2009 election preview: Queensland state election

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The Queensland Labor government will be attempting to win a fifth term in office at the state election in 2009. The election must be held by September 2009, three years after the last election in 2006, but could be held at any time in 2009. In particular, the Bligh government may decide to avoid a nasty budget in May by calling an early election. In addition to attempting to win a fifth term in office, Anna Bligh is also aiming to be the first female Premier to win an election in her own right.

The current government was first elected at the 1998 election, led by Peter Beattie, before winning re-election in 2001, 2004 and 2006. With the exception of a shortly-lived National minority government in the mid-1990s, the ALP has held power for the last two decades. The September 2006 election saw a slightly-reduced ALP majority, with Beattie remaining dominant. Beattie resigned one year later in September 2007, succeeded by Anna Bligh.

The biggest political news of this year in Queensland was the merger of the two Queensland conservative parties into the Liberal National Party (the “LNP”), led by former National leader Lawrence Springborg. After years of intermittent coalition conflict, the two parties will be going to the 2009 election as a single unit.

The only regular opinion polls in Queensland state politics are performed by Newspoll, who bring out a poll every second month. Labor has remained dominant in the polls, with the Opposition’s performance peaking at 49% 2PP in the first post-merger poll. However, the recent December poll has pushed the ALP back to a 57-43 2PP lead over the LNP.

The 2006 election resulted in the ALP holding 59 seats to the LNP’s 25 seats, with 4 Independents and 1 remaining One Nation MP. A loss of 15 ALP seats would result in the government losing its majority, while the LNP would need to win 20 seats to form a majority. According to the pendulum, such a seat change would require a swing of between 7.2% and 8.3%.

Labor is facing many of the same issues as every long-term Labor government, although the Queensland government seems to be performing better compared to the similarly-aged Labor governments along the east coast. However, it remains clear that, with the exception of the Joh Bjelke-Peterson era, the ALP has dominated the last ninety years of Queensland politics.

Despite the merger, many of the central issues holding the coalition back from government remain in place. The Liberal Party consistently outpolled the Nationals in terms of primary votes, and most of the ALP marginal seats were contested by the Liberals. This resulted in the problematic position where the Nationals, as the senior coalition partner in Parliament, were in a position where they would fall into the position of junior coalition partner in any new coalition government. As long as the Nationals dominated the coalition, many natural Liberal voters refused to vote for a government that would be led by the Nationals. Despite the LNP attempting to claim the Liberal mantle, it doesn’t seem to be capable of overcoming the difficulty in a rural-dominated party trying to win government in suburban seats. The LNP was effectively a National takeover of the Liberal Party.

As the only state without any proportional representation, Queensland has always been difficult for the Greens. The Greens have never managed to win a single seat in Queensland, and the first Greens MP, Ronan Lee, defected from the ALP earlier in 2008. While his electorate of Indooroopilly is a strong Greens electorate, it will be extremely difficult for Lee or any other Greens candidate to win in the upcoming election. Lee holds a traditionally Labor Liberal electorate and would have found it difficult to be re-elected as a Labor candidate. In all likelihood the Greens will lose Indooroopilly and will again be reduced to no representation in the Queensland state parliament.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Daylight saving….. I dont think so.

    The split the state party may fair well in coolangatta but not in the rest of the state. Daylight saving is totally inpractable north of Rockhampton and no one really wants Queensland carved up in differenct time zones.

    No Daylight saving is a dead duck and only presented to keep us away from the real issues.

    Tony Zegenhagen

  2. I think that’s why they are suggesting that daylight saving is only implemented in South-East Queensland, Antony Green had a post recently pointing out that attitudes to daylight saving are very different in South-East Queensland as opposed to the rest of the state.

  3. This election will surely be decided on by minors and independents and how they preference. The Borg must understand that. To say he wont form a minority government is as bad as throwing up a white flag.

    Chatsworth is a tight tussle(.04% margin) and any vote even say a 4 or more % by an independent or minor will certainly decide this seat. Boundary changes may favour the LNP and the ALP Member Chris Bombolas is certainly no great performer but the minors will decide the fate of this seat and may even come out on top.

    Our candidate in Pumicestone is creating interest and early indications look to him gaining about a 9-10%. The very unpopular flouride and adding recycled sewage into the drinking water is upsetting a lot of the electorate out there and I think that the ALP sitting member will surely get a caneing, after doing a complete backflip on the issues she campaigned so heavily on.

    So I still think we’re in for some surprises.

  4. @Tony
    The State will not be split by having two time zones in Queensland any more that Australia being split by having several time zones East to west. With time zones for South East Queensland and the North, each part of the State gets the benefit the inhabitants seek and no-one is denied a vote on an important issue affecting their daily lives.

  5. John ..

    No matter which way you look at it, a handfull greedy voters in the SE may influence greatly the election by placing a first vote for this single issue party.

    Daylight saving is not a major issue….. Yes a couple of public servants would like to enjoy their flexitime etc, but the bulk of Queensland are against it.

    In economi times like this, it is not the time to be splitting the state up and the idea of having multiple time zones in one state is crazy. This is a selfesh move by a minority of voters who couldnt give a damm about the rest of Queensland.

    Tony Zegenhagen
    DLP – Independant Candidate for Chatsworth

  6. I don’t understand how being for daylight saving or against daylight saving can make anyone “greedy”.

    Queensland is already set apart from the economic centre of Australia in Sydney and Melbourne when daylight savings kicks in for NSW, Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania, and I don’t understand how, if having different time zones is economically damaging (which seems completely ridiculous to me), it’s worse to split Brisbane off from Cairns and Townsville than to separate Brisbane from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

    It really is much of a muchness, but if people would prefer to have more daylight hours after work than before, and if those opinions are very different in SE Queensland and the rest of the state, I don’t see what’s wrong with changing the time zone.

  7. Ben Raue.

    Look daylight saving might suite Sydney. Its more temporate climate makes it the perfect location for Daylight saving.

    It certainly does not suite anyone living north of the tropic of capricorn. So if a large portion of the state, of which brings in a disproportiate amount of income into the state would be disadvantaged, why would we even consider the idea.

    If we had a referendum tommorrow it would be defeated again. As a referendum requires an outright majority. No one west of the divide or north of the tropic of Capricorn would vote for it so why bother.

    I think we’ve flogged this dead horse long enough. Being in small business I have enjoyed not having daylight saving. Orders can be placed and followed up before the retail doors open which made my life much easier.

    So summing up. The north and west dont want it. Half the SE dont want it so wheres the reasoning behind it.

    Besides we have more important issues to address up here and this just get in the way.

    Tony Zegenhagen
    DLP – Independant Candidate for Chatsworth

  8. While I’m not going to get into the pros and cons of daylight savings – I from North Queensland I’ve lived through it and I would hate to think we would divide this State – after all we are just that one State.

    On another note – for all those who are tired of putting up with the party politics of the two big players – why not give us Independents a go (yes I am a full Independent – have never been a member of a party or previously run as a candidate for a party).

    Most Independents run in the election because, like myself, we’re tired of party politics and government inaction and run because we hope we can make a change and give the voice back to the people. As we all know the parties are not interested in what we want or need, all they want is to line their pockets.

    SO VOTE 1 Heather Steinberg – Redlands (insert your Independent) first.

    What do I stand for:

    1. Tougher penalties for repeat offenders.
    2. Non release from jail for repeat sex offenders.
    3. Mandatory counselling and other service for first time sex offenders.
    4. Changes to the Green Zones (for those who don’t know the report labor relied upon to implement the new zones was done by an employee from the EPA – and no-one is allowed access to her full thesis).
    5. Changes to the Prep system by removing the cut off date so all children turning 5 can attend Prep that year.
    6. Reduction in govt advertising – the govt wastes millions of dollars per govt dept/commission in television advertising alone – wouldn’t that be better spent on health, education and other services.

    So spread the word – VOTE 1 HEATHER STEINBERG – INDEPENDENT
    VOTE 1 INDEPENDENT and let’s get a real voice back for the community.

  9. the daylight saving group is just another minority group wanting to impose their will on the majority of the community who oppose it
    Vote for Democracy agsinst daylight saving

  10. when i was working in retail it was a pain in the neck not having daylight saving when phoning wholesalers interstate when ordering stoke in a shop in working hours here in brisbane and when i do go over the border and it should be made controlled by the federal government and if you speak to someone who works with a southen headoffice they will soport it know matter where they live in queensland and if you ask anyone on a bus who lives on the gold coast and about 80 to 100% and i suport it by 100% and but i spoke to someone on the bus on the gold coast where they were from sydney and they didn’t want it down there

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