Home > Oz Politics > Another landslide on the way?

Another landslide on the way?

September 5th, 2006

The polls are predicting another landslide win for Labor in Queensland, and Centrebet is even more emphatic, with Labor as 50/1 on favorites (they’ll pay out 1.02 for a Labor win, on a dollar bet). I have mixed feelings on this.

On the one hand, the Beattie government could certainly do with a shake. On the other hand, while a massive majority has resulted in a fair degree of arrogance, the response to a narrow majority may be poll-driven populism. And on the third hand (stretching the metaphor a bit), a lot of the government’s best members are in very marginal seats. For example, I think my local member Ronan Lee is very good, but it’s unbelievable that he’s managed to win Indooropilly twice – it’s nothing down at the local shops to find more BMWs than Holdens in the car park.

In any case, the outcome looks clear, so I hope the soon-to-be-reelected government will take the signs of discontent seriously and get on with investing in physical and social infrastructure.

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  1. Spiros
    September 5th, 2006 at 17:51 | #1

    Steve Irwin’s untimely death has presumably stopped any chance of the opposition getting any momentum in the last week of the campaign.

  2. Sceptic
    September 5th, 2006 at 18:19 | #2

    I don’t think your wrong about the poll results. But I’d be interested to see what makes your definition of a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ local member.

  3. Mark U
    September 5th, 2006 at 18:47 | #3

    “….it’s nothing down at the local shops to find more BMWs than Holdens in the car park”

    How do you know how BMW owners vote compared to Holden owners?

    Indooroopilly has a lot of UQ students (with neither Holdens or BMWs, so they walk to the shops). I understand that Ronan Lee has been particularly effective in marshalling this vote.

    Also the electorate is becoming a lot more diverse as there is an increasing amount of medium density living, especially in some suburbs north of the river (Toowong, Indooroopilly and Taringa).

  4. Geoff Honnor
    September 5th, 2006 at 20:27 | #4

    “it’s nothing down at the local shops to find more BMWs than Holdens in the car park.”

    And in contemporary state politics, why would you imagine that someone like Peter Beattie would automatically deter the owners of BMW’s?

    If you were to ask Queensland voters which of the three party leaders was more likely to leap out of a BMW, and wrestle a croc to the ground whilst yelling”Crikey” with cultural authenticity, it would be nolo contendre, surely…………

  5. September 5th, 2006 at 20:51 | #5

    Hi John,

    You say “and get on with investing in physical and social infrastructure.”

    Do you believe the south east queensland regional plan does not go far enough? How much extra money should be spent and should it be funded through debt or ppp’s?

  6. September 5th, 2006 at 21:11 | #6

    “Crikey”, adopting Geoff’s imagery, a landslide might well be a good thing in the longer term, because like “shock and awe” was supposed to in the Middle East, it may lead to creative destruction.

    In reaction, the conservative parties may then adopt a policy of proportional representation which would eliminate the marginal voters in marginal seats focus and provide a way around the a National-Liberal unification problem.

    Anyway, in a unicameral parliament something like a MMP system makes sense?

  7. Sceptic
    September 5th, 2006 at 21:36 | #7

    Uni students don’t tend to be enrolled in the electorate though. They tend to stay enrolled in their home electorate. You have to get the students to enrol and vote which is difficult.

    Basically, it’s another Beattie swing (let’s face it, when all the Brisbane seats are likely to be held including Clayfield, it isn’t about local campaigns so much as the presidental style campaign Beattie runs). Given a rural Nat as Premier and a urban Labor leader as Premier, the Liberal voters are going to go with Labor. It isn’t like the other states where they actually have the choice of a Liberal Premier leading a Liberal government. Not to mention the Libs shooting themselves in the foot with the factional game playing over local candidates.

    And who says that Holden voters would be more likely to go for Lee than BMW voters. He’s never held a ‘real’ job, it’s been jobs for the boys all the way since student union days according to the candidate profiles. As a university educated young student activist/party hack, you can hardly say he would appeal to traditional Labor voters, if such a concept exists anymore. He has as much in common with the BMW drivers as his opponent.

    And with Indooroopilly having a high proportion of Green voters, whomever gets the environment vote will win. Green voters don’t tend to preference Liberal, even when the Greens activately preference against Labor, the major of the preference flow still comes back to Labor. Witness the last election where they preferenced against Labor in Indooroopilly but the preference flow was mainly to Lee, due to the Wilderness Society handing out their own how-to-vote cards that ran counter to the Greens (who preferenced on wider grounds than just the environment, such as the candidates stands on other social issues) according to Crikey.

    Lee’s courted a plethora of local and state environment groups assidiously, to the extent of coming out publicly against his party on many occasions (something that has probably harmed the electorates chance of getting infrastructure as it wins no favours with Ministers). In previous elections he ran hard on ‘family values’ eg young families and stem cells, a means of appearing conservative, family friendly and old-school (particularly maturity considering the big age gap btw himself and other candidates) enough for the leafy liberal suburbs. There was no trendy issues being run previously. It was a straight out appeal to conservative values. Unable to run on those issues anymore, he soon saw which way the wind was blowing with Green preferences being the decider, and swapped to the more fruitful and trendy environment issues. He’s just doing ‘whatever it takes’ a la Graham Richardson.

  8. chris shannon
    September 6th, 2006 at 07:01 | #8

    I’m sure Beattie will keep a straight face on Sunday when he tells us that his government has listened to the wake up call from the electorate, takes nothing for granted and will set about resolutely fixing all the things that need to be fixed.

  9. Hal9000
    September 6th, 2006 at 09:40 | #9

    “I think my local member Ronan Lee is very good…”

    Lee’s most energetic policy concern is the Right to Life agenda, and his most vigorous Parliamentary intervention has been in opposition to any form of stem cell research (Queensland Parliamentary Debates, 11-12 Mar 2003). As far as I can make out, his campaign’s bankrolling is not a million miles removed from the Right to Life organisation. It is also worthy of note I’m informed he’s had the highest staff turnover of any member of the Queensland Parliament.

    Forgive me if I dsipute your assessment, Prof Q.

  10. Brian Bahnisch
    September 6th, 2006 at 12:10 | #10

    I don’t think Beattie deserves to be re-elected. I was going to hold my nose and vote for the other mob. But they’ve been a joke and I could never vote for a mob who have Mike Caltabiano as shadow treasurer, or anything else for that matter.

    So I think I’ll vote Labor as a protest vote in the hope that the Liberals finally get the message that they have to get their act together.

  11. O6
    September 6th, 2006 at 13:26 | #11

    Purely for information, what’s wrong with Caltabiano? He looks as if he knows something about something other than internal party operations, which is rare in new MPs these days.

  12. Brian Bahnisch
    September 6th, 2006 at 13:41 | #12

    Personally ambitious and totally untrustworthy for colleagues. It was said that Quinn’s demise had Caltabiano’s fingerprints all over it. It is also said that he is one of the main reasons the Libs can’t get their act together.

    But I’m not an expert or an insider and I might be doing him a massive injustice. But when you vote you have to run with whatever information you have.

  13. Mark U
    September 6th, 2006 at 15:54 | #13

    Ambit Gambit had a good post on Caltabiano and the Indooroopilly preselection from over a year ago.


    I think Lee has a chance against Turner, but would have had no show against Emerson.

  14. Bring Back EP at LP
    September 6th, 2006 at 16:33 | #14

    I doubt if the Opposition is that bad thus if I was stupid enough to live in Queensland then I would be stupid enough to vote for the Opposition as Beattie does not deserve to be re-elected.

  15. September 6th, 2006 at 17:50 | #15

    Can anyone see any short or long term problems for the Conservative parties Federally in the likely event of a labour victory in Qld? While I appreciate that the Howard Government is unikely to fall as a result of the failure of the Qld conservatives to oust Beatty (or even care very much)the inevitable loss of morale (and apparent viability) the conservative parties in Qld will suffer as a result of the loss will no doubt make it more difficult for them to attract new talent and funding, which must feed ultimately to the Federal machine. Extrapolate this Australia wide ( few if any of the other incumbent state governments appear in much danger of losing to the conservatives at their next elections ) and it begins to paint a bleak picture for the conservatives nationally.

  16. chris shannon
    September 6th, 2006 at 19:02 | #16

    The difference in voting at the federal and state levels has been very interesting over recent years. It would appear that large numbers of people vote Labor at the state level but not at the Federal level. I doubt that John Howard considers this a bleak picture though.

  17. jquiggin
    September 6th, 2006 at 21:06 | #17

    I’ve only lived here a few years, and only seen Ronan in his green incarnation. I’ll investigate further.

  18. September 8th, 2006 at 12:14 | #18

    The choices are bleak indeed. As was said of the “Terminator vs Alien” movie, “no matter who wins, we lose”.

    I will be voting Green or Independent because of the North South Bypass Tunnel, the Hale Street Bridge, the Traveston Dam and the Wyaralong Dam.

    Beattie and the whole Labor Party deserve to lose, but because the Coalition in Queensland is overtly alligned with the utterly rotten Federal Liberal Government, it will be necessary for me to direct my preferences to Labor.

  19. September 8th, 2006 at 12:17 | #19
  20. September 8th, 2006 at 13:51 | #20

    You can of course not direct preferences and allow your vote to exhaust before you reach either of the major parties. This is still a valid vote in Queensland. Labor introduced it to reduce the preference flow to the Coalition.

  21. September 8th, 2006 at 16:36 | #21


    I think optional preferential voting is a good idea even though Beattie may have introduced it for cycnical self-serving purposes. They should take it to its logical conclusion and abolish compulsory voting altogether (notwithstanding a perception that many have this may favour the right wing side of politics).

    As bleak as the choice is I do think the choice between the Predator Party on the one hand and the Alien Party on the other is still important. I will be putting the Predator Party last on my ballot paper and leave the Alien Party off altogether. This is effectively the same as, in other states, putting the Alien Party last and the Predator Party second last, that is voting for the Predator Party on a two party preferred basis.

  22. September 8th, 2006 at 16:44 | #22

    Does this mean you are prejudiced against aliens, James? Shame. Just because it has acid for blood does not mean it intends to be evil. It might just be misunderstood.

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