Queensland State Election 2020 Insights (2/3)
As the Queensland election campaign enters the home stretch, both major parties have once again focused their efforts on election-deciding seats in regional Queensland.
In a pitch to voters who may become complacent in the belief Labor was on track to secure victory, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned “this is going to be a very, very close election.”
Despite a subdued start to the campaign, there’s growing confidence the LNP is making inroads in the regions. However, securing the nine seats needed for majority government remains a significant challenge.
The election remains on a knife’s-edge with the latest seat polling showing mixed results for the incumbent Labor Government and LNP Opposition.
In the must-win seat of Mundingburra in Townsville, the public polls are showing the LNP is on track to secure victory from Labor. However, the polls also show the LNP trailing narrowly in the marginal Labor-held Brisbane electorate of Mansfield, a must-win seat for majority government.
In Pumicestone, an LNP marginal seat covering Bribie Island, Labor appears to be leading convincingly. However, Labor is tracking to lose by a similar margin to the Greens in the inner-city seat of South Brisbane, which is held by former Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.
In addition to long-term demographic changes, the Greens have had their electoral prospects in this election significantly boosted by the LNP’s decision to preference the minor party ahead of Labor in all electorates. As well as a potential loss in South Brisbane, Labor may be vulnerable in other inner-city strongholds such as McConnel and Cooper. This will further serve to frustrate Labor’s ability to govern in majority.
Milestones and activities
Treasurer Cameron Dick released Labor’s official costings on Monday, confirming Labor’s election promises would be funded through a $4 billion borrowing fund. The Treasurer declared there would be “no sales or leases of assets” and “no new or increased taxes” under a re-elected Palaszczuk Government. The LNP plans to release its costings for election commitments tomorrow.
Both leaders are expected to return to Brisbane today and Friday for two different leaders’ debates, the first hosted by Sky News and the second by the Queensland Media Club.
Early voting has returned a record number of votes, with over 740,000 of Queensland’s 3.36 million registered voters already casting their ballots (which is 22% of the voting population). There are a further 900,000 postal votes issued (approximately) that may already be in transit (which accounts for a further 26.7% of the voting population).
Clive Palmer and his United Australia Party made a splash this week by issuing unsolicited texts to enrolled voters throughout Queensland, asking recipients to “stop Labor’s 20 per cent death tax”. This generated a raft of complaints to the Electoral Commission of Queensland and refutes from Labor.
Key policy announcements
- Commitment to trial a new youth curfew in Cairns and Townsville to curb juvenile crime and violence
- $80 million to create 30,000 additional places in before and after school care programs
- $68.4 million to upgrade grassroots sporting clubs
- $45 million to build two new dams in the Wide Bay-Burnett region
- $20 million per year to increase Queensland’s protected area estates
- $6 million to support Queensland’s reef tourism market
- $2 million to tackle issues associated with ICE and other illicit drugs
- $880 million for local council infrastructure and transport projects
- $200 million to build a ‘Second Bruce’ inland freight route
- $86 million to hire an extra 357 firefighters over the next five years
- $50 million to cut irrigation costs by up to 50 per cent for fruit and vegetable growers from 1 July 2021
- $10 million to support Queensland veterans
- $7.5 million to support children participation in sport
This is the second of three Queensland State Election updates from GRACosway. For more Election information, or to enquire about our public affairs and government relations services, please contact our Brisbane office on +61 7 3226 2600 or [email protected].