Queensland politics - the leaders

In the last 6 months the position of Labor leader Anna Bligh has deteriorated somewhat. While adjustments to our sample to allow for it not being representative suggest that she is still the preferred premier by 50% to 39%, longitudinal analysis suggests Springborg is gaining on her.

When we compare samples, Bligh's preferred premier status has increased by one percentage point, but Springborg's has risen by six (although fewer people approve of Springborg than did six months ago, and more disapprove). The LNP is also regarded as more likely to win now than it was, with a six percentage point increase in the expectation that it will win, albeit that 47% of our sample think that Labor will win.

What are the factors contributing to these moves?

Leadership is one issue. In our previous poll Peter Beattie was a huge negative for Bligh. In this poll he has decreased in rank as an issue, at the same time as she has increased. Adding mentions of Bligh and Beattie together, means that one in five voters mentions one or the other in both surveys. This appears to indicate concerns about the length of time the government has been in power, and the style of government.

Bligh_Hesitation_Jan_09.jpgThis conclusion is reinforced by the hesitations in voting for Bligh (see table attached). Labor ranks as the highest hesitation, followed by Long (as in "too long"). This is the "It's time" factor.

Water and Recycled are the next two important hesitations. Water has doubled in importance over six months and refers to decisions on dams and recycled water. These are issues which help and hinder Bligh. Some respondents hesitate to vote for her because she appears to have reversed her previous positions; others because she has reversed them too late, or because they don't believe that the reversals are genuine.

The overall picture is of a reactive government that is perceived to have little confidence in itself, relying on media tactics rather than long-term planning, and is therefore viewed as increasingly unattractive.

On the other side, Springborg's largest problem is that he is seen to stand for nothing. Lack of Policies is the largest concern that voters have with him. Six months ago the Coalition was his largest problem (with the Liberal Party) being a subsidiary one. The founding of the Liberal National Party seems to have solved that problem to some extent, although the LNP is also cited as a hesitation.



"She is a better choice that the opposition, which is not areal choice. Both parties lack talent. Politicians only look to the next election." (Male, Labor, 55-64)

"She appears weak and indecisive; has no plans for the State's future...seems to be reactive rather than pro-active." (Male, LNP, 55-64)

"unresponsive on BCC rate rip off/tricky on north bank redevelopment/supported Beattie on forced amalgamations / political opportunist" (Male, Greens, 45-54)

"I want someone to give me a reason to approve of them - not someone who is just 'better than the others'. She/Labor isn't doing that." (Female, Greens, 55-64)

"I think she has some clear plans on the future she is quite different from the blokey Labor party on social issue is think she is very strong" (Female, Labor, 45-54)


"Will the coalition last or will the tensions of the past rear their head again and cause an implosion? Do they really know how to govern? Is Springborg really a strong enough leader?" (Female, Family First, 55-64)

"Their past, they have been awful in govt in the past and responsible for more environmental destruction than other other party." (Male, Greens, 35-44)

"There still doesn't seem to be a unified outlook. Generally the reported comments are too conservative for me." (Female, Undecided, 65-74)

"I am concerned that there is not the range of talent yet available and I am concerned that the liberals might prove too often unwilling to compromise their so called ideals for the sake of good governance." (Female, LNP, 65-74)

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0 #1 CommentDaylight Saving is an election issue 2009-01-29 20:03
The comments certainly suggest that constituents are going to find it hard to make a choice, as there doesn't appear to be much of a point of difference. I think it's time that one of the leaders stood up, and made a difference and changed their thinking on the issue of daylight saving. The DS4SEQ Party is trying to do that, seeing as the majority of people in Queensland would like daylight saving, but moreso the South East Queensland region.
0 #2 CommentDave Lord 2009-01-30 03:17
Daylight saving issue - again? What rot, saying that "the majority of people in Queensland would like daylight saving"! The referendum said differently. If busness people can't add or subtract an hour to be in step with southern states, or can't get up an hour earlier to conduct their business, perhaps they're in the wrong line of work. Young school-age children on farms would have to get up in the dark to prepare for school, then go to bed while it's still daylight and hot. Its a nonsense, and another referendum will have the same result. South East Queensland business people should not try to rule the state. We country people deserve a say as well
0 #3 CommentDaylight Saving is an election issue 2009-01-30 04:47
Well Mr Lord, Daylight Saving IS an issue. The Queensland Government undertook research in 2007, the findings of which showed that a majority of all of Queensland now support its implementation and only 34% are against it (down from 54.5% in the 1992 referendum).

I agree a referendum was had, and the people of Queensland had a say on this issue. But that was 17 years ago!! There are now 1 million more people on the electoral roll. And before anyone says its all the people coming up from down south, I agree that's a contributing factor, that's very undemocratic, but so is the fact that anyone born in Queensland and are 35 years old or younger. These people have never had a say about daylight saving in Queensland.

The majority who support DST are in the South East Queensland region and the majority who oppose it are in regional and rurual areas. DST is an obvious geographical issue for this state, so what DS4SEQ are proposing is a compromise to the current situation that doesn't work.

This issue needs to be revisited immediately!!
0 #4 CommentGraham Young 2009-01-30 06:34
Dear Daylight Saving, if this were an important issue then you would have a lot of people nominating it as either an important issue, or one that is important in terms of the election. But when I do a word search on "Daylight" it appears 5 times as an important issue for the election and only 2 times as a generally important issue.

Water turns up 31 times in election issue, infrastructure 11, roads 10, education 31, health 42, econ 19.

One of the reasons for doing these polls is to help people to form independent impressions of what people actually believe. As a campaigner for a particular policy you need to work with the survey results. They say that if you want it to be important in the next election you are going to have to work hard to make it one.
0 #5 CommentDaylight Saving is an election issue 2009-01-30 07:17
What do the issues of water, infrastructure is, roads, education, health and the economy have in common?

They have all become critical, due to neglect and these affect people on a daily basis.

A Government is supposed to look after water, infrastructure, health, etc, but a government also administers the time zone in which we operate.

As the Government's own research shows, the majority in Queensland would now support the introduction of DST.

So as that is the case, I believe ignoring the majority of constituents is a pretty major issue, and that's what's happening.

In these economic times, daylight saving must be an issue, as businesses will immediately reduce costs, and therefore wont have to reduce their workforce as critically, nor will they go to the wall.

DST is a lifestyle and business choice and one the majority of this State, and a stern majority in South East Queensland would like to have.
0 #6 CommentGraham Young 2009-01-30 07:52
You have to ask people whether they will change their vote on the basis of an issue. This one is so far down the tree it probably doesn't matter. The only way it might matter is if there was a significant number of voters in swinging seats who might change their vote on the basis of it. I don't see any signs of that. You need to get out and start creating some media opportunities.
0 #7 CommentMichael Craig 2009-01-30 19:18
I understand what Daylight Saving is saying. Issues only become issues when there is something wrong or when there is focus from the media or from the main parties. Of course we, the public, will always rate education, health and infrastructure as important issues, because if they get left behind, it affects our daily lives.

I think the point trying to be made here, may be, that there are important issues, and daylight saving is one of those, but for a different reason. As we don't currently have it, people don't worry about it on a daily basis, unless of course, you live on the Southern Gold Coast area, where it affects people's lives directly, or unless you travel interstate regularly.

Daylight Saving is an important issue because it's 'What the People Want'. As Daylight mentioned, the Government was willing to undertake research, and the results point in the direction that the state should now adopt daylight saving or a dual time zone approach.

The majority are in favour of daylight saving, yet the Government ignored these results. Isn't that undemocratic?
0 #8 CommentBelinda Kein 2009-01-30 21:45
Don't we elect governments to rule for the majority? If the majority want daylight saving, then isn't fair and justifiable for a government to introduce it?

If we are talking about the leaders, then I would say it would show true leadership if one of them stood up and said "lets bring in daylight saving"
0 #9 CommentMatt 2009-01-31 01:49
I couldn't believe that Bligh's first major public decision was to say NO to daylight saving. She had a report in front of her telling her straight the majority are in favour of it yet she still said no. That's called taking the easy way out. I'd hardly call that a leader.