It’s looking like a massacre. Or as our Poll Bludger puts it: “Labor in Queensland on a direct course for the electoral mincer, with the LNP leading 60-40 on two-party preferred from primary votes of 30% for Labor, 47% for the LNP, 9% for the Greens and 8% for Katter’s Australian Party.”

As Kim Jamieson writes in Crikey today:

“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.”

And bear in mind this poll was taken before the public reaction to the flood inquiry, which handed down its final report, including the revelation that three dam engineers will be referred to the Crimes and Misconduct Commission regarding their conduct in giving evidence before the inquiry.

Inevitably, there’ll be discussion of the federal implications, no matter how often voters make clear they distinguish between state and federal issues. Plainly the implications aren’t good for Julia Gillard and her government, which post-spill has been sharper and more aggressive.

But federal Labor already knows it’s in deep trouble. That dynamic will play out over the rest of the year, and Queensland may feature one way or another in its resolution.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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