Three cornered contests deliver more bad news for the Nationals

Another feature of the Queensland results worth noting are the 3 cornered contests, where Liberals and Nationals competed against each other alongside labor. There were 5 of these seats in Queensland and these results should give the Liberals some cheer in amongst their losses, as they clobbered the Nationals in 3 of them and made up big ground in another.

In Capricornia (based on Rockhampton but also with a lot of rural areas), the Libs and Nats are level pegging in primary votes, but this is an improvement from the last election for the Libs of 6.7%, while the Nats have gone backwards by over 10%.

In Fadden (based on the northern end of the Gold Coast), the Nationals polled just 7%, compared to the Liberals at around 50%.

Flynn provides the only ray of hope for the Nats. This is a new seat, based on Gladstone but going as far inland as Winton and with much rural and mining heartland in between . The Nats got 33% and the Libs 14% (although Labor won what was a nominally National seat, so not really that much cheer for them)

Forde, which covers Beenleigh and the newly urbanising Beaudesert region, had the Libs score 34% and the Nats only 12%. This was despite the fact the Nationals’ candidate is a local councillor in Beaudesert Shire and by all accounts quite competent, and even with a story hitting the Courier-Mail in the final week saying the local Libs were putting their resources behind the Nats because they felt their own campaign and candidate was so bad. In that circumstance, it is perhaps no surprise that this seat had the biggest swing to Labor in the whole state.

Leichhardt, which covers Cape York and most of Cairns, had the Libs at 38.5% and the Nats at less than 4%.

Even more than the fact they’ve lost two Queensland seats in Dawson and Flynn (plus another in northern NSW), I think its these figures that show the Nationals are at serious risk of following the path of the Democrats in a decade or so.

A key thing to watch in this regard next election will be the seat of Dawson. Although prior to this election Dawson has been held by the Nationals for over 30 years, as it is now a Labor held seat, the Liberals will be able to contest it as well next election. With Dawson becoming much more coastal and far more influenced by sea changers and the mining boom, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Libs made big inroads into the National Party vote next time (while the three cornered contest will also make it easier for Labor to hang on to it for another term.)

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  1. “the Nationals are at serious risk of following the path of the Democrats ”

    I would have thought the’ve been dead or at least dormant for some time, But are you giving up on the Democrats?

    Better start that daily walking

  2. I meant following the path of losing Parliamentary representation, Ken. The future for the Democrats is a different matter – a matter for the party membership as a whole, not me.

    I’ll have more time for walking now then I did before (doesnt mean I’ll do it though)

  3. The Forde swing was a result of many factors. I may write about it some time. They include:

    1. In 2004, Forde was one of the biggest swings away from Labor. It is mortgage belt, and people bought the interest rate lies. This time, they did not buy the lies.

    2. Brett Raguse, the Labor Candidate, was by a large degree the most impressive and capable candidate (I’m taking that judgment from swinging voters…)

    3. Retirement of sitting member, Kay Elson. Kay was exceptionally good at smiling and waving. She had a personal vote.

    4. Excellent campaign by local Labor team. We have been out there working harder for a lot longer length of time than the Coalition candidates.

    Hajnal of the Nationals came in about where I expected. I thought the Courier Mail material was rubbish. Of course Hajnal was the better candidate of her and Wendy Creighton, but people vote Liberal, not National. The Nationals poured incredible money into Forde, we even received a DVD in the mail. It makes me wonder where on earth the Nationals get their money, if they feel they can pour in down the drain in a place like Forde.

    Alex got his 5% to 10% in Fadden. The bizarre thing in that contest was that Alex is actually more socially progressive than the Liberal Stuart Robert. The Liberals, ain’t too liberal after getting preselection after stacking the local happy clapper establishment (read “Southport Church of Christ”). Still, Stuart Robert is amusing…

  4. We finally had our plebiscite in relation to council amalgamations in Queensland – as if we could actually do anything about it now.

    When successive governments don’t give a stuff about our farmers, and allow secondary and tertiary sellers to profit at their expense, we should not be surprised if the Nationals are left with very little power.

    Between the drought, unfair overseas competition, and a bad government attitude, it’s a wonder there are any farmers left to vote for anyone.

  5. Having the national candidate in my local council and division was a reason for not voting for her. I have found her not to smart for a barrister and a bit plastic.There was a lot of money spent in Forde by the nats and like they say,money dont buy you everything.

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