Monday marked the last feasible date for a federal election to be called this year. There was no Newspoll that day, but the Essential Poll out yesterday will have Coalition strategists sighing with relief that we won’t be heading to the polls until somewhere between March and May next year.
For the Essential shows a shocking collapse in the approval of the Prime Minister in Queensland, the state that delivered the election to Scott Morrison in 2019.
The percentage of people who approve of the job Morrison is doing as Prime Minister plunged by close to a quarter from 60 to 46 per cent, miles outside the margin of error.
It might be a sampling blip but, much more worrying, it might will be a stunning rebuff to Morrison’s sudden enthusiasm for climate change action from a state powered by coal.
If this is the case, he’s got problems.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of Queensland to the Coalition’s chances of success.
A stronger than expected result in Queensland at the 2019 election got Scott Morrison across the line. The LNP won 23 of the 30 seats in the state. The net two seat swing allowed the Coalition to regain the majority in the House of Representatives lost after the by-election brought about by Malcolm Turnbull’s resignation.
Coalition strategists need Queenslanders to stick with them if they are to win the next election, particularly after unfavourable boundary redistributions in Western Australia and Victoria.
But if Queenslanders believe the Prime Minister has sold them out on coal, things are going to get very volatile.
The Coalition will have to invest more time and effort in the state if One Nation, Bob Katter and Clive Palmer sense any opportunities.
One poll, of course, is only a snapshot of a moment in time — so watch this space.
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