Queensland politics - Heading in the right direction and important issues

It’s been just on 6 months since we did our last sample and while a few things have happened since then, nothing much has changed. The Liberal and National Parties have ceased to exist as separate entities, having formed the LNP. It’s also rained. Both of these appear to have had some effect on specific numbers, but the overall situation has not changed. According to our poll Anna Bligh is in trouble.

Before doing the analysis it is worth reviewing the nature of our panel. Our respondents aren’t completely representative of society, but they’re not unrepresentative either. What they are is a group of people who don’t belong to the political elite, but do think about politics and current affairs more than average. They are people who are much more likely than average to participate in public debates. So, what you get from this group is reflective of where the whole community may be when they start thinking about the issues. It is always important to remember that this is qualitative research, not quantitative.

The sample composition suggests a lack of enthusiasm from Labor voters for their state government. While Greens continue to be over-represented compared to the general community (23% against 8% last election), for one of the first times ever Labor voters are substantially under-represented at only 25% of the vote. By comparison LNP voters are 39%. Why are Labor voters so reticent?

These percentages represent no change on the last survey for the combined Liberal and National Party votes. On the one hand this should be discouraging for them, because it indicates no bounce from the merger. On the other hand, it contradicts the warnings that substantial numbers of former Liberal and National party voters would refuse to support the merged entity.

On the other side there has been a 5 percentage point deterioration in the first preference standing of the ALP. If this is borne out by the next statewide quantitative survey, then Labor is really in trouble.

State_Direction.jpgWhen asked whether the state is heading in the right direction, 54% disagree and only 26% agree, a net -28%. This is fairly similar to the last poll when it was -24%. As the table at the right suggests, there has been some change in the issues that respondents find important. Six months ago infrastructure was the largest issue by far, driven in part by drought. Now it is not that far ahead of water and health, which have remained in second and third spot. So drought is still important, but the combined scores suggest not as urgent.

At the same time Economic, which is related to the global financial crisis, which wasn’t even mentioned as an issue last time is in fourth position at 7.1%. It’s almost as though when the government gets on top of one problem it gets no credit for it, and that problem is then replaced by another. In this case it is replaced by the international economy – which the government has no power to control.

Education has also increased in importance as an issue, although it is not obvious from comments why this would be the case.

When asked what issue was the most important in determining their vote Health (19%) was the most important, followed by Infrastructure (14.6%) and Education (11.2%). Infrastructure was almost as important last time, but Health has gone close to being twice as important, as has Education.

While the substitution of one issue for another is not encouraging for the government, we know from other surveys that Health and Education are stronger for the Government than the Opposition. How these issues are framed in the campaign could have a large effect on the outcome of the election.


"We do not live in a perfect world and thus we cannot expect miracles from our political masters. Queensland is progressing. Whether it is progressing in the right direction is a matter of opinion. From my own viewpoint I would like to see less spin..." (Male, Labor, 65-74)

"Water grid, brilliant. But owrried that we are losing too much bushland to development, when are we going to start going UP! The coastal heathlands near Maroochydore are being lost. Worried that we spend too much time doing crap like renaming the city" (Female, Labor, 45-54)

"Too many hap-hazard decisions being made for political reasons. Major infrastructure plans are too concentrated within south east Qld whilst the rest of the state has been left wanting. Went a decision is made, it announced but is either not done or take" (Male, LNP, 45-54)

"Failure to treet the need to deal with climate change as an opportunity rather than something to hide from." (Male, Greens, 64-75)

"The current Government has been reactive to infrastructure issues, and not proactive and thinking forward to what may be needed in the future. Also they are arrogant, especially in how the shire amalgamation issue was handled..." (Female, LNP, 45-54)

"Too many decisions have been put off to committee discussion or have been cancelled/deferred to suggest that ant decisions are other than to prepare for an election" (Male, LNP,55-64)

"1. Anna has not stood at the polls on her own merit 2. Can't follow through: Traviston Dam, Desalinisation, Children Hospital, etc 3. Desperately need intelligent infrastructure spending" (Male, LNP, 35-44)

"Where's the direction ? We're becalmed on the edge of the global financial crisis and about to get sucked in." (Male, LNP, 45-54)

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0 #1 CommentDaylight Saving is an election issue 2009-01-29 19:56
A number of people in South East Queensland have been expressing that if one of the major parties had daylight saving as an election issue, then they would vote for them. After all, most people are saying pretty much the same thing: Labor have been in too long, and have botched everything up, and the LNP have very similar policies, and not offering much in the way of a choice.
0 #2 CommentYvonne 2009-01-30 05:08
The choice is between bad or worse.

Please Greens or someone else show some inspiration or leadership.
0 #3 CommentDaylight Saving is an election issue 2009-01-30 05:32
If daylight saving is important to you, then the only opportunity you can demonstrate this is to vote # 1 DS4SEQ.
0 #4 CommentBob Ainsley 2009-01-30 22:20
I've been around this state all my life, family has been long before and the concept of daylight saving is one I support.

What I don't like is how the major parties are running the tactic of not talking about daylight saving. It is a significant problem not having it in the south east corner. It should be on the agenda, the silent majority alone can't do that.

I like the idea of leaving the north out of it, it's kind to them, ensures they keep their identity which is important as they're a parochial bunch.
0 #5 CommentAdrian 2009-01-31 01:21
I am sick of people saying "get up earlier" so you can simulate daylight saving. Does that mean everyone who wants it gets up earlier and goes home an hour earlier? Then those who don't want it turn up to the shops and wonder they are closed.
I think daylight saving provides great benefits to working people who could get to spend a couple of daylight hours outside, playing with their children for example, after finishing work and getting home at 6/6.30pm.

If the rural people dont want it..fine at least let us in the city areas have it. Better to have a split time line in a rural, much less populated area, than splitting a community in the middle of the street like the Gold Coast/Tweed.

I really think it is ignorant to say that daylight saving isn't an issue.
0 #6 CommentKatie 2009-01-31 02:11
Well I would say the state is only partly heading in the right direction. Obviously outside factors like the global financial crisis is going to have a major impact for all of Australia. But taking that out of the equation, I tend to agree with the comments that have been made so far. Why isn't any major party addressing the daylight saving issue. In a time of financial gloom, at least give us some light at the end of the tunnel, well day. I don't get home til 7 at night and then walk the dogs. I would rather be walking them with some light so I would feel safer. And I hate getting woken up by birds at 4 in the morning.
0 #7 CommentStan 2009-01-31 03:48
Health, and the economy are my main issues. And besides throwing money and resources at these to fix them, why not also add a dose of daylight saving. With barely any extra expense to the government, daylight saving would provide more opportunities for outdoor leisure and well-being activities, and reduce the extra operating hours of businesses thereby cutting their expenses.