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Queensland isn't just a COVID-19 election

By Graham Young - posted Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk might have glowed with optimism the weekend before last.

Jacinda Ardern’s extraordinary performance in NZ was a reward for her COVID performance.

With 4 times as many Kiwis dying as Queenslanders, the effect could be even larger here.


The Queensland premier needs help. Polls show a similar margin to last time which was a majority of only 2.

And Labor know voters want to know what you will do tomorrow, not what you did yesterday. (Winston Churchill’s reward for winning WWII was to lose the subsequent election).

So Labor says it has a “plan” for recovery and that they can be trusted, unlike the opposition because they kept the borders closed at the same time the LNP’s  Deb Frecklington called for them to be opened “64 times”.

This is a neat deflection, because Labor’s economic performance since they beat Newman in 2015 has been average to poor.

Queensland’s regional politics also make it difficult for them. Most of the COVID infections have been in the south-east, and radically different issues drive voters up the coast and into the regions.

This election is really 6 or 7 different battles.


In the Brisbane local government area the LNP holds only 4 seats, Labor 19 and the Greens 1.

Clayfield is the ALP’s best bet with an LNP margin of 2.41% but their campaign on the ground there is non-existent.

In fact Labor should lose the seat of South Brisbane, where the LNP “put Labor last” preferencing strategy should hand Deputy Premier Jackie Trad’s seat to the Greens.

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This article was first published in the Australian Financial Review.

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About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

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