A QUT political analyst says COVID-19 could play a significant role in how Queensland voters swing on 31 October, especially among some older voters.
“Regardless of politicking over borders and economic impacts of the pandemic, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been widely praised for her handling of COVID-19 and this will resonate with some Queensland voters,” said Past Speaker of the Queensland Parliament, former Labor Minister and QUT Adjunct Associate Professor John Mickel.
“The Premier’s surge in popularity with the October Newspoll putting her at 56 per cent as ‘Better Premier’ with a 63 per cent satisfaction rate occurred as worries about being kept safe and healthy were on the rise.
“At the same time, the gap in popularity between the parties has narrowed from 38 per cent of the primary vote for the LNP compared to just 32 per cent for Labor in June, to an even 37 per cent each in October.
“Clearly the election will be close.
“The rise in voter support seems to result from many Queenslanders being impressed with how the Premier has stood her ground on borders in the face of heavy criticism from the LNP and the Federal Government.”
Professor Mickel believes if trends in American polls and the New Zealand results are mirrored in the Queensland 2020 election it may win Labor seats in South East and parts of regional Queensland.
“Trump’s fading popularity in the Polls with seniors is partially about COVID-19 and the high cost of health care.
“The historic win by Labour in New Zealand last weekend can also be partly attributed to the leadership Prime Minister Jacinda Adern has shown in keeping the country safe from COVID-19.
“Both the Premier and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington have been spending time a large amount of time on the southern and outer northern Gold Coast.
“Similar visits have occurred around Bribie Island and the southern end of the Sunshine Coast.
“Areas where there are significant numbers of low-income retirees could be vulnerable for the LNP and represent opportunities for Labor.”