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Mar 19, 2012

LNP-slide could, the polls say, wipe Labor from the map

It’s bad news for Labor and Greens supporters in Queensland, just under one week out from the state election, writes Kim Jameson of Larvatus Prodeo.

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It’s bad news for Labor and Greens supporters in Queensland, just under one week out from the state election.

The Galaxy Poll over the weekend had the Liberal-National Party poised to win up to 70 seats, with the most likely Labor representation between 10 and 15 in the 89-member parliament. The Greens are down to 9% support.

Geographically, on the most favourable interpretation of the poll, Labor would hold a clutch of seats around Logan and IpswichLytton on Brisbane’s south-eastern outskirts, Anna Bligh’s seat of South Brisbane, and then just three seats in the whole of the state north of the Brisbane River: SandgateMackay and Rockhampton.

This is the underlying electoral demography of Queensland — there are no inner-city left redoubts. Labor’s safe seats are simply the ones experiencing the highest level of disadvantage and social exclusion in metropolitan south-east Queensland south of the river.

On these figures, five ministers would survive — Anna BlighAnnastacia PalaszczukRachel NolanTim Mulherin and Vicky Darling. Four women out of five, and a Labor caucus of 13 (which is what we’re contemplating with a uniform swing) would see a majority of Labor MPs being women for the first time. I would hope that Bligh would be succeeded by another woman (for my money, Palaszczuk) and she almost certainly would be.

The remaining frontbenchers would be joined by four first-term MPs, and a few incumbents left standing after the tide sweeps most Labor members away.

Labor’s momentum, observers suggest, stalled last weekend. The long campaign has proved to be a mistake, and the highly personal nature of the assault on Newman over-egged. Kate Jones, despite receiving Greens preferences, will probably now go down to defeat in Ashgrove, as will deputy Premier Andrew Fraser in Mount Coot-tha and other up and coming frontbenchers.

Ministers have been fighting for their electoral lives, and the Premier has carried the thrust of the attack on Campbell. There are legitimate questions he has to answer, particularly around senior staff in his mayoralty team running development companies on the side, but the sheer negativity of the campaign has now turned around and bit Labor.

Bombarded by paper, dazzled by the onslaught of TV ads, electors have switched off, and the “it’s time for a change” meme has resurfaced with a vengeance. It was always going to be hard for Labor to counter this (though a more thematically unified positive vision would have helped). But the Premier, who is going down fighting, is now reduced to warning of the dangers of a huge LNP majority.

If the result on Saturday looks like the polls suggest, the ALP will face a very difficult task in rebuilding.

Questions will be asked about the wisdom of importing strategists such as Bruce Hawker, and about the impact of federal factors.

But, one way or another, it looks highly likely that Queenslanders face a long LNP reign.

*This article was first published at Larvatus Prodeo

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24 thoughts on “LNP-slide could, the polls say, wipe Labor from the map

  1. Liz45

    @ANTHONY GRACE – My god, what an arrogant person you are! If, at the age of almost 67 I want a lecture, I’ll ask for it, and I’ll choose someone completely devoid of sexism and who knows what other ‘isms’ you have. I have nothing but loathing for Abbott. A vote for him is a vote to have Pell in the Lodge! No thank you! The plight of many women will be aggravated by Abbott having any more power than he does now. He’s an insufferable, misogynist! Newman doesn’t impress me at all. A LNP govt will really be a Palmer/Forrest/Reinhart administration. Pity those who’ll suffer from the effects of CSG and other mining ventures, and too bad about the Great Barrier Reef!

    You are everything I despise in both males and conservatives. The only party to do anything worthwhile for health over the years is a Labor Govt. If your cronies had done sufficient in their almost 12 years in Federal Govt, there wouldn’t be the problems now. To give credit where it’s due, the Rudd and now the Gillard Govt are trying to address the total neglect in this area.

    Just because you suffer from convenient amnesia, don’t think the rest of us do also. I first voted in 1967. I voted for Whitlam in ’72 because of Health(Medibank) and education, among other aspects. The whole rubbish about the lies of the media re the Khemlani affair etc is so much rubbish. Funny how that bloke just fell off the planet? How convenient! I wonder how much he was paid – off!!!!!

    Howard supported the wealthy medical practitioners and assisted by reducing numbers to study medicine. We’re now suffering the effects of that wanton act of so called, liberalism! Shameful! The same thing happened re electricians and plumbers, to name just two areas – you could add other technical areas to this list. Howard increased University fees, and several State govts introduced high fees for TAFE courses. The present COALITION Govt in NSW is going to aggravate this situation.

    And I’ve yet to start on the poverty aggravated and implemented re pensioners in this county by Howard. I don’t mean those who have homes, savings and superannuation, I mean people like me who rely on my pension to live. And, as a person in public housing, I’m in a superior position to too many others, forced to pay high rents, with only very small assistance from govt/s.

    You’re obviously NOT a person struggling, and it shows! Go away!

  2. Anthony Grace

    @ A Webster – Mate you really seem to be a bit down on democracy, how about about you go and live in North Korea or Syria for a year, then come back and post a comment, I bet you will be a bit more positive about things then.

    @ Liz45 – Gee I am not too sure which team you are batting for, but I think you don’t like Mr Abbott or Mr Newman, and I think you are pouting because you know A) You are going to get smashed at this State Election and B) You are going to get smashed at the next Federal Election. Let me explain something to you Liz, you are clearly an ALP and/or Greens Supporter, I am clearly an LNP Supporter and those two things will never change. Fortunately there are people called “Swinging Voters”. They, unlike you (and me) do not have blinkers on all the time, and they know when they see a government that is failing big time and they are going turf them out. As I sit here typing away with my one good eye (the other is a tad stuffed at the moment from a Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion), I couldn’t agree with you more about health being a major issue. I seriously don’t think the the LNP is going to persecute Front Line Health Workers (and I will be upset if they do) they are going to persecute Public Health Sector Management, which is full to the brim with useless bureaucrats, and they are going to do that in every other Queensland Government Department, and I can’t wait. Gee the the tossers may have to get area job in the private sector and do some real work 🙂

    @ James K “I can still recall how the Liberals were smashed at a federal level in 2007. The most humiliating defeat in history”. LOL, clearly you were not around in 1975, or have a selective memory, these are the Two Party Preferred Percentages in the House of Reps, 1975 – Coalition 55.70 % / ALP 44.30 %, 2007 – ALP 52.70 / Coalition 47.30. Not even close mate. “And all it took was three years and a lot of money invested in a very successful ad campaign (by the mining companies of all people!) and hey-presto: they are back from the dead”. No mate that should read “And all it took was three years and a lot of incompetence from the ALP and they turned a sizable majority into nothing”.

    @ klewso “The all too sad fact is, we don’t have a party “fit to govern” at the moment – only to “govern by default”. Unless you are Nostradamus, how about you let them have a go at governing first mate, then make a judgment.

    Well that’s all I have to say at the moment, other that the comments in this post read like an ALP Chat-room. But then again Crikey always seems a bit that way, but don’t worry I have signed up and am now here to save you from your sins LOL, like you really need that. XOX. AJG.

  3. Liz45

    @SYD WALKER – I share your frustration! Same thing here in NSW! I must start keeping count of all the negative decisions by O’Farrell. I suggest you do the same! The already overworked people, vital in any state were the first ones to suffer the ‘belt around the head’? Nurses, teachers, police people and others in the front line of caring for people. Kids with disabilities left outside their houses due to no transport! What a stuff up that was. All to save a few lousy dollars. Kids at risk; the environment, particularly a huge backflip on CSG? It goes on and on! Nothing about the proposed pay increases for pollies though! I wonder when they’ll sneak that one past us?

    Having said the above, it doesn’t mean that I’d not like to ‘choke’ ALP govts for letting down the ordinary people. The arrogance and lack of community involvement is really frustrating. For Campbell Newman to blame State govts for increases in the cost of living is pretty rich, but again, msm don’t call him to account. They don’t challenge him on the almost 12 years of a Federal Coalition govt that handed out money to the already rich; criminally neglected health, education and infrastructure and the attitude to the now Federal Govt that wants to re-dress the years of neglect! Who had the last word on numbers of doctors that could be trained years ago (Howard)? I remember the local union people voicing their concerns about the lack of electricians and plumbers in years to come. This was in the mid 1990’s? Guess what happened?Same people in power!

    There’s going to be an awful shortage of medical Specialists very soon – in Orthopedics, Obstetrics to name just two. They could almost be ready to start work now, if Howard had not listened to greedy medical people and looked ahead! I make no criticism re medical people from overseas, nor any racist attitudes, but where would we be if not for people from India, Pakistan, the US etc to operate on needy people! Two specialists I’ve seen recently – neither Australian born people! This is not an isolated experience! I will NOT believe that there weren’t enough people with HSC scores or the motivation to study medicine!

    I know this is a bit off topic, but it shows the lack of priorities where it really counts. What’s more important in life than health? Very little I’d say – except love for those closest to us!

    Of course, the novel idea of spending the peoples’ taxes on vital things like health, education and housing is not shared by msm. Who owns the major papers in Qld? Murdoch! Enough said! Very frustrating isn’t it? Guess where a future Abbott govt is going to ‘find’ savings? Yep! Health, Education etc.

  4. klewso

    It’s not all bad news for Labor is it? Sure it’s their own doing, but on the bright side, look at how long they’re going to have to figure out “What can go wrong when you take so much for granted?”
    From not thinking you have to tell anyone you’re going to conduct a fire sale of assets if you win an election.
    The sheer bloody-minded incompetence of keeping on deadwood dressed as ministers – that sap the life out of the party’s electoral appeal – to satisfy factional warlords.
    The sort of “loyalty deal” that manifested itself in ministers leaving it up to the mandarins of the public service to adopt what became the Health Pay Fiasco – and the way the little people were seen to be treated during that “death of a thousand cuts”.
    Even with the electoral system they introduced that helped them stay in power – “just vote 1”.
    And what all this has gifted a press (much owned and run as a conservative image factory, with little competition in that field of crop circle spin), programmed to run negative PR campaigns against anything on the Left, in their virtually unfettered influence on public opinion. Especially after the official “Limited News Party” blew the last election, they were hardly going to give up a chance to respray Labor this term. Negative news ever day has to take it’s toll – and they know that as well as anyone.
    Now Queensland can check out what happens when there isn’t an opposition – I wonder how long it will be before the LNP looks at that voting system – they’ll be up against soon enough.

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