Why did the LNP convince the media Premier Campbell Newman was making a miraculous comeback when the facts suggest he is heading for a seismic disaster? Steve Bishop reports.
WHY DID THE LNP lie to respected journalist Madonna King in October when it claimed that internal polling showed that Premier Campbell Newman had made a “spectacular personal comeback”?
Recent polls make a mockery of the party’s claim, reported in the Brisbane Times, that the Premier’s
“... shocking negative personal ratings [had] evened out."
ReachTEL found in April this year that 50% of respondents rated Mr Newman’s performance as poor or very poor. In December, this figure is 48.5%.
Worse, Galaxy’s figures show that far from making a comeback, the premier is now viewed even more unfavourably. While 55% of people were disappointed or strongly disappointed with the Premier’s performance in May, that figure had climbed to 61% by November.
Newspoll’s last research in Queensland was in September, but its figures give no encouragement to the LNP. It recorded a steady increase in the number of people dissatisfied with the Premier’s performance – apart from a blip in June this year – from 45% in March 2013 to 54% in September.
However, the most significant finding in political polls is the way in which people say they intend to vote.
Polls suggest the LNP Government is fighting to avoid becoming a one-termer. It is desperately trying to regain control by spending millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on advertising designed to persuade us to vote LNP.
'Operation Boring' leading to comeback for Campbell: Comment: Inside polling shows premier… http://t.co/l0FlaDkrEG pic.twitter.com/UVPwaeSqRu— Brisbane Journal (@brisbanejournal) October 29, 2014
The words 'Authorised by the Queensland Government, Brisbane' appear frequently on television screens and in newspapers, on radio and on computer screens.
Four polls show this might not be enough to save it.
Newspoll, which has been remarkably accurate in past campaigns, shows there has been a steady decline – apart from a blip in June this year – from a primary vote of 49.7% at the 2012 election to only 39% in September, its latest poll.
But it puts the LNP 54% to 46% ahead on a two party preferred basis.
Galaxy has revealed a steady decline from 43% in May this year to 37% last month, with a two party preferred vote of 50-50.
Roy Morgan also has the LNP and ALP involved in a photo finish, with the LNP ahead by half a per cent.
ReachTEL says its research showed the LNP climbing to 56.5% in July 2012, but plummeting to 39.2% in November, with a December poll showing Newman set to lose his Ashgrove seat on a two party preferred basis by 55 % to 45%.
It has the ALP at 51% across the State.
These are certainly not the figures which would have resulted from a spectacular personal comeback by the Premier.
Political parties value their internal polling so much that only a handful of inner circle leaders are normally privy to the figures which are guarded like the crown jewels. So why would the LNP even pretend to reveal this precious research?
The most likely reason for the clumsy lie is that it was trying convince key staff that the party is in with a chance of retaining government at the 2015 election.
It will need every spin doctor and every specialised advisor to stay on board to try to limit the number of seats it loses.
As I wrote in July:
'The most astute of them would have already been updating their CVs ready to find new jobs as soon as possible. They will not want to be among a couple of hundred advisors all competing for a limited number of jobs at the same time when the LNP crashes out of government.'
Many of them are not party hacks but had careers outside of politics before giving up good jobs to join the LNP government. And many of them, with families and mortgages to consider, must now be fearful about their futures.
The lies led to a major story in Brisbane Times, but staff will now have seen the truth about the LNP’s phony polling.
They will have been further rattled by Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie saying if the Premier can’t win Ashgrove there is a real chance the LNP will be kicked out of Government.
And now the Premier has admitted that so many people have turned against his Government that the ALP could win the election.
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If you have a 60+ seat majority in parliament & you are calling yourself the underdog, perhaps it's time to realise you fucked it up #qldpol— Not Campbell Newman (@Can_do_Campbell) December 11, 2014
Unemployment on Gold Coast 13.8% & rising underCampbell Newman http://t.co/R92cZuXyZs via @brisbanetimes #qldpol #auspol— Gail Hislop (@GailHislopALP) December 11, 2014
— Working4Qlders (@workingforqld) December 11, 2014
Under @theqldpremier 99 Year leases we ALL lose http://t.co/S4On5WT1Ro #qldpol pic.twitter.com/zfi0bXZP6O— Not4Sale (@Not4SaleQLD) December 9, 2014