Labor looks set to win the Queensland state election according to special Morgan polling conducted over the past two nights – but risks losing seats.

Morgan has Labor on 53% – down two points on the 2004 election – and Liberal/National support on 47 – up 2.5 – on a two party preferred basis.

Primary support for the Queensland Labor Government is on 45%, down two points from 2004. The Nationals’ support is up three per cent to 20%, while the Liberal vote has lifted 0.5% to 19%.

Amongst the minor parties, support for the Greens is on 8% (up 1.2 points from 2004) and One Nation 0.5 (down 4.4). 5.5% of voters say they will support independents or other parties, down 0.3 points.

The figures are complicated by the high proportion of voters who did not nominate a party – 9%. In addition, Queensland optional preferential voting makes final two party preferred results harder to determine.

Pollster Gary Morgan says the higher than normal number of undecided electors is due to Liberal and National Party policy of running only one candidate in each seat – that is, not running candidates against each other.

Two factors make this election difficult to predict: the Liberal – National Party policy of having only one candidate standing in each seat; and the Beattie Government’s decision to have optional preferential voting.

We believe that the higher undecided vote is due to electors wanting to vote for the party (Liberal/National) not standing in their seat. How these electors will actually vote on the day is impossible to predict. They may vote for the party representing the L-NP Coalition. However, this is by no means certain.

And there’s another complication, too. About the time you’re reading this, Peter Beattie and Lawrence Springborg will be facing off in the leaders’ debate. Yup. A leaders’ debate on the last day of the campaign. In the afternoon.

It’s one of those odd Queensland traditions, dating back to 1995 when Labor’s Wayne Goss didn’t think he needed to bother to debate Rob Borbidge – until the very last minute.

Only the hardcore will be tuning it. Highlights will obviously be shown on the TV bulletins tonight, but unless Beattie makes a major stuff-up, it’s unlikely to have much impact.

If Springborg was bold, he could try talking about the importance of a strong opposition and a more balanced parliament, particularly given the Galaxy polling splashed all over the Courier Mail today. Politicians are ego driven creatures. It’s probably too much for his pride.

Still, Morgan’s high undecided vote guarantees an intriguing end to the Queensland campaign.

Peter Fray

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