The Queensland Election

While the end result was relatively predictable there were a few surprises in the QLD state election.

The Queensland Election

From the outset I have to state that I am not surprised by the Queensland election result.

My presumption was that Labor was in the box seat to win. They had the dual benefit of  incumbency and a dominant presence in the media.

The daily press conferences, where the Premier always purported to have the safety of Queenslanders first and foremost,  drowned out almost everything else. That presence certainly masked a number of government failures but the Palaszczuk government obeyed the principle 'never waste a good crisis' to maximum advantage.

They have also used their unicameral parliament to good effect.

I've lost count of how many times the preferential voting system has changed to suit the government electoral chances but it does seem to be a regular occurrence.

So while the end result was reasonably predictable there were a few surprises which are worthy of note.

The first was the decision of the LNP to put the Greens Political Party ahead of Labor. It delivered the Greens another seat at the expense of Labor's scandal plagued former Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.

Now Trad is really a Green herself but the machinery of Labor managed to rein in her more extreme tendencies.

There is no such check or balance on the extreme leftist Greens Party. In fact they seem to revel in the most outrageous and irresponsible policy platform hiding behind their environmental image.

Giving them an electoral leg up (in any form) is very short-sighted and may come back to haunt the LNP. At the most basic level, the Greens will never side with a centre-right coalition and if they did, the Coalition would be doing the wrong thing!

However, now with two members in the Parliament they can move and second motions and grind the place to a halt, just like they have in the Australian Senate.

The second surprise was the relative weakness of the One Nation. I know there are many readers who like Hanson's approach, manner and tone toward politics but it wasn't rewarded at this election.

My sense is it is because One Nation isn't really a Conservative Party even though it pretends to be.

Their supporters appear to be an amalgam of big government interventionists, protectionists, the politically disaffected and Aussie nationalists. Few care about the often contradictory policy agenda of PHON and are happy to excuse the repeated scandals.

These supporters see Hanson as giving them support on whatever their pet issue may be and then they choose to ignore everything else. I concluded some time ago that many of them are more aligned with Labor traditions than Liberal ones

These supporters form a strong coalition when there isn't much at stake. The last Queensland state election provides a contrasting example. One Nation preferences then delivered government to the ALP. That gave their supporters an easy way to vote for PHON without risking a Labor government.

This time, PHON directed preferences to the LNP and their vote collapsed. I don't think that's a coincidence.

This conclusion could be entirely wrong, and some readers may take me to task about it,  but that's my initial assessment.

The third surprise was the continuing success of the Katter Party.

They too are a Party that defies any traditional label. Their policy mix takes from the left and the right but they certainly have strong support in Far North Queensland.

Credit where credit is due, I understand Robbie Katter is a smart and hard working leader who knows his patch well. This is clearly reflected in their electoral results.

That appeal may also be enhanced by their support for a FNQ statehood!

Finally, what can I say about Palmer and the UAP. To be perfectly candid, I don't really know what to say. A very wealthy man pumps millions into a Party to gather fewer than 13,000 votes statewide.

That may improve as the count continues but it really isn't a good return on investment. So why does he do it?

Whatever the reason, the outcome is that Labor rule with an absolute majority in Queensland for another four years. That may distress some in Queensland but I don't think it will upset the Prime Minister too much.

The Australian people seem to like a different state/federal political power base and Labor state governments may suit his re-election chances very well.

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