The Palaszczuk Labor Government has been returned with an increased majority, while holding onto all of its regional seats and expanding into the LNP strongholds on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts. Many pundits would’ve thought that Labor was in a strong position heading into the final week, but they certainly outperformed even the most optimistic of true believers.
As it stands, Labor has picked up three seats now on 51 – Caloundra, Hervey Bay, and Pumicestone; while losing South Brisbane to the Greens. Likewise, the LNP didn’t manage to re-take Maiwar from the Greens so in that sense that loss is negated with both of the major parties having lost a seat to the Greens who will be difficult to dislodge once they’re elected. Labor is also still ahead in Nicklin, and only slightly behind in Bundaberg and Currumbin.
While the collapse of One Nation boosted Labor’s primary vote across a number of key marginal seats, it would be too simplistic to put Labor’s success down to just that factor. Labor’s primary vote also increased in seats across South East Queensland where One Nation previously did not run nor did those electorates have a significant elderly population. The question must also be asked why former One Nation voters opted for Labor rather than the LNP in such large numbers.
The other significant factor in Labor’s win was huge support from the traditionally conservative 65+ demographic in key seats such as Hervey Bay, Pumicestone, Currumbin, and Burleigh. Dubbed 'Palaszczuk’s Pensioners’ these voters understood more than most the life and death consequences of a Victorian scale outbreak on them and their friends and families, and voted accordingly. This was a trend that was identified across a number of recent international and domestic elections and was confirmed by the results here in Queensland.
A power-shift away from the Labor Left with the elevation of Cameron Dick as Treasurer prior to the election, has now been cemented with the loss of Jackie Trad from the Caucus and the Labor Right Premier Palaszczuk having a strengthened mandate to centralise more government processes and decision making.