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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.


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

  11. klewso

    The all too sad fact is, we don’t have a party “fit to govern” at the moment – only to “govern by default”.
    In the present climate most parties are made up of individuals more obsessed with what power can do for them (and the party :- like revenge) – not what they can do with the power invested by their constituents, for the greater good.
    Those that aren’t have bugger-all chance of winning influence/seats – because our media can’t control them by carrot or stickdispensing fear or favour, so their profile remains low.

    [And a tabloid media/press – “selling protection” – which seems to think it should be dictating how to run government – controlling how we voters see what’s going on – is quite happy, in their way, with how that’s going. Because they can claim the high moral ground, for preaching :- being seen to be concerned about it – and forget to mention their part in creating it through their active politicking through picking winners and PR management.]

  12. James K

    I can still recall how the Liberals were smashed at a federal level in 2007. The most humiliating defeat in history. Never has a party been so badly thrashed. people talked as if they were going to shut up shop and find other jobs….

    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.

    Labor and Liberal will suffer the merrygoround of defeats and comebacks for a while yet. People are slow of learning. They really think there are only two options and so they have to vote for one of them. Alas…. it suits the big parties to keep the populas in the dark, but slowly but surely other parties will grow. Noteably the Greens. (maybe not in the Qld state election this time though).

    labor will be beaten badly, and next state election they will recover considerable. people have short memories and are easily convinced.

    Politics in Australia is so predictable really. Shallow, petty, hypocritical and predictable.

  13. Mal White

    Is it just me or are there other people wondering why Crikey has ignored the results of the Queensland Flood Inquiry?

    A great many topics are covered by Crikey and yet such an important subject is not covered. It certainly has all the ingredients to be newsworthy; terrible tragedy, twists and turns, lies, scandal and huge economic loss.

  14. klewso

    The potential for incompetence in this LNP is so profound (they had to outsource for a ring-master to control the clowns) and the situation quite fluid, in a volatile electorate, of short attention span, and looking for quick fixes – if they don’t stack up and go too far too fast, I can almost see them being another one/two term flush in the pan (ie if they don’t use their majority to muck around with the electoral system, under cover of “the greater good – and cows deserve the vote, again, too!”).

  15. Edward James

    @ Klewso. Moving into and out of power is what the two parties not much preferred have been doing at our cost for decades. Certainly long before I became interested in what my taxes are paying for! Labor and Liberal National have been taking turns to suck up taxpayer funded RnR on the opporsition benches Federal and State. Your right a ring master is needed to prevent LNP members from shooting themselves in the foot. Some of the stuff we are reading about embarrases me because I have been telling people the Liberal National Coalition is the best tool, to sweep Labor from our parliaments and local councils. @ James K We the peoples do have the power to stop the not so merry go round, we can shake the base of politics. It dose take more time and effort to number the boxes below the line on a ballot paper but it is well worth the effort if we can force dead wood politicians out of Parliaments and into the street. Making room for new politicians with hopefully the backbone and heart to exercise their influence on behalf of their cvonstituents. Every vote denied to Labor in Queensland is a vote their party team players wont get paid for after losing. If Labor are not fit to be in power why would they be fit to sit in opporsition? Edward James

  16. James K

    Edward – what a pity that the “votes that dont go to Labor” … most of them will tragically go to the coalition! And so either Tweedle Dumb or Tweedle Dumber gets paid (per primary vote) yet again!!!

    how freaking tragic.

  17. klewso

    Vote “None of the Above”.
    Don’t reward second rate, bad behaviour (including by default) in our elected representatives – “elected” to represent us and our values – when they don’t represent such values when they are elected!

  18. James K

    I like the idea of “need another candidate” as an option on all ballot papers.
    Of course, someone will end up elected, even if only on the basis of 10% of the voting population if all the rest are informal!
    And so the merrygoround continues….

  19. Edward James

    Not voting for Labor is not enough, exercising you vote to dismantal the Labor party by preventing them from being paid for votes is an important step in moving toward honest open representative government. National leader of Labor our Prime Minister is an identifed liar whose team players can’t provide honest open government to constituents. There are other candidates. But it is way past time to use your vote to dismantal the Labor party team. Edward James

  20. Ben Shurman

    Yes questions will be asked about one of the most self-indulgent acts of political bastardy by the factional relics of the federal Labor party in wanting to obliterate the Rudd insurgency at the beginning of the Queensland state poll.

    Clearly the fearful federal factional relics were deeply concerned that a hard working Rudd would be emboldened by any potential positive result in Queensland and they could not tolerate that possibility thus the preemptive strike.

    They have virtually sacrificed the Queensland Labor Party, and by that I mean ordinary Labor Party members, to maintain their thin hold on power.

    I’m tipping Wayne Swan, if not already destined for labor infamy because of his manipulations in Queensland, will go down as a despised name in Queensland Labor history, potentially the man who administered the last rites to the metaphorical tree of knowledge.

  21. smashman42

    Labor may keep a few seats up here in the Townsville region if Bligh flogs the sob story hard enough in the local media after that storm from out of no where shredded a few suburbs last night worse than Yasi did last year.

    Look at the post-Bris floods poll bounce. Sure this is only focusing on 3 seats the ALP have now up here (Townsville, Thuringowa, Mundinburra), but given they all on the cards to be lost it might be the difference between a Katter opposition & an ALP one?

  22. 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.

  23. klewso

    Surely a candidate has to secure 50%+1 (vote) of the enrollment to be declared winner?
    If that isn’t gained by primary votes then it goes to the counting of preferences to decide – and the elimination process, by “least popular candidate”, till that “majority” is achieved, be it on first, second or more preferences.
    If 50% of those enrolled in a seat aren’t “formal” the ballot would be invalid and void – because there isn’t that one single extra vote in play that would decide it.
    And the more Informal, the harder to gain that majority.

  24. 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!


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