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Queensland Politics

Jan 3, 2015

Newspoll: 50-50 in Queensland

As the state election looms ever closer, polling continues to find Campbell Newman's government struggling to keep its head above water.

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Next off the Newspoll state voting intention rank (and presumably the last there is, Victoria being redundant) is the October-December result for Queensland, and it adds to a broader polling picture of the Liberal National Party being in an alarmingly weak position even as the election looms into view (the talk being late February). The poll has the LNP and Labor tied on two-party preferred, ending a volatile sequence of polling for the year which started with the LNP leading 52-48 in January-March, than had Labor seizing the lead for the first time by 51-49 in April-June, and then put the LNP in front by 54-46 in August-September.

On the primary vote – particularly important given Queensland’s optional preferential system and high exhaustion rate – Labor has gained four points to reach 36%, the LNP is off two to 37% and the Greens are steady on 10%. The 17% support for other parties threatens to make life unpredictable, despite the fact that it has reflected the decline of Palmer United by dropping nine points since April-June, and two since July-September.

Despite the headline numbers, the personal ratings are slightly better for Campbell Newman this time: he’s up three on approval to 38% and down three on disapproval to 51%, and his lead as preferred premier is out from 41-35 to 44-35. Annastacia Palaszczuk also scores slightly better ratings this time, with approval up two to 38% and disapproval down two to 34%.

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43 comments

43 thoughts on “Newspoll: 50-50 in Queensland

  1. Matt

    I’m wondering what “Can-do Campbell” will do as Election Day approaches?

    Will he fight the (near) impossible fight of trying to keep Ashgrove in the blue column?

    Or will he turn tail and parachute into a different, more LNP-friendly electorate? Probably the smarter move tactically, but after his repeated public insistence that he’ll defend Ashgrove, bolting may leave some egg on his face.

  2. daretotread

    Nowhere for Can do to bolt to now. Flegg was his best hope for a spot

  3. sprocket_

    @sprocket___: Campbell Newman in seeming adoration of The Lying Friar, can’t understand why his popularity is plummeting #auspol http://t.co/C2B0L3IBIV

    Will be interesting to see whether the electorally toxic Tony Abbott will be allowed into Queensland over the next few months

  4. shellbell

    Are us humble NSW folk entitled to a poll?

  5. Socrates

    Looks like I better learn how to spell “Paluszczuk”.

  6. docantk

    This poll no doubt hides some regional variations. LNP has 27 seats in Brisbane/Logan/Gold Coast regions on less than 15% which must be at risk. Additionally there are two seats in Townsville, two in Cairns, two in Ipswich, two near Mackay, then chuck in Pumicestone and Cook and it’s hello Premier Palaszczuk.

  7. David

    This poll obviously spell trouble for the LNP. Political expert Paul Williams has already suggested his prediction will be a narrow LNP win, with Campbell Newman losing Ashgrove. On this polling some other prominent LNP scalps will most likely fall (David Crisfulli, Saxon Rice, Reg Gully). LNP have alot in the bank though, apparently spending possibly 40 millions on this state election. Along with that they 73 MP’s, who have the advantage of all those resources with having a seat.

    One post I read has already suggested the LNP have waved the white flag in 18 seats already. And will concentrate it’s resources elsewhere, be interesting if that was true.

    Labor has alot talent waiting in the wings at the next state election (Cameron Dick, Sterling Hincliffe, Kate Jones, Steve Miles, Leeanne Enoch, and Shannon Fentiman) all keen to come in and make an impact.

    Also Campbell Newman making a bolt for another seat is not going to happen. He’s has locked in Ashgrove, the money, resources, and time. It’s too late for him to turn and go back.

  8. Raaraa

    The PUP (not that I like them or anything) are unsurprisingly absent (and lumped with “Others”) while the KAP is still in there with 1%.

  9. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    What are the chances that, if Can-Do fights Ashgrove (and loses) but his party gets over the line, someone will step aside and let him win a by-election. That has happened a fair bit in England (Churchill, for instance, was given a seat after he lost his own), but can’t remember it happening in Australia, particularly for a premier. Presumably, he would be so tainted by that stage the party would say “good riddance”.

  10. teh_drewski

    shellbell – looks like Newspoll are going in order of size with the state polls, so NSW will come after Victoria, unless they decide to skip it on account of there just having been an election.

    I’d need a lot more data before thinking this result is solid, but it’ll certainly give the LNP some food for thought this year, and the ALP a big thunk of encouragement.

    Also, I’d love an explanation from the Queensland bludgers who were absolutely certain that Palaszczuk was going to get knocked off before Christmas.

  11. Antony GREEN

    The NSW Newspoll has already been published and was commented on by William here http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2014/12/23/exit-john-robertson/

  12. Toorak Toff

    British Labour MP and minister Patrick Gordon Walker lost his seat of Smethwick in a vicious racist campaign in 1964. PM Harold Wilson made him foreign secretary while another Labour MP was persuaded to vacate his safe seat of Leyton to enable Patrick Walker to re-enter parliament. Unfortunately, he lost the Leyton by-election early in 1965.

    It was not all downhill for Patrick Walker, a distinguished historian and author who had won Smethwick at a 1945 by-election and had served as a minister under Clement Attlee. He won Leyton in the 1966 general election and served in the cabinet from 1967-68 before retiring in 1974, becoming a life peer and briefly a member of the European Parliament. He died in 1980 at 73.

  13. Toorak Toff

    Patrick Gordon Walker, later Lord Gordon-Walker

  14. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    TT – Surely a man with Can-Dos skills and vision cannot be lost to Australian politics. Any career politician would be honoured to fall on his/her sword and give him an entry back into parliament, particularly after he brilliantly converted a huge majority into a squeaky-bum election victory.

  15. shellbell

    Thanks Antony

  16. bemused

    Bob Ellis on the Qld Newspoll and more…
    http://www.ellistabletalk.com/2015/01/03/the-three-worst-things-the-liberals-did-yesterday-157/
    [A Newspoll showed Campbell Newman’s LNP losing only 33 percent of its primary vote in Queensland. This, however, was an underestimate based on homeloving octogenarians indoors and answering only landlines in the summer months and a redistribution of Palmer and Katter preferences favouring, as they do no longer, the LNP.

    It put the parties at 50-50 two party preferred; but the more likely result was 54-46 favouring Labor, and Newman, with whom 51 percent of octogenarians were dissatisfied and 11 percent ‘uncommitted’, losing his seat. ‘His problem is tone, and overreach,’ wrote Michael McKenna, invisibly, on p2 of The Weekend Australian. ‘It didn’t help that Newman also faces a scare campaign over a massive privatisation plan he is taking to the election at a time when the state has the highest jobless rate in the country.’ The headline, further evidence, in some eyes, that Murdoch was on the turn, was ‘Punch-Drunk Campbell’s Fight For Survival’.]

  17. Antony GREEN

    I presume Ellis is referring to the same underestimate based on homeloving octogenarians indoors and answering only landlines in the summer months that saw Newspoll predict Labor to win 52.0% after preferences in Victoria.

  18. bemused

    Antony GREEN@17

    I presume Ellis is referring to the same underestimate based on homeloving octogenarians indoors and answering only landlines in the summer months that saw Newspoll predict Labor to win 52.0% after preferences in Victoria.

    Best you ask him 😀

  19. Matt

    I -would- like to see Newspoll’s methodology…it’d be one of the quicker ways to answer questions like that, would it not?

    Personally, my money (unless the climate -sniggers- gets even uglier for the State or Federal LNP) is that the LNP’s returned with a narrow majority, but Newman loses his seat.

    Which means that -someone- else gets to become Premier…Seeney perhaps?

  20. Socrates

    Thinking about this poll further, obviously it might still be quite difficult for Paluszczuk to win office in 2015. However it looks quite likely Newman will be out of parliament, and the numbers will be much closer, with the new L m p premier to be either Jeff Seeney or somebody else equally charismatic. With a few independents or PUPs around there might be a minority government.

    That would make it very interesting in 2018, by which time I expect Paluszczuk will be premier.

  21. ICanCU

    LNP hurt a lot of people in sacking many Health workers as soon as they got in. In recent times spent a fortune on a poll asking how Qld should fix the budget … More mining royalties was the obvious answer but this was ignored with a preference to “lease” state assets on a 99 year lease .. What a frickin joke …
    They are on a mission to destroy the barrier reef and on the way take down public respect for the legal profession by appointing an inexperienced big mouth as attorney general.
    Seeney is Russ Hinze reincarnated … Very grubby and on the take …
    QLD is just a smaller version of the federal LNP … hopeless idiot in charge surrounded by grubs …

  22. Ross

    teh_drewski 10,

    Re Annestacia Paluszczuk’s mooted pre-Christmas execution, I can report that the Queensland comrades have sheathed their swords and will allow her a free run to the election. The idea for a change of leadership initially was run from HQ, but the word from the Peel St. mafia now is ‘silenzio’. This was due to i) the new leadership rules that prevent a swift and clean execution on the way to the forum, and ii) the 50% union share of the vote has largely been secured by her supporters. So, the bruvvers have out-muscled the comrades. As one of the Peelers told me, ”It’s all the way with Paluszczuk”.

  23. lefty e

    [LNP have alot in the bank though, apparently spending possibly 40 millions on this state election. ]

    See VIC election as to how useful that might be if punters have made up their minds.

  24. Kevin Bonham

    http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/queensland-beautiful-one-day-lineball.html
    Beautiful One Day, Lineball The Next
    Queensland polling roundup and election modelling

    Current polling implies a slightly more likely than not hung parliament, LNP need to get their act together.

    Oh and if anyone in the ALP was even thinking about rolling Palaszczuk then their membership card should be ripped up for confetti. Total lunacy.

  25. teh_drewski

    Ross – Labor HQ can thank their lucky stars that the unions prevented them from committing suicide, then.

    Why on earth “HQ” would want to start leadershit when Newman’s driving over a cliff is beyond me. What clowns.

  26. Ross

    Kevin 24, t_d 25,

    Without labouring the point, the view a few months ago was that Annastacia was condemned by her own success. With the ALP being surprisingly competitive, some felt she was too inexperienced and would be swamped in an election campaign by the LNP’s millions, plus the incumbency factor. Hence the talk of a leader (Dick?) from outside the parliament a la Newman. The idea interested more than a few people of consequence, but I totally agree it would be lunacy to change leaders now. It’s too late. As I explained in 22, the new rules to change leaders make the process too cumbersome.

  27. Matt

    Ross @26

    Above and beyond that: how would the public view such an act of political bastardry? Newman got away with it because (a) he’s LNP and can rely upon media support 90% of the time, and (b) it was a novel way of doing things.

  28. Socrates

    Amazing to hear a change in leadership was even contemplated by the Labor heavies (I won’t call them a brains trust) in Qld. Way too late. Have they learnt nothing from Rudd, Gillard and NSW?

  29. Rates Analyst

    It will be fun to watch the media questioning. There are going to be very legitimate questions that should be asked.

    Like, “Mr Premier, if the LNP is returned but you lose your seat, who will become the Premier?”

    Or, “Ms Opposition Leader, if you should win Government how many of your Cabinet will be newly-elected first-time MPs?”

    How hard the media asks these questions might be vital.

    I somehow get the impression that the voting public might be a little reticent to vote for the LNP without a clear answer about a Newman-less LNP. “Vote for us and we’ll tell you who’ll be premier next week” is not a compelling slogan.

  30. bemused

    Rates Analyst@29

    It will be fun to watch the media questioning. There are going to be very legitimate questions that should be asked.

    Like, “Mr Premier, if the LNP is returned but you lose your seat, who will become the Premier?”

    Or, “Ms Opposition Leader, if you should win Government how many of your Cabinet will be newly-elected first-time MPs?”

    How hard the media asks these questions might be vital.

    I somehow get the impression that the voting public might be a little reticent to vote for the LNP without a clear answer about a Newman-less LNP. “Vote for us and we’ll tell you who’ll be premier next week” is not a compelling slogan.

    The question for the LOTO is easy to answer.

    The question to the Premier is dynamite. 👿

  31. Bird of paradox

    [ Or, “Ms Opposition Leader, if you should win Government how many of your Cabinet will be newly-elected first-time MPs?” ]

    Also, “How many of your current shadow cabinet will become ministers in a Labor govt?” Whether they win or not, they’ll have to get used to having a backbench again.

  32. It's Time

    The Curious snail reports that Newman will announce the election date tomorrow. Sounds like Newman is trying to sneak through an election campaign before people have recovered from xmas and started paying attention again.

    A huge number of seats will revert to their traditional Labor heritage but will there be enough? The perennial suspicion of many voters in metropolitan areas that voting Lib could give them a Nat Premier will be an Achilles heel for the LNP with the Lib figurehead being in real danger of losing his seat. Voting for Newman and getting Sweeney for Premier may be too big a risk for many centrist voters.

  33. It's Time

    [Also, “How many of your current shadow cabinet will become ministers in a Labor govt?” Whether they win or not, they’ll have to get used to having a backbench again.]
    There’s more Ministerial seats available than Labor members at the moment so every child wins a prize. Even if a couple of existing members were dropped to the backbench, the large number of new bloods would start off loyal to the leader who got them into power or at least front bench opposition seats.

  34. David

    Put you’re seat-belts on, the rumor going around is Campbell Newman is going to call a snap election for the January 31st!!!

  35. teh_drewski

    Presumably Labor will put up enough old hands in seats to get a reasonably experienced front bench in place.

    Interesting strategy from Newman – going before things get worse?

  36. Socrates

    That rumour has spread to the ABC website too.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-05/queensland-premier-expected-to-call-snap-election/6001476

    Talk of a snap election reminds me of those skits with the ventriloquist holding the Charlie McCartney doll. Charley aims a gun at the ventriloquist’s head and says “surrender or the dummy gets it”. On current polls, Campbell is the ventriloquist.

    Why would you plan a snap election when you are going backward in the polls and already 50/50? Obviously, you fear it will get worse. The forthcoming deficit and jobs figures for Qld must be pretty awful, if the LNP would rather face an election now than wait till they are out to debate in parliament.

  37. Rebecca

    Smart move from Newman. Probably his best play in this situation. I had to laugh at the LNP source stating “You might say that, but I couldn’t possibly comment” about a Jan 31 date.

    It’ll be interesting to see how much Palaszczuk can get people focused after the holiday period. I think people might be paying more attention than usual just because Newman is so controversial, but whether it’s enough is anybody’s guess.

    I think a Palaszczuk ministry would be fine. Every member who is running again except Byrne (who I know nothing about) is ministerial material. That’s seven. Then there’s the seven running again who lost last time, who could all be ministers. That’s fourteen. There’s Furner, who doesn’t seem hopeless. Fifteen. Add some of their more highly touted candidates – Minns, Enoch, and others. You’ve got a ministry there without much of a stretch at all.

  38. fredex

    IF the election is on I presume Shorten will make an appearance or 2.
    His netsats in Qld the last 3 Newspoll quarters have been -12,-6,-5

    Will Abbott make an appearance, will he be invited?
    His last 3 netsats in Qld have been -19,-19,-15.

  39. Rebecca

    What am I thinking, not Minns, I’m getting my states mixed up. Point remains.

  40. TPOF

    Socrates @ 28

    “Amazing to hear a change in leadership was even contemplated by the Labor heavies (I won’t call them a brains trust) in Qld”

    I though ‘brains trust’ was quite apposite for that group. As in ‘we have to trust they have some brains between them because there certainly isn’t any evidence’.

  41. Rebecca

    Well said. Trying someone like Dick from outside of parliament would have been a disaster of spectacular proportions, and Palaszczuk is capable in much the same way that Daniel Andrews was.

    I really hope she wins this time because you know someone like Dick will knife her the second she’s got competition on the parliamentary benches.

  42. Arrnea Stormbringer

    If Palaszczuk manages to pull a rabbit out of a hat and win this election, she will absolutely deserve the unwavering loyalty of her fellow Labor MPs for at least a whole term of office.

    I doubt she’ll get it though.

  43. Martin B

    I mean, really. Palaszczuk could walk down to the Queen St mall at lunchtime have a quick whip-around and end up with a better ministry than the turkeys that have been running the Qld LNP.

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