The Courier-Mail today carries a Galaxy poll of 900 respondents in Queensland (paywalled link) which finds Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor government trailing by 51-49 on two-party preferred, a slight improvement on its 52-48 deficit in the last such poll a month ago. This is derived from primary votes of 43% for the Liberal National Party (steady) and 39% for Labor (up two), with preference flows determined through an average of the past three elections. If Labor repeated its strong result on preferences at the last election, the two-party numbers would be reversed. The poll also finds 57% of respondents believe the Premier “would be justified” in calling an early election after the government’s precarious position in parliament was further weakened by Cairns MP Rob Pyne’s resignation from the ALP, with 29% deeming otherwise. It should be observed from the question wording that this doesn’t quite amount to “demanding Annastacia Palaszczuk make good on her threat to call a snap election”, as suggested by the Courier-Mail. The poll finds 44% expecting that Labor would win such an election, with 34% favouring the LNP.

The poll comes a week before Queenslanders vote on a referendum proposal for fixed four-year terms with elections set for the last week in October. According to a Galaxy poll of 540 voters conducted for the Nine Network last week, voters in the City of Brisbane favoured the proposal by 48% to 35%, although Steven Wardill of the Courier-Mail offers that “regional Queenslanders are expected to be much more sceptical towards the proposal”. The referendum has been timed to coincide with local government elections, meaning that the big partisan prize of the Brisbane lord mayoralty is up for grabs. The Galaxy poll found Liberal National Party incumbent Graham Quirk with a 53-47 two-party lead over Labor’s Tim Harding, compared with his winning margin of 68.3-31.7 at the 2012 election, which was held a few weeks after Anna Bligh’s government had been decimated at the polls.

UPDATE (13/3): The Sunday Mail has a ReachTEL poll of 1116 respondents for the Brisbane lord mayoral election, conducted on Thursday night, which has Graham Quirk leading Tim Harding 52-48, from respective primary votes of 42.6% and 29.4%, with Greens candidate Ben Pennings on 10.8% and a 13.6% undecided component that broke fairly evenly when asked who they were leaning towards.

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