March 15, 2004 | Graham

The Queensland Nationals miss the point……again!

This post was sent to me be one of our most frequent readers:

“THE day after Peter Beattie named the date for the recent Queensland State Election I told my clients in a written brief I expected he would be returned to office with about 60 seats, and that Opposition gains would be minor.
One of the reasons for my confidence about the outcome was a single comment by the Nationals Leader, Lawrence Springborg, within a couple of hours of the election being called.
For reasons that still escape me, Springborg’s first comment of the official campaign was that the National and Liberal Parties could win the election. That single comment effectively derailed the one chance the opposition has to make a significant dent in Labor’s 50 plus seat majority.
The moment Springborg claimed he could win, he forfeited the chance to use the election to get voters to “send Peter Beattie a message” or to convince them to register a protest vote without changing the government.
Now the Nationals Leader has made the even more extraordinary claim that “probably playing down our chances as much as we did, virtually saying we couldn’t win, I think removed hope from a lot of people.”
During the campaign Springborg did try to “water down” his initial comment. But it continued to haunt him until polling day, and unquestionably contributed to a very poor overall result for the coalition.
In 1991 Jim Soorley beat Sallyanne Atkinson because he never allowed the people of Brisbane to believe he could actually win. In 1995, the Coalition mustered a protest vote against a very popular Premier, Wayne Goss, the same way.
The one window of opportunity Lawrence Springborg had closed the day the election was called.
To now claim he did not do as well as he could have because he downplayed his chances lacks credibility.
Attempts to re-write history are always hazardous. To try and do so when that “history” is but a few weeks old is foolish.
Jeffrey Wall, OBE

Posted by Graham at 9:22 am | Comments Off on The Queensland Nationals miss the point……again! |
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