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Queensland

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.

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. A Webster

    The Qld election is so depressing and so predicatable. Next week Qlders will vote out Labor and a new government will be elected in a landslide. Happiness will spread across the land for a time and then it’ll all start again. Why? Because a landslide victory will only change the colour of government from red to blue. It’ll give the new lot free reign to do as they wish – any way they want. A hung parliament at least makes all sides work harder. And of course when it all goes pear-shaped it’ll be the politicians’ fault again, not the media’s lack drive to get accountability. Nor will the voters blame themselves for laziness in looking beyond self-interest, the headlines and the slogans. We get who we voted for – and end up getting what we don’t deserve.

  2. Stephen

    However and whyever it was done, some representation of the truth has eventually been dragged forth re Wivenhoe.

    Just for that, and for the release of the damaging report just before an election, Anna Bligh has struck a tiny blow for political integrity (compare with AWB scandal, RBA scandal, etc, etc). I wish her well in her next career…

  3. 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.

  4. zut alors

    When Bligh won the last election with less than the previous ALP majority, in her victory speech she acknowledged “Queenslanders, I hear what you’re saying.” Or words to that effect. But, being politicians, they actually hear very little.

    The LNP will be inept in government due to the dearth of talent on the front bench (or rear benches, come to that). The only alternative face we see is that of Campbell Newman. The team is absent. And that’s a wise decision as I regularly watch them in Question Time at George Street and witness their cluelessness first hand. It’s a pity more Queenslander voters haven’t had this insight.

    The LNP will easily be as bad as Bligh’s Labor but, most likely, worse. What a pity Bligh has already flogged off our state’s assets, effectively robbing the LNP of all the fun.

  5. klewso

    “Canned Doo” will have to be every bit the α male/control freak Rudd is, to keep his troop in line and from pillaging the “rubes” in this new game park – I’d like to see that.

  6. beryceann@bigpond.com

    On the face of it, Labor seems to be in for a drubbing at next Saturday’s poll. But as always, in the Sunshine State, things are never quite what they seem. With the undemocratic system of FTP voting now entrenched in the Queensland political system researchers two-party assessments have little value. A more accurate estimation of the election outcome requires a careful seat by seat analysis based on larger-scale state-wide research data. None of the research done so far has been state-wide and the ‘TPP’ outcome assessments appear to be based on the old system using historical preference distributions. At this election, none of the Parties are directing preferences except in a handful of key seats, leaving thinking voters to work it out for themselves. So, yes it is likely to be a well deserved bloodbath for Labor but not necessarily a clean sweep for the LNP. There will be a total of a dozen or more Independents and Australian Party MPs elected in key urban, regional and rural seats and Labor’s regional heartland is unlikely to completely desert it. If it does, the ALP will be faced with the embarrassment of having fewer seats than the combined KAP and Independents in the new parliament, leaving the door wide open for the Australian Party to become the real Opposition in Queensland and providing them with a safe platform to become a genuine force in national politics. Who would have thought!

  7. Liz45

    Can I be the first one to say to Queenslanders – serve you right! I know that the ALP have made some bad decisions, but observing the Coalition in Victoria, WA and NSW, can’t they see what’s ahead? Particularly if there isn’t a decent opposition! We’ll see. I give Newman a month or two before nurses, teachers etc get a caning! That’s all it took O’Farrell in NSW! Backflips all over the place – some on really important issues like CSG etc?

    You get the govt you deserve – the sad thing is, those who suffer most are the most vulnerable; many can’t even vote! And those who look after them are singled out as the ‘patsys’? Predictable as night follows day!

    If Abbott’s elected it will be worse! Don’t say you weren’t warned!

  8. Syd Walker

    I hear you Liz

    If the largely unscrutinised, suspiciously bodgy when they are scrutinized, debate-shy, small-target, un-costed pledges, crash-through called CanDo, “where there’s a will there’s a way” (and stuff EIA!) LNP get elected on Saturday it won’t be thanks to my vote.

    Rarely do so many relatively talentless people stand a good chance of sweeping into Parliament on the strength of a mood-swing bolstered by a tidal wave of crass negativity.

  9. 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.

  10. Edward James

    Labor team players have come to the end of a National dream run. The turn of the political tide in NSW was strong but not as strong as it should have been! Lets hope the Cane Toads make good use of an opportunity on Saturday to show the Cockroaches how to do a proper job getting rid of Labor dead wood from the Queensland Parliament. Edward James