COVID-19 continues to dominate state politics in Queensland but more attention is being focused on the state election which is now just over two months away.
The recent outbreak connected with the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre has been of concern but seems to be managed as tens of thousands of Queenslanders are tested to assist contact tracers working to contain the spread. The Government has not overreacted to this with only the imposition of 10 person per indoor rule affecting mostly private residences and allowing businesses to operate under existing rules.
Victoria’s Andrews Government continues to struggle with its public opinion shifting into negative territory in relation to its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. Premier Andrews has also received criticism over his proposal to allow a 12-month extension of the state of emergency if required.
While in the Northern Territory we have seen the Gunner Labor Government returned, albeit with a reduced majority, campaigned with the slogan ‘Saving Jobs, Saving Lives’ and a presidential-style focus on the leader.
Perhaps we’ll see something similar in the upcoming Queensland election as Premier Palaszczuk continues to enjoy high approval ratings while the LNP is slightly ahead on the two-party preferred vote. As has been noted by some commentators, including in the Labor Party, the COVID response itself won’t necessarily be enough to win.
While the LNP, as well as other oppositions across the country, have found it difficult to find a comfortable place to campaign during this pandemic, it will be interesting to see if they can focus the attention of the media and public on other issues which play to their strength.