Despite suffering a two-party swing against it, the LNP’s clever strategic approach to the election has ensured a fifth term governing Brisbane with a huge majority says Past Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and QUT Adjunct Associate Professor John Mickel.
It also sends a serious message to both parties in relation to the State election later in the year, in terms of strategy that reaches voters best and the changing ways in which people are voting due to the challenges of COVID-19.
“It’s Groundhog Day for the ALP. The LNP has ruled the roost in Brisbane for 16 years and have just been handed another four. They totally outplayed Labor,” said Professor Mickel.
“For Labor the doldrums continue – a dismal five wards and a Lord Mayoral vote less than the 2016 effort of Rod Harding whom the party unceremoniously dumped for Patrick Condren.
“The LNP strategy of replacing long term councillors worked electorally with reduced swings in the highly marginal wards and Lisa Attwood’s runaway win in the most marginal of them all, the notional Labor seat of Doboy.
“Another outcome was that all Councillors facing their first-time re-election for both Labor and LNP were returned with increased majorities.
“This means that in the marginal wards Labor will have to win against first time incumbents – always difficult in local Government.
“In other words, the LNP has undergone renewal without suffering the inconvenience of Opposition.”
Professor Mickel said the LNP’s advantage in four key wards – Pullenvale, Walter Taylor, Paddington and Central – has been further entrenched by Labor running third behind the Greens. In another two wards – Tennyson and The Gabba – Labor placed third behind the LNP.
“Although in their numbers, The Greens have only won a single ward, they increased their vote in all but four wards – Tennyson, Calamvale, Deagon and Enoggera,” he said.
“The Greens actually votes in areas where the Labor party had significant swings to them; Deagon, Calamvale and Enoggera.
“However, Labor’s primary vote is simply too low in far too many seats for it to be competitive in an optional preferential voting environment.
“This lack of competiveness was accompanied by a lack of any serious policy development which only increasing voter disillusionment with the party.
“And as for the main game in town, Labor has won the Brisbane Lord Mayoralty just twice since 1958 from Opposition – Clem Jones in 1961 and Jim Soorley in 1991.
“In 2020 the LNP outspent, out campaigned and out witted its opponents consigning them to 20 straight years of electoral losses.”