Qualitative polling of the Queensland election

We polled twice during the Queensland state election. Our first poll was reported prominently in The Australian, and this morning the Courier Mail published our analysis from the second poll (an exit poll) as an op-ed.

Our polling was in line with the final result. Lacklustre performances by both major parties and the leaders led to the Greens’ Adani issue dominating the agenda. I predicted that the most likely result was a minority Labor government, supported by Katter’s Australia Party. Looks like I was slightly wrong and Labor will have a majority of 2.

The quality of major party performance can be seen in their first preference votes. The ALP scored 35.43% of first preferences and the LNP 33.69%. This is less than 70% of the vote between them, and the worst combined vote I can find records for. So the result came down to preferences – something which I have been stressing would be the case for over 12 months now.

The biggest surprise was that One Nation did not do better. The last time One Nation performed well in a state election was 1998, before the rise of the Katter Party. So the correct way to compare their vote this time with last is by combining them with the KAP (with whom they had a formal arrangement to swap preferences). On this basis they won 16.02% of the vote, running in around two-thirds of the seats. In 1998 they scored 22.68%. Polls had them higher earlier in the campaign, but it appears to have faded later. This may have been an artifact of original polling catching all those who intended to vote One Nation, irrespective of whether One Nation was running a candidate, which was unknown at the time, while later polling might have reflected knowledge of the actual candidates running in the local area.

Another surprise was that on our responses Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls went backwards during the campaign, even though there were no obvious campaign faults on the LNP side. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was more or less stationary.

Based on our polling voters wanted to hear concrete plans for jobs, renewable energy and power prices, debt, infrastructure, size and cost of the public service, and unions. Instead all they heard about was Adani and Nicholls’ links, or alleged links, to Newman and Hanson.

To download the exit poll, click here.

To download our first poll, click here.