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Aug 29, 2011

Poll reveals desperate state of Australian politics.

Cartoon: By Zeg.

The latest Galaxy Poll of Queensland voters has few surprises but has a number of findings, which should disturb both major parties. On the basis of the latest figures here, the coalition should romp home, but are not happy with either party.

Labor has plumbed record lows, with only 23% of the primary vote, - not much better than a minor party, while the LNP is basking on 55%. On a two party preferred basis, the coalition has 55%. Kevin Rudd is the only federal Labor member with sufficient margin to hold his seat in this state, even Wayne Swan; the Treasurer would be tossed out.

Such a result would similar to the situation in 1975, where Bill Hayden was the only federal Labor representative left in Queensland. In the state election the year before Labor had been reduced to a cricket team of eleven members, something that may repeat itself in March.

Neither party can be comforted by the breakdown:
Labor is struggling with increasing voter anger about the perceived influence of the Greens and the independents. Almost a year after Ms Gillard secured backing from independents Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie to form a government, 56 per cent of Queensland voters said the minority government was "worse than expected." …

Almost two-thirds of voters - and 41 per cent of Labor voters - say the Greens have too much influence on the Government. In a similar poll in February, voters were split over whether the Greens had too much influence.

"The problem for the Federal Government is the growing sense of disillusionment with the minority government," Galaxy chief executive David Briggs said. Calls for an early election have increased, with 69 per cent of voters saying they want to elect a majority government.

But they also expressed dissatisfaction with both parties, with 60 per cent of Labor supporters and 66 per cent of LNP supporters saying their vote was determined by not wanting to see the other party in power rather than a liking for the candidate.
This clearly indicates, that nearly two thirds of the electorate holds such a negative view of the parties that their principal voting motivation is that the other side are worse than the one they support. This is reminiscent of the situation in 1977, where both parties were seen as so bad that each headed its advertisements with an image of the other party’s leader.

The Liberal Democratic Party, (LDP) could make significant gains from this situation, pulling votes from both Liberal and Labor. With the Greens being seen as authoritarian ideologues there is a strong chance voters will be seeking a party, which covers all issues across the spectrum and has new refreshing ideas. The LDP fits this bill.

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