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QUEENSLAND VOTES 2012 March 25, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.

The electoral earthquake in Queensland State Election happened as predicted. I sleep through it in more senses than one.

Speaking on ABC, former Speaker, John Mickel, said the responsibility lies primarily with the former Premier, Anna Bligh, and to a lesser degree the failure to analyse the previous State election results. She, he said, has to take responsibility.

On the basis of seats won the results are extraordinary. In an 89 seat unicameral legislature, and with 70% of the vote counted based on the primary votes, the Liberal National Party has 78, with the Australian Labor Party 7, and others 4 seats. On the winner take all basis, the election looks like a demolition derby for the ALP, and presumably the flow of second preferences, which were optional for voters to express, will not help very much.

Campbell Newman would appear to have been more convincing than he seemed, but perhaps the Government was out of favour with the voters after twenty years:

The figures provided by the Electoral Commission of Queensland are interesting and surprising:

Firstly the overall situation with 69.91% of the first preference votes cast counted:

(Total State Enrolment 2,746,844)

Total Formal Votes 1,874,265 100.00%
Informal Votes 46,018 2.40%
Total Votes 1,920,283 69.91

Total Formal First Preference Vote by Party:

Party Abbreviation Formal Votes Percentage
LNP (Liberal-National Party) LNP 928,024 49.51
Australian Labor Party ALP 503,152 26.85
The (Katter) Australian Party KAP 217,337 11.60
The Greens GRN 138,361 07.38
Family First Party FPF   26,046 01.39
One Nation Party ONP     1,820 00.1
Other Candidates    59,525 03.18

At this stage of the voting, the LNP did not achieve a absolute majority (50% + 1) on the first preference count. In an optional preferential system, do not flow automatically as they do in a Federal Election. When preferences are distributed the LNP position will improve. Still this is a landslide result in which the LNP has been credited with 78 seats out of 89.

It is clear that election based on proportional representation would change the distribution of seats, with the KAP as the junior party in an alliance, with ministers and the influence in government that entails. With a 5% theshold the Greens would have members in the State Parliament. All sorts of jokes can be expected describing the now seven members representing the ALP.


This is an extraordinary election result, the problem is to understand what it portents for Australian Politics in the longer term, and in more immediate terms for the prospects of the Federal Government.

Phillip Coorey in The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Continuous ”track” polling taken by Labor during the campaign showed that every night, the two biggest gripes with voters were Ms Bligh’s broken promises about privatising assets and abolishing a petrol rebate, and the ”it’s time” factor. Labor had governed Queensland for 20 of the past 22 years.

Or are there more deep-seated issues in play, for example, the quality of political leadership. Let’s not forget the extraordinary elevation of Campbell Newman to lead the newly minted LNP from outside Parliament.

Update: 05 April 2012

Charles Richardson at Crikey calls for electoral reform in Queensland.  The situation in terms of proportion of the votes casts for the various parties appears not to be very different with almost all the votes cast than it was when of 70% of the total was counted. In prior parliament the ALP was favoured, now the LNP has won a disproportionate number of seats. I anticipate that a system such as the MPP as in New Zealand may well be adopted in Queensland given that long established unicameral parliaments. Indeed NZ may be said to have followed the example of Queensland (From memory 1922 in QLD and 1950 in NZ). Electoral reform should be easier to implement, subject to constitutional requirements such as that in NSW that specifies a referendum, in which case all bets are off.)



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[…] Queensland Votes 2012 […]

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[…] Queensland Votes 2012 (wmmbb.wordpress.com) […]

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