SHOCK POLL: Labor’s vote shrivels, as LNP surges
ANNASTACIA Palaszczuk faces being overthrown at the state election despite the Premier's popularity rebounding amid her high-profile role leading Queensland during the coronavirus pandemic.
A shock new YouGov Poll, conducted exclusively for The Sunday Mail, has revealed Ms Palaszczuk's second-term Labor Government has slumped to its worst result in four years and now trails its LNP opponents.
It comes after the Premier has for months been the public face of the Government's response to the COVID-19 crisis, providing daily updates about the spread of the disease and the extraordinary steps to combat the outbreak.
However, the Government has come under sustained criticism from business leaders and interest groups over its cautious approach to easing restrictions, particularly on the contentious call to keep the Queensland border closed.
Conducted last week from interviews of more than 1000 Queenslanders, the poll shows Labor's vote has shrivelled to a lowly 32 per cent with fewer than 150 days left until the October 31 State Election.
The result is down on the 35.4 per cent achieved at the 2017 election, which helped Labor achieve a wafer-thin majority in Queensland's 93-seat State Parliament.
The Deb Frecklington-led LNP has surged 3 per cent in the past four months to 38 per cent, well ahead of the 33.7 per cent support it snared at the last election and the best result since August 2016.
The Greens' vote has also increased to 12 per cent, a result that would further imperil former deputy premier Jackie Trad's chances of retaining South Brisbane for Labor.
Ms Trad stepped aside and then resigned from Cabinet last month after the Crime and Corruption Commission revealed it was formally investigating her role in the appointment of a principal to a new school in her seat.
The poll also showed support for Pauline Hanson's One Nation has decreased from 15 per cent to 12 per cent, with the party's matriarch forced to maintain a low profile throughout the pandemic.
According to the YouGov poll, the LNP now leads Labor 52 per cent to 48 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis, its best result since May 2016.
The outcome, if reflected on election day, would mean a significant statewide swing to the LNP of 3.2 per cent, putting nine Labor seats in danger and potentially giving Ms Frecklington the support she needs to scrape together a majority government.
Among the Labor seats in play are the regional electorates of Townsville, Mundingburra, Barron River and Keppel and the southeast corner electorates of Gaven, Aspley, Mansfield and Redlands.
Despite ongoing poor personal numbers, the vote outcome will further strengthen Ms Frecklington's hold on power within her party despite the LNP's propensity to change leaders during almost every term in opposition.
Labor's fading electoral fortunes are in stark contrast to Ms Palaszczuk's personal popularity, which has been revived after she began the year as one of Australia's least popular leaders.
The YouGov poll shows 49 per cent of voters are satisfied with her performance, a big improvement on the 29 per cent she chalked up in February, which was the worst result of any Queensland premier since Anna Bligh in 2010.
The percentage of people dissatisfied with her performance has also tumbled from 44 per cent to 33 per cent.
Ms Palaszczuk has also significantly strengthened her grip as Queensland's preferred premier, a mantle she's held at every poll since winning power in early 2015.
The resulted showed 44 per cent of Queenslanders back Ms Palaszczuk, a leap of 10 per cent from February when she equalled her worst-ever result.
Ms Palaszczuk's additional backing came from the record number of voters who were ambivalent about both leaders, with Ms Frecklington inching forward to 23 per cent.
Satisfaction with Ms Frecklington's performance has also moved ahead slightly from 23 per cent to 26 per cent over the past four months, while dissatisfaction fell from 33 per cent to 29 per cent.
Like opposition leaders across Australia, Ms Frecklington has struggled for relevance during the coronavirus pandemic but has recently pressured Labor for failing produce a restrictions easing roadmap and for keeping Queensland's border closed.
The poll also showed a significant jump in the number of Queenslanders who thought the state was heading in the right direction, a clear sign of improving sentiment as coronavirus restrictions ease.
Only 31 per cent of Queenslanders thought the state was heading in the right direction in February compared to 49 per cent in the latest poll, while the percentage of people who believed the state was going in the wrong direction plummeted from 46 per cent to 30 per cent.
Originally published as SHOCK POLL: Labor's vote shrivels, as LNP surges