Drum Wrap: Queensland voted
The LNP is set to lead Queensland after Labor’s devastating loss in Saturday’s state elections. The Drum takes a look at what political commentators around the country are writing in the wake of the landslide election.
PM faces punishment by deceived voters
Peter van Onselen, The Australian [Paywall]
Anna Bligh made no mention of her intention to sell $15 billion of state-owned assets at the 2009 election, yet that is exactly what she did in Labor’s final term.
On Saturday, voters registered their displeasure, reducing Queensland Labor to a rump.
At the 2010 federal election, Julia Gillard pledged “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”, yet last year she passed one through parliament and this year it takes effect.
The parallels are obvious and, unless something dramatically changes when the Prime Minister goes to the polls, they appear likely to add up to a federal replay of what we just saw in Queensland. Voters don’t like being deceived. Read more here [Paywall].
Labor dirt campaign enraged voters
Dennis Atkins, Courier Mail
Queensland’s ground-breaking election at the weekend did one thing above all else. Voters had an overriding message about the nasty, relentless campaign from Labor during the past nine weeks.
They said they hated what they saw and heard. The smash-up election result was always coming but its size was in doubt.
Let’s look at the empirical evidence. Crosby Textor, the best polling organisation working in real politics, did a serious exit poll on Saturday and found a big result – the top issue that affected voters was the nature of this campaign.
This, more than anything, was why Bligh Labor lost. It was why a premier’s super-safe 15 per cent seat was taken to the brink and severe doubts were raised.
This was why Labor lost with a swing of about 16-17 per cent of the vote. Read more here.
Ignore this bloodbath at your peril
Simon Benson, The Daily Telegraph
It was 1974 all over again, when Joh Bjelke-Petersen reduced Labor in Queensland to 11 seats.
A year later Gough Whitlam and Labor were wiped out at the 1975 federal election. The only Labor federal MP left in Queensland was Bill Hayden.
Behind the brave faces and denials that will come from Gillard’s troops this week in the wake of the massacre, many accept that the federal government is partly to blame. And they now have a taste of what might be coming next year.
Graham Richardson was right yesterday when he said it is not about NSW, or Queensland – the issue is Labor nationally. Read more here.
The hole where Queensland Labor used to be
Poll Bludger, Crikey
Suddenly Kristina Keneally’s performance doesn’t look so bad. What happened to Labor in Queensland on Saturday is without any precedent in Australian history – certainly not since the Second World War, prior to which the party system tended to be more fluid. Labor can be assured of only six seats, holds the lead in only seven, and on the best case scenario will win only eight, for a total of 9% of the Legislative Assembly’s 89 seats. That compares with the “cricket team” of 11 members that Queensland Labor famously managed to return in 1974, at what was previously the gold standard for Australian election massacres – and at that time the parliament only had 82 seats. As for Keneally, she managed to win 20 seats in a chamber of 93, albeit that she did so with 24.0% of the primary vote against a provisional 26.6% for Anna Bligh. Read more here.
Queensland tells Gillard she’s next
Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun [Paywall]
Fatal news for Julia Gillard. Labor’s humiliating annihilation in Queensland proves voters can’t forgive a politician who lies – and then taxes them.
Worse, it proved Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was right to say Saturday’s election was in part a referendum on the carbon tax.
Oh, and a third lesson: sliming opposition leaders is dangerous.
Bang. Three out of three. The Prime Minister’s re-election hopes destroyed. Read more here [Paywall].
Gillard has plenty to fear from wipe-out
Michelle Grattan, The Age
Julia Gillard issued an extraordinary statement on Saturday night after Queensland Labor was decimated. She congratulated Campbell Newman, praised Anna Bligh and promised to deliver for Queenslanders. But she made no mention of the rout that flattened Labor and raised the spectre of Queenslanders — who don’t believe in half measures — wielding the axe federally next year.
Some Gillard government advisers want to think that because this election was fought overwhelmingly on state issues and involved the “it’s time” factor, the result does not have federal implications. This is delusional. There are political and practical messages for the ALP in Canberra, and they extend beyond the loss of campaigning resources and having to deal with another difficult premier. Read more here.
Bligh just the first victim of anti-Labor sentiment
Malcolm Farr, The Punch
The Queensland ALP was out-campaigned, chewed up and spat out by a rampant Liberal National Party at the weekend.
And defeated Labor Premier Anna Bligh became the first Australian political victim of the uncertainty and revenue losses caused by global economic collapses.
The search for federal consequences was immediate and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s claim the Queensland election was a referendum on the “carbon tax” was just as quickly dismissed.
This was intensely a state issues election, from the arrival of a credible leader to take on Labor, to almost three years of hostility over the running of the government. Read more here.
Federal ALP needs to stand for something
Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald
”Labor has died from below. There are no Labor branches left in most of the towns of Australia.”
Anna Bligh seemed to concur. In her concession speech she said Queenslanders had emphatically voted for a change of government but also for change in Labor: “Our challenge now is to hear that challenge and to turn our best efforts to rebuilding and renewing our cause and our sense of purpose.”
Federal Labor, even with its present dismal polling, does not face a devastation as bad as that in Queensland or NSW. An election tomorrow would give Abbott a victory about as big as that of Howard in 1996, says Stirton: “We’re not talking historic defeat federally at the moment. We are talking about defeat in the normal range.”
But defeat nevertheless. A senior Labor official said last night: “You need to stand for something. We need to think very hard about that or we are missing the message.” This is not about clever marketing or exercises in branding. It’s about belief and purpose. That is the message. Read more here.
Nine things to know about Campbell Newman
Paul Barry, The Power Index
Newman graduated from the Royal Military College at Duntroon, where he was mates with fellow officer cadet, Andrew Wilkie, of pokie reform and Iraq War fame. His old friend describes Newman as “very driven, very intelligent and very, very conservative”. And they now disagree on almost everything. Read more here.