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Nothing really stands out from Palaszczuk’s near-9 years in office

By Graham Young - posted Thursday, 14 December 2023

I was probably the only political analyst who predicted Annastacia Palaszczuk would beat Campbell Newman in 2015.

That fact alone can explain a lot of her long career.

The expectation that former Premier Campbell Newman would win was huge. It shaped the way the Liberal National Party (LNP) and Labor both ran their campaigns.


It also meant that many ambitious Labor wannabes didn't run for preselection for the 35 seats that changed from LNP to Labor that election.

Ms. Palaszczuk became the accidental premier, with a mediocre team, deposing a government that had its problems but was heading in the right direction and making impressive gains, and that has shaped the last eight years of government.

Out of the seven Labor members left after the Newman landslide, Anna Bligh, the defeated premier, was unavailable, and out of the other six-Tim Mulherin (Mackay), Curtis Pitt (Mulgrave), Jo-Ann Miller (Bundamba), Bill Byrne (Rockhampton), Annastacia Palaszczuk (Inala), and Desley Scott (Woodridge)-Ms. Annastacia was elected unopposed.

In a less complete defeat, Cameron Dick, Kate Jones, Paul Lucas, Andrew Fraser, and others would have probably been nominated for leader. Without the devastation, Ms. Palaszczuk would have stood no chance.

Which led to the electoral dynamics. As Labor had been so comprehensively wiped out, voters didn't think there was any chance of them winning.

True, polling had them between 51 and 46 percent of the two-party preferred vote in the lead-up to the election, but there were all those seats they needed to win, and almost no one thought they could do it.


Added to that Labor hadn't developed, or prosecuted, the policies to look like an alternative government.

This was why Anthony Chisholm, the Labor campaign director, copied what the Liberal-National Coalition had done in the 1995 state election and ran a protest vote campaign.

I knew all about those campaigns, because I had strategised the Liberal one, and also because Mr. Chisholm had read some of my accounts of it.

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This article was first published by the Epoch Times.

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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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