July 19, 2014 | Graham

Questions for Premier Palasczcuk?

On the basis of today’s Stafford by-election, you would have to put your money on Anastacia Palasczcuk being the next premier of Queensland after the next election, due around March next year.

According to the Australian, the swing against the Newman government was 18.6%. The primary votes are almost a mirror image of those achieved at the last election with the ALP taking around 51% of the vote and the LNP 33%. At the last election it was LNP 51% and ALP 33%.

That means that the Newman government doesn’t look so much like the Bjelke-Petersen Government that ruled for 19 years between 1968 and 1987, but the Borbidge government that ruled for less than three between 1995 and 1998.

Despite what political dilettantes, like Newscorp’s Peter Brent think, by-elections can be good indicators of what voters will do at general elections. You just have to be careful what by-elections you pick.

By-elections can be a turning point. The Ryan by-election in 2001 was one such. As a result of this by-election John Howard reversed unpopular decisions, demonstrated he was listening, won the subsequent Aston by-election and the following federal election.

Campbell Newman is not displaying the same characteristics. His response to the by-election loss is to say that he has heard the message from Queenslanders but he is going to keep doing what he has been doing:

“We’ve heard you, we understand how you feel, and I pledge this evening to continue to work hard,” Mr Newman told LNP supporters at a party function on Saturday night.

 “In fact, we will redouble our efforts to improve this state and to take it forward with a bright future.”

Anastacia Palasczcuk is now in the same position Newman was before the last election – she is the premier-in-waiting.

Voters complain that they didn’t know what Newman was going to do. That was because journalists never asked him.

It is to be hoped journalists won’t make the same mistake this time.

I’m tired of the “Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for…” stickers. Maybe you didn’t, but we, collectively, did, and we can’t disclaim responsibility for our vote because we were too stupid to ask relevant questions.

The government is about to change, so now the opposition has to explain how it is going to fix the state’ economy.

“What we did last time”, is not a sufficient answer.

Posted by Graham at 11:06 pm | Comments (6) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Hello Graham,

    A very lazy assessment of things in your first para.
    You know it will never happen. The Article improved markedly from there.

    Comment by Christopher Derrick — July 21, 2014 @ 9:47 am

  2. Heaven help us. If it happens, & it just might, we would have yet another Labor female Premier/PM, & that has been a recipe for disaster, every time it has.

    Poor Annastacia is obviously the thickest yet to lead a labor party opposition. I guess Labor did not have much to chose from this parliament, or she would mot be anything but a back bencher.

    We certainly need the gods on our side, or it may yet come to pass.

    Comment by Hasbeen — July 21, 2014 @ 11:14 am

  3. A week is a long time in politics Graham, and anything can happen.
    I mean it was London to a brick that Howard would face a landslide defeat at the hands of Kim Beasley, yet was saved from that by incumbency, with onset of 9/11, and the still shameful Tampa incident.
    And then went on to become our second longest serving PM ever!
    It would serve labor’s political interests far better, if they simply cracked on, with a send a message to Canberra campaign!
    And just concentrated on winning back as much ground as is possible; and without reading the tea leaves.
    Only Gypsies have crystal balls Graham?
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — July 21, 2014 @ 11:58 am

  4. Hey guys, let’s not make things up. John Howard was not facing a landslide defeat until the Tampa turned-up. He was facing a modest defeat.

    Chris I’m deadly serous about my first paragraph. I’ve made my reputation for going with what the polls tell me, and what they tell me at the moment is that Newman is unlikely to survive. He has only made things worse since the by-election.

    Comment by Graham — July 22, 2014 @ 8:03 am

  5. Yes Graham, but given the usual 3% margin of error either way in those polls, and the ones predicting a pre 9/11 Howard defeat, thanks largely to a still very unpopular GST etc.
    Then one man’s modest defeat, could just have easily been another man’s landslide.
    You only need, in two party preferred terms, a 54-46% split, to create a landslide, but particularly if that trend is magnified in some critical seats!
    I hear what you are saying about Mr Newman, and would be suitably surprised if he manages to hold his own seat!
    Even so, with the inclusion of The PUP, and Katter’s party in the contest, it is no forgone conclusion that Labor will win or form the next government.
    If Katter and the PUP, form some sort of preference swapping alliance, that would give disgruntled LNP voters someone else to vote for and preference, rather than Labor.
    And if labor, i.e. doesn’t have the numbers to govern in its own right, it’s hard to see either Katter or Palmer, throwing their lot in with them, given the different, chalk and cheese politics etc.
    And if Labor should just scrape in, with a one or two seat majority?
    Who will effectively govern the state, and or force them to draw down debt.
    Given just how unpopular that could be, who would really want the poisoned chalice, that will be the next Queensland government.
    And given a change of government will say, no we don’t want our public assets privatized; what are the remaining choices for any new incoming government?
    Reduced services or higher taxes and charges, or some combination of both; at least until we balance the budget and return to a surplus!
    And if you are also predicting any of that will be very unpopular Graham, you are probably right!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — July 22, 2014 @ 11:12 am

  6. Graham,

    Just in regards to first para. content, and yes the figures do tell a lot, but the expectatiions are that the LNP will retain Government, albeit with a vastly reduced majority. I’d be thinking that the new fellow for Woodridge would be positioning himself for the next Leadership role, and likely with Annatacia’s support. Against all odds, she has done remarkably well, with a lot of “self-destruct” assistance from the LNP. The silly part about it, is that the LNP just didn’t need to go in so hard and so aggressively. Ditto for Abbott. How in the world could they have got the Budgetry message so wrong ?

    I read yesterday in the OZ, accompanied by a “I know best” pic of Total Oil and Gas Chief, Darricarrere, reminding us that the Company had Oil and Gas infrastructure expenditiure, across Australia for the years 2012 to 2017, in the order of $15 Billion. Obviously a lot of money.
    Perhaps not so when one sees that the aggregate HECS debt,for this Nation, held and administered by the ATO, was at $23 billion, late last year,

    Yesterday I also read the the UK Conservatives have withdrawn from a policy initiative for the privatization of their nation’s HECS debt, said to include a more aggressive approach to the retrieval of Student debt. There was to be a considerable discount for the buyer. UK HECS debt is at or abour $10 Billion.

    How could successive Governemnts allow this to happen ?

    And friend Pyne is offering more, to hardly unsuspecting Students. Any cursory glance at things would suggest that repayment of HECS debt is rather optional.

    I’m enjoying the feedback/banter of things.

    Comment by Christopher Derrick — July 22, 2014 @ 12:21 pm

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