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Predictions - Election 2019

As always our team here at Gravis Insights Australia releases the election predictions list. Some say its mad, some say its courageous and others just think we must be off our heads. However, after months of work through multiple states and multiple clients – here is our predictions.

Firstly, we believe that Bill Shorten will become Prime Minister. But let’s be really clear – Prime Minister Scott Morrison (ScoMo) has only ever had one real opponent from day one and that has been time. We note the failure of the Labor Party to largely cut through NSW and North Queensland and the ability of the Coalition to win back seats from rural Independents. Due to ScoMo’s now widely acknowledged campaigning ability, the Coalition began the long climb back to Basecamp to at least start to win back the outer suburban ‘battler’ vote which Turnbull destroyed for the LNP in 2016. ScoMo has out-campaigned Shorten and whilst he had enough time to win the battle he simply ran out of time to win the war.

In our view one of the gaffes of the campaign and a well executed piece from the Liberals.

Firstly, we believe that Bill Shorten will become Prime Minister. However, we note the failure of the Labor Party to largely cut through NSW and North Queensland and the ability of the Coalition to win back seats from rural Independents and thanks to ScoMo, the ability of the Coalition to atleast start to win back the outer suburban ‘battler’ vote which Turnbull destroyed for the LNP in 2016.

However, we just see Victoria as being too bigger obstacle to overcome and as well as individual gains in NSW and suburban Queensland and WA, Labor will get home with a maximum of 80 seats.

The LNP pathway would involve holding everything in Queensland and adding Herbert and Longman, holding the line in WA and adding in Cowan. Hoping not to drop too many in Victoria, win Indi, split even in NSW (via Wentworth and not losing Warringah), not lose Sturt or Boothby in SA and win one back in Tasmania.

The ALP pathway is wider to victory. They can do this through a Victoria combined with Liberal seats that have been redistributed to nominally Labor status going Labor, winning seats like Gilmore in NSW and winning Hasluck in WA, winning seats in suburban Brisbane and cheering on Zali Steggal in Warringah, Kerryn Phelps in Wentworth and Rob Oakeshott in Cowper while hoping that the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers pull off an unlikely win in Calare.

The results as we see it are a mix of the two.

We see the Libs losing 3 in Victoria (Chisolm, Dunkley, Corangamite), Gilmore, Farrer and Robertson in NSW. Petrie and Forde in Queensland with a possibility of Brisbane in Queensland and Hasluck in WA all to Labor. We also see Cowper going to Rob Oakeshott.

However, we see the Libs picking up Indi in Victoria from the retiring Independent. Then we see the Liberals winning atleast one in Tasmania (maybe 2), Herbert in North Queensland with a shot at Longman on Brisbane’s northside and Lindsay in NSW.

This would see Labor gain net 6 before we head into the too close to call seats in suburban NSW, suburban QLD and the preference-based lotteries in Central, Northern and Far North Queensland. Our team just can’t see a situation where Labor can’t win one of those that fall in those categories despite the UAP preference deal and the copious amounts of advertising he has taken out with random candidates spouting cliches.

We also don’t see the Greens adding to Melbourne in the House of Representatives.

We will take you through our thinking as we go state by state as to how we get to where we are.

Firstly though, it should be noted that if Shorten doesn’t become PM and we are wrong about the end result (which some of our team obviously hopes we are); this will be a bigger boilover than 1993 when Paul Keating defeated John Hewson. For an Opposition Leader to be in the lead in the polls for so long and lose the election would in effect, end Bill Shorten as a political force in the same way 1993 ended John Hewson as a force in the Liberal Party.

Queensland

Easily our funniest moment from Queensland in this election campaign.

Easily our funniest moment from Queensland in this election campaign.

The two big things we would start with in Queensland is this. The Labor Primary vote in our view is very two-tired between regional Queensland and South East Queensland and is centred from inner-city Brisbane and radiating outwards from there. The work of the PM to bring back the ‘battler’ vote is holding the line in many places in Queensland where Labor looked certain to win 3 months ago (polling had them winning Petrie, Dickson, Bonner, Forde and Brisbane at that stage).

This trend spells the reverse of the danger for Brisbane that occurred in 2016. While Malcolm Turnbull was a net negative to the LNP vote everywhere else in Queensland where LNP members were recontesting, he was a net positive to the Brisbane vote (and also Griffith/Ryan). However, the removal of Turnbull could see some ‘reverse swing’ come into play in Brisbane. Whether or not there is 6% is quite another thing.

This has been a ‘sleeper’ seat for Labor for quite some time (in much the same way Longman was in 2007 for Labor) and they have done everything they can to not draw attention to it.

Labor has also been betting on an element of ‘leakage’ of preference from the United Australia Party UAP), Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (PHON) and Fraser Annings Conservative National Party (FACNP) as there is a fracturing of the right wing vote here which hasn’t happened for some time.

Trevor Evans is quite a popular local member who has championed many ‘younger’ causes. However, Labor are confident that a reverse swing effect of removing Turnbull plus record youth enrolment will catapult them to victory here.

Prediction: LNP retain

Griffith, Moreton, Rankin (for future Labor leader - Jim Chalmers), Oxley and Blair will all remain in Labor hands.

Ryan stays LNP (just) but suffers the same trend as Brisbane.

Lilley will get a new Labor MP in Anika Wells, replacing Wayne Swan. However, the ad below goes down as one of the best of the campaign for a single candidate.

Then we go to the four marginals Labor is trying to win in South East Queensland and realistically, needs to win atleast 2 of in order to win government.

The first pack we look at is the Moreton Bay marginal pack on the northside of Brisbane: Dickson, Petrie and Longman. With the putting together of the battler vote, all three of these seats will be close results (despite no one wanting to admit Longman was close in the Labor camp but shown by the ScoMo visit on the final day).

Some of the predictions here have been wild. We don’t see a situation where these three seats go in different directions fundamentally. While we think Labor could go net zero from this section - it is going to be close in all three.

Petrie is the seat based in the outer metropolitan northside of Brisbane in the Moreton Bay catchment area. Traditionally, this seat along with Dickson and Longman have gone together before the 2010-2013 chaotic era and this cycle there is a strong chance that this could be bought back together to historic trends.

This is a clash of the titans as it were between the LNP’s best grassroots campaigner in South East Queensland, Luke Howarth and Labor’s star performer in Queensland, Corinne Mulholland. Mulholland is a former staffer for long term Mayor of Moreton Bay Allan Sutherland, who from all of us agree, is probably the best political brawler in that part of the world. This follows to the observation our team has made for many months that she is not the “standard Labor candidate” in this field.

PHON and the UAP are playing here but are minor actors.

Labor need to run up the score in the centre and southern end of Redcliffe this time though if they have any chance of winning. They cant afford the battler vote in the centre of Redcliffe to be bleeding away from Labor or they will be in trouble. Labor also cant afford to get whacked at the Scarborough/Southern Cross booths at the northern end of the Peninsula or lose places like North Lakes which swing with the seat.

This is the centre of the universe for South East Queensland for Labor. While everyone is focused on Dickson and the tussle there, this is the seat that really shows whether it is on for Labor in SEQ and it will need to be because the other three seats in contention are all harder to win than Petrie.

Prediction: Too close to call

Longman has been a sleeper seat for the LNP for quite some time that no one has drawn any attention to by the fact no one has gone there, spent any cash there or done anything to make anyone else think its in play. This seat has come down from its byelection high and is suffering from a fall in the PHON vote in the seat as well as this time there is not as many candidates on the ballot paper.

With the ScoMo rebuilding of the ‘battler’ Liberal vote, this is what has driven the LNP back into contention in this seat. Our team here isn’t prepared to call it for the LNP yet but we are prepared to mark it as too close to call and one to watch on the night for a shock.

Prediction: Too close to call

Dickson is the big money tussle in Queensland between Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and United Voice backed Labor Candidate Ali France. This is a seat that has had millions of dollars in advertising spent on it and has had every third-party campaign group possible in the group, from the Unions to GetUp on the left and Advance Australia and RiteON on the right.

However, we feel that the Labor campaign in Dickson has been way too focussed in on the inner-city green type issues and has forgetting that Dickson has been an LNP seat since 2004 and the claims of Keating of Duttons “dark heart” wont be enough to wash the seat over. This is a seat where Labor needed to campaign more industrially in order to win over the blue-collar, working class belt of the seat that vote Labor overwhelmingly at state and have voted Dutton federally.

If Labor lose this, they will have lost it at the alter of a poorly targeted campaign and for preselecting the wrong candidate. Our team all agree, Linda Lavarch would have won this seat comfortably.

Prediction: Wont have a result on the night. Too close to call  

In Bonner we see Ross Vasta come up against Jo Briskey, daughter of former Labor State MP Darryl Briskey and the second of the darlings from the left faction of the Labor Party in this cycle (the other being Ali France in Dickson).

This is a seat that three months ago Labor were ‘measuring the drapes’ in with reports of Vasta being behind on the ground and in terms of cash and bodies with Labor’s generation of the 90s/2000s trying to install another child of the generation into Parliament.

In Forde, we see the rematch of the 2016 election between Bert van Manen and Des Hardman which was supposed to be the match-up in 2013 before Labor punted Hardman for Beattie in a spectacular failure which boosted van Manen’s margin and has delayed this marginal election bout one election cycle.

Labor must win both of these seats and Petrie to win government in any meaningful way and we don’t see it happening.

Prediction: Labor gain Forde, LNP retain Bonner

Everything else in South East and South West Queensland stays the same.

Once we get north of the LNP retains in Hinkler and Wide Bay we start to head into the preference lotteries. Now, despite the Galaxy seat polls which have been dropped, we warn people to be careful of 2PP polls which will need to come from long preference distributions.

Flynn is a seat that is based majorly on the Gladstone Regional Council area and has been held by Ken O’Dowd since 2010. Labor are standing Zac Beers (again) for the seat after he contested the seat last time, declared victory on the night then a few days later had to concede defeat after postal vote counting gave the seat back to the LNP.

Zac Beers is seen as the future of the regional AWU in regional Queensland and has been visited by Shorten in the middle of the election campaign. His campaign has been all about trying to reverse the last result but instead has been dogged by questions about the Adani mine and the CFMMEU pledge on coal mining.

The moment of this seats campaign will be the image of Beers and Shorten at the Gladstone Port with journalists asking Shorten whether or not he would sign the pledge and whether or not Beers had signed the pledge and trying to explain that there wasn’t a difference between the two.

This is a seat though that Labor has to get to in order to win anything in regional Queensland. If they aren’t winning Flynn, they certainly aren’t winning Capricornia or Dawson from the National party room or Leichhardt from the Liberals.

Prediction: LNP retain

Capricornia sees the perennially predicted to lose Michelle Landry up against Russell Robertson for this seat which stretches from Rockhampton to the Capricorn Coast, through the Bowen Basin coalfields and into the southern suburbs of Mackay.

Landry is the first non ALP member in 100 years to win the seat twice consecutively so the concept of writing her off is something that the Labor Party has done very well with poor outcomes.

For all the pronouncements of her death by the likes of Robert Schwarten and company she has survived and is one of the best regional grassroots MPs going around.

The complicators for the ALP campaign this time around have been immense. From the preferred Brisbane candidate not winning endorsement, local splits in the party, the Schwarten factor and the failure to deal with the coal mining issue and Adani early in the campaign has allowed the LNP to run the campaign on the issues they want to run the campaign on at a local level.

The macro complicator is the combined 20%+ minor party vote will mean a long preference count.

On the night, watch the booths from the outer suburbs of Rockhampton through to the Capricorn Coast and southern Mackay to see if the swing is on here.

Going into this, I would rather be the LNP than Labor.

Prediction: Too close to call

Dawson is the seat where the Labor Party is desperately trying to win it back from the controversial LNP MP George Christensen. Labor are standing cleanskin candidate Belinda Hassan who is being backed up by the Gilbert faction of the Labor Party in Mackay.

This is a place where the vote split to the minor parties is even higher than in Capricornia or Flynn.

We have the localised issue of the ‘Member for Manila’ tag being bandied about on Christensen but also the failure of the Labor campaign to hit the LNP with the tag on a local level.

Then there is now-Independent MP Jason Costigan endorsing the Katters Australian Party (KAP) Candidate for Dawson, Brendan Bunyan but then that candidate campaigning heavily in the Burdekin end of the seat but failing miserably to campaign in the canefields in the southern end of the Whitsundays and the northern end of Mackay. Also his campaign has been allergic to the City of Mackay all the way through. For us, this has all looked like a test run for his KAP candidacy for the State seat of Burdekin in 2020 (and a bad one at that, despite the scandal about his social media feed).

We also note though that it isn’t the canefields of Burdekin or the southern canefields north of Mackay that will decide it. It is urban voters in Mackay’s northern beaches who hold the key. This gives Labor a stronger chance than in other regional seats.

This campaign though has been dogged by Adani and coal mining just like in Capricornia and Flynn and the Hassan campaign hasn’t handled the issue as well as the ALP in Capricornia and Flynn (which isn’t a low standard) and hasn’t even signed the CFMMEU pledge as cover. Also, the lack of ability of her campaign to take George on directly hasn’t done her campaign justice on a strategic level.

Prediction: LNP retain from a long preference count

Herbert is a seat where the minor party vote has been consistently between 29%-31% as a combination of the UAP + PHON and KAP. The leading party has been changing between UAP and KAP in this seat with PHON a clear third. While we are not as confident about KAP winning as Bob is in the clip below, KAP has done well.

Cathy O’Toole at the last election only won the seat by 37 votes to start with and the preferences of the minor party combination will decide the winner here. However, with the primary votes in the low 30s for the majors it will be a very long preference count.

For everyone watching, one of the minors won’t win the seat here as the leakage from outside these parties will ensure that the votes don’t congeal behind one of the candidates in the pack, despite the hopes and dream of KAP and the UAP. We see a flow from the UAP straight to the Liberals which will stop this.

However, with some polls having Radeck as high as 14% she is getting dangerously close the ‘Dametto zone’ of being able to use preferences from below her to leapfrog the people above her in the count (PHON and FACNP will flow to KAP before UAP).

Prediction: Possible LNP gain

In Leichhardt, long term sitting MP Warren Entsch is against Elida Faith (Labor) and Dan McCarthy (KAP) as the smokey from the minor party pack. The odd thing of this being that Dan McCarthy was driven from the LNP and now presents a real threat to the LNP in this seat with the backing of KAP who now has been getting more and more media coverage in the Cairns media market as Kennedy has moved further into the southern and western suburbs of Cairns.

The Labor campaign has been poor and has missed a beat by not preselecting Cr. Richie Bates to be the Candidate. In our view this piece would be a completely different if he were the candidate. For Labor to win here, they need a convincing macro-result to flip the seat and we just don’t see that coming.

This is another seat where we expect a nice long preference count with minor parties accounting in some polls for up to 28% of the vote. This means that predicting a winner is a very difficult thing. However, considering this and the campaign Labor have run – we just cant see a Labor win here.

Prediction: LNP retain

Kennedy: KAP retain

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Definition of a text newspaper ad with way too much in it that would have been way better off cut down or done in a video of some kind.

Definition of a text newspaper ad with way too much in it that would have been way better off cut down or done in a video of some kind.

New South Wales

In NSW, we head to a state where the predictions and the polls have been all over the place. At the start of this campaign, this was looking like a bad state for ScoMo. However, aside from Gilmore and Robertson going one way and Wentworth and Lindsay going the other. We can see a net zero performance in NSW as a possible best case scenario.

We don’t believe that the Greens will win any of their target seats in NSW despite valiant efforts.

We believe that Calare will go close for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers but wont get the seat from the Nationals.

We believe that Farrer will go from Sussan Ley to the Independent.

This is a state where UAP preferences will decide many of these seats in their bid to get Brian Burston re-elected to the Senate.

This makes the ‘battleground’ of urban NSW: Robertson, Banks, Gilmore, Reid and Lindsay.

Firstly, our team sees the seat being vacated by Emma Husar after her disendorsement over bullying claims. The seat is a contest between Melissa McIntosh for the Liberals and Diane Beamer for Labor.

The claims of the ‘Western Sydney’ vote are always diverse depending largely on the people proffering the concept. However, the reality is in our view that Western Sydney is so rapidly changing in its demographic composition that both major parties are struggling to keep up.

Lindsay is a more traditional marginal seat in its demographic makeup and thus why its on the table here this time.

It is because of these reasons and the vacancy that we agree with the polling out in the public space that this is a seat there for the taking for the Liberals.

Prediction: Liberal gain

As we turn to the south coast for Gilmore, we see a seat where the seat is likely to go to Gilmore on the alter of split votes, leakage and a clash of conservative egos.

The fact is, every time the parties of the right run against each other, there is always leakage which prevents the result from falling to a candidate from the right.

We are concerned that this will happen here for the Liberals in their bid to get Warren Mundine into the Parliament as a Liberal as they are relying on preference flows from Katrina Hodgkinson from the Nationals, the United Australia Party and Grant Schulz running as an Independent.

From all of the polls viewed, Labor to win the seat will need something around the 8-9% mark of preference leakage from those candidates after Green preferences are distributed. This puts it on the edge of the capacity of the vote.

There is also an equation here where the National could skip ahead of the Liberal (all be it unlikely) on Independent and UAP preferences. However, the flow would have to be a lot tighter than our team believe is likely.

Prediction: Too close to call.

Banks in our view is the marginal seat that wont go to Labor. Our research and the publicly available research shows that there is very little by way of a swing on the ground.

David Coleman is one of several Coalition ministers in serious danger of losing their seats, making Banks a key election battleground.

The Immigration Minister is on the unenviable list of ministers in jeopardy.

This was a Labor stronghold before 2013 when he won the seat for the Liberals in the Abbott swing.

Labor will run Chris Gambian, a former CFMEU official, against Coleman in a rematch of 2016.

This is the sole seat in NSW the CFMEU are devoting resources to. However, we see a situation where the seat is reacting badly to some of Labor’s policies on franking credits and the tough on borders rhetoric works here better than in other places in NSW.

Prediction: LNP retain (just)

In Robertson, we see Lucy Wicks with her 1.1% margin being in the firing line and we believe that when this seat goes to Labor, this seat will feature in stories about the number of Liberal women in the Parliament which, if things go badly tomorrow for the Liberals, could be at their lowest levels since the 1990s.

Wicks won Robertson by just 2179 votes against Labor’s Anne Charlton in 2016. This election will be a rematch between the two.

Charlton got a 1.95% swing to Labor last time and is coming back for the other 1.1% and we believe this time she will get there.

Prediction: Labor gain

While we have seen the Fairfax press, ABC and Labor sources all claim that they have Reid in the bag, we just don’t see it panning out that way for Labor so easily.

It should also be noted that Reid has the lowest prepoll numbers of any seat in NSW according to the SMH yesterday (16th).

This is a seat that has been vacated by Craig Laundy and it is our view that the handpicked Liberal candidate to replace Laundy, Dr Fiona Martin will fall short here.

Reid was won by Mr Laundy by 4.7 per cent at the 2016 election, though it had been held by Labor almost continuously prior to 2013.

An early voting report compiled by the AEC shows 9.8 per cent of the Reid electorate had voted. Another marginal Sydney seat, Banks, also had a relatively low turn-out, with 12.3 per cent of electors having voted.

Prediction: Too close to call

At this point, we should also mention we see everything in SA and the NT staying as is, despite Labor hopes of winning back Boothby (on the umpteenth try) and CLP hopes of rolling Warren Snowden in Lingiari.

Victoria

As we move to Victoria we see a repeat of the Queensland swing pattern. A swing that is based in the centre of Melbourne and emanating out from there. This is why there are polls out there showing big swings against the Liberals in places like Kooyong and Higgins (where coincidentally Climate Change ranks as a much higher order issue) and falls away to the places where its needed.

However, before we get into the grim news for the Liberals, we believe that Indi will come back to the Coalition this time. Independents almost never get to pass their seats from Independent to Independent at the same level and the chances of this working here in Indi just is too remote.

Firstly, we can see the notionally Labor seats of Corangamite and Dunkley electing Labor members on very small margins.

If Labor can’t do this - Bill Shorten should write out his resignation speech as the Leader of Opposition tomorrow night.

The only other seat in Victoria we can see going to Labor is the seat of Chisholm. After the Julia Banks saga, Gladys Liu will contest the seat for the Liberals against Jennifer Yang who will contest it for Labor after her failed run for Mayor of Melbourne.

Critics believe Banks’ decision to switch seats was partly because both major party candidates are Chinese-Australian in a seat where almost 20 per cent of voters have Chinese heritage.

Liu, a maverick campaigner and prominent member of the Chinese community, will benefit from a recent electorate redistribution which boosted the party’s margin from 1.2 per cent to 3.4 per cent.

But the controversy over Banks’ exit, Malcolm Turnbull’s ousting and the perception of ongoing division will hurt her chances.

Prediction: Labor gain

The seat, which Liberal MP Jason Wood holds on a 3.2 per cent margin, has been heavily targeted by Labor during the this campaign. Polling has showed the Liberal primary going statistically no where but a rising Labor primary.

The strong primary vote here plus the fact that YouGov polling released today has the primary at 43% means you cant rule the Libs out of this seat.

Labor has to win here to win government as it needs minimum 4 seats in Victoria.

Prediction: Liberal retain

With recent reports that Michael Sukkar is in trouble, it means that the Speaker Tony Smith would be in trouble as well. While we don’t see Casey going red this time around, Deakin is more likely.

Sukkar is part of the Coalition’s far-right faction and was one of the key forces behind last year’s chaotic attempt to install Peter Dutton as prime minister.

Labor has seized on anger in the electorate, distributing materials reminding voters there of Mr Sukkar’s alliances with former PM and fellow hard-right figure Tony Abbott.

Climate change has emerged as the key issue in Deakin too, with Mr Sukkar a prominent climate sceptic.

For these reasons we see Deakin as in trouble for the Liberals.

Predictions: Casey Liberal retain, Deakin Liberal retain

Everything else in Victoria stays the same.

Western Australia

Going to Western Australia, which like Queensland, is often seen as the ‘weird’ states in the country and has been a state of reliably conservative seats which the Coalition cant afford to have eaten away at.

Firstly here we believe that Ken Wyatt will lose in Hasluck. Its always been a tight seat and last time it nearly fell to Labor and this time we just don’t see Wyatt being so lucky to dodge the bullet.

His personal popularity saved him last time but the Liberals are coming off the high water marks of 2013 and 2016 and this is the first in the firing line.

Prediction: Labor gain

The other seat we as in contention here is Hannah Beasley (daughter of Kim) trying to win the seat of Swan from Steve Irons on a margin of 3.6%. This is the best case scenario for Labor and we just don’t see it coming off for Labor here.

Despite her fathers popularity in the state, the Libs falling popularity and the multitude of visits from luminaries on both sides – just see this as too far, especially without a big statewide swing to back it up.

Prediction: Liberal retain

Tasmania

When we head to the final state in the equation. This is where the final piece of the puzzle comes together. ScoMo is trying to repair the damage that Turnbull caused in this state when he lost everything in 2016. At this election, Braddon and Bass is play for the Liberals in a state where the State Government is doing well and the space between the popularity of the state government and the federal government is being filled up.

Bass has changed hands four times in the last six elections. Labor won in 2016 with a 10 per cent swing in their favour. Two of the parties which contested the 2016 federal election are not fielding candidates this time around: the Renewable Energy Party and the Christian Democratic Party. They took around 5 per cent between them. The Nationals are newcomers, as are the United Australia and Animal Justice parties. The Palmer United Party scored 5.3 per cent of the vote at its sole outing in 2013.

At the last federal election, Justine Keay defeated Liberal Brett Whitely, with a swing of 4.8 per cent on a two-party preferred basis and was re-elected in a byelection.

Prediction: Bass and Braddon too close to call













Queensland Election 2017: The Recap

This is the wrap up where we analyse what went right, what went wrong, what’s still in doubt and where to from here. We are open and honest about in our methodologies and assessments.

Of the predictions we have missed, they all come back to where our teams have allocated Pauline Hanson’s One Nation to either win the seat in their own right or to push a party over on preferences. 

Our team identified the final week drop in the PHON vote as we revealed in the initial election report. However, this fall in their vote was not proportional, such as the similar drop they suffered in the middle of the year amongst the saga of donations, disclosures and who owned the plane.

The drop from 20% statewide to 12% statewide can all be linked to collapses in their primary votes in safe Labor seats. The soft Labor vote got spooked and “came home”. 

In these seats they have collapsed between 15%-23% and this has not only prevented them from winning, but prevented them from pushing over the second candidate in the count to win the seat.

Example: In Capalaba PHON between February and November had never polled below 29% and in all bar one of those samples, the LNP came third. However, in the final week, Labor defecting PHON voters went back to the party after they were scared by the ALP Campaign (very well) that voting for PHON would deliver a Nicholls Government with PHON.

The big lessons for the LNP out of this has to be that PHON voters don’t follow HTVs and the pain will be felt in the South East if PHON is going to continue to be seen as a genuine alternative rather than a minor party.

For us, the big winners out of this campaign are Katter’s Australia Party (KAP). Despite being completely ignored during the campaign they potentially can increase their seat count from two to three (Hinchinbrook) and give themselves a 33% win rate of seats contested.

The KAP has shown that they are a party that can gain voters from PHON that are uneasy about the ramifications of voting for PHON (see every seat KAP stood in that they didn’t hold). The only seat KAP did poorly in, was the seat of Whitsunday where in our view, KAP should stop trying to run in (in the region, they should be in Mirani and Burdekin). This is the only seat they have not polled in the double digits in.

If KAP expanded and ran proper campaigns in Central Queensland and Western Queensland, we would not rule them out for being competitive at the next Queensland election in two years, ten months from now. We would also not rule them out of contention federally for a Senate seat either.

In the view of our team, this incessant ‘calling’ of seats from media outlets and bookmakers is futile, particularly in close election contests. This week will start to see some real preference distributions which will determine where seats fall, not just where media commentators want to call seats as won or lost and premature payouts from bookmakers.

Queensland Election Analysis and Predictions

Our GravisPolitics and GravisResearch teams have again plugged the numbers, analysing the aggregates of all polling to date combined with our own quantitative, qualitative and touch-point research to shine a light on one of the most unpredictable elections in Queensland’s history.

Overall, we believe that Labor started the campaign terribly and the LNP started OK. However, as the election has come together, the Labor campaign in the final week has found some rigour. The campaign has stopped wandering off into places such as Condamine and Nanango and has come home the better of the two parties.

Either major party faces a long wait to 47 seats; if they make 47 at all.

These are our key landmarks over-riding guidelines we see for this election:

  • All of the parties involved have the biggest 'battlefield' of seats ever as PHON force the major parties to defend seats they would not normally need to defend from each other. 
  • As PHON are taking votes from both Labor and the LNP; the net effect of this means that this election is practically more like 93 byelections.
  • Labor nominally start on 48 seats, the LNP on 42, with Traeger, Hill and Nicklin with Independents.
  • From this; Labor needs to win back Cook and Cairns from Labor MPs that now sit as Independents, LNP need to win back Buderim from Steve Dickson and Nicklin has a retiring Independent MP.
  • The lack of candidates from KAP is a strategic blunder on their part.
  • PHON not standing in McAllister and Springwood are strategic blunders on their part (understandable considering they are essentially a new party, but still a blunder)
  • The length of time it has taken the LNP to find a candidate for the new seat of Jordan has cost them a real shot at that seat.
  • The LNP decision to preference Trad in South Brisbane over the Greens will be one of the most hotly debated points in this election.
  • The seats where there are 4 or more parties in the double digits on the primary vote won't have a result on the night.

Note: PHON has put at risk some of their socially conservative, religious voters with controversies about masturbation, sex toys and sex shops in relation to Safe Schools and their Candidate for Thuringowa. Qualitative case study: There’s ‘a 35-55 year old, female voter in regional Queensland’ that has dropped support for PHON in the last week. They needed to solidify these voters back in the final week to poll well in the places they can win. Final week research has shown PHON have lost support in this regard.

Preference Equation

Predicting seat-to-seat results has been a nightmare for researchers. In this analysis, we include qualitative assessments rather than only adopting the concept of 'preference flow modelling' as many pollsters will do. We have real-time touchpoint panels of voters whereby we track qualitative sentiment in addition to our quantitative track polling.

During this final week we have increasingly seen a dynamically changing system of preferencing outcomes. This makes the concept of modelling PHON preferences in any given seat absolute folly in our opinion. Our research has reflected that this election is somewhat akin to treating this election like 93 byelections.

From our research summaries we can provide insight on preferencing from all aggregate polling assessments, our own quantitative polling and our touch research panels as follows:

  • Maximum 10% region-to-region difference in flows between PHON voters following a HTV versus not following a HTV in any given seat in any given region. However, the biggest dissent is in the regions (Toowoomba North, Glass House and Whitsunday top the list) where upwards of 25% of voters for PHON have said in research they will consider rebelling against PHON over the card; whether that be by not voting PHON or by not following the HTV and preferencing the LNP over Labor.
  • The ‘RiteON’ concept of handing out Independent branded cards encouraging voters to preference the LNP if they are voting Pauline Hansons One Nation (PHON) will be largely effective. However, it was organised far too late to achieve the maximum effect it possibly could have.
    • The LNP flows will distribute at approximately 65-70% to PHON. We don’t see a lot of difference as to whether the LNP card says to preference PHON or not. The argument about LNP preferences is essentially a red herring.
    • Where PHON preferences flow will vary wildly. This will largely depend on who suffers in the primary swing (from the major parties) to construct that PHON primary vote. Look for an element of proportionality in the preference distribution back where PHON votes exhaust.
  • Labor will wind up saving LNP MPs with their strategy of making PHON last on every HTV. The proportion of flows will be very interesting and shock many in Labor, in our GravisPolitics team’s view. In some seats, the flow to PHON has been tested as high as 62%. Though that has reduced to a high of 52% in the final week.

The road home to victory

The above research into preference flow modelling and the rapidly changing dynamics of this election present several pathways for possible victory for both major parties.

The LNP are preferencing the Greens last and allocating 2nd preferences to PHON in 50 seats. Labor are putting PHON last in every seat. These play key roles in determining the pathways to voctory as summarised below.

In order for the LNP to win they need to:

  • Win back the nominally Labor seats of Mansfield, Mount Ommaney and Burdekin.
  • Win the new seats of Ninderry and Bonney.
  • Win back Nicklin after the retirement of Peter Wellington and win back Buderim from the new leader of PHON, Steve Dickson. 
  • Hold the nominally LNP seat of Pumicestone and defend the nominally LNP seat of Lockyer v PHON.
  • Defend Redlands, Everton, Glass House, Whitsunday, Bonney, Maiwar, Aspley and Gaven from the obvious attacks from Labor.
  • Defend Scenic Rim, Hinchinbrook, Nanango, Condamine and Callide from PHON.

If all of these happened perfectly, the LNP would find itself with 48 seats and government in its own right. However, the LNP still has a battleground of seats it needs to win from Labor to comfortably form a margin. This includes winning from Labor a combination of Bundaberg, Springwood, Barron River, Mundingburra, Mirani and Keppel. We would also throw into the mix that the LNP stands a chance of winning Cairns, Pine Rivers, Pumicestone and Miller.

In order for Labor win they need to:

  • Hold the nominally Labor, non-ALP MP seats of Burdekin, Mansfield and Mount Ommaney. 
  • Win back the seats of Cook, Cairns and win the new seats of Jordan and Bancroft. 
  • Successfully win the new Murrumba with the current MP for Mt Coot-tha, Steven Miles.
  • Prevent the seats of Logan, Ipswich, Ipswich West, Capalaba, Kurwongbah, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Mackay, Burdekin, Mirani, Keppel, Thuringowa and Mulgrave go to PHON. 
  • Win a combination of Redlands, Everton, Glass House, Whitsunday, Toowoomba North and Gaven from the LNP. 

Make no mistake, if Labor is to form a comfortable majority they will have the Gold Coast to thank with seats like Bonney and Gaven combined with a regional seat such as Toowoomba North. Such seats have flown under many analysts’ radar and even largely overlooked by both parties.

This will also mean that Labor opened up a new front on the LNP in Maiwar, Aspley and Everton and took the seats out.

In assessing the following “target seats” we first break the races down into three categories:

  • Competitive: LNP v ALP
  • Competitive: ALP v PHON
  • Competitive: LNP v PHON

LNP v ALP Competitive Races

Whitsunday

This seat will go down to the wire. We have seen polling at the 29% primary vote for both the LNP and ALP, with PHON and KAP combined scoring between 27-30% of the vote between them. This makes the seat a real three-way contest.

Our GravisPolitics team concludes this to be one of the most odd looking seats in Queensland and one of the most complex to assess on the entire map.

This was a nail-biter in 2015 and Labor’s Bronwyn Taha is lining up for a rematch against LNP incumbent Jason Costigan.

The extra screwball in this equation (aside from the fact this is a former PHON seat) is that former Mayor of Whitsunday, Jenny Whitney, is the KAP Candidate for Whitsunday in addition to a former One Nation MP endorsing current LNP MP, Jason Costigan.

Prediction: Too close to call but we will - LNP win in one of the tightest counts in the election

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McAllister

If Whitsunday is the strangest seat in Queensland to try and work out, McAllister is the second most weird seat to work out.

This is because PHON is not running here however BraveHearts CEO Hetty Johnston is running as an Independent.

This is a new seat. The Labor Candidate here is Melissa McMahon who ran for Albert in 2015 against the LNP MP Mark Boothman, who is now contesting the seat of Theodore.

The LNP Candidate for this seat is Beenleigh local and wife of LNP MP for Forde, Bert van Manen.

This one will come down to Hetty Johnston preferences.

The decision of PHON not to stand here is sheer insanity from the position of our team.

Prediction: Labor Gain

Keppel

This has been a target seat for the LNP ever since they lost it in a close race in 2015. This is a seat based ostensibly on the Livingstone Shire Council boundaries. The LNP Candidate for the seat is Peter Blundell who is the brother of famous musician, James Blundell. Blundell has been attacked locally for being a 'blow in' from Stanthorpe and for starting his campaign by attacking the popular Mayor of Livingstone, Bill Ludwig. 

The incumbent here is Brittany Lauga who won the seat in 2015. Lauga is considered one of the better campaigners that Labor has in the regions and has had to step in to fix the campaign of Labor's in Rocky. 

However, this seat is a genuine three-way. PHON has put up Matthew Loth for the seat who has run a good grassroots campaign with lots of support from Pauline Hanson herself with her frequent visits. This is a seat that PHON hopes to upset the apple cart in.

This will be difficult though as PHON will find it hard to get space in seats like this where both the major parties are making a serious play for the seat. Our teams believe that Rockhampton is a better chance then Keppel for PHON.

Prediction: LNP gain

Everton

This outer Brisbane based seat was won by Tim Mander in 2012 and 2015. Since then Mander has run in (and lost) two leadership elections for the LNP leadership. Mander is against David Greene from the MUA. The MUA is loading up the seat from activists from all over the place to get one of their own into Parliament. 

This will be a tight seat under CPV. 

Prediction: Too Close to Call

Mansfield

This seat on the south side of Brisbane is one of the key seats to watch in the spectrum of the entire election. This seat was a marginal seat after the 2015 election when now Shadow Attorney General, Ian Walker held on to the seat for the LNP.  This is shown by the number of funding commitments both sides of politics have made in the seat (and surrounding seats to benefit the seat).

However, with the redistribution sending the seat into parts of Mt Gravatt from Greenslopes the seat has been turned into a nominally Labor seat.

Labor has run a solid on the ground campaign with their local candidate, Corinne McMillan who is a local High School Principal.

The wildcard here, is former deli-boy and one time LNP MP Neil Symes who is running for the seat for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (PHON). The LNP defector left the LNP after realising he would not win a preselection in a safer LNP seat. Instead he is running in Mansfield (where he has not much of a chance of winning) and is preferencing against the LNP as a part of the ‘sitting members last’ policy announced by PHON.

This will be the major test for the LNP to see whether they can court the 60%+ of PHON preferences that some in the LNP circles think that they can get from PHON voters. They will need this sort of preference flow to have a hope of holding on here.

Prediction: Probable Labor Gain (watch the PHON preferences) - almost too close to call

Mt Ommaney

This is traditionally a bellwether seat which was won by Bob Harper for the Liberal Party (RIP Bob) in 1995, lost in 1998 and then regained for the LNP in 2012 by Tarnya Smith. For many it was a surprise that Tarnya Smith held on after the routing in 2015.

However, with the redistribution sending the seat into Darra from Inala, this has also made the seat a nominally Labor seat.

In this seat though, the LNP ground game is far superior to Labor’s and the Labor candidate is far weaker here then in a seat like Mansfield (Jessica Pugh is running again).

The other thing to note in this seat is that the Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Candidate (PHON) is Ian Eugarde. His on the ground campaign is non-existent. Therefore, he will get what the proverbial ‘drovers dog’ would get on a PHON corflute.

In our view on about 55% of PHON preferences, Tarnya is re-elected. On anything less, it is nerve wracking.

This is a seat where Labor’s CPV voting changes could cut both ways for Labor.

Prediction: Too Close to Call

Maiwar

Many people would ask why on earth has the GravisPolitics team got Maiwar in the list of competitive seats? Well the answer is simple. Under Optional Preferential Voting (OPV), this seat would never be a part of the equation.

However, under CPV the Labor + Greens equation puts this seat clearly in the picture as a possible gain for Labor.

This seat is a combination of suburbs from the former electorate of Mt Coot-tha (currently held by the fleeing Steve Miles) and current Shadow Treasurer, Scott Emerson (currently in Indooroopilly). This has cut the LNPs nominal margin to 3%. 

The new LNP margin of 3.0% compares to 6.7% for Indooroopilly and a Labor margin of 2.6% for Mount Coot-tha. The first preference results based on the 2015 election are LNP 47.7%, Labor 29.1% and Greens 20.4%.

We can’t see a situation where Emerson holds this seat unless he pulls his primary up to atleast 46%. Otherwise the Labor + Green vote would defeat him with an 85% preference flow rate.

Prediction: Possible Labor Gain

Burdekin

We have this in the LNP v ALP section but it is really a three-way race between the LNP, ALP and PHON in the seat.

The seat is currently held by LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister, Dale Last who won the seat in 2015 after Rosemary Menekens retired and he survived the 2015 routing.

Labor is fielding former Mayor of the Bowen Shire and current Whitsunday Councillor Mike ‘Moscow’ Brunker and PHON is standing in this seat, their Deputy Queensland Leader and former LNP MP for Thuringowa, Sam Cox.

This seat is on paper, nominally a Labor seat with a margin of around 1.5% (without PHON in it).

Wulguru and the outer suburbs of Townsville have been transferred to Mundingburra. The seat then gains Moranbah from the abolished seat of Dalrymple, Clermont from Gregory and areas around Dysart from Mirani. These changes increase the mining vote in the district and overturn the LNP's majority.

This therefore makes Burdekin the ‘mining and sugar’ seat and takes all the mining voters out of the seat of Mirani which is also a marginal seat in this section (which we will deal with later).

In the polling we have seen and completed in the seat, it has been a statistical three way dead heat. However, in every sample, the PHON Candidate is third in the samples (by less then any margin of error). In that equation, with a 50% preference flow, Dale Last would survive. In three way splits though, predicting things is sheer madness.

We note that this seat will come down to a handful of votes to determine who’s preferences distribute. If the LNP distribute, PHON win. If ALP distribute, LNP win, If PHON distribute, its anyones to win.

In relation to PHON preferences in the seat, we note two things. One, there is a large percentage of the PHON vote coming from disaffected blue-collar unionised voters in places such as Bowen, Collinsville, Dysart and Moranbah. In all of the GravisPolitics touch preference models, Labor voters defecting the PHON are 85% likely to give Labor their second preference to the LNP. The other factor which flows into that is that PHON are preferencing Labor ahead of the LNP (which is weird on policy grounds but tactically a part of the PHON plan).

Prediction: Too Close to Call

Pumicestone

If the LNP don’t win this, the LNP campaign team deserve a bullet. After three years of scandal against the now former ALP sitting member (Rick Williams), a massive ‘flick rick’ campaign and on the eve of the election having Labor disendorse the sitting member which triggered the election, this is the LNP’s to lose.

Rick Williams only got elected on 41% of the primary vote in 2015, making him one of the worst performing MPs to enter the Parliament in 2015.

However, to the shock of many, popular former LNP MP Lisa France did not recontest the seat. Instead the LNP is standing newbie, Simone Wilson.

Historical fact, this seat forms a part of the former seat of Caboolture which was a PHON seat in 1998 and the home of former leader of One Nation, Bill Feldman. We therefore see a situation where the PHON preference flows from the booths on Bribie Island too the LNP should see Simone Wilson elected.

Prediction: LNP gain

Glass House

This is a seat that after the 2015 election, the margin was as such that Labor was always going to have a go to win this seat in 2017. The Labor Party are running Brent Hampstead again for the seat who contested the seat in 2015. However, being a candidate not funded by a major union, his campaign is not as well put together and funded as other Labor campaigns in target marginal seats.

The seat has been held by Shadow Transport and Main Roads Minister Andrew Powell who won the seat in 2009 (after former Labor Member Carolyn Male fled after a bad redistribution).

Our GravisPolitics team believes that this seat is probably a step too far for Labor to pick up in this electoral cycle. Published polling has the LNP leading in Glass House with a decent margin. 

However, the margins on the primary vote in this mean that the PHON decision to preference Labor ahead of the LNP in the seat means that there has been some retaliatory action in the seat to try and protect it for Andrew Powell.

The PHON Candidate here is Tracey Bell-Henselin. Her campaign got off to a bad start after her social media was revealed to be heavily homophobic.

On the day, expect to see people from the group RiteOn handing out how to vote cards urging PHON voters to ignore the PHON How to Vote (HTV) and to preference the LNP over Labor. This is largely as a result of conservative voters backlash against the PHON decision to preference their local sitting MP (who is a conservative) behind a Labor candidate.

In combination with this, the seat has been hit with robocalls from Cherish Life and Sunshine Coast Safe Communities urging voters to put Labor last on the back of issues such as power prices, unemployment and abortion. 

Fundamentally, we see a situation where the 25%+ that PHON is polling coming largely from the LNP. This will mean that if PHON preferences flow at anything around 50% or more would see the LNP retain the seat.

Prediction: LNP retain

Source: Sharable from  Brent Hampstead  Facebook page

Source: Sharable from Brent Hampstead Facebook page

Pine Rivers

This is a seat that the LNP needs to be winning in order to get to 47 seats in their own right, The sitting MP here is Nikki Boyd who won the seat in 2015 from Seath Holswich (contesting this as an Independent).

The whole of the Moreton Bay region seats have seen a major redistribution as a ripple from the introduction of the new seat of Bancroft. This has seen Pine Rivers go regional and take in Dayboro and the broader Samford Valley into the seat which has cut the nominal Labor margin (and making Ferny Grove safer).

The LNP Candidate here is Chris Thompson who is a newbie to the political game.

Despite the troubles Nikki Boyd has had internally in her branches and some of her relationships with the left, her polling is still around the 35% mark.

With CPV, she should be able to narrowly get home in this equation.

Prediction: Labor retain

Springwood

This is a must watch seat in this election. This seat was won by Mick de Brenni (Housing Minister) on a slender margin in 2015 from former Logan City Councillor John Grant. However, with the redistribution sending the seat into Mount Cotton and Sheldon in Redland City, the Labor margin has been slashed. De Brenni is lucky Cornubia has gone into McAllister or he would be in even more trouble.

The LNP are standing Cr. Julie Talty who is the Division 6 Councillor on Redland City Council. Our GravisPolitics team predicted she would be looking for higher honours in this term of Council and we were right. On Council, Talty represents on Redland City Council all of the Redland voters that are now in the seat of Springwood and has done since her first win to Council in 2012.

Talty’s father John Burns was a long-term Councillor in Redland City.

With no PHON Candidate standing in the seat, Talty realistically needs greater than 45% primary to have a chance of winning. Our GravisPolitics team has conducted polling and has seen other samples taken in the seat to suggest that this is possible. However, it will be very close with Green + Labor preference flows possibly cruelling her chances to win.

This has been a dirty seat with a Labor volunteer being charged with threatening Talty's husband and massive sign losses becoming an issue.

Prediction: LNP gain on the back of a strong local campaign

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Bonney

This is another one of the new seats that have been created by the ECQ in order to expand the Parliament to 93 seats. This seat has been formed at the northern end of the Gold Coast formed from parts of Broadwater and Southport. This is a nominally safe LNP seat with the LNP running Sam O'Connor for the seat. He stands strong favourites to win the seat. 

However, our GravisPolitics team knows that Labor are going to target Bonney and Gaven as they know that they need to pierce the 'blue walls' on the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast to produce stable Labor Governments. 

Labor are running Rowan Holzberger for the seat this time. Rowan stood for Labor in the neighbouring seat of Southport in 2015. 

This is another seat where the CPV change could prove to come up trumps for Labor by gaining a seat they would not otherwise be able to get.

Prediction: Tight LNP pick-up

Gaven

This is the second Gold Coast seat Labor are after in this election campaign. This seat has seen Sid Cramp (incumbent – LNP) since 2015 after he beat Labor for the LNP after Alex Douglas defected from the LNP to Palmer United Party (PUP).

PHON is not running in this seat.

In this three way on the Gold Coast we just don’t see the Labor Party getting what they need.

Prediction: LNP retain

Redlands

This is one of the battleground seats from the LNP column. This is another ‘change of government’ seat that didn’t move when the government changed in 2015. Matt McEachan is the local MP who won the seat in 2015 after the ‘plonker’ scandal forced Peter Dowling out of the LNP and out of office.

The redistribution here is the epitomy of the concept that someone always has to ‘pay the piper’. The redistribution that has made Springwood stronger for the LNP has made Redlands weaker for the LNP.

The Labor Candidate here is Kim Richards from the United Voice Union and Don Brown’s faction. She was the Labor Candidate for Bowman federally and has run a reasonable on the ground campaign. However, in the course of the campaign McEachan’s on the ground game has out done Richards.

However, we would be concerned from the disclosures on the ECQ website about the cash in the LNP warchest here when run against what Labor has been able to get into the seat cash wise. McEachan though benefits from Labor having to contest in almost a third of the pendulum thanks to PHON pressing them in seats that Labor would never have to normally contest.

The curveball here is Jason Quick, the PHON Candidate here who is campaigning against Labor while preferencing them over the LNP and the return of Peter Dowling to the stage as an Independent. While we believe Dowling will be outpolled by PHON (and possibly the Greens), where that leaves PHON v LNP v ALP becomes interesting and makes this a three way.

This seat is demographically something PHON can do well in. It is not as good for them though as something like Capalaba in the region.

Prediction: Too close to call

Source: Photo off  Matt McEachan  with his recently passed Campaign Manager (and a mentor and friend to some of us here at Gravis) Bob Harper.

Source: Photo off Matt McEachan with his recently passed Campaign Manager (and a mentor and friend to some of us here at Gravis) Bob Harper.

Miller

This seat has gone under the radar from commentators but not from our team. The seat is held by Mark Bailey (Energy Minister) who has been in trouble this term for the use of private email servers and allegation of corruption. He has also held the blame for skyrocketing power prices which have now become a thorn in their side during the campaign from both Labor and PHON.

The seat is based on the former seat of Yeerongpilly which Bailey won in 2015 from the LNP.  

The LNP Candidate here is midwife and nurse, Belinda Kippen. After losing the LNP preselection for the seat of Moreton, she has impressed many in the LNP with her campaign for the seat of Miller. In a short campaign she has bought together an excellent on the ground campaign with some good fundraising to really shake Bailey up.

It was always going to take something special from the LNP to shake Miller from the Labor – Green preference flow loose. However, the campaign for the LNP here has gone well targeted and focussed in on local issues well and kept the issue of Bailey's problems alive locally.

Prediction: Too close to call

Toowoomba North

This is one of the dejavu electorates. This is the third time that the seat of Toowoomba North has seen the LNP’s Trevor Watts square off against Labor stalwart Kerry Shine for the seat. Watts lost the seat to Shine in 2009. Shine lost the seat to Watts in 2012 and 2015. This has always been the marginal seat in the region and both leaders have visited it many times.

However, the impact of PHON is being felt hard in this race. PHON wont win here. However, the decision to preference against Watts helps Shine in his campaign to win the seat back for Labor.

What will be interesting to see if any semblance of a RiteOn campaign up here gets going to neutralise the PHON HTV impact on the differential split of the preferences.

Prediction: LNP retain

LNP v PHON Competitive Races

In these seats we see a situation where PHON are competitive in LNP held seats. However, in most (if not all) of them, there is a large capacity for Labor preferences to save LNP MPs due to the policy of ‘every PHON candidate goes last’. This means that there is potential for LNP preferences to oust ALP sitting members but ALP preferences save LNP sitting members under challenge from PHON.

Buderim

This is Ground Zero for the LNP v PHON fights in Queensland. In order for the LNP to have any chance of winning 47 seats in its own right. The LNP has preselected Brent Mickelberg to win the seat back from LNP defector and now State Leader of Pauline Hanson's One Nation, Steve Dickson who is the incumbent. 

The LNP are pouring a lot of resources into the seat to win it back.

PHON are banking on the 'Im Sticking With Steve' campaign locally and hoping that enough LNP-leaning voters in the seat will want to punish Dickson for his defection. 

Despite a massive run on Dickson in the betting stakes, we foresee a situation where Dickson's Primary just isn't high enough.

Prediction: LNP gain

Source: Facebook page of Steve Dickson MP

Lockyer

This is a must win seat for PHON in this cycle. This is the seat in 2015 Pauline Hanson herself almost took out as an Independent before reuniting with the One Nation Party brand.

The PHON Candidate in the seat is long term party stalwart and former party senior official Jim Savage.

He has run a grassroots, local campaign and has been one of the better campaigners on the ground despite his apparent fallings in and out with the centre of power inside One Nation.

With a primary vote through this cycle at around the 36%+ mark. He can go on to win the seat. However, he will need a break of the Labor preferences to get him home.

This is one of those seats where the LNP primary and PHON primary aren’t specifically important. What our GravisPolitics team is looking for is the gap between first and second and whether there are enough Labor primaries to distribute to get the party coming second over whoever is coming first. In this case, it would be, can Labor get enough and can the LNP get close enough to get over the Jim Savage primary for PHON.

Prediction: PHON gain

Scenic Rim

This is a seat that PHON would see as a must win seat for them as well. This is a seat that Pauline Hanson herself contested in 2009 after the retirement of long term MP Kevin Lingard. However, her campaign self combusted when (what turned out to be fake) nude pics of her turned up on the front page of newspapers.

After the LNP MP Aidan McLindon who won the seat in 2009, defected to KAP and then lost the seat in 2012 to Jon Krause; Krause has kept his head down and run a good localised ground game to survive the 2015 carnage and then make his way into the Shadow Cabinet under Tim Nicholls.

In polling that is public and that our GravisPolitics team has done, the Labor vote has been at around the 20% mark in the seat. We would suggest that (providing Labor hand the HTVs out) the LNP should be able to survive on the distribution of Labor preferences to them.

This becomes then the quintessential seat of Labor’s HTV strategy saving an LNP MP (potentially).

Prediction: LNP retain

Condamine

In this seat, we also throw into the mix the KAP Candidate for the seat John Hill. While PHON have been very late to the game here in preselecting Frank Ashman, it appears PHON have sacrificed the seat in order to raise the profile of the anti-Acland mine movement and secure the endorsement of the radio personality, Alan Jones.

John Hill has campaigned across the electorate on a range of issues where are PHON are only campaigning against the Acland Mine, which a large portion of the seat has no idea about.

Pat Weir is the sitting member for the seat for the LNP. He won the seat in 2015 after Ray Hopper defected to KAP and then switched seats to Nanango in the 2015 election and left his son to contest the Condamine seat for KAP.

KAP are handing out how to vote cards to try and attract Labor preferences to it, in spite of their preference deal with PHON.

Our GravisPolitics team simply raises the possibility of a boilover here with the CPV effect of PHON, KAP and Labor all coming together potentially against Pat Weir.

Prediction: Too Close to Call

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Nanango

This is the seat that has been held by Deputy LNP leader Deb Frecklington since 2012 after former PHON MP for the seat, Dolly Pratt retired after seeing off John Bjelke-Petersen a number of times for the seat.

In this seat, PHON have polled between 30-35% across this campaign cycle here. However, this is a situation where we note that we have not seen a poll where Frecklington is not behind PHON on the primary vote in any piece of public or private polling we have seen.

Prediction: LNP retain on Labor preferences

Gympie

This is a seat that is fertile ground for minor parties such as KAP and PHON. Our GravisPolitics team believes it is a strategic blunder that KAP is not standing in this seat.

In 2015, the Palmer United Party (PUP) and Katters Australian Party (KAP) took 27% of the vote between them. In 2012, KAP took 21.8% of the vote.

Our GravisPolitics team would be very surprised if the seat didn’t see PHON poll a 30% primary vote.

This will be a seat where, if Tony Perrett is to be returned to Parliament he will need Labor preferences.

Prediction: LNP retain

Hinchinbrook

This is a seat that has been a PHON seat before, nearly was a KAP seat in 2012 and both are running here in 2017 with a preference deal between each other.

Andrew Cripps has been the member here for over a decade after having seen a number of major challenges off in recent history.

The redistribution sees the seat lose areas north of Tully to the new seat of Hill and in return gain some northern suburbs of Townsville from Thuringowa. This has seen the nominal margin (against Labor) go from 7.1% to 3.4%.

The key to the LNP strategy for retention here is to ensure that they can attract Labor and KAP preferences to ensure they stay ahead of PHON in the preference distribution to hold the seat (despite the KAP-PHON preference deal).

Prediction: LNP retain

ALP v PHON Competitive Races

There are more races in this column than in the LNP v PHON column. This is because while the ALP has put PHON last everywhere and the PHON HTVs have every sitting MP last, the LNP has chosen a seat to seat approach.

This means that there are many more opportunities for PHON to take ALP seats on LNP preference distribution. Furthermore, this is backed up from our touch preference research. This research has clearly shown that when you ask LNP voters to chose between PHON and the ALP, between 65-85% chose PHON whereas only 35-50% of ALP voters chose PHON.

Cook

This seat and Mulgrave are in our view the two biggest sleepers in the pack for PHON to take from PHON. Firstly, it should be noted that Tabelands (some of which is now in Cook) was a PHON seat and the Mayor of Mareeba Tom Gilmore lost his seat to Rosa Lee Long the last time PHON rose to prominence. Secondly, after Labor’s Billy Gordon has had all of the scandals around him and the LNP’s Penny Johnson has run a particularly lacklustre campaign; we see that there is more then enough space for PHON’s Jen Sackley to get in between the two majors and get one of them to distribute. This is also on the back of the preference deal PHON has with the KAP’s Gordon Rasmussen.

Jen Sackley is someone who has shortened in the betting with the momentum she has picked up with her well targetted Mareeba based campaign. If she can come second, she will win.

This is in essence a three-way and our GravisPolitics team will be watching this one like a hawk to see how it breaks.

Prediction: Too Close to Call

Source:  Jen Sackley  Pauline Hanson's One Nation, Candidate for Mareeba

Source: Jen Sackley Pauline Hanson's One Nation, Candidate for Mareeba

Mulgrave

If betting agencies offered combos, we expect that the combination bet of the Treasurer and Shadow Treasurer losing their seats in the same election would be at long odds. However, Mulgrave has been a PHON seat before. Sue Bertuch who is the PHON Candidate is running a strong campaign for a six week run and from our on the ground reports, is doing very well. The LNP has preselected Karina Samperi who is doing OK for an LNP Candidate in Mulgrave without any major financial backing for her campaign.

This is the sort of seat where if Curtis Pitt doesn’t get 48% primary (which GravisPolitics sees as unlikely) he is in trouble.

Prediction: Possible PHON gain (on LNP preferences)

Thuringowa

No one can ignore a seat where polls showed Pauline Hanson’s One Nation at 37% of the primary vote before they even had a candidate in the field. This seat was won for Labor by Aaron Harper in 2015 from Sam Cox who is now the Deputy Leader of PHON and their Canddiate for Burdekin.

The nominal margin here is 6.6% to the Labor Party v the LNP.

PHON have had trouble here with the revelations that their candidate’s wife owns a sex shop that condoned domestic violence in a post.

Prediction: PHON gain

Mackay

This is a seat that Labor has never lost since the formation of Queensland as a state. The seat has always existed and our team was at the celebrations for Labor’s 100th year anniversary of holding the seat of Mackay.

After the sudden retirement of Tim Mulherin during the 2015 election, Labor chose Julieanne Gilbert (Wife of former Councillor Frank Gilbert) to be the Candidate for Mackay. She is now the incumbent on a nominally 10.2% margin after picking up suburbs such as Glenella in the northern beaches of Mackay from the seat of Whitsunday.

However, like much of regional Queensland, Labor is in trouble to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. Our GravisPolitics team has been privy to polls where the PHON vote has been between 25-35% of the primary vote through out the course of the election cycle.

The PHON Candidate for the seat has only been a candidate since the election was called. However, if the move is on to PHON, this seat is gone on LNP preferences to PHON.

Prediction: PHON gain

Rockhampton

This is another of the crown jewels in the Labor crown which is precisely why the city has had so much Labor infighting over the years which has now seen the party split locally and Mayor Margaret Strelow running as an Independent.

Before the split and furore over who would replace Bill Byrne in the seat, PHON had been polling here in excess of 30%, almost all of which had come from the Labor primary. However, with Strelow in the race, PHON’s vote has been split 20% to 14% (according to Galaxy).

The Labor campaign here has been an absolute calamity. Regular media mis-steps, getting policy wrong in public and the war between Schwarten and Strelow overshadowing the whole thing has meant that publicly, Brittany Lauga has had to take over the media for Rockhampton and is also likely to lose her seat of Keppel as a result.

Prediction: Too close to call

Maryborough

On paper this is a seat that is a marginal LNP v ALP seat that was taken by Bruce Saunders in 2015. However, this is misleading as it has PUP and former Independent Member, Chris Foley in the mix.

This is a seat that has gone to PHON before and is victim of Labor’s bad polling north of the Sunshine Coast.

This is another one of the places where the combination of the PHON preference strategy of placing every sitting member last and the LNP preferencing PHON in the seat.

The ALP incumbent in Maryborough is Bruce Saunders who won the seat in 2015 from Anne Madden who was the one term LNP MP for the seat.

Prediction: PHON gain

Ipswich West

This is another of the former seats that were in the PHON column after the 1998 election. However, with the advent of former Senator Malcolm Roberts as the PHON Candidate for Ipswich means that this seat has gone under the radar for many commentators.

The polls have seen Labor neck and neck in the seat over the last few weeks.

This means the volume and distribution of Green and LNP Preferences will determine the winner of the seat.

The sitting MP is Jim Madden who was a Somerset Councillor before defeating Sean Choat for the seat in 2015, who in 2016 then became a Somerset Councillor.

Prediction: If any PHON gains are to be in Ipswich, it will be here.

Ipswich

This seat is going to be an old fashioned grudge match between former Senator Malcolm Roberts and Labor stalwart Jennifer Howard. Howard won the seat in 2015 from the LNP in the route of the LNP in that election.

Howard was a staffer for former MP for Ipswich and former Transport Minister Rachel Nolan. Howard is seen as a much better performer locally then Nolan was and she has ramped up her campaign to deal with the Roberts threat in a major way.

However, the Premier has not helped the campaign with her promise to move rail jobs from Wulkuraka to Maryborough to sure up Maryborough against PHON.

Roberts, however, has been dogged with stories around his relationship with former staffer Sean Black and the criminal charges he is facing.

Prediction: Labor retain

Logan

This is a key seat for Labor to test whether they can rebel PHON threats in the South East. Linus Power won this seat in 2015 on the second attempt after defeating Michael Pucci who is now the PHON State Director and the PHON Candidate for the new seat of Jordan.

However, the redistribution has weakened the seat for Labor structurally. Starting the redistribution process with a 10% margin, the redistribution sees the nominal margin reduced to 5.4% against the LNP. This is because the seat has lost the urban parts of Logan City to Algester and Woodridge while it has headed west into the western Logan City Council border with Scenic Rim which brings Jimboomba into the seat.

The PHON Candidate is Scott Bannan.  Bannan has defending himself against charges of being a Hell’s Angel in the past with aplomb. This has made the Power campaign anxious as he seems bullet proof.

Power will be helped by the LNP decision to preference Labor ahead of PHON. This means that if Labor can get a primary vote gap on PHON of any substance, there will be a lower percentage of LNP preferences that PHON can receive.

Prediction: Too close to call and amazingly firming to PHON in final week

Source: Original file image of the Scott Bannan Coaster printed by our team.

Source: Original file image of the Scott Bannan Coaster printed by our team.

Capalaba

This is a seat that no one has focussed on in this campaign because it is a traditionally Labor seat. This is a seat that has only been held by the LNP in 2012. For the rest of its life it has been a Labor seat. The seat was won by Don Brown in 2015 from the LNP after the 2015 election loss.

Don has had a major campaign put against him by the LNP, Andrew Laming and PHON in this seat.

Ever since our first poll in the seat in February, the polling has been tight here with the seat consistently polling from all of our sources at around the 30-30-30 split.

This will all come down to the order of the primary vote on the night as to who wins here.

If the LNP come third, PHON wins. If ALP comes third, LNP wins. If PHON comes third, its anyone’s race. The majority of PHON’s primary here is coming from the Labor Party but there is a preference swap neatly between the LNP and PHON in the seat.

Our team believes that Labor will lose this seat but are unsure as to who will pick it up considering the overall structure of the polling between all three parties being so close.

Prediction: Too Close to Call

Seat to Seat Prediction List 

While not everyone will agree with this list (there have been some disagreements in the team) there are many people who will think we are being too bullish, too aggressive and possibly with a bit of wishful thinking. However, this is our best lay of the land as we believe it will wind up.

  • Algester - Labor
  • Aspley - LNP 
  • Bancroft - Labor
  • Barron River - LNP gain 
  • Bonney - Too Close to Call 
  • Broadwater - LNP gain 
  • Buderim - LNP gain (from PHON)
  • Bulimba - Labor retain 
  • Bundaberg - LNP gain 
  • Bundamba - Labor retain 
  • Burdekin - Too Close to Call
  • Burleigh - LNP retain 
  • Burnett - LNP retain 
  • Cairns - Labor Gain (from IND)
  • Callide - LNP retain
  • Caloundra - LNP retain
  • Capalaba - Too Close to Call (Unsure who Labor lose this too)
  • Chatsworth - LNP retain 
  • Clayfield - LNP retain 
  • Condamine - Too Close to Call 
  • Cook - Too Close to Call
  • Coomera - LNP retain 
  • Cooper - Labor retain 
  • Currumbin - LNP retain 
  • Everton - Too Close to Call
  • Ferny Grove - Labor retain 
  • Gaven - Too Close to Call 
  • Gladstone - PHON gain 
  • Glass House - LNP retain 
  • Greenslopes - Labor retain 
  • Gregory - LNP retain 
  • Gympie - LNP retain 
  • Hervey Bay - Should be LNP retain 
  • Hill - KAP gain (new seat)
  • Hinchinbrook - Too Close to Call
  • Inala - Labor retain 
  • Ipswich - Labor retain 
  • Ipswich West - PHON gain 
  • Jordan - Labor gain 
  • Kawana - LNP retain 
  • Keppel - LNP gain
  • Kurwongbah - Labor retain 
  • Lockyer - PHON gain
  • Logan - Too Close to Call
  • Lytton - ALP retain 
  • Macalister - Probably Labor Gain 
  • McConnel - Labor retain 
  • Mackay - PHON gain 
  • Maiwar - Labor gain
  • Mansfield - Labor gain 
  • Maroochydore - LNP retain 
  • Maryborough - PHON gain 
  • Mermaid Beach - LNP retain
  • Miller - Too Close to Call 
  • Mirani - LNP gain 
  • Moggill - LNP retain 
  • Morayfield - ALP retain
  • Mt Ommaney - Too Close to Call
  • Mudgeeraba - LNP retain
  • Mulgrave - Too Close to Call 
  • Mundingburra - LNP gain 
  • Murrumba - ALP retain 
  • Nanango - LNP retain 
  • Nicklin - LNP gain (LNP v PHON 2PP)
  • Ninderry - LNP gain (LNP v PHON 2PP)
  • Noosa - Too Close to Call (LNP v Ind)
  • Nudgee - ALP retain
  • Oodgeroo - LNP retain 
  • Pine Rivers - ALP retain
  • Pumicestone - LNP gain 
  • Redcliffe - ALP retain 
  • Redlands - Too Close to Call 
  • Rockhampton - Too Close to Call
  • Sandgate - ALP retain
  • Scenic Rim - LNP retain 
  • Sth Brisbane - Green gain 
  • Southern Downs - LNP retain 
  • Southport - LNP retain
  • Springwood - LNP gain 
  • Stafford - ALP retain
  • Stretton - ALP retain
  • Surfers Paradise - LNP retain 
  • Theodore - LNP retain 
  • Thuringowa - PHON gain 
  • Toohey - ALP gain 
  • Toowoomba North - Too Close to Call
  • Toowoomba South - LNP retain
  • Townsville - LNP gain 
  • Traeger - KAP retain
  • Warrego - LNP retain 
  • Waterford - ALP retain 
  • Whitsunday - Too Close to Call
  • Woodridge - ALP retain

The anti-politician is now mainstream and politics has an authentic deficit disorder

With Teresa May heading to the Queen to form a government with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) it follows one of the worst election campaigns ever seen from the UK Conservatives.  

This was a campaign where the Conservatives blew a 20% lead at the start of the campaign and wound up losing their majority. 

It has been another example illustrating that without the influences of run-off voting systems or proportional voting systems (aka France and Holland); yet another leading campaign has run into a cocktail for political disaster, complacency, expectation management failure and authenticity deficit disorder.

The fundamental premise of this campaign, from the framing right through to execution, was that the Conservatives couldn’t lose. When they realised they could lose, the scare campaign was ramped up. Yet this was far too little and late to stem the bleeding.

However, whilst Corbyn has picked up a bit over 30 seats, he is still well short of a majority in the House of Commons. Despite increasing Labour’s vote share and adding millions of extra votes to the Labour tally, there is still a fundamental weakness in the Labour vote; a fundamental inability to take out marginal tory seats and to capitalise on the poor campaign of the Scottish Nationalists. In summary, the Labour vote was coming off a low base.

This election saw a pitch for a 'strong and stable' government fall flat.

The anti-establishment nature of the referendum campaign has scrambled the foundations of British politics. May was intitially a ‘remainer’ now advocating for a tough line on Brexit (or ‘hard brexit’ as many describe it). Jeremy Corbyn is an acolyte of Tony Benn, the leader of the hard left-wing of the Labour Party through the 1970s and 1980s and Michael Foot, the author of the manifesto which became known as the ‘Longest Suicide Note in History’. Corbyn was an early supporter of a Brexit, then campaigned in the referendum for ‘remain’ and now supports a Brexit once again.

On the backdrop of this scrambling was a Conservative campaign that refused to engage in TV debates, ran a campaign that wasn’t based on connecting with the mainstream and often appeared aloof. This was followed by a manifesto which attacked the Conservative base voters (see social care funding, ending the pension ‘triple lock’ and the famous ‘dementia tax’) that was never going to be rewarded.

Labour’s gains are also even more interesting, considering that the Corbyn campaign was often attacked for not doing enough to win back marginal seats.

Britain has seen a referendum campaign end their membership of the European Union and effectively seen the end of ‘New Labour’ all in the space of two years. Yet, what is again being missed in the majority of post-mortem conversations is that the trend is global and there are lessons for the future. But what is 'the trend'?

There is a global trend (and there has been for at least seven years) amongst western electorates, which don’t have proportional election systems, to now back to the ‘anti-politician’ politician regardless of political philosophical divides. The 'anti-politician' often taps into a resentment of existing institutions. Also known as 'anti-establishment' politics. In electorates where authenticity has been a perceived problem, the ‘standard’ campaign based on presentation, photo opportunities and three word clichés are not working (note ‘Strong and Stable’ and ‘Jobs and Growth’)

This is also prefaced on the fact that the ‘anti-establishment’ politician needs to rise inside the framework of establishment parties. This can be seen most recently with a Donald Trump Republican presidency. This is not as easy nor as random as it may seem.

For example, Jill Stein can’t mobilise a Sanders-style movement in the American left. Likewise, Hanson and Bernardi won’t be able to lead parties of government in the Australian mainstream system and the best that New Zealand First and Winston Peters can hope for is a role as a ‘support party’ (again) to a National Party government.

It is very important to also note that there is a difference between ‘anti-establishment’ and ‘populism’. The concept of politicians using budget measures to ‘buy’ support well and truly pre-dates the rise of the ‘anti-establishment’ concept.

In the United States, we witnessed Hilary Clinton be attacked on two flanks - one from the philosophical left and one from the philosophical right. In the Democratic Primaries she lost 22 states to Bernie Sanders; a Corbyn-esque, dedicated Socialist independent Senator from Vermont who energised a base and built an engaged movement. Not unlike the ‘momentum’ movement behind Corbyn.

Despite Clinton surviving the challenge on her left, she failed to stave off Trump, perceived to be on her right, who perfected the anti-politician image, turned out his voters; but more importantly her campaign failed to bring out the voters mobilised by first Obama, then Sanders; Millennials, Latinos and African-Americans. Her turnout fell dramatically which allowed Trump to win.

In this new political reality, however, Clinton was a career political professional attempting to fend off two anti-politician campaigns that were always going to cannibalise her vote regardless of which traditional philosophical divide they may have been perceived to represent. 

In Australia, Barnaby Joyce will get some enjoyment to see that the electorate has finally caught up with him. He has been prosecuting this argument well before the rise of the ‘anti-establishment’ politician around the world. Australia is full of politicians trying to bring this together; between Pauline Hanson, Cory Bernardi, Bob Katter and Derryn Hinch; they all don’t get anywhere near the standard of Barnaby Joyce and his ability to do this, despite being the junior Coalition partner in an unpopular government.

However, if Anthony Albanese wins the leadership of the Labor Party in Australia, Malcolm Turnbull would almost be electorally unable to win. Albanese has figured out how to master this on the left in the Australian context, without the status of trying to do this from inside a minor party.

If the Coalition doesn't recognise and get across this anti-politician trend with effective strategies, they won’t win in 2019. If the Nationals in New Zealand don’t see the events of the UK and US as something that can manifest itself in New Zealand too, they will see a much larger New Zealand First and a more powerful Winston Peters.

Welcome to the mainstream where the anti-politician rules. 

LNP Queensland Preselection Campaigns

As Queensland moves into another state election, the LNP has opened its preselection process in a number of seats. 

The list of seats open for pre-selection are:

  • Algester
  • Ashgrove
  • Barron River
  • Brisbane Central
  • Bulimba
  • Bundaberg
  • Cairns
  • Cook
  • Ferny Grove
  • Greenslopes
  • Ipswich
  • Ipswich West
  • Keppel
  • Maryborough
  • Mirani
  • Mt Coot-tha
  • Mulgrave
  • Mundingburra
  • Nicklin
  • Rockhampton
  • Springwood
  • Stretton
  • Sunnybank
  • Townsville
  • Thuringowa

If you are thinking of running for preselection in one of these seats, get in touch with the GravisPolitics team today.

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2016 Local Government Election wrap up

The takeaways from the the 2016 Council elections are as follows:

  • This is a cycle for incumbents, however, weak first term incumbents were vulnerable (particularly in 1-1 races)
  • Undivided Councils provide higher turnover of Councillors then divided ones in this cycle
  • Economically depressed councils in CQ (Mackay and Gladstone) had major changes.
  • Changing dynamics of Councils will be determined by new Councillors that have won vacant seats
  • Teams can't win without strong Mayoral and Council candidates to win the divisions/wards.
  • Late runners don't beat incumbents.
  • 2020 will see major changes in some major regions.

Cairns:

For this we show the fact that in Cairns Division 9, Greg Fennell has lost his seat to an independent (Brett Olds) and not to the Cairns Connect team candidate which has come a disappointing 3rd in this race. The Cairns Connect Team which is backed by the Cairns Labor/Greens movements has failed to win a single seat on the Council and only secured 33.5% of the Mayoral vote.

The Cairns Connect team did take Cr. Jessie Richardson's margin down to 395 votes.

We are also still waiting for a declaration in Division 1 which is a tight race between Independent Sandra Charlton and Unity's Brett Moller. If Division 1 comes in for Moller, it is widely predicted that Mayor Bob Manning will try and install Moller in as Deputy Mayor and try and run Brett Moller as a Mayoral Candidate in 2020.

The GravisPolitics team did pick the tight races in Division 1 and 8 and we also picked the easy win for Mayor Bob Manning.

We predict in 2020, if Moller wins, that we will see a Mayoral race between Brett Moller and Richie Bates. However, also don't rule out runs from popular conservative independent Linda Cooper (Division 6) and/or Cathy Zeiger (Division 3). Despite the fact that these two are not Unity, they are both nominally conservative Councillors. The question will be, who can form teams (Cairns elects Mayors with teams in modern times) and what type of campaign can be waged in the divisions.

You can't win a city without winning the divisions (Something the BCC Labor Campaign forgot!)

Townsville:

The GravisPolitics team predicted on election day that Jenny Hill would win in a coronation and she did scoring 59.52% of the primary vote against Jayne Arlett who scored 35.23% of the primary vote.

All of Jenny Hill's team candidates are easily ahead in all of the divisions bar one (Division 8) which gives Mayor Hill a major mandate to govern.

Livingstone:

Mayor Bill Ludwig was predicted by the GravisPolitics team to win in a coronation and he did. However, to add to the vote of confidence in the Mayor, all of the Councillors have also been returned in a 0 change election from the de-amalgamation election of two years ago.

Rockhampton:

This has got to be one of the strangest elections in this cycle of local elections. Largely unpopular Mayor Strelow has got back reasonably comfortably seeing off a challenger from inside the ALP (Michael McMillan) and from repeat (nominally conservative) candidates in Dominic Doblo, Lea Taylor (Former Mayor) and Bruce Diamond.

The first thing we noticed was the bad graphic designs in this race.

Between the striking similarities between the Team McMillan advertising and Dan Murphys ads, the out of date advertising of Lea Taylor and some absolutely shocking ads from Dominic Doblo - there are many examples to see of what not to do in political advertising.

In terms of videos, the case in point is this video that was put on Facebook by Dominic Doblo.

The Council results also show what can happen when good Council candidates link themselves to poor Mayoral candidates and who should reconsider running as independents in 2020.

The first of these is Tory Acton, Team McMillan Candidate for Division 2. Tory is the daughter of the late Graeme Acton who was incredibly well known right across Central Queensland. Now, running against long time incumbent, Neil Fisher is always going to be a tough ask. However losing 58-42 on 2CP is not good enough for someone of this pedigree. One can only think that untied from McMillan, Tory could do a lot better.

The second is Leyland Barnett who was the Lea Taylor (Regional Independents) candidate for Division 5. Firstly the artwork for Leyland and Lea was not good. Also the short run of both campaigns meant that despite the quality candidate, the result was poor with Leyland only scoring 6% of the vote and coming 3rd after Cr. Cherie Rutherford and Bob Pleash of Team McMillan.

The big winner of the elections in Rocky was Cr. Rose Swadling who was returned easily in Division 1 (as predicted by the GravisPolitics) team. This is a division that Team McMillan challenged in and scored 24.13%. This is a race that exemplifies also the power that incumbents also have had in split races (eg. where an incumbent faced more then one challenger).

Gladstone:

The GravisPolitics team predicted that Gail Sellers would lose the Mayoralty and she did so comfortably. In an angry electorate, there was no way that the Gladstone Regional Council would not see major changes.

With the election of Matt Burnett into the Mayoralty, we see someone who represented change with experience to an angry electorate and despite being the Mayor's deputy, won easily.

With major changes in this Council the GravisPolitics team saw that Natalia Muszkat, Kahn Goodluck and Desley O'Grady as a group would see a winner from in. In fact, this group saw two winners with Kahn Goodluck and Desley O'Grady both winning.

We also note 2 time federal ALP loser Chris Trevor winning a seat easily.

Natalia Muszkat has ultimately lost because her campaign was too short and not well enough funded to mount a big enough campaign. The Gravis2020 tip: Natalia will be a lot more of a serious contender in 2020 with a longer campaign.

Mackay:

This is another very angry electorate and an undivided Council has seen a number of Councillors and Mayor Deidre Cummerford losing. This election has not only seen Greg Williamson win with his message of restarting the Council but it has also seen his get 5 Councillors elected giving his team a majority on the Council as well.

Bundaberg:

GravisPolitics predicted it, Sportsbet had it at $1.10 and everyone expected it - Jack Dempsey won the Mayoralty in a coronation.

Sunshine Coast:

GravisPolitics predicted that Mark Jamieson would be re-elected as Mayor and he was convincingly against a very weak field of candidates and a Green push which didn't win anything but sucked up 'anti-development' votes across the Coast from better suited challengers.

GravisPolitics predicted that John Connolly would see off the Jamieson endorsed challenger Geoff Peters and husband of radio personality John Hutchinson and (at this moment, without preferences being distributed), we would predict that this prediction has come true.

GravisPolitics also predicted that the only races which would be challenges for incumbents were Division 3 and Division 9. This has come to fruition. Division 3 is likely to see Cr. Peter Cox re-elected, despite good campaigns from Steve Barclay and former Councillor Andrew Champion (both of whom scored 20%+) but preferences will need to be distributed next week.

Scott Larsen has come a comfortable second in Division 9 but Cr. Steve Robinson has been easily re-elected with a 50% primary vote. The Greens have destroyed Larsen's chances by scoring 20%+ of the primary vote and challenging Larsen for the anti-development challenger mantle in the minds of voters. Larsen has probably done enough this time to warrant a second run, however, we would be recommending a second campaign from Steve Barclay and Scott Larsen for Division 3 and Division 9.

Gravis2020 predictions: If Mark Jamieson does not re-contest the Mayoralty, see Division 8 Councillor Jason OPray run (and probably win) the Mayoralty. If the Greens want to get anti-development, environmentally friendly people elected they wont stand branded candidates. This election has shown that they have shot their cause in the foot.

Noosa Council:

The GravisPolitics team predicted that Tony Wellington and Sandy Bolton and that has come to fruition with there being less then 900 votes between the two of them on the primary vote. The GravisPolitics prediction of all of the incumbent Councillors being returned also came to fruition.

Moreton Bay Regional Council:

The GravisPolitics prediction of Mayor Sutherland winning a third MBRC term has come to fruition in a pack of poor challengers.

The empty races have seen some very 'LNP' new faces come to the table with Brooke Savige winning Division 1, Denise Sims winning Division 7 and Darren Grimwade winning Division 11.

We would also encourage Talosaga McMahon to run again in Division 7 against the newly elected Denise Sims but put together a much stronger version of a campaign then the one she put together for this election. This is an example of a good candidate that has put together a campaign that has given her last place in a 5-way.  She should be able to do a lot better then this.

The other race we wish to pass comment on is Division 5. Redistributed this is a seat that goes from Scarborough and Redcliffe through to Mueller College and up to Deception Bay. Cr. James Houghton (Cousin of Mayor Sutherland) has held this seat since amalgamation in 2008. After seeing off LNPer Jackie Bowden and former long term Councillor Peter Houston, this 2016 field was significantly weaker. If you want to beat someone with as long term links into the seat as a Houghton in Redcliffe, candidates will need to do a lot a better.

The Your Community First ticket has proven to be an absolute disaster. It has won nothing and has been run by former Mayor of Caboolture Joy Leishman. Moreton Bay is ripe for an independent ticket of candidates but it will need to stand in every seat and be a lot better put together then this attempt.

The final prediction of the night was the Division 8 was a potential boilover. Now whilst Chris Kelly will go down to Mick Gillam after being about 600 short on the primary vote count, the fact that he has come so close to such a long serving Councillor is proof of a great campaign and proof of our thesis that really you need 1 on 1s to beat Councillors with long careers in Council outside of Brisbane.

Gravis2020 tips: Koliana Winchester for Mayor! (Well our team believes she would make a great candidate for it). Also see a major tussle for Division 3, especially if Kimberley James wins it after preferences.

Brisbane City Council:

On election day we stated that this would be the coming together of a bad LNP central campaign coming together with a bad ALP ward campaign. Labor's "Harding or bust" strategy was shocking politics as was the dismal expectations management process of briefing media outlets of a closer election then what wound up transpiring.

The places GravisPolitics predicted Labor could pick up seats, they have not. However, they have picked up major swings in those seats identified. However, the calls that Labor would suffer a major swing against it in The Gabba has come to fruition (where Labor has lost) and the prediction that the LNP would hold Doboy ward has come true.

You can't win in a place like Brisbane without running a competent ward strategy across the city. The Labor strategy of resource misallocation, briefing the press of swings that didn't exist, constant message shifting and then only targeting wards in the final week don't work in Brisbane.

Gravis2020 predictions: The impact of a non-Quirk candidate for Lord Mayor will need to be handled with a lot more care then this election if the LNP want to control the administration post 2020. Look to see the ALP gun to take back Northgate, The Gabba and Doboy. These are three wards that Labor should never have lost when they did.

Ipswich

GravisPolitics predicted that Paul Pisasle would be re-elected and this has come true. We also predicted that Wayne Wendt would come back to politics and this has happened.

We also wish to note the significance of Ipswich electing Kerry Silver. Kerry is a Yugambeh woman and represents the first Indigenous Ipswich Councillor. We do however recognise that this race is subject to a challenge from Labor Left challenger Jim Dodrill and that the ECQ has not made a declaration in this race.

Gravis2020 tip: See a big challenge for Mayor if Pisasle doesn't recontest. Also see a big contest in Division 9. The impact of Springfield will be felt. Also expect to see the Labor Left, the left of the union movement through the supporters of Jo Anne Miller making another move in this part of the world.

Redland City Council

This is a race that has been dominated by Karen Williams re-election in a coronation against Greg Underwood who ran and underwhelming campaign that just didn't bite on the ground.

Also the impact of Don Brown and Andrew Laming's meddling in the election has seen major distortions in the Council votes by the divisions.

Going into the night, all the 'Williams team' had to do was hold on to everything and hold Division 3, this did not happen.

We predicted that Division 3 was a race to watch and it was. It changed hands and has been won by Paul Golle (ex-LNP/KAP, anti-development candidate) over Penny Donald (Laming staffer).

However, due to a misallocation of resources/bad planning Alan Beard was left resourceless and vulnerable and has lost his seat to former ALP Candidate for Redlands, Tracey Huges.

GravisPolitics also predicted that the Ashley Madison scandal and the scandal around the Council phone storing pictures of Craig Ogilvie would see him go down to 'Switch to Mitch' Peter Mitchell and this has happened, despite the anti-development lobby Redlands2030 standing another candidate (Tom Taranto) at the last minute.

GravisPolitics also predicted that the Laming challenger in Division 6, Stephanie Eaton would lose and she did (coming last) and Labor challenger in Division 7, Janine Healy (who we predict we wont see the last of) denying Sharyn Doolan a clean shot at Murray Elliott.

Sharyn Doolan ran an amazing campaign in one of the toughest seats in the Redlands and we hope that we have not seen the last of her in politics.

Gravis2020 predictions: There will be a new Mayor here in 2020. Karen Williams will not have a good time with a hostile Council. See Wendy Boglary as a potential Mayoral candidate. Also see Division 6 Councillor Julie Talty considered for higher level of government.

Logan City Council

GravisPolitics predicted Luke Smith would win on the back of Pam Parker's endorsement and this has happened.

The GravisPolitics team did miss the strength of Cr. Phil Pidgeon's primary vote in Division 9 (in what is further proof of the fact that challengers struggle to beat long term sitting Councillors in split fields) and how close Cr. Steve Swenson has come to losing in Division 3 winning by a margin of 7 votes.

GravisPolitics also predicted that Divisions 2, 5 and 6 where the ones to watch. Russell Lutton has been returned handily despite a solid showing from Josephine Aufai. The split field denying her the clean air in the campaign to push Lutton.

Jon Raven has been elected in Division 5 on the back of a lacklustre campaign from Mark Tookey and the withdrawal of Blaise Itabelo from the race and strong support from Labor in the seat.

Division 6 has seen former LNP MP for Waterford lose on preferences to Stacey McIntosh (running mate of Division 4 winner Laurie Koranski).

Gravis2020 tips: Cherie Daley to become Deputy Mayor. Supporters of Brett Raguse that have been elected not causing to many ructions but a year long campaign against Luke Smith in 2020. Blaise Itabelo and Josephine Aufai getting re-runs in 2020 and doing a lot better. We also predict that in a condensed field, Kathleen de Leon would, with a longer campaign push Phil Pidgeon to hold Division 9.

Gold Coast City Council

GravisPolitics predicted that Tom Tate would win the Mayoralty again in a coronation and he did. We also identified Divisions 5 and 11 as races to watch. Division 5 will probably see long term LNP staffer Felicity Stevenson lose in Division 5 but ex-Tom Tate staffer Hermann Vorster win in Division 11.

Gravis2020 tips: We would encourage Chris Walker (former Titans player) to make good on his twitter declaration and mount a campaign for Mayor in 2020.

Toowoomba Regional Council

GravisPolitics predicted that Paul Antonio would be coronated as the next Mayor of Toowoomba and this happened.

The team predicted that one of Megan O'Hara-Sullivan, Chris McGaw and Ben Apsey would be elected and Megan O'Hara-Sullivan has been elected.

Expect to see McGaw and Apsey contest the 2020 elections in a much bigger and more refined way then their campaigns in 2016.

Gravis2020 tips: Expect this to be a tumultuous time in Toowoomba when Cr. Nancy Sommerfeld seeks the LNP preselection for Toowoomba South and now Cr. Megan O'Hara-Sullivan seeks the ALP preselection for Toowoomba North.

The potential for a byelection here is high so be on alert for the need for a quick campaign.

Gravis2020 tips: Expect to see Geoff McDonald stand for Mayor, new alliances formed and the campaigns that the can best deliver the overlap between Labor and LNP voters in a 50:50 city win.