August 30, 2006

Queensland election second week

These are my notes for this morning's discussion with Madonna King on ABC Radio Brisbane's Morning Program. They have also been posted at

  1. Flegg has fallen in a hole but it doesn’t seem to have affected the Liberal Party vote. One reason for this is that despite two weeks of disasters he is doing no worse than Bob Quinn. In March Quinn was 11% favourable, 54% unfavourable. When Flegg took over he was 16% favourable, 44% unfavourable. Now he is 11% favourable, 53% unfavourable!
  2. Another reason for this. Focus group last night of Liberal voters. They are prepared to give him time. Blame Beattie for calling the election early. Liberal vote is at bedrock – not too many voters left to lose.
  3. In the same period Beattie has improved his standing while Springborg has also gone backwards like Flegg.
  4. Beattie is seen by our swingers as being the least incompetent. That is vis-à-vis the Opposition as well as his own team.
  5. Springborg is seen as being young, immature, negative, whinging, inexperienced and incapable, ruling over a rabble – his own party and the coalition.
  6. Flegg is unknown to many. To those who do know something he comes across as smug, relying on his professional qualifications for standing, inexperienced and only playing one tune. There is also concern about him knifing Quinn, and about those like Caltabiano, who might knife him.
  7. The National Party vote has decreased in our samples. This is where the increase in Beattie’s vote is mostly coming from. Not sure whether this is because they have become disheartened and are not filling the surveys in, whether with the election closer they realise they only have a Liberal running in their seat, or whether it is the blue-collar conservative vote going back to Beattie. No doubt John would have a theory about his “smart-state voters”. I suspect these are the Howard Liberals deciding to stay with Beattie.

Beattie verbatims:

“His statements - we got it wrong but we will fix it. If there was a viable alternative I would vote for it.” Liberal going Labor, 51-60, male, 4305

“The apparently incompetent ministers he has around him who keep stuffing up & making him carry the can.” Liberal going Labor, 41-50, male, 4011

“That things that are in the pipeline, previously anounced are taking so long to get started eg The gate way duplication,our local ambulance anounced over a year ago and not a sod of dirt turned on site.” Liberal going Labor, 41-50, male 4152

“Beattie has been in power for nearly 10 years and had caused all the problems Qld faces, and now claims he has the answers. If he has the answers, how did it get so bad in the first place?” Labor going Liberal, 31-40. male, 4012

Springborg verbatims:

“Even worse than Labor” Swinger going Labor, 41-50, male, 4110

“He leads a rabble in Parliament one or two it seems are always tossed out each sitting for one infringment or another. If they act like hoons in opposition what would they be like as government. As well the shadow of the old corrupt national party is always hovering - whether fair or not for me it is scary.” Swinger going Labor, 61+, male, 4272

“He's a young man, who's trying to preach and sound like an old feral dog. It doesn't appeal to me at all, and his voice is so boring to listen to, or hear.” Greens going Labor, 61+, male, 4068.

“The lack of cohesion between the coalition. If they can't get on together now, how could they possible rule together.” Labor going Liberal, 41-50, Female, 4225.

Flegg verbatims:

“Total unknown. Calls himself Doctor in the hope that people will feel more confident about him and that it will give him more creedence in the Hospital issues” Liberal going Labor, 51-60, female, 4074

“An elitist unknown who has no political experience.” Swinger going Labor, 61+, Male, 4170

“flegg comes across as arrogant and smug. he would not get my vote if he was the only candidate on the ballot. when he sat next to that working class chap trying to eat his lunch i felt like throwing something at the tv (this happened at a shopping center last week).” Swinger going Labor, 41-50, male, 4151.

“I really know nothing about him. All I've heard is that he's made a few blunders in the early days of the election, but I think the same media factors come into play as with Springborg.” Labor going National, 18-30, female, 4151.

“They provide no viable alternative to Team Beattie. I heard the comment today that Flegg has been going around the state 'drumming up apathy'.” – Focus group participant, Labor going Liberal, 31-40, male, 4012.

For the tables you will need to download the full document from here

Posted by Graham at August 30, 2006 02:01 PM

I might be getting the hang of this...I noticed that the courier blog I mentioned has a button to post to the ad hoc catalogger thingy ( at least that's what it feels like to me). So I followed it up, registered etc, and tagged the blog with qldelection, queensland, election, beattie, and bligh. So if websters put for example they get to click thru to the courier mail link. But you cyber-vets all knew that sort of thing didn't you? I'll tag this blog the same. This is fun.

Posted by: fred at August 31, 2006 12:23 PM

I'm with Damian, Elizabeth and Justin. The journo's and/or their boss are not doing their bit for democracy, they're either lazy or gutless weak as piss traitors and collabarateurs. Or they are all unprofessional major party voters, who won't give oxygen to anyone not on their teams.

One minor party candidate I talked to (why else would they publish phone numbers) told me the local suburban paper pretty well told him, when he asked for some coverage, "Well, if you could deliver some advertising revenue...". How grubby is that? It wasn't a matter of asking for bias, the guy suggested covering all the candidates.

With a bit of luck, blogs will be the new talkback which pollies etc have to take notice of. The courier mail one eg seems to be burbling along pretty well.
I would say that, they let me post a couple of lengthy pieces ( I'm new at it, haven't quite got the pert and pithy protocol down yet), albeit with a bit of censorship, and in retrospect I understand why, and am grateful the ed doesn't throw babies out with bathwater. The ABC moderator on the other hand seems to do exactly that.
I wonder how many people read these things?
Next stop: Premier Bligh, God help us.

Posted by: Fred at August 31, 2006 11:45 AM

I think Beattie is getting away with a terrible performance because there is no decent media in QLD to make him accountable. The only decent interview I have seen in the last 2.5 years was the day the election was called and he was interviewed on the 7:30 report by Kerry O'brien. Kerry was actually laughing at Peter's claims that he was calling the election early for the good of the state and that he could badly loose the election. QLD journos swallow Beattie's laughable lines hook line and sinker.

Without any hard hitting journos in QLD he gets away with saying this time he will fix it, and that he can still loose. He isn't made accountable. Terry Macenroth actually stopped going on Steve Austin's (612 AM) radio show last year as he was starting to ask tough questions. (Now Austin is on in the TV prime time slot for some reason).

Where is the investigative journalism in QLD? Dr Death was only found out after a Google search (that takes all of about 5 seconds).

The journos who don't seem to care so they start reporting about ties and grooming. Come on journos please make the politicians accountable for the betterment of QLD.

Posted by: Justin at August 31, 2006 10:41 AM

I agree with the comments posted by Helen Hirst on 30 August 2006 -
I have always been a Liberal voter and I think we need a change, it is a shame Mr Beattie is not the leader of the Liberal Party

Posted by: Helen Mac at August 31, 2006 06:20 AM

I think it is going to be the same as last time. A lot will vote Labor as they have always done, and more will vote Labor now because of the new leader..Dr Flegg for Liberal, and Springborg has still not found his way with the voters.
The majority will say it is better the one you know,than the one you don't. But it depends where the Independent Parties swing their preferences too. Personally I think it is way overdue to have a change in Leadership, but for the reasons above, I think a lot will still swing to Labor.

Posted by: Helen Hirst at August 30, 2006 08:05 PM

I think its very difficult tp guage an accurate pole from people who respond to you poll. These are generally those who are reasonably motivated politically. Most people don't respond to any form of polling because they're afraid they might be identified in some way so they leave their run to polling day. I think it would br better if the media just printed what each politician says without their journalistic slant added in and allow people to make up their owm minds. Personally I think once an election is called all political comment should stop but that won't sell papers or improve the already spurious ratings. This might eliminate election by the media!

Posted by: Mike at August 30, 2006 05:24 PM

I don't get it - if there is so much voter dissatisfaction with Flegg, Beattie & Springborg, why are we not seeing a protest vote for the minor parties?
The minor party has gone down in the polls during the campaign which suggests that the media focus on the leaders has a bad effect on presenting voting options.

Posted by: Elizabeth at August 30, 2006 05:19 PM

One wouldve expected a better showing re the greens as this election is being fought on pretty much their grounds of sustainability and resource management (as opposed to extraction), climate change etc etc

Posted by: Damian at August 30, 2006 04:48 PM

Looks like we are going to get another 3 years of Hard Labor!! I could still not vote for old smirky face.

Posted by: Tibor Pietzsch at August 30, 2006 04:45 PM
Graham Young
John Black
Mark Bahnisch
Michael Lee