Voters display a 'huge change'
The state election could see "a lot of seats changing hands" with the latest Newspoll showing Labor leads the LNP 51 per cent to 49 on a two-party preferred basis.PT1M48S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3b3cw 620 349 June 30, 2014
Stay the course and re-double efforts to sell the government’s message – that is how Newman government ministers have responded to polling which puts the LNP behind Labor for the first time since its landslide win in 2012.
The latest Newspoll, published on Monday in The Australian, shows Labor leading the LNP 51 per cent to 49 per cent on a two-party preferred basis. Primary support for the government has dropped to 32 per cent.
The poll showed support for independents and minor parties, such as the Palmer United Party which has emerged as a major thorn in the Newman government’s side, as growing.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman Photo: Glenn Hunt
Premier Campbell Newman’s performance rating has also dropped, but so has Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk's. Mr Newman still leads Ms Palaszczuk as the preferred premier by four points.
The results, at least eight months out from the next election, are still considered “manageable” by senior LNP figures, but they were enough to send its ministers into damage control.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney made a pre-emptive strike on radio, telling 612 ABC Brisbane that Mr Newman still had the support of the government.
But he added there was a “real challenge to make the case to the people of Queensland that the changes we’ve put in place over the last two years are now bearing results”.
Ministers, filing into the Executive Building for the weekly Cabinet meeting, picked up Mr Seeney’s baton.
“I think that the Newman government has done a fantastic job of turning around Queensland’s economy,” Mines minister Andrew Cripps said.
“That is very much our focus going forward and I think we set great foundations to be able to turn around some of the terrible financial legacies that have been left behind by the previous Labor government.
“Obviously we have to improve on our communications, but I think the achievements of the Newman government, right across service delivery as well as providing a platform for economic growth into the future are very sound.”
Transport Minister Scott Emerson said he believed the people of Queensland “understood” the challenges the government faced.
“People understand we have a lot of hard yards to do to clean up Labor’s mess,” he said.
“We do have a plan for the future, Labor’s only plan is to bring back the same MPs that caused the mess in the first place.
“...People understand that we have a strong plan for a bright future for Queensland, we have to clean up Labor’s mess. We are getting on with the debt and deficit, revitalising frontline services and people understand that. They understand that we have had to make strong choices to do that
“...People understand that we have to deal with the debt and deficit. We do have a plan for Queensland’s future. Labor has no plan at all. “
Education minister John-Paul Langbroek said the government would begin doubling down on its efforts to sell its good news story.
“It is obvious that we just need to keep working on the things we are doing in an individual departments to get the message out about our plan for the future,” he said.
“We’ll just keep going the way we are going and I know we’ll get there – the people of Queensland know this is a strong government with a good plan.
“It is obvious we need to re-double our efforts and we are going to do that.”
Tim Mander, the housing minister, said he believed it was only a matter of time before people realised the government had made the right decisions.
“I think you’ll find as we get closer to the election, that people will find that we are the only side of politics that does have a stable plan and a plan for the future and I am sure people will understand that,” he said.
While Energy Minister Mark McArdle said it was “clear” the government “have not sold out message often or strong enough” and that would change.
“We all know Labor had to go, we need to work much harder on a daily basis to tell people what we have done right across this state,” he said.
“The fact is this – we haven’t sold our message properly, nor have we sold it often enough. We will double our efforts yet again to make certain that we do.”
Together Union state secretary Alex Scott said the latest Newspoll was indicative of the electorate’s mood – and that the government needed to start taking PUP seriously.
“We know that statewide polls are deceiving in Queensland. We know that greater Brisbane region is deeply opposed to the current government and does not deserve to get re-elected, and while this is also true of North Queensland, the LNP support remains strong in other parts of the state. There will not be a uniform swing but the LNP can lose enough seats in Cairns, Townsville and the South East to lose government,” he said.
“As with all polls the use of a two party preferred analysis of the difference between the LNP and ALP is meaningless as there is no basis for assessing how the preferences of the PUP supporters will flow, or even if they will give preferences in the state election. We can say from this and other published polls that the state election is too close to call and that It will be decided by Palmers preferences.
“Campbell Newman and Tony Abbott are now engaged in a race to the bottom to see who can be the most unpopular politician in Queensland.”
- with AAP