The Inside Word

State Politics Update – October

Queensland’s political landscape has picked up pace as we witness key preselection outcomes and retirements. Stirling Hinchcliffe, the Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport, and five other MPs have announced their retirement ahead of the upcoming election. Retirement announcements are likely to continue given the new four-year fixed term election cycle, which makes it more challenging for MPs to resign and step-down mid-cycle without encountering resistance from their electorate. From what we hear, there are still more developments on the horizon in the coming months.

Election positioning is well underway, with the Premier releasing a video this week that combines her own personal story with her leadership of Queensland through natural disasters and COVID-19. Additionally, she is looking to the future to the Olympics and other infrastructure projects. This video serves a dual purpose, positioning the Government to secure another term while cementing her own leadership as the State gets closer to the election.

The video contrasts with the recent polling released yesterday, where the Annastacia Palaszczuk is no longer preferred Premier, has slipping net satisfaction rating and is behind 48-52 in two party preferred terms. The polling will be of significant concern to the Government this far out from the election and drive a renewed focus on issues of most concern to voters, such as cost of living, securing economic growth, maintaining strong employment figures and addressing housing supply.

The Opposition Leader has also set out his own pre-election positioning over the weekend. While there is a predictable focus on crime, support for victims of crime, and accountability for outcomes in the health portfolio, there was an important commitment to home ownership – a clear indicator that he is looking to make significant headway amongst younger voters.

October witnessed a huge win for victims of family and domestic violence with the introduction of coercive control legislation, a change that has been driven by tireless advocacy from Sue and Lloyd Clarke parents of Hannah Clarke and co-founders of Small Steps 4 Hannah. Other Government priorities have concentrated on issues such as housing supply, the new water plan, hydrogen legislation and the response to the closure of Glencore’s copper mining activities in the Mt. Isa region.

We understand the Government recognises the considerable work that lies ahead in preparation for the 2024 election. Despite the challenges reflected in the polling, there remains a dogged optimism that effective campaigning and strategic seat protection can prevent the LNP from overcoming significant margins in key seats required for victory.

The Opposition strongly believes that they can win the upcoming election. This opportunity is driven by patience and discipline to ensure they do not peak too early in the lead-up to 2024. While the polling is encouraging, there is enough time for the Government to recover momentum.

November promises to be a dynamic time in Queensland State Politics. Two sitting weeks are on the agenda, but they will compete for time with the Federal Parliament, which is racing to complete its legislative agenda and securing its own achievements before the end of the year. The political dynamics will seem quieter on the surface but make no mistake, November and December will be a time for securing preselections and establishing campaign infrastructure ready for January.

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