Two days late with this one, but let the record note that a Galaxy poll of 800 respondents shows the LNP retaining a huge lead of 59-41 on two-party preferred and 49 per cent to 32 per cent on preferences. This does represent a narrowing on the previous such poll, conducted in mid-November, which had two-party at 62-38 and the primary votes at 28 per cent and 50 per cent. Anna Bligh has also had a slight improvement on personal ratings which are now almost respectable: 43 per cent approval (up two) and 50 per cent disapproval (down three). Campbell Newman however outstrips her with 48 per cent approval (up one) and 37 per cent disapproval (steady), and leads 49-40 as preferred premier (51-40 last time). The poll was conducted by phone on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and has a margin of error of about 3.5 per cent.
Ashgrove (Labor 7.1%): Brisbane lord mayor Graham Quirk has ruled out standing aside to allow for Campbell Newman to return to his old job if he fails to win Ashgrove. This possibility was created by the new election timetable which pushes the council elections out to April 28. A troubling precedent for Newman is the difficulty long-term Labor lord mayor Clem Jones had trying to win state and federal seats in the early 1970s – old stagers recall that the Liberals did well telling voters they should vote against Jones because he was needed at city hall. Campbell Newman meanwhile has taken offence at Labor flyers linking him to the infamous newspaper column by Cairns LNP candidate Gavin King, in which King argues women who are raped while drunk are partly to blame for their own misfortune.
Dalrymple (LNP 15.8%): The Tablelands Advertiser reports that Rosa Lee Long, One Nation member for Tablelands from 2001 to 2009, says the LNP approached her to stand as its candidate. Long contested Dalrymple after Tablelands was abolished at the 2009 election, but was defeated by Shane Knuth, who had held the abolished Charters Towers for the LNP and has since jumped ship for Katter’s Australian Party. The LNP candidate is Liz Schmidt, who has a high profile locally as a livestock transport operator.
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Nanango (Independent 2.9% versus LNP): The Australian reports the LNP is insisting it is on track to win both Dalrymple and Nanango, the latter to be contested by former test cricketer and local farmer Carl Rackemann following the retirement of long-serving independent Dorothy Pratt.
Mount Isa (Labor 5.7%): Labor on the other hand reportedly concedes Bob Katter’s son Robbie Katter will be “hard to beat” in Mount Isa, where he will attempt to unseat Labor’s Betty Kiernan. Robbie Katter is another who claims he was approached by LNP talent scouts. His father meanwhile is predicting his party will win at least 20 seats, which not too many would credit.
Logan (Labor 13.9%): LNP candidate Peter Anderson-Barr, a police sergeant, has withdrawn after media reports from 2004 were circulated regarding an incident in which he allegedly struck a person at the Surfers Paradise police post.
Mundingburra (Labor 6.6%): Former Thuringowa councillor David Moyle will run for Katter’s Australian Party after the withdrawal of their original candidate Jason Grigg. Moyle admits to having variously been a member of Labor, Liberal and the Nationals, and sought Nationals preselection for Thuringowa in 2006.