February 24, 2009 | Graham

Liberal Nationals should win 12 to 15 seats

It is really too early to be predicting election results, but with the Queensland election scheduled for the 21st March, there’s not much time left. So here is my “prediction”. The Liberal National Party should win 12 to 15 seats, all other things being equal.
Labor has effectively been in power since 1989, with a brief interregnum between 1996 and 1998. Over the last 20 years it has run the state into the ground to such an extent that the same people who rated the toxic debt in the US AAA can only give its borrowings a AA+ rating, worse than even NSW which is the basket case state in Australia. It has also lost 9 members of parliament to retirement, most of whom will be replaced by what are effectively party hacks.
On this performance claims to be a “safe pair of hands” should reinforce the perception that this government is all spin and no substance. However the government has a huge margin of safety in terms of seats, and is favoured by an electoral redistribution that would allow it to win with just 49.5% of the vote.
You can get a good handle on how the seats fall from this analysis by David Fraser. Labor has 58 seats (since the preparation of these figures Labor lost one seat through defection to the Greens of Indooroopilly MLA Ronan Lee), and a working majority is 45, meaning it can lose 13 seats and still have a majority.
However, the redistribution last year notionally gives Labor three extra seats, so they can “lose” 16 and still govern in their own right.
My prediction is based on the redistributed seats, so it is for a line-ball result.
Many commentators are saying that the Liberal Nationals need to win 20 seats. This is wrong because it discounts the possibility of a minority government. The last Coalition government in Queensland was a minority government supported by Independent Liz Cunningham, the member for Gladstone. There are 5 independents in the Queensland Parliament, and most of them would be likely to favour the LNP over Labor, meaning that the LNP can govern with less than 45 seats in Parliament. The same is also true of Labor, although because of the composition of the Independents, they would have more trouble.
There is one caveat on my prediction – and that is that all other things should be equal. The LNP is in a good position, but it can easily squander it with the sort of inept campaigning that has characterised each of its campaigns since 1998.
They have to resist the temptation to make big spending promises and keep the focus on the government. This election isn’t about whether Queensland needs a “safe pair of hands” or “the Queensland you want”, but whether anyone could do worse than the government in managing the economy. This is not an election to raise expectations, but to lower them.

Posted by Graham at 9:14 am | Comments (4) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Graham,NSW may have retained it’s dubious AAA rating but look at what is not rated.Our infrastructure has been run down to the point of collapse.Labor has almost taxed business out of existence.Many businesses are moving to Victoria because costs are half what they pay here.We have the highest unemployment rate excluding Tasmania.
    I don’t want to compete in a race to the bottom of the ladder,but surely QLD cannot be in worse shape than NSW.

    Comment by Arjay — February 24, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  2. Maybe the Quensland Govt should have just paid the going rate to bribe the ratings agency’s.
    If ever there was a group with no credibility it must be Standard and Poors and the other so called ratings agency’s.
    Why these crooks are given and space at all is beyond me just give em a million or two and your home free

    Comment by John Ryan — February 24, 2009 @ 6:03 pm

  3. Well here’s some interesting news.Last night at a forum with Tony Abbott,a person has tabled supposedly leaked NSW treasury documents stating that the NSW Govt is in $15 billion debt.He handed them to Mr Abbott swearing by their authenticity.
    No one at the meeting seemed supprised.If this is true,surely it must be grounds for an early election.Our AAA rating will cease to exist.Is not lying to the electorate in this fashion a criminal offence?

    Comment by Arjay — February 25, 2009 @ 5:50 am

  4. When I moved back to Qld from Sydney in 2005 I was shocked that the dam levels were lower up here but no one was really saying anything about it. In Sydney everybody was screaming about needing to fix it.
    I think it is the same with the economy. The media up here are NOT letting us know how bad we really have it. The rating agencies believe it is worse than NSW. Just because we have a complacent media and public in Qld, doesn’t mean we are better off than NSW.
    Basically Beattie and Bligh lived it up in the good times and have sent Qld broke. She can’t blame all that on the GFC.

    Comment by Joe — February 25, 2009 @ 10:47 am

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