Queensland will have a change in government tomorrow night, barring a huge reversal of political fortune, according to Roy Morgan Research.
About 72% of Queenslanders polled by Roy Morgan think the merged Liberal National Party (LNP) will win tomorrow’s state election. Only 16% think Labor (ALP) will hold on to power, while 12% are unsure.
LNP support is 62%, leading the ALP (38%) on a two-party preferred basis.
“There was also a strong element of the ‘It’s time’ factor, with many mentioning the fact the Labor Party has had a long time to fix Queensland’s problems and it’s time to give the other side a go,” says Gary Morgan of Roy Morgan Research.
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Former Brisbane lord mayor, Campbell Newman, was drafted in to lead the recently-merged conservative parties as a circuit breaker when Premier Anna Bligh soared back in the polls after her leadership during the Queensland floods. Without a radical leadership change the conservatives were facing more time in the political wilderness.
Newman could not be parachuted into a safe seat so the LNP took the unprecedented step of nominating him as leader of the party from outside the parliament to fight for the seat of Ashgrove held by Labor MP Kate Jones.
“Newman looks set to take the job next week despite some nervous moments in the last few weeks, as many questioned whether Newman would win his own electorate of Ashgrove. It now appears Newman will win Ashgrove,” says Morgan.
“Newman leads as preferred premier with 48% compared to … Bligh (35%).
“Of the minor parties, it appears that Bob Katter’s new party, Katter’s Australia Party (8.5%), is set to outpoll the Greens (7.5%),” he says.
The Labor Party has been in power in the huge rural and largely conservative state for 20 of the last 22 years after Queenslanders were repelled, almost for a generation, by revelations of the Fitzgerald Inquiry that saw ‘Joh’ Bjelke-Petersen government ministers and the Queensland police commissioner convicted and jailed on corruption charges.
Since then the conservative parties have been hampered by leaders who failed to capture the imagination of Queenslanders, and infighting between the two conservative political parties: the rural based Nationals and the city based Liberal Party.
The Queensland parliament is the only legislature in Australia without an upper house to constrain the power of a government with a majority in the lower house.