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The notion and likelihood of Coalition one-term governments

by Ray Dixon (disclosure – I’m not exactly a lover of the Libs)


Iain wouldn’t dare post this but I bet he has read it and is still (((shakin’ his head))) at the prospect of Campbell Newman’s LNP government in Queensland becoming a one-term government despite being swept to power just two years ago with a massive 78 to 7 seats majority:

Queensland poll foreshadows heavy losses for Newman Government at next state election

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and more than half his MPs face losing their seats at next year’s election, a poll suggests.

A ReachTEL poll of voters commissioned by The Sunday Mail and the Seven Network indicated that up to 40 of the Liberal National Party’s (LNP) 73 sitting members could be voted out, reports based on the poll said.

Of almost 1900 Queenslanders asked which of the two main parties would get their vote, 51 per cent chose the LNP and 49 per cent said Labor.

The result suggested an 11.8 per cent swing against the government at the next poll, meaning Labor would win 40 LNP seats, and possibly office.

On primary votes, 38.7 per cent of those polled said they would vote for the LNP, compared with 34.4 per cent for Labor.

The poll showed Clive Palmer’s popularity continuing to rise after 15.4 per cent indicated they would vote for the Palmer United Party.

The Premier’s popularity had slipped further, with 53.1 per cent rating his performance poor or very poor.

The LNP catapulted into power in 2012 after winning 78 seats to Labor’s seven in a landslide victory.

Support for the party has since eroded amid public service job cuts, controversial law reforms and plans to sell assets.


Okay, it might be a long way to go and the likelihood that the ALP could regain office in QLD after just one term in Opposition – and from the seemingly hopeless position of having just 7 sitting MPs in a house of 85 – is the stuff of comeback fairy tales, but I reckon there’s no doubt that they’ll make up heaps of ground.

This has wider ramifications than just Queensland though. I think it says a lot about the electorate and their views of how the various Coalition governments around the country have performed/behaved themselves in recent years since regaining office.

Here in Victoria it’s almost certain that the Coalition will be bundled out later this year after just one term in office. After being accidentally elected in 2010 by just one seat. After Baillieu bailed from the job he never wanted and handed the poisoned chalice of Liberal leadership to Denis ‘the racing man’s friend’ Napthine, a relic of the past who surprised us all by still actually being in Parliament. We all thought he’d left long ago but no, there he was, still lurking on the backbenches and still living in the past. The bumbling yesterday man Denis Napthine is gone already and there is no way known his do-nothing-except-favours-for-developers Coalition will be given another term.

Then there is the Federal sphere with Tony Abbott who has managed to erode a great deal of popular support after little more than half a year in the job. His first budget and subsequent meaner-than-Scrooge announcements and proposals to hurt the young, the old, the poor, the disabled, the sick, families and anyone else who has less than a few million bucks or so in assets, will stay with him right through to the next election and ensure (at the very least) that he’ll face a tough job getting term number two.

It’s feasible that we could see 3 Coalition one-term governments going in consecutive years:

Napthine in Victoria in 2014 – a certainty to be voted out.

Newman in Queensland in 2015 – could be very embarrassing, and

Abbott in Canberra in 2016 – probably more likely than Newman losing.

My money’s on the Coalition losing at least two out of three.

Well done guys. Well done Australia – you got the governments you deserved, now go and get the ones you need.


  1. Iain Hall says:

    I don’t see your dream coming to fruition at the worst I think that your home state of Victoria may regress into the arms of the Labor party but up here in Queensland the massive majority is likely to be trimmed but the LNP majority, Heck Newman may even lose his seat but the ALP are just not loved enough to win office nest time around.
    As for the feds well that is still a couple of years away from the Poll and Labor still has Shorten in its big chair so that makes a second term more likely than not.

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    It’s not a “dream”, Iain – I’m commenting on the polls that suggest very strongly that the Coalition will lose at least 2 of those 3 elections. Vic’s already in the bag for Labor. As for the other two, even money bets. 50/50. I.E. the Coalition will lose at least one of them judging by the polling trends. Die’s cast – your guys are not up to the job. Well, of the 3 of them I’d say Newman’s in the stronger position (obviously looking at the seats he holds) and is more likely to get a 2nd term. But there is no doubting that all 3 Coalition Govts have shown they weren’t ready to resume office and were elected prematurely. Victoria in particular. Oh, and Abbott’s lot were just as unready for office.

  3. GD says:

    Ray, your ridiculous attack on Liberal state governments is just that, ridiculous. Of course Liberal State governments will get some negative press as they work to restore common sense and financial acumen to running their respective governments. Queensland, Victoria and NSW have been ravaged by Labor’s absurd, spendthrift policies. The desal plants come first to mind. These unused white elephants, a testament to Flannery’s global warming/drought scam, are now costing each state millions per annum. And will for the next thirty years. Thanks Labor.

    From your taxpayer funded ABC:

    Every five years in Victoria, the Essential Services Commission sets new price rises for water bills.
    The commission’s chairman, Dr Ron Ben David, says about two thirds of the increase is due to the desalination plant.
    RON BEN DAVID: Now that the desal plant is operating, we have to account for its true full cost to the state, and to Melbourne Water.
    And that cost increased as soon as the plant started operating in December last year, and therefore those costs now need to be recovered in full. That’s what’s driving the big step increase.
    ALISON CALDWELL: The increases are double what they were five years ago, because now the Commission knows the true cost of the Wonthaggi desalination plant, south-east of Melbourne.
    The state government hasn’t needed to order any water from the plant which began operating last December.
    The Water Minister Peter Walsh says the Government has inherited the costs of the plant from the Bracks and Brumby Labor governments.
    PETER WALSH: Let’s put this into some context: the overwhelming majority of this increase is because of the previous Labor government’s decision to build effectively the largest desalination plant in the southern hemisphere at Wonthaggi.

    Why any sane person would wish a Labor government on QLD, NSW and VIC is beyond me.

    Perhaps Ray, you should ignore the polls and let the adults get on with the business of governing.

  4. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, I can’t speak for Qld or NSW but I can tell you that your claim that Victoria was “ravaged by Labor’s absurd, spendthrift policies” is totally untrue and that the reality is so far opposite it’s not funny. The Bracks & Brumby governments (1999 – 2010) were extremely efficient, very good economic managers and actually produced surpluses. As for the Desal plant, with Melbourne’s population growth and with another drought probably only just around the corner, I’m sure that one day Victorians will be thanking them for it. The fact is they managed to build the desal plant without even gong into deficit – how’s that?

    Btw, isn’t it about time you stopped inferring anyone who doesn’t agree with you is not “sane” and not an “adult”? According to your logic, 51% of Queensland voters are now childish and mentally handicapped. Go figure.

  5. GD says:

    Well, no, Ray. Once again you are in error.

    Even the leftist publication Crikey acknowledges the mismanagement of the previous Labor government.


    the Victorian Labor government again has proved that it is possible to describe black as white and get away with it.
    The media, almost without exception, has declared that Victoria is in surplus when the truth of the matter is the state is back on a debt path that will parallel the efforts of John Cain and Joan Kirner in a few short years.

    Jeff Kennett inherited state debt of $33 billion from Labor in 1992, plus an overall deficit approaching $2 billion. After a remarkably successful austerity and rejuvenation program, Kennett handed Steve Bracks and John Brumby total debt of only $12 billion in 1999. The biggest contributor was a world-leading $33 billion privatisation program.

    The first eight years of Victorian Labor managed to keep debt steady (see bar chart here, at $12 billion-$13 billion, largely because its spending spree was financed by running down the $1 billion-plus overall Budget surplus

    The reality is that debt will rise by another $3 billion in 2010-11 and is now expected to hit a whopping $39 billion by 2014, as Terry McCrann politely pointed out in Wednesday’s Herald Sun.

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    That’s merely a Crikey opinion piece you’re quoting from, GD. You need a better source than that.

  7. Ray Dixon says:

    Gotta laugh at this one too:

    “After a remarkably successful austerity and rejuvenation program, Kennett … ”

    Yeah, a program that amounted to closing down schools & hospitals and selling the land off to his developer mates. Oh, he also whacked a $100 ‘deficit levy’ on everyone’s council rates notices. Oh, he also sold off the Docks precincts to … to his developer mates. What a guy.

    Look, GD, the Bracks/Brumby Govt were arseholes too but very bloody efficient ones who actually built stuff. Your lot never do that – they just sell stuff.

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