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The status quo state – Queensland in the 2019 federal election

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, Chris Salisbury, offers an assessment (17.4.20) of the results of the 2019 federal election as they played out in Queensland. The author suggests that, in light of these and past historical results, the state’s billing as the ‘key election battleground’ might not be fully warranted.

‘Undoubtedly, Queensland has been a focus of recent federal election campaigns. The state has witnessed the Prime Minister’s and the Opposition Leader’s repeated bus tours, cabinet meetings, and campaign launches, as well as playing host to both major parties’ campaign headquarters.

‘Ostensibly, the proliferation here of so many marginal electorates goes a long way to explaining all this attention. But what does the presence of those targeted marginal seats signify about this state – are more Queensland voters in the ‘swinging centre’, or are they more given to flirting with minor and fringe parties? What aspects of the state’s (heavily regionalised) demographics make this so?

‘… there were big swings (either way, respectively) against sitting governments in 2007 and 2010, but at the last three federal elections swings were relatively stable, if comparatively more pronounced in Queensland in 2019. Might this be a sign that Queensland’s reputed volatility has settled down? In that light, does Queensland deserve a reputation as a ‘make or break’ state?’

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