/ 18 March 2024

Queensland pushes back against Labor

Queensland polling booths

The Squiz

Queensland Labor has copped the biggest by-election swing in decades, losing the once-safe state seat of Ipswich West to the Liberal-National Party’s Darren Zanow with a 17.7% 2-party-preferred swing in a by-election on Saturday. The pain for Labor didn’t end there… Labor’s Margie Nightingale held onto former premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s seat of Inala, but the LNP recorded a 19% swing towards it there. And in local government elections on Saturday, the LNP hung onto power in Brisbane while Labor lost votes to the Greens, who scored their best-ever result. Yesterday, Queensland’s Labor Premier Steven Miles said he knew the weekend’s elections would be tough, “and they’re even worse than that”.

Yikes. What does it mean?

Well, LNP leader David Crisafulli reckons voters are saying “enough is enough” to Labor, which makes these results a loud warning shot for Premier Miles ahead of the state election on 26 October… State Greens MP Michael Berkman put the government’s woes concisely – aside from youth crime and cost-of-living issues, he says Labor is “bleeding voters” on housing, “particularly renters and first home buyers”. Whatever it is, state Labor would find it hard to hang onto government if even half the level of those swings is replicated in October – a prospect backed up by Newspoll results (paywall) out this morning. And looking federally, it also means the Albanese Government would find it tough to win any additional seats in the state – something it’s keen to do, particularly with 3 first-term Greens occupying lower house seats…  

Interesting times… 

And it’s super interesting in Tassie this week… The only state/territory Liberal government in the country will face the voters next Saturday. It’s an early election that was called by Premier Jeremy Rockliff after 2 Liberals became independents and put the government into a minority. That boilover was about the government’s support for the construction of a $715 million/23,000-seat AFL stadium in Hobart that is earmarked for the state’s first AFL team. And we’re mentioning all this because the team’s launch – its logo, guernseys and colours – is on tonight… Tasmanian Labor says the new stadium is a “bad idea”, but leader Rebecca White will be there – she says she’s “very excited” about a local team getting off the ground. However, don’t expect to see Premier Rockliff or his Liberal colleagues – it’s too politically fraught for them… 

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