World News – UA – Political expert predicts winners for Qld, Rocky, Keppel


The 2020 Queensland election is shaping up to be a hotly contested race with final results hard to predict

To give us a clearer picture of the underlying factors influencing voting behavior and information on potential winners and losers in the central Queensland election, UQ researcher and policy analyst Chris Salisbury spoke with the Morning Bulletin

After discussing the Queensland-wide result, Dr Salisbury explained in detail what results we should expect to see for the Rockhampton and Keppel seats on election night

Dr Salisbury said it is the conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic and the government’s response to it that will figure strongly in the decision-making process of voters

Looking at election conditions and results in Queensland and elsewhere, he said it reinforces the idea that incumbents are being favored

« This will probably end up favoring the (Labor) government and they will stay in power, » Dr Salisbury said

« This comes with a big caveat, because we don’t know how much the regions go against this sense

« The Prime Minister (Annastacia Palaszczuk) had a sharp increase in her popularity thanks to the government’s handling of the pandemic

« Of course we realize that this and other issues play out differently in Queensland and regions can still provide surprising results or setbacks for the government »

“People are looking to governments and parties that can form a government to guide residents through the conditions of the pandemic, to chart an economic path for the future,” he said. p>

« That’s not to say that the smaller parties won’t attract some support, but we assume that people will look to the major parties to continue to guide us through and out of these conditions »

If none of the major parties had the numbers to form a full government, Dr Salisbury expected them to enter into negotiations with minor parties to form a minority government

Dr Salisbury believed incumbent Labor candidate in Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke, would be re-elected for a second term

« You almost take it as a rule that incumbent candidates will be favored under these conditions, with candidates from smaller parties getting less attention this time around, » Dr Salisbury said

« I think Barry, in a place like Rockhampton, would see that support stay with him

« There is a reasonably safe margin (over 52%) and I don’t suppose we would see a swing big enough to reverse it »

Unsuccessful independent candidate for Rockhampton area mayor Margaret Strelow not sharing Labor’s vote this time around, he said it would give M O’Rourke more leeway

Tony Hopkins of the LNP had to survey returning voters in major parties to finish as a runner-up – a significant improvement over the LNP’s fourth place finish at Rockhampton in 2017

While Rockhampton and Keppel were heavily contested in the 2017 state election by the One Nation Party candidates, who finished in second, Dr Salisbury did not expect a similar outcome this this time

« Based on the polls we have seen, the (One Nation) party may well experience a slight slowdown in support and we expected a consolidation of support behind the main parties, » he said.

He speculated that One Nation’s decline in support could be linked to their inability to gain mainstream media coverage and its leader, Senator Pauline Hanson, lacking visibility into the election campaign

He predicted that One Nation candidate in Rockhampton, Torin O’Brien, would divulge votes for Katter’s Australian party candidate Christian Shepherd, whose regionally-oriented party had returned to challenge Rockhampton

Given the uncertainty surrounding the voting habits of people in the regions, Dr Salisbury left the door open for One Nation countering the declining CQ trend to translate into a strong performance

« It will be interesting to explore further after the elections. We will see how much this plays out, » he said

He acknowledged that this reluctance of One Nation supporters to identify their party for pollsters could be similar to the phenomenon of Trump’s ‘timid’ voters in the United States

An unscientific online survey of Morning Bulletin readers this week shows that the voting trends Dr Salibury discussed seem obvious

While incumbent Rockhampton Labor candidate was relatively secure, Dr Salibury said the Keppel election race was a ‘pot of different fish’ for incumbent Labor candidate Brittany Lauga, who took the seat with a slender 31 percent margin

« Apparently this is the one that many observers have called the potential win for one of the challengers

« This seat would have been targeted by the LNP which seeks to obtain nine to be within earshot of the formation of a majority government »

He said Keppel had a few local issues at play that had little to do with the pandemic conditions this year, including tourism, unemployment and the ongoing debate over revitalization efforts and construction of a new complex on Great Keppel Island

« Last time One Nation and the LNP were neck and neck for that second place and it could be either (who won), » he said.

Given that One Nation’s Keppel candidate Wade Rothery had built a profile in the area and performed well in previous election campaigns, Dr Salisbury expected them to be competitive

If their support waned, Dr Salisbury expected Keppel to turn into a major two-horse race between Labor and LNP for the seat

Wade Rothery’s preference flow could prove critical in deciding the seat with Mr. de Groot placed above Ms Lauga on One Nation voting cards

If the theory of outgoing support holds true, Ms Lauga could hold out, but if it doesn’t, Adrian de Groot of the LNP could be Keppel’s next member

The unscientific online poll by the Morning Bulletin this week is in line with Dr Salisbury’s prediction that Keppel could be a race between the main parties


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Candidate, 2020 Queensland State Election, Rockhampton, Keppel Constituency, Barry O’Rourke, Brittany Lauga

World News – AU – Political expert predicts winners for Qld, Rocky, Keppel



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