What voters really think about Palaszczuk and Nicholls

20th May 2017 5:00 AM
LNP State leader Tim Nicholls on the Sunshine Coast this week with Buderim candidate Brent Mickelberg (left) is unrecognisable to 10% of voters in the electorate, according to a Sunshine Coast Daily poll and not overly loved by those that do. LNP State leader Tim Nicholls on the Sunshine Coast this week with Buderim candidate Brent Mickelberg (left) is unrecognisable to 10% of voters in the electorate, according to a Sunshine Coast Daily poll and not overly loved by those that do. Warren Lynam

THE ReachTEL poll into voter intentions in Buderim was significant in that it revealed a third had not committed their first preference to either of the major parties, according to University of Queensland academic Professor Kath Gelber.

Prof Gelber, of the UQ School of Politics, said the polling conducted on Thursday night for the Sunshine Coast Daily showed a trend to minor parties away from the two majors. She said the polling showed 24% of voters would commit to other candidates and 12% undecided.

"More than a third of voters are not committed to major parties and that's a significant number," Prof Gelber said.

She said the West Australian elections had indicated One Nation's momentum was slowing down.

That appeared to be supported by the ReachTEL poll where its 12% of the primary vote to Mr Dickson was not significantly above The Greens with 8.4%.

Prof Gelber said on those numbers it did not appear likely One Nation would replace a major party candidate in Buderim. She said it was interesting that even in a seat where the preference was strongly for the LNP that voters think Labor would retain government at the next election. But she cautioned the finding applied only to Buderim.

"A high proportion still rate the Premier unfavourably at 41% yet still think she can win," Prof Gelber said.

"The high neutral response to Tim Nicholls (46.6%) shows they are not very confident in the Opposition at this point. There is a significant lack of confidence."

Of the 41.2% polled who viewed Annastacia Palaszczuk unfavourably, 62.6% identified as LNP voters, 74.7% as One Nation and just 4% Labor. Mr Nicholls was viewed unfavourably by 24.5% of all voters including 8.6% of LNP voters, 49.7% of Labor and 21.5% of One Nation voters.

Ms Palaszczuk had the higher recognition factor with only 1.7% never having heard of her before compared with 10.1% who didn't know Mr Nicholls' role in politics.

Professor Gelber said the State Budget due next month was very important in terms of the election outcome. She said people had shown they could live with a level of debt but strongly opposed the privatisation of key government assets.

University of the Sunshine Coast lecturer in politics Bronwyn Stevens said the poll was reputable but it remained to be seen whether Buderim was typical or One Nation would poll higher in outer areas of the state. She said Mr Dickson's chances may have been higher if he had been thrown out of the party.

"By leaving the party some people may see him as a traitor," Ms Stevens said. "He appears to have alienated a big percentage."