Queensland Decides 2012: What happened in the Sunshine State

It has to be said up front: What happened in Queensland was an absolute political bloodbath.

There is no need to mince words about the final result. However, I tend to disagree with the commentary and analysis that has been proffered so far. Some of it is okay but frankly I think it misses the mark. Some of the commentary out of Queensland is not surprising given the one newspaper state and the conservative nature of the state’s ‘free’ media.

On election night I conducted a live blog and found it difficult to provide any kind of worthwhile commentary or analysis. I was almost flabbergasted by the results I was looking at. I did not rely on Green’s computers and algorithms as I come from the state and could get a better sense of the final outcome from looking at the results in different seats in key regions of the state.

One of the more annoying aspects of the commentary to date is that it seems a lot of it focuses on the South-East corner, but when you take the state as a whole, the regional and rural parts are in many respects more significant to holding government for the long-term than the South-East corner. So in keeping with that thinking I decided to explore the seats around the north and central parts of the state.

But really happened in the Sunshine State?

The Sunshine State didn’t like having their public assets sold or having their fuel, alcohol and tobacco subsidies cut. They also didn’t like the on-going drama surrounding the payment of nurses or the medical concerns with the Patel case. And because of the size of the state there are many different pockets that very much follow their own kind of thinking, think of The Shire in NSW. It’s not unusual for the state to conjure up strange results like the communist being elected in the early part of the 20th century.

It’s also a state that is infamous for their strong strain of agrarian socialism.

So when you consider the results and start to pick through them it looks a lot more like the Bob Katter’s Australian Party (KAP)cannibalised the ALP vote, rather than LNP’s campaign doing the damage. The KAP vote also cannibalised the Green vote but to a much lesser extent. While there has been a lot of commentary suggesting the Greens somehow failed at the election, it is interesting to note that the Greens’ vote didn’t slide nearly as badly as expected by some before 24 March.

In many respects the campaign by KAP resembled the ALP of old. There is no doubt that KAP’s tough talk about keeping public assets, protecting agriculture from coal seam gas wells and reinstating the fuel, alcohol and tobacco subsidises appealed strongly to many Queenslanders.

It didn’t help the ALP cause to immediately turn to Campbell’s history at the first sign of trouble. Though it is interesting that the issue of Newman’s finances and dealing while Mayor of Brisbane City Council didn’t resonate heavily beyond the SEQ.  Yet at the same time there were still murmurs of concern about a return to the bad old days of Sir Joh but these weren’t concentrated or loud.

It was a huge mistake to go after Newman in the way the ALP did but in the cut and thrust of an election campaign it can be difficult to know whether such strategies will pay off. And had the ALP won the election, I’m sure many would’ve given credit to the negative campaigning for the win.

At the end of the day, many of the woes suffered by Queensland Labor at the election were started soon after the 2009 election was won.  While many have already said the road to recovery for Labor will be long and bloody, I’d say that aboslute power will corrupt Newman and the LNP, and Queenslanders will be unhappy the ‘saviour’ didn’t deliver.

And if he doesn’t deliver, Newman may find it is the LNP wiped out at the next election.

A quick footnote: Apologies to everyone that continued on with the discussion and analysis of the Queensland election on my last post “The Queensland Election Rollercoaster”.  Hopefully you all haven’t grown bored of talking about the election results.

36 comments on “Queensland Decides 2012: What happened in the Sunshine State

  1. I’m very concerned about some of the COAG initiatives that were implemented with Labor Premiers, which the Liberal Premiers are doing their best to stall so their mate Abbott has something to criticise.

    Newman might turn out to be equally as difficult. Just for the sake of it.

  2. The eastern block with barnett have decided already to create there own style coag wihout the federal govt, trouble is the federal government holds the money.
    i noticed in this afternoons press little mr cando is already starting to backtrack on the solar farm. you see he hadn’t checked the contract when he shouted how he was going to back out and leave it to the federal govt to pay all the money. he was saying this arvo, if it was cheaper to go ahead then cancel the .
    contract then he would honour the contract.

    little bit tinny, is ol cando
    but hey he got a headline

  3. Already it seems that the newly minted LNP Premier is hard at work returning the state to Sir Joh’s days with nepotism. Then there’s the winding back of crucial programs to ensure the state has something to fall back on when the mining boom ends.

    Miglo it seems Newman will be another Premier pandering to the best interests of the federal Opposition Leader rather than what’s best for the state, or even country.

    Queenslanders need only to look south and west to see what’s in store.

  4. Alex

    we are still having a bit of fun with the qld election, just sum of it appeared in the common wealth thread

  5. … it seems Newman will be another Premier pandering to the best interests of the federal Opposition Leader rather than what’s best for the state, or even country.

    No, no, no Alex, its all about us — the people of Queensland …

    Don’t ever listen to Campbell … (or Mrs Newman’s husband)

  6. “It was a huge mistake to go after Newman in the way the ALP did but in the cut and thrust of an election campaign it can be difficult to know whether such strategies will pay off. And had the ALP won the election, I’m sure many would’ve given credit to the negative campaigning for the”

    It will not be seen as a mistake down the track, if there is some fire, from where that smoke come from.

    I find it difficult to believe that Anna Bligh would have agreed to the campaign unless she knew or really believe there is something to the stories.

    The groundwork for distrust has been laid.

    Dismantling has the ability to backfire. Is brings to the notice of the public what was achieved.

    As for the for the Green Schemes, where they unpopular by the majority. I believe not.

  7. Bugger me … I need one here too … OK

    Actually my reply to Alex was missing a word and I let it ride … should have read … (or in the mispelt modern idiom “should of read” grrrrrr) …

    Don’t you ever listen to Campbell … (or Mrs Newman’s husband)?

    Oh and and a question mark …

    Sue .. takes a while to get used to me … but I’m pretty harmless really … 😀

  8. Agreed, Cu, at 7.00 pm. I watched Anna Bligh in her last ABC interview and found her absolutely credible in her refusal to back down on the issue of the Campbell Newmans and payments from developers.

    I see that already today CN is meeting expectations. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/lnp-pals-named-for-plum-posts/story-fnbt5t29-1226311869898

    I am also puzzled by the last two paras of that story about the new Premier and his wife divesting themselves of all financial interests etc. Surely that should have occurred while he was Mayor of Brisbane? Was there time for them to be resumed once he was running for Premier?

    Mr Newman will meet his partyroom today and unveil his ministry on Friday. He said he had also begun work to sever ties with his family’s financial interests and relinquish all his financial interests and positions in private companies.

    Mr Newman said his wife Lisa had also started to exit her directorships, share ownerships and involvement with the family trust.

  9. Patricia, I believe the money still stays in the close knit family. What is the difference.

    With Mr. Rudd;s wife it was different. Her business relied on government handouts, thanks to Mr. Howard’s gutting of the CES,

    She had no choice but to sell off her business.

    By the way, I believe it is about time there was an enquiry into what Mr. Howard created. I know it has made some wealthy, but I have seem no evidence that it does much to help those unemployed.

    It has never been looked at since it was put in place. It might be a good place to look for waste. My son followed there advice and now faces a big unemployment bill. By the way, they did not get him much work. A day here and there mostly low paid..

    He managed find work for himself mostly. He did mange to get his riggers ticket, which is better for him.

  10. Alex
    what precisely are on about by suggesting that there is a “subsidy” on tobacco here in Queensland?

    Or that the rebate for the federal tax on petrol was a subsidy either? As those of us who follow the history will know Queensland never had as state tax on petrol like the other states and when the Feds were forced to collect said tax on behalf of the other states they had to levy it nationwide even here and the so called subsidy was merely maintaining the situation prior to that situation.

  11. Oh joy Oh joy, the world’s best treasurer, (although never recognised as such) finally has landed a job.

    “Newman hires Costello for financial check-up”

    This could be a face saver for Costello, it could be his way to resign as a Guardian, after the bleating f*** up, he made of his non appointment as chief of the FF the other week. Yes Peter Qld needs you, it is only right you give Qlders your total attention. Yes Peter leave now for Qld and see where else the sun shines from.

  12. Yes Sue Peter made complaining about Labor’s “blackhole” an art form. Ten years later he was still going on about it. It became so good a bullshit line that all politicians know talk about blackholes, it’s enough to make Stephen Hawking weep.

    I could write Pistol Pete’s first report right now, here are the dot points:

    . OMG the budget is in worse shape than we first thought (therefore we will HAVE TO take a closer look at those non core promises.

    . Irresponsible Labor spending has left a huge (my guess between 15-20 billion) BLACKHOLE!!!!!

    . It will take decades to clean up the mess these guys have left behind. Sacking half of the States government workers and employing our mates will be a mandatory first step in rebuilding this once great state.

  13. lunalava

    do you thunk that Costello may take his go to girl, Nikki, with him. that would be a bonus for viewers of insiders

    apart from that here is a piece from 1996 after the first costello budget

    “The Federal Government destroyed the peak body representing about 88 members and affiliate members around Australia. Let me tell the House who these bomb-throwing, radical groups are that the Federal Government has just nobbled – the Country Women’s Association, the Women with Disabilities, the Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services, and the Australian Pensioners and Superannuants Federation. The Federal Government is so scared that these groups will speak out against it that it has actually nobbled their funding. A disgrace! These are country people, disabled people, community groups and elderly citizens. The members of the National Party who claim to represent rural New South Wales should resign in shame.”

  14. luna, how cynical are you.

    Mr. Costello would be the last person I would employ. Why do they need to employ anyone to tell them what they already know.

    Well, they did say they had all the answers before the election.

    Now it appears they lied. How else can one explain that they are now saying they do not know what to do.

    Maybe the problem is not that politicians lie but they insist on making promises they cannot keep.

    Promise, I should say, they know they cannot keep.

    PS. If they do not know, how can they blame and claim the previous government was wrong.

    Maybe the previous did the best possible within the environment that exists today.

    Maybe the GFC and disastrous weather over more than one season did lead to unavoidable state debt.

    Maybe the high dollar has killed the tourist industry.

    Maybe the problem was not waste and inefficiency.

    Just maybe, the voter got it wrong this time.

    Who knows? Time will tell.

  15. NEW Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, orders ex-Queensland Premier’s husband, Greg Withers, to kill green schemes. That’s according to an article in today’s The Australian:

    “The showpiece of the Gillard government’s $1.5 billion Solar Flagships Program is now in jeopardy, after Mr Newman yesterday pulled the plug on $75 million in state funding pledged for the $1.2bn Solar Dawn solar thermal project near Chinchilla, west of Brisbane.


  16. CU 9.35 to quote Sir Humphrey Appleby:

    A Cynic is what an Optimist calls a Realist

    I spent far too much of my life massaging lies for politicians, now it’s time for atonement.

  17. Pingback: QUEENSLAND VOTES 2012 « DUCKPOND

  18. The ALP campaign & marketing was abysmal at best – negative attacks just reinforces most people’s already abysmal trust of politicians, it’s hard to argue the “its time” line especially after pissing off a large group of your core supporters and calling the election 3 weeks prior to campaigning (while moving the Council elections to fit the timetable) was bizarre. I thought the Green vote held up quite well – however Katter didn’t have a candidate everywhere.

    Now the person who promised to be squeaky clean and introduce higher standards has backflipped on his 2nd day – then proven it wasn’t a fluke by doing it again on his third. Where is the real alternative (and sorry Bob – you’re not it).

  19. Is this a “reward” or a slap in the face similar to Abbott’s role for Malcom Turnbull?


    Queensland Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman has given former party leader Lawrence Springborg the tough task of overhauling the state’s health system.

    Mr Springborg said he was happy to take on the health portfolio in what has been a poisoned chalice for the Queensland government over the past 10 years.

  20. By the way, I believe it is about time there was an enquiry into what Mr. Howard created. I know it has made some wealthy, but I have seem no evidence that it does much to help those unemployed.

    CU, if my eldest son was anything to go by, it is a complete waste of time and money.

    He found the job without any assistance from the so-called employment service, but they insisted he complete the necessary forms so they could get their hands on the money they made no attempt to earn. Corrupt afaic.

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