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Queensland voters deliver Labor a majority, but little change to the status quo

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, Chris Salisbury, gives his observations (15.12.17) on this year’s Queensland election result and the performance of the two major parties during the state campaign.

‘The four-week election campaign that followed saw the major party leaders criss-cross the state to spread their messages to apparently disaffected voters in ‘at risk’ marginal and regional electorates. Underlining the danger of rising anti-major party sentiment, the Premier and Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls were seemingly tailed (after a delayed arrival) by Pauline Hanson and the One Nation ‘Battlers’ Bus’, looking to capitalise in particular on discontent in the regions fuelled by high local unemployment and other social ills.

‘This dynamic effectively characterised the entirety of the campaign, at least in terms of its media coverage, which warmed to the theme of One Nation ‘gate-crashing’ the election much as it did in Queensland in 1998. In response, Palaszczuk and Nicholls campaigned energetically but, to several observers, delivered an uninspiring campaign with few attention-grabbing spending promises and, of more concern, little policy ‘vision’.

‘… With no clear outcome on election night, and minor parties jockeying to place themselves in strong negotiating positions with either of the major parties, more than one hopeful candidate on election night described the likely make-up of the parliament as a “dog’s breakfast”.’

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