Despite winning only 39.44% of the vote at the last council election, the ALP could achieve control of the council with a first preference swing of only 3.52% if its redistribution proposal is accepted by the commission, and with the introduction of compulsory preferential voting.
This is the most startling conclusion of research by psephologist David Fraser and commissioned by the Australian Institute for Progress. (Download by clicking here).
AIP Executive Director Graham Young said that the LNP was at risk of being tossed out by a protest vote because voters can’t see how they could possibly lose with such a large margin, in a replay of the Newman loss of 2015.
“It’s obvious from the ALP’s redistribution submission that they realise this is possible, and are determined to tilt the field as much as possible towards themselves.”
With respect to the redistribution the research found that:
- There was no need for a redistribution as the last was only held in 2016 and only three wards are currently outside the quota, and only one by more than 1%.
- Even though only three wards needed any sort of adjustment every ward was changed by the ALP submission, meaning that some electors would be shunted into new seats with a new councillor a matter of months before the election next year.
- The submission engineers significant pro-Labor swings across the board, and significantly in the key seats of Doboy (swing 3.4%) and Runcorn (swing 1.7%).
The adoption of compulsory preferential voting by the state government, against the recommendations of the Fitzgerald Commission, means that the LNP would lose Northgate and Coorparoo, without any sort of swing.
The LNP vote in the council is unusually high, and with the resignation of Lord Mayor Quirk can be expected to fall as new lord mayor Councillor Schrinner competes against a second time ALP candidate, Rod Harding.
The research modelled what first preference swing was required, if the ALP recommendations were accepted, for the control of the council to change.
3.52% would put the LNP into the minority in council, and 6% would give Labor control in their own right, despite the LNP currently holding 60.56% of the two-party preferred vote and beating the ALP by 49.88% to 33.22% on first preferences at the last election.
“There is no reason for the LNP council to be complacent this election. What appears to be a large margin is actually wafer thin because of changes to the voting system made by the state government, and a redistribution that they also mandated.”