Tag Archives: Queensland election 2015

Antony Green’s voting analysis

Labor received 51.1% of the two-party preferred vote to the LNP’s 48.9%, according to Antony Green. This represents a swing to Labor of 14.0% since 2012.

That margin was greater than Anna Bligh achieved in 2009 and should have resulted in a comfortable win. However much of Labor’s vote is locked up in safe seats. Labor has 15 seats on more than 10%, compared to the LNP’s 10. Labor has two on over 20% to the LNP’s none.

At the other end of the spectrum, the LNP has four on a margin of less than 1% compared to Labor’s one. The LNP has 12 seats on less than 3% to Labor’s seven.

Labor won in Brisbane and the regions, especially the north. The swing was greatest in outer Brisbane (17%), defined by the seats in the Moreton Bay, Redlands, Logan and Ipswich local government areas. Labor holds no seats on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast.

On preference flows, fewer votes were exhausted this time.

There were 71 electorates that finished as two-party preferred contest in both 2012 and 2015. In 2012 the distribution of all minor party preferences in these seats split 27.0% to Labor, 22.0% to LNP and 51.0% exhausted. In 2015 the same figures are 47.8% to Labor, 15.9% to the LNP and 36.3% exhausted. With 18.2% minor party and independent vote in these seats in 2015, changed preference flows have added 3-4% to the swing.

The union campaign to “put the LNP last” seems to have prevailed over the LNP’s injunction to “just vote one”.

Had preference flows in 2015 been at the same rate as in 2012, Labor would not have won Bundaberg, Ferny Grove or Maryborough, and would have struggled to win Mount Coot-tha.

Labor won the race for both Katter and PUP preferences.

Together Palmer United and Katter preferences split 38.7% to Labor, 20.6% to the LNP and 40.1% exhausted.

As for the Greens:

In 2015 Labor received around 20% stronger preference flows from the Greens. In 2012 the big first preference gap delivered a boost to the LNP through exhausted preferences, a factor less relevant in 2015. On a Green vote of 8-10% in most urban seats, the change in preferences delivered an extra 2-3% to the swing to Labor after preferences.

There has been a pathetic attempt to suggest that Labor has no mandate, because the LNP got more first preference votes. Green’s analysis rather gives the lie to that claim. The LNP are lucky they got as many seats as they did.

Finally, and not from Green, if you want to shorten Annastacia Palaszczuk’s first name, friends and family call her Stacia.

Saturday salon 10/2


An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

Here are a few bits and pieces that came to my attention last week.

1. Paluszczuk premier at last


Annastacia Palaszczuk has been invited to form government, with the interim ministry to be sworn in on Saturday. Most likely she will start with a couple of key ministers and wait for the arrival of the newly elected members before finalising her ministry.

Former Labor treasurer Terry Mackenroth has been assisting Palaszczuk in transitioning to Government. It was revealed yesterday that he has been assisting her for the last six months.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has decided not to lodge a petition with the Court of Disputed Returns for the seat of Ferny Grove following additional legal advice.

ABC full Queensland election coverage is here. Ours is here.

Elsewhere at Overland Mark Bahnisch has written another brilliant article, wrapping the election.


[Update: Palaszczuk has announced her cabinet with 8/14 women. Leeanne Enoch, the first indigenous MP in Qld, will be Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Science and Innovation.]

2. Brandis asked Gillian Triggs to resign

The attorney general sent the request to the human rights commission head in a move Labor called a ‘disgraceful attack’ on a statutory agency.

The Abbott government asked the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, to resign ahead of the publication of the commission’s critical report into children in detention.

Guardian Australia can confirm the resignation request, reported in the Age on Friday, and understands it was relayed to Triggs on behalf of the attorney general, George Brandis, by the secretary of his department, Chris Moraitis. It is understood that Triggs was offered another position in the same conversation.

Government backbenchers have also ramped up their public calls for her resignation and threatened a parliamentary inquiry into “bias” in her organisation.

Triggs is understood to have refused to resign from her position. She was appointed the president in July 2012 for a five-year term and can be removed for bankruptcy or serious misconduct only.

Max Chalmers at New Matilda says the coalition attacks on the Kids In Detention Report are irrational and wilfully blind.

The release of the report was always going to be accompanied by recrimination. For months the Coalition laid the groundwork, belting the Australian Human Rights Commission publicly and feeding material to The Australian newspaper, which gleefully conspired to trash an independent, public institution.

It was a pre-emptive strike inspired in part by pure malice, and in part by anticipation: they knew the report, which documents the impact of the bipartisan-backed policy of mandatory detention of children – would be devastating.

3. German higher education is free

John D brought this fact to my attention recently so I googled and here we have it:

From this semester [September 2014], all higher education will be free for both Germans and international students at universities across the country, after Lower Saxony became the final state to abolish tuition fees.

Education is the responsibility of 16 autonomous states in the German federation. There are 379 higher education institutions with about 2.4m students.

If they can do it, why can’t we?

4. Link between lead and violent crime

The last Catalyst program (series 16, episode 2) revealed that lead particles absorbed by children correlates with violent crime 22 years later. Australia, producing a large share of the world’s lead, has some hotspots, in Boolaroo, Broken Hill, Port Kembla, Port Pirie and Mt Isa. IQ is also negatively affected.

We were told that Australia’s permissible blood levels (10 micrograms per decilitre) were twice as high as those in the US and 625 times background levels.

There’s more at the ABC, at the BBC and at Mother Jones.

It seems that the general decline in violent crime around the world may be attributable in large part to regulations governing lead in petrol.

5. Health benefits of drinking

It’s a widely held view that a glass of red wine a day can be good for you. Unfortunately new research shows that not to be the case. Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the University of Sydney:

we found that the protective effect reported previously in fact could be an artefact, a statistical artefact relating to the way the study was designed.

What we thought was an established fact turned out to be a methodological error:

The old methodology compared drinkers with non-drinkers. But ex-drinkers where also included in the group of people considered non-drinkers – some who had been directed to stop drinking alcohol for health reasons.

The new research compared drinkers to non-drinkers only, and consequently could not find any evidence that drinking in small amounts can be good for you.


Unseemly squabble over keys to the Executive Building

In a sense that is what the 2015 Queensland election has come down to. From the Brisbane Times:

Newly elected LNP leader Lawrence Springborg, who is taking on the role as party leader for the fourth time, accused Labor of “trying to snatch the keys to the Executive Building”.

When the LNP was elected in 2012, it moved into the government’s George Street headquarters the very next day, but Mr Springborg urged Labor to be cautious, given the “unprecedented” Ferny Grove situation.

It is believed to be the first time in Queensland’s political history where a seat is known to be disputed before it has been called. The situation in Mundingburra did not come to light until after it had been declared.

“You could have the possibility of the government changing in the next few days and then changing again in the next month or so,” Mr Springborg said.

Springborg is arguing that an LNP caretaker government would provide necessary stability.

A flaw with that argument is that if Ferny Grove, which Electoral Commission Queensland has referred to the Court of Disputed Returns, requires a by-election the matter could take 6 months or even a year to determine.

By Wednesday Ferny Grove will be represented by a duly elected Labor member and Annastacia Palaszczuk will have the numbers to command the floor of parliament with the assistance of Peter Wellington, the independent member for Nicklin, who puts the case very well:

To put Ferny Grove into the picture is nonsense. While the seat is subject to assessment by the Courts because one of the candidates was ineligible, the fact is that it was won by Labor and Labor is entitled to include that seat in their claim to govern.

Ferny Grove could face a by-election after a Court hearing or the Court may decide that the preferences were so insignificant that a by-election is not necessary. The timeframe for this decision is uncertain. It could take over 12 months and it is unreasonable to expect Queensland to remain in a state of limbo until the outcome is known.

It is farcical for the new Leader of the LNP to seek to hold on to power until then leaving the Newman appointed senior public servants to govern the State.

The Governor has the responsibility to hand the reins of government to whoever is able to deliver the 45 seats and should not be drawn into hypothetical scenarios involving the future of the electorate of Ferny Grove.

Wellington refers to a blog post by Antony Green, which says exactly that.

Green finds the situation similar to South Australia in 2002 and Tasmania in 1989 where Liberal premiers refused to resign in the face of similar electoral circumstances. They had to go.

Labor claims Springborg has no mandate to govern. Jackie Trad told fairfax Radio:

“What happened on the 31st of January was the LNP lost the election,” she said.

“They are now – in an arrogant and dismissive way – they are still not listening to Queenslanders, trying to hold on to power.”

They want Newman out of the Executive Building at 6.01 pm on Tuesday night.

I believe Graham Orr, a QU academic who knows about electoral matters, suggested Springborg was attempting a “constitutional coup”.

I’ve also been told that Possum Comitatus reckons Springborg wants the Governor to break the relevant electoral act.

We shall see.

Another flaw in the Brisbane Times article is this bit:

While the Ferny Grove result will be sent to the Court of Disputed Returns, where a by-election is expected to be the likely outcome, results can still be declared in the meantime. (Emphasis added)

From Green’s earlier post:

However, beyond the narrowness of the result, doubt has been thrown on the election outcome following the revelation that the Palmer United Party candidate for Ferny Grove, Mark Taverner, is by credible sources an undischarged bankrupt and therefore ineligible to be a candidate for election to the Queensland Parliament.

Will this cause the courts to overturn the Ferny Grove result, order a by-election and leave the fate of government undetermined for some time?

In short – no. Resolving the Ferny Grove matter could take several months based on past Court of Disputed Returns cases, and there is nothing to stop a new government being formed in the mean time.

The Queensland Times has uncovered a Supreme Court ruling from a Moreton Shire election in 1985 which could form a precedent. A candidate’s name appeared on the ballot paper although it was discovered prior to the election that his American citizenship rendered him ineligible. The votes caste for him were simply set aside.

Meanwhile the Katter boys have released their full list of demands on the major parties. If they get their way all the money will be spent in the bush. Apart from royalties to regions, a railway line to the Galilee Basin and other boondogles, they want a series of roads projects, including an inland highway.

Springborg has apparently agreed to their demands. If so it’s magic pudding budgeting.

Qld election wrap: a sea change in politics


The Electoral Commission says it may take 10 days to finalise the Queensland election count. Remembering that 45 is the prize, the latest count has 42 seats to Labor, 38 for the LNP, 3 ‘other’ and 6 now undecided, up from 3 the day before.

It looks as though Pauline Hanson is in with a show in Lockyer, though Poll Bludger thinks she might come up short.

Without any confidence, I think the likeliest result will have the ALP on 44. In that case they would govern with the assistance of Peter Wellington. He could be offered Speaker, which he would refuse, preferring to actively represent his electorate. This result would avoid having to do a formal deal with KAP, but KAP would be consulted on any legislation brought forward. I think this would be ideal for democracy.

Second likeliest, I think, would be Labor on 43, necessitating a deal with KAP, who would insist on certain items like a 10% methanol in fuel mandate. It would be better if Labor could freely consider the merits of KAP policies.

Third likeliest is Labor on 45 or 42.

Meanwhile it is important to realise that Newman is still premier and leader of the LNP. Seeney announced a party meeting to resolve the leadership, for reasons best known to him, but was countermanded by Newman.

The best analytical piece so far is by Mark at The Guardian Queensland rejected hubris and unrestrained power when it rejected Campbell Newman. In effect it is a fleshing out of his statement I identified here that “the Labor victory in Queensland is a defining moment of change in Australian politics, which will never be the same.”

Some excerpts:

If the voice of Queenslanders said anything on Saturday, it thundered a rejection of the culture of power unrestrained and politicians’ hubris and arrogance. No more bills passed in the night, stripping citizens and workers of fundamental rights. No more dodgy donations. No more jobs for the boys and girls. No more “don’t you worry about that”. Queenslanders voted in massive numbers for a return to accountability and the basics of good government and democratic practice, conventions trampled underfoot by the RM Williams boots of the LNP’s ministers over the past term.

Any Queensland government must now understand there can be no going back to the dark days of the past, that there is no electoral reward to be had from “strong plans” that don’t factor in the human cost of unrestrained crony capitalism. There will from now on be no electoral reward from “strength”, if that means treating citizens with disdain and contempt.

Let all the misgovernment and malfeasance come to an end, and let it be unmourned. There was a sly charm in the old Queensland, a seductive whisper that the state’s distinctiveness was expressed through its baroque tropical politics, a humour beneath the cattleman’s hats. But Russ Hinze is dead, he’s not sleeping. He was never a king or an emperor, even if Sir Joh was a Knight, and after this result, he should never be coming back. Lawrence Springborg and the LNP – take note.

To understand fully the Russ Hinze reference, you have to read the whole piece, which I recommend.

One of the ways Labor reconnected with the community was through the choice of an “astonishingly diverse array of candidates”, including:

Leanne Enoch, the state’s first Indigenous woman MP, as well as electricians, defence lawyers, medical specialists and tradies.

In a sense, then, one sleeping giant has been awakened through this election – the sense that so many have of Queensland as a project. A work in progress, sure, but progress to a more humane, more inclusive, more transparent, fairer and more accountable polity and society. That project, the legacy not just of figures such as Tony Fitzgerald and the late Wayne Goss but also of a multitude of activists and citizens over the decades, has shown its strength when tested against the flim flam of “strong plans” offered by a rattled party in a state of advanced decay.

Political nostrums that have endured for ages should now be tossed out, along with the many, many LNP MPs who have lost their seats. The LNP must understand that Russ Hinze’s ghost no longer slumbers under the hills of Coomera. And Labor, though it will tread softly, has learned the key lessons of its defeat in 2012 – that privatisation is poison, that Queenslanders want a government that respects not hectors them, and that there’s life still in social democratic politics, provided it connects with citizens. This result is truly an astonishing one, and its implications are manifold. The political rulebook has been smashed to smithereens along with the LNP’s majority, and every political party must now take stock.

There will be fewer cranes, diggers and bulldozers than there would have been if people had voted for the ‘Strong Choices’ on offer, but as Mark says, Queensland is a project and we look forward to a softer, more congenial, more humane polity and society. Palaszczuk has promised a consultative, consensual style, of bringing Queenslanders together. She was never overtly ambitious, but has grown in the role of leader. We must hope that she can make the transition into the real job, where Newman manifestly failed.

Elsewhere Jason Wilson has a fine piece The world is turning against austerity. Now it’s Queensland’s turn, Mark outlines the sequence of the Newman/LNP maladministration in Why you should not go to war with the public #qldvotes, Jason Wilson again in Why Queensland will never Joh again, and Mr Denmore at Failed Estate has a piece Graffiti Crimes where he looks at the coverage, the disgraceful front page propaganda we got from the Courier Mail and the role of social media.

In a piece published before the election Brian Costar, inter alia, points out the difficulty encountered by polling companies in finding representative samples over the holiday period, and how optional preferential voting renders the concept of ‘two party preferred’ meaningless.

Palaszczuk premier, yay?!

Well, it’s still too close to call, but it’s looking that way.

Antony Green couldn’t believe what was coming out of his computer. Swings of 20% and more to the ALP. It kept coming, so he had to believe it.

There are 89 seats in parliament, so the magic number is 45. By 7.15 the computer was giving 42 to Labor and 3 ‘other’. They are Rob Katter and Shane Knuth of KAP and the long-standing, principled independent, Peter Wellington. All three are against asset sales and were, I understand, putting the LNP last.

At the end of the night the ABC computer gave 43 seats to Labor, 40 to the LNP, 3 other and 3 undecided. Antony Green reckons Labor will probably get 45, possibly 46. Wayne Swan reckons the LNP can’t get past 42.


Annastacia Palaszczuk says it’s too close to call, but she thinks Labor will form government. During the campaign she said she wouldn’t do deals with the cross bench. If she has more members than the LNP the Governor will be obliged to ask whether she can form government. At that point she doesn’t need to do a formal deal. She will just have to consult the cross bench before she brings any legislation to the parliament.

Mark on Facebook said:

Tonight’s Labor victory in Queensland is a defining moment of change in Australian politics, which will never be the same.

I hope he expands on that, but I am inclined to agree. I think the Newman/LNP style galvanised the ALP base. Kate Jones in Ashgrove (Newman is history; we never need to listen to his voice again!) said she had 500 volunteers working for her.

Tim Nicholls and Jane Prentice (federal member for Ryan) on the ABC panel both couldn’t grasp that their messages were wrong, not their messaging. Both said, we need to “explain better and take the people with us”. They couldn’t grasp that they were heading in the wrong direction!

By the way, Prentice signalled that Tony Abbott had just two days to turn things around. She was openly calling for a change in direction, or something, and said that his forthcoming address to the press gallery would be “pivotal”.

I’d love to know the numbers, but I was pleased with the number of women who won seats for Labor. Jackie Trad for deputy!

Late momentum with Labor?

The second best photo of the election:


For the best, go here.

On Monday Mark said that the ALP can win:

I know conventional wisdom is that the ALP can’t win, but I don’t see that myself.

In his interview with Phillip Adams, he said it was too close to call, but saw a hung parliament as the likeliest outcome, with the LNP having most seats. Now the Essential Report has the major parties at 50-50 (paywalled), but in the last week this has become 51-49 to Labor. The poll has has a fairly small sample size:

The Essential survey was conducted online over three weeks from January 9 to 26 and was based on a sample of 566 Queensland respondents aged over 18 years.

Newman has now rushed back to Brisbane from North Queensland to prop up his own seat. On the 7.30 Report the other night, we were told that more was being spent in Ashgrove than in the five neighbouring electorates combined.

Greg Jericho takes a look at the cost of austerity economics in Queensland. Employment growth is almost non-existent and mostly part-time. Oddly, Queensland is the only state where construction is the largest industry sector. Only 9% of the economy is attributable to mining compared with 30% in WA.

Meanwhile Graham Readfearn has taken a look at the major parties’ attitude to climate change.

One of Newman Government’s first moves was to scrap the state’s Office of Climate Change. Labor has announced no plans to re-instate it.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney instructed the Moreton Shire Council to take the science relating to sea level rise out of the council’s planning rules:

I direct council to amend its draft planning scheme to remove any assumption about a theoretical projected sea level rise due to climate change from all an any provision of the scheme, including strategic framework, zones and precincts, overlay assessment tables, codes and policies.

Later in the letter, Seeney wrote that any mandatory elements of the council’s planning scheme “must reflect only proven historical data”.

The Newman Government’s attitude to climate change was either ignore it or legislate against it. It appears Labor has just ignored it.

Only in Queensland

In Queensland politics we expect the bizarre as normal. Antony Green in a sober and comprehensive review of the Queensland election, tells us that there is nothing in the constitution that says ministers must be members of parliament. So Campbell Newman, who would lose his seat on a 5.7% swing, could theoretically retain the premiership if the LNP nevertheless won. Convention says otherwise, and I think we can count that possibility out. He could, however, retain the premiership for three months on a Commonwealth precedent while a safe seat is found.

I doubt that will happen either. The powers that be in the LNP don’t love him enough, there would be a shortage of volunteers to give up their seat, and I don’t think the electors would be impressed.

Green thinks a Labor victory, requiring a 12% uniform swing, is a bridge too far. There have been some individual seat polls with swings in that order, but I think the last statewide poll was Morgan which had the LNP on 50.5 TPP. It’s still close, and I think, quite clearly, the LNP is scared.


Scared enough to allege that the ALP is being funded by criminals and bikies. Palaszczuk fired a “put up or shut up” demand back at Newman, whose response is that it must be true because wherever he goes people tell him it’s true. Apparently it is so open that all these LNP acolytes in the community can see it happening. For Newman scuttlebutt is evidence and the onus is on Palaszczuk to prove it’s not.

A sign of the LNP’s twisted logic.

Meanwhile, bikies made a donation to the LNP, which was of course refunded.

‘Facts’ have been problematic in this campaign. Labor says health workers have been sacked, the LNP claims they have employed more. I understand that both are true. Initially there were sackings, including frontline staff. Then federal money became available, courtesy of Gillard/Swan, which enabled hiring. This money won’t continue under Abbott/Hockey.

Unemployment improved in the latest ABS figures from 6.9% to 6.1%, from memory. Labor continues to use the 6.9% figure. This telling graph shows the ABS pattern on full-time employment:

jobs_ Qld_10940483_814162748620441_6951037617407145004_n_600

Roy Morgan tells us this:

Queensland real unemployment is now 12.7% (up 1.8% since October-November 2014) and under-employment is 10.3% (up 1%). This means total Queensland unemployment & under-employment is 23% (up 2.8%). (Interviewed November & December 2014).

That’s heading in the wrong direction and is worse by a considerable margin than any state except Tasmania.

Newman says the election is about the economy and jobs, Palaszczuk says it’s about asset sales, and the economy and jobs.

The astonishing magic pork barrel continues, something like $8.6 billion worth of it. Newman was heard to say that if electors voted the wrong way their electorate wouldn’t get any. It sounded like a threat.

Newman said overseas buyers would be welcome. Clive Palmer said, yes, the Chinese are sure to buy the lot, sending a shiver down many a spine.

Ernst and Young brought out a report saying electricity would cost less under privatisation. Quiggin says this is essentially nonsense: prices in states with privatisation are roughly the same, and prices in all states have rocketed since ‘market reforms’ to introduce competition were instituted in the 1990s.

Newman has refused say why the LNP will not commit to the four principles of “accountability and good governance” outlined in an open letter from 50 prominent Australians, earning the ire of corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, QC, who helped draft the letter.

Mark has a neat roundup at The Monthly, saying, inter alia that KAP and PUP are not preferencing the LNP. The fragile flame of hope still flickers.

Only four days to go, and the town here seems still on holiday!

Be wary of sociopaths

From The Guardian:

A former Newman government minister has urged Queensland voters to beware the ambitions of sociopaths as he gave an extraordinary indictment against his former party in power.

Dr Chris Davis, who quit parliament in protest at his government’s “betrayal” of Queenslanders last year, features in a new TV advertisement for the Wilderness Society in which he recommends voters put the Liberal National party last on ballots in the upcoming election.

“We’re talking about betrayal of thousands of public servants, the winding back of political scrutiny and donor influence, contempt for the professionalism of doctors and judges, jeopardising our environment and sustainable farming and deception on vital issues such as employment and cost of living,” he said.

Davis said that citizens needed to have trust in leaders to “serve us rather than themselves or their powerbrokers”.

Davis also said voters needed to “be particularly wary of sociopaths”. Asked if the character of the Newman government had been sociopathic, Davis said he left it to voters to “make up their own minds”.

Dr Davis said that the sacking of respected independent member Liz Cunningham as chair of the committee overseeing corruption was “one of the defining moments of alarm”.

“For me, that was the death of accountability in Queensland,” he said.

Meanwhile Galaxy individual seat polling shows “massive swings of up to 12 per cent against the Newman Government across southeast Queensland”, and the LNP to be “wiped out across north Queensland”.

The Courier Mail thinks Labor is in with a chance. Dare to hope!

I have my doubts about automated individual seat polling. It had some wild results before the last Federal election.

Labor’s economic strategy has not had much comment, indicating the the Friday timing of the release was probably a mistake. The Australian gives it a fair run, while Fairfax highlights treasurer Tim Nichols “voodoo economics” response. Aunty played it with a straight bat.

Essentially Labor proposes to use two-thirds of the profits of the entities marked for sale to pay down $5.4b debt in six years and $12b in 10 years.

Nicholls says:

“The money from the dividends from the GOCs is already allocated in the budget,” he said. “They can’t spend the money twice.”

But nor can he if he’s sold the damn things! Am I missing something here?

Labor is going to save hundreds of millions by rolling back taxpayer support for the Carmichael mine.

Labor is also going to merge Ergon, Energex and Powerlink, as well as combining the two electricity generators — CS Energy and Stanwell.

Mark has done a longish essay for The Guardian State of emergency: this election will show whether Queensland really is ‘different’ and a piece for The Monthly Shadowboxing.

Queensland can be different in ways that affect the whole country.

LNP to win with a small majority

You won’t get a better photo than this during the election campaign!


Dr Kevin Bonham looks at the recent polls and gives the Queensland election to the LNP 47 to 37, with 5 others.

He has the LNP on 41.4, the ALP 37.9, the Greens 7, PUP on 4.6, and Others 9. In two-party-preferred terms he has the LNP on 51.8.

The puff seems to have gone out of PUP, but The Greens are also not doing well.

There’s no single seat polling, but on this basis Newman would lose Ashgrove.

Mark will be writing a few articles during the election. He wrote this one for The Monthly. It’s an excellent read. He says it doesn’t really matter precisely why Queenslanders are facing a snap election.

We may be as ignorant as the several senior ministers who were relaxing on holidays when the premier’s office leaked the news of the impending campaign to the Courier-Mail. What we can infer is that far from the orderly progress towards a triumphant second term, the Queensland conservatives fear defeat.

In part, it’s a tribute to ALP leader Annastacia Palaszczuk and her (now) eight parliamentary Labor colleagues, who have refocused the shattered ALP, and held the government to account despite the very limited opportunities available to an Opposition in both a unicameral parliament and a state with a one-paper town as its capital.

But, even more so, it’s a commentary on how hard it is for right-wing parties to govern in Australia – or anywhere – in the mid 2010s. It’s hard for left-wing parties to govern, too, but that’s another story.

The LNP won in 2012 largely because it wasn’t Labor and promised an “adult”, “no surprises” approach. In policy terms it was a small target strategy.

Holding an electoral coalition together in government, and governing cohesively and in the public interest, rather than throwing raw steak to the dogs of the “base” and the conservatariat, though: that’s a different, and more difficult game.

Campbell Newman won, not by projecting an ideological face, but the exact opposite. Yet he leads a government that seems obsessed with humiliating its enemies, with starting fights, with indulging in flights of fancy, such as removing the requirement for water fluoridation and dressing imprisoned bikies in pink jumpsuits. The government disdained both evidence and consultation as it careered from crisis to crisis, and from absurdity to absurdity. Unemployment has surged, jobs have disappeared, and the economy tastes increasingly sour.

This week it looks as though we are going to get some policies. Labor is going to reduce the ministry from 19 to 14 to save $27 million.

The LNP has announced plans to support apprenticeship training to the tune of $91 million.