projected final outcome is no different from my estimate of the two-party preferred result. I’m still projecting a little more than 1000 votes to come, but this is based on patterns from 2015 that may not repeat this time. So the only thing to be said about this is that it’s right down to the wire, as far as I can tell. The correctness of my assumption relies on preferences from votes counted after the ECQ turned off two-party counts on Tuesday (of which there have been 3103) behaving the same as those from before (of which there were 24,981). The two groups of votes behaved almost identically on the primary vote, so there is no obvious reason to think that they won’t.

Elsewhere, it’s the same story as before, with everything depending on preference distributions that we can’t yet see. It’s looking hopeless for Labor in Maiwar, with a 51-vote deficit against the Greens set to be compounded by independent preferences. The shortfall Hetty Johnston needs to cover on preferences in Macalister continues to widen slowly, now at 3.5%, although that would have to be about it.

Friday, December 1

With a week’s worth of counting completed, there is still a wide zone of uncertainty surrounding the Queensland election result that will linger until Tuesday. In the race to 47, Labor appears to start on an assured 45 (subject to a few qualifications noted at the bottom of the post), or 46 if you include Rockhampton like everyone else is doing. It seems more likely than not that Macalister will put them on the top, and the chance of an extra layer of icing was increased by today’s counting in Townsville. The LNP starts on 39, can make that 40 if they make it Townsville, and then 41 if they don’t lose Hinchinbrook to Katter’s Australian Party, which remains an unknown quantity.

In Townsville, 990 absent votes have been added, which I’m taking to be about half the total based on there being 1829 of them at the 2015 election. I had been projecting these to break 51.5-48.5 to the LNP, but my two-party estimate actually has them going 54.9-45.1 to Labor. With 423 various other types of vote added to the count over the past few days breaking almost evenly, my two-party estimate has Labor all of five votes in front. I’m projecting that to grow to 75 – but, this is based on the assumption that the outstanding absent votes will behave the same way as those that have already reported, and absent votes characteristically vary significantly between different batches as they come in from different areas. My projection:

In Maiwar, various types of non-ordinary vote were added to the count haven’t changed the situation: the Greens lead by four, and stand to gain 150 to 200 when the independent’s preferences are distributed. With less than 1000 votes likely still to come, Labor’s only hope would seem to be an error turning up.

There can only be a handful of votes left in Macalister, and the situation is basically unchanged, with the LNP leading Hetty Johnston by 3.4% in the race for second, and Johnston needing the 13.5% to be distributed as preferences to close the gap, in which case she will beat Labor on LNP preferences. Johnston herself says it’s more likely than not she won’t make it, but no one seems to know for sure.

Finally, a piece in Inside Story by former Age journalist Tim Colebatch identified a few possibilities for One Nation boilovers that others have overlooked or discounted. One was Thuringowa, where One Nation could win if LNP and Katter’s preferences are particularly tight, although I suspect Colebatch is overlooking the fact that LNP had One Nation last on preferences here. The other was Rockhampton, in the event that Labor fails to get a solid flow of Margaret Strelow’s preferences (though Strelow herself seems to be well informed about the count, and hasn’t mentioned this as a possibility.

Queensland election live: day two

Evolving coverage of the long and winding aftermath of Queensland election night.

Thursday morning

I’ve now taken Gaven, Cook and Burdekin off my watch list, the first two credited to Labor, the latter to the LNP (see below for further detail on Burdekin). That gets Labor to 45, which then becomes 46 if Margaret Strelow is right to have conceded defeat in Rockhampton, which she presumably is (more on that below also). To get to 47, Labor would need one out of the following: to retain Macalister, which will happen if independent Hetty Johnston can’t close a 3% gap against the LNP on preferences (which I would rate somewhat likely); Townsville, which is going down to the wire with Labor very slightly behind; and to be the beneficiary of Scott Emerson’s defeat in Maiwar, which seems somewhat more likely to go to the Greens. The ABC computer is predicting 48 for Labor, but I’m not sure why, because it only projects them with leads in 47.

The latest iteration of my results table looks as follows, with explanatory notes to follow:


The big news of the day was independent Margaret Strelow’s concession that she is not going to win, contrary to most back-of-envelope projections to this point. The kicker is apparently a very tight 60% flow of preferences from the LNP to the One Nation, which will cause the latter to overtake Strelow at the second last exclusion, by a fairly comfortable margin of around 400 votes on my reckoning. One Nation would need about 55% of Strelow, LNP and Greens preferences to overtake Labor, and evidently Strelow’s are favouring Labor enough that this is not going to happen. It seems a full preference count will be conducted today.


The count here seems unusually advanced, so there will presumably not be much change to the current results – which is good for independent Hetty Johnston, who has been getting smashed on postals. The key to the situation is the LNP’s 26.66% to 23.33% lead over Johnston, which she needs to close to poach the seat from Labor. The sources of the preferences will be the Greens on 6.54% and three minnows on 6.82% between them. Out of a three-way split of preferences, Johnston’s share will need to be about 25% higher than the LNP’s. Buried deep in a typically eyeroll-inducing report from the Courier-Mail is the news that Labor is very confident that this won’t happen.


Not much progress in the count yesterday, with 90 postal votes breaking about evenly, and Labor clawing back about 30 on rechecking of booth votes. I still have the LNP a few dozen votes ahead, but there are perhaps 2000 absent votes that are yet to be counted, which might turn up something for Labor – though they were in fact slightly favourable to the LNP in relative terms in 2015. The same goes for maybe 700 outstanding out-of-district pre-poll votes. Also to come are around 600 declared institution, polling day declaration and uncertain identity votes, whose idiosyncrasies cancelled each other out last time.


All that was added yesterday were 130 postals, which increased the Greens’ primary vote lead from 37 to 43. Still to come: about 1500 absent votes, which are historically strong for the Greens; about 400 out-of-district pre-polls; a trickle of postals and 200 or so odds and sods. With scrutineer talk of a strong flow of Greens preferences out of the 737 votes for independent Anita Diamond, Labor will need to do extremely well on the outstanding count to get their nose in front.


My projection that the LNP would pull away here is looking pretty good after 652 postals were added to the count yesterday, breaking 430-222 to the LNP if preferences behaved as before. I’m projecting a 637 vote LNP win, and while this is probably inflated by an overestimate of the number of outstanding postals, I’m no longer regarding it as in doubt.


Not really anything to follow here, as we won’t know the real situation until the preference distribution. However, it looks very much to me like One Nation’s narrow lead over Katter’s will be eliminated by Labor preferences, and that Katter’s will then ride home over LNP member Andrew Cripps on One Nation preferences. That’s unless Labor gets a strong flow of preferences from independent Peter Raffles and the Greens (3.04%), in which case Labor will close a 21.02% to 18.83% deficit against Katter’s, causing the latter to be eliminated in fourth place. In this case, there would need to be a Labor preference share around 30% higher than that to the KAP – plausible in the Greens’ case, but there doesn’t seem any reason to think preferences from Raffles, who wants statehood for north Queensland, will not go strongly to Katter. As top candidate on the ballot paper, some of Raffles’ vote would be of the donkey variety, and that vote won’t harm Katter’s.

Continue reading “Queensland election live: day two”