SEISMIC SHIFT FROM MAJORS
ALP, LNP support bleeding, poll says
LABOR is bleeding support in regional Queensland but failing to pick up seats in the state’s southeast following Annastacia Palaszczuk’s horror start to the election, which could cost her the premiership.
A Cairns Post- Galaxy Poll of seven battleground electorates has revealed Labor’s strategy of sandbagging regional seats while attempting to claim new territory in the southeast will struggle to secure them a majority.
Support for both major parties has plummeted in these must-win electorates, including Mundingburra, Hervey Bay, Logan and Bonney; however, strong preference flows from One Nation to the LNP is squeezing out sitting Labor MPs.
Several knife-edge LNP electorates in the southeast may now be Labor’s only path to win the 47 seats necessary for the Queensland Premier to secure a second term.
Poll results show Labor will reclaim Cairns 54 per cent to 46 per cent, after losing the seat to Rob Pyne’s defection this term. Mr Pyne scored a lowly 11 per cent of the primary vote, beaten by One Nation on 13 per cent.
However, the 3.5 per cent swing away from Labor since the last election could cost the Government the marginal seat of Barron River, which both sides are trying to win with a high-priced bypass proposal.
Ms Palaszczuk’s campaign has been buffeted by constant missteps while Labor’s everevolving reason for vetoing a federal loan to Adani, which would help kickstart its rail line and create thousands of jobs, is proving a damaging distraction. In the marginal seat of Mundingburra, the LNP is poised to oust Palaszczuk Government Cabinet Minister Coralee O’Rourke.
Labor’s primary vote has slumped from 37.4 per cent to 29 per cent while the LNP has fallen from 40.6 per cent to 30 per cent in a seismic shift away from the major parties.
One Nation has picked up 20 per cent of the local vote, Katter’s Australia Party scored 12 per cent and the Greens were on 6 per cent.
The results replicate a statewide trend of one in three voters backing minor parties and independents.
According to the Galaxy Poll, the LNP leads Labor in Mundingburra 52 per cent to 48 per cent on a two-party preferred basis. The swing would imperil Labor’s chances in Townsville and Thuringowa, which has struggled with high unemployment and a critical water shortage.
Labor has suffered a massive fall in support in its traditional stronghold of Rockhampton, with the party’s primary vote dropping from 52.9 per cent to 33 per cent.
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow, who is running as an independent, has picked up 14 per cent while One Nation is on 21 per cent and the LNP on 23 per cent
Labor will retain the seat, leading 58 per cent to the LNP’s 42 per cent on a twoparty preferred basis; however, this is a significant decline in the party’s sixth-safest seat.
The results further raise the prospect of a hung Parliament, with One Nation favoured to win Lockyer and Hinchinbrook while the Greens are talking up their chances in South Brisbane.
Ms Palaszczuk yesterday ruled out an alliance with the Greens.
HORROR START: Annastacia Palaszczuk at Brisbane’s Everton Park State School yesterday (right); and Pauline Hanson (left) campaigns in Bowen.