Campbell Newman was right about one thing last night.

The primary vote of the LNP, the party he led to an incredible victory and then historic defeat within the space of three helter skelter years, has barely budged for the last three years.

The LNP's 35 per cent vote at this election was just 1.1 per cent better than the party achieved at the 2017 election and well below the 41 per cent when Newman lost.

Adding insult to injury, Pauline Hanson's dramatic fall from grace saw her voters side with Annastacia Palaszczuk rather than Deb Frecklington.

Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington concedes defeat at the LNP election night reception at the Emporium in South Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington concedes defeat at the LNP election night reception at the Emporium in South Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall


The failure to win these voters over was the difference between success and failure for Frecklington.

It meant big swings to incumbent Labor MPs across the state.

The LNP failed to win target seats in Townsville and Cairns and got nowhere in Brisbane, all of which has become a bit of a tradition for the party.

2020 QLD state election results 

 

Major parties
  • LNP 0
  • ALP 0
Others
  • ONP 0
  • UAP 0
  • KAP 0
  • OTH 0
  • GRN 0
Called seats


However, Newman's claim that Frecklington can't blame the COVID crisis was a bit rich.

Critically, Palaszczuk's popularity has soared during the pandemic, with Queenslanders backing her border closure.

She's dragged up Labor's vote as a result.

It's not a coincidence that the seats Labor won off the LNP, Pumicestone, Caloundra and Hervey Bay, skew older than the average Queensland electorate.

Fear over COVID-19 has driven them into Palaszczuk's arms.

And in the middle of this crisis, the LNP went about making itself look like a risky proposition by being on the brink of civil war after senior figures tried and failed to topple Frecklington.

Nothing knew there.


If Labor gains a clear majority, which looked a certainty last night, the knives will be out for Frecklington.

The drums for talented Broadwater MP David Crisafulli were already beating in the background before the election and the clamber will only grow louder now.

However, before COVID came along and before the internal LNP fissions, it has to be acknowledged that Frecklington was in a solid position.

But it's been four and a half years since the LNP had a primary vote in the 40s and until that happens Queensland's perennial political second-place getters will continue being losers.

Regardless of who leads the Opposition, the continued losses show voters have a problem what the party is selling, not necessarily who is selling it.


Originally published as The crucial failure that means knives will be out for Deb


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