GhostWhoVotes reports Newspoll has slightly better, though still somewhat nerve-jangling, news for Campbell Newman: a poll of Ashgrove has him leading Kate Jones 52-48 from a primary vote of 49 per cent, with Jones on 44 per cent and the Greens on 5 per cent. Kate Jones has an approval rating of 65 per cent against 22 per cent disapproval, compared with 51 per cent and 37 per cent for Newman. Jones is rated the better MP for Ashgrove by 53 per cent, with only 41 per cent opting for Newman.
The following material was posted yesterday; rather than give the Ashgrove poll its own thread I have appended it to the existing one, which hadn’t had enough bang for its buck.
• Reader DavidWH relates in comments that the latest ReachTel automated phone poll targets Mount Coot-tha, the seat of Deputy Premier and Treasurer Andrew Fraser, and suggests his 5.2 per cent margin will be swept away by a swing of 9 per cent. Full results will presumably be available on the ReachTel website in reasonably short order. UPDATE: Nick Adams from ReachTel advises in comments that they won’t be, because the poll was conducted for Channel Seven who asked that it be kept exclusive. The poll had the LNP ahead 56.1-43.9 on 2009 election preferences. You can see the Seven report, including results on a question as to who respondents would like to lead the LNP if Campbell Newman doesn’t win Ashgrove, here.
• Cosima Marriner of the Sun-Herald reported on Sunday that polling conducted by Mark Textor for the LNP last week had Campbell Newman with a 53-47 lead in Ashgrove. There are even stronger grounds than usual for skepticism regarding reported internal polling in relation to this contest, but Marriner further reports that Labor polling is “believed to show the gap is slightly smaller than that but Mr Newman is still in front”. Writing in The Australian, former federal Labor MP Gary Johns (now, I think it fair to say, a figure of the right) crunches the LNP party room numbers in the event that Campbell Newman falls short:
The number of “Liberals” and “Nationals” within the LNP are very close. There are 13 rural members who presumably would show allegiance to former leader Lawrence Springborg. It was, after all, Springborg who amalgamated the party, for which he deserves great credit. The 12 city and Sunshine Coast Liberals would presumably show allegiance to treasury spokesman Tim Nicholls. There are, however, six Gold Coast members, some of whom may show allegiance to former leader John-Paul Langbroek. Of the 12 seats the LNP requires to govern in its own right, the likeliest are five from north Queensland, five from Brisbane and two from the Gold Coast. A bare LNP majority would consist of 18 Nationals, 17 Liberals and eight Gold Coast members. Should the swing be greater than the minimum required, say up to 6 per cent, a further eight seats are likely, six of which are from Brisbane, one from the Gold Coast and one regional. The greater the swing, the more Liberal will become the LNP. Nevertheless, a new LNP partyroom of 51 members would represent 24 Brisbane (five Sunshine Coast) seats, 18 rural seats and nine Gold Coast seats. Katter’s Australian Party holds two seats (LNP absconders) and there are four rural independents. Newman, like Bligh, is a campaigner and a spender. It is unlikely that Springborg or Langbroek will lead. Springborg has not been seen in public for the duration and Langbroek was deposed as leader during the term. Each deserves to hold a senior portfolio. Which leaves Brisbane-based Liberal Nicholls as the likeliest leader should Newman fail in Ashgrove.
• Despite early reports to the contrary, the LNP will not reopen an investigation into a website for motoring enthusiasts administered by Mark Boothman, its candidate for the Gold Coast seat of Albert. Boothman blamed “hackers” for the presence on the defunct site of “adult content” including flash games in which players aim fire at animated images of women to remove their clothing, and links labelled “control your bitches” and “hot teens”. However, digging through internet archives by blogger Syd Walker and VexNews casts doubt on Boothman’s defence.
• Darrell Giles of the Sunday Mail reviews Labor’s attempts to make capital out of issues the LNP is likely to face with women voters, to wit: Mark Boothman’s internet exploits; newspaper columns written by Cairns candidate Gavin King, one of which suggested women were partly to blame if raped while drunk; and the fact that only 16 of the party’s 89 candidates are women, which has been acknowledged as a weakness by Campbell Newman.
• The electorate office of Curtis Pitt, Labor’s member for Mulgrave and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, was graffitied yesterday night with the words “Communist Gay, Communist N…er-loving party”.
• Dennis Atkins of the Courier-Mail today compares Anna Bligh’s admission that Labor does not have enough evidence to refer Campbell Newman to the Crime and Misconduct Commission (“right now all I have is questions, I don’t have enough answers from Mr Newman or enough material”) to John Hewson’s calamitous defences of his GST on Mike Willesee’s program prior to the 1993 federal election. The LNP has been pleased enough with the way the Channel Nine news covered Bligh’s comments to have placed the report on their YouTube page. Atkins also exercised his long political memory yesterday by arguing Labor had crossed a line in drawing Newman’s wife Lisa into its assault on “Campbell’s web”, which he compared to NSW Labor’s attempt to make capital out of a drink-driving charge against Nick Greiner’s wife Kathryn during the campaign which saw it turfed from office in 1988. Koren Helbig of the Courier-Mail reports that Newman boasts he will not sue for defamation over Labor’s attacks because he is “not a sook”, but says he “failed to mention his lawyer had sent a legal letter to the ALP eight days earlier, alleging two of its ‘Campbell’s Web’ TV attack adverts contained defamatory accusations and demanding they be withdrawn”
• Meanwhile, Katter’s Australian Party appears to have scored an own goal with its advertisement attacking Campbell Newman over his past support for gay marriage, which has attracted more publicity than the rest of its campaign put together. The ad has been criticised by the party’s Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth and Mulgrave candidate Damian Byrnes, together with James Packer, whose $250,000 donation to the party has been branded “deeply unethical” by Andrew Wilkie in light of Packer’s casino interests.
• Speaking of ads, I’ve made the effort of going through the party’s YouTube pages to weed out policy announcements and the like and isolate what I have taken to be their television advertisements, based on their production values and length. It is notable that Labor’s positive ads are mostly selling local candidates (two in fairly “safe” seats) rather than policy messages, and that its negative campaign will have only the Ashgrove situation to rest on if “Campbell’s web” develops into a liability. The LNP meanwhile offers a highly potent suite of attack ads together with three which feature Campbell Newman making feel-good noises on policy issues, a luxury which tends not to be available to governments that have been in office for extended periods.
Positive Labor ads:
Kerry Shine for Toowoomba North
Tim Mulherin for Mackay
Bill Byrne for Rockhampton
Craig Wallace for Thuringowa
“Keep Our Kate”: Kate Jones for Ashgrove
Anna Bligh flood/cyclone response (floods images)
Anna Bligh flood/cyclone response (Cyclone Yasi images)
Negative Labor ads:
Campbell’s web #1 (15 seconds)
Campbell’s web #2 (30 seconds)
Campbell’s web #3 (15 seconds)
Campbell’s web #4 (30 seconds)
Campbell’s web #5 (15 seconds)
Campbell’s web #6 (30 seconds)
Ashgrove polls and LNP leadership
Positive LNP ads:
Mackay region (Mackay, Whitsunday, Mirani)
Cairns region (Cairns, Barron River, Mulgrave, Cook)
Newman on health, law and order and education
Newman on economy, budget and training
Newman responds to Labor attack ad; cost of living
Negative LNP ads:
• I have updated by election guide which complete candidate lists, photos of major candidates and campaign updates. There is also plenty of Queensland election campaign goodness on the main Crikey site courtesy of Benjamin Law, Mark Bahnisch and Pandora Karavan and my always humble self. There’s also an election tipping contest featuring both heavy duty (predict every seat) and light and easy (party seat totals plus result in Ashgrove) versions. The prize on offer for each is no less than a year’s subscription to the Crikey daily email.